November 30, 2004

What?? A Productive Monday?

Went to the gym on Sunday for a trial work out. They hooked me up with a cute young trainer named Marc from Toronto, who proceeded to smile and count reps and tell me all about his girlfriend who he met in India. And my legs are sore today. What better way to "ease" back into gym life than with squats and lunges. He swears that they'll be my new best friend by after a month.

Between that and all the stairs getting up to this flat, I just might have an ass by the time I'm 45. Or a stroke.

But it felt good to work out again. So good in fact that I joined up today, and my what a pretty pence that is. Things are not cheap here, kids. But beauty costs, and apparently I'm behind on my payments.

So ...

1. Gym membership -- done.
2. Cable installation -- tomorrow afternoon (so they say, this will be the 3rd time they are supposed to have shown up ... NTL ... not too likely)
3. Spiderman 2 --- notsogood
4. Broadband -- done.

Except that I can't get it to work with my wireless router, and tech support has gone off line for "necessary maintenance." I can connect to my wireless, but get no internet when it goes through the DSL router.

I also have the feeling that you can't just plug any computer into the system, which I find kind of odd. If they make me install a dsl router driver on each machine I want to plug in, I don't think that's gonna work. There's the home computer and then we both have laptops ... anyway, if anybody knows anything about such troubles, give a shout. Maybe BT wasn't the way to go with Broadband??

And Mark Bittman's famous quick roasted chicken did SO NOT work in my celsius convection oven tonight. A late dinner for all (but it did end up tasting really yummy). Two home-cooked meals in less than 4 days.

Now who's having the stroke?

November 29, 2004

Spamolicious

Got this on my blackberry today ... "Look inside her ass with our dildo cam".

What kind of lighting would that require? And since when did colonoscopies become porn?

November 28, 2004

Insomnia, UK Style

3 am and I can't sleep. I know, let's blog.

The first day of school turned out to be a lovely one. A quiet day at the office, semi-productive (although a semi isnít really as good as one could wish for, but what with the jet lag and all Ö), and I think Iíll like my new corner digs.

Halfway through the afternoon I got an email from Larry asking what I was making for Thanksgiving dinner. "Reservations?" I replied.

Some quick Googling found a couple restaurants serving ďAmerican ThanksgivingĒ, but phone calls quickly ensured me that things were booked solid, so I resigned myself to a British Thanksgiving Ö which I imagined to be pints in Soho and a turkey curry-in-a-hurry.

As we were walking home from the pub, passing my phone back and forth, exchanging Thanksgiving wishes with my family in Cincinnati, I was really struck by the feeling that weíre all so close, but so far away ... and it's those connections that keep you grounded.

We ambled into our neighbourhood and I realized we were on the street that one of the ďAmerican ThanksgivingsĒ were being served. We found the restaurant, asked if they had any room for two (North) American walk-ins, and after some fitful whispered discussions at the hostess stand, a lovely young lady said, ďwalk through that hall, ask for Pascal, and heíll take care of you.Ē

And so, surprise, we were treated to a delicious meal of roast turkey with the trimmings. No cooking, no clean up, no football. And, sadly, no second helpings or leftovers. But a thanksgiving meal nonetheless. Next year, Iím cooking. And I hope we have a houseful, er, a flatful of people.

The first few days have been great. Iíve seen almost all my friends, played text-tag with the Prince, who much to my chagrin has seemingly gone into exile, and begun settling in nicely into the place weíll call home for next however long.

I may have found a gym. We have a new DVD surround sound system which Harry Potter sounds brilliant on, and Iíve cooked my first meal in the new place. Did you know that ovens here only go to 250 degrees? Memo to self Ö find recipes in Celsius.

I guess it must be home, because itís Saturday night and Iím not out, but sitting in on a window bench in my dining room, staring out over the square (which is really just a small grassy thing with trees and a gate around it, for those not in the know), typing on my laptop (which is sitting on my lap), blowing smoke into the cool, damp night air, wondering what everyone is doing. Itís all so Carrie Bradshaw. Iím both anxious and at ease Ö glad that I didnít go out to the 25th anniversary of Heaven, finding comfort in the quiet drone of a dishwasher, and missing my friends Ö those across the pond and those across the river. And Iím thinking about how things change, and how despite those changes, some things always remain the same ... namely that you can't never count on anything but change.

Iím thinking how weird it is to be here and yet how right it feels. Wondering how I got here and where Iím going. Wondering why I woke up with "Weekend in New England" in my head and now, a day and a half later, Barry Manilow is still singing to me. Thinking that, despite the earworm, Iím a lucky man. Lucky to have so many good people in my life, so many good memories, and so many good things to come. Lucky to have found an unexpected Thanksgiving dinner this week. Wondering who will be in this room with me a year from last Thursday.

November 25, 2004

Enjoy your Journey ...

Sometimes the iPod just knows. I ended my last post with a reference to Kina. As I got on the subway tube this morning on my way to the first official "in residence" day at the office, I hit play and there she was on random shuffle ...

Things are lookin' up for me now ....

But before the London adventure begins, I have to close up NY.

My last weekend was amazing. An overused word perhaps, but amazing nonetheless. I've always said (as have a couple of my friends ... maybe I stole it, who knows) that the best nights in New York City are the ones you don't plan.

Monday was the perfect example. The movers came in about 10 am and were machines. They had my entire place packed, boxed and loaded onto a shipping container within 6.5 hours. And that was including the hour break they took for lunch. Fast, courteous, funny, and informative. "Just how does my stuff get from these boxes to my flat in London?" I asked. He told me the whole process ... they load it on to a shipping container which is on a flatbed on 23rd street, seal it, drive it to a pier and then it's loaded on a boat. Scheduled to get a call here on Dec 8, asking when they can move it it and unpack it. So cool.

So the place was empty, I didn't have the meltdown I thought I would, but was finally filled with the excitement of ohmygod it's really happening, I'm really going to go. I sort of wished I could just get on the plane right then and there.

But a dinner plan had already been set, and there were still some loose ends at the office to tie up on Tuesday. So I went to Time Warner Express, turned in my cable boxes and modem, paid the final bill, and then had a half hour to spare before dinner at 7pm. Found myself near g, so I downed a last Ketle Soda there, and then met one of my favorite ex-office colleages (we're dropping like flies out of the NY office) and her husband for a fabulous dinner at Sette.

The plan was to just call it an early night and head over to Queens for a last night at the Barn du Carpet Rouge, where my gracious host had offered to let me rest my pre-traveling bones.

But I had a voice message that said, "Hi, it's me and I'm on a train with Becky Nell headed into the city to see my sister in a show. If you're still around, let me know and maybe we can grab somethig to eat or drink after."

Dennis. One of my best friends who is now taking care of the cats while renting our place in Ptow. Have you been to his shop?

And then CB called to see if I was around for one final pop.

So fast forward to Den, CB, Matt, Becky Nell (in from Dallas who we lurve so much), Den's sister Nancy, and me ... hanging out at Arriba, Arriba, laughing and carrying on and swapping stories and gossip and chips and salsa.

CB, Denishoi, and Matt. The three best friends I've had in my NY stay. All together, unexpectedly, on my last night out. It could not have been better if I'd planned it.

Yay.

So a fairly frantic day yesterday ensued (although I did take time out for one final rub -- Johnny at Service Station is quite lovely), and I made it to the airport with no undue drama. A few more goodbyes. Several tears held back(although in hindsight I find it interesting the only time I started crying in pulbic was walking out of 420, after giving Hector a big hug).

A new sleeping pill as the plane took off, and when I opened my eyes, we were 40 minutes from landing.

Yesterday was a jumble. Getting stuff up ALL THOSE STAIRS, wandering around the new neighborhood, running a couple errands, napping, and welcome to London pints with OB, who has enrolled me in his submersion course of London culture ... or London gay finishing school, as he calls it.

And here we are.

Getting out of the tube this morning at Liverpool Station, I had that first day of school feeling. I was coming into an office I've worked in for the past 15 months, with people I already know. But the floors have been restacked since I last left, and now I was to have my own desk, my own office-like space (we're on an open concept, but I'm situatted in a corner, not in a pod of people), my own London phone extension.

It's like starting a new year at an old school. Fresh notebooks, fresh pens, familiar but changed surroundings ... all very exciting.

As I walked through the revolving doors, I took a deep breath to start everything afresh, and the iPod knew my thoughts once more ...

Yay, though we venture through the valley of the stars ...

First day of school, in a new city, (country) and feels like I'm seventeen. Again.

November 20, 2004

If I Can Make it There ...

I was walking through Times Square last night after a few drinks with Matt, and I had that silly thought I've had for the past 11 years ... "wow, it's New York City and I live here." For at least a couple more days.

So much has happened in the last 1.1 decades. Hundreds of images ran through my mind, like the flashes you see when they're brainwashing people in a bad sci-fi movie.

So Bob, how did you spend your 30s?

Arriving Easter weekend in our little blue Honda CXR, after driving in from Chicago, by way of Cincinnati. Staying in Peter's tiny walk-up on Bleecker and McDougal till we found a place. Going out that first night and finding (and falling in love) with this little hole-the-wall called Universal Grill. Sigh. Endless weekends apartment hunting. Finding 88th and Claudia clutching her pearls. Parties in our backyard on 88th Street. Talking to the boy who played Barney at our first annual (and last) Get Blown Thanksgiving party, (where everyone was to come see the Macy's balloons get blown up). Making the whole set laugh my first day on All My Children, and naively thinking I was going to land a real part on it. Doing extra work on If Lucy Fell and having a nice long talk with SJP about one of her teachers who dated a friend of mine back home. Getting a play the first time I auditioned for one in the city, again thinking, w"ell how hard can this be?" Working with Matthew Fox in said play (his first time on stage).

All the beautiful friends I've made. The plays I did. Ace Ossining. Ruth Dickey. C-c-c-carlotta! CB and the crazy monologues he'd write for me. Being a Lucky Boy for the Lucky Girls. Making an audience laugh and cry in the same scene during a Glines show. Swearing I'd never do another Glines show. Doing a second Glines show and getting to meet Socrates out of it. My picture on the cover of an old gay rag that's now out of print.

Seeing the Empire State Building at night and thinking, wouldn't it be cool to live in NY and realizing that I did. How beautiful the WTC was on a sunset cruise the weekend before 9/11. Standing on my balcony a few days later, staring at a huge gash in the top of the same building and then watching it fall down, chain smoking and crying all day long.

Running through Central Park. Sitting on the north end of the boat pond and communing with Alice. Meeting Connie for the first time at the Works. And Phil. And Will. The guy who used to do my hair at Roberto Novo -- "shorter, blonder" -- until I was platium and went off to Mykonos to be mistaken for a Scandinavian. How gray it's gotten since. Going to the Townhouse with Larry before G and Barracuda came into being. Rome, and the bartenders in their black leather togas. Chase. All the LT7s and they're varied attendees.

Leaving behind the pigeon wars on 88th and moving to Chelsea. Working out at Equinox and ignoring Larry when he yelled (because he forgets that just cause he has headphones on he doesn't have to talk loudly), "did you see how big his feet were?" when Billy Baldwin walked by. Group therapy with one of my favorite playwrights. All the acting classes I took. All the charts I've made for horrible consultants when I worked at McKinsey. The celebrity parties we used to throw. The summer we did the Fire Island share and how much I laughed with our housemates. Leaving my body on the dance floor during the morning party. Realizing we were more Ptown than Pines. The first day I walked into Cape Fear. "Wow," was all I could say.

Running through the rain to catch a cab with Aunt Rose. Bringing Cab home the first time. Becoming a cat person. Watching Gypsy grow less skittish and more fat. Being with my 80-year old grandma the first time she was in New York. Taking her to a gospel brunch in Harlem. "Take my picture," she said, holding up a bloody mary. "I've never had a drink this early in my life."

I'm gay, I'm hungry, Food Bar! Having our own booth at Alley's End. Bartenders who wouldn't let me buy drinks (not because I was cut off, but because they liked me). Bartenders who were so rude they should be shot. Drinking at Revolution. Watching the sunrise on our balcony and listening to Ragtime, waking the neighbors behind us. My 40th at the Park. Connie and June debuting "All that Jizz" and watching my dad turn white. Larry and I doing drag at East of Eights for a fund raiser. Crazy Amanda matching everyone's contributions. Learning to loathe the D'ags girls, and the idiots who work at Duane Reade. My totally amazing doctor. My therapists, those I paid and those I drank with.

Halloween parades. Pride parties. Dancing on piers, rolling my brains out. Losing my glasses at an underwear party. The bathhouses and the bookstores. The Crowbar. The original Eagle. The Spike. Ah, the Spike. Keeping Dominos pizza in business. Crif dogs. Valdinos. Drinks on top of Beekman Place. All the wilfs and bilfs. The South African hooker. The mess (whatever his name is now). The binges. The health kicks.

Claus the ferocious feline. Mark introducing us to Megan on their second date and then being in the wedding a couple years later. Running into people from past lives in small town New York. Realizing that it really is a small town here. Watching people get old. Watching people get fat and then thin again. Watching new people come and some disappear. Wishing some would disappear.

My transformation into a quasi-corporate boy. The unexpected business trips. Moving from a shared room into my own office. Speaking at conferences, and then ending up planning them. All the PAICR people.

Crying my eyes out during the Once On This Island benefit. Getting a migraine at Steel Pier. Seeing friends star on Broadway. Seeing bad theater and sometimes amazing theater. Cherry Jones. Mary Louise Parker (who I will act with one day). Vanessa Redgrave. Paul Giamati in Iceman. Marin reminding us we can never go back to before ... and watching the scenery just disappear. Elaine at Rose's Turn. My brief chat with Donna Murphy. The piano bars. Hedwig ... three times. Standing next to Paul Rudd and knowing he wanted to kiss me. Never seeing Cats (tyvm).

And then this blogging thing and all the people I've met through this. Performing at WYSIGWIG. Making friends that I feel like I've known forever, and will know forever.

And learning the biggest secret of all ... that New Yorkers aren't rude, but some of the friendliest people in the world (especially the ones from the midwest who move here). I have found so much love in this city. Get your mind out of the gutter ... that's not the love I meant (although there's a heapin' helping of that too).

And, of course, the silly Canadian who I'm growing old with, can translate his slur into decipherable English, and all the little day-to-day stuff that makes two people become a family.

There are millions more memories, and I have to get to the office and pack it up for the move.

Bottom line ... I heart New York. And soon I'm off to learn a new city, where more stories will unfold, new friendships are already blossoming, old storylines with intertwine with unforeseen plot twists, and ... well, who really knows?

As Kina says, "not bad for a girl from the gutter like me."

November 16, 2004

Oh, I'll Have Just the One

Look what PatCH made ...

I have a 6am conference call on Friday, so it promises to be an early evening.

We've never said that before ...

November 15, 2004

Party Pix

Thanks Glenn, for putting up the first round of pictures. Mine are coming, and so is Matt.

November 14, 2004

Post Party Prattle

Wow. What an amazing night. Thanks to everybody who stopped by and shared one last bash at 420.

We had food, wine, booze, a cute bartender, and an excellent mix of people and music. I'll have pictures up within the week. We gave away door prizes ... I would love to have seen y'all staggering down 23rd Street carrying blenders, mixers, and toasters. Still have an iron and a couple other electric appliances to get rid of. Let me know if you want to come pick anything up.

My only complaint is to whoever decided that the free booze wasn't enough and decided to go into the medicine chest and help themselves to some Cialis and a half-bottle of Ambien. Bad form. Very bad form indeeed.

Anyway, hope you slept well and that you have a nice big hard on for awhile.

Now we take a quick last inventory of everything for the movers and then send Larry off across the pond.

Eight more days for me.

Blogger Free for All

2am of the Bob Voyage party. I think I should just stay in NY and have parties ... what an amazing night. Lots of folks have left, but there are a few good ones who've stayed.

Todd the bartender was delicious. But he's gone now. No drunk dialing tonight, but if anyone wants to commemorate by a quick drunk blog, here's your chance ...

First the boyfriend lost the chocolate, then I lost my virginity somewhere in the living room, then we started eating chocolate. The photos of me nekkid are obviously photoshopped. I'll miss my Bob and Larry, but I guess that we have reasons to visit London. How does one eat nachos and run marathons? How does one smoke and run marathons? Ask the emigrating couple. glenn

I have no idea how to put into words what I'll be losing when Bob and Larry go away. The cows in the barn will have a big hole in the heart, and some stamps in their passports.

Frank Beekman had no nipples, then he had nipples. It was like water turning into wine.

Fine wine, fucker.

Sayeth the Beekman.
How to put into words the"loss" of Frank and Larry? We lose the open bar and the cute 'hire-a-bartender' they always have at their fetes. The random collection of the creme-de-la-creme of the homos. Including Steve, but you know...

November 11, 2004

Scars are Souvenirs You Never Lose

Why do we pick at scabs? Why can't we just let things heal and move on? Is it because they itch and we just want to scratch them to find some comfort?

When do you know to just walk away from something -- a job, a lover, a parent, a cigarette -- before it becomes totally dysfunctional?

Funny thing is, the more you pick at a scab, the more likely it is to leave a scar. If it just heals naturally, odds are the mark that's left behind won't be too noticeable, if at all. But the more you pick, the deeper the scar.

Maybe it's because, in some twisted way, scars can last forever, reminders of what was once there. If it heals without scarring, then did it ever exist in the first place?

November 10, 2004

Please Don't Scare the Brits

We were going through the customs forms for moving our furniture over to London this morning.

We're not alllowed to bring porn or, get this, "horror comics."

Damn, and I so wanted to bring Paula Poundstone with me.

November 9, 2004

If I Only Had a Regulator

I used to have this recurring dream that I was in a play and didn't know my lines ... totally unprepared and it's time to go on.

It's way more unnerving than the "I just showed up in a public place totally naked" (I've had that one a lot too, but it never seems to bother me ... go figure) scenario.

Last night I had the I don't know my lines dream. I was able to find a script (because, of course, I didn't have my own), and as I was looking for my part, I realized I had the director's script and several of my lines had been rewritten.

It seems I'm playing the Tin Man in a non musical version of The Wizard of Oz.

(Which, by the way, I did play in a 7th grade musical version, and got rave reviews. We included the jitterbug number cut from the film. Have *you* ever jitterbugged in a tin can?)

Not only did I not know my lines or blocking, but even if I'd learned them, they'd been changed.

While all this is going on, it seems that the play is taking place at the same time as a big dive trip, and I have no scuba equipment, so the dive shop owner (who seems to be a backstage person at the theater) is trying to get me equipment, which is kinda ratty and isn't nearly up to the standard of my regular gear.

Not only am I totally unprepared, but I think I'm going to drown. Okay then ... no stress going on in my mind, is there?

Fuck. I thought sleep was supposed to be restful.

November 3, 2004

Not So Purrfect

I miss my gatinhos.

I open doors and expect them to be there, see a backpack on chair and think it's Gypsy, see a bottle cap and want to toss it on the floor so Cab can play hockey with it, wake up and think one of them is next to me.

Is it stupid to wonder if they miss me?

Saw a great quote about meditation last night (you'll like this) ...

"It's all about the shhhhhhhh and letting go of the shhhhhhh*t"

November 2, 2004

Princess of Peace

We ended up in Ptown for Halloween -- a quick overnight trip to leave the cats with Denishoi at Cape Fear for their kitty quarantine.

Standing on Commercial Street, watching the costumed revelers walk by, we were talking with a cute, beardless Jesus; his beautiful long brown hair and a white flowing robe dancing with the cool breeze.

"I really wish I would have had time to curl my hair," he told us.

I said I didn't realize Jesus had curly locks.

"No, I was going to be Princess Leia. Same costume, different hair."

November 1, 2004

Today's To-Do List

1. Watch an educational filmstrip.

2. Shop at Dykes in the City. Tell 'em Uncle Bob from Provincetown sent you. We heart Erin and Niki.