December 25, 2004

Feliz Navidad

And a happy Christmas to you all from Ecuador. We´re staying here right now, which is very lovely, although 10 hours on a bus yesterday through the indiginous towns outside of Quito made me very sad. So much poverty and little kids hanging out along side the streets, trying to stop cars for money.

Made me realize how lucky we are, if not a little spoiled.

So have a happy holiday, and be grateful for whatever you have. If you´re reading this, you´ve got so much more than most of the people I saw yesterday.

So eager to get on the boat tomorrow and start diving. Dreamed I saw a whale shark last night. Hopefully that dream will come true.

December 21, 2004

Christmas Catharsis

I think I blogged myself into my annual holiday funk yesterday. Left work feeling blah, and then went shopping and found unplanned, yet ideal gifts for those on my list who I didn't know what to buy for.

Good news is it was the shortest holday blue meanies in the history of bobkind.

Or maybe all it takes is buying some cheesy christmas tree candles, setting them by the tv, and watching what could be the best gift ever ... a DVD of the 20th Anniversary concert of Once on this Island. Thank you. So very very much.

And of course, I cried like a little boy whose Christmas puppy arrives dead in the box. Just bawled ... almost as much as when I saw the concert live a couple years ago.

Our lives indeed do become the stories that we weave.

The spirit of Christmas returns. Yay.

Today's the last day of work before vacation. So looking forward to it. Don't know how much blogging will get done before the 26th when I get on the boat. But I'll try ... a nice Christmas post from Ecuador might be fun.

If not, I wish each of you ... my friends and family ( the proverbial threads in this story I'm weaving) ... the happiest of holidays and much love, peace, laughter, and happiness in the New Year.

And come see me in London!

December 20, 2004

Where's An Elf When You Need One?

sure hope my regulator works, because I feel like I've been swimming really hard and am about to go underwater before I even get to the Galapagos.

Have I mentioned that I don't feel like it's Christmas this year? Or that I'm so busy that I havnn't had time to blog or send cards (well, that happens most years, I'm really horrible about it) or buy everyone who deserves them their proper presents.

Usually by now I've had my "Holy Stuffed Stockings Batman, I haven't done nearly enough for the holidays" panic attack and run to the shops spending way too much to overcompensate for lack of planning. This year, I have twinges of that, but no real drama, just twinges of "oh Bob, you really could have done better. This is beneath you." I love my inner Addison DeWitt.

I'm not becoming a scrooge, and I'm not becoming my father, but I do feel really disconnected from the holdays. Maybe I'll have some weird breakdown in Miami on Wednesday night, or in Quito on Christmas Eve. Or maybe the Lipitor has really kicked in and I just don't get as worked up as I used to.

What's Christmas like in Ecuador?? Ask me next week.

I do feel guilty though, like I'm not being the good uncle or the good friend or the good whatever. And that kinda makes me sad. It's so hard to want to be perfect and realize you're miles off target.

Maybe I'm just maudlin and full of self pity.

And magnificent.

Perhaps I'll just breathe and "be" and realize that even though I'm spinning like a dreidl on crack, the rest of the world is full of goodness and light and that just because I've been a schmuck about buying gifts doesn't mean my heart isn't full of love for everybody. That's what Buddha would do, right? The zen of Christmas.

Maybe I'll send Xmas presents in March this year. Just to be non-conformist.

Who knows?

I do know that i've heard George Michael sing "Last Year, I Gave You My Heart" 1,347 too many times in the past 2 weeks.

And I do know that it was lovely to have our first houseguest over the weekend. CB came in from a work jaunt in Milan, and we shopped and talked and laughed and had fun with the new London boys (and girls). All was well.

He summed up our new place as a cross between 420 and Cape Fear, which I really hadn't thought of, but it is kind of a good description ... especially now that all the furniture's there.

In 48 hours I'll be on a plane ... so unprepared for this trip, but it's going to happen and I'm going to relax and have a good time, even if it kills me.

There's always next year ... the year which I give up procrastination.

December 15, 2004

If I Only Had a Percodan

If our lives become the stories that we weave, and we're not weaving anything, does that mean we don't have a life?

Or perhaps I'm weaving stories in real time, and having no time to blog about them. A whole week and no posts. That can't be good ... on the other hand, there's so much going on that every time I think I should post something I have no idea where to start.

So. Very. Busy.

Apparently it's Christmas, but the spirit has not infected me as of yet. Only ten days to go, I wonder if it's gonna pass me by this year. Or if all of a sudden it will hit me and I'll madly dash through Oxford Street, or wildly surf through, and spend money I don't have in an effort to send Christmas cheer to one and all. Or maybe I'll just start dumping all my money into the UK equivalent of Salvation Army beggars, like Meg in Crimes of the Heart.

I started reading A Christmas Carol the other day (how very British of me), but got bored with old Ebby. It's not like there are any surprises.

I have been infected with a nasty sinus thingy / head cold. The kind that makes my face hurt (I know, it's killing you too) from the bottom of my cheekbones to the top of my forehead. Today is day 4 of the pain, and I'm scheduled to see my first UK doctor to get it cleared up. Diving would not be too much fun with all this pressure.

The Sky guy is coming today (f* off, NTL), so I'm at home enjoying some quiet, getting some work done, and taking in our last day of ugly temporary furniture. Tomorrow we'll get all the stuff they packed up in New York just 3 weeks and 2 days ago. So weird to think I've only been here 3 weeks ... arrived in this flat 3 weeks ago almost to the hour. And in one week we leave for the Galapagos.

So no, it doesn't seem like Christmas just yet, ... more like a crazy twister of change that's landed us not over a rainbow, just over an ocean. And we're settling in nicely. Meeting great people, getting to know the ones I met before a little better, and enjoying the little things that put the icing on the cake of this new adventure.

If I could only stop the munchkins from hammering away at the insides of my yellow snot road.

December 7, 2004

Another Hundred People Just Got *On* to the Train

I think I've found a universal truth ...

And I'm not talking about no matter which empty locker you choose at the gym, when you come back to change someone is standing at the one next to you.

No, this universal truth is that people who ride subway / tube trains are stupid and inconsiderate. Three doors per car, tons of room in the aisle between each door, but nobody will walk into it (even if there's an empty seat) because their doorside real estate is just too valuable.

And they won't step out of the way to let more people on; nope, they just stand there, crowding each other to death, nose in their Guardian or lastest Waterstone's purchase, pretending to ignore the others.

A city of strangers, indeed.

December 6, 2004

Exsqueeze Me?

We're standing in a bar last night, watching the kids sing along to pop anthems I don't all the words to, enjoying a pint or two. I've been there several times and it can get really crowded ... you know, when you have to squeeze by people and try not to spill your drink on them as they dance around, showing off the choreography they've learned after watching way too many videos.

But I was out with Larry so it was still early and not too jam packed. I notice this tallish dark haired guy coming towards me, with a girl behind him and I take a half-step back to make room, of which there was already plenty.

As he walks by, he pats my stomach. Really gently, but like 4 or 5 times. It was so not an excuse me you're in my way pat (one touch is the general limit on such silent "excuse me" maneuvers). L and I looked each other at the same time, heads cocked to the side and eyebrows raised ... and like the good guy he is, sensed my confusion.

"I think he liked you," L says to me reassuringly.

I wasn't convinced ... "did he just non-verbally call me fat?"

Larry just smiled and shrugged, "well we can't really be sure. But let's go with the first opti

December 5, 2004

The Gospel According to DH

"I just want to be happy," she says.

The priest replies, "Those are the words of a selfish child."

"I know."

:: :: :: ::

And that wasn't even the best writing on last week's episode. But wow, don't you just love/hate it when something on tv just sums it all up for you.

I'm going to get all of the episodes put together and have Desperate Housewives viewings for the London boys. They shouldn't have to wait until it officially finds its way to this side of the pond.

December 3, 2004

Pre-Weekend Update

It's Friday morning and my boss is late for our very important early a.m. meeting. So let's do a quick recap, just to keep the old blogging muscles loose.

Speaking of muscles, mine have been getting a nice little workout here in old Blighty. Been to that gym I joined a few times, doing my nasty-ass lunges and even took a class ("body pump" ... does everything have to be dirty?). Lots of walking and they've yet to install an escalator in our walk-up apartment flat. A lack of late-night venues keeps one from eating crap in the middle of the night on a whim ... I guess one could plan and stock the larder with vittles, but what fun is that? I might even be losing a pound or two.

And the exercise seems to be making me feel a little better. All those endolphins swimming around.

Broadband is in and the wireless network is back up (after toasting the router I brought from home and getting a nice UK replacement; same brand, same speed, what's a few extra pounds ... especially since I'm losing them elsewhere).

Work is the same zoo, just a different cage. But since most my key projects involve people in London, I'm feeling much more engaged and productive. Still miss my cozy office in New York, but the new digs are really good. Bright, open , airy ... and it's refreshing to deal with live people instead of emails and conference calls all day. NY was good on the people front for chats and therapy and whatnot, but I really didn't have a lot of face-to-face work there.

Seems the web police have caught up with bobzyeruncle and I'm no longer available for viewing at the old office. Sorry guys.

Found a cute pub the other night with a wall of bookshelves downstairs ... complete with secret doors that led to the washrooms. Very Harry Potter.

The Prince came out of exile last night and we had a lovely catch-up. He still inspires me and I'm glad our paths have crossed again. As I told Larry this morning, "he's a good good man." Too bad his work schedule and mine are so different ... we could create some fun havoc together. And women should pay more careful attention to the way their underwear sticks out of the back of their slacks ... and for God's sake, make sure the tags are tucked in. We don't need to know what size your knickers are (we could tell by the size of your butt they weren't petite).

Work's Christmas party is tonight. It's quite the shindig apparently. A few big tents, bumper cars, snake charmers, dancing. And here I was thinking I had to go to Soho or Vauxhall to get my snake charmed.

NTL is rubbish, so we're swtiching to Sky.

Clothes arrived today, customs is rummaging through them now and we'll get them early next week. Furniture should arrive on or around the 15th.

So, looks like we'll be all settled in just in time to leave for the Galapagos on the 22nd.

Christmas in Ecuador. Who'd have thunk it?