Try Before you Buy
I could tell you about how healthy I've been all week — having 5 consecutive days of exercise (squash, weights, swimming) and not ingesting any bread, chips, crips, or booze. But retox is only a couple hours away, so I won't go there.
Instead let me share this probing piece from Holy Moly!, which is way more important than what I haven't been putting into my body.
I'm sure it's a hoax, but can you imagine anyone who'd rent a dildo?!?
[cut to girl getting manicure]
"Gee Kina, I'm tired of the Ravenous Rabbit, but I really don't know what I want to pleasure myself with. And sex toys are kind of an investment for a single girl on a budget."
"Well Miss Connie, I heard about this website where, for about the price of a deluxe mani-pedi, you can try out a new, um, marital aid, and then return it after a month. Soak please."
"Really? That sounds perfect ... I do have a bad case of D.A.D.D. you know."
"Yeah, I miss my father too sometimes."
"No, I mean Dildo Attention Deficit Disorder. It's more common than you think. I'd like to go a little more pink this time."
"With your dildo?"
"No, silly. My nails."
[and ... scene]
Anywho ... word of warning ... these rentals are for VAGINAL use only. There is to be no butt pleasure with these here toys as of 3 days ago.
September 28, 2005
I finished The Secret Life of Bees’ penultimate chapter on the way home from the gym last night. Reading the last sentence, my eyes filled up and stung like I’d just lost my dive mask 30 feet below the surface. Rather than get weepy on the tube (and risk a return to Notting Hill Gate), I stuffed the book in my bag got and ready to head above ground.
Sometimes it’s the simplest of lines that break (and simultaneously fill) your heart.
With Larry off to bed, I curled up in the rocking chair and cracked open the last chapter, savouring the final pages like a vacation I didn’t want to come home from. After the final page, I closed the book, gave it hug and had a nice little that-was-a-really-happy-ending cry.
I didn’t mean to give the book a hug, but there I was, holding tight to Lily and August and June and May, and all the Daughters of Mary; very grateful to have spent the last several days with them.
I guess we can just file this one under www.iamsuchabigfag.com.
Next adventure is manly revisit to Nick, Jay and Daisy.
So we beat on …
September 27, 2005
Misadventures in Awareness
Evidently there's a subtle difference between meditation and lying in bed, teetering in and our of a semi-alpha state.
I sat for the first time in a good long while last night. My zafu got lost in the move (and we all know how painful that can be), so I used a sofa cushion, got situated on the floor, and set my timer for 10 minutes.
Baby steps. I used to sit for at least half an hour.
I only made it to 8. About half-way through, I was itching to look at the clock, to get up, to do anything but just sit in silence and breathe. I focused on my breath. I reminded myself that it would be over when the bell chimed, and there was no need to look at the clock. You can't control time. Just let go and be aware. Don't move, don't move, don't mo ....
Oh well, it was a start.
Undaunted, I got up this morning with determination to be more zen-like ... mindful, focusing one thing at a time, being present in the moment.
I got to the tube station, paying attention to my familiar surroundings that I see several times a week. There are two passageways to get to my train. I usually take the first, but today opted for the other ... just to shake up the routine. The posters are different. Cool.
The train comes and it's reasonably empty, a gift from the universe for making the choice to be at peace. I grab a seat and open my book (which sadly is almost finished).
A few stops later, I happen to see the station sign.
Notting Hill Gate.
I'm going the wrong direction.
I guess that's why they call it practice.
And we breathe. At least I got an extra few pages read.
September 26, 2005
Room With(out) a View
Monday morning and I have a new perspective at work. Well, physically, at least. They moved my office over the weekend, and now rather than being in an open corner, looking at people playing on the square, I'm ensconced in a charming little office with a door, glass walls, and everything.
So I've traded a view for a little privacy, and the ability to play music without disturbing people. The speakers are back in play, and Cyndi is, at last, serenading me again at work.
Dame Edna gave one of the best shows yet last night. Kate Moss, serial killers and flood victims. No one was spared. And she's added "I Just Wanna Dance" to her repertoire. Brilliant.
A lovely weekend seeing all kinds of long-lost friends from across the pond. Denishoi and crew cruised in from Ptown (and NY and Dallas) and it was so good to see everyone, albeit way too short a visit. K&C are also in town, staying with us over this past weekend and next the next one as well, with a trip to lovely Cornwall sandwiched in between.
Even got a double-dose of DF in this week, and his phantom husband materialized for his once-a-decade social appearance. He's more lovely than we could ever have imagined, and insists on taking L to a football game. Bless. DF and I, on the other hand, will be attending Chariots races.
Not to be outdone on the local travel scene, we've booked a weekend to in Newcastle at the end of the month. Yup, living on the edge. Consensus says it'll be "f*ckin' freezing and nobody wears (owns?) coats."
My squash course begins tonight. I've never played, although I used to play racquetball many moons ago, back in New Orleans.
Sports class, oy. I'm a little apprehensive. All these memories of being a total sped in gym class, the too-tall clutz swinging a racket, missing the ball, hoping it doesn't hit me in the face.
Speaking of which, we were heading to Vauxhall yesterday and I told L that I'd decided on a couple things I want to get while at M2 to make it feel more "put together."
"A new tooth?" he asked.
"Um, thanks for bringing that up. I was talking about furniture; some new bookshelves and a nice liquor cart for the dining room. But yes, now that you mention it, I'm still self-conscious and want to get a bridge. I actually wouldn't mind getting all my teeth redone."
"Really?" he asked. "And not your nose?"
That’s when I belted him. Who needs the nose job now?
September 22, 2005
The Secret Life of Frequent Flyers
I'm squished into the back of an Aer Lingus airbus last night, after a frustratingly long day of project planning*. I just wanted to quietly withdraw for an hour or so and read about Lily and the calendar sisters.
Two Spanish girls, early-20s if they were out of high school, plop down next to me. With total disregard to my personal space or their own privacy, buzzed on about not being able to give up their hearts ("I want to, but something just happens after a few weeks and I can't") and how long it took before they slept with the guys they're now seeing (or used to be seeing, in the case of the lovelorn girl next to me). Turns out it depends on they guy, 1st date's not out of the question, but usually within the second week.
As hard as I tried to ignore them, they just talked louder and faster. My bad for packing light and being a Boseless Bozo.
Without taking a breath (she must have had gills somewhere, because the air was not going in through her mouth, the aisle chick moved from relationships to careers.
Evidently one was a more seasoned traveller than the other, telling her friend how she used to "just live" on airplanes.
"You were a flight attendant?"
"No, I worked in a reservation center." Seems she flew all over for free on her days off. "I'd go to South America, Malaysia, and China, well not China but Hong Kong."
Newly single chick asked what Hong Kong was like.
"Hong Kong is just like a New York. I've never been to New York, but I've seen it in the movies, and, yeah, I'd say Hong Kong is a little Manhattan except for all the people are Asian."
I'm hoping she starts writing a column soon -- Inez's travel advice for the lovelorn.
* Evidently "project planning" can now be summarized as:
A) Confirming that a new process has been developed to get anything into the pipeline
B) Reiterating that we don't have the resources to execute the steps outlined in the new process.
So, after 5 hours in this meeting, and looking at the 14 events that we need to get from paper to implementation, we now know that nothing can happen because everybody's too busy with BAU. As they say in Ireland, that's just feckin' grand.
September 19, 2005
Confessions on a Living Room Floor
Did we really need this? Like the American one wasn't vapid enough?
And I so totally don't care about Madge's new album cover.
I guess they'll be taking my gay card away from me any day now.
September 15, 2005
Not Skaken, Not Stirred
“I’d like a dry vodka martini up with an olive, please. What tasty brands of vodka do you offer?”
The cute bartender in the “I <3 London” tee smiled with that vacant look of hmm,I should know this.
“Um, how much vodka and how much Martini would you like?”
Bless. I can understand the confusion if I'd asked for a mind eraser or an Alabama slammer or even a slow comfortable screw up against the wall.
But this was basic mixology.
“If you could just take some of that vermouth, swish it in a glass and toss in a double-shot of chilled Absolut, it’d be great.”
You’d have thought I was asking him to circumcise himself right behind the bar. Apologizing profusely, he said he couldn’t do that.
“You can’t make a martini? At a gay bar? Not even on my birthday?”
He consulted with his manager, rambled on about special cocktails and pricing structures and teeth whitening and bar policy and hair product, chatted with some other customers at the bar, and then said he could make me a special birthday drink of “his choice” if I’d like.
“Any chance you’re going to choose a martini?”
“Sorry mate, I can’t.”
I guess I could have gone all Five Easy Pieces and ordered a shot of vermouth on the side and made it easy for him. Instead I went for the very dry, double vodka up … which he served to me in a martini glass.
“You have martini glasses but you don’t make martinis?”
:: :: ::
Later at the restaurant, the waiter asked what we’d like to drink before dinner. Gin and tonics seemed to be the order of the day, and the waiter seemed obliging. I, of course, was still hankering for my martini.
“Sorry, we don’t do cocktails here.”
:: :: ::
I’ve since been told you have to go to proper “cocktail bar" (which, until now, I had always considered redundant) to get a martini.
I can recommend those served at the St. Martins Lane (although I prefer drinking them over wearing them ... hi Ed).
Fortunately, we still do them quite well at M2, and we reacquainted oursleves with my lovely stemware collection last night. The birthweek continues, and all is good.
September 13, 2005
Every Now and Then I Fall Apart
What a difference a year makes.
Since being in San Francisco 365 days ago, I’ve been on 5 continents, moved to a new country, swam with hammerheads, penguins, and whale sharks, been in breathtaking mosques, had a few heartbreaks, and felt unspeakable love for, and from, the people who I've been lucky enough to have around me (either in person or in my mind).
So many amazing adventures.
Despite all this good and abundance of luck and love, I seem to have been visiting my old stomping grounds, affectionately known as the “dark place”, for the past couple months. So much anger. So much sadness. So few anti-depressants (off them for almost a year now ... and with such success!). So much hurt and confusion about the pointlessness and impermanence of it all. So many “what ifs” and “if onlys.” Oy, a guy can really bring himself down if he’s not careful.
Living in a powder keg and throwing off sparks.
But as it's been said, better to be on the roller coaster than watching it race by.
I read somewhere that the first trick an elephant trainer uses is to teach the elephant not to escape. He does this by attaching a huge log to the baby elephant's leg. When the baby tries to get away, it realizes the log is stronger and he eventually gives up trying. The elephant gets so used to captivity, that even when he's full grown and infinitely stronger, all the trainer has to do is chain the elephants leg to something, even a tiny little twig, and the elephant won't even try to escape.
It’s time to let go of the twigs. I’m not ready to burn them, and I’m trying not to use them to whip the shit out of those who (probably don’t) deserve it. And maybe, just maybe, I need to stop beating myself up with them – self-flagellation has grown weary.
Maybe. I hope. I'll try.
Anyway, happy birthday to me. Thanks to everyone for the love, the friendship, the laughs and the tears. Like I said last year, I am a very lucky boy … I just need to remind myself sometimes.
September 12, 2005
Filed under things I never thought I'd hear in a meeting.
Muckety-muck walks in 15 mintues after the scheduled go time: "Sorry to be late, but I got caught in traffic. I must say I really didn't mind as the cricket was enthralling."
September 11, 2005
Out of Sight ...
Sitting down to write in my journal this morning, I looked at my watch to jot down the date and it said 9:11. "Surely it's later than that," I thought, "I went running at half-8 and that was more than an hour ago."
Then I realized the time wasn't 9:11 ... it was the date.
I felt like an idiot for not realizing. And there I was, in my mind, back on my balcony on West 23rd street, watching the smoke and Towers as they fell.
Weird how it just crept up on me, and then smacked me in the head. I'm sure that if I were still in NYC, there would be all kinds of media attention to the anniversary. But I haven't seen much here ... all media's been on New Orleans, and we're still dealing with the attacks in my new backyard.
Even watching the 9/11 episode of The West Wing last night, I didn't think so much about the attacks in NY, but the timelessness of the episode, and how it should have been required viewing after July 7 here in London.
Never forget. Wasn't that one of the mantras plastered over the memorials and cards that made up a giant quilt of grief, anger and despair?
And f*ck me, look what I just did.
September 10, 2005
Enjoying a quiet Saturday evening at home (and thinking I need to go to a WWA* meeting), I closed the microwave door and the entire kitchen immediately lit up like someone had fired up an arc welder.
I stood there for what seemed a long time, waiting for the pain of the burn to travel to my brain. Then I heard the thunder.
What are the odds that lightning would strike just as I closed the microwave?
* West Wingers Anonymous. Why can't I put a DVD to watch "just the one" episode and now ... halfway through a season ... oh wait, CJ's being clever again. Why didn't I watch this on prime time when it originally aired?
September 9, 2005
I'm not a big fan of the Sky News, as it's so closely related to Fox, but one of their caption writers scored some points. (via Holy Moly)
September 7, 2005
What You Smell is What You Get
September 6, 2005
Don't Call Us ....
This just in from the bobzyeruncle help desk, for those of you stateside ...
3 days from today, cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you might start to receive sales calls. Yay, now telemarketers can eat up your free minutes and end up costing you money in the long run.
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888/382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five years.
Or you can register on line at: www.donotcall.gov
September 5, 2005
A Rose Without Thorns
My Great Aunt Rosetta passed away today. After 2 heart attacks and a stroke during the past few weeks, she decided at the ripe old age of 91 to take a well-deserved rest.
Grandma has lost her older sister, and although taking it like a trooper during a phone call from little ol' me in London, is clearly hurting ... my heart goes out (and breaks just a bit) to to her; as well as to her other two sisters, Aunt Clare and Aunt Arlene.
"The four musketeers are now three," I'm told Bunny's been saying.
Bless them all.
:: :: ::
Yesterday, a fellow patient came up to Rose's daughter in the nursing home she's been staying in.
"How's Rose doing, dear?" my great aunt's friend asked.
"Not very well, today."
"I'm sorry to hear that. Can I have her bingo card?"
:: :: ::
If there is a heaven, then Rose is way too busy playing cards, pounding out songs on the piano, and scolding her husband Walter and Grandpa Mel (who were there to greet her with open arms and a glass of beer) to worry about any lame ass bingo card.
Rest in peace.
September 1, 2005
Because She Said So
I guess Jodi holds a grudge. Who knew? I've been tagged and have dutifully compiled my lists. Enjoy.
7 things I plan to do before I die:
1) Become a SCUBA instructor
2) Get out of bed when I wake up, instead of saying “10 more minutes.”
3) Write a proper short story.
4) Make a habit of sending postcards.
5) Force feed Prozac to Tom Cruise.
6) Finish a triathlon.
7) Be content.
7 things I can do:
1) Spend more money than I make.
2) Worry about things I can’t control.
4) Kill houseplants without even trying.
5) Make (and consume) a delicious martini, or nine.
6) Run a marathon, but never as fast I think I should.
7) Make myself giggle over the stupidest things.
7 things I cannot do:
1) Watch when I have my blood drawn.
2) Suffer fools gladly.
3) Finish Middlemarch (but I’ll keep trying … got through a Faulker this summer so nothing’s impossible)
4) Fly coach.
5) Understand why people choose to stop just outside a doorway or at the bottom (or top) of escalators to get their bearings/check maps/alert the public to their stupidity.
6) Scat porn.
7) Give a rat’s ass about Angelina Jolie.
7 things that attract me to the opposite sex (I guess we 'gentlemen who listen well' are supposed to homo this up and make it the same sex?):
3) The vein that runs across a bicep and down a forearm.
4) The ability to make me laugh.
5) A work permit.
7) An evil grin.
7 things that I say most often:
1) Just the one.
2) Are you fucking kidding me?
3) Vodka soda, please.
4) Yes, a double.
5. Tell me a story.
6) 10 more minutes.
7) I miss you.
7 celebrity crushes:
1) Mary Louise Parker
2) Brandon Flowers
3) Sherie Rene Scott
4) Peter Krause
5) Bradley Cooper
6) Davina McCall
7) Dermot O'Leary
7 people I want to do this (Standard disclaimer that anyone not on the list who'd like to play is invited, and no one I've tagged should feel obligated. However, if you don't play it means you're a big poopy-pants and you need to go to a Scientology course to clear whatever high-fallutin' i-don't-meme issues you might be harboring)