Just a blurb, but I thought it was funny...

Five Secrets to Romantic Happiness:

1. It is important to find a man who works around the house, cooks and cleans and who has a job.

2. It is important to find a man who makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man who is dependable and doesn't lie.

4. It is important to find a man who's good in bed and who loves to have sex with you.

5. It is vitally important that these four men never meet.



Things are finally settling back into a routine again...and just as they do, we get a big holiday weekend here in Oz. It is also Sleaze Ball weekend, so it will be long. It will be messy. And there will be no withdrawals. Sleaze is one of my favourite weekends, here in Sydney...and most folks get right into the spirit of the thing. Good on 'em.

I also took on some interview work for the University of New South Wales. I get to conduct three-hour interviews with the participants of a sexual health study, which has proven in some cases to be lots of very interesting fun.

One of my friends commented "Okay...so let me get this straight. You have this great job doing what you love, a fantastic husband, a cute dog, and you get to live in Sydney, Australia. AND NOW, someone is going to pay you to talk about sex with other gay men? I just don't understand. How? How do you do it?"

Just luck, I s'pose. Neener, neener.
  • Current Music
    I Get A Kick by The Jungle Brothers

Jiggity Jig...

Home again, home again...

Well, inasmuch as I enjoyed my holiday...I also was really glad to get back home.

I loved some parts of London, but was a bit disappointed in others. The London Aquarium is astoundingly bad...mislabeled animals, injured and dying fish on display, empty or derelict exhibits...just not what you'd expect from one of the largest cities (and public Aquariums) in the world. Also...the changing of the guard at the Palace was a total sellout. I hate to be a whingeing American...but I expected pomp. I expected circumstance. I expected a Regal Display of British Military Culture and Tradition Unmatched by Anything in the Western World™.

What I got was pop music for 20 minutes while half-a-dozen horses did poo on the street.

No, really. The "changing of the guard" happened in the background of the whole spectacle. Up by the gates, where us common folk had to stand and peer in, they set up a brass band on a small stage, and played 76 Trombones and Hooray for Hollywood while the Royal Horseflesh evacuated their collective bowels. It wasn't what I expected from the Queen's Royal Guard On Display for the Public.

The rest of London and England...the history, the architecture, Stonehenge, Avebury, the countryside (we went driving into the Cotswold's for a day), Greenwich and the family were all great. The trip was fun...just not exactly what I expected.

Flying on Concorde was a blast, and very fun. No one "famous" was on my flight, except for some obviously French supermodel (I had no idea who she was, but everyone else seemed to). Norris bought the key chain that has a little replica of the plane on it. You can only buy it if you're on the plane itself, and it cost more money than a beer in Hong Kong. But hey...flying on that plane has been a dream of his for ages. Every picture of him on it shows his eyes, about *this* big...happy as a kid with Jell-0.

Atlanta was fun, and a little sad. I realized that even though you can go back, you can never go home. Things had changed, although it still remains my second favourite city in the world. It was also good to go out and see all my old friends. Oddly enough (through some astute planning and a little luck) I either met up with or ran into all of my ex-boyfriends (we all still get along really well.) Both of my previous primary boyfriends had remodeled the houses we'd bought together, and both made the same joke about "doing it to finally exorcise the Jack demons."

My laugh was genuine, but a bit hollow the second time I'd heard it.

Seeing my nephews (see previous entry) was a great thrill. I normally don't like children (they tend to be tough and gamey when not cooked just so...), but these two take the proverbial cake. You can see why from the photos. I took them presents, like any good Gay Uncle should.

Finally, I got to meet my publisher at Intrepid Media, along with the rest of the staff. You know that old theory, the one about all writers being a lazy bunch of drunks who do nothing but party until the wee hours and then womanize in the worst way?

Well...it's true. Thank Jeebus I'm gay, or I'd be the biggest cliche' of them all...Our third Anniversary press conference and party went until 6am the next morning. It was both impressive and very messy. I love my job.

Now...go back to the beginning of this entry. I meant what I said in that second line, and it just dawned on me 'why'. I just went to Hong Kong, London, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and back home again...and I was glad to be home. I saw ancient stone artifacts from our cultural prehistory, the Crown Jewels, my most beloved nephews, Buckingham Palace (inside and out), all of my closest friends, some of the most priceless artwork in the world, and I flew on Concorde at twice the speed of sound...yet I was looking forward to being home when I got here.

How good does your life have to be, to make you feel like that?

Please, don't ever let me take it for granted.
  • Current Music
    Something to Live For by Jimmy Somerville

Update on the way...

...but meanwhile:

Can anyone deny that these two guys are the cutest things ever?




Brad, me, and Jordan (what a ham). Man...it was really good to see them again.
  • Current Music
    spring wind blowing the curtains in my office...

I'm home.


And I've discovered that "home" is Sydney. I sure am glad to be back.

Oh...and Intrepid Media's Third Anniversary was last weekend in Chapel Hill, NC. There are some incriminating photos here, along with my latest column. Please go read it: Intrepid Media

More later, when I've gotten some sleep.

I missed you guys.

  • Current Music
    silence

Trip Update Nummah One


Hi. I got my "hands" on an internet connection, so I'm going to do a quick update. Forgive any spelling errors, because I hate typing on a laptop keyboard. My fingers are just too big for these tiny things. [insert sexual innuendo here]

We left on Thursday morning, Sydney time, and headed for the airport. A last-minute problem with the kennel that savoy was staying in meant that I had to talk our housesitter into taking care of her while we're away. He really likes her, so I didn't have to talk too hard to convince him...but it was stressfull to find out (the day before we left for two weeks) that the dog suddenly had no place to stay. All's well that ends well, however...so no complaints. I'm sure she'll be happier staying at home, anyway.

All of our flights so far have gone off without a hitch. The leg from Sydney to Hong Kong was uneventful, and Norris and I chatted about our trip plans and watched a couple of movies. I will say that watching Panic Room, which has some very claustrophobic moments in it, while buckled into your seat in an airplane cabin at 30,000 feet does add some very interesting psychological side-effects to watching the movie. When it was over, I realized that I was cutting off the circulation in Norris' hand. He looked at me as the credits rolled and said "Damn. That was hard work." I agree.

Hong Kong was smelly, crowded, and amazing. Smelly was my first impression as I got off the plane...hot and humid was my next. It was about 34C, and you could cut the air with a knife. I guess the smell shouldn't have surprised me, considering how many millions of people are crammed into that city...and I do mean crammed. Westerners just wouldn't understand unless they'd been there. Every block near the airport was wall-to-wall apartment buildings, each reaching 50-60-70 stories into the sky, with between 50 and 100 apartments, tiny apartments, per floor. I'd never encountered such crowding, and now I have a better understanding of why many people who are raised in Asian cultures so often seem to have no concept of "personal space."

We only had about 7 hours to spend in Hong Kong, so we took a train into the city to the Peninsula Hotel. There is a bar in that hotel above the restaurant, on the 28th floor. Felix, as the bar is known, looks out over the water towards the main business district of Hong Kong, and is famous for the view. We'd heard about the place from a friend in Sydney who used to live in HK, so we decided to spend our "layover" time there over a couple of drinks and soak up the city from above.

The bar was tiny, much smaller than I'd imagined it would be...but the view was amazing. The entire Hong Kong skyline stretched out before us, crawling with neon signs and flickering traffic. The water was littered with cruise ships and barges, all vying for space along the waterfront. I couldn't believe how many vehicles and people were scrambling around in front of us in that window...it was like having the world's busiest ant farm right in your lap. I could have sat there and sipped beer and watched it for days, except for the fact that the beers were $75 dollars (Hong Kong) apiece. I stopped myself at three and we headed back to the airport to catch our next plane.

The next leg of our trip was 13 hours from Hong Kong to London, which (since I'd been up for almost 20 hours) I spent the first part of sleeping. This means that I missed the steak and lobster dinner (No loss, really. Even the food in first class tastes like shit at that altitude) but was awake in time to watch the news and have breakfast. We arrived in London at 5am, rested and awake. Of course, it was raining...but warm. Norris's brother had his driver pick us up at the airport and take us to his house to unpack and freshen up. (He was in Copenhagen for the day on business.) He has a fantastic house just north of the city, and today (Saturday) is having a barbecue for us. We also got to meet the new nephew, who is also named Jack. He's only a week old, and looks like he's not quite done yet.

He is, however, a pooping machine. I've never seen so much stuff come out of an animal so small. How do they do it?

So, today is going to be a family day. Tonight we've arranged with friends to go out to some clubs, and then spend the day tomorrow socializing and finding "the next party." Next week we've got plans to drive out to the country and see things, like Stonehenge, before heading back into the city to do the touristy stuff, like ride the London Eye, visit the Palace and Museums, and maybe go to the zoo or aquarium. I'll keep you posted when I can.

Have I mentioned lately that I really, really love my life?

Parting Shot


Me:[in manner of petulant child] "But I don't wanna leave the Southern Hemisphere!!!"

Norris: "You'll do as you're told. Now get up."


Jeebus, I love that man.

  • Current Music
    savoy barking wildly at the suitcase...

Anticipation, Apprehension, and Anxiety


The first emotion, anticipation, is easy to explain and expected at a time like this. After all, I'm going to see Hong Kong for the first time, London for the first time, my new nephew for the first time, fly on Concorde my first (and probably only) time, meet my publisher for the first time in person, and see my family for the first time since I really acclimated myself to a foreign culture. I'm anticipating all of those things because they're all new. New things are hard to come by in this world, and I have a particular fondness for "new things" and "first times."

Apprehension and anxiety are harder to justify. I'm not a fan of airplanes, but I love to travel. That bit usually balances out...but not anymore. I haven't travelled since Sept 11, last year...mainly because I was supposed to travel the week of Sept 11, and subsequently cancelled my plans for various reasons. Now (even though I have nothing to hide), I find myself unjustifiably anxious at the idea of getting pulled aside by security, searched, and questioned. See, I have a really bad problem with authority and with beaurocracy. I always seem to be the person with the problem that no one has ever dealt with before. I'm usually the problem child. I also tend to be a bit smartmouthed when I get nervous or ticked off. My wit becomes a bit of a rapier at those times...and as we all know, airport security never had a good sense of humour at the best of times. These days it's bound to be non-existent. I'm sure that as soon as someone asks to see my passport, I'll make some facial tic or gesture that sets off the scanners, and next thing you know I'll be in the back briefing room getting a cavity search by Olga, the cold-fingered German woman who just got passed over for a promotion because the bun in her hair wasn't tight enough.

You're beginning to see why my mind is a scary place, aren't you? These reasons are why I'm not looking forward to parts of my trip.

Starting tomorrow morning, I'll have 18 days to do the following less-than-pleasant things:

-go through customs seven (ack!) times
-go through airport security eight times
-take off eight times
-land (hopefully) the same number of times
-eat 10 airplane meals
-make 4 rather close connections (one of which involves not just changing planes...but changing airports in New York

I also am having some concerns about seeing my family for the first time since I've been assimilated by the Australians. Mom's first words usually are designed to completely demoralize me, thus sending me back 20 years to my childhood and allowing her to remain in control. She's very good at it.

Me: "Mom! I can't believe how good you look! I've missed you!"

Mom: "What in the hell have you done to your hair? And when did you grow that stuff on your chin? Have you been sick? You look thin."

Me: [totally prepared for all of this with a fixed smile on my face] "Thanks, Mom! I brought you a present!"

Mom: "I hope you kept the receipt. What's that noise?"

Me: "I don't know. I can't hear anything over that grinding sound my teeth are making."

Everyone that knows me thinks I make this stuff up. Norris has been home with me before though, so he knows I'm not. I'm glad he's going to be holding my hand on the plane.

Now...I just have to decide what intimidates me more: The dozens of steely faced security guards, x-ray machines, metal detectors, military personnel, and all their guns I'm going to have to face (I don't like guns)...

...or my mother.

It's a tough call.

  • Current Music
    Leaving on a Jet Plane

New Arrival


I have a new nephew.

They named him Jack.


He's going to hate me, because I'll be the reason he gets called "Little Jack" for the rest of his life.

  • Current Music
    A Star Is Born by Barbara Streisand</>

Gratitude


I am grateful for the folks I know and have met through this medium.

I am grateful for my husband, my dog, my house, and my life.

I am grateful for popcorn with parmesan cheese.

I am grateful for the chance to start my trip (in one week! ack!) and see family and friends.

I am grateful for the job I have, and for the ones I'll soon have.

I am grateful for my love of the written word.

I am grateful for good sex, good health, and good times.

I am grateful for my sweet Dead Baby Monkey.

I love my life.

...and there's always more.

  • Current Music
    Let The Joy Rise by Abigail

Ugh.


Okay...so last weekend was glorious. The daytime weather was warm and sunny (remember...it's still winter here) enough to sit outdoors shirtless and soak up some rays while recovering from the nighttime activities. It was wonderful, amazing, and totally taken advantage of.

Which is why I spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and today with one of the nastiest colds I've had in ages.

My brain can hardly function well enough to post this. I'm stuck with such innovative ideas as "I like pie" and "Naptime is good." I'm foregoing any witty commentary until such time as my sinuses are no longer trying to crawl through my brain and into my chest.

I seem to be on the mend today (compared to yesterday, at least)...so I hope that I'm well for gargy and gadge's visits this weekend. Somebody else can handle the planning, but I'll gladly participate in any get-togethers. I'm actually afraid that getting jeb, gargy, and myself into the same room is going to cause some kind of inter-dimensional disturbance...but I'm willing to risk it.

There won't be a drop of alcohol left in Sydney after this weekend, I'm betting. Hey..there's an idea. Whiskey is good for colds, innit?

  • Current Music
    I've Had Enough by Regina Belle