Sunday, February 28

Alicia, Tur and Florida

All Keys.

Good.
Beautiful ocean color, amazing bridges connecting the islands, pelicans gliding in the sea-breeze at the same speed we were driving.



Bad.
Deadbeat dads with pony tails and fanny packs. Middle-aged women drinking one too many Mojitos with skin like an old baseball mit. Trashy mullet freeloaders eating 39¢ wings, getting boring tattoos, driving on noisy bikes, stopping at junk-shops masquerading as antique stores and ticky-tack Shell Shops.

The Keys reminded me of the poor cousin of the other over-rated 'fake island' people of America ... Cape Cod.

Back in gay old FtLauderdale we ate Italian food with cops sat at the next table. Their radios going "kkkcchh" every 10 seconds.
Not at all annoying.

No tsunami deaths in Hawaii. Bummer!

Saturday, February 27

Jews, views, loos and dues

Awoke with a dry mouth, dull head, and a slightly upset stomach ... more of that later.


First up breakfast, as we walked our rainbow neighborhood, I have to say they love a queer pun around here. Gaymart. Bottoms & Tops, Bona's, Shades of the Past, Rock Hard, Pride Factory.

Anyhow, after breakfast we headed for Miami Beach. Along the way we passed the dock at Ft Lauderdale, and got stuck on this bad boy, but soon enough we were in Miami Beach. It was the sabbath so the roads were quiet. What a strangely delightful place. Old jewish couples and young and beautiful nouveau riche all came out to play.

Be it Miami or Withernsea, I'm always up for a quick dip of the toes in the sea. And as I walked wet-legged and sand-covered back to the Art Deco hotels I noticed a bunch of good looking people drinking wine and munching on expensive snacks. Whole Foods were hosting a on-the-beach Food & Wine show. I can feel a work trip coming on for 2011.

Still feeling queasy from last night's Mexican food, I ordered coffee and a coconut macaroon for lunch. The macaroon was bigger than my hand, and covered in chocolate. I ate it all.

30 minutes later we were driving over the bridge into Miami. This has to be one of the great city-scapes. Miami Beach in the rear-view mirror, the city of Miami rising in front of you, to your left are the exclusive island homes and docked boats of the rich and famous, and to your left are the mega-sized cruise ships.

Overcome by it all, my stomach said "Get to a bathroom in the next 4 minutes." Screeching to a stop outside a random Marriott I ran through the hotel like a lunatic Geisha, arms flapping but legs held tightly together looking for the restroom.

Serenity restored we headed for Key Biscayne and the wacky-ass kite surfers. Wet-suit clad dudes strap a massive kite-cum-sail to their chests, hook their feet into the bindings on their board and away they go. Nutjobs.

With the adrenaline rush (of watching a danger sport) out of the way we headed for the Dolphins stadium. Bummer. Toll road. Also it had begun to rain, so the empty stadium looked even gloomier amidst the suburban sprawl of South Florida.

So yesterday the earthquake in Chile struck. Is it just me or are CNN/Fox/MSNBC fucking PRAYING for a tsunami to hit Hawaii? They seem to have permanent erections as the oceanologists report a 2" rise in the tidal basins.

Tonight we drove into Ft Lauderdale for poor service, adequate food, and equal opportunity trash viewing (Floridian and Euros tied).

Friday, February 26

Come to Florida

So while everyone else in Northern Mass went without power and internet we've jetted off to Florida.

We're staying in FtL at a small resort of 5 bungalows that share a common tropical garden, pool and hot tub. TripAdvisor tells us that it is popular with a gay clientele and the cruise crowd (or both if you can picture that Venn diagram).

As the owner showed us around it was obvious there were no cruises leaving that week. Instead we were greeted with big fat guys running around with their bits hanging out. No problem. We grabbed a sun lounger and a glass of wine and started chatting with our new naked friends. Mostly guys from Albany and NYC, they gave us the run down on all of the excellent gay bars and restaurants, and miserable straight establishments.

Setting off for dinner tonight we saw a guy walking his dogs. As we walked he called out Anne's name. Turns out it was her hair stylist from Boston. He lives down here most of the time. He'd never walked the dogs on this street before. Twilight Zone coincidence.

Still bemused by bumping into the one person we know from Florida, we stumbled into a cheap Mexican restaurant. We ordered a sampler of everything. Always amazed at how many ways you can dress up a tortilla, beans, salsa and a protein.

Afterwards we went for cocktails at the local. A strange mix of butch leather clad handlebar mustached guys, 100 lb latinos, and old queens who left their wives in middle age to live the life they had always wished for.

We sat at the bar and got wasted.

Tuesday, February 23

Civic Duty

I just attended my first City Council hearing. What a hive of industry they have going on down there.

Our yard backs onto a State building, and their air conditioner is on the loud side. Our Millie Tant neighbors got us to sign a petition to turn the damn thing down.

City hearing. State Building. Jurisdiction problem? As if!

Before our hearing there was a 'right to do' concerning an Indian restaurant in Harvard Square, and some seriously pissed off adjacent businesses. The curry house has had 4 fires in 7 years. It seems only a matter of time before the whole of Harvard burns down through their incompetence.

Lots of rumor, innuendo, bending of facts and supposition were played out. Meanwhile the fire chief had perfected speaking in a 'I write reports' tone. Must be great being married to him. It was at 9.02pm that I first discussed the potential for intercourse with the aforementioned wife. Measurement showed her excitement to be at a compliant level, and as such I proceeded with foreplay as shown in the operator's manual ....

Monday, February 22

Desert Island Demotivation

Desert Island Discs is a venerable British radio programme. Simple premise - you're stranded on said island, and you pick 7 records to keep you company.

The show has been running for years, and guests have included Heads of State down to D-list celebrities. Kirsty Young is the current host, and she is loved by men of a certain age.

Along the course of the show Kirsty, with her flirty Scottish cadence, helps the audience gain insight into what shaped the guest to become who he/she is today.

This week the guest was Sir Clive Woodward. For the uninitiated, Clive was the über-motivational coach, who guided England to success in the Rugby World Cup of 2003.


For the first 15 minutes I was impressed by how he guided England to glory with a mixture of American corporate thinking (he was an exec at Xerox), alternate coaching methods and gladiatorial inspiration. He cited an Eminem song as one of his 7 discs. And then moved onto a love of Bob Dylan.

And then he took a turn for the worse. Much like Bob Dylan, I find Ronan Keating to be very inspirational. Ronan Keating - lead singer of Irish boyband Boyzone?

Congrats Sir Clive. That is a brand new sentence in the English language. It has NEVER previously been constructed.

Much like Bob Dylan, I find Ronan Keating to be very inspirational.

From there Clive (because I have stripped him of his knighthood), moves onto a Phil Collins song, before finishing with a Take That song. In fact when pushed at the end of the show, he chose the Take That tune over all others.

How demotivating.

Case Closed. Mystery Solved

I was childishly sniggering at the double entendre of a skiing conversation last week. And recalled a ski trip of my own in 1990.

One evening after a particularly icy day on the bunny slopes of Andorra I was talking to this woman in a bar in full on après-ski mode. Somehow sexual positions entered (snigger) the conversation and she stated that Hector's House was her favorite.

Of course this was pre-internet, so there was no hurrying off to google. My friend Adrian (also in Andorra with me) was none the wiser either .. as he liberally applied wax to his skis to enable better 'schussing'.

So back to modern day 2010 amidst an office chat of long poles, up the back side, Beaver pass et al, I finally googled Hector's House.

The French title was La Maison de Toutou which translates as "The House of the Doggie". Zut Alors!

Thursday, February 11

Erm ...

So sadly, fashion designer Alexander McQueen has died.

The BBC has a page where you can post your memories of him.

I have no idea if this is moderated.

When is he coming back to finish it?

When life gives you lemons, just say 'Fuck the lemons,' and bail.

Thanks Paul Rudd, but let's try to make lemonade instead.

I get a bit frustrated with my poor handyman skills. I'm improving, but we recently needed help with our gate. Either the wooden fence/gate was contracting, or the hinge had slipped, or the latch was unaligned. Whatever. The result was that the gate was swinging open in the wind.

We called a guy, and after 2 weeks of tedious back and forth explanations he fitted a new fastening device.

This device appeared to be a loop of wire sticking through the fence. Upon seeing this I thought "Ah, I get it, take the gate alignment out of the equation. Once he puts some kind of handle/catch on that, it will look golden".

Of course, there was no finishing touch. The wire through the fence was the opening device.

Star that she is, Anne called the guy, who came and refitted our original latch. Which is working just fine again.

This whole episode makes me smile. It reminded me of a sweet childhood memory.

Some bafoon crashed into our front fence, so my dad arranged for his brother to build a new wall ... while we were on vacation.

On returning from our holiday we got to see our new wall ... built from old bricks. An awkward phone call later, my uncle came back and knocked the thing down. Not sure if my Dad and his brother really hit it off again after that incident ....

Hey Doppler Guy

I'm 'thinking positive', but this week continues to suck like an industrial vacuum cleaner.

Boston closed it's schools yesterday. Why? Because of the impending blizzard. That never came.

So last night, against my accumulated wisdom, I switched on the TV and watched the local news. Weather guy ... "Well the snow didn't come as soon as we thought. But we'll still get hit tonight".

That comment was rattling around in my head when a snow plough woke me at 3.45am.

Wow it must be like Scott of the Antarctic out there I thought from the warmth of my bed.

No. The top of my car has zero snow on it. There's less than an inch blowing around. In other words, like every other day in Massachusetts at this time of year.



The only good to come from this so far is that my co-worker Kim got an extra day vacation. Her airline let her travel on Tuesday ... because Wednesday was going to be the start of the impending Ice Age Armageddon.

Wednesday, February 10

Better news

I feel compelled to fill up to 5% of this blog with better news ...

Qantas called me tonight. They're pulling me a trip to the Southern Hemisphere.

We can only go for 14 days, so we're trying to jam-pack the trip. It's the equivalent of buying a Toyota instead of a BMW ... but with every possible additional extra.

This seemed to make Anne smile, which is good, because she's running a fever. Poor little sausage.

Tuesday, February 9

Politics

This isn't left or right, it's just an observation.

I had a doctor's appointment today at an outpatient section of my local hospital. Sat in the waiting room were about 50 other people. They were ALL over 70.

So let's park the obvious question (What is so wrong with me that I had to be seen by a doctor who normally treats old people?)

Please don't tell me that socialized medicine is either wrong, or does not exist. I was the only person who paid a dime at that hospital this afternoon. Crazy old ladies getting MRIs for shits and giggles, wheel-chaired vets handing out urine samples. It's all kicking off, and it's all paid for by us, the tax payer.

One old guy was standing in line for registration, and was just letting off farts. 10 farts, like a machine gun. Even when he was talking to the receptionist, he kept farting and didn't miss a beat.

Oh, I'll be a great Senior.


He tried to steal my iPod Touch, so I punched him in the balls.

Audi Doody (Bitch please)

I love my Audi. The dashboard is like the future. Diagnostics galore!

This week my car told me it needed some oil.

Being the modern man I am, I took it in to the dealer (because they are always the cheapest right?).

The woman at the Audi garage was tanned like a leather mitt. I'm talking PMS 160.

Me Any chance of a quick oil change?

Audi No, we're backed up. I can fit you in at the end of the week

Me My car says it needs oil

Audi Ignore it, the computer is set by our engineers to come on too early.

Me Why?

Audi The computer is set by our engineers to come on too early.

Me You just repeated your answer. Why would the engineers set the car up like that?

Audi They just do. Ignore it.

So let me tell you, this woman was talking another language. She was talking Bitch, but luckily I'm fluent in that too.

Me You're very patronizing aren't you?

Audi Huh, I can squeeze you in tomorrow

Me Nah.

Where do I Begin?

I wish I had a day full of rosewater and butterflies, but no.

Chase
My credit card company were the balls last week. Some Tyrolean tosspot was buying ski equipment with my credit card, so Chase called up Austria and essentially said, "Hey! Hans! We ain't paying"



This week I received my new card, and began the monotonous experience of updating the billions of websites that hold my credit card info.

10am I get a text message from Chase asking if I authorized a transaction with a computer company today. Yes I replied, I bought something from Apple like I do most weeks. (Read - there's a precedent).

Text flurry .... your transactions are on hold. Give us a call.

I call. "Hey, what's your full 16 digit card number and social security number etc etc". I hang up and call another Chase number.

Turns out they thought the payment to Apple was fraud. It was not.

Me Will you be blocking any more of my transactions?

Chase Don't know

Me Could you push through the payment to Apple?

Chase No, you'll have to re-submit that. We weren't sure you had activated your card.

Me Yes, I did, I spent a wonderful 7 minutes on the phone declining other services with one of your Indian co-workers.

Chase Sorry 'bout that too.

Me I'm frustrated. Bye.

Chase Bye, thanks for calling Chase.

Monday, February 8

God hates the Colts

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy the Saints won the Super Bowl. But did Drew Brees have to go off on a God is Great jag?

It goes without saying that God is a Saints fan. The clue is in the word Saints ... heaven is full of them.

But he* also sent a hurricane to New Orlerans.

I guess he* moves in mysterious ways.

* Unless Kevin Smith was correct and Alanis Morissette is God.

Sunday, February 7

Denny's is the winner

Best Super Bowl ads by far

Saturday, February 6

Home Alone

With Anne of Cleve visiting her Mom (Happy Birthday), I'm left to my own devices.

Rock and roller that I am, I got home from work last night, ate dinner, watched 24, and went to bed.

And today has been equally action packed. Meandered up Rt 1 to pick up our new lamp, bought some Turkish Apricots, switched out a light bulb, and I'm now cajoling myself into doing a load of washing.

Tonight does have a smidge of excitement. I'm going to the Wilbur Theater to see Jennifer Coolidge.

In degrees of classiness, you'll know her from Best in Show, Legally Blonde, or as Stiffler's Mom in American Pie.

No idea what she is going to do (stand-up, dance, Nepalese Throat Singing, on-stage queefing, minor surgery, Civil War reenactment), and don't care.

Later I have a form to fill in from my Credit Card company, and I'll read that letter that just arrived from the City of Cambridge. Thrill-seeker!

Thursday, February 4

Come to Florida


I generally have nothing good to say about Florida, but I'm going there anyway.

We need a few days out of the Boston winter, so I just spent the past 24 hours trawling thru' every travel engine available to find something that fits into my over-thought, neurotic wheelhouse.

We like warm weather, but not sand or ocean. We must fly direct. I don't really like other people, so privacy is good. We're not looking for education or culture, just a place to read a bunch of books and chill. Would be cool to be able to walk around, but we'd like to be able to drive to other places close by.

Also in the running, Puerto Rico, Austin TX, Bahamas, Bermuda, Aruba and the Cayman Islands.

Instead we found a tiny resort of bungalows (there are 5 of them) in a trendy (read gay) suburb of Fort Lauderdale. I'm thinking Barbary Lane from Tales of the City meets retired Miami queens.

I have 8 books to read, and 3 days. Cannot wait for the end of February!