Monday, October 31, 2005

Adventures in Dating: Change of Plans

For weeks, we'd planned on driving to the Gibson Amphitheater for a live performance by David Gray. Many, many years had passed since my last concert (Olivia Newton-John; yes, very gay of me), and I looked forward to shouting and singing with a huge crowd. Unfortunately, a virus of some kind decided to thrust its ugly head into our plans and forced David to postpone quite a few shows. We made the most of the evening, though, by dining with a few friends near Bixby Knolls followed by me falling asleep next to him.

And waking up to his cat's face peering into my eyes, that little kitty nose pressed against mine, his purr engine running on high. I think his cat may have been a bit jealous. After all, I had commandeered his side of the bed as well as much of his human's time. He plopped onto my chest, staring into my eyes with that "Just so you know that I'm watching you" look. I tried to move him and felt his little, sharp claws begin to stick into my chest. So I waited until the bf awoke and stated how cute it was that the cat sat on my chest.

We lounged until 11:30, finally deciding to breakfast in Belmont Shores then take in a bit of window shopping. A nice, lazy Saturday.

Around 7 PM, a friend of his visiting from Las Vegas called, and we drove to West Hollywood to meet him and his partner at The French Quarter in West Hollywood. The drive took much longer than anticipated due to both the Día de los Muertos festivities and some kind of carnival/gathering at the Hollywood Cemetery. Intersections congested with myriad costumed people, cars trying to make left turns, buses loading and unloading passengers. I was so glad to finally sit down in the restaurant that I almost missed Angelyne seated at the table behind us.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Levity

Thanks to everyone for your kind words regarding my Grandmother. I wrote that last post because my Grandmother was taken to the hospital yesterday due to problems with her knee, and my Dad and I talked about the ramifications: would they be able to provide the necessary care and attention for her? will her current living arrangements be able to handle the physical changes would a nursing home be necessary?

Neither of us likes to think of nursing homes. My Great-Grandmother on my Mom's side was diagnosed with Alzheimer's back in the early 1980's, and her health deteriorated to the point where family members could not handle things without help. Grandmother finally acquiesced and placed her in a nursing home -- fairly close, in fact, to where I live today. It resembled more of a hospital than a home, and most of the staff treated the inhabitants as if they were there simply waiting to pass on. It reeked of disinfectant and other smells that lingered just out of detection. Great-Grandmother somehow managed to walk out the front door a few times and become lost in the surrounding neighborhood. The home would call us frantically, and we drove around the area, finding her either wandering among the houses or sitting a bus stop along Highway 39. I know my Mom wanted to find another home, but financially, we had to accept that awful place.

Okay, so I digressed some from the actual title of this post. I just needed to vent some of my feelings from the past few weeks and all the memories they've conjured.

To get my mind away from such things, I invited CS to join me last night for a showing of Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Hence the titular "levity." And, it certainly helped. I lost myself in the film, laughing out loud many times, enjoying the references to other classic films, wanting to grin as large as the characters seemed to at all times. I really needed that.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Memory Lane

My parents waited to tell me until after I celebrated my birthday weekend at the Disneyland Hotel at the beginning of October.

We all noticed the signs months ago: not recognizing her daughter's face; difficulties remembering words or the day of the week; hiding things in her home and blaming it on someone who sneaked in while she slept. My Mother tried for months to convince the doctor of what we saw, but he never witnessed it so it couldn't be the problem.

Then came her appointment on Thursday. When she yelled at the doctor. When she couldn't tell him what day of the week it was. When she said that my Mother was switching medications on her. Then, he believed my Mother. The doctor officially diagnosed my Grandmother with Alzheimer's Disease.

A few weeks prior, we'd celebrated her 89th birthday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just Write

Joel over at Words, Weights, Whatever dragged me kicking and screaming into the fray, but I finally relented and registered for this year's National Novel Writing Month event. 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. That's an awful lot of words. Plus, Thanksgiving spent with family toward the end of the month won't make it any easier to write. I wonder if I have a full 175 pages in me? Someone please tell me what I've gotten myself into!!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Elaborate Lives

Saturday evening found us stuck on the 22 East, trying to reach the historic district of Orange by 6PM. I bought tickets to the Fullerton Civic Light Opera's (FCLO) production of Elton John/Tim Rice's Aida and planned on a nice dinner at P.J.'s Abbey in Orange. But the unusually wet weather and the heavy traffic kept us behind schedule. By the time we finally found parking near the restaurant, my watch showed 6:30. I asked how long the wait was; "15 minutes," replied the hostess. He and I glanced at each other, conferred a few moments. If we waited, more than likely we would miss the opening of the show, what with ordering, waiting for food, paying, then getting back on the freeway to reach Fullerton. We reluctantly decided to find another place to eat and quickstepped around the Circle for a diner or pub, eventually settling for Watson's Soda Fountain and Lunch Counter.

Watson's first opened back in 1899, and doesn't look like much from the street: a few tables and booths with that funky shiny red vinyl from the 1950's, an old Wurlitzer juke box with bubbles flowing up the side tubes, and the soda fountain behind a long counter. We learned from the menu, though, that the diner featured prominently in the film That Thing You Do as well as numerous other TV shows. The food was great: traditional Americana with burgers, fries, melts, malts, liver and onions, etc. Nothing exceedingly healthy but incredibly delicious. And quick.

We made good time to the theater with only 20 minutes before curtain.

He'd never attended a show at FCLO and kept asking if this would be like a local theater production. I assured him that this would be nothing like local theater and pointed out in the program that most of the leads were Actor's Equity and that the actress portraying Amneris performed in the original Broadway cast. That consoled him a bit, but when the lights dimmed and the curtain with it's gigantic Eye of Ra hanging over the stage ascended, he watched in wonder. From start to finish, this production wowed the both of us. The singing, the acting, dancing, choreography -- definitely not what you'd see in a local theater production. The woman playing Aida belted out her songs as if they were rockin' Gospel songs, and Amneris could have been a first incarnation of Karen Walker with her flair and comedic timing. Ramades was good, though reminded us both of Ty Pennington only not as tan and goofy. And no one could mistake Elton John's music-- and, yes, I already have the soundtrack. We both thoroughly enjoyed the show and spent much of the drive home holding hands as we talked about the performance.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Little Prick

I followed up with my doctor yesterday morning regarding the sebaceous cyst on my shoulder. In the past week, it shrank from 3 inches in diameter to about 3/4 of an inch, which was good. Also, the lab tests on the fluid sample from the cyst came back negative for any type of infection or organism. No staph infection. No bacteria or viruses. Completely sterile. (Thank goodness!!) The initial incision, however, started to close even though quite a bit of pus/gunk/ick continued to build up. Not to mention that the area remained reddish purple and somewhat tender to the touch. So the doctor re-popped it, this time leaving in a drain to allow the freeflow of said pus/gunk/ick.

I spent 15 minutes this morning removing the original bandage in such a way as to not pull out the drain which needs to remain until at least Saturday. Not an easy task by yourself, mind you. I contorted into unbelievable positions while trying to view the progress in the bathroom mirror. I'm thinking of joining a carnival after this....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rainy Days and Mondays

The rain let up for a short time after I made it home yesterday. I'm not sure why, but this put me in a walking mood so I grabbed my camera and headed downtown to watch the waves and check out the skyline. I love the coming Winter in Southern California: the air seems crisper, the visual signs of life seem more defined and sharpened, Hallowe'en decorations pop up with every turn, leaves change from green to wine and orange and brownish yellow. Not many people took to the streets last night so I decided to stroll to the end of the pier for a hamburger at Ruby's. The clouds hung low over the ocean, obscuring Santa Catalina and dropping rain on the oil platforms. The Sun still managed to poke through, burning a brilliant yellow against the dark grey clouds. A few surfers braved the colder water in an attempt to catch the last remaining waves before Summer disappeared completely.

The damp sand looked different, more orange thanks to the rain contrasting with the baby blue lifeguard towers lining the beach. Is it possible for a building to be lonely? I could imagine those towers sighing for the Summer tourists wading into the waters while the men and women in red swimsuits stood guard scanning the ocean with binoculars; children climbing the steps in the early morning hours to watch the waves crash into the sand before being warned away by lifeguards; sea gulls sitting on the railing waiting for any little scrap of food to appear in the foamy water. I snapped a picture and walk on toward the end of the pier, surprised at the lack of people. Two or three fishermen tossed their lines into the water. Small groups of tourists, draped in windbreakers, waved at the surfers trying to get their attention. One of the surfers caught a wave and dove through the mini-pipeline before sinking back into the ocean. A jogger passed by every now and then, running a circle around Ruby's before heading back to the city.

I stepped into the warm restaurant and ordered a burger to go. 15 minutes later, I walked back to the city, spying the faint colors of a rainbow in the direction of my house. If you look carefully, you can see it just above the lifeguard station.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tragedy Tomorrow; Comedy Tonight!

Five of us ventured into the wilds of Laguna Beach on Friday evening to catch a performance of The Sound of Music by the No Square Theater and directed by my favorite cabaret performer Saif Eddin. And not just any performance. They advertised this one as a sing-a-long, even going so far as to encourage audience members to dress as their favorite Von Trapp member. My bf and I made it to Laguna a little after 7, easily finding a parking space across from the theater. We had some time to kill before meeting CS, RG and SK and strolled the sidewalks looking into gallery windows and stopping for a turkey and cheese croissant at the Scandia Bakery. We lazily finished our snack, talking about this and that, and finally made our way to the theater and the slightly tipsy Fun Boys Three.

Walking through the archway leading to the theater, we noticed a snack table laden with French bread smothered in Nutella, heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, brownies, mini-cupcakes and bratwurst sandwiches. A few people -- mostly children -- milled about the table while the adults lined up at the adjacent table for glasses of wine. Quite a few of the men wore lederhosen and one or two dressed as nuns. Funny thing that none of the women came in costume. Moments later, someone announced that the show would start in 10 minutes so we filed into the theater.

Small goody bags awaited us at our seats: brown paper packages tied up with string. Each bag contained a plastic champagne glass, a tea bag, a snowflake, bubbles, a stick-on white rose and a miniature flag of Austria. Others had a little something extra, such as a tiara or a flashlight or whistles -- props to use during the show à la Rocky Horror. After playing with our new toys -- and I did look fabulous in the tiara -- we relaxed into our seats as Sister Mary Martin introduced the show and our roles. She brought a few audience members onstage to act as birds and trees for the opening song, then Maria entered from stage right, and the fun began. We laughed until we cried, sang ourselves hoarse and enjoyed one of the most fun evenings of theater in a long time. The show had a few glitches, but they enhanced the show. Everyone left the theater grinning, laughing, singing, talking about how much fun was had.

--

I arrived at my bf's house late on Sunday, thanks to the Long Beach Marathon and to the closing many streets leading to where I needed to go. We quickly changed cars and changed plans to meet our friends at The Ahmanson instead of their house. So we booked up the 405 to the 110, parking a few minutes before the show started at 2 PM. My bf and his friend knew an actor in the production of Dead End, and he graciously finagled 4 comp tickets for their final performance. In the front and center of the mezzanine, with a clear view of the entire stage and at just the right height.

As before, the show was phenomenal. This time, though, we picked up a few more bits of dialogue, noticed more of the set design and the fact that the buildings weren't simply facades but contained furnished rooms with art on the walls and working lights, saw underwater entrance for the Dead End Kids. Wonderful acting, especially by Joyce Van Patten as Mrs. Martin, Pamela Gray as Francey, Jeremy Sisto as "Baby Face" Martin, Kathryn Hahn as Drina, Tom Everett Scott as Gimpty and all the young actors who portrayed the Dead End Kids.

After the show, we headed backstage to meet their friend Charlie Lang, who played Mr. Griswald in the show. I wish we could have stepped onto the set, but just being backstage at The Ahmanson standing on the opposite side of the glass doors while fans with autograph book waited in the rain, seeing the hustle and bustle of everyone hugging each other and crying because the show's run had finished, was a great experience.

From there, we dined at Islands in Long Beach, ate dessert at Cold Stone Creamery, then the bf and I watched some TV at his place beforeI braved the thunder and lightning on my journey home.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Faster Than a Speeding blog Post

The antibiotics for my little problem are kicking the shit out of me. My eyes already feel as if lead weights were tied to their lids and what I wouldn't give to simply crawl under my desk and sleep for a few days. Due to this extreme fatigue, I decided to post a quick rundown of what my weekend holds in store. (I can tell how fascinated y'all are. No, really, I can.)

Thursday: me and my man saw A History of Violence last night in Long Beach. A slow-paced, thought-provoking, violent film that surprised me with just how good it was.

Friday: five of us are making the trek to Laguna Beach for a special sing-a-long stage version of The Sound of Music, performed by the No Square Theater. Audience members wearing nun habits and singing with the cast.... Should make for an interesting evening.

Saturday: laundry and rest. Maybe watch some of the extra footage from my Lost DVDs.

Sunday: my man and I -- along with two of his friends -- are taking in another performance of Dead End at The Ahmanson in Los Angeles. Why? A friend of theirs acts in the cast and is (crossing my fingers) getting us comp tickets.

Okay, so it isn't the most restful of weekends. At least, I'm taking Saturday off!!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Book of Meme, 23:5

Jef over at Cult of Jef was kind enough to tag me with this meme that's been running the blog circuit. It's been a while since I searched through my old posts, though I do read back on occasion, just to see what my life was like back in the olden days. So without any further ado....

Meme Instructions:

1. Delve into your blog archive.

2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).

3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).

4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas...

5. Tag five people to do the same

This comes from an untitled post dated 12/02/03: "The teacher should be reprimanded, not the child!" I read in a news article that an elementary school teacher punished a child for using the word "gay" in a classroom when talking about his parents who were, in fact, a gay couple in a committed relationship. That a teacher could be so intolerant pissed me off, and talking about it later with my Dad -- a retired kindergarten teacher -- he was equally upset. Back when I first started my blog, I think that I wanted to be a bit more activist with my posts, but as the months progressed, the entries have become more personal, sometimes full of fluff, but always concerning things that are important to me.

As for tagging five people, I've seen this meme on many other blogs. Is anyone left who hasn't been tagged?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Cystic

***WARNING** For those with a weak stomach, I don't suggest reading further.***

I had a lump on the back of my left shoulder for a number of years. Quarter-sized, movable, more cosmetically irritating than anything else. My doctor called it a sebaceous cyst and said that nothing needed to be done to it unless it became infected or I simply didn't like the look of it. So I let it go but kept an eye on it for any changes.

Two weeks ago, a twinge shocked my left shoulder, pulling at my neck and into the armpit. Not being able to get a good look in the mirror, I felt the area of the cyst and noticed it had grown slightly and appeared a bit pinker than normal. No alarms rang in my head, but I decided to watch it carefully over the next few days. And during that time, it grew larger, more painful, and turned a nasty shade of red. I called my doctor's office last Friday and the earliest he could see me was this coming Friday (Oct. 14th). I hung up the phone and convinced myself that I could hold out until Friday.

By Monday morning, the quarter-sized lump had grown to almost 3 inches in diameter and felt not warm but hot to the touch. The nurse at my doctor's office changed my appointment so I stopped by yesterday morning. You know things are bad when the doctor lifts up your shirt and says loudly "Oh my God!" Very comforting. He ordered me to lay on the table and quickly left the room. I stretched out, adjusting the pillow so I could breathe, and heard him return. Latex gloves snapped. Drawers opened with the sounds of metal instruments clanking onto a metal tray. He rubbed something cool onto the lump and told me that I would feel a quick pinch. My knuckles whitened as I gripped the table when felt the so-called pinch. More metal clanking on metal, and I felt something poked inside my shoulder. I heard something uncork and felt more pressure as he dragged a swab across the lump. Moments later, he squeezed, coaxing out more of whatever was inside the thing on my back. I yelped a few times at the pain, but within 15 minutes, he was done. He taped a thick gauze pad to the area, saying that it may leak a bit over the next few days. Change the bandage regularly and take this antibiotic 4 times a day.

The doctor helped me with my shirt as I couldn't raise my left arm high enough to pull the shirt over my head. He recommended Ibuprofen in case I experienced any further pain during the next few days and scheduled an appointment for next Wednesday to follow-up. I felt much better, though I couldn't raise my arm too much. Part of that was due to pain, part due to the amount of tape used to keep the bandage on my shoulder.

The local anesthetic wore off while I waited for my prescription to be filled. I think I may have scared the pharmacist because she asked if I needed a doctor.

Monday, October 10, 2005

High Flying Adored

He told me a week ago to keep Saturday evening free for a surprise. And to dress nice. I'm usually not one for surprises, but I did as he asked and spiffied myself for whatever would happen.

He showed around 5:30 Saturday evening and whisked me away to a wonderful dinner at The Claim Jumper in South Coast Plaza. We dined in the bar, chatting about the usual stuff and enjoying not just a good dinner but an incredible dessert: a fresh chocolate chip calzone with homemade vanilla bean iced cream on the side. That gooey warm dough sprinkled with semi-melted chocolate chips and smothered with the contrasting cool iced cream almost made each of us orgasm like Meg Ryan at the dinner table.

Afterwards, barely able to walk because of our full bellies, I followed him across the street to the Performing Arts Center. Along the way, he pulled two tickets for Evita from his wallet. Orchestra seats, too! I almost hugged and kissed him to death right on the spot, forcing the approaching couples and famillies to walk around us. Some of the gay couples smiled as they passed. I giddily followed him into the theater, up the stairs and to our seats.

The show dazzeld and amazed, and in my humble opinion, the actor playing Ché stole the show. His name wasn't listed in the program as he filled in last minute for the original (and that little piece of paper with his name disappeared from my program). An incredible voice, rocking the heck out of And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out). The choreogrpahy impressed me, especially the Dangerous Games "dance" between the military and the aristocrats, the Goodbye and Thank You rotating door sequence with Eva's lovers, and the game of musical chairs in The Art of the Possible. My favorite scene: the young girl singing Another Suitcase in Another Hall after being displaced in Peron's bed by Eva. Throughout the show, he and I held hands or rubbed our fingers along each other's knees, always touching and enjoying the comfort of being at the show together.

Silly as it may sound, I could have sat in that theater with him all night.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

More Red Than You Can Shake a Stick At, pt. 2

He and I stood behind his car, hugging, kissing, not really wanting to say goodnight. We talked a bit and decided that the moniker of "boyfriend" would be okay, and with that, I watched his taillights blend and disappear into the fog.

Sunday morning, CS and I met our friends RG and SK for a little breakfast. CS tried his new mini-fan that he'd bought in the hotel gift shop, but the blades refused to spin. While we waited for him, I almost tripped over Chad Allen as he made his way to the check-out counter. He was nice enough to say hello and to shake hands, asking if we were enjoying the whole weekend. (I felt too embarrassed to take his picture so my camera stayed hidden in my pocket.) CS returned without a new fan, just missing his chance to shake hands with Chad.

We strolled through Downtown Disney en route to one of the park entrances, listening to some of the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues, watching the candy makers dipping sticks of marshmallows into warm caramel, and avoiding Club Libby Lu at all costs. (Last time we stepped in their, I think someone left with a pink, furry telephone, a princess pillow and way too much glitter.) Moments later, we stood inside California Adventure trying to decide what to ride first. Someone suggested getting a FastPass for Soarin' Over California and then heading over to The Tower of Terror and working our way around from there. No one disagreed so that was the plan for the day. We spent much of the day just wandering the grounds, snapping pictures with some of the characters, observing test runs of California Screamin' (the roller coaster that suffered a small incident earlier this year when two cars collided), attempting to butch things up by winning stuffed animals at the carnival games. One of the best moments happened on the Sun Wheel, Disney's version of the Ferris wheel. The designers wanted to bring back the boardwalks of the 1920 and 1930s so they re-created a Ferris wheel from the old Luna Park in Atlantic city: 8 of the cars remain stationary while the others glide on tracks as the big wheel rotates. Nothing like watching the ground come flying toward you only to divert skyward then swing back as your stomach falls to the cement. CS particularly enjoyed this attraction, as you can tell by his smiling face.

We returned to the suite close to 2:30 for another get together with the DGPH group, followed by dinner for 15 at Granville's Steak House. After the dinner, a few of us returned to Disneyland for one more spin on the updated Haunted Mansion before turning in for the night.

Monday morning found me waiting outside the hotel for my "boyfriend" to arrive. He managed to get the day off work and happily agreed to join me for a day in the Parks celebrating my birthday.

But those are memories I'm keeping to myself.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

More Red Than You Could Shake a Stick At, pt. 1

Friday afternoon, once I'd finished my laundry, packed and re-attached the front spoiler to my car, I sped up Beach Blvd. toward my getaway weekend at the Disneyland Hotel. I grew up in Orange County and have spent a good part of my formative years in and around Disneyland but had never stayed at the actual hotel. Why should I, being that I've always lived within less than 30 minutes of the Parks? This weekend I decided to change that, giving myself an extra special birthday present. Oh, and the fact that thousands of gay men would be spending their weekend there, too, didn't hurt.

I checked in, running into a few board members of the DGPH group, then lugged my lone suitcase to my room on the 14th floor of the Bonita Tower. (That's the tower in the picture. The Disneyland Hotel consists of three buildings - the Bonita, the Sierra and the Marina Towers - with Bonita being the tallest.) My room was fairly large, with two beds (each with a bedspread displaying rides in the park), a gigantic TV cabinet decorated with a drawing of Disneyland from the 1950's, some interesting sconces in the bathroom, and a spectacular view of the parking lot. After unpacking, I spent some time with friends in the end suite of the 14th floor, helping to set up for a little get-together that evening, then sat in the courtyard, reading for an hour or two. CS arrived a while later, and we remained for a few more hours in the suite, watching the fireworks and listening to the accompaniment that one of our group downloaded to his iPod.

Saturday morning, I met my friends from the suite, and we headed for a group breakfast at the Storyteller Café at the Grand Californian Hotel across the street. Roughly 30 people showed for the breakfast buffet, which included the most incredible bananas foster French toast I've ever had the delight to eat. We laughed, took pictures and made friends with a few Disney characters before entering Disneyland. What a wonderful sight: dozens upon dozens of red-shirt-clad men and women, along with friends and children, holding hands as they walked down Main Street U.S.A. We commandeered one of the boats on Pirates of the Caribbean, filling most of the rows so that the man in front of us whispered loudly to his friend, "We're on a boat with homosexuals." CS patted him on the shoulder and replied, "We're just following the leader." (Good thing the man wore a red GayDays2 t-shirt.) From there, we collided with a group of about 40 bears waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion so we followed their example and joined them for the holiday version of the attraction, complete with characters and music from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. We then wandered through the shops, ran upstairs to the Disney Gallery, and rode Big Thunder Mountain before I had to take my leave of the group for a few hours.

He and I made plans earlier in the week for dinner and a movie. He called just after we'd exited Thunder Mountain so I rushed back to my room, freshened up and threw on some clean clothes to meet him in front of the AMC in Downtown Disney. We bought tickets for Serenity and, with some time to kill, I showed him around the grounds, pointing out possible places for dinner, the shops, the musicians, taking him into the lobby of the Grand Californian, and so on. He smiled and laughed quite a bit during my little tour. A good sign, I think. Then, we wandered back to the theater and enjoyed the Hell out of the movie. Great story. Great acting. Wonderful sense of humor. Fantastic special effects. One of those movies during which you forget that you're in a theater. After the movie, we moved his car from the Downtown Disney parking lot to that of the hotel, as I'd managed to score free parking for him. I then showed him the grounds of the hotel, and we dined at Croc's Bits and Bites in the courtyard (cheeseburgers and sodas). My room was next -- minds out of the gutter, please! -- followed by a visit with my friends in the end suite. We made it just in time for the fireworks, which he had never seen, and JW from the group queued the firework music on his iPod. We stood on the balcony, holding each other as the bright colors exploded in the air, oohing and aahing at the unusual shapes and designs. Later, I walked him to his car, smooching clandestinely in the elevator and holding hands as we crossed the courtyard into the lobby and on to the parking lot.

to be cont'd....

Click here for pictures.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Recuperating

What a wonderful weekend! 4 days of nothing but gay men and women -- many with their children and other family and friends -- all to celebrate being themselves. My legs hurt from all the walking and standing in lines. I'm a bit sunburnt. My voice fades in and out from all the talking and the screaming (while on rides, of course). Never have I experienced as much fun as this year's Gay Days. Pictures and details to follow once I've recuperated.

And thank you for all the birthday wishes!!!!