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Wednesday, 28 December 2005
The End of the Line
Mood:  irritated
Topic: Vacation
I left for Melbourne, Australia on the night of the 20th to see my friend Nick for Christmas and New Years, and now it's the 28th and I've been home since Boxing Day (the 26th). My stay in Melbourne was cuit short from almost 12 days to being there for almost exactly 96 hours. To say it went very, very badly is beyond understatement. I went there to re-establish a friendship that had gotten distrant (and not geographically), and came back with that friendship so utterly destroyed that I have absolutely no interest in ever seeing or hearing from him again.

20,000+km is a long way to go to end a friendship. And the 13-14 hour flights each way are some of the longest single flights in the world. As I like to say, that's Star Trek distance!

In a nutshell, it started off bad and went worse, I could bore you with all the details, but unless you really want to know, I'll give you the Reader's Digest Condensed version. Basically, any time Nick and I weren't alone I got the impression that he was holding me at arm's length. And even the few times it was just the two of us, he didn't seem very engaged. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was when I asked him about his sewing (he's been learning to make clothes), and after chatting about it for maybe 15 minutes he decided he wanted to go watch TV and just ended the conversation. At that point I felt really unwelcome. After their Christmas get-together, his partner Graeme went off with one of his mates, and Nick told me he was going to go to bed. I stopped him and told him how I felt, and he said that he "couldn't connect" with me any more, and then he started with the "I can't seem to relate to you, if I ever could", and that's when I knew it was over, because he was revising history and nothing I could say was going to change that.

The next morning he asked me what I wanted to do, and I said that my instinct was to cut my losses and go, but that he needed to tell me what he wanted. He said, "Honestly, I'd prefer you weren't here," and I replied, "Done deal." He tried to be polite and offered to let me stay, and said it would be a shame if I didn't see Melbourne after coming all that way, but I told him that I'd come to see him (mind you, he's the one who wanted to reconnect), and that I wanted to see it with him like when we showed each other around in the past, and that I had no interest in spending a week of my vacation alone in a strange city, and I would leave as soon as I could get a flight. So, since he works in travel, he called the airlines and managed to get my seat changed and I left a few hours later.

Now, admittedly, I expected it to be a little awkward. It'd been 2.5 years since we'd seen each other. But what stuck in my craw was that he didn't seem to take into account the time and the fact that we were in the circumstance of seeing his friends and hanging around with Graeme, which is very different than when he visited me before and we got to spend a lot of time together and re-engage.. He seemed to decide very quickly that he wasn't feeling the connection, and didn't make any effort to find it.

I swapped a few messages with him the day after my return, but it was fruitless, so I pulled the plug. The guy I saw on the trip was the worst side of the man I knew, and I didn't like him very much. Mind you, I'd have been fine if we'd made an effort and the old connection wasn't there, but at least had a nice time sightseeing, then parted on friendly terms. But he made that impossible.

Naturally, I was plagued by "what ifs" after my return. Should I have done this, was I not as friendly as I should have been. But as I look back I'm sure I made the right decision, because I should have had to make a lot of effort, given the effort I made to see him, he should've made some effort. That he didn't told me everything I needed to know.

The only thing I'm furious about is that I spent all that time and money for nothing.

On the plus side, since I came back early, I got to see Christopher and Lee, as they were in town for the holidays and would have been gone before I was originally supposed to return.

Note: The flies in Australia in summer are buzz buzz in your face all the time

Note 2: I flew from the shortest day of the year to the longest, so you can image how that screwed up my sense of time of day!

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 11:20 PM PDT
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Monday, 26 September 2005
This Party's Over
Topic: Vacation
Well, I awoke this morning and, despite my best efforts, my feet are blister free. No purple heart for my soles!

I strolled into the hotel restaurant to join the Farewell Brunch and found Christoper and Lee sipping coffee at the far end. I walked up to say hello, and Christopher said, "Hello Maurice. All the ladies over sixty are in love with you."

Dear God, what have I done...

That's it, no more

Many farewells. Lee and Christopher are off for Paris, and I'm off to "Bawstun" for the flight home. I stop off in Braintree to see Marc, and Alyssa pops in for lunch, so I get a final vsit. I return the CDs I borrowed to Marc, deliver the box of assorted booze from Chez Menkov and head for the airport.

Naturally, this trip wouldn't be complete if I didn't get turned around and half lost in Boston. I did. I'm outta here!

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
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Sunday, 25 September 2005
Their Chuppa Runneth Over
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Vacation

Maurice, King of the Dance Floor

No, I did not make up this appellation. Read on to learn how I was thus coronated!

Well, today's the big day! Christopher Gray's getting hitched (I almost typed "kitched", which in a whole 'nother matter).

The usual wakeup, feeding and grooming attended to, I decided I wanted to get a card to go with the wedding present. Fortunately, a big mall is mere blocks away from the hotel, so I strolled off in search of it. Between my bed and mass consumerism stands the State Capital building of Rhode Island. How instrusive!

After checking a few stores, I bought a calligraphy pen and a box of lime green stationary paper, and a line green ribbon...lime to symbolize the limes of the delicious margarita recipe I wrote with it (see entry for Monday the 19th). Oh, I also bought a piece of paper with an old map of Paris on it, as that's where Chris & Lee's honeymoon is to take place. Yes, you would not normally associate Paris with Margaritas, but this ain't your traditional couple nor your traditional wedding.

After a brief stop at the hotel to change, it was off to the Manning Chapel at "RizDEE". I won't get into excessive detail about the wedding, but in short it was a modified Jewish ceremony, with a chuppa, the Metropolitan Klezmer band, and the traditional wine-glass stomping to bring it to a close. Lee survived a near down-the-aisle makeup distaster from an overeager aunt wearing a Tammy Faye of lipstick, and the guests laughed as Chris Corrigan's yarmulke refused to stay on his head as he did a reading. Christopher looked dashing in his vintage suit and orange shirt, and Lee was quite the blushing bride. I was all smiles. I've never see Christopher so happy, and it was so sweet watching him dab at his eyes throughout the proceedings. When he got the ring on, he held his hand up to the audience and pointed at it and silently went "YEAH!" much to everyone's delight.

I didn't realize how many guests there were until we all lined up for a group shot.

As the photographer shot the family and wedding party photos I got the car and headed for the reception. As has been the case this entire trip I had a really hard time finding the place, and went round and round until I finally spotted it. I like New England, but oy! will I be glad to get back to driving in California!

The reception was held at a club called the Hi Hat. The food was amazing, the bar was open (and I got the biggest Godfather I've ever seen), and the crowd was a delight. The Metropolitan Klezmer played for the first part of the reception, and Christopher's mom even took the part of accordionist during bride and groom's first dance. Naturally, what with the Jewish aspect, there was a lot of traditional dancing in big chains running around the room. Whew!

I know you're all dying to know about the caption on the photo topping this entry. Patience! Once the dinner and cake was done (there was no smashing cake in each other's faces...this crowd's not that low class), the klesmer band left the stage and the other music started. On the RSVP cards they had asked the guests what's their favorite song to dance to. They them loaded these all onto a iPod and hooked that into the sound system. That's a lot of guests and a lot of songs. Hours and hours of it. And, fool that I am, I was out there dancing and dancing and dancing with anyoen end everyone. The funnist thing was, most of the time when I'd end up dancing with Lee's mother, the song that came on was suggestive. First off, she's wearing a deep red dress and on comes "Brick House", and I totally play it up gesturing at her and doing hourglass shaped with my hands at "The lady's stacked and that's a fact, ain't holding nothing back"! Another time it was "Baby Got Back", then "Super Freak" ("She's a very kinky girl..."). And she loved it...albeit I don't think she always knew the songs or quite caught the subject matter!

Between dances I'd drag myself to the men's room and douse my head with cold water to cool off (the advantage to balding and buzzing the rest off). By the end of it, my feet -- in my stylin' burgundy leather shoes -- were killing me. Undaunted and fearless of blisters, I shucked the footgear and finished the night dancing in my stocking feet with probably every lady on the floor and momentarily with a few of the guys. Oh, and the bride, natch!

And that, dear readers, is how I was crowned King of the Dance Floor.

The reception, which started probably about 4:30, finally wrapped up at 11:30, mostly because the staff of the club practically booted us out. It was the longest, best and most fun wedding reception it's ever been my pleasure to attend.

But will I have blisters in the morning?

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 11:22 PM PDT
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Saturday, 17 September 2005
Vacation's all I ever wanted
Mood:  happy
Topic: Vacation
The last time I went on an actual real bone fide certified vacation was three years ago when I spent three glorious weeks in New Zealand. Well, today's the start of an actual real bone fide certified vacation wherein I'll spend 10 glorious days in New England.

I went to Massachusetts and Connecticut quite a few times between 1987 and 1993, but it's been over 12 years since my last visit!

The main reason for this vacation to this location in the nation is the impending wedding of my friend Christopher Gray to his fabulous fiancee Lee Jacobson.

I took a Jet Blue redeye out of Oakland last night after work and arrived in Boston Saturday at 7:05 a.m. (zoiks!). It's a good thing I can sleep on planes or I'd have been one sleepy puppy.

I first headed south to Braintree to see friends/former co-workers Marc and Alyysa, who just moved there from Cambridge. Today's visit with them is short because I have to head south, but I'll see them again tomorrow.

But first I had to backtrack to Logan aiport because one of my bags go swapped with an absolutely identical bag of another man, whose name even stared with the same letters, so a quick glance at the luggage tags made the mistake easy.

Luggage swapped, I headed south to Providence, RI, to see Christopher and Lee. Christopher suggested I visit at the top of my trip so that we could hang, knowing once the families start showing up for the wedding, they'll have too many people to spend time with. I bonded with their dog, Jasper, we went for a walk in the woods, and then I helped Chris run some wedding related errands (getting poles cut for a chupah) and ended the evening getting to watch him perform in two back to back improv shows. Ahhh, but he's a funny man!

The theme of the day seemed to be the seeming impossibility to get anywhere easily. The road signage around Boston and the Big Dig subterranean freeways is sorely lacking and if you miss an exit it's very difficult to recover. Of the cities I've driven in, Boston's the worst for recovering from a mistake. Anyway, I had a few issues finding other places on the day, and to cap it, the directions Christopher got to the location of one of the improv shows was so wrong that we ended up doing circles on foot around the Trinity campus before finally having to get back in the car and drive to an entirely different school...and even then we got lost! Oy!

Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 11:22 PM PDT
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