Monday, December 26, 2016

Serge's 50th birthday South America extravaganza

Hey everyone, sorry I have been absent the last few months. I have been crazy busy with work (got a new higher-paying gig, yippy) and somehow we were able to cram in a 16 day vacation to South America for Serge's 50th birthday. Once again, it turned out to be the vacation of a lifetime. Let's get started, shall we?

South America is far! It took us two 7 hour flights connecting through Panama to get to Buenos Aires. (Btw, Panama City is HUGE, it looked like we were flying into Manhattan.) We arrived at 2am to deserted streets, a sight we would not see again.

We had one full day to explore before we boarded the ship. We had heard that the food was good and cheap and that was true. We had a three course lunch (steak) with beer for about $15.

The city has a very European feel to it, which is why it is called the Paris of South America. We spent the day walking the city and hitting the major walking streets and the Recolletta, a famous cemetery where Evita Peron's tomb is.

The cemetery is full of elaborate tombs with coffins in them. Some were like mini palaces as if the dead were continuing to boast of their long ago wealth. All in all rather creepy and for me anyway, highlighting the vanity of humans.

We walked and walked and walked. We had a nice dinner for super cheap and a $3 bottle of wine. The best bargain in both Argentina and Chile was wine. I was glad I had bought Argentinian pesos before I left as none of my cards would let me get money out of the ATMs.

The next day we boarded the ship. Even though the ship was staying the night in Argentina, we ended up staying aboard since everything was free and they had a Tango show in the theater. Another strange thing was the Spanish they spoke. I understood virtually nothing. Once aboard, we knew we would eat like kings and Serge had the lamb chops.

The next day we arrived in Montevideo. It was pretty quiet when we were there, but it too had a very European vibe. We sat in the main square and people watched for a while and then got back on the ship. None of the excursions here interested us, so we didn't spend much time ashore. 

The next couple days were at sea. The captain had to skirt around a big storm but we still got hammered with 30 foot swells. What the video shows is mild. Eventually they drained the pool because all the water kept sloshing out. And I got seasick. It has been a long time since that has happened to me. Luckily, one of the guys we met had extra seasick patches, but I still had to upchuck everything I had eaten and wait for it to take effect.

Then we arrived at the Falkland Islands. Wow, a barren treeless landscape way down south in the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts a village of 2000 inhabitants, all of them speaking with a British accent. This was THE place to do a penguin watching excursion. 

We took the Bluff Cove tour (I highly recommend) to see a colony of Gentoo penguins and King penguins. These are the rare Gentoos. We were asked not to touch the penguins because if they leave their nest, the seagulls circling overhead would have lunch. They are not afraid of people though and will walk right up to you and peck curiously at your clothes. 

These are the king penguins, the second largest of the species after the Emperor penguins. The babies have brown plumage and the adults feed the young ones until they get their adult plumage about 18 months old. 

Here are Gentoos and King penguins hanging together. As you can see, the landscape is pretty barren. There are no indigenous mammals on the islands although there is plenty of sheep farming. 

After watching the penguins for a bit in the howling wind, we were treated to tea and scones with clotted cream and read a bit about the history of the islands. Darwin has a well documented visit to the islands where never before seen species were discovered. 

After the tour, we walked around the town, got some postcards to mail (Sorry Pat, didn't have your address with me) and had a pint with some fish and chips. Souvenir? Why yes we got king penguin salt and pepper shakers.

The best thing about this trip was all the wonderful new friends we made. These are just a couple of them who had been on the boat for over a month. 

The next port of call was Punta Arenas, way down at the bottom of Chile. It was brisk but a lovely day. We headed into town on the shuttle and walked around. 

Still European feeling. I found an alpaca scarf for $6 and we found a cute little cafe where we had a Chilean version of a grilled cheese sandwich and coffee and used the free internet to post on Facebook. This is the first cruise that we did not use the wifi on board. It was liberating. I highly recommend if you ever have the chance to cut off from the connectivity - DO IT. It's hard the first day but then totally relaxing.

Then we cruised through the strait of Magellan, as we made our way to the southernmost town in the world. We were heading to the treacherous waters of Cape Horn although it was pretty protected through the straits.

We took a couple cooking classes on board. That was fun learning to make yummy new things, getting to keep the apron and then having a boozy lunch with the prepared recipes. We made Chilean ceviche, poblano chile and cheese stuffed chicken breast and chocolate flan the first class.

We brought the tuxedos we bought last year with us for the formal nights. This gang we met at the smoker's table where Serge basically lived while on board. They were from Manchester and I have to admit, I had trouble sometimes understanding their English. 

Finally, we reached Ushuaia, Argentina and the Tierra Del Fuego National Park. This is the southernmost road in the world. Had to take the excursion to say we did it but it was pretty much a tourist trap. The t-shirts in the gift shop were $40 and up. No thank you, the photo will do.

Then we departed for 4 days at sea where we experienced every kind of weather including snow on deck. The next morning the captain woke us to have a look at Cape Horn. The legend is true, 73 mile an hour winds and 30 foot waves which were 60 feet if we had gone past the Cape. So about 7 miles from there as the boat was listing 7 degrees in the wind and rain, the captain turned around and we started the long journey up the rugged coast of Chile.

We ate at the fancy restaurant on board for Serge's 50th birthday. We ate like kings the whole time and it seemed like they had brought the food up a notch from our Alaska cruise last year on the same exact boat.

As we traveled up the coast we saw many glaciers and the captain pulled closer to see this monster of a glacier whose name I forget. We saw lots of waterfalls, penguin colonies and other wildlife but no people whatsoever. This whole part of Chile is virtually uninhabited. 

On the third day at sea, I finally saw a boat. You can see the snowy Andes soaring into the sky in the background. Soon we would arrive at our next port where we planned an excursion to go white water rafting. 

We arrived in Puerto Montt, Chile and took a lovely hour long drive to get to the rafting spot. It was unbelievable beauty everywhere like we were in National Geographic magazine.

Boy that water was cold! We had never done this before and it did not disappoint. I have to admit, I was scared the whole time about falling in which luckily didn't happen. The raft went fully underwater several times though so we were lucky nobody fell out. 

On the way back to the ship, we got to stop and take pictures of the volcano Orsono whose last eruption occurred in 1853, There were two other volcanoes in the area, one of which erupted last year. The ground was still littered with several inches of gravel belched out of that one.

We had one last sea day to say our goodbyes to all the fun new friends we made. This was the first cruise where so many people attended the LGBT get together in the bar each evening. The first night there were over 20 of us. So we had happy hour every evening together and many of us played board games and cards during the day. I love gaming as some of you know. 

More goodbyes but we talked about doing a reunion cruise in the future. Then we arrived in Valparaiso, Chile and got off the boat and onto a bus to go the airport in Santiago. I regret not having a couple more days to explore the area but as a teacher, 16 days off in November was already pushing it. Just something to come back and do another time. 

I could talk about so much more, Trump, Christmas, our airbnb sagas, the dog watching sagas and much more, but I think I will just leave this post as the travelogue for Serge's 50th. Thanks for stopping by, mwah!

Monday, September 12, 2016

12 on 12

Let's start this post with some Georgie porn. He has been a great dog as we have started dog sitting for other people through Dogvacay and Pawshake. It's like airbnb but for pet sitting. I adore dogs and Georgie tolerates the dogs and Serge, well I'll be kind and say he tolerates them too. This week we have a big black lab that George actually plays with. George rarely plays anymore so I feel so happy when he does.

For my birthday we took a little getaway to Vermont. Such a beautiful state. We stayed at our friend Nancy's house in her airbnb unit. She lives in a 200 year old farmhouse with a slate roof. I asked her how long a slate roof lasts and she said, "200 years, I guess." Anyway, we explored a bit and want to come back to this river to do some tubing. There is a company that takes you and the tubes up river and then you mosey on down to where you left your car.

It is so neat exploring the Northeast where there is so much more history than in the rest of the states. We walked around and explored little towns and even took a tour of a granite quarry - I just liked this shot of the local church at dusk.

I worked a couple nights a week this summer. One day I headed out to work and felt some weird tingling on my lips. By the time I got to school an hour later, my face had really changed. So I got hives. I had taken a couple tums right before this reaction started. I haven't taken any tums since then but I am not sure that is why I got hives.

We had pride week in August here in Montreal. It was fun this year as we had a friend visiting from California. We had a great time making sure they ate everything one must eat when visiting Montreal. Smoked meat, poutine, beaver tails and of course the best bagels on the planet. Sorry New Yorkers. It's true.

Then we all went to Camp camp together. One of the funnest events at Camp is the barn dance where you square dance with everyone. We brought a little western wear with us this year, our third at camp in southwest Maine.

I wasn't planning to but I ended up wearing a dress for the T dance. Here's my take on the dressing in drag thing. I got no extra pleasure dressing like a girl but I wasn't embarrassed about it either. The great thing about camp is that there is no judgement. Anyway, the thing I did notice is how freaking uncomfortable wearing a clingy dress and trying to suck in my gut was. Not to mention the shoes. Torture devices, I don't know how women do it. People kept saying beauty is pain. Well that is a shitty dynamic society has put on women.

We had a great cabin again this year and we all got along great. The first night though I had a terrible nightmare. It was a dream within a dream. So I "woke up" in a hotel room with Serge and someone was trying to get into the room. They finally succeeded and three guys with pistols came in and said I was a dead man. Then I screamed bloody murder and really woke up. I woke everyone in our cabin and the two cabins next to us with my scream. I was so relieved when I woke up and realised that I wasn't going to die.

Serge made a rocket at camp and I made a bowl in pottery. I really lucked out at the pottery wheel. I got my bowl perfectly round and then the instructor told me to make the sides higher and I said NO, DON'T TOUCH IT. She said, "are you satisfied with how it is?" I told her I was ELATED, so we didn't mess with it anymore.

The camp photographer did a photo shoot with us and so we got some really good shots of us. One of the funniest things at camp was when I asked our emergency room nurse friend what the funniest story from the ER was. He told us of a gentleman who came in and said he had "fallen" onto two mayonnaise jars. While waiting for the appropriate people to arrive to solve this matter, our friend said to the patient, "If you think you might fall on a mayonnaise jar in the future, I would recommend tying a string around it under the lid. That way you would be able to pull it out." I asked, "You really said that to him?" And he replied, "Well I have to teach them." I giggled about it all week. Oh and the jars were full. One other nice thing about camp this year was finding out our ex friends (who were not there again) are not at all liked by the peeps in their cabin. We learned the other cabin members even had mean nicknames for them all. A small thing but gratifying to know. 

Yesterday we went to the second largest rodeo in Canada. It's in a small town of 3800 inhabitants but during the Western festival it swells to 200,000. I actually really enjoyed the rodeo, except for the mean calf roping event. I decided to be vegan for the month of September just to see if I could and it is difficult! Anyway, there was nothing for me to eat at the festival except fries and onion rings. I also learned that even honey is off limits. I am counting the days to October first when I go back to being a carnivore again. I don't really even miss the meat, it's the cheese and eggs that I miss the most. I actually like Vegenaise better thank mayonnaise, so there is that. 

Finally here is Stella, the black lab we are watching this week. I love the temperament of labs, all cuddly and playful. George is 9 years old but Stella gets him playing every day. Thanks to all who stopped by. Summer is almost over and work begins next week for me. Serge is still looking for work so we are hoping that happens soon too. Mwah!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Snippets

* We can start with the George meister. He doesn`t really care for summer. Just blobs all day on the sofas. I had an appt. yesterday to get his nails clipped for free and completely forgot. Doh!

* Every summer seems to have a theme with me. This year it`s reading. I`ve gone through spells like this before where I can`t get enough. I`m averaging a book a week but one book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I read in one day. That was a lovely day.

* Although I didn`t think Outlander was all that great a novel, the story kept my interest as I am a sucker for anything to do with Time Travel (probably why I read that other book in a day) and I forced Serge to watch the series with me. It was pretty true to the novel, but I kept telling him what was going to happen (couldn`t help myself) or would say, "Hey, that`s not in the book."

* We`ve been spending lots of time with our besties, wine tasting, dining out, partying. Funny, she said to herself when she first met me, "He is going to be my gay friend!" She was my student at the time but totally turned out to be right!

* I got frustrated with the selection on Netflix and constantly getting thwarted when I accessed Netflix in other countries so although I am not cancelling, I got  a membership at the video club (I couldn`t believe one still existed) for $10 a month I can get three dvd's at a time for up to a week at a time. They have ALL the tv series so I won`t have to wait for Netflix to put one I want to see on rotation. The latest we are watching is Helix.

* The funniest thing happened the other day. I was sitting reading on the sofa and Serge was over by the door smoking. Suddenly I hear, "WHAT???" and turn to see him walking funny toward the bathroom. He shut the door and then I heard, "GROSS! SERGE! YOU DON'T DO THIS. GROSS!" over and over. Then,"BOTH LEGS! DISGUSTING!" Naturally, I was asphyxiating myself with laughter. Apparently he has never sharted before. It was so funny to hear him scolding himself.

* This is how I felt when I finished work for the summer. But then I got asked to do a Mon-Wed evening class. I never say no to work (my longtime rule) but I really don`t want to go tonight.

* I don`t suppose I've mentioned that I quit smoking. Well, I did and this better be the last freaking time. I had a few cigs in Cuba in February thinking, it`s just on vacation. Idiot. Serendipitically, I quit on July 1st, the same quit day as my over five year quit. Here`s to a smoke free life. Now if we can get Serge on board.

* The favorite books I have read this summer are The Book of Lost Things by Connelly and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman. It turns out I like fantastical reads.

* Yours truly, failing. I tried a total of five times to get up and failed. I think the jet ski was just shy of a horsepower. I was completely crippled for a week afterwards. Crip Pulled.

* Serge has been trying to get a job for nearly a year now. This has put a lot of stress on our household financially. He has almost been hired a couple of times but something always happens to prevent it. I have to decide if we can do Serge`s 50th birthday cruise in South America by Aug 1st when final payment is due. I think we will go. You only live once, and it`s only money.

* Do you realise that you don`t pronounce the "t" in can't? It's true. The difference between can and can't is not the pronunciation of the tee. Can is unstressed and can't is stressed in sentences. Say them in a sentence and observe for yourself.

* Serge`s cousin bought a house on a lake. We are welcome any time. We will be taking them up on that frequently.

* The French from France are always the ones who leave bad comments about the unit downstairs. It's like they expect to have everything in brand new condition. My favorite lately is the comment, "there was dust under the bed". Really? Is that where you spend your time? Ridiculous.

* I have not announced the last three blog posts on Facebook, hehe. Feel free to scroll down and catch up. Thanks everyone for stopping in. I hope all your summers are as fun as ours! Mwah!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

My bad

I recently became aware that I wish death upon a person. When the thought would come to my mind, my good self shamed me, what a terrible thing to think. It would be one thing if it were Donald Trump I were wishing gone, as I am sure no small number of people desire. No, and I am no Trump fan, but he has stolen nothing from me. Is that it? Is that why I want this person to die? And just what is it that he or she stole from me? A lot, I can tell you that. But it is a wrong thing to be thinking and yet I catch myself daydreaming about it like I did in my teenage bedroom trying to will myself to time travel after seeing Somewhere In Time. I don`t imagine killing however, no I have no taste for that and prison, I am certain, would not suit me well. (Do they have martinis in prison? This just came to mind.) No, I imagine the person dead in the coffin at the funeral home, all gussied up with tearful family members viewing the final view. And it makes me smile, and then I am ashamed again for having thought it and smiled at it.

Sometimes I say it out loud. Die _________. And then I realize that this is the trait of a crazy person. Is that what drove people to be crazy, the theft of something deep and unforgivable within them? I wonder. So there is a dark side to me after all. I wish death upon someone. I know if I am patient enough, it will come to pass.

I had a friend in high school. She was extremely talented and when I was in her presence, it was like I was validated, this god talks to me. My father was going through a photography phase at the time and I have some eight by ten glossies of her and I. Sometimes she talked about death. What did I think happened after we die. I was an adolescent without a firm belief yet. She would daydream about it and even talk about killing herself. Once she faked a rape attack to get out of her shift at Del Taco. We went to Laguna Beach instead and danced and did poppers. I would have gone anywhere with her. She had a toga party and to impress her, I painted myself gold with spray paint. The kind that you use to paint a car. Later I learned I could have died. Hours later, after having won for best costume, I was being scrubbed with gasoline to get the paint off (highly unpleasant) and I thought that it had still been worth it, to paint myself with spray paint. One day she told me she was going to do it, to kill herself, I can`t remember how, but I think pills were involved. She had talked about it so many times, it didn`t alarm me at all, she was just fascinated with it, that`s all. Well, she did it. She didn`t die but she had attempted. Several days later when it became known that she had told me beforehand, the grown-ups were very cross and made me feel bad. How could I have said nothing? Her parents banned her from speaking to me again.

A few years ago, she finally succeeded in doing it by jumping in front of a commuter train. In comments on the newspaper article, people scolded her (a dead person) for her selfishness (I was 3 hours late for work!) but they hadn`t known her like I had. I guess I can understand the scolding since she stole from those commuters. Stole hours of their lives while authorities cleaned up her guts from the tracks.

I think about the fact that I daydream about wanting someone dead and it reminds me of her, who always wished to know death herself. In my case, it is just selfishness, as it is impossible to recover the stolen goods, so I want revenge. I don`t want to do it mind you, that smacks of effort, but I will be happy when it comes to pass. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Today we busied ourselves, preparing for tomorrow’s BBQ where we expect 30 or so guests. Serge has turned into his angsty, pre-visitor persona, and rushes about to make sure that we don’t appear to be the dirty slobs we are. Well, I more than him to be truthful. Anyway, we were able to squeeze in Finding Dory in the afternoon but the nerves of receiving made it less than wonderful and it wasn’t as funny as Finding Nemo. An hour or so ago, we were sitting out on our new patio, BBQ layout of all the chairs already rearranged a dozen or so times by you-know-who, and I asked him, “When did we get these chairs, where did we live, at the loft?” He said, “No, it was Moreau street.” “Wow, sixteen years,” I observed. Serge looked like he was thinking about something and I wondered if it was the same as my thinking, which was both, sixteen years and still good as new, those chairs, and naturally, dang I’m old. My mind started to wander and I looked at the conifer across the street. It seemed to have what looked like brown moss growing under the branches.

“Serge, are those pine cones on that tree over there, or just dead needles?” I asked and added, “I wish we had some binoculars.” Serge leapt up and went in the house. I wondered if we did, indeed, have binoculars. If we did, I had never seen them. Then Serge waltzed out, “Ta-Da! These are my grandfather’s. I remembered we had them.” “Where were they?” I wondered aloud. “In the bathroom.” “Where?” wanting to be sure I heard right. “In the bathroom.” I finished it with, “Okay then,” and wondered where in the bathroom they had been. One of two places really, not worth pursuing a clarification. With the aid of the binoculars, Serge confirmed, “They’re pinecones!” It seemed as though they had appeared overnight, but that can’t be. And I was reminded that change is happening all around us, if only we take the time to notice.


The BBQ day was splendidly warm and unhumid. By the time our guests started arriving, the sun had started dipping past our building bathing the deck in shade. As people arrived, everyone agreed it was the perfect day for it. A handful of guests bowed out that day, and I was a bit relieved as I thought I might not have prepared enough food. It is to laugh. There is so much potato salad left, I’m going to have to toss it which if you know me, I hate doing. I wonder if it would keep in the freezer? We made a mean punch which you could absolutely taste no alcohol in, but after just one, many claimed to be buzzed. I haven’t felt at ease at my own party since, well, ever. I marveled how at peace I was. Maybe it was because all our good friends up here came, people that I am grateful to have in my life and who are grateful that we are in theirs. Friends who know what it means to be friends. Our besties spent the night and we had our ritual mimosas in the morning and went out to breakfast.

The next day was wickedly hot and decidedly more humid. I spent the afternoon outside finishing up my book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which got so good, I frequently had frissons tingling throughout my body at the lovely story, beautifully written. It was like a fine wine or grilled filet mignon, delicious. Now I am reading the second in the Outlander series, and while it holds my attention, it is more like drinking supermarket wine or eating a Big Mac. Honestly, she goes on way too long with the sex scenes, I mean really, a whole page that could be three words. They made love. But I am a sucker for the time travel angle, so it is a guilty pleasure nonetheless. Yesterday, as I was reading, I saw the lady who lives down the hill (I am not sure how far down, I’m guessing four or five buildings) a spinster I am sure who every time I’ve seen her has had a look on her face like she’s just been told she lost her job. Not so yesterday, she had gone to the drug store across the street and was returning home with something that looked like triumph on her face, and what was it she was carrying? I waited for her to get closer as she needs to pass our home to arrive at hers so I could see what she had in her hands. Then I smiled big, in one hand she had a six pack of Mountain Dew and in the other above her shoulder a box of Klondike bars. Poor dear, she must not have air conditioning. One of the nice things about living in a big city on a busy street is the never-ending people watching opportunities. My writer’s mind makes up stories about their lives simply on the evidence of their gait, speed, and how they carry on with others. I can see it as being a serious activity in retirement.

Oh and by the way, Georgie simply loves barbecues. You can imagine why.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Weekly journaling

I have been reading A LOT and this always puts me into the mood to write. So I think I will start a weekly journal here without announcing it on FB. In a wonderful mood today.

My days unfold thusly: There is the first wake, nearly always nine or more hours since going to bed. It is usually my bladder that forces me up into the day. If I am tired, I sleep an hour or two more before really rising. I don't make coffee, instead sipping water and joining the birds outside. The sleep which cloaks me like a soft blanket befogs my mind and body. This is my favorite time of day especially if I get to see the sun rise. After an hour or two I may have a cup of coffee though I have finally decided that I don't like caffeine, the food of the butterflies. The butterflies, coccooned by the sleep will be up and about soon anyway as surely as the wind. For that is what the shattered heart (how else to call it?) has slowly transformed into, the fluttering wings of anxiety. The butterflies rouse slowly, usually sometime in the afternoon and when they do I am grateful that they slept in as long as they did. 

I am getting good at not thinking about the things that energize the butterflies and redirect my thoughts with ease. Such ease as I am constantly surrounded by beauty that only now am I able to appreciate. The shifting shape of a cloud, the cardinal's song as distinctive as its color, the dragonfly wing propellering down from the maple tree staving off the thundering silence of suffering. I turn over lessons in my mind, so many confirmed banalities of life. I should have died. Surely a physical wound as severe would have killed, and I ask myself, "Am I stronger?" It seems impossible that I am still here blessed with the earth to walk upon. 

If it is a work day, I go, grateful for the distraction and practicality of income. If not, I pore through books living other lives where characters are broken and healed in a page or two. (Is that what these last years have been? A couple of pages?) Food. What a glorious gift to feel hungry and satisfy it. I daydream about upcoming meals, enjoying them several times before actually eating them. George stays by my side reading my mind and reminding me of purpose. My husband, an equal wreck to mine, makes his way through the day with me and we have found that cooking together pleases us both. 

I still drink too much. Probably half what I drunk before but I still need help to bed in the evening. Serge didn't drink alcohol for two consecutive days last week. A goal I aspire to when sleep or the lack of it will not severely impact the day after. We spend the evenings together engrossed in this series or that until my eyes start drooping and then my second favorite part of the day arrives, bedtime. And the cloak of sleep that heals and prepares my mind and body for the coming day. I dream but I don't have nightmares. And for the first time in years, life is actually good.


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Spring travelogue

I've been lax on updating the blog. So sorry, but we have been awfully busy as you will see. Here is my honey and I at our annual Sugar Shack outing. After Cuba, I went on a diet to lose all the holiday weight I gained but made an exception for this. Boy did I have a stomachache after. It felt like my stomach had shrunk, but more likely the quart of maple syrup I ingested.

We went with our besties Annick and Jesus. They live about an hour away so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. This coming weekend we are going out to spend a couple of nights and do the wine route.

We flipped another unit over to airbnb and they are both doing very well. Our occupancy rates are extremely high - May and June are sold out so I think next year we need to hike the prices a bit. Boy do people shed a lot of hair though.

We finally tackled replacing the deck. It was at least 10 years old and there was a leak in the garage so it was time to address it. A little over 3 grand that we did not have.

I was not allowed to help but I was allowed to pay. It turned out great and we are planning a summer barbecue to inaugurate it. We also were able to identify the leak problem and repair if for pennies. Yay!

Serge even made those shelves for people's drinks around the planters. Just before this project, we lost a couple friends again. Remember our ex-best friends (whom I think of as the sociopath and frankenstein dick) who have systematically convinced all our mutual friends to shun us over the last two years? Well the very last mutuals Facetimed me to tell me we can't be friends for a while. Said he wanted to do it face to face and not in a text (why? So I can have this freaking memory?) said it wasn't coerced (which I figure meant just the opposite). I said I had no words to respond to that and we hung up. I didn't ask why since I knew it had nothing to do with us as we have been nothing but kind to them. People we've known for 20 years. When Serge got up and I told him he said, "I knew it!," and promptly walked over to the computer and blocked them. I went ahead and unfriended all the friends we had met through them to save them the trouble. I do have a blackmail picture that would give them a reason to not be friends but I think I will just take the high road on this one. Just done with the whole lot of them.

Camper friend Nancy came up for a visit. It was great getting to know her better. She also has an airbnb unit so we did a trade. Hopefully we can cash in this summer and explore Southern Vermont from her place.

We had to cut our annual road trip to 4 days from 10 due to money, work and airbnb responsibilities. We made the most of it though. Got to stop in and see Sean and Jeffrey and the pups.

Next stop NYC where our Montreal friends recently bought a condo. They offered it to us for the weekend since they were not using it. We rented a car to go to New York and I chose the wild card category. This meant we would get a compact or better car. When I arrived they told me the wild card is a 7 passenger van. Doh! So that raised the gas cost and I had to park it in Manhattan. It was easy though, the method Tony and Chris showed me (criss cross the numbered streets between Central Park West and Broadway starting at 68th) worked like a charm again. Parked and took the subway to our borrowed condo.

They had a roof top patio on the 16th floor of the building and this was the view. Wonderful. The first night we attended a talk on the "history of gay porn". The room quickly achieved capacity but it was one of the dullest and oddest presentations I've seen. The presenter simply read the papers in his hand and then would stop and play a 15 minute gay porn clip to the end. We were 65 men watching and it was awkward. Nobody spoke during the clips. When they got to Lukas Ridgeston, I had had enough and left. It could have been so much more interesting. Fail.

Afterward we looked for a bite to eat and ended up in a tapas place where oddly enough I had a margherita pizza. The next day was the big camp camp goes to Fun Home event.

Before the show we met up with a few campers for brunch and I had huevos rancheros. Yum! We also sleuthed out an Izakaya (Japanese gastro pub) and had okinomiaki and sushi. Heaven.

We were 33 campers from all over the country who came together to see the show. What a great show it was too. Serge isn't in the pic because he went out to smoke. After this the cast of the show came out and talked with us. So very cool. When I got home I went to the library to get the book but I am #7 on the reservation waiting list.

After the show some of us went out for drinks and dinner. It was great to see everyone.

We especially enjoyed hanging out with our Alaskan friend Jim. It's amazing the tight bonds you can make with people all through the miracle of camp. I think there are a couple spots left this year if you would like to join us.

Then we had to hustle home to turn over the airbnb units. A couple days after I got an offer for tix to Cirque du Soleil for 30 percent off so jumped on it. It was one of the best shows I have seen from them. It had EVERYTHING and the music and costumes were inspired by Mexico and it worked really well.

Afterward we went to this Portuguese joint we like and had the chicken and chorizo poutine. It is huge, and even though we shared, we couldn't finish it. So delicious and only $13 tax included. You couldn't eat dinner at McDonald's for that price and it is infinitely better.

Finally, a little picture of Georgie. He has been extra clingly lately to me. Lucky for him, that is fine by me! Thanks for stopping by peeps - until next time......MWAH!