I know, I know. I haven’t blogged in like over two weeks. My bad. What can I say? I’ve been busy. I have a life. But I’ll make it up to my one adoring fan with a blog now and a few more before month’s end. Is that ok, Brian? Now you can stop reminding me on Facebook and on Words with Friends every chance you get.
Actually, I lied. I have two adoring fans. The other is my mother.
Anyway, moving on. One contributing factor to my extreme busyness has been the constant stream of visitors that have come to Sydney over the past two months. So, from the beginning:
Dolly Parton came to Australia! DOLLY. FUCKING. PARTON. Do you have any idea how exciting that was??? I had been dying to see her for ages but I was out of town the only time she came through Seattle. So, when it was announced that Dolly was coming down under for the first time in nearly 30 years, I was determined to see her no matter what the cost. $220/ticket later, my friend Kei and I got to witness the best concert I’ve ever seen. Dolly sang a few new songs, but she really pleased the crowd with all of the famous favourites: Baby I’m Burnin’, Jolene, Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That, and Islands In The Stream.
And of course, the ultimate Dolly classics: 9 to 5 and I Will Always Love You!
She got a little bluegrassy, threw in a little gospel, and even rapped for the crowd. I’m not even shitting you!
And, as she is the ultimate entertainer, Dolly added a story to every song. And sometimes she even added stories just for fun. Like the story about how she lost a Dolly Parton look-alike contest to a drag queen. Here she is:
I only regret that I didn’t bring my proper camera with me! The iPhone is great, but the photos and videos just couldn’t handle all the lights on stage.
Kathy Griffin also came to Oz recently and performed at the iconic Sydney Opera House! Her performance was filled with all of the trash talking, celebrity gossip, and pussy jokes that we have come to expect and love from Kathy Griffin. Of course, the gays were out in full force. Just like Margaret Cho did a few months ago, Ms. Griffin did an excellent job of tailoring her stand-up to the Australian audience and even commented on our lovely Prime Minister (sarcastic) whose views on marriage equality are a bit… ridiculous. Kudos to Kathy!
2011 marked my second Christmas in Sydney. Not that I celebrate Xmas or anything, but I’ll always take an excuse to entertain. As Elcid & David hosted me last year for a full day from brunch to late night, I decided to return the favour this year. So, from 11am until after midnight, the boys partied at my place. We had Challah French toast (because we had to Jew it up some) and mimosas:
… followed by The Muppets Christmas Carol and the inaugural swim in my apartment’s pool. Others joined us in the evening for a dinner that could choke a horse, followed by Xmas cookie decorating!
Oh yes - I made the Xmas cookies from scratch! And did you notice the gooey brownies on the table? Also from scratch! And I even made a fabulous chocolate cheesecake… from scratch!
Look at me go! Diabetes here we come! Also, because it was Xmas, we lit the menorah. Wait – what? Happy Chrismukkah!
My mate Leo from Seattle (actually, he’s from India originally, and he lives in New York now, but I know him from both of our days in Seattle) was in town for a week! His work placed him on a project in Melbourne for two months. Having the time between Xmas and New Years off, he decided to hop up to Sydney for a little visit. We ate. We drank. And we watched the fireworks on the harbour from my apartment’s roof! The view was great! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a single photo of us together. Ugh. But I did manage to get a photo of our desserts one day at lunch. What the hell is wrong with me?
We also hit the beach twice (first Manly, then Coogee the next day) as it was the first really good beach weekend we’ve had this summer (December was rainy and cool – WTF?)
And since two beach days with Leo just wasn’t enough, I had several beach days with Oscar. That’s right: Oscar was back in Australia! You may recall from blogs ages ago that Oscar was one of my first housemates here in Sydney. He had just finished an English language class and was looking for work when I arrived. Unfortunately, he didn’t find anything before his visa expired and he had to go back to Catalonia, but my mate was determined. So, some twenty months later, Oscar’s application for permanent residency was approved and he lined up a job over in Perth. He swung by Sydney for a week before heading west and the two of us took a little road trip down the South Coast to a place called Jervis Bay.
I’ll leave it at that, because the next few blog posts will talk all about our road trip south, including tidbits on small town Australia and this country’s abundant National Parks. Until then, sit tight, Brian. Another blog is coming soon!