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Australia Day Seven, Weds 1/20/16


We got up early (5-ish), showered, and packed our bag.  We're flying to Cairns today for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef and then back at the Vibe Hotel in Sydney on Friday.  They're nice enough to store two of our bags until we come back - - so our packing process was a little involved, but hey, our mamas didn't raise no dummies.


We felt like a treat, so we had the breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant.  Oh what a luscious spread: I had scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, grilled tomatoes, hash browns, toast with jam, a croissant, orange juice, and a latte.  That sounds like a lot of food when I write it all down, but my portions were very small.  I might even say minuscule.  I use what I call The Wexler Method: my friend Karen Wexler wrote a book, *Having My Cake: The Mastery of Mindful Eating*.  She calls it an anti-diet book - - her concept is that you can eat practically anything you want, you just need to be thoughtful of how much you're eating and in what proportion to the rest of your diet.  My take-away is that food isn't made more delicious or satisfying by eating more of it.




















Viva la Wexler!  Read her book, it's changed my life.


We went back up to our room, pulled ourselves together, checked out, and got in a cab.  There was discussion the day before about how we would get to the airport.  One of us thought we should take the subway, the other thought we should take a cab.  Three guesses which was which.  I asked Paul and Annie their advice the night before and they both immediately pounced on taking a cab.  Which made Richard very happy (oops, I guess I just gave it away).  Really, for $40 each ($28 American, at the current exchange rate), why not be comfortable and not deal with all that riff raff?  I quite agree.


Check in was a breeze, ditto security.  You don't have to take off your shoes here, what a delight.  We went to our terminal and bought a bit of candy and some anti-itch cream (the mosquitos love Richard).  We went to a bookstore just to browse:


ME: Look!  Tom Jones has written a memoir.

RICHARD: Good for him.  My Aunt Nancy was always crazy for him.

ME: Who would believe that he could write such a big book.  But look, the font is very large.

RICHARD: It's a good idea for him to have a large font, it's appropriate for his audience.

ME: And a new book by Dawn French.

RICHARD: [silent]

ME: Are you not interested?

RICHARD: I bought a book of hers years ago and could never finish it, why would I read this one?


We got to our gate.  I finished up my blog entry from the day before and asked Richard to read it.  He was surprised that I would share how petty I was about not being a regular and having to wait to order at breakfast the previous morning.  I told him it's important for me to share how bitchy and hateful I am, that my readers find it amusing.


Our flight was less than three hours long, but felt  much longer.  Richard guessed that there were as many children as adults on the plane.  I give the babies a free pass: of course they're going to cry, it must be very disorienting on their little baby heads, and they're not smart enough to realize what's going on.  It's the older kids who were bothering us.  As Richard said, clearly their parents never explained the difference between an inside voice and an outside voice.  I'm telling you, if I had been screaming and carrying on like some of these kids, my mother would have tossed me out the nearest emergency exit.


Let me spend a few moments about the pronunciation of the city we were visiting, Cairns.  Looks pretty straightforward, right?  But no.  They say it without the R, and it has an intensely nasal twang.  So it sort of sounds like "cans".  Or you get even closer if you speak French - - it sounds like the way the French say the number 15, <<quinze>>.  Richard and I had a fun time saying the name of the city.  "Welcome to Quinze!"  "Another gorgeous day in Quinze."  "This is the most delicious thing I've had in Quinze."  We crack ourselves up.

Love our new hotel!  It's a Hilton Double Tree, very near the water, nice big room, with a view.  Great all around.  We hung out, cooled off, rehydrated, watched Raechel Ray.  She was making five different pasta dishes, one of which involved beef and beets!  Also known as beef and barf!  But I fully support your choice to love beets.  Also Richard's.


We went down to the pool - - outdoors and the water was so warm, it really was like bathwater.  And like the pool at our hotel in Sydney, it was just over four feet deep at its deepest point.  What is up with that.  Here I am in our room about to leave for the pool:






















A word about Snickers.















Snickers is a music project that my brother Howard is doing with a friend of his from Minneapolis.  They've put out a couple of 45s and cassette tapes.  Their choice of media might be a twinge yesteryear, but their music is totally six years from now:
















And how about a link:


Did I mention that we skipped lunch?  We had a muffin on the plane and neither of us was hungry when we got to Quinze, so we decided to have an early dinner.  We looked at the map of the neighborhood and chose a place called Frydays Fish and Chippery.  Richard got fried barramundi with fries and a Corona.  I got fried Spanish mackerel and fries and a hard cider.  Delicious, all of it.



















We picked up a gay magazine at the counter - - back in the day I would refer to this sort of thing as a

"fag rag", but I'm not that coarse anymore.  Richard turned right to the 2016 homoscopes.  That's right, homoscopes.  How clever are they.  He was most interested to see what they said for Aries, my sign:


"Oh to be an innocent Aries.  Born under the first house, you are but an infant beginning your twelve journeys through life.  Like an infant, your needs are pretty basic and you have a simple way of articulating them: screaming at the top of your lungs."


Richard said, "Wow, they really nailed it with you!"  I smirked at him indulgently.


We stopped at the IGA on our way back to the hotel and picked up some sunblock and a bottle of milk, which we drank with the candies we had bought at the airport.  Delish!  Richard fell asleep before too long, I stayed up for a bit watching a movie online, *Changing Times*, a French drama from 2004 starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu.  I got ten minutes into it and had a sneaking suspicion I had seen it before...  But I don't remember how it ends, so I'll watch the whole thing, why the hell not.


LOVE, Chris

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