Saturday, July 19, 2014

     I've been trying all week to try and figure out what to blog about. I had nothing. Then a friend, Gladys Morreno, posted something on FB that really made me pause. 

     It was a music video that blew my socks off. What really intrigued me was that it made me flash back to my recent travels. The video was nothing like anything I saw while in England or France, but it did make me focus on what it was that I really liked. 

     Yes, seeing the Eiffel Tower was cool. Doing the bus tour of London was great, but that wasn't what really pushed my buttons. Yes, yes, the urinals were fun and so were the strippers, but that isn't what I’m talking about. Damn it, you pervs. Do you think that is all I think of? 
Okay, maybe sometimes that's all I think of.

     What I’m talking about here are the little things that make a trip so good for me. Walking through the side streets where there are no tourists. Finding those little jewels of cafés, restaurants and taking in the local colours. That is what makes it special for me. 

     So, Glayds’s video was a Latin video, which took me back to my mother talking about when she and my father used to take a cruise over to Cuba and spend long weekends there. Of course, this was before Castro fucked it all up. She would tell me stories of the great night life and fantastic music they experienced. She also liked to sample the local fare, instead of doing the touristy things.
Trinidad Street, Havana

     Years ago, when I was doing a bit more traveling, I would go to a grocery store, or local shop and just look around. Yeah, I’m such the total foodie. One time I got ballsy enough to approach this woman and asked her to take me home with her and let me help her cook dinner for her family. 

     Her name was Pamela. Her father was Hispanic and her mother Italian, so she often did a fusion of old family favorites. The food was amazing. Her family was very cool and they welcomed me into their home, and even asked if I wanted to stay with them while there, instead of the hotel. I didn't do that because I didn't want to impose and I also like my independence. 

     Now I know this is really off the wall and strange to some people, but hey, I usually like people and I love food. So hey, why not? I did the same thing once in New Orleans. 

     This time I found Gloria in a specialty shop, buying sausage. She told me she wasn't cooking that night, but was going to her sisters, and that the sausage was for the following night’s dinner. However, she let me know that if I was interested, I should be there around noon the next day, and gave me her address. 
Royal Street, French Quarter. LOVE this street.
     I didn't know at the time that it was her eldest daughter’s birthday and that her entire family would be there. Once there, I could see why she didn't mind the extra helping hand. Damn, they had as much food cooking as the restaurant I was currently working in. We had a blast and the payoff was some of the best, most original creole cooking I’d ever had. It was then I really knew what it was supposed to look and taste like. 

     Yes, I worked like a dog but it was worth it. Of course, as her family started arriving, they all looked at this white man in their mother’s kitchen and asked what the hell was going on. It was quite different, but they eventually warmed up to me. I ended up passed out on her sofa that night. Let me tell you, those people can party! 

     Another place I did this was in New York City. That is where I learned how to do real Jamaican Meat Patties. I made such a pig out of myself. I got to experience the open market in Brooklyn, which was so amazing. Salt fish, all the open herbs and the different ways they used them blew me away. I am soooo going back there one day. Of course, New York is a foodie’s wet dream! 
Oh, and yeah, there are hot guys there too! :D
     So, let me ask you folks this: How strange would it be for a stranger to walk up to you while shopping and ask to come help you cook. Would you do it? Let me know. Who knows, there could be a book in there somewhere. What’cha think? 

     Where next? I really, really want go to Italy. Pompeii is at the top of my list. Then I want to do Rome, Florence, Naples and then Venice. Yeah, that would be a dream trip for sure. I’ll have to go on a very strict diet before I went. Hell, I gained at least ten pounds just in France. Of course, all those pastries didn't help, I’m sure. 
And they don't put stupid figs leaves over the goodies!
     I've always wanted to go to St. Petersburg, Russia, but that is out now. Make me sad. There is the largest collection of art there from all over the world that I’ll never be able to see. Of course, I’ll miss out on fantastic cuisine as well. Damn, I would love to have smoked sturgeon and vodka there. Oh well. Maybe before I die, but I’m not holding my breath.
This houses some of the best art in the world.
     Another place I would love to visit is Cuba, but our stupid government keeps us away. I don’t agree with the politics there, but there is so much to see and experience. Just makes me mad sometimes. If you've never seen or heard of the Buena Vista Social Club, check them out. They are amazing and another reason why I would love to go to Cuba. I've had Cuban cuisine from low to high end and let me tell you, those people can really cook! Don’t forget, that is also where Desi Arnaz was from, as well as some other great artists. 
Okay, yeah, Cuban men.... just yeah.
     Yes, now I have to say I do want to go down under. (Minds, people, outta the gutter, if you please.) Yes, Australia and New Zealand. The vineyards of Australia have got to be amazing. One of my favorite vineyards is there, and I would love to visit. Don’t know that much about the food, but I am sure that I would find some amazing talents there as well. 

     New Zealand just looks beautiful. Not so sure I want to go during their winter, however. Of course, those accents make me week in the knees, so there is always that! That’s just a bonus I’m sure. LOL Oh, and they also play rugby...naked! Now who wouldn't want to see that?
Naked Haka anyone?

     So, for those of you who might be in a city where I may be visiting, don’t be afraid. Take a chance on the guy carrying big knives.

     As always, let me remind you that doing something for others makes you feel better and makes you a better person. Doesn't have to cost anything, or very little. Just do it!

    Till next week...

     Max ;-)
Because I can! :D

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Home, but with memories that will last a life time!

Sorry this is a week late, but hey, shit happens. 

     I’m going to start here by saying thank you to everyone who has sent me messages of support after the chaos when the person house sitting for me abandoned my poor dogs. It means lot to me. It was a nightmare I never want to go through again. But it is all over and done with now. So moving on…

     Now…onto the fun stuff! My traveling around the UK and Paris!

     Bugger. Bollocks. What the hell is wrong with you English? You use these words so offhandedly and in such a derogatory fashion. 

     Bollocks. Now for my uninformed American friends, that means balls. Bollocks! Yay for balls, I say. I love balls. Balls are fun. Balls are juicy, in more ways than one. Balls are great to play with. Of course my personal preference is nice furry balls, but all balls are nice. So why in the world would you people disparage such lovely creations? Okay, I actually like the word bollocks, but when I say it, it will be with admiration!
Oh yeah!

     Bugger. Another word that I wonder why you English throw around in such a belittling way? Bugger off! Oh bugger. Of course the source is slang for gay fucking, which is to be taken as an insult. Bah! You have it all wrong. Buggering is wonderful. We love to bugger, or fuck as we on the other side of the pond would say. So lay off, would ya? 

     May I suggest you just say fuck and be done with it. It is much more versatile anyway. It is a verb, noun, pronoun if you choose or an adjective. So much more useful if you ask me and it doesn't single out gay men. Remember now, I don’t really give a rat’s ass what some of you English think of me, but then I really don’t care much of what anyone thinks as a general rule. I’m old enough, and my ass has been around the track enough times to slough it all off without much thought. But again, that’s just me. But come on… find another word please. 

     Poof. Well now, that is just downright rude. Where did poof come from? Hmmm. Let me see. The only thing I found is that it comes from the word puff, as in powder puff. Used to be used to describe an effeminate male who wore face powder. Basically it is just another word for fag. “There were a couple of poofters here.” Translation… “There were a couple of fags here.” 

     Yeah, whatever. Bite me. The last time I had a powder puff touch me was when my mother changed my diaper, so you can just kiss my powdered ass. So bugger off! He he he 

     The way you English phrase things is just bizarre. When are you going to learn to speak proper English? Eh? There are times I have to turn to the lovely Ms. Wells and ask for a translation! So much for speaking the same language. Of course, I had no better luck in France, since I don’t speak French. Hey, at least they looked good while talking. Oh, not to say there weren't some very handsome men in England, quite the contrary. 

     I have to say, I've never seen so many dark-haired men with blue eyes in my life, one of my favorite combinations by the way. They were everywhere! I swear there were times I thought my head was going to rotate right off my shoulders. 

     As I write this, I’m sitting and listening to the waves roll in. Sharing Ms. Wells’ writing spot in Steephill, Isle of Wight is a joy and a privilege. (Yes, Will, it is Steephill NOT Sheephill, as much as you’d like it to be.) Lovely. It’s quite lovely. Lovely, lovely. Simply lovely. Would you like to know how many times I've heard that one single word in the last hour and a half? Let me put it to you this way…there has not been one person, out of many, that has NOT said it. Arrrrrgggghhhh! 

     I’m glad that she can write so much here. I on the other hand had way too many distractions, half naked men being one of them. That’s what happens when you sit on the beach I guess. Well, that and the crying babies. I’d never get as much work done as she does. Amazing. 
A very wet K.C. Wells with a blue cock!

     A few days later we found ourselves in London. During Gay Pride in London it poured the rain. Of course that was the ONLY day it really rained the entire time I was there. Oh bugger. (Crap, now I’m stuck with that one too! HELP ME!) It really did kind of ruin it for me. I didn't think my ass was ever going to dry out. Anyway, we decided to go have a bite to eat and take a nap. The nap didn't happen. 

NOTE: I no sooner got back to the hotel when I got a phone call informing me that my house sitter had abandoned ship. Totally fucked up the rest of my stay, but enough of that. 
Later that night, the lovely Ms. K.C. Wells and I went in search of entertainment. When we got to Soho, the gay section of London, it looked like Mardi Gras. I found myself encased in throngs of vibrating men in the middle of the street. Wow. I was like, OMG. Actually, I think I did a post to that effect. There were these two very hot men, snogging their faces off, right in the middle of the street. Oh, snogging is the Brits way of saying kissing and making out. So sad they can’t just speak simple English. 

     After we got through the thickest part of it, stopping for a quick beer first, we came to a clearing, and low and behold… a urinal! YAY! Not just any old urinal mind you, but one of those that are just open to the world. I really think they are amazing. What a great idea! Of course, I’m just pervy enough to appreciate it for other reasons. Of course I had to get a few pictures! 
     I think it is hysterical that guys will simply whip it out, take a whiz and then forget where they are and turn around to zip up. “Oh look! Penis!” BWHAHAHAHA! I love it. Of course, I had such a good time we went back the following night, when it wasn't quite so crazy, with the charming Ms. Petronella Ford. That is when I got the really good pictures! We sooo need some of these in the States.

     Now leave it to me to find a bar with either strippers or go-go boys. Yep, I found one. And yes, we certainly went. The Village in Soho is a great little pub/bar. Nice men dancing around in next to nothing. Unfortunately, the Brits are a bit on the prudish side, so no full out stripping. Oh well, one must make do with what one has. *sigh* 

     Now then, earlier I said something about the British currency in another post. Remember the whole thing about no one pound notes, only coins? I proved my theory that night. Those poor dancers didn't get tipped once. Not one solitary sole gave those lads any cash. I felt so sorry for them. There they were, shaking all their goodies for all they were worth, and they got no appreciation for it in the way of monetary payment. Wise up England, you NEED one pound notes. Your go-go boys (and girls I’d assume) are going broke! They need help! Get a pound note, support your strippers! Sheesh. 

     The next day I took a bus tour of London on one of the open air double-decker red buses. Quite the experience, I must say. The history there just amazes me. Interesting to see how closely the States and England are tied. (So why the fuck can’t they speak English!?) Again… prudes. There was this amazing statue that was erected in the 1800’s I believe, of a nude man. A lovely statue it is. (crap…am I ever going to get that out of my head?) Of course they went and covered up his junk with a fig leaf. I could only shake my head in dismay. So sad… 

     The rest of my trip was mostly spent in pubs. (I was a bit stressed.) The highlight of the pub crawl was ending up in a Bear Bar/pub for karaoke night, where the lovely Ms. K.C. Wells sang! I kid you not. The only female to do so. Girl’s got some balls, I’ll give her that. She did quite well by the way. (Of course that song has been stuck in my head ever since. Grrrr.)

     I got a little drunk, slept well and got up, washed London off and caught my plane back to the States. Hard to believe that I was there twenty-six days. It was the trip of a lifetime. 

     I’d like to thank the lovely Ms. Wells and her equally lovely hubby, my buddy, for hosting me and showing me such a great time. (And yes, he says lovely just as much.) I’d also like to thank all those at the UK Meet who made it such a memorable experience. Rumor is that next year it may be in Edinburgh. IF it is, you can count on me to be there! 

     It is great to be home, sleeping in my own bed, with my pups around though. There is no place like home. 
Ms. Scarlet
     Now, I have to wonder what happened to that homeless young man, Alexandre, from Paris. I wish I knew. It wasn't much, but I hope what little we did give him had a positive impact on his life. So, remember everyone…it doesn't have to be a lot. It doesn't have to be anything big, but you can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Take the time to do something nice for someone else. Trust me; it will make you feel fantastic and a much better person. Pay it forward or back, whatever the case may be. Just do it! 

     Have a grrreat week, y’all! 


p.s. I'll soon be doing a special blog post on the food! Stay tuned.

Because I can!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ahhh, Gay Paris! Ooo-la-la!

     So, here I sit…. Now, if I were English, I'd probably say, ‘I sat here’. Really? 
     Update: I have driven K.C. Wells and the hubby nuts with ‘lovely’ all week long. They are sick of it. Of course I don’t say it just once. I say it at least three or four, okay maybe five times, so they're really get sick of it. ‘Lovely! Isn't that lovely. Oh, lovelylovely. Aren't you lovely.’ I’m sure they are going to stop saying it completely when all is said and done. If so, my job is done. I figure if I'm going to be miserable, so should they. After all, they helped, right? Pfft, teach them to tease me about one of their own bloody countrymen getting that thing stuck in my head!

     Okay, now for Paris, or I should say Gay Paris. Without realizing it at the time, K.C. and I booked an apartment in the gay district in the heart of Paris. It has been a very long time since I've seen this many gay men in one area. HOT gay men at that. We both sit at the Open Café, having coffee in the mornings and cocktails in the evenings watching them as they pass by. It truly is a wonder we've not gotten whiplash as our heads spun about. At times I guess it looks as if we were watching a tennis match. Just so much to see, don’tcha know. Poor hubby. He has put up with so much.
Don't ya just love the T-Shirt?

     I must say, this has been a very productive trip for me. Did the book signing, saw things I've always wanted to see and ate so much pastry I may explode. The food here has been amazing. What I really enjoyed though, was going to the shops to buy groceries. The French have it so spot on. Small shops to get cheese, meats and then the bread. It is the way it should be. Ahhh Viva la France! 
     Of course I had to visit Pere Lachaise, probably one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. Of course I saw Jim Morrison’s grave, but I specifically went to see Frederic François Chopin. He has to be my all-time favorite composer. Yes, I even played one of his polonaises, while there, in tribute.

     I think one of the things I like most about Paris is the way they live. They seem so casual and laid back. They live life. It appears to me that they make time to live, if that makes any sense. Of course they work and do all the things like Americans do, but they stop work and go live by doing things you're supposed to do to be happy. 
     Let me see if I can explain a little better: As most of you know, I'm an early riser. When I wake up here, there is no one really moving about. The trashmen start about seven in the morning. There is nothing really moving around here at that time. I mean no traffic, no one really out walking. Nothing. All is quiet and calm. In Atlanta…hell, you'd be lucky not to get run over by that time of the morning.

    At eight or so, they are queuing up for their fresh bread and pastries. The cafes are open and people are sitting there having their morning coffees, reading the paper. Things really don’t start really getting what I'd call busy until nine!

Night time…again, something new for me. The French tend not to eat dinner till nine or ten in the evening, unless they have children. They tend to it eat earlier. Oh, and the kids here? Wow, what a difference. They are much better behaved than most of the ones I've witnessed in the states. Such a difference. (Not yours, Jackie. Yours are near perfect.) 
    Scarfs. That is something else you’ll see a lot of in Paris. Everyone wears them. Men and women. They make them look so chic. Of course I'd put one on and look like I was trying to hang myself or something. Funny thing about those Parisians, they can make anything look chic. Gotta say, they are some beautiful people. 
    Okay, so you know how I'm always preaching about doing something nice for others? Now I have proof and a witness that it works. One night, the first night, while walking down the street, coming back from the Open Café and several cocktails, the lovely Ms. K.C. Wells and I pass this young man on the street. He has a backpack and a cup out asking for money, as he sat in a doorway. I noticed that he kept rubbing his heel. It was almost raw from walking it seemed. The next night, again he wasn't there.        The second night, I had some change in my pocket. (Another peeve about you Europeans that I'll cover in a moment.) I tossed it in and kept going. I hate change in my pocket. The next night he wasn't there. The third night he was back. I had a little more change and I tossed it in his cup. 
     Thursday night he was back. I really had a load of change in my pocket. I told K.C. a few nights before that he reminded me of a character in one of her books, Gareth. He could easily have been this young man on the street. She gave me her change as well. It was quite a sum of money. I dumped all the change in his little cup and asked his name. Alexandre. 
     The following night, our last night in Paris and we passed him again. I didn't have any change to give him but he stopped us. He held out this cheap little phone and explained to Ms. Wells (since she speaks French) that because of the money we'd given him the night before he was able to get this little phone so he could get work. He'd also had a good meal. 
     He was smiling and excited. A huge difference from the man the night before who seemed downtrodden and looked hopeless. It wasn't all that much money to me or her, but it was huge for this young man who now had a fighting chance of getting a job and perhaps getting off the streets. It didn't take much, but it was enough to give him hope and a hand up, not a hand out. So you see? A little kindness can make a big difference in someone else’s life. Made Ms. Wells cry. 
     Okay, now for the pet peeve of the week. You Europeans have it all wrong! In the UK you have five pound notes and nothing smaller in paper. In Euros the same thing. Don’t you know there are strippers out there who are starving!? I mean really. How are you supposed to tip a stripper with coins? Huh? There’s no place to tuck the damn things. And then there is the issue of it wearing your pockets out. I mean, come on people. There is only so much change a man can carry. It bulges your pants out, and not in the right way. So, y'all need to get this taken care of. Get more paper money. Save a stripper! 
     I gotta give a special shout out to our favorite waiter at the Open Café, Nicolas. He was great. Super sweet young man. He didn’t make me feel like the strange foreigner that I was. He has a great smile and a personality that will take him far. If y'all ever get to Paris and go to the Open Café, look him up. Tell him hey from the crazy American, Max Vos. “Hey, Nick!”
Nick from Open Cafe

     Ahhh, Paris. Perhaps one day I will be lucky enough to come back. I've enjoyed your history, your culture and your FOOD! Maybe one day… I will return. (No, I did not get laid, you dirty minded pervs. I know you were thinking it too, so don't even try!) 
     INSERT: Why the blog was a day late. Finally, back in the UK. It was one of the worst travel days I've experienced in a long while. Flight delayed four hours. Bad airport food. Bad attitude of some passengers. Running like crazy to catch the ferry. Lots of traffic. I was so done in by the time we arrived I begged to go out for a pint or four! UGH. I was whooped. 
     I am lucky enough to be going back to the Isle of Wight. A few days R&R with the lovely, simply lovelylovely, lovely, K.C. Wells. Then we will be off to London for Gay Pride. Yippee, another major city to explore. I hope my feet hold up just a little bit longer. I'm told there are more urinals to exploit! YAY!
Have no idea who this is but what would a post be without at least one naked guy, right?

     Tune in next week to see what I find out. 
     Once again, it is time to remind you to go and do something else for someone else. Remember, you get more out of it than they do. Trust me. It’s true. 
     Have a grrrreat week, y'all! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

So, here I sit...

     So, here I sit next to the…uh-hmm…lovely K.C. Wells, having my morning coffee. It is interesting to see the view she has while writing. It reminds me of home in Tennessee.

What a view.
   I'm hurrying trying to get this written before I have to run shower, pack and get ready for our trip to Paris. This is a lifelong dream of mine. I've always wanted to visit Paris, and the rest of France actually, and eat my way through it. Can’t help it. It’s the foodie in me. BUT before our early morning flight tomorrow morning, we are going to tour the Titanic museum and do a little tour of the town. Another thing on the bucket list being checked off. I can't FUCKING wait!

     However, there is a small rant I've got to do. I have to get this off my chest before I explode. The English. When are they going to learn their own language? Christ on a crutch, they have some of the most strange phrases I've ever heard. “Gone pear-shaped”. What the hell? And there are some who I know are speaking English, but I can't even understand hardly anything they are saying. They might as well be speaking Latin for all I know! 
     This leads me to the basis for my rant— 
     I flew Virgin Airlines over to the UK. The staff on board were all English, or I presumed at any rate, by their accents. There was this lovely flight attendant named Becky. She was great. Very attentive. Very polite and quite lovely. However, she had this thing about using the word lovely
     “Oh, lovely. Isn't that lovely. Lovely, lovely. Oh, you’re lovely.” Honestly, before I got off that plane, I was ready to strangle her. And it gets worse! Now I can’t stop saying it! Everything is so fucking lovely! I’m going to get a rubber band, place it around my wrist and snap it HARD every time I say it. It is killing me. I have never in my life used that word so much as I have in this past week. I mean really? Can you see me running around saying how lovely everything is? Really? Me? Ugh, I'm ready to slit my wrists. It is ruining my whole persona! Patrick Darcy… HELP! 
     What makes it all so much worse is that both K.C. Wells and her hubby have picked up on it and are now teasing me about it. ARRRRGGGGHHH. So painful. 
     Speaking of which…her hubby has quickly become my best male friend. It has been a long time since I've really had a male friend who I get along with so well. We are so much alike. We get on like a house afire. The problem here is he is soooo very English. I have to laugh because there are times I know I will say something and he looks as if he'd like to crawl under a rock. Poor guy. I do kinda feel sorry for him. 
     I'm actually writing this a day early because I know I won't have time to do it tomorrow and get it posted. Have an early flight in the morning, and even though I get up early, there won't be enough time I'm afraid. This leaves me to ask a question of everyone. Would you prefer I keep, or try to keep, with the Saturday posts, or would you guys like another day? Sometimes Saturdays get really hectic for me. Just wondering. Didn't used to always been like this, but things do change. 
     OH! There’s another thing…public restrooms here. I nearly fell over when I saw what they call them here in the Isle of Wight. Get this… ‘Public Conveniences’! BWHAHAHAHA

     I went from watching guys whip it out in public and piss in a bullet shaped open-air urinal to ‘public conveniences’. Talk about a contradiction. I'm now looking forward to Pride in London to see if they have those same type of out-in-the-open-for-all-to-see urinals. I'm told they do. If they do, I'm going to grab Petranella and stake them out again, this time in old London town. See if we have as much luck in bribing the boys to do a Full Monty. I swear I'm going to get pics this time!

     Before I can do that, I must eat my way through Paris. Major book signing on Saturday at Librairie Les Mots a la Bouche. I've been told that this is the largest gay bookstore in Paris. Not quite sure what to expect. I'm sure I'll find out. Look out Paris, here I come. 
     I also will be doing something that I have been working on for some time now. I think y'all will be pleased with the finished product. I'm a terrible tease, aren't I?

     Okay, till next week… Stop reading this trash and go do something productive. Do something nice for someone else. A total stranger. Trust me, you'll make them and yourself feel better. 
     Be kind, y'all. 
Because I can.

Monday, June 9, 2014

     Do you ever wonder why you do the things you do? Like, why in the hell do I wake up when I do? What the hell? It looks as if I am doomed to wake up at five a.m. every morning, even in the UK. 
     While I had this bit of quiet time, I thought I'd post this little tid-bit. No naked me this time guys. Sorry. 
     So here I sit, at the lovely home of K. C. Wells and her husband, looking out over the rolling green hills of the Isle of Wight. It truly is lovely. The sculpted, rolling landscape of an island covered in shamrock green, glisten in the morning light. What the fuck, it’s still only 5:30 in the morning. With only five hours sleep, I know it is going to be a long day. Thank the powers that be that she showed me where the coffee was!

     I guess that if I have to sit here, I might as well be productive, right? Sure, why not? So I'm reflecting on this past weekend on the UK Meet, held in Bristol. What did I do? What did I learn? Would I go back? These are just a few questions I'm asking myself. 
     Would I go back? Damn skippy I would. I had a great time.

     What did I learn? Well, I learned things about blogging, making my voice heard and things that I could do better. A lot of things that I had already learned were confirmed. I also learned, sadly, that it seems that most of the gay male population of Bristol don’t care for Americans. That’s too bad. There are a lot of decent Americans, just as I am sure there are a lot of decent people all around the world. You can't really go judging others by their individual countries politics.

     What did I do? I had a total blast. Not only was the interaction between other authors, there were the readers, who were the real gems of the weekend, in my mind at least. I think that some of the other authors may have missed out a bit on this point. 
     Of course we are there to promote ourselves, sells our books, make ourselves more marketable, but I think sometimes we lose the connection that makes it all work. The one small piece of the puzzle that gives you the whole picture. I think that some of the readers just want to get to know their favorite authors, but in doing so, they let the authors get to know then, whether know it or not. That is what I found to be the best part of the weekend. 
     If I had to make one complaint about the weekend, it would be that from my point of view, the readers kind of got lost in the shuffle. Most of the workshops seemed to be focused on the writers, not so much the readers. They may not be all that interested in all that stuff. They want to know about their favorite books and characters and the people who wrote them. That’s what I was hearing at any rate. 
     This is something that I learned: I think the readers who wanted to meet me were wondering if I was really the rambling, blithering idiot that I've portrayed online. Well, duh. Having worked in a professional kitchen, one tends to not have much of an internal filter. That’s a good thing because I really didn't have much of one to begin with. Now that I'm basically retired, I really don't have one. What I'm saying is, I really don't give a flying rat’s ass what anyone thinks of me anymore. I’m not out to impress anyone. So if they were looking for the in-the-flesh, raw Max Vos, I think they may have found him. Not like I'm hard to find. 
     I’m afraid that I may have proven that the stereotype of Americans being loud, boisterous and obnoxious. Truly, that is not how all Americans act. However, that is just me. I rarely hold back. I try to say what I mean, and mean what I say. I also try to do what I say. If I say I'm going to be there at a certain time, by god I’m going to do everything I can to be there. That is just the way I am.

     So back to the UK Meet… 
     I’d like to thank all those who put so much hard work and so much of their time into organizing this event. It was quite obvious that a lot of time, care and love went into it. It showed. 
     Thank you to all the readers who reached out to me and made my weekend, and first trip to the UK so memorable. You guys rocked! 
     Thank you to my lovely hostess, Ms. K. C. Wells for putting up with all my antics and bad behavior. Yes, I behaved, badly, of course. 
     A special thank you to Mr. Patrick Darcy who I am proud to call my friend. You may be an auld hore, but you still have some catching up to do. Bless his heart. I can only hope that my trip to Paris and then onto London proves to be as much fun.

     Thanks again, y'all. 
     Now…go…do something, preferably for someone else, no matter how big or how small. 
     p.s. Yeah, so I lied. What is one of my posts without naked men!

Just because I can.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

     Better late than never I say… 

What's the UK without a little Paddy, eh? 


     So here I sit, on a terrace in Bristol, UK. Just came from a workshop about blogging With Monique and Mark. Great workshop. It’s good to know that I got a lot of things right. That was purely a mistake, or should I say luck. I didn’t get much wrong, but missed a few things. Oh well…shit happens. I’ll have to work on that. 
     Today, I’m missing my sister a bit. I know she would have loved being here. Perhaps one day I’ll convince her to leave the farm and go on a trip with me like we used to. That would be so much fun. 
     Anywho… The UK Meet. What a blast. Gotta say it didn’t start off so well. Got here late Wednesday afternoon and basically got something to eat and died. BUT I have to say that I had one of the best meals I’ve had in a very long time. 
     Now, of course I’ve always heard that the UK was notorious for bad food. Well Aqua, near King Street, Bristol proved that theory wrong. OMG, it was fabulous. Now for those who know me, know that I am a total foodie. They had a pre fixe menu that included fish croquettes, a rump steak (a first for me) and a tiramisu that was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was the croquettes that blew me away. Just perfection. Okay, enough of my food experiences. OH no, not quite. 
     Another meal… ICK. Sothern Fried Pickles. Epic fail. Enough said. 
     More about the UK. So the second night we were here, we meaning, me and K.C. Wells, bless her heart, we went to see the gay nightlife. Sigh… seems that most of the younger population in the UK do not care for Americans. One came right out and told me so and exactly why. Okay, that was one person. So we went to the ‘Bear Bar’, which of course fits me to a ‘T’, right? Nope. No one said a fucking word to me. They went so far as to even avoid eye contact. Needless to say I was pretty bummed out. 
     Hey, it got better. It got a LOT better. The other authors here are so much fun. Catching up with old friends, meeting new ones has been great. The one thing I really got a kick out of was meeting the readers over here. They are hysterical. They have kept me laughing the entire weekend. 
     I gotta tell a little story here. Not really a story because it did happen. I still am giggling about the whole affair. After the dinner Friday night, I sat with Petra, Sam and then Hendrik, outside on a short wall. Why? It seems that they have these public urinals here. OPEN urinals. Really, the guys just walk up, whip it out and take a piss. Right there in front of god and country. No one seemed to bat an eye. I was, needless to say, intrigued. Ha! I went with Petra, got some beer and did what Patrick Darcy called appalling, which is saying something coming from that old whore, bless his heart. What did I do, you may ask? Well hell, what I’ve always done. I got these young college men to do the Full Monty for a beer! Did it work? Of course. Duh. I’m an old hand at this.      
Public street urinal. Too funny!

     We laughed and carried on for hours, sitting there on that wall ,watching these guys take a piss, drinking beer and getting the lads to do a bit of a show. I had a total blast. Sadly, I paid for it the next morning. The older one gets the harder it is to recover from drinking. And boy did I drink. As I predicted… Darcy just couldn’t hang. Seems he isn’t all that well versed with tequila. Poor boy. One day the good Irish lad may be as demented, as I. As he said, “Is there no end to your debauchery?” Nope, Patty, there isn’t. Take notes.

Patrick with his clutch bag. 

     Saturday night we had the gala dinner. It was lovely. Great fish. Not overcooked, thank goodness. Hake has always been a favorite of mine. (Sorry, the foodie in me just pops out.) The entertainment was good, but it was the ‘butlers’ that got me. Of course several had to come and get me to see before they even started their night of entertainment. Three men wearing nothing but little aprons. I was in little piggy heaven.      The one named Alex had my name written all over him. His ass was a work of art! OMG, my tongue was craving rug burn. As you can see, I did get pictures. I was also allowed to pet the glorious, fur covered orbs. SIGH it was lovely. I’m still salivating over that ass. I didn’t want him. I just wanted to play with him like I would a cuddly puppy. So cute. Well…maybe that isn’t quite the truth, but I could have been happy with that for a bit.


     Today, the wifey and I, K.c. Wells, and I will be off to the Isle of Wight. I’ve heard so much about this place that I’ve got to see it. So much there I want to see and do. This will be the vacation I’ve been needing. Will be so good to see my buddy, Andrew as well. Great conversations we have together. 
     A great bit thank you to all who put the UK Meet together and to those attendees who made my first UK trip special. 
     Next week… a major surprise! Stay tuned. :D 
     As always, please take the time to do something nice for someone else. Brighten their day. It will do wonders for you as well. 
     Till next week, y’all!