After a year away, I’m afraid my blogging muscles have atrophied to such a point that any attempt to write pithy – yet witty – observances of daily life causes sharp pains in my underused gluteus bloggimus muscles.
Thus my first Gay Groom blog of the year will be short… and one of those “Year in Review” blogs that are mostly photos as not to have to actually work at writing so very much.
I have, over the last week, heard quite a bit about how awful 2010 was. For your humble blogger, I have to admit that though it was not a red banner year for the world in general (though it was better than 1942, 1974 and 2001), 2010 was a fine year for The Gay Groom. Even this blog had over 15,000 visitors in the twelve months I was away. And that’ s about 1000 times more than read the chapter of my new novel I had published in an obscure literary magazine.
2010 was my first year as a married man. And marriage, I must admit, is probably the wisest thing I’ve ever done. But enough about the charm of marriage… we’ll save that for another blog, let us return to the Year in Review since I’m already tiring…
In January the Gay Groom (and card-carrying Liberal) was out on the streets of Toronto again protesting against the Conservative government’s decision to prorogue (shut down) parliament to save their necks:
Jeffrey looking righteously indignant for the camera
A few days later I joined a mass protest in downtown Toronto. I suggest everyone do one juicy protest each year; just so your principles don’t rust.
Toronto demonstration against Proroguing Parliament
During the protest I was actually hit with an empty Pepsi can by someone on the sidewalk and called ‘a commie’. I think it was “The people united will never be defeated” chant that irritated him. Now I’ve protested for over twenty-five years and had never been actually hit by a projectile before. It’s sort of a strange badge of honour.
At the end of January I celebrated my 42nd birthday. The husband flew me off to New York City for the weekend where we took in an opera at the Met and headed out for a birthday dinner in the Village with some NYC friends. Here’s Sean strolling through Lincoln Center before heading in to see a matinee of Verdi’s Stiffelio:
Sean outside The Met
Inside The Met for the first time
Waiting for our table at Jeffrey's NYC Birthday Dinner in the Village
NYC was so cold that there was little sight seeing this trip, though we did see a few things. I was finally able to get to the The Neue Galerie on Fifth Avenue to see Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”. More photos of my NYC birthday at http://on.fb.me/hfmiCW.
In February the Winter Olympics came to Canada and Canada kicked some major world ass. Canada ranked 1st in the world with 14 Gold (Germany was second with 10). The golden moment was the gold-medal Canada-US hockey game on February 28th when Canada won 3-2 in overtime.
Canada wins hockey Gold in Vancouver.
By March we were in desperate need for a little sun on our buns and headed to Palm Springs (for the first time) for a week. We stayed at a guest house near the downtown area… and had a lovely time!
Our first time in Palm Springs. Sadly the guesthouse has now closed it doors.
A Palm Springs brunch
Kathy Griffin on stage in Palm Springs
While in Palm Springs we bought tickets to see Kathy Griffin’s stage show as well. We were lucky to have some great weather while we were down there. More Palm Springs photos here: http://on.fb.me/fb4nhd
In June the G20 Summit was held in Toronto… and we got the hell out of there. Now I’m an activist from way back but what exactly were these people protesting? Everyone with an axe to grind who showed up to cause problems. The protests, vandalism, car burning et al that ensued showed up we made the right decision to leave for a few nights at a B&B and then a little camping:
Camping during G20 weekend
It was the husband’s first time camping and I was surprised he enjoyed it so much. We went back to the same campground new Lake Erie a few more times during the summer. More photos of the G20 Getaway at http://on.fb.me/fxgLXK
Pride Toronto was a week late due to the G20 this year. During the parade, I marched with my fellow Liberals and Liberal MPP, Glen Murray and Liberal MP Bob Rae:
Marching with my fellow Liberals in the Pride Parade
Jeffrey with Liberal MP Bob Rae at Pride Parade
Jeffrey with Liberal MPP, Glen Murray
More Toronto Pride photos from 2010 at: http://on.fb.me/dIz6Bx
In early July Canada was graced with the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Seeing that I live only a few blocks from where she was having her send-off ceremony, I stopped by. And, though no booster for the monarchy, I was thrilled to see The Queen walk by… and she even condescended to give us a little chat:
Queen Elizabeth's Walk About
A Royal Smile
I also saw Prince Phillip, the Premiere, the Governor General and (unfortunately) the Prime Minister. More photos of when the Queeen met Jeffrey: http://on.fb.me/9s9jvb
I took a video of my meeting with the Queen and uploaded to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xObPl7fOeoI
Later in the summer we spent a weekend in Stratford, Ontario where we saw Christopher Plummer in The Tempest. Of course he was brilliant! I must admit I’ve been crushing on Captain Von Trapp for many years! After the performance Plummer was signing his autobiography:
Jeffrey with Christopher Plummer
For more photos of our Stratford weekend: http://on.fb.me/dL2SwQ
In August we headed back to New York City (very easy by using Porter Airlines out of the Toronto Island airport) and enjoyed the big city in the heat of summer:
Jeffrey in New York City
Saw the BRILLIANT play "The Twentieth Century Way" (part of Fringe NYC). Two virtuoso performances!
There was much more sightseeing this trip than there was in the January cold. More photos of our summer trip to NYC: http://on.fb.me/dmdLHc
Phew! This is taking a long time to do! The Gay Groom forgot how time consuming a blog is!
Off to take a break of clementines and coffee…
Alright, I’m back. In September, the husband and I headed to Madrid and Paris for two weeks:
Sean with Piccaso's 'Guernica' at the Museo Reina Sofia.
Jeffrey and Sean at the foot of the Eiffel Tower
Jeffrey with Otto Dix's "Portrait of Journalist Sylvia von Harden" at Centre Pompidou.
It was the husband’s first trip to Madrid – and he loved it! More photos of Madrid and Paris at: http://on.fb.me/9keEdo
In October we celebrated our first anniversary in Montreal:
Saw the Otto Dix exhibition for the second time (saw in NYC in August)
Our First Wedding Anniversary In Montreal
Duck in a can at Au pied de cochon à Montréal.
Montreal is beautiful in the fall! More anniversary photos at: http://on.fb.me/dWCtq2
In mid-October the husband and I ran a 5K for Multiple Myeloma. What is Multiple Myeloma? It’s a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood. It is also the cancer that my father has been battling for over a year.
Sean and Jeffrey at the starting line of the Multiple Myeloma 5K.
Together Sean and I raised over 800 dollars for MM research at The Princess Margaret Hospital here in Toronto.
In October I was also THRILLED to meet my favourite living author, Jonathan Franzen. So many authors can be read creeps when you meet them in person. Franzen was absolutely charming:
Jonathan Franzen signing books
Christ! What a long year!
Thank god I’m almost done!
Soon it was Halloween. And I thought it would be funny for the atheist (raised Baptist) to be a priest for Halloween:
Fr. Jeffrey on Halloween at Woodys
Halloween is like Pride Lite in Toronto. Lots of folks out on the streets and some amazing costumes. For more Halloween photos: http://on.fb.me/gLLgAA
But it wasn’t all laughs. I worked on George Smitherman’s campaign for Mayor of Toronto. In February it looked like we were going to have the city’s first openly gay mayor – but was by summer the tide had turned. I was bitterly disappointed when the city chose a fat homophobic slob slob on election night… but what can you do? Here is Smitherman, his husband and son at the ‘victory’ party after the election.
Politically, it wasn't the best year.
Then before you knew it, November flew by and it was Xmas again. My mother was right about how fast the years go by as we get older. It’s like a snowball picking up steam as it rolls downhill…
Our pride disco ball ornament
Jeffrey showing off a piping hot tourtière.
Jeffrey with a new nifty camera
As usual, Xmas comes but once a year and lasts two months. Happily I have already taken down the decorations and tree (I like it down on Jan01… though I’m usually sick of it around Dec15). More 2010 Xmas photos: http://on.fb.me/gpIU14
So that, in a nutshell, was our year in review. All in all, not a bad year. And as we start 2011… and since I’m tired of typing… your humble blogger will simply wish you and yours the very best for a happy and healthy New Year.
The Gay Groom will also try to blog a little more often this year… one could, if one was inclined, almost call it a resolution of sorts.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom