2017 Top Ten

We lost so much this year…the Obamas, pride in our nation, my long and beautiful hair (for which many are still in mourning)… but whilst the world melted down and we became closer and closer to nuclear annihilation, I found ways to stay entertained, delighted, and discovered ways to bring joy back into to my life. (Lolz, I sound like Oprah.)

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NEW YORK CITY: QUEEN OF ENCOUNTERS

I remembered something that has become a bit of my personal philosophy: you have to put yourself into situations for them to come true. I wouldn’t have had this or any number of bizarre and wonderful opportunities without taking the initiative to do it. I wouldn’t have meet Angela Lansbury, Prince Charles wouldn’t have winked at me, I wouldn’t have befriended ladies who live in chateaus or Villefranche apartments. I wouldn’t know British authors that I consider friends or professors in Kenya. I wouldn’t have lost Lady M in Giza and I wouldn’t have Hassan in Luxor. Life is about making it as grand and good as it can. In that moment, looking at the chow and the French bulldogs, I knew that I was exactly where I was meant to be.

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NEW YORK CITY: Theatre Queens

I was in Villefranche. I was in Paris. I was at home. I was walking through Los Angeles. I was thriving and having something of a spiritual moment as the music washed over me. My eyes got all watery — probably some kind of allergic reaction to the curtains, you know? — and it was magic. I always forget how profound an impact music and stories make on us. This one has been in my life for so many years, and I had grown accustomed to the idea of never having this chance. So to be in that audience having this rare opportunity was a delirious delight. I did not take it lightly at all. 

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NEW YORK CITY: Art Ho in the City

The blizzard was not nearly as severe as all the weather forecasters had predicted, but the fact that I had to suffer in this insufferable way was simply too much for me. Forlornly, I made my way to the little cafe in the lobby of the Jane Hotel. I glowered at the freshly painted walls, signed wistfully at the memory of the Café Gitane’s lost nearness, scowled when I was told that they didn’t have an espresso machine, haughtily accepted drip coffee, and took a seat beside the windows whilst waiting for overpriced avocado toast to arrive. I was insufferable. The toast was actually great. I love a seedy bread. 

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THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #186

I was completely satisfied with my journey to Mexico’s capital. I wish that I had never left. I wish I lived there now. I adored the Metro and the cemeteries and the glorious Catholic churches and the marvelous felines that roamed the streets. Each day I was there, I found something new and wondrous to delight me. I won’t go into too much detail right now because I’m going to start my travel narratives soon, so just know that Mexico City completed me. I miss it with the aching heart I have for Paris and Luxor. 

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NEW YORK CITY: Blizzard Queens

She said something profound right then, after tutting dismissively at me, “You just live, Ben! Don’t listen to anybody, and if they ask what’s wrong, say that you fell in a damn ditch and you hurt your knee. OH! And always talk to the bartender; he has all the right answers and you don’t have to take him home.”

“Queen!” I muttered, but I don’t think she understood.

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THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #180

Serendipitously, one night when I was in London, a small theatre was putting the show on, but I oddly decided to go to the Apple Store in Regent Street to watch Eddie Izzard do a show. I’m glad I did as I met the woman who is the voice actress for Piglet in Germany, and that’s just a silly thing to write, and I’m inordinately pleased have had that experience.

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THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #179

I adore them, obviously, I worship their existence, but I realized that I’m not always consciously thankful for their presence in my life. That changed yesterday when I realized Eddie might be no more. I love that behemoth of a moody feline. He’s an angel and he’s already used up three of his nine lives. I don’t ever want the last one to come. Until it does, I will love him with all my heart.

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