And I'm crossing a lot of things off my to-do list:
My first visit to Orlando that isn't built around a Disney vacation. Keith and Andrew have been bugging me to come visit them here for years, so I finally booked the trip, packed my sorry excuse for a swimsuit ... and here I am!
My first time reading The Da Vinci Code. I bought it way back in like 1975 when it was available only in a 75 lb hardcover edition. Now that it's out in a convenient paperback, I decided to schlep the damn thing to Florida and back with me. I'm halfway through it (at this writing they're all holed up in the French chateau while enemies from every side close in on them) so don't ruin it for me. And this might sound as sacreligious as the book itself, but I don't think it's very good. Sure, the plot is fascinating and fast-paced. And I've always been sucker for stories about ancient secrets bubbling up to drive modern adventures. But the writing. Oy, the writing. There are two kinds of lazy writing I find inexcusable when it's done by professionals: tons of -ly adverbs ("they entered the house carefully while he looked around expectantly") and tons of adjective-noun combinations ("the red book in the wooden table in the vast room held the terrible secret that drove the endless plot"). The Da Vinci Code is guilty of the second offense. In spades. I mean in endless spades. Granted, you can't avoid adjectives, and I have frequently phoned in some adjective-laden posts just to get something online so you, my dear readers, don't get bored from waiting and start poking around and discover that there are acutally more interesting things to read on the Internets. But I'm not charging you a thing to read my blog. And it's not an international best-seller. And it's not being turned into a freakin' movie.
My first visit to a nude beach. (SPF 30! SPF 30!) I hadn't seen either ocean in more than 15 years, so I was more excited to see the waves and contemplate the watery vastness than to frolic about with the uninhibited and unclothed, who are not traditionally obsessed with physical fitness anyway. And it was pretty windy and hovering near the cool side of comfortable yesterday, so I just read my book and napped a bit as the waves crashed endlessly ashore about 10 feet from us. Technically, nuding is not allowed on Florida beaches, but Playalinda (just north of Cape Canaveral) has little fenced-off areas where hardcore nudists can congregate without sending the general population into a downward spiral of witchcraft, lesbianism and child-eating. And as a man who almost never spends time in the sun, I wasn't interested in burning anything useful, but in the interest of having something interesting to blog about (so when are you gonna start being interesting, Jake?) I went almost nude (I kept my sunglasses on) for a very quick moment in the sun and another 10 or so minutes in my chair with my book. Then it just felt silly so I put my ugly suit (my ugly swimsuit, not my ugly birthday suit) back on.
My first visit to Disney World in 2006. OK, in April 2006. Keith dances in one of the shows at Disney-MGM Studios, and he signed our friend David and me in for the day on Friday while he worked. David and I hit the best parts of three parks in 12 hours and ended our day parked at one of my favorite spots: the lakeside cafe in Epcot's Mexico pavilion, where we watched the fireworks show over spicy goodness and a shared margarita. (Damn. Look at all those adjectives. This paragraph is doomed to be turned into another Tom Hanks vehicle.)
My first visits to Club Orlando and the Parliament House. Keith and I worked out at Club Orlando's awesome gym yesterday, where he pushed my chest and shoulders to a state of abject pain. But it was the good kind of abject pain. (We did not, however, partake of the club's more prurient offerings.) Then we headed over to the famed Parliament House, where Kieth is easily the hottest backup dancer in the drag shows. I'd heard all kinds of stories about the Parliament House, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But it's totally cool, with tons of bars and a fabulous outdoor patio and great shows and a restaurant and even a time-share resort area going up next door. And after his shows, we stayed up dancing until 3:00. So now I'm tired AND my feet hurt AND my chest and shoulders are screaming at me every time I reach for my mouse.
On the agenda for the rest of the trip: Finishing my book. Sleeping in the sun. Working my back and/or legs as hard as we worked my chest and shoulders. Finding me a suitable swimsuit that is somewhere between the baggy Target special I usually wear and the squarecut things the trendy gay boys with the little waists frolic around in. Getting my blog turned into a movie.