Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BECAUSE WE SHOULD ALWAYS LISTEN TO OUR GRANDMA J

When Pumpkin Delight stopped over for martinis last week, she asked me about my favourite childhood memory. I didn't have a particularly fabulous childhood for several reasons, and not a single good memory came to mind.

Grandma J in her heroic optimism reminded a very excellent childhood memory I wrote about when I was back on My Big Fat American Journey or The Adventures of THAT Shirt. (Remember that? I am still not done showing you all of the slides either!)

So big hugs to Grandma J for reminding me of summer days, bike rides, candy store grab bags, creepy viaduct tunnels.

Now in the midst of this wholesome feeling I need to make a childhood confession from when I was eleven.

In the middle of the night, I stole money out of my mother's purse.

Once you get over the shock horror of it all, after about a two weeks of thinking of all the candy it could buy, I used the money one Friday night to order pizza so my mom didn't have to cook when she came home from work.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

DEAR SHERRY

Dear Sherry

I respect that we all have differences in beliefs and opinions, and I am all for discussing and celebrating these differences so it is with great respect that I say do not understand why you feel so much anger that I, as your fellow gay American, have been inspired and moved by the election of Barack Obama.

What clearly you failed to read in my words was that I do not feel Obama is a messiah or a saviour… even The Wizard was only a man.

However some men have charisma, vision and persuasive inspiration. Obama is such a man.

Only time will tell what kind of a President Barack Obama will be, however for one Tuesday in January 2009, most of the world inspired by the spirit of hope, joined hands with their neighbour and we all became one.

That feeling was what the world has been so desperate for and even if it was destined to last for only one Tuesday in January 2009, it will forever stand as a reminder that united, we as humankind are capable of greatness.

To me that is inspiring.

Sorry you missed it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

ANOTHER MARTINI, PUMPKIN?

Continued....

Pumpkin Delight: If you could have any other job than the one you have now, what would you do? Why?

Hula Hank:

I would produce musicals. That way, I could direct, design and star in them.

But you know when I was 10 I wanted to be a figure skater, when I was 12 I wanted to be an international fashion designer, 13 and advertising executive, at 14 I wanted to live on a commune, when I was 16 I wanted to be a male model and at 18 I wanted to own a cabaret, from then on out there were flashes of being a famous trashy novel writer, torch song singer, event planner, restaurateur, fashion buyer, radio DJ, piano player, interior decorator and TV presenter.

So ask me again next week.

Can I get you another martini?

Oh yeah, that reminds I was hired as Royal Martini Maker for
The Queen, which, of course I have dreamt about my entire life.

PD: What is your favourite childhood memory?

HH: Uh oh! We are going into childhood! I better make this a double.

You know as I sit here chatting with you, it is very difficult for me to think of a good childhood memory. Give me a second.

PD: (sips martini)

HH: (gulps martini)

PD: (sips martini)

HH: (gulps martini)

PD: (sips martini)

HH: I got nothing.

PD: OK, well if you were to have any celebrity as a best friend, who would you choose?

HH: Ha! Ha! Ha! Now we are talking! I would have to say Bette Midler. I don't really know why, except that a few weeks ago, I had this dream that I was filling in at work for a friend of mine, who happened to be a CEO of some company. I was trying to get a hold of someone on the phone and I told the secretary to call every 2 minutes until I got a hold of this person, when suddenly a call came through and my secretary said "I have Bette on hold."

Well, I got on the phone and we started talking as if we had known each other for ages, then she appeared in my office and I started to talk to her about when she starred in Gypsy, more specifically that I pretend to be Mama Rose, which I do actually do, and I just couldn't figure out this certain section of choreography during "Rose's Turn".

So she showed me and then my puppy woke me up.

So because she would have some great jokes and teach me choreography it would be Bette Midler.


PD: If world leaders told you they would solve any world problem of your choosing which problem would it be?

HH: A bad martini.

PD: (outrageous laugh, for approximately 5 minutes)

HH: Where do I even begin with the world's problems? There are so many, and I am sure that lots of them are cruel necessities. I want to say something along the lines of anger. If we didn't have anger we wouldn't have hate which means we wouldn't have war or racism or homophobia or ageism or xenophobia or genocide.

So I guess I choose for them to solve hate.

(HH's mobile phone rings (ringtone: "All the Meat and No Potatoes" by Fats Waller))

HH: Oh look! It's Bette!

PUMPKIN DELIGHT WANTS TO KNOW....

My! This certainly has been the week for interviews, hasn't it? I was thinking that I should just devote my whole blog from here on out to answering questions, what do you think?

So Pumpkin Delight's foreign affairs representative (ie her e-mail) travelled over a very large ocean, a very dry contintent and a very expansive gap in timezones so we could hang out by the pool, drink cocktails and have a good old fashioned chin wag...

My Stenographer is a sucker for a cocktail and stuck around to record everything that was said.

Pumpkin Delight: So tell me how and why did you move to Australia?

Hula Hank: I am in the Witness Protection Program.

PD: (blank stare)

HH: Really what happened was I was in a relationship with an Australian who had lived in the US most of his life, but was feeling the strong desire to move back home.

Eventually he took a position here and because of Australia allowing for immigration of "inter-dependant partners", I tagged along.

I was happily living in Chicago where we met and was devasted to find out that he lived in Milwaukee. I had no idea where the fuck that was, to find out that it was only about one and half hours drive or train ride north of Chicago.

He worked at a high level in a very specialised field which did not allow him to move from Milwaukee, so after a alternating weeks... he came down, I went up... I made the decision to leave Chicago for colder pastures.

Milwaukee is boring frozen tundra wasteland of deep fried cheese curds and bad beer. The highlight of fashion was attending the yearly Holiday Sweater Show, so as you can see, I fit right in. LOL

I become horribly depressed and the thought of escaping the town dominated by thoughts. By the end of my time there, he could have told me that he accepted a job in Timbuktu and I would have packed my bags that night.

At the same time, America had a year under the Bush regime and had began to make a great shift towards uber-christianity, war and divisive politics. It was no longer a country that accepted me or that I felt safe in.

I didn't feel threatened by terrorism, I felt threatended that I was no longer part of a country that included me in its politics and where I was no longer allowed to speak my opinion of the government or continue my birthright of the pursuit of happiness, because my happiness did not fit in nicely with one man's interpretation of Bible.

Of course, when I moved away from America, I was greeted by a world of anti-American hostility and frustration. It was almost as if I was single handedly been responsible for electing Bush and going to war.

Seven years later, it only got worse. Now the world is broke, people are losing their jobs and their homes and it is all America's fault. The difficult part is that I wished I didn't agree with them.

Now Pumpkin, I am going to admit something to you that even Stuart does not know.

When I watched the Inauguration of Barack Obama, I cried.

The next night when I watched the recap of his speech on the 10 o'clock news, and the world's reaction to his election, I cried even more.

After seven years, in one afternoon, the hostility has lifted. My country is no longer the World's embarrasment, it is now the World's hope.

For the first time in a very long time, My country is inspired, and in turn has inspired the world.

Pumpkin, honey, wake up.
More to come...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"IT'S MIDNIGHT, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR INAUGURATION IS?" OR "THE DAY I INTERVIEWED WITH THE QUEEN"

This is so ridiculous, here is it 11:00pm and I still waiting for the bloomin' Inauguration.

Why is this so ridiculous? It is not really, except I have an 8:30 am meeting to discuss a 75-page business plan I wrote over the course of the past few weeks. Who does things like that at 8:30 in the morning when the Inauguration is on all night long?

Seriously I am so totally going to quit. It doesn't matter anyway because I am interviewing for a fantastic new position working for The Queen. That's right, THE Queen, as Royal Dog Trainer.

Why did I get offered an interview for this specific position? I don't know... and I am working serious overtime to avoid making any doggy-style jokes here.

In order to be considered further for this, a-hem, position, I had to have an interview with HRH Phrump. I took my stenographer with me so I could have a record of this meeting. I think it went well.


The Queen asks: Hank, the most important question we have for you today is, Can you teach Gracie to Hula?

HH: Your Royal Highness, I am truly humbled in your presence.

The Queen: (blank stare)

HH: Any creature can learn to Hula, the only difficulty will be in finding a coconut bra and grass skirt small enough to fit a dog.

I assume that you already have a Royal Ukulele Player?

The Queen: (blank stare)

HH: (blank stare)

The Queen: When Gracie pees on the Dining Room rug, what will your course of action be?

HH: What rug? What pee? Who's Gracie? Can I make you a Royal martini?

The Queen: (blank stare)

HH: Don't worry, Queenie, I won't use the good stuff you save for company. Do you have any olive brine? I like it dirty!

The Queen: (blank stare)

HH: No? That's OK I carry my own brine for just these emergencies.

The Queen: Because Gracie is...

HH: Just a sec, Honey Q, I can't hear you over the cocktail shaker. OK, that's better. What were you saying now?

The Queen: Because Gracie is not “food motivated” what kinds of rewards will you be using?

HH: Maybe puppy wuppy is motivated by martinis. I know that martini motivate me, and Queenie, I am very motivated! I see you giving me that look... So you disapprove of starting her out on hard liquor. Maybe you are right. Ha! Ha! Of course you are right, you are THE QUEEN!! Can I try on your tiara?

The Queen: What is your philosophy on pet “cobedding?”

HH: Wooooo hooooooo!!!!! Wait... What?

The Queen: Do you actually feel qualified to take on such an enormous responsibility?

HH: Oh honey, I have had much bigger martinis than this one.

The Queen: (blank stare)

HH: Oh look! You have a dog!



I think I have this one in the bag. Fingers crossed.


TODAY THE WHOLE WORLD IS AMERICAN

I cannot express to you how excited I am about the Inauguration. Well, actually I can. They are showing it "live" here at beginning at 1:25am and I plan on staying up all night to watch it. Exactly 3 hours to go.

3 hours? Oy vey. I could die waiting.

Monday, January 12, 2009

THE JASON SHOW INTERVIEWS

During a session of martinis (for me ), several days, an entire ocean and breadth of a drought-ridden continent between us, The Jason Show and I (and the rest of the blogosphere) sat down for a probing session of Q & A.

Jason: Are you a gassy fella?

Hula Hank: No, I do not have offensive emissions.

Except for once a day when, for five minutes straight, all of the build-up comes trumpeting out with the force of Old Faithful.

This is usually done when I am in total isolation and is usually followed by the kids choosing that precise moment afterwards to come into the room to give me a hug, only to immediately run out tell everyone in the house what happened.


Jason: Describe the time when you came to the realization that you were gay?

Hula Hank: Probably when I was 10 or 11 and couldn't get the thought of a naked Mr Brady and his three sons out of my head.

In saying that, I don't believe when I was that young I ever thought about it in the clinical terms of "sexual orientation." I only know that those are the fantasies and feelings I had and there was no connotation of it being right or wrong, gay or straight.

It was not until about 13 when the environment around me started to fill with the idea that it was wrong or un-natural.

When I was 13, in the eighth grade I didn't want to go to a school dance with a certain girl and so she told everyone that I was gay.

From that day I was greeted in the hall with "Fag" "Homo" "Cocksucker" The verbal assault I could block out, the physical attacks were more difficult to ignore.

One day I had a total meltdown and after a particular harrowing attack, broke down in tears. I was promptly sent to the Vice Principal's office where I was informed that if people were calling me a Fag, I must have done something to make them do so.

Thus began a feeling of intense isolation. Over the next year I began to realise that I am not the same as everyone else, nor could I truly relate to anyone else around me, or be honest about my crushes, my thoughts, my feelings... My Self really.

By the time I reached high school, the closer the connection between my fantasies and sexuality became until they were joined and the lightbulb flashed over my head and the epiphany arose "Oh! I am gay."

Around 15, life outside of school and I were introduced and began to get better acquainted. There are other people out here like me! And they hang out here and buy their muffins over there and have parades!!


Jason: How long is your...?

Hula Hank: ...Foot? A massive 12.5 inches long.


Jason: What makes you laugh really hard?

Hula Hank: A really witty punchline.

For instance, the line from Absolutely Fabulous: "The whole world is one big global shopping mall and you are the last one to still think there is an exit."

or from a Mae West film "Ten men at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired."

Oh, and the time when my sister and I, both grown adults, fly out to Montana for my dad's wedding and during the rehearsal, I had a disagreement with their preacher about lowering my head to a lit candle. Their preacher explained that this action acknowledged god's presence and I explained that I was not going to do that since I did not believe that god was present.

Needless to say the preacher threw me out of the church. My sister followed me out and we went on a walk. Fifteen minutes later we saw my dad's car driving up the street, so we turn and run and hide behind a tree so he wouldn't see us.

My sister and I both started to hysterically laugh at the naughtiness of it all and then at the ridiculousness of running away from your dad when you are an adult.

Jason: What makes you cry?

Hula Hank: Suddenly realising that the story I just told you is not really that funny after all.

When I tell you the first time my dad had spoken to either my sister or my self in over 4 years was when he rang to tell us he was getting married again. How my sister and I were the only two siblings to fly across the country in the hope that our dad would love us again and how when that didn't happen we ran away from him and hid. And how when we laughed we really wanted to cry.

Jason: Now for a bonus question.

Hula Hank: Oh like a box of Cracker Jacks.

Jason: What do you like/dislike about where you live?

Hula Hank: I must admit that after seven years of being in Australia, I love it less than when I first arrived. However, after growing up in constant blizzards, I like the year-round hot weather, I also like the landscape and uniqueness of the animals. I like that the bush is so rugged and primitive, that you can still get rained in, vanish, get eaten, or poisoned on your way to work.

Although most Australians would never admit to this, they live in small circles and are not welcoming to newcomers in those circles. Which, when you are a newcomer can be exceptionally tough and lonely. I also dislike the lack of culture and musical theatre. But what I dislike the most is the fact that they put butter on every sandwich, whether it adds to the flavour or not.

Friday, January 9, 2009

BLOGGING MARTINI-SIDE

It is Friday night down here on the wrong side of the world. No one is home. Stuart is out getting Courtney set up for her first dressage show outside of the pony club circuit. Oh because did I mention that she got a new horse for Christmas?

Whilst they are down at the stables dying horses and painting hooves and braiding manes, Blane is out with his Grandpa at the bicycle races. Oh because did I mention he got a new skateboard for Christmas?

Soooooo, that leaves me home alone left to my own devices...

I debated watching Little House on the Prairie on the big screen, going for a swim in the pool or practicing my poached egg technique, but martinis and dancing around to club remixes of my favourite musicals won out.

This decision was made after watching a few bits of Nigella Lawson on YouTube.

Let me tell you about Nigella Lawson, she is English and she has a cooking show. I am sure that she is on the Food Network, so you may have heard of or seen her shows.

I have never been interested in Nigella because of the cookbooks she publishes. You know, one of those recipes books entitled How to Be A Domestic Goddess and have three pages of ingredients per recipe, all of which one would never be able to find without traveling to Italy and picking your own mushrooms and then popping over to Greece to prepare feta from Mrs. Dimitriadios's goat farm located on the highest cliff which can only be accessed by a 7 hour donkey ride.

OK, so I have never actually read one of her cookbooks, or even seen one of her shows before today but that is what I imagined them to be like.

The ladies at work are all jealous of her and my girls tell me that she cooks with her boobs hanging out and licking her finger like she was performing a bedroom act and how all of their husbands lust after her.

After hearing that I totally had to check it out!

So she is not is not as much of a culinary whore as all the women I know make her out to be. Alright so she cooks in black silk pajamas with full hair and make-up in a dimly lit kitchen.

But she is "woman" sexy, the kind of sexiness that women hate about other women. I reckon that my work mates are just jealous because deep down their husbands all wish their wives were like Nigella.

I don't blame them. After seeing the show, I want to be married to her too!

She pops out of bed in the middle of the night, looking drop dead gorgeous and in a relaxed and casual manner pulls a few ingredients out of her pantry and whips up Caramel Croissant Pudding, or Doughnut French Toast...

Nigella, please marry me now.




http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=AXaovJPSS5E

Sunday, January 4, 2009

DEAR ____ PART TWO

Now we move on to the post about the Little Man with a string hanging between his legs.

DEAR JASON,

Slut.


DEAR JLO,

In the past, the smallest things always brought a tear to my eye too.

PS - Your ass doesn't have a crack already?


DEAR MOM#1,

I am incredibly sentimental but I try not to let anybody know.

When I posted those sideways pictures, I had a little too much Holiday Cheer (aka champagne)and could not fathom going into Photoshop to crop and rotate...er, what I meant to say was, Yes, you were way too drunk! Those photos appear perfectly normal on my screen...


DEAR GEOFF,

Thank you for stopping by, it is great to see you. You know, I also lived in Idaho... I lasted 6 weeks.


DEAR GRANDMA J,

The beautiful Grandma J, I am both blind and a comedian, however I only speak the truth!

Jean died of (in case you have not already Googled it) a lung infection transferred from certain birds through bacteria in droppings or feather dust. Most people can be treated with a round of anti-biotics, however my neighbour was in her 80s and already suffering with other lung related illnesses.

So have you heard from Eddie since the grocery store? I mean after all, you number is in his phone!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

DEAR _____ PART ONE

Over the Christmas break, a few more posts than normal appeared on my blog. Therefore I have quite a few comments to respond to so, I will have to break this week's DEAR ____ into several parts.

First, I had no idea that the whole family photo Christmas card this would elicit such an out pour of emotions from you all! So I will start there.


DEAR GRANDMA J,

You know, I always forget to send holiday cards myself. So technically, I suppose, I shouldn't really be complaining about these photo cards because it is a lot more than I send out.

I think that your response to the drinks party was the perfect option! If I drink straight out of the bottle, then there are no glasses to clean.


DEAR MOM#1,

It is tomorrow down here, therefore I can tell you two things with absolute certainty. 1. The world has not ended and 2. The sun will come out.

I can probably be quite certain that my after my friends who send me those cards read my post, I won't be receiving those photo cards anymore... nor any other form of correspondence.

But I am in total agreement, to those people who will have forgiven me by next December, a generic "Happy Holidays! Love XXXXXX" handwritten on the back would be a loving touch.


DEAR MS DELIGHT,

Thank you! I impressed myself with that ability to list all my BFFs in one post!

I feel the same way when I open those photo-cards. The photos are always cute, but there is a severe disappointment in the lack of a handwritten note. It is even more depressing when you have known some of these people for at least 20 years or more.

Whatever happened to the good old fashioned family Holiday Newsletter? Even though it still lacked that personal touch, at least it gave you some great gossip!

I would so love for you to by next door neighbour and have you over to drink Long Islands Iced Teas... and I would not make you wash your own glass!

But you shouldn't be drinking alcohol in your current state. ;)


DEAR NIKKI,

So did you get all Christmassy? Or at least maybe all Chanukahmassy?


DEAR JLO,

I suppose since you have a fur bag I can forgive the fact that you are a shameful culprit in sending out holiday photo cards without a note!!

Also, it would kind of be fun to have you over as well to drink Long Island Iced Teas and sing Christmas songs. Except because of the whole sending out photo-cards without a note, you will have to wash your own glass!!

Love Hula Hank XX




POOLSIDE MUSINGS

Today, I am blogging to you poolside. The weather down here has been hot (around 100 + degrees) and sunny. Although there is a slight breeze, the air is otherwise still. The birds are taking an afternoon nap, the neighbours have all taken respite indoors and the only sound on the street is the distant chime of the ice cream truck.
Yesterday we went across the street to the one of the four gay and/or lesbian couples on the street for drinks. I started out with champagne and helped finish off 4 bottles of varying white wines. Needless to say a massive headache started immediately.
I mentioned earlier about the four gay and/or lesbian couples on the street. This may not seem unusual to some of you and if we lived in a different neighbourhood, it would not be so unusual for us either.
You see, when Stuart and I met I lived in a very artistic, free and easy port city of Fremantle and Stuart lived out here in the far outer suburbs. When it came time for us to buy a house together, we started had to stay in the same area Stuart lived so the kids didn't have to change schools.
It took a lot of adjustment for me to move to the outer suburbs, with the manicured lawns and lack of shopping and coffee shops. However we found a house that soothed all of my needs for outside life.
So in the outer suburbs there is an extreme lack of gay folks, which was another adjustment for me. Australia, as a whole is not a homophobic country and the city where we live is the second most gay-friendly city in Australia (only behind Sydney). However there is a lack of visibility and sociability which at times can feel quite isolating.
We move to this new house on a quiet cul-de-sac and within a week, met the two gay guys across the street, the lesbian couple two houses down and the other gay couple on the corner. We all moved to the street within six months of each other.
On top of this, they have just built a new coffee shop around the corner and an Italian food store where I can buy mangoes and tomatoes in bulk.
For Christmas Courtney (the daughter) gave me a cookbook by Maggie Beer. Maggie Beer is somewhat similar to an Australian Martha Stewart minus the pretentious handicraft.
She has a farm where she grown fruits, vegetables, grapes (for verjuice) and pheasants. She spends her whole life growing things and cooking "rustic" foods from her and neighbouring farms and bakeries.
I have been reading the stories in this cookbook and it has re-kindled my dream of having a farm to grow fruit and vegetables and making foods directly from the garden. I want chickens for the fresh eggs, and to raise a few cows to get the perfect cuts of beef.
Stuart tells me that my currently lifestyle of waking up at 11 and watching Golden Girls all day then taking an afternoon nap does not fit into this dream.
Maybe he is right, but the last I checked dreams only happen when asleep.