I try to avoid the “I’ve had a good time!” kind of blog post because, frankly, why would you care. But sometimes a weekend comes around that is so stuffed with awesome that I have to share it!
My wicked weekend started when I arrived in Los Angeles to visit a couple of friends from Burning Man, Steven and Bryan. On the Friday, Steve took me on a motorcycle ride along the stunning canyons that line the landscape outside Los Angeles like the crow’s feet of a fading Hollywood star.
As I straddled the leather and chrome of the motorcycle, arms hugging the muscled body of biker Steve, with the sun on my arms, the wind in my face and Metallica competing with the roaring of the engine in my ears, I was a very happy lad! But best of all was the majestic views of the deep canyons. At one point, a large eagle took flight as we drove past and it swooped right over our heads with heavy beats of its mighty wings only a few meters away.
I went to Disneyland on Saturday. Disneyland is always a bit gay, but on the first weekend of October, it becomes super-gay as stampeding hordes of homosexuals descend on the park like a swarm of locusts, all wearing red t-shirts. You occasionally see a straight dad with an unfortunate choice of red apparel either surrounding himself with his wife and kids like some kind of shield or ‘accidentally’ scolding himself with hot coffee so he can buy a replacement shirt.
This was my first visit to Disneyland, and I had a wonderful time. I’ve been to amusement parks with better rides, sure, but no other park creates a better atmosphere of fun and magic than Disneyland. Like it or not, Disneyland owns our childhood and everywhere you look you see characters from the cartoons we all know and love. Your heart truly has to be a lump of rock if it doesn’t melt at the sight of three Disney security guards crowbar a little girl, dressed as Cinderella, away from Mickey Mouse who she clings to with a viselike grip, her face a perfect expression of unadulterated childhood joy.
Here is some practical information for those planning a trip to Disneyland.
- Disneyland is divided into two parks. California Adventure is newer and has the coolest rides, so go there first (and early) to get some good riding done while the queues are short. Then go to Disneyland proper (just across the street) for the magic feel of Disney.
- Make full use of the Fast Pass service! It saves you hours of dull queuing. It works like this. Go to a ride with a long queue. Get a free fast pass, which has a return time on it. Go away and ride some rides with shorter queues until your return time is up. Return to the first ride and you get to go straight to the front of the line!
- There is a shady way that you can get discounted tickets to Disneyland. A company called Affordable Park Tickets buys five-day passes and then sells them five times to five different people. Shady shady shady, but we got into the Disneyland (both parks) for $80 instead of $125!
- If you want to get a cheap annual pass, try to get one of the aforementioned shady tickets that has been used four times already. (Call early and tell them that you want to avoid the hassle of returning the ticket to them.) Instead of returning the ticket to the company at the end of the day, you can convert it into an annual pass, and the full value of a five-day pass is then taken off the annual pass. It is a bit risky and you should expect to answer questions such as ‘Which park did you enter first on your first day?’ but if you keep your cool and blag your way through it, you can get an annual pass for an extra $40!
- Use the single-rider queues, even if you are in a group. It cuts the waiting time in half.
Sexy Charity Clowns
On Saturday, I worked behind the bar of a charity fundraising brunch wearing nothing but boots, a jockstrap, suspenders and a clown face. The fundraiser was organized by the Payasos, a group of sexy gay Latinos who wear clown make-up and raise money for charities. This event was in aid of the AIDS Walk.
I had a wicked good time working the event. I served mimosas and other drinks, and helped myself to a few shots along the way too. (I’m a much nicer bartender when drunk.) My chit-chat with the guests earned me quite a bit of tip-money which of course went straight to the charity. But best of all was to get to know the Payasos better. I’ve admired their work on Facebook since they started, and it was a pleasure and an honour to help them out. I made some great new friends and hope to see them whenever I pass through Los Angeles.
To round off a great weekend, I left the Payasos (drunk & merry) and went straight to Rawhide, a new gay county western night organized by my friend Rick who also DJ’d the gig. I used to hate country music, but since I learned how to two-step, I can’t seem to get enough of it! Maybe I’m just a sucker for a big burly man swirling me about a dance floor. The only bad thing about the night was the piece of charcoal the man in charge of the BBQ thought was a sausage. Much love to Rick for dashing in and out of the DJ booth to dance with me!