31 August 2011

Dating: Near Disasters + Success

I realize that first impressions can some times be wrong. But this past week had I had two bad first impressions of guys I had yet to meet.

First, there was the guy who kept hounding me on the "big boy" site to meet. Let's call him G. I finally acquiesced and gave G my phone number so we could set something up. This was at the beginning of my cold, btw. So G calls and proceeds to ramble on for over an hour about his friend's dating situation. THEN he wanted to know what I thought. I basically told him my opinion, including he sounds too invested in this friend's drama. So we set up a time to meet - again at a coffee place - for one night the following week. I unfortunately had to work late that night and my cold was starting to blow up; so I texted the guy and cancelled. There was miscommunication and he didn't realize I was cancelling. (This is where the lesson of reviewing all text messages first comes in handy.) I haven't heard from him since. He may be waiting for me to reschedule.

This past Sunday I narrowly missed another dating disaster. A guy from one of the bear social networking sites asked if I wanted to meet for coffee. I agreed and suggested a meet up time of 6:30 pm. This was due to it being Sunday and I had existing plans. This guy's response was "Okay! Are you HIV negative? I'm free of STDs and am clean!!"

WTF? Do I really need to know this to have coffee? Unless "do you want to meet for coffee" is code for "do you want to have sex," I failed to understand why this would be his response. I'm sure you already know what I did....I waited until 6:15 and cancelled on him. Not nice of me, I fully realize. I just didn't understand his line of thinking...unless he didn't want to waste precious coffee time.

It was the same evening I got a request from yet another guy to meet (one would think I'm popular but I'm not since most of these guys don't cut the initial grade). I was honest with him upfront and said that I wasn't looking to hook up. He said OK and I apologized for being blunt. I then asked when/where he wanted to meet (since he's about a 1 1/2-2 hour drive). He named a bar - called The Hookup - that's about 30 miles from me - and a time. I've yet to respond but I feel a bit obligated to go.

I know I should give these guys a second chance (or even a first chance). I know I need to put myself out there if I ever want a relationship or at least new friends. I'm sometimes ashamed at myself for being so selective and not overlooking minor faux pas. But let me tell you another story.

Yesterday I met another guy with whom I've been chatting on a bear social networking site. We met for lunch. It was completely impromptu; we found out we work semi-close to each other and when he asked if we were ever going to meet, I thought "What the hell?" I really expected him to come up with an excuse not to meet but he didn't. So I hoofed it the six blocks south and four blocks east to meet him (my feet are killing me today). I had to wait a few minutes for him - which didn't bother me. I really expected this to be a "meet, eat, say goodbye" and that would be it. I was wrong.

When he walked up to me, he reached out to shake my hand. A gentleman! We fell easily into conversation. We walked a few blocks to a fast food joint and ordered. When we got to the table, he excused himself to go wash his hands. I laughed because I'm the same way; I have to wash my hands before eating. Our food arrived and we both ate slowly; I think we were subconsciously drawing it out. We talked about our jobs, where we live, rollercoasters, amusement parks...it was a nice conversation. We walked to his car and he drove me back to my building (and my feet thank him). After he pulled up to the curb and as I unbuckled the seatbelt, he said "I hope we can meet again soon." I turned to look at him...and I started to ask...but didn't. I just said "I'm going for it." And we kissed. Not a full on, tongue thrusting kiss, just a very nice, lips on lips kiss. I said "Oh we are definitely seeing each other again."

I have no idea what prompted me to meet him. I have no idea why I'm feeling completely smitten with him. We texted all through the afternoon/evening. He even texted me a picture of himself holding a guitar at the beach and he says he'll serenade me. Flattery and romance: they get me every time.

I could worry about a few things: the age difference, the distance between where we each live, the lifestyle differences...but I'm not going to. For once I'm going to enjoy the fact that someone who likes me did everything right and I'm going to enjoy the ride. I'm seeing him again on Friday night. He wants to take me to his favorite restaurant. How cute is that?

I admit to the inability to stop smiling. There are worse things, right?


22 August 2011

The Bear Says Goodbye

In my last post, I recounted how Bear and I went to Disneyland and stayed well after midnight. After we got home, Bear packed and I got my stuff ready for my return to work. We got to bed about 2:15 am.

The alarm went off at 4:20 am. Yes, we got 2 hours of sleep! Bear's flight left Long Beach at 7:10 am and he wanted to be there by 6. So we hustled in the morning, taking showers, getting dressed, and getting out the door in a little over an hour to get on our way.

The drive was uneventful and we soon arrived at the airport. We got parked and got Bear checked in with his luggage. We found a bench to sit on to talk. I think we talked about inconsequential things to cover the fact that I didn't want him to leave and he didn't want to leave. I explained where he would be going to get through Security...and I mentioned that the line was getting long. Of course he panicked, being a bit nervous, which was fine.

We hugged and mumbled our thanks and appreciation and regret for having the long weekend end. He went to get in line and I left the airport, not being able to stay to watch his plane take off.

At 8:58 a.m. I received a text from Bear announcing that he arrived in SF safe and sound.

Later, I posted on Facebook: It wasn't easy saying goodbye to Bear this morning.

Bear commented: Aw, it was hard for me too, behr! But we were good! We kept our composure and barely cried at the airport! HUGS!

And thus ended the Bear's first visit to Los Angeles. Quite the success I would say. I'm looking forward to his next visit

So....who wants to visit next?


21 August 2011

Bear Gets Magical!

Bear's last day in the Los Angeles area...what to do? What to do?

As it turned out, with his windfall winnings for looking so fucking hot in a borrowed toga, Bear was able to swing the 1-day 1-park admission price of $80 to Disneyland! I cannot tell you how excited this made me. I am an annual passholder and love sharing Disneyland - or DLR as I call it - with a good friend. We actually made this decision on Sunday and decided to get up and be at the park when it opened at 8 am.

At 8am when we woke up...lol...we decided to get going so we could make the most of our day. We showered and were out the door rather quickly...or so I thought. Bear needed a snack so we stopped at the local Burger King. I snapped this pic with my cellphone; it's one of my favorite picture of Bear from his whole visit:

By the time we drove to Anaheim, parked the truck, got on the tram, got through security, bought his ticket, and entered the park it was about 10 am. Not bad! And off we went. I'll be honest, we didn't take a lot of pictures but right after entering some girl asked me to take her and her friend's picture (they kept looking at Bear and giggling...I think he made them wet). After doing so, I said to Bear "We need to make sure we get people to do the same for us." Of course he readily agreed.

While walking over toward Tomorrowland,Bear asked if there was a special or favorite restaurant where we could have dinner. I felt so stupid! I immediately pulled out my cellphone and called Disney Dining. We made 4:10 pm dinner reservations at Blue Bayou! I don't know why I hadn't thought of it. The woman on the other end of the line - I wish I remembered her name - was so wonderful and asked if this was a special occasion. I told her it was my friend's first time at Disneyland and she said "Well then you are celebrating something!What's his or her name? (I suspect she can hear a gay man's voice from 50 paces.)" After all was said and done she told me to tell Bear (and she used his name) to have a "magical" day. Poor Bear didn't know what was going on because I was getting all choked up. It really was a special day.

Onward. We decided to go hit Haunted Mansion so we jumped on the Disneyland Express (train) to travel half-way around the park rather than exerting too much energy that early. After we got on, some women of foreign extraction asked us to take their picture. Here's Bear doing just that:

Of course we asked that they return the favor. The first one came out dark; here is a slightly better one:

Here's a practice picture of Bear that I took:

I'm not going to be able to recap the exact order in which we rode the various rides...so I'm going to list them as I remember and include a few pictures. As I mentioned, first up was Haunted Mansion, which we ended up riding again at night so Bear could see it lit up. This is one of my favorite attractions....it's a dark ride! I behaved myself and only kissed Bear once. Maybe twice.

Next up was Splash Mountain where we both got drenched. Bear was impressed when I pulled out Ziploc baggies to hold our wallets and cellphones! I told him I've been on the ride before. The backpack we carried (with light jackets, bottles of water, and sunscreen) got soaked! Here's the official Disney picture:

We then got in line for Winnie-the-Pooh, which replaced the Country Bear Jamboree attraction years ago. I pointed out the Moose, Elk, and Deer heads that remain hidden on the ride as tribute to the former attraction.

We were both feeling peckish and Bear suggested that we eat something light since we were only about 4 hours from our dinner reservation. So we visited the Hungry Bear Restaurant, where we feasted on Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches with Sweet Potato fries. Delicious!

We decided to wander over to Fantasyland and stopped in front of the castle so I could take pictures:

No, in this second picture Bear isn't being a teapot; he was lowering his arm after pointing to something afar off!

Disneyland employs people to walk around with cameras for "photo ops" throughout the park and the Hub (the area in front of the castle) is no different. We asked about the photo pass cards we were given and evidently they would take our pics, scan the card, then we could download pictures from home. So the cute-ish guy took our picture three times, one where they put Tinkerbell in someone's hand. (Bear! You have the card with those photos and I think it expires soon! I want those pictures!)

We proceeded to Fantasyland to ride Peter Pan's Flight, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Snow White's Adventures, Alice in Wonderland. and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. We decided to quickly do the Sleeping Beauty's Castle walk-through which wasn't bad at all! We wandered over to Toon Town to check out Roger Rabbit's Car Toon...we got in line and then there was an announcement that the ride was no longer operating. Oh well!

To be honest, I'm not certain what else we did at this point! I do know that Bear asked what time we had to leave...I could tell he was having a blast (I was too) and wanted to experience as much as possible. So basically we decided to stay until the park closed at midnight.

About this time we probably headed off for dinner, arriving about 4 pm and only had to wait a few minutes for our table. Now, Blue Bayou is the "nice" restaurant within Disneyland, second only to Club 33 which is upstairs and for which a membership is required. It's like fine dining in shorts and t-shirts. Tim, our waiter, took good care of us. We weren't quite at water's edge but the next table over. Perfect. Bear ordered the Crab Cakes and I ordered the Goat-cheese Stuffed Grilled Salmon. We scarfed down the bread Tim brought and our salads before the entrees came. While waiting for the main course, Bear asked "What's that over there?" I said "That's the Pirates of the Caribbean ride." Earlier Bear had said he didn't care if we didn't go on it...now he wanted to! So after dinner we did so. I think we also rode it again later.

Earlier in the day we had obtained a Fastpass for the Indiana Jones Ride and Space Mountain. A Fastpass let's you avoid the regular standby line and "take cuts" of sorts. So we utilized that Fastpass and rode the Indiana Jones thrill ride. I think after that we did the Tiki Room attraction, where the birdies sing.

At one point in the day - and I'm fairly certain it was post-dinner, we wandered through Main Street. Bear wanted a picture of himself in front of the Cinema (where they continuously play six black and white cartoons, including the groundbreaking "Steamboat Willie"). I had to get down on my knees to take these but it was worth it. The first is the best; someone walked into the shot in the second.

As I struggled to get my fat ass up off the pavement, a cast member (a bearish John) offered to take our picture in front of the Cinema poster. I think John thought Bear was cute because he snapped two pictures:

I believe we headed over and used our Space Mountain Fastpass (we still had to wait an incredibly long time) and we continued to talk about various topics, both Disney and non-Disney related. Space Mountain is one of my favorite rides. We were lucky enough to get in the front row:
Sometime between 8:30 - 9 pm we decided to stake out our spot to watch the fireworks, which is always spectacular. We decided to watch them from a spot on Main Street; we had gotten snacks and sat on the pavement with all the other people. Finally it was time! The announcer begins "Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Disneyland Resort is proud to present the fireworks spectacular - Magical!" The lights go low, then out, as the music starts....it started with "Second Star to the Right" from Peter Pan...and there's the famous single star shooting over the castle. The crowd applauds and screams its approval. We got to see Tinkerbell and Dumbo fly over the castle. The fireworks were shot off to various Disney songs from various classic movies such as Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, and others.

Now here's a little something that I need to share. For me, watching the Disneyland fireworks show is always an emotional experience and I like to hold someone in my arms while watching them. Or at least hold hands. Earlier in the evening while trying to get through the crowds I took his hand in mine; he dropped it and apologized because he's just not as comfortable as I am. I understand that totally; I once was like that until a big bear of a man kissed me while standing in the middle of Main Street. But I digress. When the fireworks started I hesitated, then took the chance to wrap my arms around his chest and lay my chin on his shoulder. He laid his arms over mine and I knew it was okay. So that's how we watched the fireworks...which were truly magical. When they were over, Bear turned around and, crying, said "It was beautiful!" We stood there hugging and crying into each other's shoulders for at least two minutes which, in Disney time, is forever. I was so happy that he enjoyed them and was as moved as me.

Here from YouTube is the entire show...it's not the best but you'll be able to experience what we did. And keep an eye out for Dumbo!

After the fireworks we rode Astro Orbitors, which are rockets:

The silly Bear got all excited when he saw the Michael Jackson glove with LED lights in the fingertips. So he bought it and we tried to get a photo of it lit...but it being nighttime and all it didn't show well. Here's Bear though and you can barely see the lights.

The last ride of the night was Space Mountain again. We had to wait in the standby line and when we got off the ride, it was well after midnight. We then headed out of the park and toward the tram to get the truck. We went straight home so Bear could pack.

To sum the day up, let me say that there's no one else with whom I would want to spend 14 1/2 hours with at Disneyland other than the Bear. I've been hundreds of times; but this particular trip was extraordinary because I got to see the park through a first-timer's eyes. Bear is a phenomenal man who I am proud to call friend. And so the fitting end to this day is to share my absolute favorite picture of the day: the Bear and the Behr on the Peter Pan ride just before we take off toward the second star on the right.

Remember...."Wishing makes your dreams come true."


20 August 2011

Bear Goes Hollywood! Part II

Sunday brought even more Hollywood adventures for the Bear. He had arranged to meet his friend E, a former coworker and San Franciscan who now lives in Hollywood with her boyfriend. So while I went to visit my parents as per usual, Bear returned to Hollywood to visit with her and explore other areas that we hadn't seen.

Because I wasn't there, I am only relaying this third hand. Unfortunately, Bear didn't recharge his phone and he didn't take the camera so the pictures are from the Internet.

Bear started out visiting E and her boyfriend at their apartment, which isn't too far from Hollywood Blvd. They caught up on all the gossip since E and her boyfriend had moved.

Bear and E then had lunch at The Waffle. It is known for being open late on the weekends and its unique waffles. Here's a funny story: the next evening Bear was in a panic because his poop was red! Then he remembered he had red velvet waffles and his panic vanished.

After eating, they wandered along a part of Sunset Blvd, where they popped their heads into Amoeba Music. Now, Bear says they only looked in but knowing him they spent time browsing!
Bear and E evidently wandered around the Sunset Blvd, Vine St, Hollywood Blvd. area. Bear took E over to Grauman's Chinese theater; she's been living in Hollywood for a few months now but hadn't been by there, probably because it is a tourist trap. Bear convinced her that she and her boyfriend should see Final Destination 5 there; Bear says they did and they were both thrilled with the interior of the theater.

In the late afternoon, I picked Bear up at Union Station. He had exited the Red Line at the opposite end of where I parked and so I was able to show him the original station and the main waiting area. We drove back to the house and relaxed together, catching up on our separate adventures of the day and recapping the night before. Bear took a shower since he'd been wandering around in the heat and we then went to dinner. We returned to Scotty's where Bear had the Tuna Melt and I had the pot roast dinner.

Back at the house we cuddled on the couch and attempted to watch Sunset Blvd.

Needless to say, we both dozed off and stopped the movie at one point and went to bed. I was glad that Bear was able to spend time with his friend and see another part of Hollywood. I believe that the time apart on Sunday only enhanced his last full day here in So Cal.

Up Next: Bear Gets Magical!

19 August 2011

Bear Has Another Grand Day Out

Saturday! And Bear's third full day in the Los Angeles area. We've already packed so much into our days that it's a wonder we can do more. But we do! Today's post has few pictures but some of them are outstanding! Don't cheat and look...read all the way through!

We slept in a little bit from our night out and when we woke up, just had coffee. We were still a bit full from our late night post-drinking food binge. Bear jumped onto the Macbook and caught up with friends until I finally told him we needed to get ready. We showered and headed off back to Hollywood!

On our way we ran into some traffic. I suddenly had a brilliant idea! I drove to the parking structure in downtown LA where we parked on Bear's first day...I still had parking validations since this is the structure used by the company for which I work. We walked the 2-3 blocks to the Red Line, which is an underground light rail system. We didn't have to wait long before our train came. We were watching the clock; I had originally thought we had plenty of time but as it turns out we were running it close. The Red Line trip, however, took less time than I anticipated and soon we were exiting at Hollywood/Highland.

Our goal? Grauman's Chinese Theater! Here's an Internet picture of the exterior.

Bear had purchased tickets for the 1:30 pm showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. II in 3D.

Now our previous catch-up day of HPHBP and HPDH1 makes sense, right? Bear hadn't seen the final movie (I had but was more than willing to see it again) and what better place to see it than in an iconic theater? Especially in surroundings such as this:

We sat at the very back, actually in the handicap section! There were two seats together and it was just perfect. We had time to purchase snacks, use the toilet (it was downstairs and very modern), and locate good seats. I doubt we could have made this all happen so perfectly again if we tried!

We both enjoyed the movie and I was VERY happy that Bear enjoyed it. (If you missed my post about the movie, click here.) I was also very happy that Bear did not follow through on his threat to cheer when Dobby died!

After the movie we stayed inside the theater for a few minutes and just soaked up the atmosphere and the incredible detail of the interior design. Bear's comment: "It makes the Castro Theater look like the Opera Plaza!" I think this is an inside SF movie theater observation because I could only smile.

When we left, we went back to the Kodak theater area to look once again at the Intolerance-themed plaza. We had inadvertently forgotten the camera so therefore no pics. Despite the absence of pictures, it did happen. We strolled down Hollywood Blvd and for the life of me I cannot recall our destination or if we had one. Finally, Bear started mentioning he was hungry. So using my iPhone, I searched for vegetarian restaurants. All the listings came up blocks/miles away and since we were on foot, that didn't make much sense. Finally I located a place that we were practically in front of! It was a Mexican restaurant - Loteria Grill. We were greeted and seated immediately, given menus, and had our beverage order (margaritas!) taken all within 10 minutes. We were already impressed. Bear had the cheese enchiladas in mole and I had the chicken enchiladas suiza. Our food came quickly but was fresh, beautifully plated, and delicious! The nice part was that, although we both had a cup of black beans, his rice side was different than my rice side; it was nice that some thought went into the entire meal rather than serving one standard set of sides. The waitstaff was friendly and treated us as locals, not tourists. It may have been that we were so laid back and non-demanding.

On our way back toward the Red Line station, we popped into a little hole-in-the-wall shop where we looked through all of their movie posters. Of course we had to comment on almost every movie and/or poster! I think he really wanted one or two but they were a bit pricey.

We soon realized that we needed to get a move on so we headed back to the Red Line. We arrived at our destination, walked back to the truck and - after a temporary delay with the demagnetization of the parking ticket, we were on our way. We were running slightly behind our schedule but not too bad.

We got back home and both just freshened up and changed clothes. We were heading out to the bar I normally frequent, Pistons. The theme for the night was Fur-ocity, sponsored by BearsLA. Attendees were encouraged to wear togas. I discovered after the fact that Bear would have been willing. Oh well. We picked up my friend Patrick (I've mentioned him before) and headed to the bar. Patrick had borrowed the fabric I used for my toga a few years back, which will play a pivotal role in our continuing story.

Because Bear was new, I tried to introduce him to the people I knew, not many to be honest. But that aside, Bear bought beer and we began to mingle and enjoy ourselves. Before I knew it, Bear and I were on our second pitcher of beer and having a good time. A guy I had met at the pool party a few weekends before took a shine to Bear and the two of them were off kissing. I'm not quite sure what happened but the next thing I knew, Bear was kissing someone else! This someone else was older, shorter, and furry and cute in that way that makes Bear think of CMS. I was bemused.

At one point, and honestly I'd lost track of time, I mentioned the toga contest to Patrick; he said he couldn't enter because he's on the Board of BearsLA. And he looked so cute! The next thing I know, Patrick is dressed in his street clothes and Bear is wearing the toga and will be entering the contest! Here's an up close picture of Bear wearing the toga. (Please do NOT lick your monitor screen!)

Here's a another look, post-contest I believe. (Please refrain from jizzing on your computer.)

I didn't have the camera and these were taken with my iPhone - I don't know why I didn't think of taking other pics - must have been the beer! Seriously, I wasn't drunk, just feeling relaxed. So Bear entered the contest and believe it or not he came in 2nd Place! And he won $50! Woo Hoo! Here's an afterthought...he didn't win because the two judges were the two guys he had been making out with. Karma is a bitch but I think Bear got the better deal.

Shortly after that, I received a text from a friend who asked if we were still at Pistons and he had a surprise. It turns out the surprise is his very cute boyfriend who I hadn't met. I was going to introduce them to Bear but he was otherwise "occupied" again with the older guy. Unfortunately, Patrick came up and said he wasn't feeling well and wanted to go. (Poor guy has since landed in the hospital and had his gallbladder removed.) After prying Bear from his new friend, telling him Patrick needed to go home, and making a decision as to whether he was coming with us or wanted me to come back for him, we left. The drive home was uneventful (I'd sobered up by this point) and Patrick was delivered to his front door safe and sound, if not in a little pain.

The trip from Patrick's to my house takes less than 10 minutes and by the time Mr. Sandman came it was about 3 a.m. And that is Bear's Saturday adventure!

Next up: Bear Goes Hollywood! Part II

18 August 2011

Fantastic Read

Thanks to Joe.My.God for posting this. As he said: Just go read it. And pass the tissues.


Bear Catches Up

Let me start today's recap by saying a big THANK YOU for the extremely nice comments to yesterday's post; I was rather proud of it and was delighted to see some of you weigh in. And one of your comments made this Behr get misty-eyed!

Onto Day 2 of Bear's Vacation: Bear Catches Up.

Because we spent so much time on our feet on Thursday, Bear decided we should spend Friday in a semi-recumbent position. Oh come on! Keep it out of the gutter. When Bear and I started planning his little vacation, we talked about a lot of things we wanted to do, one of which was to cuddle and watch movies. To recuperate from our Hollywood adventure, that's what he decided we would do. (And this post is short of pictures.)

We started off however by having breakfast at Scotty's, a family-owned restaurant just up the street from where I live. Now, this place is wonderful. Never have I been in there and felt an impersonal ambiance. And this day was no different. We walked in and Cheryl, the wife, called out a greeting of "Hi Sweetie how have you been?" She rushed right over, threw her arms around me, and kissed my cheek. She looked at Bear and said "You're eating with him??" then threw her arms around him. Not sure if she bussed him on the cheek or not but I wouldn't be surprised. I'm glad that I warned him about the way you're treated at Scotty's. I should mention that the food isn't bad either! So we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and on the way out I stopped to kiss Cheryl and said sotto vocce in front of a table of obvious first-timers, "You never leave here hungry." Talk about scoring points with the owner! I think her husband overheard me too.

I made more coffee when we got home and we cuddled up on the sofa to watch Bear's first choice movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:

Next up, after that, was the latest Harry Potter to be released on DVD, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. I:

This is where the "catches up" part of the blog comes into play. Bear had not seen the last two films released on DVD, nor of course, the final film. Naturally we talked about related topics such as Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Radcliffe's stint in Equus.

After the second movie, Bear took a little nonny in the bedroom and I just stretched out on the couch. After a while we took our respective showers, got dressed and headed out for a night of bear bar hopping.

On our way to our first bar in Silverlake, we stopped at a place called Cafe 50's. Let's just say that this was THE worst dining experience we had the entire time Bear was here. The service was slow and I'm not convinced we weren't the victims of racial discrimination.

That aside, the walls of the main dining area were decorated with album covers of various artists. They had a little room called the Tiki Room, which was for "adults" mainly because of the suggestive posters:

After our somewhat disappointing dinner we headed to Eagle LA. The Eagle here is smaller than the recently closed San Francisco one, but I wanted Bear to experience it. We had a few beers and I was able to introduce him to a couple people I know. It was VERY crowded and we opted to leave and head over to our next stop, Faultline. I was slightly nervous about driving since I'd had a few beers but we made it a-okay.

Faultline used to be THE bar to go to and in some respects it still is. They have various themed nights so the crowds can vary. On this particular night it was uniform/fetish night I believe. And it was DEAD. Even the "go-go" dancers were barely moving. I think we had one beer before moving on. I should mentioned we'd gotten good about "checking in" on Facebook at the various places we were. A friend send me a message that we should go to another bar in the Silverlake area, MJs.

MJs, back in the day, was Woody's Hyperion, which was very popular. Now that it's MJs, it is crazy popular and I tell you: this bar gets its bear on! They play loud dance music and have a dance floor. Bear and I took advantage of the last 50 minutes they were open to cruise (I got to meet a newly friended friend from FB who dances at MJs) and dance! Neither of us is proud of our dance moves that night due to a state of slight inebriation. I haven't been dancing in ages and it was fun. I was just sorry that we didn't have more dance floor time. And despite the protestations coming from Bear...he really busted some moves!

When the music stopped and the house lights rose, we knew it was time to wander home. We decided to stop for something to eat...and so we hit a Denny's near the house. There's nothing like good diner food for an impending hangover!

After eating we went home and basically fell into bed.

I found this cartoon today:

I'm sharing it as part of this series because Winston took a dislike to Bear. I'm not sure if it was because he arrived with smells that Winston is not used to or just because his home was being invaded. Nevertheless, Winston alternately hissed, growled, and chased Bear. You've not seen anything until you've seen a grown man backing away from a cat then turning and running to jump on the bed to avoid the claws! Hilarious! (Sorry, Bear!) Eventually they made a silent truce of sorts until Bear left then all bets were off. Anyway, I thought the cat carrying the bear was cute and it made me think of my Winston and Bear.

So that's about all for Day 2 of Bear's Vacation. Up next: Bear Has Another Grand Day Out

17 August 2011

Bear Searches for the Famous

When I left off yesterday's post, Bear and I were in Hollywood exploring the tourist trap area known as Hollywood Blvd. After taking a look at Grauman's Chinese theater, Bear wondered aloud "I wonder if Charles Martin Smith has a star?"

See his quizzical look as he ponders being able to have his picture taken with Charles Martin Smith (CMS)'s star.

Never one to be daunted, Bear and I decided to "take a look at a few stars" just to see if we could find one for CMS. (The following pictures are in no particular order.) So off we headed west on Hollywood Blvd. toward La Brea Avenue. We crossed over La Brea and headed back east on Hollywood, being sure to verify the name on each star in hopes of finding Mr. Smith. As we walked along, dodging people and hawkers, we started calling out names of the stars: Lucille Ball! Alec Guinness! HB Warner! Who?

I began to play a game with the Bear...pointing to various stars and asking if he knew who it was. He was embarrassed that he didn't and so I had an opportunity to show off my movie knowledge. I admit I was showing off a little. If he minded he didn't show it. It was much later in our walk that he practically peed his pants with excitement. Was this the holy grail of Walk of Fame stars - CMS?

No, it was Yma Sumac!

Yeah I didn't know who she was either. She was a Peruvian singer with an over 4-Octave range. Pretty amazing. Unfortunately, the pics didn't come out great because of the great shining sun :

I took a few pictures of the terracotta stars and we took turns posing with favorite celebrities:

Bear and Julie London!

Behr and Bonita Granville!

Bear and Boris Karloff!

Thoroughly Modern Bear and Carol Channing!

One of my favorite pics - Bear with Agnes Moorehead.

A Bear favorite - Fritz Lang!

On and on we scoured the stars looking for the infamous CMS. Along the way I mentioned I'd like to see Yvonne de Carlo's star...we found it about 20 steps later...with a man on a ladder on top of it! We laughed about that one.

We stopped at Larry Edmunds Bookshop where Bear bought a mini-poster of the 1960s release of Fantasia (very cool and psychedelic) and a dual picture of CMS from the two American Graffiti films.

Now let me tell you a thing or two about the Hollywood Walk of Fame...it's supposedly a little over 1.5 miles long...and that basically means if you walk each side of Hollywood Blvd and Vine St...you're walking about 3+ miles! Because the Behr is not as fit as the Bear, I began hobbling along and slowing down the hunt for CMS. So we stopped at Dillons Irish Pub & Grill for refreshments. Okay, we each had a beer. It was ice cold and tasted SO good. I wanted a second one but it had been a while since lunch (Starry Kitchen, remember?) so we decided to forge ahead.

On our continued walk, we came across a shop that had the following painted on one of its walls:

We both agreed it was probably Siouxsie Sioux. Cool pic, eh?

So we kept up the hunt until we found ourselves back in front of the Kodak. We searched also for Britney Spears (more on her later) to no avail. Apparently Charles Martin Smith has no star. Bear was outraged.

By this time we were both feeling a bit tired and peckish and we ventured down Highland Ave to Mel's Diner where we feasted on french fries and malts. Mel's is popular in San Francisco and evidently we have some here in So Cal (who knew?). It attempts to recreate that 50's diner feel complete with kitschy pictures of celebrities...look who we happened to find!

Okay so what's with the Charles Martin Smith fetish? I wonder how many of you have figured it out...yes, that's right...Bear is a/k/a Seth Rogaine, the absolutely talented blogger behind Charles Martin Smith is the Sexiest Man Alive. If you've not checked it out, please do! I swear you will fall completely in lust with CMS.

Because this was Bear's first visit, I wanted to make sure we saw and did as much as he wanted. During our fruitless CMS star search, we stopped at Graumans Egyptian and checked out their schedule, looked in a couple of souvenir shops, and basically played tourist.

Unfortunately, the Hollywood Museum was closed so we opted to hit the Hollywood Wax Museum. This one outdates Madame Tussauds - at least on Hollywood Blvd.

Really good Gandalf and Aragon.

The Behr and Jeannie!

Behrs and scarecrows and gay icons - oh my!

Linda Blair a la Exorcist....

Star Wars.....

Among the others represented were Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Harrison Ford, Adam Sandler, Marilyn Monroe, Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore, and Cameron Diaz. It was completely cheesy and fun.

After the wax museum, we decided we'd had enough of Hollywood Blvd. and I suggested we take a drive down Sunset Blvd. For you movie buffs, you know the reference! So we hopped in the truck and drove to the ocean. We were going to stop at Santa Monica Beach and pier but there was some event going on and we'd both had our fill of crowds. I missed the Venice Beach turn off (home of Muscle Beach) probably due to tiredness. We both suddenly realized it was late and we'd been on the go all day so we headed home.

We both took showers (alone you perverts!) and both eventually went to bed. I know I felt good that Bear had had a wonderful first day in Los Angeles. But how to follow this act??

Coming up next: Bear Catches Up

PS: BEHR HUGS to me! I finally figured out what I've been doing wrong in how I've posted pictures since the inception of this blog! La la la la la - ON THE FLOOR!

16 August 2011

Bear Goes Hollywood! Part I

Bear's first day started off as all days should...with coffee! We discussed what our day would entail and what I wanted to do for the first part and Bear was amenable. After quick showers (alone, you dirty minded followers!) and a quick gathering of water and hats, we were off.

We started off driving into downtown LA, with a quick stop/tour of the Calvary Catholic Cemetery. I mistakenly identified this cemetery as one where Buffy the Vampire Slayer was filmed; the Bear looked it up and quickly informed me I was wrong. So much for being an LA Tour Guide!

We parked in the structure used by my company since I had validations. This Behr can sometimes be smart. We walked down Bunker Hill and into the Los Angeles Main Library.

It's a vast wonderful place that is built above and below ground. We took turns in the restroom and headed off toward Broadway Avenue.

We stopped by the old Garfield Building (approximately 8th/Hill) where I took some great pics of Bear standing on an old mosaic embedded in the sidewalk

Broadway, back in its heyday, boasted several theaters, including the Orpheum. I wanted Bear to see the various architectural buildings that are in downtown because I know he has an interest in architecture. We also went by the Alexandria Hotel, where I told him the story of the sealed off annex that has been empty for 50 years. We walked over to the Bradbury Building, most famously known for interior shots in Blade Runner. It was also used in an early Twilight Zone episode.

From the Bradbury, we walked a couple blocks to Angel's Flight, a restored and working funicular. I thought this would be a cool thing to do since it dates to 1901. After the shortest rail ride in the world, we walked through the Water Court, which is an outdoor concert/seating area surrounded by restaurants and office buildings.

I had suggested one of my favorite restaurants for lunch: Starry Kitchen. Bear loved it! Yay! He ordered the Spicy "Krack" Crab Cakes in a wrap with curry noodles. I ordered the Taiwanese fried pork chop banh mi with vietnamese salad. The cook messed up and also brought us a crab cake banh mi. So we had quite a bit of yummy food to eat.

It was now between 12:30 and 1 pm and we decided to head over toward Hollywood. So off we went, inching along in traffic but still enjoying each other's company.

We parked off Hollywood Blvd. and came out through the Kodak Theater plaza. The Kodak Theater is where the Academy Awards are presented. We walked around Graumann's Chinese Theater and looked at the handprints in cement. We also wandered around the Kodak plaza area, which surprisingly held many restaurants and shops.

The Bear enjoyed the Kodak plaza because of the Intolerance-themed artwork, including life-size elephants. Oh that Bear and his elephants! I attempted to take many pictures of Bear with the Intolerance background; these are the best.

Our day is not yet over by a long shot so I will cover the rest of the day in the next installment. We still have a lot of ground to cover! Next up: Bear Searches for the Famous