In a couple of days, Mark and I will finally be in the same decade...well age-wise. We celebrated his birthday on Saturday. I'm happy so many friends and family turned up at the Warren View Hotel to wish him well. He's a good guy. But I'm biased. (Lots of photos from the party at my Flickr space.)
After the birthday gathering we rushed over to the Midnight Shift, where the Sydney Convicts' Rugger Bugger 8 fundraiser was taking place. We couldn't miss Jase, Deano and Zane [not our Zane, but one of the rugby players] in their Single Ladies routine. They did really well, although I have to say it's a bit freaky seeing your best friends in drag for the first (and second) time.
Following their number was the obligatory Full Monty show, this year with a prison theme. Groovy music and hot men as always. And now with arty choreography. With so many Rugger Buggers anymore, you can tell the organizers are exploring various ways to keep the show fresh. And fresh it was: guards undressing prisoners, prisoners undressing guards. We were sternly warned by host Mitzi Macintosh not to upload any photos from the event [which kind of peeves me], and I guess there was an official photographer who was authorized to publish images taken that night. You'll just have to do some Googling for his photos. Or heck, maybe someone braver than I just ignored the warning.
Speaking of rugby, in precisely two weeks' time we take off for Europe where Mark and a couple of other Convicts players will take part in the European Cup, and where I'll be standing on the sideline with all appendages crossed that he remains intact. Now I haven't heard from anyone regarding my request for potential sightseeing ventures. I am sure there's someone out there who's been to London, Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam since I was last there. And surely you have some tips, either on or off the beaten path. Guide-books get so tedious after a while. (Photo by danorbit. Licensed by Creative Commons.)
This year's Rugger Bugger, the annual fundraiser for the Sydney Convicts rugby team, took place on Saturday. Of course, the cash cow is the Full Monty show that happens each year, but the routine that I was asked to participate in was also great fun. My fellow Convict Converts and I shook our money-makers for all it was worth. The place was packed. Honestly, I didn't expect the overwhelming rush of energy from the crowd. They ate it up, and we loved it! It was quite a departure from my days of singing Bach arias in front of quiet audiences.
Despite a gaff or two here and there, like the DJ starting our music way too early (grrrr..can't they follow written instructions?) and a fluff or two with the choreography, the routine went very well. I continue to beat myself up for screwing up during the one part that I had down pat, but I'm my own worst critic. All in all, it was a bang-up show. And I LOVE my vintage eBay kilt. I will definitely wear it again sometime.
Mini rant: I have to admit I was put off by the backstage activities of many of the performers from the strip act. They're all lovely guys, but why oh why did they need to relieve themselves directly on the floor at the end where our group was changing? I had canvas bags on the floor, people! Canvas! Do you know how absorbent that fabric is. Of course you do...you're gay! Maybe if you weren't so busy downing shot after shot of some unknown alcoholic beverage, you wouldn't need to piss on my stuff. Methinks you should think twice about agreeing to show your junk, if on the night you need all that liquid encouragement to do so. The glow-in-the-dark body paint was cool though.
Anyway, the video clip is below. The audio was deafeningly loud, so you might want to turn down your speakers, as it comes across as massively distorted on the clip. The song is MC Hammer's rendition of Do Not Pass Me By. The number was choreographed by the wonderful Jason Brown, who put in many hours to practice with all of us. He's the one lip-syncing the rap, by the way. What a performer!
Some pictures of the event, taken by Rod Spark, may be found here.
Yes, I've recovered...although it wasn't until mid-week that I felt as much. (Kindly refrain from age comments, please.)
I think it was the dancin' I have done all week that has helped. No, I've not been shaking my moneymaker at a club. I had enough of that on the weekend at the MG Party. Rather, this grooving has been in the confines of my own home or a rehearsal venue. You see, I've been asked to join some friends in a routine for this year's Rugger Bugger show, an annual fundraising venture for the Sydney Convicts rugby team.
Looks like all those jazz dance classes during my musical-theater-wannabe years may not be for naught after all! My two feet will find a way.
Oh, and no, I won't be displaying my bits during the Full Monty segment. That's for the hunky rugby fellas later in the evening. I'm in the warm-up show..and quite happy to leave it at that!
Zane has been requesting to do more sports activities lately. This is a very good thing, as we all need to stay fit. Besides that, sports can be a rewarding experience for kids, as long as they stay aware of the fact that it isn't all about winning. That said, I think a little competitive spirit is healthy, but Zane has a propensity to go somewhat overboard in that regard. We all do, perhaps. (I am sitting nervously in my little glass house right now, for lord knows I grew up trying for as many awards as possible.)
Mark and I are very keen to get Zane active in sports again, now that he's performed a dazzling about-face from where he was a couple of years ago, when it was difficult to get him to do much of anything except throw some kind of ball. You can imagine our delight when Zane told us a few days ago that he'd
like to get involved in both competitive swimming and rugby or soccer.
Because he travels to Canberra every second weekend to stay with his mum, it has been difficult to find a soccer club or other team sport for him to join, as they usually have games every weekend. We have recently heard that there is an indoor soccer team with games and practice sessions on weekday evenings, so this might be a good option for ball sport.
This morning, we took Zane to a swimming assessment for the Sydney University Youth Swim Squad. He did very well, and according to the swimming observer, after a few weeks of focused training to improve his breaststroke foot- and legwork, he'll be ready for the squad.
I love watching Zane swim. Mark, too, for that matter. I envy their extreme comfort in the water. For whatever reason, swimming was not a part of my childhood experience, although now I wish it had been. My sister and I both grew up with aquaphobia. Mine wasn't nearly as bad. At least I would get in the neighborhood swimming hole to flop around. My poor sister, however, would only cautiously wade out into the shallow areas and couldn't bear the water coming anywhere near her face. I remember my dad once tried to help her overcome her fear of water by picking her up and launching her into the pool when she was around 11 years old. My God, what a failure. I'm pretty sure they could hear her angry screams in Sweden. I have no idea what my sister is like in the water now, but she and her family are members of a boat club. I think that means she at least floats on the surface. As for me, I'm quite comfortable in swimming pools now. I suck at swimming, but I can manage...somewhat. Large bodies of water still freak me out, and I won't swim in the ocean. Just a mere, fleeting thought of the dreaded "R" word, and I'm ready to get as far away from any liquid as I can.
That's okay, though. With my white, genetically hairless legs, I look like a dork in swimmers anyway.
This morning, I watched Mark play with the Sydney Convicts rugby team at a local sports oval. (They won, 19 to 7.)
Mark (No. 18) in action
It was one of those blissful Sydney mornings. Not a cloud in sight, a scant autumn chill in the air that disappeared as soon as you stepped into the sunshine. Fallen leaves crunching underfoot. Children enveloped in fleece jumpers, running gleefully in the park as their parents warn them not to stray too far. Dogs leaping, bounding, sniffing and pissing. I took Roger. His new buddy, Ralph, was there, too, along with about a half-dozen other dogs.
Ralph takes a little time-out.
I sat with Kevin and Brad, and we all watched our hubbies do their thing on the field. We are affectionately called "rugby wives," a term I used to have mixed feelings about. That's probably some pesky internal homophobia still hanging around. I thought I'd got rid of it years ago. Sigh. Anyway, I have to admit the phrase has grown on me, and I am happy to be a part of that select few.
Fellow rugby wives, Kevin and Brad
Tonight is a party at Brad & Dean's to celebrate the many May birthdays among us, particularly Deano's, which was Thursday. After that, we'll all hit Oxford Street, no doubt. (Clubbing's in the air...doo doo doo, doo doo doo....) All is well, though; we haven't all had a big night out since Mardi Gras. And someone did say once that although life isn't always the party any of us expected, we should certainly dance while we're here! I plan to.