I lived in Seattle for 13 dark rainy winters, from 1984 to 1997. I make fun of the weather a lot, and the "cold" culture of the residents, but I go back to Seattle every year or 2. Most of my oldest friends live in Seattle, and even friends from other cities have moved there. So, there's a draw. I don't want to move back there, but I like to visit (except during dark rainy winters).
After Vermont, I flew directly to Seattle. My dear, dear friend Rafael (Ralphie) Ruiz picked me up at the airport (which I always like) and put me up in the guest room. I like staying at Ralph's house because he has a hot tub and takes good care of me. And his 2 new housemates are uber-gay cooks, housecleaners, landscapers, and aesthetes. I bond a lot with Stan and Dan's sensibilities, especially with Stan's, the older one. I love my sister Ralph, so it's always a joy to spend time at his home.
Greenlake is an upper-middle class neighborhood situated around a lovely lake, very traditional Seattle: Craftsman Era homes with A-frames and wide eaves, porches, gardens with ornamental Japanese maples. But Ralph's house is more mid-Century modern, and the new landscaping done by Stan and Dan really brings that out.
We had a dinner party for 10 of my oldest friends, and I mean OLD friends, like 22 years ago. It's always good to have them together. After dinner and many cocktails, I performed Mona Rogers in Person for them, the same performance I did at Gay Camp. Check out the safety-orange shoes in the photo. Melissa, my oldest oldest friend, said "Wow, it's amazing how far you've developed." It's great to have those benchmarks in life, to have people who've seen you change and evolve.