A Little Romance

The other night, prompted by something or other he’d seen on Facebook, my husband turns to me and asks, “What’s the most romantic thing I’ve ever done for you?”  Easy, I think, because obviously the most romantic thing he’s ever done for me will leap to the front of my memory and right out of my mouth.  An awkward silence ensues, followed by hemming and hawing, until eventually, and visibly disappointed, he says, “Well, whatever it was, it must not have been that romantic.”

popeyes biscuitsIn truth, our daily life is not exactly a series of Grand Romantic Gestures.  And your friend who acts like hers is?  She’s lying. But I find romance in the little things.  In the occasional springtime bouquet of irises he’ll bring me, which he knows are my favorite flower because they are purple.  In coming home from a trip to a candlelit apartment and a glass of wine.  Hell, I think it’s super romantic when he brings home Popeye’s without me asking him to and he gets my order exactly right; for a writer of gay romance, I’m not especially hard to wow. Continue reading

Seoul: A Model Layover

seoul beautiesBefore I started flying, I knew next to nothing about Korea.  I knew there were two of them, and I kind of knew why, and everything else I knew I gleaned either from Margaret Cho’s stand up or from reruns of M*A*S*H.  I arrived in Seoul for the first time with few expectations, vowing only not to be taken in by the senior flight attendants who were trying to get me to make an ass of myself by walking into this back-alley restaurant and asking to be served something called Beep ‘n’ Bop, as if I don’t recognize a made-up food item when I hear one.  (Why don’t you order it, if it so exists?  P.S. – It does, and it’s do-it-yourself delicious, once you get the hang of flat chopsticks.)  I was immediately sold on Seoul, and it endures as one of my favorite layover cities (albeit one that I no longer see).

In A Model Romance, Bridger and Kai’s very different experiences in Korea eventually and unexpectedly bring them together in San Francisco.  To celebrate Seoul, and the upcoming release (Sunday, March 10th) of the story it helped inspire me to write, today’s Special Edition City Code Snapshot will feature five of my favorite things about Seoul. Continue reading

City Code Snapshot: IAH

I haven’t featured a City Code Snapshot in a while.  What little flying I have been doing of late has been of the straight-to-the-hotel-straight-to-bed-straight-back-to-the-airport variety, which is generally pretty efficient, and helps me maximize my time at home, but offers precious few snaps worth shooting — how many Airport Marriott rooms are you really hoping to see?  (If you’re like me: not that many.)  Our Houston layover actually falls into this same category, with the added Boredom Bonus that the hotel is attached to the airport — we don’t even get to stand around and complain about Where’s the Van? for ten minutes, which is usually quite a popular layover activity.  Especially late at night.  Especially when there’s snow.  Here we just walk from the plane to our room and back again, fingers fervently crossed that there will be time on one end or the other to stop and grab some Popeye’s.  (Note to America’s airports: you wanna start winning awards, travel magazine reader’s polls, and acclaim on misterstewardess.com?  Get you a Popeye’s.)

Everything’s Big in Texas (Hey, Boys), and Houston — the fourth largest city in America, behind only New York, L.A., and Chicago — is no exception.  They have a Ballet.  They have a Fine Art Museum.  They have a house sided with beer cans.  We get to see none of these things, because they also have two airports, and we stay at the giant one, way out close to nothing.  But what we do get to see, besides runaway electric carts, cute boys at the E Gates Starbucks, and the occasional Emirates A380, is this giant cow in a cow-patterned space suit planting a Texas flag on the moon.  Conceptually, there’s kind of a lot going on here, what with Houston’s connection to the space program, and cows jumping over the moon, and if there’s a companion sculpture of a dish running away with a wooden chili spoon, it hasn’t been installed yet, but I still feel like this cow deserves her moment in the spotlight.  I work for a conservative, business-oriented airline, where touches of whimsy are few and long-and-lonesome-Texas-highway far between, and I’m a sucker for a good non sequitur.  For all that I love to complain about airport layovers and painstakingly enumerate the reasons I’d rather go downtown, if you’re gonna give me Popeye’s chicken, hot guys pouring coffee, and zany public art?  Houston, we got no problem.