Monday, November 13, 2006

Hosting Luke and Michael

This weekend, I had the honor and privilege of hosting Luke (right) and Michael (left) in my home. They are two friends from GCN. Michael came to Long Beach Saturday afternoon from Santa Barbara and Luke came here from the UK.

They were both here for the GCN gathering Saturday night for my birthday and so they both spent the night at my apartment.

In the morning, before going to Sunday service the three of us went for breakfast to one of my favorite coffee/sandwich places called Royal Cup here in Long Beach - just around the corner from my apartment. They have the best breakfast bagels . . . .

During Luke's stay here in Long Beach, I got to know him more. He is truly an awesome guy! Being the Brit that he is, he is an absolute gentleman. And he is hilarious too! We had some good laughs.

I've gotta say this too - he knows this (but doesn't think so) - but I think British accents are sooooo hot! No really, it's way hot. Purr . . . . The funny thing is, he says the same thing about "American" accents. We had lots of fun talk about each of our different Brit/American phrases. The best is hearing him say, "I can't eat tomatoes" with his "American" accent. Cracks me up!

Luke was able to do some shopping and he gave me an awesome birthday gift. Seen in the photo, he gave me a recipe cookbook by a famous English chef called the "Naked Chef" who cooks Italian food. That's terrific because my buddy cooks and he can make good use out of it here in the apartment.

I find Luke to be an intelligent, kind and courteous guy. It felt like we both were immediately comfortable with each other and our conversation was refreshing. Luke is also a visionary, like me, and so since visionaries tend to find a common connection, Luke and I seemed to hit it off well! I'm honored to call him a new friend. He extended an invitation for me to visit him in the UK and I just may take him up on the offer some time next year. Wouldn't that be fun?!

He'll be flying out to the Bay area on Monday to see family and do some site seeing. He'll come back to Long Beach mid week and we'll hang out a bit more (along with others in SoCal) for a few more days. He's loving the California weather and isn't looking forward to returning to the cold of the UK right now.

As for Michael, we met almost a year ago. Last year, the Southern California GCN'ers got together for our first Christmas party. Many of us were meeting each other for the first time. It turned out to be super fun and as that night progressed and people left, four of us seemed to bond really well and stayed til 3 AM talking and getting to know each other. Michael and I were one of those four.

Since then over this past year, we've kept in touch. We typically have long phone conversations talking about what's going on in our lives or about gay Christian issues and questions. We've both been on this journey and it's been helpful for us to process things together. I've gone up to Santa Barbara to visit him a couple times. He's come down to Long Beach many times to visit.

I suppose Michael can best be characterized as . . . . quirky. Definitely! He's got the most hilarious sense of humor - totally random but the funniest comments about things. He's got an infamous rally clap where he'll clap in a series of 8 exactly - or to whatever tune is going on in his head. He'll also applaud after hearing a funny joke - that one cracks me up the most! He's a programmer so he's very analytical in the way he thinks and speaks. You can often "see" his wheels turning as he begins to set up his verbal statements.

He also makes movies. He and his friends will often take months at a time to produce a movie and it's often funny and well done. I've seen two of his recent movies and they are awesome. The first was a funny info-mercial. The second and most recent was a hilarious parody involving Michelle Kwan getting cheated out of the gold medal in a chess tournament. It was done well and it's so funny - i think Michelle would be proud! Actually, I've got an appearance in the movie. Another friend of mine (one of the four I mentioned from the Christmas party) and I went up to Santa Barbara for a visit and Michael gave us some lines to act out. After a couple of hours of shooting, we are now movie stars! He just finished showing the movie to several test audiences and he'll have an official Southern California movie premiere at the next Christmas party. Fun times!

Anyway, Michael and I have grown to be good friends and I appreciate his friendship.

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