Saturday, June 30, 2007

Never give up...

CNN: Witness Jackie Kennedy told the BBC that after the crash, a passenger in the Jeep doused himself with fuel from a can and ignited it, then got out of the vehicle. Airport police used fire extinguishers on him, and he fell to the ground, she said.


You know, you bastards never cease to amaze me. Every time you do something like this, I get that clench in my chest, that hopeless sadness. Something that just doesn't happen in our world has happened again. And I get a twinge of fright.

Then I remember that's pretty much what you want, that you get off on the pain of others (and apparently your own pain as well). And I'm not afraid that you're going to take me down while I ride the subway or come out of a pub late one night.


So take your best shot. Try to fuck up my life, make me stop spending money and doing what I always do. Because, quite honestly, you will not make me back down. We will not be broken.

Fuck you, you bastards.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Truer words...

Weather or not it actually exists, it feels like a certain camaraderie is shared amongst bloggers.

Who knows what it is exactly. Maybe because some of us are starting our journey, we feed from each other's experiences and quietly gain strength from the words of others. Other times it's the reassurance that life can indeed be fulfilling and good things do happen to good people.

At any rate, it offers fellow writers something even better than being a fly on the wall reader; we have the ability to creatively feed from each other, and to let others ideas be further explored in our own space.

On top of that, I feel like I could befriend a number of you. Hell, I feel like in some obscure way, we are friends. Even though I haven't yet talked to many of you, the fact that we read each other's notebooks gives the feeling that indeed we are communicating with one another, even if it's not at a conversational level.

So without further adieu, here are some blogs that I read and learn from, and that I have added to my list of links after too long of a time.

Blue Eyed Boy

The blue eyed boy from somewhere in England, who's not a whole lot older than me but seemingly infinitely more together. What can I say other than I respect him and strive to be as quietly optimistic as he is. I can see similarities between us, but I wonder if I can ever be as amazingly OK as he is.

About A Boy And His Briefs

A fascinating New Yorker who loves life and lives in the moment. Comfortable in his skin, and comfortable with showing off his jaw-dropping body, the testament of a man with a past, but someone happy in his present. With eloquent and short posts, a great read.

The Wilde American

I haven't read this entire blog, but am struck with the quality of writing. Someone who experiences more in a week than many hope to experience in a year, but keeps his head at least mostly close to the ground. His photography is great, and the writing at many times gives you the 'you are there' sensation.

You've Got A Gay

Dealing with his sexuality, the idea of coming out, and what it all means, this blog has a bit of everything. Hailing from the straight-but-gay camp, he's working through what it means to be gay but not have any of the flaming homosexual flags associated with it.

Rabid Mongoose

A wicked sense of humor, this not-so-anonymous blogger is an example of someone with his head firmly planted on his shoulders. After going through a few rocky years, he's sharing his stories of the past and the present with a witty and stylized writing style. With the qualities of the type of gay guy I would hope to be, he is simply who he is, and comfortable with it.

Nothing Golden Stays

Another mid-20's closeted guy who writes intensely. Following his life, with the revaluation that his sister now knows about his sexuality. An interesting guy, an interesting writer, another story that's being told, before the dawn goes down to day.

Closet NS

A fellow Canadian from a few miles east of in the fine city of Halifax and just starting his blogging career. According to his first post, he likes sports, politics and beer, so we'd get along pretty well with two of those three things. But probably I could just ogle him while he plays sports, and then it'd be 3 for 3. By examining his history, he's getting himself ready for his Christmas goal - come out to his close friends. A promising read, hopefully he gets as addicted with blogging as many of us seem to be.

So there you have it. I'm sure that practically everyone already reads some/all of these blogs, but I wanted to bring them up in case someone hasn't seen them yet. A smattering of people in different walks of life, but with the common thread that is part of the core of our very existence. I hope you learn as much as I have from them.

And to the fellow bloggers, lots of love and admiration for you. Thank you for letting us into your life.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Once more...

The routine is getting a bit old, but is ever-so-necessary.

Amy was my best friend in high school. We met the first day of grade 9, and were together for the next 4 years. After school ended, we had sort of drifted apart; I was headed off to attempt and embrace a new life, she was reluctantly moving to a new city and trying her hand at college.

We talked on and off for the next year, and I visited her when I could, but it just seemed a little odd. She was in a really difficult place, dealing with the fact she didn't really want to be in her program and just wasn't ready for any major life changes. I realize now that I should have been there more for her when she was going through this, but I was never the one she turned to for support in times of crisis. In fact, she was the one who was more likely to be emotional. I remember, probably the only fond memory of 9/11, her reaction. I told her what had happened, and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. After all, I was one of the few people who realized how the world had changed in the blink of an eye, and she was one of the few who could appriciate the impact. We had seperate classes that afternoon, but when I ran into her in the hall, we talked for a few minutes. I told her how drawn I was, how at times my chest constricted so tightly I thought I would faint...she told me how she'd already had 3 panic attacks over the course of her lunch period. It made me feel a lot better.

Ever since coming home from school this year, we've been talking more than we had since high school. We've seen each other at least once a week since then, and I've really enjoyed getting closer to the friend I knew in high school, as well as meeting the new girl she's become.

Tonight she came over for dinner and to watch (somewhat cheesy) TV. I cooked up some delicious chicken breasts, chopping them up over pasta and some sauce, and delivering it all to the table. We ate, talked, laughed, and just had a nice time. Afterwards, I popped in 'Point Plesant', the Fox series that lasted all of 14 episodes from a few years ago, and we dug in to crappy teen drama and satanic goings-on on the Jersy shore.

After the second episode, she declared she needed to go home. We sat in the blue TV screen light, eyes glinting from the brightness. My chest gave it's usual contraction, my stomach lurched slightly, and I gave my typical opening lines..."So, yeah..."

And I told her.

The reaction was a little reserved at first, "Oh, cool." But when we'd walked out to her car, she threw her arms around me and gave me a huge hug. "I'm so glad for you," she said buried in my chest. "I'm just really happy."

I don't know why I keep getting so worked up about telling people, because I really haven't gotten what I'd call a 'bad reaction' yet. I guess it's just the fear that one day, one of my friends will look at me with contempt and walk out of my life forever...and that's something that scares me, regardless of if they are jerks or not.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I never thought of myself as the type to write a 'Dear Abby' type person.

But when I started reading Manhunt's 'Cruise Director', Michael Alvear, I thought it'd be fun to write in with a sex question some time. And naturally, it would have to follow the same cheeky formula, playing on words related to the question, and trying ever so hard to be witty.

Well, one day I decided to give it a crack. I had a legitimate question, so I sat down and wrote a few funny sentences. Never really expecting it to go anywhere, I sent it in.

Surprisingly enough, months after the fact, my question is up on Manhunt with a slightly witty and as-always insightful answer from Michael. I was a little sad, because most of it was edited from what I had the poop-deck reference (but even that was changed slightly...) and of course I preferred my version better. But there you have it.

So if you've got a Manhunt account, be sure to check out this week's 'Cruise Director' column and have a chuckle on my behalf...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Farmboy Guilt...

Some of you may have actual experience with this, but even if it's not Farmboy Guilt, everyone has something that tweaks their guilt strings every now and then.

For me, it's all about the changes over the past few years. I packed up in 2005 and headed for the big city, glad to be having a change in life and scenery. I've lived in the same small-town-bum-fuck-nowhere my whole life, and there's no way to break away unless you simply leave. And so I did.

Not that I didn't miss being around my family, and my pets, and acres upon acres of free space. But I certainly didn't miss the insanity that is farming, and everything uncivilized and uncultured about it. I'd done enough of that in my formative years to last me a lifetime. Don't get me wrong, I think everyone should be exposed to some part of this side of life. It's a great way to keep humble and make sure your head doesn't get too big. But at the same time, I can imagine how stifling it must be for so many people (my father included).

So when I moved to Toronto, I was overjoyed by the freedom from farming. Because, quite honestly, I don't like pounding posts for fences, or stacking square bales, or driving a tractor up and down, up and down for hours on end. It's boring, unstimulating, and psychologically unsatisfying. No more would I have to suffer the horrors of agriculture, now that I had started life in the city. I had friends who actually wanted to visit art galleries and museums and listen to jazz music and embrace culture.

When I visited home, I would fall back into some sense of farmiliarity. I would help my father on Saturday afternoons, or lend a hand with my Uncle. After getting back to the city, I would joke about how strange my life was; one minute shoveling shit, knee deep in the stuff...the next shopping on Bloor Street in Yorkville, in some semblence of style. Truly this could be deemed a magical time, getting just a dash of the farmiliar while at the same time spreading my urban wings.

This summer I had no intention of doing any agricultural work. None. I'd had my fill, and I wanted to get a real job, and actually be challenged, as opposed to simply picking up the pitchfork and doing the same old routine. I'd had enough of the stupidity of my Uncle and cousins and their backwards outlook on life.

One night a few weeks ago, before my parents left on vacation, I went out in the evening with my dad to give him a quick hand. The sun was setting and the sky was a firey orange, casting long shadows from the towering trees. Birds sang softly, and the wind played with the corn stalks, rustling them quietly in the twilight. As we worked, I gazed longlingly down the rows of corn, watching the stalks shiver in the now cool night air. The stars winked into view, and the last rays of sun disappeared in the western sky. And I felt guilty.

There I was, actually missing farming. For those few minutes, I was enamored with the beauty of nature, and the overwhelming urge to jump on a tractor and start working invaded my brain. I felt guilty for begrudgingly agreeing to help my father, instead of doing my duty as a good son and offering to help before being asked. I felt guilty for turning my back on my past, my roots, and the dirt under my feet.

The next day, I still couldn't believe how I felt once I was actually in the field again. The realization that I really did want to be out there, if only for a little bit to fill some void in my soul, stoned me. But in the hard sunlight of that morning, I understood I had been swept up by my romantic mind and carried away by the few moments of beauty I had enjoyed. After all, this was peaceful natural bliss I had experienced, not anything like a typical day of work. There was no mechanical failures, no Uncle or cousins to drive me crazy, no lack of stimulation or repetitive motions to dull my brain...this was not farming. This was my romantic ideal of farming, something that does not exsist.

Yet here I am, working again for my Uncle, doing the same jobs I used to do, and being bored to tears. Admitedly the first few hours were fun, but as I got readjusted to the bounce of my seat and the grind of the gears, as well as the sun beaming down on me all day, I remembered all too vividly why I don't like farming. So what made me even think of agreeing to doing it just one more time? I'll chalk it up to Farmboy Guilt.

Will I ever be rid of this? Once I move away completely, start life away from my homestead and not return to work, will I be free of the obligation? Or will it morph into something even worse than it is now, a knawing in the back of my mind, as I work on the 32nd floor of an office building, or jet across the Atlantic on a business trip, that I have left my past behind. Will the Farmboy Guilt follow me to the grave?

I guess we all fell a little guilty about leaving our pasts behind. Packing up for the last time, saying goodbye to the house you lived in, and permanantly moving away. After all, this is what you want, to have the life you want. If you make the break really clean, I guess the guilt is minimized, since you're not constantly being reminded what's happening back there. But maybe at some point, when you see a scene that lets your imagination take you back to a moment in your past, most likely fabricated from snippets of truth that combine to make one really rosey memory, you'll have that quiet whisper in the back of your mind...and feel a twinge of guilt.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Now I really wish I was on that vacation...

These past few days have been insane. I've gotten about 6 hours of sleep each night, and thankfully got to 'sleep in' this morning. It all started going downhill after saying yes to my Uncle and starting to work for him, while at the same time adjusting to all the new crap I have to do.

But you don't want to hear about all that.

I'll definately recount the more interesting parts of the past few days though. First off, the Stevie Nicks concert. I love Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac is my all-time-favorite band, and naturally that love extends to Stevie. Her concert was pretty good, not the greatest thing I've seen or heard from her, but it was also only the second show I've seen her in, so I wasn't complaining about getting the chance to listen to her in person.

Sadly, the crowd sucked. Nobody near me was moving, dancing, singing or really showing the slightest interest. The couple in front of my seat were constantly typing on their BlackBerry and practically ignoring the show. The only saving grace was the 50 people who had approached the front of the stage and stood dancing and waving through the entire set. They were great fun to watch, as was the two guys in front of another row. They would intermitantly get up and dance their asses off, but ultimately never got anyone else on their feet. I'd like to appologize to Ms. Nicks for the horrible audience.

I also decided on the drive home that if I ever turn into a drag queen, it would have to be one modeled after the Welsh Witch herself. For the second last song, she came out in that top hat with a huge white feather, and just looked so damn cool. Not that I have a vested interest in becoming a drag queen...but if I got to run around looking like that for fun once in a while, it might actually be ok.

The other interesting event was my beginning working for my Uncle. Not 2 hours after I'd dropped my parents at the airport, he'd called me wondering what I was doing the next day. I agreed to do one job for him, and somehow that has snowballed into working every day since. It pisses me off to no end that he continually manipulates me into working, but at this point I need money, and didn't realize how much time I would need to keep up with everything else I need to do, and work. That explains why there's been no posts recently, because I really haven't sat down except to eat and sleep.

Taking up working for my Uncle did give me an interesting experience earlier in the week. He's in the agriculture business (I'd say more but I'd prefer to keep it vauge) and was hired by a couple to do some odd jobs at their farm. Naturally, that fell to me to do. My Saintly Uncle is always pleased with himself about these clients, because he's the only guy that will do work for them in the area. You see, they're a gay couple.

So there I was, listening to my Uncle and cousin and the other hired help go on about how I needed to go up to the "fags" place and do some work. They made a few jokes, including wondering if they were going to Pride this weekend...and I sat stoney faced and very unimpressed. My Uncle now fancies himself a humanitarian because he'll work for these guys when others refuse to because they happen to be gay. Even though that means he makes about a million gay jokes and really doesn't have any respect for them. Every time I needed to talk about going up there, I simply kept conversation to what needed to be done, and never acknowledged there was any difference with them than there would be working for anyone else.

My cousin dropped me off, and on the way up their drive reminded me, "Don't make any jokes about them going to the city this weekend..." Right. Like I'm the one that needs sensitivity training.

I actually got to meet both guys, and they were quite nice. Of course, I was given the impression they were flaming hippie queers, and why I believed any of that I'm not even sure. The one was obviously gay, but wasn't throwing his arms in the air and screaming "Oh, dahhhhling!"

His partner actually was an even bigger surprise for me. He was in really good shape, and wearing some very fitted clothes. I couldn't help but check him out, and I'd even go so far as to say I was attracted to him. There was just something about him, he was just hot, what can I say? It must have been the heat, and my undersexed self simply got carried away...

They were both really nice guys, offering me cold drinks while I was working away. I found myself desperately wanting to tell them about me, to let them know I wasn't just another idiot hick who would be going home and sniggering about the homos I saw today...but in all honesty, what kind of a conversation would that have been? And what really did it matter, considering I was polite and engaged with them, never saying anything the least bit uncomfortable or insulting. I just hope they realized I was a little different than the ones that usually came around.

So there's my exciting last few excuse me, I have a date with a pillow and blanket that I really don't want to be late for.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Alone again (naturally)...

I got up before the sun this morning, packed up the car, and hit the road.

A short time later, and I'd unloaded my parents at the airport. Hurrah! I'm free! See, they've gone on vacation (without me, the bastards...) and I'm now all by my lonesome for the next 2 weeks.

Theoretically this is all good. I've got the place to myself, and have no interuptions or distractions. I can walk around naked all day! I can jerk off whenever, wherever. I can even *gasp* have sex! Truly it should be a glorious time.

Actually I'm really looking forward to being 'on my own' again. I went grocery shopping today and grabbed a bunch of stuff I like, and I'm planning on actually living by some sort of schedualed timeframe while they're away. Part of the reason for that is the amount of things I have to do around here as replacements for them. All the chores they do on a daily basis fall to me now...not that I'm going to be doing them all, or as frequently as they would, but there's enough to keep me busy. Hell, even cutting grass and watering gardens takes hours.

In my fantasy world, I was setting up all sorts of great scenarios for my two weeks. All the people I would have over, the parties I could throw, the general freedoms of having only you between your four walls. Then tonight, as I sat eating dinner, I started realizing that things maybe weren't as straightforward as they had seemed. People who I was expecting to be in town aren't, my friendship with Ashley puzzles me ever since coming out to her (I worry that she's just not as good with it as she's let on, even though Laura says its fine), and I'm worried and a little disappointed because I don't have any plans for the Canada Day long weekend. It just feels a little like all the conversations about how excited we were that summer was upon us have led to nothing of great importance happening. I guess now that I have the opportunity I should try and turn that around, take the initiative.

Having some spare time has left me time to waste checking in on friends at school. And of course that's always interesting, especially when it seems like everyone is starting some hot summer romance recently. I've lost track of the number of people who are now seeing someone or in relationships. I guess people have been caught up in Pride fever and are shagging like jackrabbits. Well, the gay ones anyway. The straights are keeping up though, I must admit...but honestly, this is almost summer, isn't the big relationship boom supposed to start in the spring?

Hrm, and Pride. Laura declared the other day that we should go down (well, now it's 'should have' gone down) to Pride in Toronto. I mulled it over for about 3 seconds before saying, "Why?"

"Because, you're supposed to have Pride. Now that you're coming out and all, you should be comfortable in showing that side of yourself."

Thats all fine and well, but it's not like I have strong ties to the gay community as yet. Hell, I don't really have any gay friends. It'd make more sense if I went with at least a few other homos, not just me and my friends from home. Besides, I have very mixed feelings about the whole Pride Parade thing anyway.

It's such a multi-headed beast. On one hand sure, lets celebrate that we have the ablilty to celebrate being whatever sexual orientation you are. Secondly, it's great to show that there is such a community in exsistance, and that mainstream attitudes are not only accepting but embracing the fact that homosexuals exsist outside of bad comedy films.

But where it gets a little dicey for me is the whole over-corporatization and overselling of the event. Is it really necessary to parade around to raise awareness about the GLBT community anymore? I mean, everyone knows about it now, it's no longer a secret! That said, the parade should focus more on social issues, such as the AIDS crisis, and less on the "We're Here, We're Queer" mentality.

Add on top of that the fact that, in order to sell the Queer community as not being at odds or a three-headed mutant dog compared to the straight world, organizers get hot guys dressed in underwear or less to spray each other with water guns and frolic in an outward show of overt sexuality? Do we really need to scare the straights half to death with the idea that these homosexuals are acutally having sex with one another? It just seems to me a little contradictory to on one hand to try and draw the inclusiveness of the 21st century from the very sexually segregated imagery of party boys hosing each other down on floats.

(And yes, I do realize that the entire Parade is not as much fun as these floats are.)

Oh well, maybe by next year I'll have stronger reasons to attend. For now I have to get some beauty sleep for tomorrow night's Stevie Nicks concert (yay!), and plan the intricate details of a dinner party I'll try and have next week. See, I'm showing my pride after all!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The hot blonde on TV...

I saw something on TV the other night that made me a little sad.

I don't remember what time of night it was, probably around 1 a.m., and I was going to go to sleep. But as I flipped the TV back from my DVD player to a regular station, I caught a scene that held my interest (later to be determined it was The Real World: Denver).

Right away I could tell it was some Reality television program, a genre that I never watch. I was going to shut it off when I stopped and heard what the gorgeous blonde guy was saying.

Stifling tears, he was talking about, "How much I loved him," etc etc. At this point I was interested. Whats this about gays on TV?

The girl he was with tried (not so desperately) to calm him, patting his hand and offering him some simple statements. But he kept getting more adgitated, and kept on drinking. Seconds later, he was pleading with another guy, asking why his boyfriend had left him, when he was all he had. The other guy tried to calm him, but had no revalations to give the blonde.

Then, out of nowhere, the blonde wipes his tears back and says, "I don't want to be gay. I hate it, I want a wife, and a family, and kids and a house. I don't want to be gay! Do you think I'm really gay?"

The friend says yes, you're gay. Don't deny yourself.

"But I've got demons inside me! I'm going to go to hell, I won't be saved. God won't save my soul! Please, pray for me, I want to be saved. Do you think God will save me?"

Moving in, the friend holds the blonde's shoulders. "You're not going to hell. God will forgive you."

It cuts to an interview with the blonde after that night, and I learned a bit more about the story. Seems he cheated on his boyfriend in some one night stand, and the boyfriend left him. Not so shocking, and not really undeserved.

But then the real sad parts come out. How this beautiful blonde is really actually an almost completely lost soul. His family has no connection to him, simply because he's gay. "It's like they treat you like some friend, its an imposition to pick you up at the airport," he explains, as tears slide down his face. There's nothing good in his life, he drinks too much, and the only person that really loves him, the boyfriend who now left him, he drove away because of some stupid decisions.

My heart really broke for this guy, someone who normally I wouldn't think of as having such a sad story. After all, when I first see him, he's in a bar looking hot as hell, with a body and face to die for. He's chatting with his friends, he must have his shit together. I mean, what problems could this guy possibly have? He's too pretty to have problems.

But his probably not-too-uncommon story, about his family and his being unloved, really killed me. Sure, I've got my issues with things, but I don't have anything nearly as bad as him. And there, drunk (and honest), he's proclaiming that he wants to be straight, and to purge himself of the demons that make him gay. I'll admit I welled up a little seeing the pain flash on his face, and hearing the real truth about the pretty boy on TV.

I went to bed feeling thoroughally sorry for this guy, but when I thought about it in the morning, I realized I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I did something that I try to do when I am all to willing to lable someone as a victim of circumstance: change the characteristics of the person in question. Instead of a hot gay guy who cheated on his boyfriend, I thought of a straight girl who had done the same thing, and my sympathy was drastically scaled back. Sure, it's horrible about his family, but he also did something that would, if not for the other parts of his story, seem inexcusable.

Ultimately it boiled down to two different parts. The first being his depressing life story, and how eye opening it was for me to hear it. And the second, his one night stand that ruined his only loving relationship, something that I'm not as ready to forgive him for. Either way, I learned something, and tore down another stereotype that I didn't really realize I had built in my mind.

P.S. And what the hell was with the demons part! I didn't know people who were actually gay bought that crap! I thought it was just hate mongering from the far-right religious camps...poor guy!

Friday, June 15, 2007

This post has no title...

From the lack of actual stimulation through other media, my thoughts have been restricted to mere muses on film and music.

Definately could be worse, in my view, if the media is good (which it has been). But when I think about how I could be digesting classical literature and possibly expanding my mind with scholastic persuits, it kinda looks bad. But what are you going to do.

So in lieu of a rant on sexuality tonight, I'm going to talk about what's been entertaining my brain this week.

First off would be the new Paul McCartney album "Memory Almost Full". I'm not trying to hawk this on you guys, but this album is the real thing. For me anyways. I've listened to it three times so far, and each time I'm blown away by the quality. What's so excellent about this album is the fact that it doesn't sound like '70's Wings material, but is so completely McCartney that it makes you giddy. The pop is brilliant, mixing the new sounds with hooks only McCartney can craft.

Musically, the album mixes things I thought never could be. It grasps the best aspects of 'new music', with backing tracks that could have been pulled from any repuitable pop act of today, while at the same time keeping the fresh approach to music making firmly planted with amazing pop hooks. Really, if you played this album to people who only listened to new music, and didn't tell them who it was (incidentally, he plays nearly every instrument on the disc), they would probably hail it as the next big thing.

Plus, it's got one of my new favorite songs, "Ever Present Past". When I first heard it, I just sat there and drank it in. It actually made me feel, something that a lot of new music just doesn't do. Clearly this song should be a #1 single, and probably win a Grammy, because it effortlessly blends hard hitting musicality with great lyrics. Even if you don't care to listen to the whole disc, take a moment to check out this one song.

My second muse this week was last night's trip to the movies to see Ocean's 13. After the disappointingly obscure scripting of Ocean's 12, I thought the franchise would be finished. But George Clooney and the rest of the stellar cast pull of a great job in the newest film.

This is a movie made for movie lovers. It's clear from the start that it was made by people who love old films, and who are in it not to simply make deadline but to have a great time along the way. The comraderie between the actors is apparent, and makes the performances seem even more realistic. Couple that with the excellent cinematography and color-saturated sets, and you've got a feast for the eyes.

Two things were a bit lacking in the film, one of which was a drought of puncy dialouge. Where the first film had great one-liners and back-and-forth between actors, the third is missing that specail umph that could easily have been written in. Don't miss the first Oprah scene, hilarious.

Sadly I found Al Pachino's performance to be pretty bland. The usually fiery actor turns in a forgetable stint as casino owner William Bank. I think it's every movie fan's dream to be bitched out by Pachino, but here even when the moment would have been totally appropriate, the character never exudes more than a squint at any rivals. Disappointing, since we all know how berserk this man can be on screen.

So there, if you're looking for two things to do this weekend, you've got some options.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Can't you flirt with meeee?...

Finally, after what seems like years but was in fact only over a month, I got to go to Toronto.

It was a warm evening as Nick and I drove downtown, Paul McCartney's newest album (which freaking rocks FYI) playing in the background and intelligent conversation flowing freely between us. Nick is a musciain, a guy a year younger than me that I went to High School with. He's sophisticated, intelligent, charming and good looking...and strangely homophobic.

The irony of his homophobia is that we always do non-alpha-male things. Last night's outing was to the Distillery District, a converted pedestrian area that houses galleries, resturants and coffee shops in a really great atmosphere. I'd been there once before, but it's been a couple years, and I loved it. Nick vetoed our usual jazz venue since he'd never been to this area before, and wanted to check out some galleries.

We got there after 9 p.m., and no surprise on a Wednesday night, not much was going on. People were sprawled on patios, sampling the beers made in the buildings next to many of the restrants, and delicious cooking smells wafted from kitchens. We walked around, getting a feel for the layout, and peering into darkend gallery windows. After accepting that things weren't open, we settled on a restrant, the one with the oyster bar, and got a table on the patio.

Our waiter walked over, and I immediately smiled. He was tall, with frosted blonde hair, bright lips and cheeks, and a big smile. After giving us some menus he stepped away and served another table.

Moments later he was back, asking if we'd chosen anything to drink, because he'd, "Have to throw you out, and then I'd be pretty lonely around here." We laughed, Nick awkwardly, me awkwardly for different reasons.

Drinks arrived, and he kept chatting us up. OK, I take the 'us' back...sadly. Nick got a sample tray of wines, and the Blonde Waiter kept stopping by to see how he liked them all. He was making all sorts of cute, flirty conversation with Nick, who was sitting there nodding along. I was sitting there, in my hot black Rolling Stones Tee, and nice jeans, and not once did he ask me how my beer was.

After we'd lingered long enough, with Nick ordering another glass of Riesling on the Blonde Waiter's suggestion ("My country makes good whites...I'm German"), it was time to get the bill.

"Hail him down next time he walks by," Nick said.

"Uhh, excuse me? You're the one he's all over, you catch him."

"Oh, this always happens. It's like I'm a gay magnet. They always think I'm gay. You'd think at least he'd think we were together or something."

After I screamed inside, I sighed aloud.

"Well, at least he's payed some attention to you. I didn't even get a 'How's the beer?' from him. God, if I wanted his attention I'd probably have to be convulsing on the floor, right in his path, possibly with my shirt on fire, before he would notice..."

The bill came, and there was no phone number sneakily written on it for Nick. I took a bit of solice in that, and the fact that Nick was being a bit of a tease, making the bill with tip come out to $69.00.

Overall it was great to be back in the city, though I definately need to work on my he's-not-gay-I-am vibes for the next time we're going downtown...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A touch of clarification...

I've been asked about my weight and my plight to loose a few pounds, and realize that I didn't paint a completely clear picture in my last post.

I was never really overweight or obese or any of those terms. That said, I was on the higher side of my Body Mass Index, though still in the 'healthy' section. Remember, I come from the place that fixes meat and potatoes for every dinner, and nobody around here is shy about eating. I fit into that category, because I do like food, especially homecooked stuff.

Part of my motivation is health related. I eat anything...which means the healthy stuff right down to the bad crap like fast food. Well, I guess I should say 'ate' at this point, as I've cut out the fast food and really slutty snack stuff. I want to increase the vegetables and decrease the meats, and try to buy foods that are high quality to begin with, in an attempt to live a little healthier. But this isn't an obsession, or a pre-emptive hit on future health problems, its just a little innocent cleaning up my act. Though I still am slightly vengeful of teenagers who eat crap all day yet are improbably thin.

The other part is appearance and physical strength. Though never 'fat' (for lack of a better word), I wasn't toned. I did physical stuff when I lived at home, but my first year of school was pretty sedetary. My biggest walk to class was about 5 minutes. Second year brought a big improvement on that; I had a walk to and from class everyday, plus more walking around the city that I've ever done before. It started to come off through stress pounds when the situation with my roommate started to deteriorate and when I actually cared. Then, I just got into some bad habits because of the hours I kept at school, and ended up eating less.

What always shocks me is the number of really skinny guys. I mean, I know that porn and models are pretty much always skinny bodies with ripped muscles, but holy crap! Even reading things online, profiles of guys who are " 6' and 160 lbs" shock the hell out of me. How do they get so damn thin! I understand part of it is related to your natural body tendencies, so maybe since I'm broad shouldered and really tall, I have a few extra places for pounds to go.

Admittedly a large part of it is wanting to look more attractive. Not that I run around with my shirt off in public, or go to foam parties on my weekends, but lets face it, everyone likes hot bodies. And though I know I'll never be able to look at myself and say, "Damn, looking hot!" I'll enjoy it more having a more toned and defined body. Truly it's shallow, for society to be so enthralled with the 'perfect body', and I feel a little badly writing this. But at the same time, I want to pick up hot guys, or get picked up by hot guys, and it's just the way it is.

Also, I know that I'm not going to get the 'perfect body'. I don't plan to spend hours in the gym every day, or go on intricate diets to enhance pretty much anything. I just want to loose a bit and tone up.

Monday, June 11, 2007

How long can he keep this up...

So I've been really consciously eating well since I came home. And I'm reaching the point that it's killing me.

While I was away, I didn't spare any calories. I ate all the cheese, bread and other delicious but deadly foods that were placed in front of me. That said, thanks to Phase One of my weight-loss plan, I didn't eat as much of anything as I would have a year ago. But when I came home, I decided to immediately move on to Phase Two, not allowing myself to slide into any bad habits now that I've got constantly-stocked cupboards.

Phase One was something of an unconcious weight loss. Part stress pounds, part poor diet, part lack of interest in cooking, it all added up to me loosing around 15 pounds without me really meaning to. I didn't really monitor my weight every day, or restrict myself from eating a good variety of foods; it just seemed to want to come off me, and I happily let it.

Phase Two is something that I'm currently working on. It's required some changes, but surprisingly I'm actually enjoying a few of them. For starters, I now eat something for breakfast, a meal that I loathe. Lunch is a salad with something sprinkled on top, be it chicken or lunch meats, and possibly a piece of bread. Dinners are the usual affairs, but with more vegetables and less meat.

All that I can handle. I really am in love with the salad I'm buying these days, some organic romaine concoction that's really great to eat. Eating less meat is alright by me, even though I'm by no means going vegge. And eating more fruits instead of other things is yummy this time of year beacuse of all the fresh strawberries, blueberries and so on that are available.

What's starting to make me crack is the sweets part. Not that I ate a box of cookies a day, or gorged on iced cream every afternoon, but I always ate, and enjoyed, sweets. Starting Phase Two, I limited myself to one thing a day. It's been fine up until today. The cupboard is full of good bad things; butter tarts, cookies, chocolate, chips, iced cream... and I'm starting to seriously reconsider how much I'll actually gain back if I eat a few cookies and a tart tonight.

Gah! I can't let this happen! I've been doing well, and I really do want to keep loosing the weight, but dammit my mind (or body) is now starting to demand some refined sugars and fat. But I'm trying not to give least when I was at school I would literally have to go out and get something if I wanted crappy food; at home, my mother is my enabler, leaving all this good bad stuff right in front of me.

Phase Three is the part where I'm supposed to actually go to the gym and start working my body to get some definition. I've been lifting weights here at home semi-regularily, and I downloaded a basic Yoga DVD to try out the stretching and core excercises, but naturally that's not nearly enough. I need to run/cycle, and definately need some personal training to show me what the hell I've got to do. But Phase Three only starts when I've lost some more weight, and it's not just quite there yet.

Smacks of summer...

Well, I guess summer is here.

The temperature is high, the sun is out, the grass is green... all the telltale signs that indeed summer is upon us are here.

Seems that I'm at the stage in my life that I'm re-evaluating practically everything. This weekend I did many summerish things, including BBQ-ing, a trip to the beach, an afternoon at a friend's pool, and a disappointingly sugary bottle of California Zinfindel. But after it's all over, I'm looking back and realizing I don't have that tingle of "It's summer!" like I used to.

Not that I mind being off school, or a change of scenery from the city, or the great weather. All of those things are amazingly excellent. For instance, tonight I just sat on the deck with a great cup of tea and enjoyed the sounds and smells of the season. I would by no means be able to do that after mid-October, so I'm taking it while I can get it.

But there's the part of me, perhaps the dying flashes of childhood, that makes me wonder if I'm using my summer as best I can. Granted, there are many moons of it to go, but nothing I've done so far has stirred the summer spirit I used to have in my young years. Then, when I think back, it wasn't very exciting then. I guess the real fun was being out of school, home with your parents, helping garden and getting to stay up late and not go to the bus stop the next morning. But there it was, the blissful innocence of summers long past that still make me smile.

Of course, when I ask my friends about what they're doing this summer, I get very similar responses to my own. Hell, half the time I'm out with them anyway, so what I'm doing, they're doing too. So is this it? Once you get to that age, summer is just a happy season because you get more daylight hours, warm temperatures, and the chance to BBQ your dinner instead of baking it?

Not that I don't see the joys of all of those things! But when I think about the 'stereotypical' Hollywood teen summer, I guess I wonder how many people are actually surf instructors who also play in bar bands and drive convertables. Or the one where the young protagonist moves to a resort community for the summer, forming close and life-changing friendships with their fellow employees, all the while making deep discoveries about themselves and living life to it's fullest potential.

I don't know. Maybe I'll just throw a dinner party and we'll all get really pissed.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Happy 100-ish posts...

Well hell, guess who's turned 100.

I guess it's a pretty big deal! Though I really am not too worked up over it. I mean, I've still got lots to say, and I'm happy with what's been said so far.

Thank you to everyone who's supported me throughout these months, and to all those who have commented. It's really nice to know there are people out there. And for those of you who are just readers, thanks for your time.

I have had the great pleasure of enjoying some great conversations and e-mail correspondance with some of you. It's very fufilling to actually learn and converse with people who have read what I have to say. Thank you all.

And finally, a special shout out to Tim. (God, I can't believe I just wrote 'shout out'...). I can't imagine not having our sporratic chats, and I'd like to think we've become friends, even if it's an exclusively 'online thing'. For now, anyway.

So without further interuption, 102 things about me.

1. I'm an only child.
2. My parents just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.
3. My family has never moved, I've lived in the same house my whole life until going to school.
4. My newest obsession is mint green tea.
5. As a child I almost died from Meningitis.
6. I am terrified of needles, injections, drawing blood...and I blame being continually needled through my childhood.
7. I really want a tatoo, but when I think about being stabbed by 5 rotating needles, I get queasy.
8. My dream vacation, as of this moment, is visiting England, and living in a cottage in some small, Miss Marple-esque village.
9. Apparently I don't snore, but make some soft noise when I'm sleeping. It's 'cute'.
10. If I were an American citizen, I would have only one career goal -join the FBI.
11. Since I'm not, I could join the Mounties...but they just aren't as cool.
12. I think of myself as boring, but realize that I lead a fairly interesting life compared to some.
13. In high school I always prided myself on actually being non-conformist...that is to say, I wasn't Emo, Goth, or really interested in any current teen trends.
14. I listen to country music. But sometimes it makes me cringe.
15. My favorite chocolate bar is Mars.
16. I have two favorite TV shows: Frasier and I Love Lucy.
17. I despise majority of shows on network television.
18. I am a watch/clock whore, which psych students will have a field day with.
19. I've never been to the west coast of either Canada or the US.
20. I hate math, and promise never again to take it in any school setting.
21. I consider myself a praticing Christian, though don't attend chuch too often. My atheist friends say I'm not sipiritual enough to be a non-conformist Christian, but my churchgoing friends say I'm not traditional enough.
22. Though I never really believed in the 'grand plan' approach to life, lately things have happened in an all too organized manner.
23. I still think you make your own choices, and that you ultimately can change your destiny.
24. I collect LP's and prefer listening to my vinyl over CD's any day.
25. I spend majority of my 'fun money' on, LP's, etc.
26. The morning after drinking, I reach for the apple juice. Makes you feel better every time!
27. When I meet people I consciously look them in their left eye; you can't break eye contact without moving away.
28. After I meet people, I rarely remember their names right away, and need to be constantly reminded.
29. I don't have a hero that's alive. Mine are all dead. Ohhh, how faux-poetic.
30. I am usually astonished about the things people say at least once a day, and check the calendar to indeed see that we live in the 21st century.
31. I am a worrier, even when I dwell on things completely out of my control.
32. I don't like small children, and though I want kids at some point, I want them to come pre-aged to about 5 years old.
33. Christmas is my favorite holiday of all time.
34. I dream of actually being financially stable enough to take off for weekends away with my friends/special someone.
35. People tell me that I'm really sarcastic. But it's not usually a compliment.
36. I tried contacts once, but felt really dizzy after getting one on. But I really, really want to try them again.
37. My favorite martini is a Cosmo, no exceptions. Now, the hard part is actually finding a good one when you're out...
38. I have one full set of grandparents, and one half set.
39. I'm 6'2" tall.
40. I have no clue what blood type I am.
41. There is no male I consider one of my 'best friends'.
42. I have 3 'best friends', one of whom I'll be living with in September.
43. Whenever I'm in the car alone, I sing practically nonstop.
44. I can't sing in the shower, even though I have a shower radio.
45. I love tomato juice on my Kraft Dinner.
46. It is my esteemed opinion that vegans and vegetarians simply don't know what they're missing.
47. I like to know as much as I can about people, and keep up on my friend's lives.
48. I don't gossip, I talk about people who I care about only with other like minded people.
49. I want a great, influental job that allows me to travel and live part-time in another country.
50. I wear Dior Homme cologne everyday.
51. I smoke occasionally and socially, but would never pick it up as a full-time thing.
52. The longest I've ever gone smoking was my 3 weeks in France.
53. Next September I plan on getting a very part time job at Starbucks.
54. Fleetwood Mac just isn't the same without Christine McVie.
55. I'm not friends with anyone I went to elementary school with.
56. Red over white wine, unless it's deathly hot out, then white takes the cake.
57. If you gave me a delicious carrot cake, I would seriously consider sleeping with you.
58. My dream job would be being part of a band's world tour...what part I'm not sure, though in the band would work.
59. I got the English award my graduating year of high school.
60. I hate potatoes, yet still eat them.
61. Only iced cream with chocolate in it is worth eating.
62. I have determined I can't live in the city, or the country, exclusively; therefore, I have to split my time between the two.
63. No matter what people say these days, I hope history records how exceptional a woman Condi Rice is, considering where she came from.
64. Bridget Jones' Diary is one of the funniest books I've ever read.
65. I think I know more American geography than Canadian; thank you CNN.
66. I badly want to spend a rainy Sunday in bed, but never do.
67. Katie Couric is highly overrated.
68. It is estimated that I need to have a starting salary of $100,000 to live modestly but comfortably.
69. It is estimated that my starting salary will be less than $35,000.
70. I have no idea what I want to do after graduating, except possibly continuing my education.
71. I solemnly swear I will not become a professional student.
72. I'm in the top 15th percentile of my class.
73. Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite director.
74. Vertigo is my favorite movie.
75. I have seen Vertigo twice on actal film, and it was amazing both times.
76. I'm not big on PDA, but love to hold someone on the couch.
77. I've been complimented several times on my cock.
78. I have never broken a bone in my body, and as a result am ignorant as to how badly it hurts.
79. I realize now that not taking French through high school was a mistake.
80. I prefer having actual conversation with one or two people, rather than exchange useless chatter in large groups.
81. I have never taken nude photos of myself.
82. I have never changed the natural color of my hair.
83. I'm a cat person.
84. People think I'm 25.
85. The only part that bothers me about that is my wondering how I'll actually look when I'm 25.
86. The most influential teacher I had in high school was my music teacher.
87. My favorite beer is Molson Canadian.
88. I love talking politics, though apparently it's 'poor party conversation'.
89. Even though I love most things about 1967, I don't think I would have been a hippie.
90. My favorite, and lucky, number is 3.
91. I like to close my eyes and pretend the 80's didn't happen.
92. I bite my nails, and it pisses me off.
93. I'm a Neo-Freudian.
94. I have never watched MTV.
95. My mom had breast cancer when I was in Grade 12.
96. I don't regret things I've done, I regret things I didn't do.
97. M&M's over Smarties.
98. I'm currently listening to The Police - Synchronicity, and very excited for their concert in a few weeks!
99. I work well under pressure, but occasionally I wind up snapping at people needlessly.
100. I love to fly.
101. I want a parrot; something about having a pet for your entire lifetime appeals to me.
102. I have never told anyone I have a blog, and don't plan to.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Out of time...

I'm facing somewhat of a dilemma.

Ok, it's more than somewhat. It's nearing a full-blown crisis: my employment status. Before I went away, I applied to a handful of good jobs that were in my area. These weren't jobs at the iced cream stand, or shucking coffee or burgers or something...these were decent student jobs that I felt really qualified for.

Through a set of circumstances which leave me wondering why Fate doesn't want me to have a good job, I was never hired by anyone. I wasn't even called for an interview. When I did follow up with on particular job, the woman told me I had a stellar resume, but that she didn't call me because she "thought (I) would want something better than her job." After smacking my forhead a few times, I began packing for France and forced myself to not worry about getting a job.

While I was away, for the most part I didn't dwell on the job thing. Every now and then we'd get into a discussion about what everyone was doing for summer jobs, and I would painfully recount my story thus far. Everyone was sympathetic, and agreed that I am always getting screwed with the job thing. Near the end of the trip, I would fall asleep with the doom and gloom of what I had to look forward to when getting home: moving out of my apartment and finding a job.

Still, I kept a positive attitude, and even applied for a few jobs the day after I got home. And still, nobody has even bothered to call me back. I'm now really, really screwed, because all the jobs that were 'good' are gone, and I'm faced with finding another to desperately start saving for next year's tuition.

There really isn't that much available to me here. In truth, I have no good options. All the jobs that are open are things that I can't even imagine myself food, coffee places (sadly not Starbucks, but more like McDonalds Coffee Houses), resturants...and Wal Mart.

I don't knock anyone who works any of these jobs. But I also can't see myself donning the blue vest and walking into the world's biggest chain store. It just makes me feel...well, not very useful. I mean, I'm going into my 3rd year of college, I've got a resume that blows many out of the water, I've got citations for academic excellence and references from important people around town...I should be pouring myself into something more worthwhile than pouring coffee.

And it brings up a host of other can I ethically work at Wal Mart. I don't even shop there, and though I'm no bleeding-heart anti-globalization ultra-liberal, working for 'The Man' that is Wal Mart gives me a queezy feeling. I don't know if I can respect myself after walking in and out of that door with that damn blue vest on.

The worst part is, I'm running out of time. I've been home a week and a few days, and I really need to start working. The forcast is grim...I don't really have anywhere else left to apply except at some chain store for a job I don't even want. But I need something. Now.

What should I do? Am I being pretentious by not wanting to work at a fast food joint? Should I strap on my blue vest and sign up for Wal Mart? Do I keep waiting for something to come along that better suits me? Please, I really need some advice.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

How I want to find myself in love...

Before I went away, I loaded up my iPod with lots of music I hadn't necessarily heard before. I wanted stuff to keep me busy on the long train rides and the overseas flights. So I would set my iPod on shuffle, and lay back, enjoying the tunes that would be pulled from the most unlikely places.

This song really caught me, I still listen to it once a day. The lyrics...well...they pretty much encapsulate the entire feeling I hope to have when I meet the man of my dreams.

I don't know wheather it's a generational delusion, or if it's a fantasy that certain people have about relationships. We all hear of the people who yearn for the white picket fence, the happy couple, the kiss every evening when walking in the door...well, I've never dreamed of that. Instead, I want someone who's my equal, someone I don't need to flipantly kiss every time I see them to let them know how much I love them/how much they love me. I want the love that sophisticated 30-somethings want...all I want is you...(carly simon/jacob brackman/andy goldmark)

"What do the neighbors say
when they hear us scream at night?
Do they talk about a love
all in tatters?
What do the neighbors know
about the heart and soul
the fire down below
really matters.

They could never guess
in the silences
that all I want is you
and the sexy hurricane that we share.
All I want is you
I don't want a man who says 'good morning dear'
All I want is you, nobody else but you.

Let them listen at the door
let them listen through the floor
let them go ahead and draw the wrong conclusions.

So chase me around the room
make me crazy like the moon
They could never guess
in the silences...

That all I want is you..."


After much internal debate, I've decided to upload the unedited version of my diary entry marked 15 May 2007. It aroused debate because I didn't really feel comfortable with some of the language in it (guess which parts!), but I was drunk when I wrote, rather scrawled, those letters...and we all know what alcohol does...give you that little ouce of truth telling that you lack when you're sober. Plus, I never intended to upload my thoughts to the blog, but that brings up an entirely other point.

The only way this thing works is if I unashamedly put my feelings and thoughts into my matter how embarassing they may seem to me. I couldn't believe myself as I revied my journal from the trip and thought, "I shouldn't add that. What if someone scoffs!?" But isn't that why I'm here? I mean, I have the great privilidge to call some of my readers friends, but the greater population still holds me at arms length.

So without further adeau, my entry marked 10:20 p.m., as written, drunken on my balcony:

"Out of light for sure, but I'll keep writing.

Am I depressed? I don't even know anymore. What was supposed to be enjoying a quiet night alone has turned into yet another introspective evening. This time (blank) brought it on. He pulled out a club guide for Nice, which happened to have his friend's brother's photo in it. But what I found out was it was a gay club guide.

Now, this is boring. But then I started to realize yet again how out of touch with the gay world I am. How badly I want acceptance, how I want what the boys in the photos have. But I feel like I'll never get that, besides, how could I ever be that popular? Popularity must transcend sexuality, therefore I'm doomed.

The whole point of this is I'm possibly a depresive case, but if I was to be asked what depresive, it's the fact I'm not gay enough. And the whole acceptance thing, the reality is however bullshit it is, to want to be accepted , it's whats the best, and it seems no matter what scenario I'm thrust into, I always wind up the same.

I miss Brian. Maybe I loved him after all. But more than likely, I liked being loved."

Wow, that was painful to type. In the sober hours, I don't think I'm depressive. Even tonight, I was looking forward to September and trying to actually find someone again. But in the dark moments, when you feel alone...and you've got a pen in your hand...well, you either get brilliant songs/poetry, or really crappy journal entries.

Monday, June 4, 2007


The evening sky in Lyon...

I finally got to Starbucks in Geneva...

The Eiffel Tower, much more impressive than I had imagined...

Full Moon in Paris...


Monaco's train station...

In Old Monaco...

Random Romance. My appologies to the happy couple...

Inside a church, Bordeaux.

On a wine tour, near Bordeaux.

Au revoir, personal favorite.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

So France...

Hello everyone, welcome back!

I realize that I started this a little backwards, what with my post yesterday not having anything to do with my amazing 3 week jaunt to France. But I had to get that post written, and just figured that it would be ok with everyone if I skipped out on my welcome back post.

Truth is, I have no idea how to write about the trip. It's so big, and I really don't want to give you all a blow-by-blow of each day. So I'll round up the trip, give you a few excerpts from my diary of the trip, and a few interesting observations.

I traveled with a group of students as an educational trip on the modern history of France. That's a pretty broad statement, but it's a broad subject. Essentially we were tourists who happened to be students, with a professor along to point out some signifigant cultural sites. There were under 20 people onboard, so everyone got to know each other really quickly.

We traveled around Bordeaux and the wine country, went east to Nice and the riveria, then meandered north until we hit Paris. Every section was different from the last, but it was all amazing. The architecture, art, food, wine...the ocean, starry nights in tropical heat, with the lights of small towns winking across the bay...This all does not give the glimpse of 3 weeks of constant travel, but I've decided for all our sakes, I'm not going to rehash the enitrity of the tip. Sufficed to say, it was 3 weeks I'll never forget.

At first, I was a little nervous meeting people. I mean, I'm getting better at chatting up strangers, but at the same time knowing you have to make conversation for 3 weeks with people instills paranoia; what if I look like an idiot now, how well will we all get on after 20 days? But people were open and friendly, conversation flowed easily and ideas and observations were gladly passed around between us. Really, I couldn't imagine doing it with a better group of strangers.

There were two discernable groups, the 'cool kids' and everyone else. The 'cool kids' were the ones there on their trust-fund's budget, and focused on shopping at Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Not that I have anything against that...but there was a definate lack of interest in things like, say, the Louvre. Then there was everyone else, who needed more of an interest in the couture side of things...

Amazingly to me, I was able to bounce between both groups. I dined at expensive resturants with group A, and hit the museums with group B. One girl in particular liked pretty much only me and one other guy on the trip. We would steal away and find a local patio, drinking and smoking and talking about her sex life. It was very Cabaret-esque, I was the reserved Brian, her the bohemian Sally...she's promised to take me out in Toronto and show me how to have a good time. The thing I loved about our relationship is the fact that though she's the socalite partier, she's still got a brain and cutting wit, and she never once looked down on my less-than-fabulous party life.

Days flew by, trains took us miles and miles across beautiful green fields and vineyards, and even to a few other countries (Italy, Switzerland). We drank, sang, swam, studied...truly the freedom every student dreams of.

An excerpt from the diary, 15 May:
"I'm sitting on our patio, just popped the cork on a half-bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge and opened a bit of chocolate. I've spent almost the whole day alone, which had felt both good and bad. THe nice part was the freedom from tedious moments: I go where I want, when I want.

But naturally, I miss being part of the 'the group' and all that entails. I've probably also missed a nice dinner, since I just ate and nobody else seems to be home. Except (blank) that is. When I got back from the pool he was here 'chilling' and has since fallen asleep on the couch. At least he left the BBC on. I wish he wasn't here though, if I'm doing this alone-for-a-day thing I want to enjoy it completely alone.

The frogs have started to sing."

Alright, time for observations.

I swear my gaydar was broken. Literally every young guy in France could be gay! They all wear sexy jeans, take care of their hair and skin, and are literally all gorgeous. It's amazing to walk amongst so many hot guys, but a little disconcerting because I can't tell if anyone's gay. But that wasn't the purpose of my trip...though it would have been a nice bonus if anything happened...which it didn't. So no, sorry, no sexy French stories for you.

Homosexuality in France seemingly is more accepted than here in North America, but that's a pretty unfounded claim. There were two instances of gay couples that would have turned heads in Toronto, but didn't in France. The first, at a train station. We were standing on the tracks, waiting for a connection, and ignoring the train next to us. Two younger guys came up the stairs, one leading the way to a train door. He stopped, turned, and embraced his boyfriend. They kissed, it was a passionate and sexy and very real. He turned again, and borded the train, while his boyfriend stepped back and waited on the tracks for the train to leave. It was very, very cute, but while it was happening I couldn't help but stare thinking "There are boys kissing in a train station!"

The second instance was in the Louvre, in one of the great halls of paintings. Couches were placed in the middle of the room to let tourists sit and admire the massive portraits and scenes displayed on the walls. We walked in, jaws dropping for the 53rd time that day at the beautiful art hung on the walls before us. As we wandered around, I looked at the couches; there were two guys who were sitting 'dangerously close' to each other for straight guys. A few moments and glances later, and they were kissing, arms around each other, in the middle of the museum. And nobody stopped, stared, pointed, screamed or otherwise gave outward indication they noticed or cared. Both of these things were shocking to me, but in a good way. After all this is 2007...

Another observation was my openness with my sexuality. Well, I wouldn't go so far as openness, but I didn't disguise my sexuality. Not that it came up really, but one girl, Ella, was talking about her best friend who was just coming out back home. She was obviously needing someone to talk to about it, and I always engaged her in frank conversation about the subject. But I didn't exactly scream, "Hey, everyone, guess what!"

One night we were seperated from the group, and ended up sitting on a park bench in the town's centre square. She brought it up again, and after a bit of discussion, I said point blank, "So, do you think I'm gay?" She hesitated for a minute, that hesitation you have when you're about to accuse someone who might be straight of being gay, but then said, "Yeah, it's crossed my mind." So I told her the truth, and got to complain how lucky her best friend is, who has been seeing this great guy...etc etc...It felt nice to be starting a friendship with that out in the open, and it really wasn't a big deal. She didn't care (obviously) and it really just took the place that it should: reserved for the 10% of my person that sexuality takes. I'm sure that the information circulated, but nobody said anything more about it.

All in all, it was a great 3 weeks spent. I can't believe I'm home, after looking forward to going for so long, but I've got a huge number of memories as well as some new friends to reminisce with. So welcome back, I'll do better next time at summarizing 3 weeks of my life. I'm sure I'll touch back on the trip again in future posts. And forgive me for rambling so long...

Friday, June 1, 2007

This is 2007...

I really should start a series - "This is 2007" - showcasing all the things that piss me off about how the people in our world seem to still be stuck in some backward pasttime and have not realized that we live in a civilized, evolved society.

(Maybe I should have italicized those words...)

I bounded out of bed this morning, feeling awake and alive and almost over jetlag and exhaustion. I tiptoed over to my computer that now sits in my bedroom, a novelty that I'm still getting used to. Before I went to school, I never had a PC in my room, but since moving home this summer, I've decided there's no room to put it anywhere else (not that there's room on my dresser...but these things are ment to try us...). Naturally, it makes jacking off a lot easier too, because when that door is closed in the evening and I've 'gone to bed' I can beat to my feverant delight and theoretically nobody should walk in the door. God help them if they did!

This morning I surfed my usual pages, checking my messages to see if anyone has gotten back to me about a job (poor Steve is unemployed at the moment...nobody seems to want him and his stellar resume...) and landed on Facebook to check out the pictures people had posted from our France trip. This is a good thing about living in 2007, the internet is so pervasive that everyone willingly puts up their private photographs for others to see. So instead of making multiple copies off the negatives of film cameras, us poor students get to enjoy 1500+ images from each other's cameras.

Before I even got to checking the pictures, I browsed the newsfeed to see what had been going on since I slept. In case you don't use it, Facebook provides a 20 line newsfeed of your friend's activities; who messaged who, who added photos, etc etc. I came across an item of a guy I knew in high school, who had just added 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' to his favorite TV shows. A little strange, I thought, but what the hell. I clicked on to his profile, and a flicker of excitement waved in my chest.

His profile had changed. His sexual interest was now Men.

This was not entirely impossible in my view. He was a great guy, a little reserved (not unlike myself), definately not the boneheaded jock that he could have been. And he's also really easy on the eyes, and still on the swim team at college (though that only added to the hope that indeed he was gay...because he's real easy to look at) So when I considered it, I gave myself a moment to analyze, and ultimately thought, "Sure, he's gay. Good for him!"

After I had decided that this was logical and possible, I scrolled down and checked out the rest of his profile. There were a few more changes listed...he now likes 'gay music', 'Brokeback Mountain', 'How To Attract Gay Men - A Guide' and "flamming sexual partners whom I hope to meet at the bars now that I'm 19".

I exhaled and sighed aloud. Possibly because yesterday was his 19th birthday, his friends had hijacked his account and made a 'really funny' joke of his profile. Which included changing his sexual orientation, and then writing some insane garbadge about being gay. Too bad, he'd have made a cute gay guy.

Then I found myself getting pissed off, because of the thoughtlessness and stupidity of what people had done. How can anyone our age make gay jokes anymore? How is it funny to make it look like your friend is gay? Why is being gay funny to straight people?

It's not that they defaced his profile...if done properly I think it'd be pretty funny. But to make him gay as part of the defacement, and think that that's funny, blows me away. I didn't think people thought being gay was a joke anymore, or that it s something to laugh about. I found myself really offended by the fact that college boys our age still stigmatize homosexuality so much that they make a big joke of it all.

And it wasn't even saterical or farcial or anything remotely witty that I could appriciate. It was a step above calling someone gay on the playground to make fun of them. And that's it.

This isn't the first time I've seen it done, in the exact same method. But this was the first time I felt really offended and shocked that people my own age could still be so unaware. Come on guys, this is 2007.