Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Which Way to Ghent ....

I really love it when life takes you on an unexpected turn, and thats what happened on Sunday when I found myself in the city of Ghent in Belgium. Beautiful, historic, romantic, small but with a cosmoplitan feel to it, Ghent is a city built around water and canals, it really is a hidden treasure. If I were to marry, Ghent is where I would spend my honeymoon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Turn Me Upside Down

I am back from Brussels, and although I planned on a day off and a really long entry in here, circumstances beyond my control mean that the long entry will have to wait (I am sure I will write an entry about that too). Its been a truly busy few days for me, with my emotions running the gamut, from disappointment and extreme sadness to pure joy and passion, eventually leading to inspiration. I now know what I want out of life, it is so crystal clear to me that I am amazed it has taken this long to get here. I just hope that I can remember this feeling, that it stays with me and not get lost with the madness of London, with reality setting in again. I need to stay focused.

I had a dream on Saturday night, it was me running towards something, not away, which is appropriate. I also had a dream that I was Erin Brokovich, so maybe I shouldn't read too much into my dreams.

I am both exhilarated and exhausted at the moment. I made a new friend, a true friend during this time, someone who I will care about for a long time to come.

Ok, so that this post isn't so dramatic, I have made two observations while in Belgium :

1. Leffe beer kicks some serious ass (I love it when I get really drunk but manage to wake up with no hang-over the next day).


2. Belgian homos have got one uniform for going out, long leather jacket, black tshirt (or black turtleneck), jeans, and black boots. Its like they are all in the Matrix, although I suspect few of them care what colour pill they take, just as long as it makes them dance for hours and hours. Honestly boys, you're cute, you're nice, but we need to talk!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Oh Bugger!

I mentioned earlier how I'm really looking forward to my trip to Brussels on Friday, well now I'm getting a little apprehensive about the whole thing. This is because the guy I'm supposed to go meet has just emailed me with news that he now 'sort of' has a boyfriend, its very recent and he'll explain when I get there. He also says he's looking forward to seeing me.

I don't really know what this means exactly, but I do know that the weekend won't be the little romantic getaway that I was hoping for. I am glad for him, and I wasn't expecting either us to not go out and date as we never agreed on being in a relationship, so its fair enough I guess (its not like I've been sitting at home knitting since September when we met). I am just hoping that I don't come back to London all depressed and moaning about how much it sucks being single, which I will after seeing the person I'm supposed to meet with another guy.Its going to be so much effort having to put on a brave face and pretend like the whole thing isn't really bothering me on the inside. I am trying to be pragmatic about the situation, but I don't think its wrong of me wanting to be selfish from time to time. I could always just not go, but I've already had to cancel one trip I've already paid for this year because of unforseen circumstances, I won't do it again. Anyway, at least I'll get to eat some waffles and chocolates, so it won't be all bad.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Arch Nemesis

Ok, admittedly the single life can be a very competitive one, and going to bars as at times akin to being on a battleground, a very subtle battleground. There is a lot of jealousy and insecurity floating about, and it can get a bit vicious. Its even a bit more difficult with queens as there is that whole narcisstic element to our cruising / dating habits, and unlike in the straight world, being promiscuous isn't necessarily frowned upon (at least not in London). Battles are won and lost with words not fists. Which brings me to the guy who I have secretly dubbed my Arch nemesis (AN).

Now to the casual observer, you would think that we are friends or at least good acquaintances. We always kiss hello, make small talk and generally are nice to each other. This is all one big facade, as AN and I don't really like each other. I used to think it was one-sided (me not liking him) but I've come to realize that he feels the same way about me. We don't like each other because we don't find the other one attractive (of this I'm sure) but at the same time we go after the same trade. Of course it doesn't help that I think AN is very dull and a bit fake with people, but nevermind. Clearly, there is a lot of resentment between us, if AN is with someone I fancy I get really irritated, and I've noticed that AN gives me death stares when I'm with someone he fancies. I don't really see the attraction and I'm sure that's how he views it from his side. We are always in each others territory and in a weird way its a bit of fun being competitive with him.

So, I see AN last night, run into him at the bar while ordering a drink and we are chatting. He's struggling to just even ask me how I am, but he knows he can't ignore me, we run in the same social circles and it would be a bit rude. We make conversation, we're fake smiling and nodding our way through a strained conversations, asking each other about how the weekend went. His, not so good, as he's been banned from a club that I always frequent. I am trying to look sympathetic but deep down I am really joyous, as he won't be coming into my territory at that particular place. I give AN my most sympathetic 'hope they let you back in', trying to hide my glee, I pick up the drinks and head back to my friends. Yes, I know I'm evil and its bad karma to gain joy from others misery, but I can't help myself.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Walker Lady .....

Ok, I have to admit it, I go to the Tesco's across the street far too often. Since its so close, and I am not the type of person that plans out his grocery budget, I end up going there on an almost nightly basis rummaging through the 'reduced to clear' section for microwavable ready meals. I don't think I've used my cooker for anything other than frying eggs over the past 2 months. Due to my frequency of visits, I have become a bit too efficent at the Self-Serve Check-Out kiosks, and I get really annoyed with first-timers who take forever on them, still figuring the whole system out, so I am usually very happy to help them if need be in order to move everyone along.

So last night I am in the qeue, and two of the kiosks are stuck and needs a store-clerk to clear it for some reason. The old lady standing by one of them is confused, she is standing with a walker, she is about 80 (give or take a decade) and not the nicest woman in the world. I am pretty sure she's the same lady who mumbled loudly towards me at the bus station once, calling me a 'fat shit' because I didn't move out of her way fast enough.

For some reason, none of the store attendants were around so she asks me for help.

'Can you help me'


'How do I use this thing'

'Ummm, sorry its stuck, you need the store clerk to log in and clear it'

'Do you even know how to use this thing', she replies angrily and a bit accusatory.

At which point I notice the clerk and wave to him, but he's helping some other poor soul at another kiosk. I tell the old lady to just wait for the attendant and he'll come and help her, which he finally does. I go to another kiosk and I am scanning my items, thinking everything has worked out, just in time to get home for the 6 o'clock new.

At this point though, the old bag is shouting insults at me to the attendant, saying things like 'that rude young man won't help me' and announcing it to the entire store. 'He said he doesn't know how to use it, but he's doing fine now' ... etc etc. This makes the old lady feel better, and in turn makes me look like the bad guy, and thats how it looks. Young, meditaranean looking guy, with a beard and a hooded jacket vs a sweet looking old lady with a hump and a walker, guess who wins.

I hate it when people think that just because they've got on in years that they can treat people with such disrespect. I guess if you are a jackass when in you are young, you'll stay a jackass when you get to old age. A part of me wanted to yell back at her, but I thought the better of it and hurried out of the store. Stupid old cow.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Club Post Part 1

Its almost the weekend again, and no matter how much resistance I put up, I wll end up sooner or later in a club somewhere at 3 in the morning, shirtless, my hands way up in the air as yet another song remixed by the Freemasons is cranked out at the club. It is what I do, and its what is expected of me. After all, I am a party bear and need to uphold my status as such on the scene. This has got me thinking about the (sometimes disturbing) hierarchy that exists on the London scene. As with every social group, there are the haves and have-nots, and I always equated going to a club like going to a film premier. You have your A to D-List celebrities, media types, photographers, and your spectators.

A lot of gay guys in London are here because they choose to move away from places where they were less accepted, and therefore are looking to belong to something. I think that’s the reason why many of them want to feel exclusive. Of course, sex, drugs and money are the main driving factors, so the closer you are associated with one of them, the higher up the chain you are.

Club Owners and Promoters

These are the film directors and producers if you will, the people that make it all happen. Some promoters are very visible on the scene, they are out all the time, making sure they have their ear to the ground, making sure that they know the scene queens and that in turn the scene queens will keep coming to their venue or club night. A good promoter always has a little flyer in his hand, maybe carrying concessions to what is admittedly an over-priced cover charge to begin with. There is a good portion of guys that are out every weekend and you need that core audience to keep your place full week in, week out.

Of course promoters are very high up the chain, they have the power to get you kicked out, they have the power to save you from getting kicked out, they can manage to get you on the guest-list. If you’re lucky enough, they will let you go to that little private room in the bar to snort something with them instead of having to qeue up with the rest of the masses at the toilets. Everyone knows who they are, a lot of guys want to be their friends, but they usually keep most at a distance.

There are also the club owners whose clubs have become so successful, that no one actually sees them on the scene at all. There aren’t that many in this category, but these guys usually rely on their promoters and door staff to do the work for them, to put in the face time. If we stay with the film analogy, the owner is the producer, finances the whole thing and sometimes is well known, the promoter is the director.


The guys I feel the sorriest for on the scene sometimes, are the DJs. On the surface, the most glamorous person in the club is the DJ, after all he is the one who can make or break a night by the choice of music. They also have exclusivity locked down, if you are a DJ in London, you can pretty much guarantee free entry into every club around (with the exception of one ‘big boy’ club which I won’t name), free access to drugs, free drinks, the whole lot.

A good DJ is one who knows how to play for the masses giving them some recognizable songs, yet is smart enough to play newer, more credible tracks in order to keep the respect of the more seasoned hardcore clubber in tact. You know the clubber that subscribes to music magazines and thinks he knows what the next hot song is, the one who pesters the DJ in his booth all night long with requests.

If you have a bad reputation as a spinner, then a bit of your glamour goes away, even if the venues still hire you. The scene queens love a good DJ to talk about, but they love a really awful one to moan about even more.

So why do I feel sorry for these guys, well its mainly because they are the ones that people tend to go after the most. If you want instant star status, you date a DJ or Promoter. Everyone will ask them for a guest-list spot, just because they chatted them up during their set. I’ve known a couple of DJs who refuse to date anyone on the scene as a hard and fast rule. Also, they get caught up in club politics more than anyone else, if you DJ for more than one promoter, or if you are DJ / Promoter, then you have to make sure that all sides are happy.

End of Part I, I will come back with a few more over the weekend.

Lunchtime Musings

By this time next week I will be on my way to Brussels. I have booked the Monday off work as well, so it should be a nice relaxed long weekend outside of London. I am really looking forward to this trip, I've been to Brussels once before and it was a very enjoyable experience. The reason I am going is because of this man I met here in London about a month ago (lets call him BS - Belgian Stud) and we had a nice couple of days together. I am a bit nervous about the whole situation, I haven't had the best experience with out of towners and I usually can't be bothered anymore. There was someting about BS that made me want to get know him, and I just want it to be a nice time. We are both grown ups and there is no expectations other than enjoying each others company for a few days, which I am sure we will. Its all sounds very romantic and it is, I'll just need to keep my neurosis in check while I'm there. I am thinking of asking him to come down for New Year's Eve should this weekend go well. We shall see !

Thursday, November 17, 2005

And You Can Dance - For Inspiration

If anyone out there is a regular reader of my blog (and I am sure someone is, despite the lack of comments to posts) they might have noticed that over the past couple of weeks or so that I have gone back to writing more entries into this thing. I guess this is for a couple of reasons. The first being that when my life comes into focus as it has of late, then my brain juices get flowing and I feel the need to write. I want to write down every single interesting thought that I have out of fear that I will run out of interesting thoughts. It scares the hell out of me actually, if you look at my entries, a lot of them tend to be apologetic near the end, hoping that the reader was interested but if they weren't, well at least I had an excuse (I'm tired, I know this is boring but I am writing it anyway, that type of thing).

The other reason for it has been the discovery of other blogs online that have inspired me to write again. I came across the Bourgeoiswife blog by accident last month when I was googling for the address of Bistroteque where the Bear Beauty Contest was held. A media-type with an actor husband living in London, Wife's writing had me instantly hooked, a very charming writer who cuts through the BS in her posts, it entertained me and made me want to entertain in return. From her blog there were links to Mimi New York, a British (I think) exotic dancer living in New York City and Industrywhore, who is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles. Seeing as I've always wanted to live a very decadent, almost bohemian life in the big city, you can see why I am fascinated and totally engrossed by these 3 blogs. So thats been my inspiration over the past couple of weeks, and I am not going to apologize for this entry !

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Heath .... Jake ... OMFG!!!!!!

Just came across the poster for Brokeback Mountain today, and man does it look romantic. I read on that the producers were influenced heavily by the poster for Titanic for this, and it looks like they are not shying away from the fact that this is a gay love story. A big budget Hollywood production that tackles the issues of unrequited love and the emotional turmoil that many closeted gay men have gone (and still go) through. I couldn't even imagine that such a film would exist any time soon, let alone be a likely Oscar contender. Hopefully many people will go see it, and maybe people will become a bit more open minded about gay love. I know it seems that we live in very progressive times, but with the gay marriage issue heating up in the United States, and with cases of queer-bashing and murder here in London, I don't think we are as open as a society as we would like to think.

Not sure when its going to get a release in the UK, but I personally cannot wait.

The Walk of Shame

Please see the revised map, all of those are tube stops where I have made the 'walk of shame' after a night out. The blue and red dots mean different things, but I am not about to divulge those on here, needless to say its a bit scary that I've been to New Cross Gate at least twice in my lifetime.

My Humps, My Lovely Beary Lumps .. !

This has now become a standard conversation peice whenever I am out at a pub and chatting to non-hirsuite men who appreciate my bearyness (some call them chubby-chasers, I for one do not care much for that term!) :

Guy A : 'So you're like a real bear of a man aren't you'

ME : 'Yeah, I guess I am'

'Must take you ages to work on your beard'

'Well, I have a trimmer, but yes I can get obsessive about it'

'I really have a thing for big fellas like you'

'Umm, thanks'

'Are you hairy all over ?'

...and so on

Ok, so what is wrong with this conversation. On the surface, nothing really, the guy is letting me know that he enjoys my big-boy status and that should be a good thing. I really don't mind being fetishized in this way, and if I didn't want to be labelled a 'bear' well then I better shave off my beard, grow the hair on top of my head and dye it pink. The problem is that the conversation above has become a bit of a cliche, I've gone through this song-and-dance enough times to know where it could lead to and the challenge is just gone. I need to be better stimulated.

I'd rather if I met someone at a pub that he would engage me in conversation about other stuff, like the whole Madonna / Kylie queen of pop debate or Jordan's hideous wedding photos, you know, stuff that matters! Anyway, I really shouldn't moan too much about it, I just find its one of those Groundhog Day things that you go through when you are single and putting yourself out there.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A New Look

I was getting a bit sick of my blogs looks, so I decided to change it to this 'Minimalist' look, which I think is a bit easier on the eyes. I've also finally figured out how to stop 'spam' comments on the blog. Now hopefully some people will actually start commenting, so that I know that this is being read.

Last Night.

Its early Sunday evening, I walk into South Central full of hope and expectation. Tonight will be a good night, I can feel it in my bones, I can sense it with every stride towards the bar. I walk in and see my friends are already at the bar, its looking good, I already have friends there and I will sit and have a quiet couple of drinks before the masses arrive and the place goes a bit mental. I am thinking that I love this bar, and I love the atmosphere, and the bar-staff always smile and ask me how I am. And each one of my friends is having a nice time and its all going great so far. And then I see him. I spot him from across the bar. And man, is he cute, and he’s smiling at me. And he seems familiar, but I can’t really tell who he is because of the baseball cap, but I think its makes him look even hotter. Look he’s sitting with someone I know, and that annoys me for some reason. I ignore it and drink some more, and I do more than just drink, and that’s putting me in an even better mood.

And my best friend arrives, and we have fun. And we joke about silly things, because that’s what makes us good friends, the fact that we can laugh about everything together. And we talk about our favorite couple who've been together for 15 years and how one of these days we'll find that, because they inspire us. And the dancefloor is empty, but its Diana Ross, and she’s finding out who the Boss is and I wanna join her cause its MY SONG, so I dance by myself, not a care in the world. I start remembering Seve playing it just for me on my birthday, which makes me feel nice and special again. And he’s looking at me dancing from afar, and I catch him smiling. And he’s a bit high just like me, I can tell. The night wears on, and the dancefloor is now on, but Diana is still around as the dj is just loving her tonight, so we are dancing to the Supremes. Finally we say hello, and he’s telling me we’ve met the weekend before at another club. And I’m starting to remember while he’s already telling me things about myself I didn’t realize I’ve already told him. I’m impressed he remembers, and that I made an impression. He’s photographer, I’ve always had a thing for photographers. Some fantasy about being his muse, because I am just so cute and I inspire him, and that will somehow make me feel special. Back to reality, I have to get back to reality.

Then I remember that he just got to London, and he’s probably sowing all his wild oats at the minute, and I don’t want to be one of those guys that pounce on a guy just because he’s fresh meat. And I really like him too, he’s interesting and funny and drop dead gorgeous, and I can tell from his body language that he thinks I’m not so bad either. He keeps touching and flirting, and I wanna kiss him, all I wanna do is kiss him and lose myself in his arms. But all my friends are around, and man why can’t they just go back to the bar, I feel too exposed. And he’s new in town, fresh meat, I’ll feel lousy. And so I don’t kiss him, I give him a peck and go to the toilet.

I come back and he’s gone. I don’t see him for a couple of hours, but I’m having a good time anyway. I see him by the bar, and give him my number. And he tells me he lives just down the street from me. I’m thinking how perfect is this, no one lives close to me. But I go and ruin it and tell him it’d be nice to get to know him as a friend. I say this because I’m a nice guy, I don’t want him to think I’m after him because he’s new. I also say this to protect myself because deep down I still think I probably don’t deserve this kind of passion and happiness in my life. After all this time, and all of my confidence building up, and I still get scared. I also say because its true, I really wanna get to know him. I also want to kiss him and we peck, but its not a long kiss, but its good enough but I can tell he’s disappointed. My friend wants to go on to Marvellous but its too early but I decide to go with him. Because of him, because I don’t want to see him kiss anyone else tonight, that would be too much.

So I leave, and I am exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. I get to Marvellous and Madonna comes on and I dance and drink and I forget about him for a while. And I get home, and I am in bed, wishing he was there.

Why didn’t I just kiss him?


I emailed the CIMA people on Friday asking what is the likelihood of me getting exempt for the preliminary courses seeing as that my university did not appear on their list of acknowledged institutions. I get an email back telling me to look at the website to see if my university appears on the list, so basically it was a very unhelpful response. From the looks of it I will get assessed once I register which is the best thing to do anyway, and they'll need to look at my woeful transcripts, I am sure my D+ in 2nd year Microeconomics won't impress!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Madges Gets Parked !

I wasn't feeling very well yesterday, so I stayed home and watched tv (on a Saturday Night!) , a nice effect of this was catching a full hour of Madonna being interviewed on Parkinson. She started by doing a very credible live rendition of Hung Up, which is in turn her best single that she's released in ages. She looks fantastic these days, and for a 47 year old woman who fell off a horse just 2 months ago to look that good is amazing (and a tad annoying). It was a very insightful interview, especially about her marriage to Guy Ritchie ('he's a man's man) and her reconciliation with her strict father. She also tipped her hat to her gay fans, something I am glad she still acknowledges and appreciates for her success after all these years (unlike some other singers, and yes thats you Donna that I'm talking about).

Anyway, watching the interview I started to notice Madge's accent and the way she spoke with this faux-british sound, with some very distinctly Brit-specific words (she used the term 'naff' for example). Some people think its a put-on 'fake' accent, but I think its genuinely the way she speaks now. I know this because of the way my way of speaking has changed in the past four years living in London. You become so accustomed to using certain words that they become part of your everyday language (for example I say 'hello love' A LOt now, which is not very North American sounding). And also, the accent gets smoothed out a bit, and so now I have this weird mixture of Canadian / English accent with some of my (fairly subtle) Arab inflictions / sentence structures thrown into the mix as well. The result of which makes me sound Irish to most people. I think accents are always a bit adaptable to a place and time (like most behaviour). For example I will be much more Canadian sounding in front of my Canadian friend Chris in London while I'd throw in a bit of northener sounding words when with Phil or Steve, but its not a concious choice. I even noticed my father who has a very arab accent put on this very exaggerated American accent when speaking to some people on the phone. And I'm sure Madge's accent is much more Americanised when she is speaking to David Letterman as opposed to Parky. So me and the biggest pop star in the world have something in common, maybe I should sign up for some pilates classes next.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Brain Freeze

I hate my brain sometimes, it always comes up with interesting thoughts that come into my head at the times where I am too occupied with something else to write them down / blog them. Usually the idea comes when I am on the tube train home after a night out or while I'm doing my grocery shopping. By the time I get home, poof the idea is gone. I had a really great entry set for today, but I can't remember what it was all about. So its not really my fault that todays entry is rather dull, its me brain you see!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lets Focus People

I was reading through my blog yesterday and noticed that I do about maybe an entry a week, which really is a bit shameful. I should at least write SOMETHING everyday even if its bitch about the mouldy na'an bread I got with my Tesco ready meal yesterday (expiration date November 15th, man, I really hate Tescos sometimes!)

Anyway, so time to focus, re-group and re-adjust. I am taking the plunge and going back to studying, today I will place a call with the CIMA people to see if the courses I took back in Canada for my degree count for any exemptions and then I will register as a student. And then I will figure out a way to actually PAY for the courses and exam papers. Yes its backwards, but if I force myself into the situation then I will have to be resourceful. Ummm, any donations are accepted and appreciated.

I am also making a concious decision to reduce my going out / clubbing / partaking in narcotic substances (i can hear everyone laughing at this now, but its true). I am going to have to, I would imagine if I only went out one weekend out of four in the month then I would save about 300 quid a month, easy, and that ladies and gentleman is my fees money! Now the temptation will be there of course, and I do have visits to Manchester and Brussels coming up this month, and then its gonna be Xmas time and New Years and its a vicious cycle that I can easily fall into, so who knows, I am weak man, but I have to at least try, I am 30 and not getting any younger.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Best Songs to fight S.A.D.

I think I've figured out why I've been a bit low lately, it must be the utter and complete lack of sunlight that I get ever day. Not that that London has been sun-less lately, I actually can't tell if it has been or not. The fact that my work is right next door to my residence means that I never actually take notice of the weather any more during the week. So I can't even tell what the weather has been like the past month or so, I have some sort of idea that its cold or rainy or sunny, but I never actually get to experience it in my lower ground habitats. And now that the clocks have been brought back (or is that forwards ?), its always dark and cold by the time I leave the office. So I am sure I have some form of S.A.D., and what better way to fight it than to devise a playlist of the best songs that can cheer me up. I call it my 'SAD' Playlist on Itunes, which I guess is ironic.

1. Diana Ross - The Boss
2. Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme
3. Blaze feat Barbra Tucker - Most Precious Love (Dennis Ferrer Mix)
4. The Emotions - Best of My Love
5. Donna Summer - Last Dance
6. Thelma Huston - Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
7. Destiny's Child - Bootylicious
8. Madonna - Lucky Star
9. Dajae - Brighter Days (Haji / Emmanuel Mix)
10. Freemasons - Love On My Mind

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Time Loop

I am feeling a bit caught up in a time loop, you know like that Star Trek episode where the Enterprise keeps blowing up causing a hole in the time-space continium and the characters re-live the same hours that have passed just before the ship blowing up, in that case they had Data send a message back to himself in time in order to stop the loop and save the ship (not sure how exactly). Where is Data when you need him. Oh gosh, I'm tired and so I am rambling on about nothing (actually worse than nothing, I'm rambling about STAR TREK!), but what else can you do on a Tuesday but ramble.

Things have gotten a tad dull in Ramification land lately. I guess I shouldn't complain, I need a bit of dullness after a very eventful summer. I guess its Christmas time soon and the lead up to that will kick into gear and the dullness will subside. Things have really changed since last Christmas, friendships and social circles shifting, priorities shifting as well (but nothing being done about them) and life feels like its moved on, but it really hasn't. I think a solid two year plan is in order, I should post it on here to remind myself that I NEED TO GET A MOVE ON. Oh, its been a while since I've been this cryptic and (slightly) down about things. I better go to bed now.....