Wednesday, 21 September 2011

New Friends

Today's song of the day is "Video Games" by Lana Del Rey.


One of the first beautiful things I learned about NYC is that many places on Sunday morning offer an "unlimited booze" option with their brunch menu. Bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and sangria - what else could a boy ask for? Perhaps maybe that their bathroom not be down a flight of stairs so I don't have to climb back up them after I excuse myself from the table to throw up? I suppose that would have been too perfect.

My best friend Jason was visiting from Toronto, and we found a little Italian place on 7th Avenue. Our table was uneven so I got under the table and put a cork under the leg to keep it from rocking back and forth. A man at a nearby table came over to say hello. It turned out that when I bent down he had seen the bright purple thong sticking out of my long johns (which I'd worn out the previous night and slept in) and decided to introduce himself. Soon after that we were joined by two random straight girls, one of whom had decided she was going to marry Jason before brunch was through. A text message I received from his fiance later in the day said "You can be our flower girl. I promise the outfits will be purple. You might just be throwing flowers in a thong - start an exercise regimen accordingly." My kind of wedding. Apparently she didn't realize what I was up to in the bathroom. It was also my kind of brunch - we made three new friends! Our new guy friend even had us over to watch the Emmy's (me) and to nap (Jason.) Somehow during the Emmy's our new friend revealed himself to be a massive creep. I'm not sure if we realized this after he randomly took off his pants but by the time he attempted to pick my nose, we were on our way out the door.

The entire weekend was a learning experience - the night before we saw the lovely Erika Jayne perform her new song at Rockit! at Crimson. Why anyone would throw size Large t-shirts at a group of gays is beyond me, but I am wearing mine right now so I can't complain (though I did have to put a belt on to give it some shape.) After that we ventured to Industry, possibly my favourite place in all of NYC, where the DJ played not one, not two, but six Britney Spears songs IN A ROW. Yes please. Once the crowd started to evaporate we went across the street to Therapy where I had a dance off with Red Shirt Guy and made another new friend outside. This guy (Kevin) was tall, dapper, and very very cute. We watched as a group of guys went into Therapy and then immediately came back out. One of these guys was shouting "why is everywhere so dead? This is New York fucking City! Not the fucking midwest!" Kevin took it upon himself to explain to me how to tell the difference between someone who has always lived in NYC and someone who has recently moved to NYC. These guys were clearly not from NYC, and they were assholes. They act like assholes because they think that's how people in NYC act. I said I thought it was a fact that NYC people were generally rude and that it made sense to act like an asshole to fit in. Kevin said "Oh, don't get me wrong - I'm a total cunt. But I'm not an asshole."

In hindsight, I'm not sure how useful that information was.

On our walk home, Jason and I came in very close contact with a rather large asshole. He came up from behind me, but instead of walking around me as he passed, he deliberately body checked my bag. Naturally, I thought he was trying to steal it so I jumped and pulled away from him. He kept walking and I realized that he was just trying to get a reaction out of me. It had worked, though my reaction was to giggle uncontrollably. He turned around, eyes bulging out of his head, and asked if I had a problem. I couldn't speak through my laughter and shock so Jason very calmly said "you startled him." This guy had clearly had a bad night. He was black and wearing a very deep V purple cardigan with nothing underneath. Obviously gay and slightly overweight, he attempted to knock Jason's pizza out of his hand before walking away, which made me laugh even harder. Again, our new friend turned around and asked what was so funny. Again, I had no answer for him but to try to suppress my urge to laugh...we let him get a bit farther ahead before I had to let out the guffaw that was building within me. This situation was completely ridiculous! How could I not laugh? Of course even from the other side of the street he heard me (my laugh is notoriously loud) and turned around for a third time. I almost decided to run but before I could he was right in front of me. This "sketchqueen," as Jason so eloquently put it the next day, was either high or suffering from roid rage. He attempted to knock the open blue Gatorade I was holding out of my hand - causing me to empty the bottle all over him. Before he could react I dashed into the street and hailed a cab. As I got in I shouted "I HOPE THAT'S DRY-CLEAN ONLY!"

I can only hope I never come face-to-face with that guy ever again. And if/when I do, hopefully he doesn't have a concealed weapon. He's probably even more furious now that it's been a few days - realizing he'll never be able to wear that cardigan again. If he's like me he doesn't have laundry facilities in his building.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don't really like to do laundry in the first place - I own a lot of clothes that are delicate and putting them through the washer damages them, makes them change shape, makes their colours fade...etc. I like to do laundry as infrequently as possible. My mom knows this and so last week I received a text message from her that looked something like "Hope you're having a great day - do your laundry." I told her I was going to the laundromat soon and she said "Please tell me this isn't the first time you've done laundry since you moved there" so I told her it wasn't but I think we both knew it was. She knows me too well! She also knows I own enough underwear to last for a month and a half, so it's no big deal.

So I went to the laundromat. I had hoped my experience there would be enough for an entire blog post but sadly, I didn't have much luck. The elderly black man operating the place was enthusiastically watching whatever soap opera was on at full blast. He even applauded when one character told her friend "you can change your clothes and your hair, but you'll always just be a little white girl from Brooklyn." Otherwise it was devoid of much excitement. Though I did think the name of the laundromat was very appropriate.


I have been called Queen of many things, but never laundry.

-BO

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Hiatus

So I haven't been sticking to my goal of writing something at least every three days. Actually, it's been closer to three weeks since my last post. I feel ashamed - especially since my lovely friend Lucia (www.whereisloosh.blogspot.com) just included a link to my blog in her post. What if someone who reads her blog decided to look at mine and saw that it had been nearly a month since my last update?? They might think that nothing has been happening, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

We'll start with today's song - "Little Numbers" by BOY who are actually two girls.


I've been through natural disasters! One morning as I was drinking my tea the spoon in my cup started to rattle. As I have an irrational fear of all natural disasters (probably because I watched Dante's Peak and Twister as a child) I immediately sprang into action. I dove into the nearest door frame for protection...then I wondered if that was protocol for a tornado so I grabbed my iPhone and quickly Googled proper earthquake procedure. By the time my search results came back the rumbling had stopped but I had a general sense of unease. As someone who like to be in control of everything around him, the earth moving beneath my feet is unwelcome. Only days after that I relocated to my aunt & uncle's house in New Jersey for Hurricane Irene. My apartment in Brooklyn wasn't in an evacuation zone but my roomies were out of town and I didn't want to be home alone in case anything severe went down. It ended up being much less of an event than we had been lead to believe, but I suppose it was better to be overprepared than underprepared. I was without power for two days for the first time in probably my entire life and with the train back to NYC not running I was left with nothing to do but re-read the entire Harry Potter series from start to finish. I have since completed it again and it's just as enjoyable and thrilling and tearjerking as it always has been. My eyes hurt from reading the final installment on iBooks though.

That's not the only adventure I've been on! For the Labor Day long weekend I was invited to a beach house down on the Jersey shore. I set up on the beach with a bloody mary filled thermos, Harry Potter 5 and I got the worst sunburn I've had in years and years (since Harry Potter 4 came out, incidentally, when I read the entire book in a paddleboat at our cabin in Ontario.) I ate ridiculous amounts of food that was all deep fried - from pickles to Oreos. I kept an eye open for Gorilla Juice Heads...though I'm still not sure I know what they are. My cousin Ted told me they are what Snooki chases after, but I've never seen Jersey Shore. I was hoping I'd run into Snooki though, I know she has a big poof so I figured we'd get along since I am a big poof. My mom texted to ask if I'd met Snooki and I confessed I didn't actually know what she looked like...to which my mom replied "Oh, I thought she was a guy?"

I also learned that every guy from New Jersey is named Joe. There were four (well, three Joes and a Joey) at the beach house last weekend. When I returned from this weekend of binge eating and drinking I headed straight for the gayest gym in all of Chelsea on the recommendation of my roomie - the gym has thumping club music and really dim lighting and lots of cute boys in tank tops. I also got three free personal training sessions with a guy from New Jersey whose name is, you guessed it, Joe. Thank to him I can't raise my arms above my head, can't bend my knees, and am afraid to eat in case it puts any pressure on my very sore abs.

I've been auditioning! Normally I go to the open dance calls and I've even been asked to sing once or twice, which is a nice booster for my confidence since I haven't really kept up with my singing since high school. The biggest ego booster I got was from the lovely director of Naked Boys Singing. I had to sing at the first audition and then I got called back for the dance portion. Whether they thought I was a good singer or just wanted to see me naked, who can be sure? But either way - I was happy. Apparently I'll audition for anything with the word naked in the title, because the next week I found myself at an audition for a comedic play about people with foot fetishes called Big Naked Feet. I walked in and the director told me I looked like I could play Johnny and ushered me into a room with another man. He handed me the page of script I would be reading from and we started the scene with me having no idea where it was going. It ended up with me on the floor, untying this (admittedly very cute) stranger's shoe so I could rub his socked foot on my face and exclaim my love for Gold Toe socks. Hysterical. At the beginning of my second read-through my second scene partner asked if I did much theatre because he didn't recognize me...I told him it had been a while and he seemed doubtful but at the end of the scene he looked down at me on the floor and said "wow - believable." He probably thought I'm some creep who likes feet who just showed up off the street in hopes that I'd get to suck on a toe. Ew

On Thursday night I entered the ticket lottery at the off-Broadway production of Rent and my friend Kinga and I got to see the show for $25 because they pulled her name out of the bucket. We had some time before the show and she had to pick up tickets for The Lion King for another friend of hers from a teacher of hers who works for the show. I tagged along, and lucky I did! He told us that since Sunday is the 10th anniversary of September 11th the show isn't selling very well so they've all been given two comp tickets to hand out - I quickly mentioned that I had never seen the show and I'd always wanted to...so I'm seeing it for free tomorrow afternoon! Though apparently our backstage tour has to wait until a day when the threat to national security isn't so high.

My best friend Jason who lives in Toronto now came down for a weekend visit at the end of August and it was a glorious reunion. We met for dinner and decided neither of us were wear appropriate outfits for the bar so we ran to the 24/7 H&M to pick out new shoes/clothes. I was wearing my Britney Spears concert t-shirt and at Industry a guy came up to me and said "Oh yeah, I think I've heard of her. She sings and dances, right?" I said "well, she doesn't usually sing" because obviously he was joking - he loved Britney as much as I did so we went to request some more. I've done the "I'm A Slave 4 U" dance at the bar more times than I can count, but this was the first time I did it with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR other guys who all knew the routine too. I was in the middle, naturally, and they were my back-up. It was fantastic! Afterward one of my many admirers came up to me and told me he enjoyed the show and asked where I was from - I figured Graysville was too specific so I said Manitoba. His response? "What is that near?" I said "google it" and walked away.

Is it just me, or does it seem a little unfair that in grade 8 or 9 I had to learn every single state and capital and people in the US don't even know the names of the 12 provinces? Jason and I were discussing this injustice while waiting for the subway (which is surprisingly inefficient, especially after midnight) and we decided to try to name all 50 states. We got to 39 or 40 before we lost steam, but for being a little tipsy I thought we did alright. I didn't believe him that DC is a state of it's own ("It can't be a city and a state!") but Jason was right. I suppose if the shoe department of Saks can have it's own zip code, then DC can be it's own state.

Other tidbits: I dropped my iPhone and the screen shattered - the 5th avenue Apple store gave me a brand new one for free even though I originally bought it from Bell in Canada. Amazing. I went to the Museum Of Modern Art for the first time and cried while watching a video of people in prison being visited by their significant others and at a huge clear box full of pieces of paper with wishes written on them ("I wish the Beatles were still together" "I wish film school for my son, it's his dream" and "I wish I could wear a fedora.") Thursday night was Fashion's Night Out here in NYC, a kick-off for NY Fashion Week. I ended up at the Alexander Wang flagship store in SoHo for a talent show that was to be judged by celebrity judges. I've heard that before in Vancouver, and the judges end up being Peter Breeze and Rosette. Here was a very different story - the judges were Ryan Murphy (creator of Glee,) Lea Michele (plays Rachel Berry on Glee) and Anna Wintour, editor in chief at Vogue magazine.



How's that for a New York moment? All that paled in comparison to real highlight of my night - the free buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich I got from the Gorilla Cheese truck though. Wow. Amazing.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Grindr

Today's background music comes courtesy of Florrie - it's called "Left Too Late."


Grindr has taken over the world. It is everywhere! Originally marketed solely to iPhone users, they have now adapted the application into Android and Blackberry formats as well. If you're not sure what Grindr is (again, for any straight people that ever read this) it's essentially an app that uses your GPS location to tell other gay guys how far away from them you are. You can send messages, photos, and your exact location to other users for free. It is pretty hilarious - some people are on it ironically, but most seem to use it simply to show off their highly toned headless torso. It's gotten so big that it's even inspired a spin-off website called Douchebags Of Grindr, which essentially just calls out guys who have douchey things written in their profiles...you know like "not into Asians" or "I like my guys to act like guys - no fems" kind of stuff. The Grindr website says they are approaching a million users worldwide. So with that kind of power, it's no surprise people have decided to use Grindr as an advertising platform, telling you about events in your area.

The other day I signed on and was greeted with an ad for an event at a place called Club 39. "20 of NYC's best dancers perform in a Cabaret show every Wednesday night." I was intrigued! I had visions of gorgeous Broadway boys performing numbers from their current shows - maybe whipping out some old musical theatre standards too. I envisioned a line of sculpted dudes taking on Hey Big Spender...which, now that I think of it should probably have prepared me for what the "show" turned out to be. I brought along my friend IR (International Rhythm, he's danced all over) for company, and he was skeptical. After a yummy casual Italian meal (essentially fancy mozza sticks) we headed over to 39th street. I showed my Grindr profile at the door and received a VIP wristband then I entered the space. I found a room full of boys in their underwear - one of whom was dancing at the front on a stage barely big enough for him to stand on.

We realized quickly that this place was really a spot for men to watch the man candy (for a price.) The bar informed us we had to spend at least $50 which wasn't going to be difficult between the two of us when a beer was $9, so we started a tab. The moment we were seated on a couch we were quickly accosted by a more aggressive dancer who grabbed our heads and held them near his crotch, which happened to be at eye level. IR looked at me across the bulge in between us and said "I think I just caught hepatitis A through F." When this guy realized we weren't going to tip him for this 'service' he called me a Bad Boy and ran off. Another one, who we will call FP (Fake Package) with an obviously stuffed pair of underwear didn't wait for our permission - he stood right up on top of IR and asked if he could handle a tidal wave. IR was concerned he might drown, but FP is apparently a master of CPR. FP let (or made?) IR touch it his FP...I was later informed that it felt like he'd wrapped his penis with a grocery bag. This was at least entertaining, and earned FP a $5 bill from me.

It was an interesting spectacle to behold. Some men were obviously older, wealthier, maybe closeted, and each of them seemed to have 'their guy.' The one dancer that they looked after. The set up of the club was done very well - the lap dance area was at the back but the view was only partially obstructed so the other patrons would watch and be envious of the goings on. There were moments when I thought I could be good at this job, but then I would see the faces on these dancers - an old man hugging one from behind while he gazed off seemingly pretending to be somewhere else. One dancer even took a bill from a man and immediately walked off, not wanting to be near him any longer. Assuming the place is about making these men feel special, I don't think that man left feeling very special at all.

But I did. I think I may have met my FH (Future Husband.) He was tall, muscular, and dark. He was wearing blood red underwear that complimented his skin tone perfectly. He came over and introduced himself earlier in the night and neither of us could remember his stage name - we must have been too distracted. I was sure it started with an F (Freeze? Fleece?) and IR suggested perhaps it was some sort of spice (Oregano?) When he came back to see us again, we found out it was Flex. I was close. IR told me he thought FH was straight, so I asked - and his reply? Bi. I wondered if that was a scripted response, designed to arouse the gay man who always wants what he can't have. We watched Flex dance on the podium and he actually had rhythm, a pleasant surprise. I went up to him and offered him a few dollar bills, and when I went to walk away he leaned down and kissed me on the cheek. I told him he was beautiful, he told me I was beautiful. He came to see me again later and told me his real name (or, he said it was his real name) and explained how he had come to be here. I desperately wanted to see him in action, so IR decided to have a lap dance. (The ATM was broken, naturally, so we had to quickly run out to the bank and have pizza at a place called Hot & Crusty first...surprisingly tasty. Terrible name.)

IR's lap dance from Flex was impressive, passionate, and just plain hot. Perhaps he was more into it because he is used to doing the same to men who are generally unattractive, or perhaps he's just good at his job? He had succeeded in making me feel special. I watched voyeuristically from outside the curtain, and then the aggressive guy from earlier tried to pull me in too. I wasn't interested, I only had eyes for Flex. My jealousy was heightened when I found out IR had gotten his phone number. I hoped it was for me, but alas. I even checked the Missed Connections section on Craigslist today to see if he'd posted anything about me...it was not meant to be.

IR and I discussed the possibility of working in a place like this and decided it wouldn't be worth it. Never do something for money that you wouldn't do for free. Besides, when we went dancing at Splash afterward I demonstrated some of my newly learned stripper moves and the crotch of my shorts split front to back and side to side (the second pair of pants I have ripped this week) so maybe the less of that type of dancing I do, the better?

 

Then again, I guess I wouldn't be wearing pants.

-BO











Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Red, White, & Britney

Soundtrack for today is "DJ, Ease My Mind" by Niki & The Dove.


I can't say I've ever celebrated the 4th Of July before. I'm not very patriotic in the first place, and I'm also not American by birth. I guess those are both good reasons not to wave my star spangled banner on Independence Day. This year, things changed. The 4th Of July would find me at a true American event - a Britney Spears concert. What could possibly be more USA friendly than a performance by my favourite southern belle?

The day of the show was my first day of bartending school. I arrived at noon to find a few other young people sitting outside the building in the sweltering sun waiting for our instructor to arrive. As we waited a delivery truck drove up to the restaurant next door and I could hear a familiar whistling coming from the trucks radio - the whistling from Britney's song "I Wanna Go." My excitement was already through the roof and this made my smile grow even wider.

Our drinking teacher arrived and told us we should probably not bother showing up before 12:05 the next day, or any day after. I liked her immediately. She began by asking us why we had decided to take the course. She went around the room and I grew concerned when I heard the answers:

"I want to open a bar in Ecuador."
"I wanted to make some new friends."
"I want to be a bartender?"

Didn't anyone in this room have the same motives as I did? Luckily my prayers were answered when she asked the youngest member of our class. We'll call him BD (Brother Doppelganger) because he immediately reminded me of my younger brother. His answer to the question? "I just like to drink." I knew we'd get along.

For lunch we all headed over to McDonald's (which would become a daily ritual) and on our way back I grabbed BD and pulled him behind a bank ATM. I grabbed a bottle of vodka out of my man purse and topped off our Fruitopias. It was Britney day, and it was time to celebrate. By the end of the class I was feeling well, a bit pissed - and BD had even broken a glass during the speed drink-making round. Keep in mind, we weren't actually pouring booze, it was just food coloured water. I don't think I corrupted BD though - the next day he told a story about him getting kicked out of his high school graduation for fighting with the principal of the school. This was my kind of guy. When I finally decided to tell him that he reminded me of my brother his reply was "I'd love to meet him, I bet we'd get along." Or their personalities would clash and they'd both end up dead.

Anyway, back to Britney. I sped off to my kindred spirit's house. His boyfriend was contemplating whether or not to buy tickets to see Britney with us. I told him he'd be sorry if he didn't, but my bestie was playing the "well can you afford it? Will you feel guilty?" cards. I wasn't having any of that "I will be pissed if you don't come to the Britney show, and you will regret missing it forever." In the end, I convinced him to go. Who can resist the power of Britney? We'll call my friend BA in this situation (Bad Angel, or maybe Boring Angel) for not insisting his BF join us at Britney...which I think makes me SA (Spontaneous Angel.)

Earlier in the day I had posted a Britney related Facebook status asking people to tell me their favourite Britney songs. BA's response was "Piece Of Me. I mean, please." which is total genius and I was mad about him being a better Britney fan than me on the day of her show. We drove off to the concert and I randomly decided to change lanes without shoulder checking - nearly cutting someone off before BA warned me. I apologized and he said he was not worried - that my Bubble would protect him. Now, I like the idea that I have a positive force field surrounding me...I'm not sure if it's true, but if there is one person who would know, it's BA. He's the intuitive inquisitive one. He's the one who asks the questions that I generally consider to boring to ask. He makes plans and knows the specifics. He is a fact based guy - which means you can tell him anything without fear of judgment. So he was the perfect companion for my Britney festivities - anyone else would blame me for their loss of hearing after enduring my high pitched shrieking for several hours.

We arrived at the arena, I bought my t-shirt and my Britney tights, and we made our way to our spectacular seats in the 5th row on the floor. An usher led us right up next to the catwalk and sat me immediately beside it. Tears started to well up in my eyes - I knew we had amazing seats, but these seats? They were perfect. Britney would be close enough to touch. And she was - and she was incredible. Say what you want about my girl B, but she knows how to put on a show. I'll always have her back - she's got Bad Initials too, after all: BS. My only disappointment was when I found out that in order to be selected to dance on stage with Britney during 'I Wanna Go' was that you had to enter a contest through the radio station a few weeks earlier. I wish I'd known - I would have outdanced every person on that stage. I thought I recognized the one Asian guy who was pulled up (some people from far away apparently thought it was me!) When I got home I saw someone had written "Great job up there tonight!" on his Facebook and realized I did know who he was. I quickly clicked UNFRIEND.

BA would actually make physical contact with Nicki Minaj before the evening was over. He would also tell me that Nicki's back-up dancers shared my physique - small waist, big butt.


 For me, there is no higher compliment.

-BO


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Take Me In

Soundtrack for the day - "I And Love And You" by The Avett Brothers


The past few days have been exhausting! But rather than tell you about the issues I've been having unlocking my iPhone I've decided to list the things that have made me smile - trying to remain optimistic and all that.

Smile #1: I was walking along the street behind a toddler in a stroller who was playing with a bubble gun. The bubbles were spraying out to his right and floating back toward me - it was like being in a music video. Luckily I was listening to Lucky Day by Nicola Roberts (produced by the lovely and talented Dragonette) at the time so I danced alongside lip syncing the words. I find I've been smiling at many babies and toddlers - they are just so freaking cute. I feel like a bit of a creep though, and I wonder if their parents think I am some sort of gay pervert...they would not be wrong.

Smile #2: Fighting with the guy at T-Mobile because the SIM card he gave me won't work in my iPhone when the next girl in line told me she liked my Dries Van Noten gladiator sandals. Big smile for her. No smile for the guy who is probably going to make me buy a new phone though. I don't know if I can give up my iPhone for the duration of my stay in the States...

Smile #3: My parents arrived in town last night for a 5 day visit. I met up with them for dinner at Bubba Gump's seafood restaurant in Times Square - about as touristy as you can possibly get. Tables here have signs that say Stop Forrest Stop (you put this up if you need something from a server.) The waiter even asks trivia questions about the movie (I know who played Forrest and his mom - Tom Hanks and Sally Field, respectively, both two-time Academy Award winners haha) and the more obvious ones like "life is like a box of....?" but I did not know the three sports Forrest played (ping pong, football, track) or what shoes Jenny wore on their wedding day (trick question, she didn't wear any.) The thing that made me laugh here was on my way up the stairs the girls in front of me said "What is that picture from? Oh it's from a movie, I knew Bubba Gump was a movie, it sounded familiar, I've heard of it."
Clearly these girls were born post-1994.

Smile #4: After going to 3 electronics stores (one of them twice, the second time to return something that didn't do what they told me it would do, but alas, I have vowed not to whine in this post) I finally was able to retrieve my headshot from my external hard drive. I was told to take it to Walgreen's drug store to print it off - I stopped in a Starbucks on 5th Ave. to use their Wi-Fi and was told a Walgreen's was located only two blocks away. Upon arrival I found a huge line-up of people milling around outside, taking pictures. I looked up and realized this Walgreen's is located on the first floor of the Empire State Building.


It doesn't get much more NYC than that.

-BO

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Home Sweet Home

Today's background music: "Always Like This" by Bombay Bicycle Club:


I wrote about going to see a place in Brooklyn on Friday night. This place has since become my home away from home. Friday's visit was longer than it should have been, probably - the apartments primary tenant and I hit it off well (minus the awkward moment when he told me he wasn't sure he liked the colour of the bathroom walls - and I looked down to see I was wearing the exact same inky shade of purple.) He's a health conscious guy (semi-vegan?) which is a definite change from my normal was of thinking with my stomach - I've already learned so much! Tonight he vindicated my love the ripe banana - apparently when they are green they are still a starch, not a fruit! Take that. Though I was hoping to use his really ripe ones for banana bread...

Anyway! Now I have a home. I still have to unpack my suitcase, but I went to the grocery store yesterday and that was a good first step in making it feel like home. You'd think I'd know by now not to go to the store practically starving, but apparently I never learn. The first trip was full of necessities (my least favourite kind of shopping) - flour, sugar, bread, potatoes, tonic, etc. I returned to the place to start cooking - got my pizza dough rising and had the lime sorbet in the freezer before I realized I'd missed a few key items. I still hadn't eaten anything, so I went back to Foodtown absolutely ravenous, almost dizzy from the hunger. This trip was full of less practical items like lemonade mix and blueberry tea - which coincidentally taste pretty good together on ice with some sugar. I was in a food craze by the time I was finished - I made blueberry lemon streusel, bruschetta, mango peach salsa, chicken avocado roasted garlic pizza. Mmm. Seriously contemplating culinary school once my Broadway bug has passed. I will have more on eating habits in the near future - this has reminded me of something else I wanted to talk about!

In other news, my friend Justin and I danced the night away at Industry on Saturday, which is rapidly becoming my favourite NYC nightspot. It was pouring rain - but it was nice to know my clothes were drenched with water and not my own sweat. My wet hair meant it was much whippier than usual too - this meant much neck pain the next morning. At Industry someone asked me "what did you take and are you offering any?" When I answered "no" he acted as if I was being selfish...I guess he didn't know I meant "No, I'm not on drugs" - he'd phrased it like I was definitely on drugs and there was no other way to explain my enthusiasm. What can I say? That DJ plays a lot of Britney - it gets me going!

To start our night out we had joined our new fave Diva by the name of Kelly King at Splash for the NYC gay nightlife awards and then hopped over to the New World Stages (great off-Broadway venue with 5 underground stages) where Kelly was performing a free show. You have GOT to hear this girl sing. It's like nothing I've ever heard. I had tears in my eyes during her rendition of Celine Dion's "The Power Of Love" and then the second the song is over she makes a joke about anal beads - this is my kind of woman.

One of the shows currently playing at New World Stages is called Naked Boys Singing...which is exactly what it sounds like (apparently it's a big hit with bachelorette parties and visiting gays.) A few of the cast members and the director were in the audience with us and we were introduced by Kelly. We know that Naked Boys has an audition coming up this week and the director tells us we should definitely come, and you'll never guess his reason:

"Oh please come! We only ever get white boys - the Asian guys are brought up so traditional and reserved and the black guys are generally raised religiously...so they never come to our auditions!"

In case you were wondering, Justin and I are both white. Like...white as white can be. English/Irish/Welsch is my background. But if appearing semi-foreign to this guy gets me a job, I'm in! Come to think of it, since I arrived here I've been asked "what's your ethnic background?" "what are your ancestral origins?" and "what are you?" by every other person I've met. Maybe dying my hair black was a bad idea? It seems to be confusing everyone. Apparently the majority of the cast members are circumcised as well so I made it clear to everyone within earshot that I would be a great variation on their usual prospects.


 It might come in handy in more ways than one! If they think I'm Asian they'll be pleasantly surprised when they see me naked for the first time - it's always nice to find an outie when you were expecting an innie.

-BO








Saturday, 6 August 2011

Pop Goes The Weasel


Since I started updating this blog again I've had almost six people tell me how much they enjoy reading it. And here I thought the only active reader was my mom. Will this new found popularity change the way I write? Will it be like when Glee became unwatchable after they knew people loved what they were doing? I doubt it.

Here is the background music for today's entry - "Beating On A Better Drum" by Tove Styrke.




I'm not used to feeling like an outsider anymore. Sometimes I forget that there are bigoted people in the world who would discriminate against me for no good reason. When I express disbelief that people like that still exist my mom sometimes makes it sound like I've tried to create this fantasy world of unicorns and rainbows around me, almost as if I am the ignorant one. Maybe it's true. If you lined up everyone in my circle of friends it wouldn't take long to figure out what they have in common. They are generally a group of bright, open, accepting, artistically minded individuals. But isn't that what life is about? Maybe not necessarily surrounding yourself with like-minded people - if everyone thinks the same the thoughts probably don't go very far...but about surrounding yourself with similar energies and with individuals who have something that you might like to emulate. That's what I try to do. My friends are stylish, engaging, driven, and smart. I don't think I should have to apologize for that. We all want to have an environment that makes us feel safe.

So it's no wonder I've felt out of place on the streets of NYC in search of a place to call home. The first few days were the worst - I was eying everyone suspiciously as if they were about to cut the straps off my bag and take it from my shoulder or ride by on their bike and snatch my iPhone from my hand (apparently that kind of thing actually happens!) I've gotten more relaxed already though - last night on my way to see a place in Brooklyn I noticed an area surrounded with yellow tape in front of me. Instead of thinking "oh, I probably shouldn't be looking to live in a place where that kind of thing happens" I thought "Hmm, I wonder if that means the building is free now?" As if the landlord would show the place while it was still a crime scene - in NYC, I wouldn't be surprised.

This all turned out to be null and void because when I got closer I found out it was simply CAUTION tape around a section of the sidewalk that was being replaced. I knew this neighborhood would be ok - I just passed a freaking ice cream truck that was playing a twinkly version of "Pop Goes The Weasel."


More surprising is the experience I had when I was home last month in Carman. In case you don't know what Carman is, it's a small southern Manitoba town, home to about 2,500 people. When driving up to it you see 3 signs - one to tell you that famed NHL goalie Eddie Belfour is from Carman, one to tell you Olympic athlete Kelly Hand is from Carman, and one to warn you about the evils of abortion - LIFE: From Conception On.  I have an overpowering urge to set that particular sign on fire, but perhaps that is another blog entry.

Every summer Carman holds an annual fair - rides and mini donuts and fireworks and beer gardens. I hadn't been in at least five years, since I'd moved to Vancouver. I thought it would be a nostalgia filled blast from the past, and for the most part it was. At the beer gardens there were more shirtless guys dancing that I'd seen the previous weekend at the gay bar - though I suppose it has to be mentioned that I was related to all three of them. One of these shirtless wonders is a first cousin of mine, a few years older than me and a pretty macho dude. Later in the evening as things were winding down I was having a conversation with him when two of his dude friends came over. I remember in high school when people would see us talking they would always ask my cousin "why are you talking to HIM?"  If we weren't related would we be able to find any common ground?

One of his friends made a joke about how much dick my cousin sucks. He then demonstrated the size of this theoretical dick, dubbed it Culvert Cock and decided to see if I would be able to open my mouth wide enough to accommodate it - and I could. It was hilarious. I was surprised how much I was enjoying myself. Then this DB looked at me and said "you know, I really want to hate you - but you're actually a pretty good guy."

There's a backhanded compliment if I've ever heard one. It was spoken so casually too - like he'd been meaning to say it to me for a while, but not too long. It popped out just like that weasel in the song. A black, dirty, ugly weasel. I didn't know what to say. Why would this guy have decided that I was not a good person? My response was to mention the fact that we'd probably never even spoken before - trying to point out that he had no basis for this opinion. He said "Well of course - what would we talk about?" I reminded him that we were talking at that very moment, and he got on the defensive. Saying that he's not the only one who feels that way about people like me and that I can't hold it against him.

Why he thinks it's ok for him to be prejudiced against me for no reason but doesn't think I should be allowed to look down on him after he expresses an offensive opinion is beyond me. I left shortly after - though not before the police officer nearby took my half-empty bottle of vodka away and poured it out into the street.

I told my mom this story the next day and she couldn't believe I was surprised. She told me she had recently gone golfing with this particular guy's father and that he had pointed out something pink and spoken about it as if it was lesser because of what colour it was. As if it was inferior because it was girly. You know what they say about apples and trees. I know some people like to pretend that they are not like their parents, but here I am proud to say that my mother and I had the exact same gut reaction - to yell "WE KNOW YOU'RE STRAIGHT. YOU'RE MARRIED TO A WOMAN - WHO THE FUCK CARES? WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PROVE, BUDDY?"

 My mom doesn't like it when I use the word douchebag, but in this scenario I can't think of anything more appropriate.

Love you mom.
 -BO

Friday, 5 August 2011

If I Was A Business Lady

If I was a business lady
I would wear those
Human barlae (?)
I hate the colour nostalgia
Grandma's lampshade - army/foliage
Stock foundation colour iridescent snakeskin
Oh look at these - stunning
Prostitutes lips camo ever not tacky?
And how much are they
Look like a different person
Stripper shoes = clear heels
Lavendar
Only shoes during sex
Sweatpant shopper cork
These are kinda cute
OMG it's a jaguar not a fan
Neat, intense, heinous
Foot collar darling




How is it that I have been in NYC for five days and I still haven't stepped foot inside a shoe store? My current footwear could not be more impractical for the daily activities that apartment hunting require - I finally understand what 'pounding the pavement' means. My body aches and my feet are blistered, my shoes have holes in the bottoms, the leathers are stained from rainy Vancouver days, but I hadn't even considered going into a shoe store until I came across a page in my journal from last year when I was researching my shoe-themed dance piece 'The Collectors' with now-defunct dance collective actualPLAY.

I've trying to write in my journal every day - just observations mostly. Trying to stick to my goal of writing something for this blog at least every 3 days. This particular page in my journal is close to the front - I always flip past it on my way to a clean sheet of paper. It lists everything that my friends Lucia and Sarah or I uttered and mumbled to ourselves while we were browsing the shoe section at Holt Renfrew. It now reads like a sort of bizarre poem, equal parts immediate visual observation and visceral gut reaction.

I suppose I haven't been shopping for several reasons, some more obvious than others. Firstly, I have no money. Secondly, I have more important things to be acquiring, like a home or a job. There is an underlying fear that I will see the perfect pair and I will be forced to buy them regardless of the consequences. There is the irrational fear that I will have the self-control to stop myself from buying them and always regret not buying them.

These shoes might not even exist. But I want them.

-BO

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Oh Give Me Love In America

It's official - I am a New York City resident. Well, a resident with no actual apartment yet, but we'll get to that.

I'll take you through my first 48 hours in the USA in just a sec - first you need to press play on the video below to provide the accurate background music as this was the I was listening to on repeat during my (awfully bumpy) flights here.

Le Kid - America

There - that's better. Now you have about 4 minutes to read this entire entry. And you've just wasted about 5 seconds on this, so I suppose I should get to it.

I thought I'd fit in automatically. I was here for 10 days in April - very recently! By the end of that trip I felt like an NYC native. I was scoffing at tourists, ignoring the 'do not walk' signs, and shopping at Barneys.

My transition has not been as seamless as I imagined it would be. I had a 4 hour layover in the Montreal airport where I drained my iPhone battery completely, so when I arrived in Newark I had to plug it into a wall while I sat on the floor and decided I'd take a taxi to Brooklyn, where I'll be staying with my friend Justin for a few days. Upon being told the taxi ride would be upwards of $90, I reconsidered my options. Google maps told me I had 9 minutes to reach the train station on the opposite end of the airport - could I make it? I won't make you guess - I didn't make it. I was wondering around like a lost puppy - people actually asking me if I needed help. I wanted to say "oh no thank you, I'm here all the time" but what I actually said was "where the fuck am I?"

By the time I board the train to Penn Station I am the sweatiest I have been in my entire life. I listen to my boisterous train car companions discuss what they would do with their lottery money when they won it this week - buy each other at least small house, apparently. This struck me as a bit gay, but I didn't mention it.

The first thing I see in Penn Station is 3 men in army uniforms carrying guns. Actual guns! The states is a fucked up place. Fine for you to have a small one strapped to your thigh, but a 2 foot long one that you're waving around? I tried to act natural but it turns out lugging a 50 pound suitcase through a NYC subway turnstyle is nearly impossible. My body was stuck between two of the rungs with my carry on bags in one hand the my suitcase stuck on the other side. One of the army men sensed my distress and gingerly picked up my suitcase and handed it to me. I looked up at him like he was Buddha and said thank you through near tears. "Ugh," I said "I must just be SCREAMING tourist." I proceeded to shout the word TOURIST quite loudly, like the final competitor in the penis game* and the army man looked at me as if I was crazier than the man standing behind him screaming about how Jesus would be coming back next week.

Remember how I said I'd never been sweatier? That was before I lugged my suitcase down two levels into the Subway and stood on the platform so humid it was like being lowered into boiling water (which reminds me, I have to blog about lobster night too.)

I finally made it to Justin's place in one piece at about 8:30. I was exhausted, I'd been up since 3AM. I opened my mouth to say "OMG I just want to go to bed" and Justin said "It's your first night in NYC! Get dressed, we're going to the DIVA show at Industry."

Then I remembered why I wanted to come here in the first place. Every ounce of my heat exhaustion could be fixed with an ounce of vodka. I felt rejuvenated and alive and vibrant and I met stylish funny people who all came to NYC to make something bigger of themselves and then it felt like home. It took longer than I thought it would, but it didn't take long.

I spent all day yesterday looking at apartments in Harlem - all too small for the money, all in sketchy parts of town...and I realized I'd never had to find a place for myself before. My mom found my first apartment in Vancouver, and my (now ex) bf CW (Car Wash) found our joint place in Vancouver. Oh, I'm going to miss that place. I sent them both a teary eyed thank you message at about 3 AM last night before I replied to any Craiglist ad that sounded even remotely promising. My sandals gave me blisters and my thighs are chafed from rubbing together all day in my shorts that didn't used to be too tight but are now definitely too tight. I was in a foul mood - then Justin's roommate asked if I wanted to see Mary Poppins on Broadway with her for the low low student price of $30. Um, yes. Yes I did.

Is this what life in NYC is like for everyone? An awful stressful day followed by a night of pleasure and entertainment?


Seems like a fair trade.

*You know what the penis game is! It's where you see who will say/shout the word penis the loudest in a public area. See 500 Day Of Summer immediately and you'll get it.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Ch-ch-ch-changes

This past week I made the decision to move away from Vancouver. I'd like to say it was a difficult choice, but I think knowing that it's the right thing to do made it easier for me. I'll always remember it fondly - it was my home for four years, after all. However, New York City beckons. On my way there I'll be spending my summer in my hometown of Carman, Manitoba.


Here is what you need to know about Carman. About an hour south of Winnipeg, Carman is home to about 2,500 people. It has only one set of traffic lights at the main intersection - it has often been said that this intersection is home to everything you could ever possibly need in life and in death: a gas station, a convenience store, a medical centre, and a funeral home. What more could you need, right? Though my favourite attraction in Carman is not located here - Syl's Drive-In restaurant - is about a minute away. It is greasy deep-fried vanilla soft serve goodness times infinity. Pure bliss. If you ever get the chance to visit, have the chicken filet sub, the chicken nuggets, the chicken fingers, and the chicken burger. And a chocolate milkshake.
I remember one time the Carman newspaper (the Valley Leader) published a story about how Carman needed a mascot. The obvious choice? A car with arms and legs and a face - a Car Man, if you will. This might sound a bit silly, but you should know that the neighbouring town of Gladstone has a big rock with a smiley face painted on it - they call it Happy Rock. Though if Gladstone has Happy Rock, maybe Carman should have Truck Lady instead - though that sounds a bit less appealing to me than a Car Man. I picture him to be a bit like a Transformer, but less nerdy and less high-tech. I think he should be a bit more old-fashioned, like the rest of Carman is.

Or maybe it should be a man with wheels?



I mowed the lawn this morning. My parents have a big yard - it takes about four or five hours to mow on a riding mower. I love mowing the lawn. It's a task with a clear beginning and a clear ending, and in between these two points I have a lot of time to multi-task. I tan, I listen to my iPod, and I sing at the top of my lungs without any fear of being overheard. Though the chance of being overheard has gone up dramatically since my parents moved into town. We used to live about 15 minutes outside of Carman, closer to a village called Graysville. Even then I was overheard sometimes - once by farmers on the other side of the row of trees, once by two guys in a truck who were driving alongside me while I drove the lawnmower to my dad's potato shed. Who knows how long they were listening to me before they honked at me and drove off. The best story actually happened inside our old house - it was the week before I started grade 8. It was a Monday - the day the water delivery man used to come. I was in the kitchen around the corner from the front door jamming out to Mandy Moore's "In My Pocket" when I thought I heard something. I decided it was nothing and continued toward the songs climactic finish - including one particular OHHHH WHOAAAAAAA. After that I thought I heard someone say "whoa." I assumed this was my own conscience complimenting me on my own singing abilities and told myself to stop being so conceited, and I continued on. Then I heard the front door slam. I ran to the window in time to watch the water delivery man return to his truck. Then he grabbed our bill and headed back toward the house - and I ran downstairs to wallow in shame.

I was embarrassed, but it wasn't as bad as the time I let the Jehovah's Witnesses in. Or as bad as the time my grandparents showed up while I was watching Coyote Ugly.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

_POST - The Plastic Orchid Factory

I normally post my reviews on Plank Magazine's website, but I've just been informed that Plank was specifically asked to not have me review this particular show. I'm not sure who made this request, why the request was made, or why I wasn't informed of it before I saw the performance, reviewed it, and submitted my article...especially since James offered to take me for coffee before the show to talk about it (a bribe, perhaps?)

But anyway, here we are. I'm not sure what they thought I would say, and the funny thing is - I really enjoyed the show.



 _POST – The Plastic Orchid Factory
Friday, May 27th, 2011
Director: James Gnam
Performers: James Gnam, Natalie Lefebvre-Gnam, Bevin Poole, Alison Denham



When James Gnam entered the space last night at the Dance Centre, I wanted to burst out laughing. Not because of anything he was doing, but because of what he was wearing – a white latex tube top corset, white tights, and a gigantic twisted headpiece that made him look a bit like Mozart and Lady Gaga’s lovechild. However, I stifled my laughter.

No one else laughed either. Maybe because they were intimidated by the set up of the space – chairs and stadium style lighting lined the four walls of the room, leaving the entire space open for the performers. In hindsight, I’m tempted to say that should have made the space feel less formal. I personally held in my giggled because I thought Gnam’s first full length work – 2009’s endORPHIN – took itself entirely too seriously and I was nervous this piece was going to play out in a similar fashion. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Gnam began a series of grand, regal gestures – bowing and posturing for the crowd. Seeing him in such an effeminate light took me by surprise. I always enjoy a man who is comfortable enough in his sexuality to experiment with gender roles, and it certainly helps when he is as crushworthy as Gnam. I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing (evil) socks, my pet peeve. They were not necessary for any of the movement he was performing, though I suppose they made his feet stand out even more against the black floor.

The three women entered the space and put on their space-age saucer harness tutus. This was not the last time that I wondered if the piece was too reliant on the props and costumes. Though they were utilized well and were part of some of the most important images of the night, the movement sometimes seemed like an afterthought because the props took up so much of the focus. Each woman began their own gestural phrase of movement accented with exaggerated breaths and distorted facial expressions. These phrases were repeated perhaps a few more times than necessary, but it was nice not to feel overwhelmed by the dancing – often a full length piece is bogged down with so much choreography that it all begins to look the same. When that happens all of the choreography loses its value because the minds have trouble absorbing everything they are being shown. Here it was comforting to know that each of the dancers had a home base to go back to whenever they needed it.

Bevin Poole began to assist Gnam with unraveling his headpiece, which was actually a gigantic piece of fabric that had been wound up and wrapped around itself many times. Natalie Lefebvre-Gnam and Alison Denham performed a duet in the center of the space. It was one of many moments during the piece that there was something task-based happening in one part of the space with something movement-based happening elsewhere. These layers offered the audience a choice of what to watch – a nice change from a more classical performance. I never realized how well-matched Denham and Lefebvre-Gnam could be – their bodies were so compatible, their expressions so in tune with each other. Because of this synchronicity, I was disappointed that they were watching each other as much as they were to make sure they were beginning their phrases at the same time. Obviously they wanted their dancing to be in sync, but I wanted to see their trust in the timing. Gnam and Denham performed a higher octane version of this duet later on in the piece (without socks!!!) and I enjoyed it much more in that context – it was performed with a bit more abandon and the momentum was allowed to take over.

After the show I had a discussion with some other audience members who told me they were disappointed that the dancing in the show wasn’t as athletic as they had hoped it would be. Though I understand where this complaint comes from – that the average viewer might want to have more of that instant gratification. However, I disagreed. I know these performers can dance, I’ve seen them all dance many times. I’m much less concerned with them performing gymnastically than I am with them doing things that contribute to the overall aesthetic of the piece. I was totally content with the (often) humorous scenarios that Gnam created. They moved the story along and they reflected so many of my experiences with ballet in a human light. I can’t be the only one who likes to see dancers behave like regular human beings. In one scene LeFebvre-Gnam was wrapped up in the huge piece of white fabric until she looked like the Michelin Man’s bride. It was hysterical to watch her tiny feet waddle around the space while she was weighed down with so much excess fabric. For anyone who saw endORPHIN, you’ll notice that Gnam has a tendency to dress his wife up in ridiculously oversized clothing for comedic effect. I had the giggles here, but when underneath the tulle she began to repeat the gestural phrase we’d been introduced to earlier, I had such a sense of continuity with her character – it was a beautiful moment. One of several highlights of the show.

My favourite scene of the night was between Denham and Poole – they competed to see who could give the other the most baffling instructions (“blink 7 times, look this way and see the other side of the room without moving your head, touch your ear to your left shoulder – now relax.”) I remember early ballet classes feeling exactly like that – being told what to do with every single part of my body, most of which feels/sounds/is physically impossible, and then they would tell me to relax. An interesting thought came out of this section during the talkback (lead by the wonderfully articulate Su-Feh Lee.) Lefebvre-Gnam said she knew she had become her own dancer when she stopped worrying about pleasing the teacher at the front of the room. Poole/Denham’s duet perfectly illustrated the desire young dancers have to do as they are told, as well as their desire to compete with each other.

But, of course, the piece was about trying to figure out how classical ballet can inform these modern contemporary minded bodies. The next segment saw Lefebvre-Gnam transformed her into a pseudo-ballerina wearing one pointe shoe, her saucer tutu, and a tiara. She repeated Gnam’s earlier regal motions with a few more balletic steps thrown in – and though this section overstayed its welcome, I loved what it was trying to say. It was almost poking fun at classical ballet in a way, and as someone who finds classical ballet completely boring and pretentious and archaic – I enjoyed it, very very much. Here it was easy to see Lefebvre-Gnam’s classical ballet training clashing with her visible distaste for it and her desire to be an individual. Above everything else, _POST made me think about the role that nepotism plays in the Vancouver dance scene. It’s a small community where people often hire their partners/spouses/friends instead of dancers who would be more suitable to the movement or the roles. While I understand the tension that is created between partners when one is working and the other is not, nepotism does our art form no favours. The role should go to the most appropriate performer. Here it was so satisfying to know that no one could have been better suited to this particular role than Lefebvre-Gnam.

As the piece began with an homage to the royal origins of ballet, it seemed fitting that the ending of the piece was as abstract and anti-balletic as possible. Unforunately, Gnam’s desire to create something that didn’t rely on classical performance techniques meant that the ending felt extremely anti-climactic. Poole slowly clambered through the white fabric that had been featured one too many times, and after what felt like an eternity she emerged on the other end of the fabric wearing it as a long tutu – and then the lights went out. I wasn’t ready for the piece to be over, and I didn’t want that to be the end. It didn’t help that the soundscape was so even throughout the show either. I lost any sense of build or momentum that I’d found earlier in the piece. I couldn’t help but wonder if the expectation of a ‘full length evening dance work’ to be exactly 60 minutes long might have kept Gnam from further exploring. In my opinion, the actual length is much less important than how long the piece feels. Here the piece felt relatively short – it was witty and amusing without pandering to the audience. The subject matter was obviously close to Gnam’s heart, and to the other performers. As an audience member I could sense that connection to the piece, and I felt a connection to it too (maybe it helped that I too was once that small boy who felt out of place surrounded by girls in tutus.) It had a statement to make, and it made that statement loud and clear. Though I felt disappointed by the finale, all of those positive aspects combined with the unorthodox seating, the intimacy of the smaller audience and the piece being jam packed with memorable imagery made for a very exciting evening. It’s not often that I am caught off guard by a piece, especially by a choreographer whose work I am familiar with. The growth and versatility that Gnam showed last night was a welcome surprise.


While I take a moment to consider the negative effect that censorship has on our arts community, please take a moment to do the same.

-BO

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Bestiality

I spent this past weekend in Vegas (stay tuned for blog posts about the Kylie Minogue concert, the Billboard Awards, and everything that Beyonce is doing wrong right now.) Went with BF, my BFF and my BFF's BF (the blog is called Bad Initials, remember?)

At one point during our first evening there we were discussing a story I'd heard about a pet snake that slept in bed stretched out with its owners that was actually sizing up the people to see if he'd be able to eat them. My BFF was quick to tell me this was not true, which comforted me a little bit...I hate snakes.

This conversation followed:

BO: Have you ever seen the video where the guy dies having sex with a horse?
BFF: Omg no ew gross why?
BO: Ah it's the worst. He's under the horse, and the horse gets too excited and puts it all the way in and the screen goes black. Apparently the guy died from internal injuries.
BF: Oh yeah, I think I heard about that.
BFF: Yeah me too, I was in that video actually.
BO: Were you the horse?
BFF'sBF: Yes, when Jason grows out his leg hair it's a nice shade of pinto.


My BFF's BF knows all about horses - he's named after one.

His name is Colter, in case you were wondering.

-BO

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Like Riding A Bike

Last night I had a couple of bottles of wine with a few friends I hadn't caught up with in a while. We had a conversation about a cute boy they'd seen on a bike. This chat turned sexual quite quickly when we realized how dirty bikes really are.

BO: Isn't it hard to flirt with a guy on a bike? They go by so quickly.
LK: This one was stopped at the lights.
BO: Maybe you should put a row of spikes out on the sidewalk so his tires blow up and he has to stop.
LK: I remember when I bought my first adult bike - I hadn't taken a ride for about 15 years (this is when I started chuckling) and let me tell you - it's not just like riding a bike!
BO: Did you fall off?
SK: I fell off once (no longer talking about a bike.)



Perhaps his 10 speed was too powerful. Or maybe she prefers the feel of a banana seat. Personally I find they leave my inner thighs quite chafed.

If you didn't laugh at that, drink a bottle of wine and try reading it again.

-BO

Monday, 16 May 2011

Participation

I started teaching a weekly dance class last Saturday. My class focuses mainly on improvisation because I love movers who are individuals. This past Saturday was my birthday, so I instructed the dancers in my class to warm themselves up by telling me a story about their most memorable birthday while improvising movement based on their story.

I had a new girl in class who decided not to participate in this activity. She stood on the side and watched as we talked about our celebrations or our disappointments or our presents. Afterward I asked which story she would have told and she said she doesn't celebrate birthdays because she doesn't want to organize all of her friends schedules...swing and a miss. It is my genuine belief that if someone cares about you, they'll prove it to you on your birthday. Even if they stop by for 30 seconds to give you a hug, isn't that enough? It is for me.

Anyway, we continued into another structured improvisation exercise across the floor and as two dancers began to move, this visiting girl crossed to the other side of the room, put on her coat, and scurried toward the door looking as if she was about to burst into tears.

I mean, don't get me wrong - I know what it's like to realize you're taking a class that you hate. I've left classes before...pretended I was going for water and just never came back. Or pretending I was hurt so I could sit out and watch. I've given a girl permission to leave my class because it was painfully obvious she was not enjoying herself and she was dragging the energy in the room down. She wasn't doing me any favours by staying...so I told her to go. This girl on Saturday didn't even give me that chance, after 5 minutes she'd decided it wasn't for her. Which, is fine, of course, I know that not every body likes to do the same things that my body likes to do - but isn't the thing about improvising that you can do whatever you want? If you're not comfortable moving a certain way, you don't have to move that way if you don't want to (unless of course the task is to do something you're uncomfortable with.)

It just got me thinking about how as much as I'd like to say I'm a control freak, I'm really quite the opposite. It's so important to be able to go with the flow...and this girl just couldn't. I felt like a weight was lifted when she left the room - how do you celebrate a birthday with someone who doesn't even celebrate their own??




I just read Tina Fey's book Bossypants, and she talks about the value of being a good improviser in a comedic sense, but I think it works for dancing (and life) too:



Rule 1. The first rule of improvisation is to AGREE. Saying “no” grinds invention, innovation (and improv) to a screeching halt. Obviously in real life you’re not always going to agree with what everyone says. But saying YES reminds you to respect what your partner has created and to start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.

Rule 2. The second rule of improv is to not only say YES, say YES, AND. In improv, you agree and then add something of your own. If your partner starts with, “I can’t believe it’s so hot in here,” and you just say “Yeah…” the skit has stalled. But if you respond with, “What did you expect? We’re in hell!” things keep moving forward.



I've always loved Tina Fey and known her genius, but I think now I really understand why I appreciate her brand of comedy so much. She goes with the flow. She also loves food and the gays, so I'm almost certain we were separated at birth. I just refuse to wear my glasses. Even while driving.

-BO

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Hobophobia

I sometimes forget about homophobia. Maybe it's because downtown Vancouver has more gays per capita than people, or maybe it's because I've been comfortable and secure in my own sexuality for many many years, and I try to surround myself with people who are like-minded. I genuinely think that anyone who clings to homophobia beyond the next 10 years will be seen as having an archaic point of view (if they aren't already.) It does worry me when I see comments from people in positions of power about how gay marriage is wrong and about how being gay is a choice. I want to ask these people if they feel attracted to both men and women but chose to be straight - because I know I didn't.

So anyway, I ran into my bestie Jason on the street the other day. About three seconds into our conversation we were interrupted by a (probably drunk) homeless man. He had a beard down to his nipples and was dressed in head-to-toe camouflage. He put on a high-pitched mocking tone of voice and started verbally attacking us. For example:

Homeless Man: Let's pretend to be gay and kiss each other.
BO: We're not pretending...

HM: There's so much Canadian pussy but you're not getting any of it.
BO: With that beard you're probably not getting much of it either.

HM: Bet you guys suck each other's cocks.
BO: Do you want to watch?

Which brings me to my question of the day - would I rather be gay or homeless?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Tattoos

I will never ever ever get a tattoo. First of all - I'm terrified of needles, and having one jabbing me in the same place for an hour is not something I'm interested in (though wording it like that made it sounds more appealing for a moment.)

I just don't understand the need. I have art on my walls...but I can't imagine being so attached to something that I'd want it on my skin for the rest of my life. Maybe it's the same as me thinking that my high school friends are too young to be getting married - though this is maybe a lesser case (depending how big your tattoo is, I suppose.) But still, it's another reminder of something every second until the end of your days. A decision that deserves a lot of time and consideration and shouldn't be done on impulse. Maybe I'm starting to sound like a commitment-phobe...but come on people! That's a long time. And your body is going to change in unexpected and probably gross ways. That lower back tattoo is not going to look sexy, it's going to be melting down into your butt crack.

I know people who have decided to have their tattoos removed (which is a slow and painful process, if my understanding is correct.) I know people who got one tattoo and decided it was not enough and they now have 6 or 7. This brings me back to the reminder point - is that not why someone would have a tattoo? So they don't forget something? Such as your name, your last name, your mom's name, your spouses name, your birth sign, your countries flag - these all seem like cliche tattoos. Are people worried they are going to forget this information? If something means the world to me, I know it and the people around me probably do too. I don't think I need it written on me in ink to prove it.

I guess I prefer the body as a blank canvas. I see tattoos as stains or blemishes on an otherwise blank page. Like scars that you asked someone to drill into you. Though, before anyone tries to ink me in my sleep, there are some tattoos out there that I think are really beautiful. The following is not an example of one of those.


But seriously, if you have a tattoo around your arm - you are at 100% risk of being a total douchebag.

-BO

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Stars

I saw Mother Mother in concert the other night. It was a good show, if a bit long. I'm just a casual listener, so after a while the songs all started to blend together. That, and they didn't play my two absolute favourites.

Anyway, I was selecting my outfit and I decided to wear my new Paul Smith shorts that are navy blue and covered in little white stars. I got them at Barney's in New York and they are amazing. 

I walked out in my outfit and GM (Gay Mike) asked if I was just going to wear underwear to the show. I was taken back - I know my shorts are a bit short and a bit tight...but they are not boxers.

When I argued that my shorts didn't look anything like underwear, GM had the perfect ammunition to combat me with.


I'm starting to wonder if he planned it.

People at the concert did seem to be looking at me like I'd forgotten to wear pants. Not that it would have been the first time I went out in my undies.

-BO

Cookies

The other night my friend Gay Mike shared a story with me about a Little Girl (LG) his friend used to teach. Before his friend could answer, Another Little Girl (ALG) answered her:

LG: Teacher - why does everyone has a nose?
ALG: How else would they know when the cookies are done?


Aren't kids cute? I keep trying to make babies but for some reason I can't get it to work. That being said - what is it with people and rushing into making babies? I was home in Manitoba last week and every time I visit I'm always surprised at the number of people my age who are already engaged or married or have one kid or two kids or three kids. I'm 22, by the way. Don't you think these people are a bit young to be rushing into these decisions that will last for the rest of their lives? It makes me nervous.

I suggested to my mom and brother that I am behind schedule - that I need to hurry up and make a family. To that my brother had this to say:

"Nah, I have some friends who are like 26, 27, and they don't even have girlfriends. You're doing ok."

I have been with my manservant (who will be known here as CW) for more than 5 years...but I'm in no rush to get married. Mostly because I want a big ass ring and he's still in school so he can't afford it yet. But also because I don't know what I'm doing with my life. I'm all over the place - I need some stability in my career and finances before I can lock myself to another person forever and ever and ever. But maybe that's just me? I guess people figure they can always get divorced if it doesn't work out. Or maybe they don't look at it cynically like I do - they hope for the best and maybe it will work out.

But if your fiance is twice your age, has more hair on his back than he does on his head, and already has children with his previous wife - you should not be marrying him. That's just common sense.

-BO

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Election Night

I was home in Carman, Manitoba for election night for the first time since I turned 18. I was the only member of my household who actually voted - and I voted for my riding in Vancouver. It's alright though, my dad and my brother say they would both have voted Conservative if they had voted. My dad because the Conservatives support big corporations, and he hopes to strike oil someday. My brother because I told him not to vote Conservative and he wants to piss me off. Though, in a rural bible belt riding like the one my family lives in, it wouldn't make a difference one way or another - the Conservatives won by a landslide, as they always do (the NDP ran someone by the name of Mohammed Alli - possibly hoping that blind people would assume he was the boxer?)

It was a fantastic night for the NDP - more than doubling their highest ever seat count, they finally helped us get rid of the useless Bloc and helped demonstrate that the Liberals just aren't quite left enough. All is not well in the great white north though, because the Conservatives inexplicably gained a majority (even though they only received 39.6% of the popular vote, and less than 60% of eligible voters actually voted.) Good thing I'm planning a move to NYC - hopefully by the time I move back Canada will have it's flawed electoral system figured out, it has failed us one too many times.

I suppose I run in a group of people that consists of primarily artists and gays...so the general feeling I got going into the election was that Stephen Harper would be out on his ass, and rightfully so. He was found in contempt of parliament and he's not honest with the Canadian public. He's also a total douche. I assumed that everyone was pissed off by him but apparently voters aren't worried about what should be big offenses. I can only hope they live to regret it.

On a lighter note, before the election coverage started the news treated us to a list of some good cheap wines. I was taking notes, and my dad remembered he'd heard good things about another wine:



Dad: Have you ever tried Ménage à Trois?
Me: Not the wine.

-BO 

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Condoms

My brother's room is really messy. Apparently he lost a capo in there last week. My mom found a kitchen knife on his dresser. She says there are condoms all over the place.

My dad: He's probably just using them to make balloons.
Me: Penis balloons.


I imagine it's difficult to blow a balloon with your penis. This is also my second post in a row about penises. I think it might become a trend.

-BO

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Vegan Gays

Ok, listen up you vegan gays...vegegays...vegays? Whatever you are called, here is the deal: I assume you are terrible in bed.

I mean, you don't eat meat. You must give the worst head...and then you probably don't even swallow. I have no time for you, only an experienced carnivore will be tasting me.


If I wanted a mediocre bj, I'd be dating girls.

-BO

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Whiskey Dix

There is a bar in Winnipeg called Whiskey Dix. My understanding is that it's quite popular - I'm just trying to understand the appeal.

I mean, I know it has the word whiskey in the name - which might lead me to believe that it's a fun place to drink. I also notice that the word dix sounds a lot like dicks - which might lead me to believe that it's a good place to go if I'm hoping to get some action.

What I think I am missing is the appeal of these things when you put them together. In case you weren't aware, when a guy has so much to drink that he can't get an erection, it's called whiskey dick.



Why on earth would I want to go to a place that promises me nothing but drunk flaccid penises?

-BO

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Hockey Luvin' Homo

Oh joy, the Canucks have advanced to the next round of the playoffs. Can I tell you a secret? I was hoping that they would lose in game 7 and I would have successfully avoided their entire playoff run. I realize this is probably not a popular opinion - but I live two minutes from the arena and the people shouting and horns honking is more than I can stand. It was manageable during the Olympics...but that was an entire country coming together for two weeks. This could go on much longer, and that makes me nervous.

I have a few issues with pro hockey. I may not be an expert, but here it goes. First of all - I think they get paid way too much. Amazing that they get to do what they love for a living, but as someone who tries to do what he loves for a living and usually has to do it for free, I think it sucks. I was so hopeful when they announced plans for a salary cap, but there are still players who make 10 million dollars a year. Why should I have to work an extra job when some of these guys get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a game? It's not fair.

I also hate when crazy fans decide to attack (verbally or physically) someone who supports another team. Let's think about this like adults here for a minute - I understand cheering for the team in your hometown, but how many players on the Vancouver team are actually from Vancouver? Maybe three? Are the fans even from Vancouver? It just doesn't make sense. I think players on teams in the NHL should have to be from the province/state/area that they play for - and I don't just think this because it would give Canadian teams a huge advantage. It would keep teams from buying the 'best' players and it would force them to cultivate talent locally - they could put that extra money into minor hockey leagues in the community.

Seriously - unless you are on the team, or you trained a member of the team, or you have a close relative on the team - it really doesn't matter if they win or not. Why people create such a personal relationship with a team boggles my mind. At the end of the day it is just a game. Of course you want them to play well, you want them to win...but whether they win or lose isn't really that important in the grand scheme of things. It shouldn't have a huge effect on your daily life. Don't place too much stock in things that you cannot control, because 9 times out of 10, you will be disappointed.



If my family ever reads this, I will be disowned. I am not a hockey luvin' homo.

-BO