Wednesday, July 30, 2008

August Agenda

I've put it off long enough. Time for my August agenda. 6 cities, 17 days, little money.
I will have little time in each city so I gotta only see the best!

July 31 - 11:15 pm Leave Toronto

August 1 - 3 - Boston
arrive 1:35 pm
I found a gay bookstore
How fantastic! They have a drag bar called Jacques, I must go! Friday show is at 10:15.
The Museum of Fine Arts is open til 9:45 pm! Actually I think I'll get the City Pass, 6 things for $45. Includes JFK Library, Skywalk, New England Aquarium, etc.
The Freedom Trail includes Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, Paul Revere's burial site, etc.
Aug 2 - 7:05 pm Red Sox game
Aug 3 - 1:35 pm Red Sox game
Oh heck, there's also the New England Holocaust Memorial and one of the oldest and largest bookstores in the US, Brattle Books. I'd better stop looking, I'm only there 3 days.
Leave Aug 4 at 12:01 pm, have bus ticket - buy Washington to Cleavland

August 4 - 6 Philadelphia
arrive 7 pm
Philadelphia has a city pass too. Attractions include the Zoo and the EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY, but otherwise not so much so I think I'll give this more expensive one a pass.
The EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY is a must! It's 2.5 miles from my hostel, the Trip Planner on the transit website says it will take 1.5 hours. What???? Guess I'm walking.
Features Al Caopne's cell:

The Rodin Museum is supposed to be good and The Philadelphia Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the US.
Liberty Bell and Congress Hall sound good too.
The Civil War Library and Museum, I love Civil War stuff. It's only open Thursday-Sat and I'm not there then. What up wit' that?
August 5 - 7:05 pm Phillies game
Also America's oldest zoo
Leave Aug 7 at 10:45 am, $22.50

August 7 - 9 Balitimore
arrive 12:40 pm
The American Visionary Art Museum is funky and free from 5 to 9 on Thursday.
On August 7 there's a dinner theatre show of West Side Story. It's about $50. Vegan? Buffet dinner theatre? I'll think about it. I can't see it selling out.
August 8 - 7:05 pm Orioles game
August 9 Bare - The Musical at 8 pm
Apparently the Walters Art Museum is the shit and it's free!
Fort McHenry looks good.
The Washington Monument sounds popular as does the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Leave Aug 10 at 12:05 pm, $14.50

August 10-12 Washington
arrive 1:10 pm
Holocaust Memorial Museum is a MUST.
The Washington National Cathedral is the 6th largest in the world.
Aug 12 - 7:10 pm Nationals game
The White House, which I can't get in as I'm Canadian
I loved the Canadian National Postal Museum, so I must check out the American one as it's free
National Museum of Crime & Punishment looks cool too.
Also you may have heard of the Smithsonian.
Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot is closed until winter 2009.
Lambda Rising gay books is a must too.
Leave Aug 13 at 5:45 am, $39 7 day advance

August 13 Pittsburgh
arrive 12:20 pm
Check out Andy Warhol Museum
Aug 13 - 7:05 pm Pirates game
Leave Aug 14 at 8 am, $27

August 14-16 Cleveland
arrive 11:25 am
Aug 14 - 7:05 Indians game
Leave Aug 17 at 11:25 am, have bus ticket

Arrive home in Toronto August 17 6:45 pm

Monday, July 28, 2008

AIDS Walk For Life

A while ago I sent out an email to some friends asking them to pledge me for the AIDS walk. Now I only sent this to people who I have pledged or would pledge myself for other charity things and out of the 15 people I sent it to, 3 responded.

My friend Joe told me I should bring it up with the people when I see them and ask them in person with my pledge form. This is a much better idea than me sending an email to all my friends telling them what I think of them, which was my original plan.

"Dear Jerks...."

To pledge me, please click here.

Thank you!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bike Rally Launch

This is from Kensington Market on Saturday:
I went for a great lunch with my dad on Saturday. Every good lunch should end with Wanda's Pie in the Sky. His partner Linda mentioned she has a picture of her father in front of the Brandenburg Gate, June 1945:

Awesome piece of history.
Then Sunday I got up at 6:45 to check out the launch of the Bike Rally ride to Montreal with my friend Robert:
It was nearly impossible to find him:
I'm looking for a gay man with short brown hair.... Talk about a needle in a hay stack.
Todd Ross was there, turns out he was the co-chair:
Hottie Scott Morrison was on the planning committee, he's a friend of David's:
Then I found this, one of 11 survey markers across Canada, in front of Queen's Park:
Robert riding off:
Then off to the baseball game to get a bad Alex Rios statue I didn't really want:
Where I was reading some gay magazines from the early 60's and found this:

Camp Records released some super camp 60's LP's which can be downloaded here. I'm in love with this site.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boylesque TO

What a fantastic show! Of course my camera is crap but:

Yes that is the Mormon bible he's holding.

Dora award nominee Keith Cole was there:

And I hearby promise to go to everything Dora award nominee Keith Cole ever does in this city ever again. It would be nice if he had a blog or website or something.

TTC workers.
I think some people thought the show wasn't sexy enough or the guys were too young, but I thought it was all great.
Lots of fun skits, two sold-out shows, I hope they put on shows all the time. Loved it!

Vegan KFC

My mom sent me a nice card with cat stickers on it thanking me for the weekend so all is forgiven, toilet paper wise.

I had the vegan KFC sandwich yesterday:

I liked it but you have to bring your own mayonnaise which is a pain in the ass. Also it says you have to trade the bun for a wrap but I think I'm just going to have the bun next time.
Why can't they just order a tub of veganaise and make my life easy?
Also it was very gross standing beside all the people ordering parts of chickens while waiting for my food. If I ever date again, it's going to have to be a vegan, or someone who likes eating alone.
P.S. Why does soy margarine say "100% soy!" and then say "ingredients: Soy, milk...."
P.S.S. Vegans live 6-10 years longer than carnivores.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

George Michael

I went to the George Michael concert Thursday and even with my crappy camera I got some decent shots as we were so close to the front and in the centre.

Then my mom and I went to the Bata Shoe Museum.

Then Casa Loma.

One thing I'll never understand about women is their use of toilet paper. I need to install a hidden camera in the bathroom to see what goes on.
Every time my mom went in the bathroom she needed a new roll of toilet paper. How do you use a whole roll? If people want to save the environment, just get rid of women.
Then also when she'd leave some on the roll (rarely) it would have gone from 2 ply to one ply. What did she do, just sit there, unroll it, and remove an entire ply and then put it back on the roll? After she left I jumped to the middle and it was still one ply. I had to throw the roll out. It was two ply when she went in. What the Hell is going on in there????

Monday, July 14, 2008

Borrowed Time by Paul Monette

In referring to the new list of the 25 best books of the last 25 years, I noticed Borrowed Time by Paul Monette.
Considering how slow I read, I'm impressed at how many of these I've read.
Borrowed Time is an AIDS Memoir, Newsday says:
"BORROWED TIME brings the plague years home as no other book does. It is impossible to read this love story without weeping... Monette keeps us glued to the page. His narrative combines passion's fire and rage's ice. And the effect is so over-powering, so emotion-charged that at times we simply have to stop reading."

On page 3, as he first reads the details of the disease in a gay paper in 1982:
"I remember exactly what was going through my mind while I was reading... I was thinking: How is this not me? Trying to find a pattern I was exempt from.... It was them - by which I meant the fast-lane Fire Island crowd, the world of High Eros.
Not us."

On page 6:
"Not that Roger and I were the life of the party. He's managed not to carry away from his adolescence the mark of too much repression, or indeed the yearning to make up for lost time. I was the one in the relationship who suffered from lost time. I was the one who would go after a sexual encounter as if it were an ice cream cone - casual, quick, good-bye."

I really identified with this passage. What marks do I carry from repression? I remember the feeling of making up lost time, of never having a date or a first kiss. And I've never thought about it before, how much does that effect me, even today?
But with this and the inability to be monogamous comes the guilt, the feeling you're the bad one. And to imagine that your casual sex killed the love of your life and is coming for you.... I think I would write a book called Borrowed Time too. Is it better to know? Do you prepare more when you know? Things I think as I read this book.
I remember my friend Shawn had AIDS for years and then died of a heart attack as a result of the HIV medication, and my friend David developped a mental illness as a result of years of drug abuse and jumped out a window. Who was better off? I don't know.

He talks on page 46 of cleaning out the house after a friend with AIDS had visited and of feeling guilty for cleaning, and "it's why I have such an instant radar for the bone-zero terror of others. Those who a year later would not enter our house, would not take food or use the bathroom. Would not hold me."

Page 60:
"Suddenly Craig pulled back the sleeve of his flannel shirt and showed me his arm. "What about this?" he asked. I looked at a small red spot above his wrist, slightly raised, barely a quarter-inch across. "No way," I said. "They're never raised."

I was wrong."

Page 76:
"When the doctors came in - a pair of them, the intern and the pulmonary man - they stayed as close to each other as they could, like puppies. They stood at his bedside, for the new enlightenment demands that a doctor not deliver doom from the foot of the bed, looming like God. The intern spoke: "Mr. Horwitz, we have the results of the bronchoscopy. It does show evidence of pnemocystis in the lungs."

Was there a pause for the world to stop? There must have been, because I remember the crack of silence, Roger staring at the two men. Then he simply shut his eyes, and only I, who was the rest of him, could see how stricken was the stillness in his face.

"We'll begin treatment immediately with Bactrim. You'll need to be here in the hospital for fourteen to twenty-one days. Do you have any questions?"

Roger shoock his head on the pillow. I wanted to kill these two ridiculous young men with the nerdy plastic pen shields in their white-coat pockets. "Could you please leave us alone," I said.

And they tweedled out, relieved to have it over with. I ran around the bed and clutched Roger's hand. "We'll fight it, darling, we'll beat it, I promise. I won't let you die." The sentiments merged as they tumbled out. This is the liturgy of bonding. Mostly we clung together, as if time still had the decency to stop when we were entwined. After all, the whole world was right here in this room. I don't think Roger said anything then. Neither of us cried. It begins in a country beyond tears. Once you have your arms around your friend with his terrible news, your eyes are too shut to cry.

The intern had never once said the word."

Page 104:
"Yes, we'd decided to fight. No, the despair wasn't gone. The two emotions jockeyed in our hearts. You had to be there all the time to know which was dominant in a given hour, a given minute - the clock doesn't parse fine enough to tell how vast and swift the mood swings were. But if you have ever freed someone from pain, you know why it is that a mother can lift a car off her trapped and whimpering child. Give us then the bravado of days when we swore we would bear it, for underneath we were scared as ever, and always pleading silently, Don't let it come again."

Page 219:
"I remember one of the founders of Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York telling Craig how he’d hate to need any of the services he’d created, not because it was demeaning to ask for help but because the issues raised were so awful - lost insurance, lost jobs, evictions, the full gamut of miseries. Roger and I had spent years blithely writing checks to such organizations, and surely there is magic in that as well. One does it in part to cover one’s ass, knocking on wood: Please, not me."

Finally, page 258:
"Suddenly Roger tilted his head and said, "It’s awfully dark in here. Do you think it’s dark?"
"No," replied John in an ashen voice, feeling, as he told me later, a terrible sense of dread.
I woke up shortly thereafter, and Roger told me - without a lot of panic, almost puzzled - that his vision seemed to be losing light and detail. I called Dell Steadman and made an emergency appointment, and I remember driving down the freeway, grilling Rog about what he could see. It seemed to be less and less by the minute. He could barely sere the cars going by in the adjacent lanes. Twenty minutes later we were in Dell’s office, and with all the urgent haste to get there we didn’t really stop to reconnoitre till we were sitting in the examining room. I asked the same question - what could he see? - and now Roger was getting more upset the more his vision darkened. I picked up the phone to call Jaimee, and by the time she answered the phone in Chicago he was blind. Total blackness, in just two hours.
He didn’t cry out, not then. He was too staggered to howl like Lear, and all I remember is a whimpered "Oh," repeated over and over. Then Dell came in and examined the eye and said as calmly as he could that indeed the retina had detached. As the two of us chocked on nothingness, he put in a swift call to Krieger, and they talked about scheduling an immediate reattachment. Dell had nineteen other patients waiting, and there was nothing else he could do. He said he was sorry and left, looking helpless. We sat there stunned, clinging to each other’s hands. I think I tried to pull out of it and focus on the operation, but neither of us could think at all as we tottered forth from the suite, me leading my friend as he groped a hand in front of him. The nurses faces were tight with pain.
I don’t know what we said to each other. I think we just numbly went forward - I had to hold him close and lead him down into the parking garage, then somehow get us home safe through the murderous Friday traffic. I made consoling noises, but they made no sense. When we got back to the house I settled him in the bedroom that two hours before he could still see. The nurse tried to make him comfortable, but still that frail and broken "Oh" was all he could say. I called people for him - his parents, mine, I don’t remember who - and at last he let the cry tear loose. "I’m blind," he wailed as he clutched the phone, again and again, to everyone we called.
None of the meaningless, unsolicited consolation that people have murmured since then - about the logic of things and desirelessness and higher powers - will ever mute a decibel of that wail of loss."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 11: Early to rise, early to bed, makes a man healthy but socially dead

Ted Lilly nearly killed someone the other day. Fortunately he went to visit them in the hospital. Would I take Ted Lilly's balls to my head and meet him later in a mechanical bed? Maybe.

I'm going to see The Faith Show today with resident hottie and Dora nominee Benjamin Clost. Here he is eating the apple:

My plan is to catch his eye from the audience and make him fall in love with me and have 2.5 kids, or just a couple cats. I first saw Benjamin in My Fellow Creatures and I've been looking forward to this the most of the whole Fringe fest. I joined his facebook page, well if he lets me, and I plan to be the new Benjamin Clost super fan and show up to every gig in a distinctive outfit to catch his eye.
Is a pink feather boa too much?
I was totally shocked to see he's younger than me. I have this feeling he's a man, a grown-up actor. When do I have to feel grown-up?

I'm up early this morning so I'm going to the park to read my book. I have a lot of dreams I'm smoking. This is tough.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 8: Save a squirrel, eat a pie

Yesterday I heard on the news a highway was stopped due to a family of ducks crossing. Then when I left work, I was racing to get to a play for the Fringe festival. I left at 4:33, the show started at 5, no latecomers, and was 6.7 km away (4.25 miles). So I was riding like a bat out of Hell and when Ii hit College and Bathurst I noticed traffic was stopped and there was a squirrel FREAKING OUT in the middle of the road.
So I got off my bike and stopped 6 lanes of traffic to save the squirrel. He was kind of running in circles and it was difficult because as soon as he moved the car would race past. Where are these people going they can't wait 2 minutes?
So another passing stranger came out into the road with his hat, put the hat over the squirrel and picked it up and put it in the alley. As soon as we stepped off the road, we heard a cheer and saw a daycare full of kids watching us. We were heroes! Then I raced off and sat down the second the play started.
Now I only think about smoking every 3 minutes instead of every 1 minutes.
Cigarettes - 0
Pies - 2

Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 6: Wrath, with grapes and bananas

I'm told that people who quit smoking have dreams of smoking and wake up and wonder if they're real. On Saturday night I dreamed I was eating pork chops and I felt sick when I woke up. And then last night dreams of smoking and drinking. I woke up wondering if I was drunk.

I've switched from pie to bananas and trail mix.

I'm really into this Fringe Festival, I'm sorry I haven't gone before. Friday night was intertesting when I went to a one-man show and 10 minutes in the actor got up and left. But all the plays are different and entertaining. Better than going to a movie.

Speaking of movies, last night I watched "The Grapes of Wrath" again. This is my favourite book but the movie let me down. There is lines in the book where you think "How could anyone write that well?!?!?!" which doesn't translate well into the movie.

Much like "Why the caged bird sings" I thought I'd explain the title of the Grapes of Wrath.

Starting in the great depression with the dustbowl, farmers had poor crops for a number of years. The people who owned these fields had originally let the fields out in exchange for a portion of the profits and now wanted to break the deal. The landowner could get a tractor and have one man do the work of 10 sharecroppers so he kicked all the farmers off their land. These people had lived and died there for 100 years and one day they were told to leave.

These people had nothing. NOTHING. Less than the slaves. NOTHING. People in California advertised jobs picking fruit for good pay so the farmers sold what little they had for pennies on the dollar to get enough money to go south to California. And when they got there 5,000 fruit pickers showed up for 400 jobs. So they undercut each other as they were starving and had nothing and soon everyone was willing to work for food. Not even money, just enough food for their wife and kids and still there was too many pickers.

And the farmers had learned the law of supply and demand so if it was a good year for grapes they couldn't pick them all or the price on the market would fall. So they picked what they needed to and burned the rest. They hired guards to watch their fields and would shoot people trying to steal food, because people who got food for free wouldn't pay for it. So people were starving to death from hunger as the men who owned the farms burned the produce. The Grapes of Wrath burned.....

Friday, July 4, 2008

Freedom - Day 3 - Homicidal maniac - New York

I wish I could find the desire to check out my August vacation. I'm also doing a long weekend in New York, going to see Equus, Wicked, Naked Boys Singing and Billy Elliott. I have always wished I saw Billy Elliott when I was in London and now's my chance. Unfortunately half these shows have "premium pricing" meaning anything in the centre section of the floor is minimum $250. Yikes!
It should be easy to afford that with my cruise and August vacation and my front teeth. Right now, I am very poor.
I booked my New York Hostel already. Got to check out the community centre where Keith Harring painted the ceiling.

I went to the Fringe festival last night and saw "Babies in Danger!"
It was ok, it was SNL type sketches with a loose theme of babies. The woman was pretty good, one of the guys that sang alot kept looking at a fixed point on the wall behind all our heads to deliver his lines which I found REALLY annoying. I don't expect you to look the audience in the eye but to look OVER them for the whole play???? Too much. The other guy was kind of handsome and call me if you're reading this, we can make it work.

Overall it was ok like I said, the jokes got a bit stale by the end but there were some funny moments like the "Hamilton High" video and the babies as snakes with rattles bit.

Tonight: Travel or Entertain?
What's funny is in the paper every day it says "Today's must see Fringe shows!" and the shows I'm going to are never listed. Is it possible I have a warped sense of entertainment?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Freedom - Day 2

According to I have not smoked for 1 day, 4 hours and 39 minutes. I have not smoked 14 cigarettes and saved 2 hours of my life.

I don't miss smoking but I just kind of wish my head was screwed on as right now it is not. Last night I went home, hid under the covers with a pie at 5 pm and emerged this morning for work, the pie magically disappeared! Now I'm eating Ontario strawberries, they're good.

I booked my cruise. Good luck finding picutres of this stupid thing, check out the link. Oh, here's some:

The pictures at the link have more boys in them. Actual there's a review of last year's cruise here. Sound good.

Fun times at work, luckily I am they type that doesn't show my emotions. Except everytime the phone rings I go "Who the FUCK is that?!?!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I started smoking when I was 12 years old.
My mom had smoked my whole life and I always gave her a hard time about it. I remember being sure I would never smoke, I hated it.
Then I turned 12 and met a boy and my hormones turned on and he smoked. I don't know how it is in straight relationships, but I remember I wanted to be just like him. It's a good thing he didn't sniff glue.
I started smoking very occasionally with him and by grade 9 I was hooked. I remember going out to the smoking area at high school and hanging out with friends. I always wanted to grow up, to get out of the small town I was living in, experience life, experience men, I couldn't get out fast enough and smoking was a grown up thing to do. It was during this period that smoking started to hurt my throat and made me choke so I used to have little candies which soon became Halls candies, so that with every cigarette I had to take a candy so I wouldn't choke to death.
When I was 16 I started buying my own cigarettes and smoking regularly. I moved out on my own when I was 16 and discovered my throat hurt even less if I had something to drink when I smoked, something that continues to this day. Many times I'll be out somewhere and buy a $4 coffee just to have a cigarette, it hurts to much and makes me choke if I don't have a drink.
When I was 19 or 20 the drink didn't work that well anymore and I started to choke again. I found it easier to blow my nose and clear out the crap that was building up in my throat and lungs and then I could continue smoking. This increased so that I now blow my nose all the time.
It's not easy to put things in your mouth when you constantly feel like you're choking and so I brushed my teeth less, in addition to the cigarette smoke destroying my gums, and when I was 28 I lost my front two teeth, which I attribute directly to smoking.
When I was about 24 I became very self-conscious about choking and blowing my nose in public and for about a year I was not able to go out in large public spaces, something I again attribute to smoking, which was only releaved with medication for anxiety.
So I've paid enough and I quit smoking on July 2nd.
I have a book "The Easy Way to Quit Smoking" which helps re-affirm that you are not giving up anything. You are getting your life back.
There's a line from the book, "It would be so easy to quit smoking if I could only smoke while doing it" which any smoker will understand. When you smoke, cigarettes are your friend and your crutch, just like with any other drug addiction. Sure I'm single, but I have my drug. I may have no teeth and be choking and blowing my nose and feeling like crap, but I can smoke.
It's fucked up logic and hopefully a year from now I'll look back on this and wonder what the Hell I was thinking.
Lots to look forward to, but in the short term I always have really bad withdrawal symptoms, diarrhea, inability to sleep, inability to get out of bed, dry throat, there's more. But this is it. I will not look back 20 years from now and make another list of all smoking has cost me since this point.
I quit.

Pride Day Toronto 2008

Strong Like Bull performed his classic hit "Smack a Hippie".

The TTC Pride Bus

Toronto Mayor David Miller with TTC Chair Adam Giambrone

Lots of people

Gay pilots and flight attendants

LOTS of people, check out the ones on the roofs

The crew from Proud FM

Mitch Branson, porn hottie on the left:

Naked Elvis with a well placed hand

NDP leader Jack Layton with his wife Olivia Chow

Dog in a basket from Canada Day at Harbourfront:

June 28 Kids on TV Pride Show

Pics from the Kids on TV Pride show that I didn't get to attend as I went to Maria: