Saturday, July 30, 2005

Vancouver Gay Pride Weekend

I won't say much about this weekend's Gay Pride in Vancouver. I personally don't enjoy it at all. I do appreciate that many people love the event, and it does serve an important purpose for social and political purposes. I've never found parades to be that interesting in the first place. But I find that the rest of the events are basically an excuse to party, spend money, get drunk, meet people and have sex. Not that there's anything wrong with that - I can do that any day of the week.

I realized that if I were going to Montreal's Gay Pride, or Toronto's, I'd probably enjoy Pride a lot more. It would be a new experience again, and there would be thousands of people I've never met before. I'm sure there are thousands of gay men I haven't met here either, but having lived in Vancouver for 17 years, it all seems so familiar. Plus I'd have to run into: 1. People I was once friends with and no longer am friendly with; 2. Ex-lovers; 3. People who have been rude to me and have hurt my feelings; 4. People who have slept with my ex-lovers; 5. People paying attention to me that I'd rather they didn't; 6. People who I've slept with and no longer remember their names.

I've also never had a good time at any Pride events in the past - even the expensive, big parties at special venues. I'm glad I did it. But that's just it - I've been there and done that.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Soccer Guy

It was Shigeki's fault. I was chatting with him during the afternoon, when he mentioned that he decided to have a couple of drinks of Scotch after work. I haven't drank in quite a long time, and it sounded like a nice idea. So I ran some errands, picked up a bottle of Vodka, and had a couple. At about midnight, I was feeling good, and decided to get something to eat at a pub just a block away. It's a pretty cool always has interesting people, and their food is good. I sat at the bar, because all the tables were taken, and ordered the Shepherd's Pie. I had nothing on my brain except to chow into the the pie.

I didn't even notice anyone around me. But the guy sitting next to me to my left, said hello. I looked at him, and was stunned by how good looking he was. Dark brown hair, smokey eyes, a well-trimmed goatee, and a deep voice with a beautiful British accent. We got to talking, and I found out he is a professional soccer player from England, and was here to play a game. I know nothing about soccer, so I didn't think to ask him what team he played with, what position he played, etc. Anyway, we hit it off, and were soon talking about all kinds of deep and interesting things. I loved listening to him talk in his deep, sultry British accent. He's married, and I believe he told me that his wife is from Vancouver. I don't remember clearly because he kept buying me beer after beer, and offering me Guitanes cigarettes (they're good!). I was surprised at how 'deep' and serious he could be, so I asked him his astrological sign, and of course, it was Scorpio.

At one point he asked me if I was gay, and I said, "yes." He seemed totally comfortable with that. Finally the bar closed at 2am, and I asked him if he wanted to go down to the beach and hang out for a while. He said, "Sure, sounds great."

I stopped by my house first (it's only a block away from the pub) and picked up the rest of my bottle of vodka. So we went down to the beach, in a very private area (often there are people partying, with a fire going). Anyway, no one was around. We sat and drank and talked. A guy walked past, and we invited him to sit with us and have a few swigs of vodka. He hung around for a while, and then he left.

Soccer guy suddenly decided to tear off all his clothes, and run into the ocean! I couldn't believe it - the ocean is cold (and probably dirty). I noticed what an amazing body he has. At one point he dove under water, and I didn't see him come up for almost a minute. So I ran into the ocean, up to my crotch in water, yelling, "Hey, are you okay?" I was thinking I'd better rescue him. But finally he surfaced, and was fine.

Believe it or not, but I didn't even have sex on my mind. But he came out of the water, naked, and sat on the log. He was shivering, and I rubbed his back trying to warm him up (he didn't seem to mind). In hindsight today, I realized he probably wanted me to make a move on him - after all he's hanging out with a gay guy, naked, drunk, and on the beach at 4am with no one around. But it honestly didn't even occur to me at the time! I wasn't thinking of him as a sexual object, like I do with most handsome, sexy, hot men. Also, by this time I was totally drunk and not thinking very well.

Anyway, that's the whole story. He put on his clothes, and we both went our separate ways. It was a great evening. I probably won't see him again, which is probably good. Because next time, I'd do a lot more than just talk.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More on Canadian Idol

Canadian Idol continues every Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It's such a different experience than American Idol. There's definitely a different cultural taste in music and singers, and much more creativity and originality.

Vanguard went to a concert in which one of the singers he saw (and loved) was from a previous Canadian Idol. He says, "Who would've thought this woman had begun as one of the losers on the 2003 season of Canadian Idol, which seriously seems like an oxymoron to me, eh. I mean Canadian and Idol in the same sentence?" I'm not sure what he means, but I think there's a lot to idolize about Canadians. Not just our laws - such as same-sex marriage, absence of the death penalty and health-care system, but also our embrace of a multi-cultural society, not participating in the Iraq war, and lack of guns - and so much more. We also have, for a small country, an amazing number of world-wide reknown talents in all endeavours - especially music.

Here's a review of a few of my favourites in the remaining 8 contestants. My favourite is Rex Goudie. He was born in Dawson Creek, BC, but now lives in Burlington, Newfoundland - a tiny farm town in the middle of nowhere, and works as a mechanic. He is so hot! Not normally my type, but he's so natural and comfortable on stage, and exudes charisma. Completely unaffected. He also sings rock, which I mostly don't care for, but he does it so well. For such a laid-back guy, he puts his entire body and soul into singing. The judges never have a bad word to say about him. After singing his song, he sat next to the host and put on these round, bottle thick nerd glasses. Very funny.

Amber Fleury is my second most favourite. She's from Calgary, Alberta, and is 26. I was surprised she made it, simply because she doesn't look like Britney Spears or other skinny, pretty pop stars. But Canada doesn't care about those things - she's in the top 8. Her voice is unbelievable - it makes you shiver. As one of the hosts said, "Your voice is as close to being holy as is possible." She nearly makes KD Lang sound hoarse.

Suzie Rawn is from Kamloops, BC. She's another rocker. Again, I don't care for that kind of singing, normally, but she does it well. The main thing is she's already a well-produced product. She's got her style worked out, tons of stage presence and looks ready for the big time. While she has that irritating rocker chic attitude, it's tempered with a sweetness and sincerity that makes her likable.

There are two extremely affected guys, who make my point - that Canadian Idol is so different than American Idol. One is Jeff Palmer, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He's creepy, like Michael Jackson and Prince. His vocal stylings are inimitable. But he's interesting to watch, and manages to pull off his weird, jerky movements and extremely fey mannerisms. I hate his fashion sense - wearing a winter scarf in the middle of July? Another time he wore what appeared to be a Michael Jackson military suit jacket with metal hooks up the front. His hair is awful, his teeth need to be bleached and fixed, but he has a charm and rather beautiful green eyes. I simultaneously like him, and yet feel creeped out. I'd like to see him make it to the top 8 in the U.S.!

Another strange guy is Daryl Brunt, 16, of Sudbury, Ontario. The poor kid is so awkward, and appears so typically gay, I feel sorry for him. He's also so skinny it's painful to look at him. But his singing is excellent (although the judges mostly don't like his singing because it does sound very pop and lacks soul). But he reminds me of a better sounding Pet Shop Boys or Simply Red. He does the high ranges fluidly, with perfect tone.

The rest on the Canadian Idol team are mostly gorgeous female pop singers, who are remarkably classy. There is a Rueben-like fellow named Aaron Walpole, who is quite good and the judges love him, but he does nothing for me.

I think Canadian Idol is a bit of a national obsession, which is very unusual for Canadians. I guess we're proud of our talent, and our differences.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Annual HSBC Celebration of Light

Every year in Vancouver, we have the Celebration of Light fireworks competition. It's down at English Bay in the heart of the West End (the gay area). It's a perfect place, because you can see the fireworks from English Bay, or across the bay from Jericho Beach and Kits Beach, or even from the East End near Science World (that's the lit dome you see in this picture on the left side). It's the most well attended event in Vancouver - an estimated 1.4 million pour into the city to watch it. All of the streets in the West End and surroundings are cut off to cars, so everyone pours, en mass, into the streets, and it's very festive. Hundreds of boats and yachts gather in the bay to watch from the water. The fireworks are unbelievable and are set to music by each country participating. You can tune in your radio and listen and watch the fireworks at the same time. It happens on Wednesday and Saturday nights, until the finale, where all three countries put on a display.

Even where I live, in Kitsilano, people gather all along the beaches, and parking is impossible (and if you park improperly you'll definitely get towed).

My favourite memory of the fireworks is when I met Les, my second boyfriend (and most favourite). We were attending a fireworks party at someone's penthouse in the West End and had the most perfect view from the balcony. This happened just after we had met each other, and both of us were feeling the strong pull of intense attraction, but neither of us knew if we felt the same way. We were on the balcony together, watching the fireworks, with the music going, and at one point it became so moving that tears came to our eyes - it was a nice moment. Very intimate. I wanted to press my body against his and start humping. I remember the electricity that flowed between us whenever we were close to each other - especially in the elevator on the way out.

Another time I was invited to another fireworks party, at another penthouse, and met the hottest and cutest guy. Very intelligent, buff body, blond. We totally got into each other and there was a strong chemistry. Then I found out he was leaving the next day to go to school in the UK! Shite! Nothing happened and we were both disappointed. But it seems like that often happens - you meet someone, just as one of you are leaving. It must be a spiritual test, or just bad luck!

The fireworks is one of those events that just invites romance, and a feeling of togetherness in the city.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Jericho Beach

Just ten blocks away from me is Jericho Beach - just one of the dozens of beaches that wrap around Vancouver. It is my favourite beach. I took this picture of it last April, on a cool day. It looks as though you're miles away from the city, while in fact you're in the midst of it. The mountains you see in the distance include North Vancouver, and if I panned East, you'd see downtown Vancouver. If I looked West, you'd see open Pacific Ocean, with a few islands. That's what's so fantastic about Vancouver - you're never far from the ocean or the outdoors, even in the city.

Here's what it looks like in the summer looking East - you can see downtown Vancouver. I like Jericho because it's so large that it's rarely crowded - you can always find a space to yourself. I prefer it to Kits Beach. Kits Beach is only a few blocks away but it is the "beautiful people" beach, full of 20 year olds strutting around looking gorgeous. I go there when I need eye candy. Otherwise I like the more adult environment of Jericho. In some parts the water is quite shallow so it becomes as warm as bath water. You can also watch people do sailing and sailboards.

I didn't go to Jericho last year, because I didn't want to run into my ex, BC. It's his favourite beach too. In fact, he has to drive about 6 km from the East side of Vancouver to get to Jericho. When we ended seeing each other, I asked him if he would go to a different beach since Jericho was my beach, and I didn't want to see him. He said, "No." So I avoided it last year. Fortunately I haven't seen him. He's probably hanging out now at Wreck Beach - the nude beach at the University of BC, where he can get into all kinds of slutty action.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bags are the new blog

I discovered that Trent of Pink is the New Blog happened to do his own "What's in your bag?" blog. He saw a magazine story on "What's in Joel Madden's LV Bag" and created his own photo essay, "The 4 Things in Trent's Bag." It's all Louis Vuitton baggage - I'm not sure if he was being honest, or fantasizing. Nevertheless, there's an obvious synchronicity happening. Check out his blog (scroll down to nearly the bottom of his entry), and spread the meme!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What’s your baggage? The CSI.

(Click on image to see it larger. I just discovered I can upload photos for free with Blogger - duh!) Possibly the only thing more interesting than reading another person’s “diary/blog” is seeing what they carry around in their bag, purse, wallet, coat pockets or your car's trunk. Shigeki of Tokio Bleu, started a meme, based on his entry "My goodies."

My digital camera was stolen, so I used Photoshop to make a collage what I usually carry in my work bag when I meet with a client. Not very interesting is it? I bought the The Modele Collagen Lip Enhancer after reading about it - it's supposed to make your lips fuller. I haven't used it regularly enough to find out if it works, because it's packaged in a gold lipstick container, and I'm too embarrassed to take it out in public and use it. After staring at a screen all day my eyes are usually red, so I bring along Visine to get the red out, so that I don't look like I'm suffering from a hangover. "Was he born that way, or is it Maybelline?" The coverstick I hate using, but if I've had too many late nights, it hides those undereye circles. I don't usually get blemishes anymore (thank goodness) but I'm prepared if I do. The Kleenex is a bit of a lie - I usually stuff paper towels I steal from bathrooms in my bag to wipe my sweaty face before a meeting. It's just that Kleenex looks nicer. Unfortunately we don't have those hi-tech Japanese wipes here. I left out the muffin crumbs, loose change and lint.

Here's Shigeki's call to action: Links and Meme. I'd like to tag someone, but I doubt anyone reads my site! If you do one, let me know.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A Great Chef

I feel so thrilled – a local bistro chef asked me for my opinion on their new entry! And the chef listened to me!

I’ve lived here for nearly 3 years, and have gone to her bistro for about the same time. She honestly serves the best food, for a bistro, in town. It’s French (and many other cultures), down-to—earth, simple and yet so delicious, it can make you HIGH just tasting it. I think they’re the best kept secret, in terms of a bistro, in the city. And they’re only a hop-skip-jump away from me.

Their most fabulous secret is their breakfasts. (They serve the best eggs and baked potatoes you’ve ever tasted or seen – they’re perfect technically). My favourite is their baked garlic with pesto scrambled eggs. Secondly are their fresh-baked breads (do I want their sour dough, their French bread, their honey wheat bread, or their full grain bread? I can’t decide). Thirdly is their yummy food, that ranges from Mac and Cheese to blah-blah-blah-blah-blah! I don’t know the names, they’re too complicated for me. Often it contains that purple egg-shaped vegetable…you know what I mean. (Egg-plant) Nevertheless, everything I’ve tasted in the last three years has been perfect!

Recently they’ve introduced pasta to their menu – it’s only available from 3-9pm. So I thought I’d try it tonight.

When I first walked in, I saw the owner, and she said hello. We know each other because I’ve been there so often. I ordered a pasta – some pollo con something with wine, and the pasta was my favourite shape – the penne. Remember, I’m not a food expert at all. It included a little chicken and broccoli (very little) and some dried red tomatoes. But lots of wine and spices.

When it came to my table, and I ate a couple of spoonfuls, and she pulled up a chair to find out my opinion! I was so pleased and complimented. I told her that it tasted too “acidic” at the moment. I offered her food from my plate to taste. She realized that it was due to too much wine, so she called one of her waiters, and got some more freshly grated parmesian cheese. After adding three teaspoons, the dish tasted perfect, and entirely cut down on the acidity!

Where else can you get that type of service? I only ate half of it because I was so full, and was so perfectly satiated. The waiter packaged up the rest for me.

I could go on and on about her and her food. I’m wondering…where else could you get such service, other than in Kitsilano, Vancouver? Have you ever had the chef sit at your table and taste your food with you, and correct it and make it taste better?

I don’t know…it meant so much to me, that she listened to my opinion and actually sat down with me, and cared about my dinner so much that she heard me and made my dinner taste much better. I’ve never had that happen before.

I love her.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Screen Behind the Mirror Part 2

“The Screen behind the Mirror:” I’m not certain where this phrase came from. I assumed it was Buddhist, but I can’t find any reference to it on the internet, except for one from the so-named Enigma album. There are two concepts suggested in the phrase: projection (screen) and reflection (mirror).

Projection, on a micro-level, involves the Freudian concept of projection, although it doesn’t necessarily include its corresponding concept of neurosis. The most basic formula for the concept of Freudian projection is: “Individual A assumes that B sees the colour red as he does, until informed that B is colour-blind.” (This, by the way, is probably the basis for all conflict and wars.)

Projection (screen) is necessarily related to reflection (mirror). What one projects is a mirror of oneself. Projection is a reflection of an individual’s beliefs. So what one experiences in life is a reflection one what one believes and projects into life.

What is the cause of that projection? That’s a complex combination involving one’s personality and life experience, and the combination of the two.

Have you ever noticed that there is a constant and incessant streaming of thoughts going through your mind? Usually they are under the surface, or what’s termed the subconscious. Those who have practiced meditation are familiar with them, and attempt to silence the mind by both witnessing the stream of thoughts, and remaining unattached to them.

It too remains a mystery as to where and how those streaming, subconscious thoughts originate. But more on that later.

I’ve noticed that the subconscious, aka “streaming thoughts” are the initiator, or directors, of dreams. Dreams are projections; they are the movies that are projected onto the mind. I’ve particularly noticed this when I leave the radio on or television and fall asleep. The words from the radio or tv influence the content of my dreams. But even without that input, I’ve noticed that the constant streaming of thoughts in my subconscious direct my dreams. The subconscious is like the radio or tv left on while asleep: there’s a constant stream of information, that leads to projection.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Screen Behind the Mirror

It’s nearly impossible to describe and talk about dreams. It’s because they’re so mysterious and no one knows what they are. As well, very few people can remember their dreams, and if you’re lucky enough to remember some of them, as soon as you try to put them into words, they evaporate. You end up feeling like you’re making them up, and not being honest to the original experience.

There’s many theories. There’s the psychological explanation, coming from every psychologist/psychiatrist/therapist.

“Everyone in your dream represents an aspect of yourself.”

“Dreams are simply neurons firing in your brain, randomly.”

No one knows what dreams are, and everyone has their own theory. Dreams seem purposely designed to never be known from whence they come from, what they mean, and what is their purpose.

Dreams also tend to reflect what you believe they are. For example, when I was into Jungian theory, all my dreams reflected this. I would have a dream, wake up, interpret them according to Jung’s theory, it would make sense, and then I’d go back to sleep.

At this point in time, I’m tending to believe that dreams are simply random firings of neurons, based on anxieties and worries you have during the day. My dreams are reflecting this now.

Other times in my life, I believed that dreams could be precognitive. So I also experienced this – I dreamt of the exact date of the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 and told all my friends (who were blown away when it happened). In my dream, I was watching a news report that told me the date of the earthquake.

I also predicted the volcanic explosion of Mt. St. Helen’s on October 1, 2004 - to the exact date. There is an entry somewhere in my blog that makes the prediction, although I got the mountain wrong. I thought it would be Mt. Baker in Washington.

So my belief is that dreams are what you believe they are.

I’ve tried keeping a dream journal. I couldn’t read my handwriting in the morning, because I was so asleep. So I’ve even placed a microphone/tape recorder beside my bed, and when I woke up from a dream, I’d try recounting it into the microphone. I just sounded tired and mostly incomprehensible when I listened to it in the morning. I didn’t have much insight, except for how different the experience of dreams are compared to talking about them.

But I had a dream last night, that made me think, I’ve finally discovered the secret to dreams. Trying to describe it will be extremely difficult. And my dream is hard to remember. But I’ll do my best. Perhaps I need to resort to metaphor. My concept isn’t new, in fact, it’s ancient.

Life is a dream. It is one great big dream, and on such a huge level, that it’s difficult to explain. It goes way beyond the idea of “life as a dream/illusion” that’s behind the plot in “The Matrix.”

Here’s a question, How many times have you woken up, to discover that there’s something new in the world, that you didn’t know about before? How many times have you arisen to discover that there is a unicorn whale, called a “Narwhal?” You may not be the most educated person, but still, after living for 40 plus years, you discover that a whale that exists that has an appendage that belongs to the mythical unicorn?

It seems that each year that I live, the world becomes more complex and more full of life.
To be continued…