Monday, June 25, 2007

My celebrity lookalikes

I hate it when people say I look like a particular celebrity and I usually look nothing like them. But at you can upload your own face and the magic of computer technology tells you exactly who you look like:

Oh whatever.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The 3am girls

I stayed out last night after 3 and felt just like The 3am girls (do they still exist or have they settled down, put away their sparkly mascara, had babies and turned into the 10.30pm girls?) of the Daily Mirror. I have "a night out" about twice a year. There was a party at a club I was invited to, so I went along (with misgivings). As someone who is mainly introverted, I can assume the personality of an extrovert for about 2 hours, but it's a terrible strain, like doing a difficult conjuring trick and I usually have to lie down in a dark room afterwards. All that smiling and being interested in other people and thinking of funny things to say hurts after a while. It's not that I don't have good social skills - I'm just antisocial. My fella is even more antisocial than me - he wouldn't even go to the party but stayed at home to watch Dr Who and play strategy games on his computer.

"I've seen you in Borders cafe" a very drunk man said, lunging at me. "And you look like my brother." I made my excuses and hid in the toilet for a bit. Luckily, I found a fellow misanthrope and we stood in a corner and complained about how difficult it all was. Anyway, apart from that, it wasn't too bad - despite the fact that I now have ringing in my ears and it's the next day and all my clothes smell of cigarettes (but not for long, the clock is ticking on those nightclub smokers - I hope incoming PM Gordon Brown realises that the air may be cleaner, but the collective mood of the UK will be fouler as smokers either go cold turkey or have to stand out in the British weather to get their fix).

I think I had dressed well and appropriately, but my shoes let me down. I only have 1 pair of shoes. They are brown slip-ons intended for a 63 year old man and I have had them for over a year so the soles and heels are worn down to practically nothing. I have "problem feet" and every time I buy new shoes, always end up crippled with blisters so end up throwing them away. My friend Richard who is more fashionable than me tells me that "You just have to ride it out" but I like my comfort. He was wearing very stylish shoes with pointy toes and was complaining about them hurting by the end of the night. "We're gay men, we have to sacrifice comfort for style!" I think I must have missed that particular lesson at Gay School....

When I emerged from the club I offered to drive some friends home (they were talking about getting the nightbus, whatever that is, and I didn't like the sound of it). So we drove through Bristol town centre. It was a weird experience - drunk crowds of people spilling out onto the pavement and road. But oddest of all - the seagulls - dozens of them, swarming and circling overhead. "They're after the chips" said one of my friends. And it seemed they were. Feeding the birds used to mean putting out a few slices of stale bread. Now they feast on leftover kebabs. I'm surprised they don't fall out of the sky more often.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Go Gwen Go!

Here's Gwen Verdon doing an inspired interpretation of "Mexican Breakfast", choreographed by Bob Fosse. Check out how one of her backing dancers loses her sunglasses halfway through. I wish I could kick that high. Thanks Dan.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I like Rome

Back last night from a conference in Rome. I do a lot of travel, but still haven't really worked out that other countries have different weather to Britain. So I took my leather jacket, just incase it rained or something. As it turned out, it was 29 degrees the whole time and I ended up carrying the bloody thing everywhere - I saw fashionable Romans, dressed in their tight t-shirts, eyeing my coat with amazement and disdain.

I had expressed desire to see The Spanish Steps and The Trevi Fountain - both have featured in films I like (The very camp Roman Spring of Mrs Stone involves "chicken hawk" (not my words) Vivien Leigh taking an apartment overlooking the Spanish Steps - and in the final scene she throws her keys done to a skanky male hooker who's probably going to rob and murder her, but she's so far gone she doesn't care. And in La Dolce Vita, Anita Ekbert jumps in the Trevi Fountain and cools herself down. All the Italians at the conference told me that they never go to those places as they're too touristy, but they made an exception for me, so a group of us headed there on Friday night. Yes, it was touristy as hell, but I loved it. Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world - sunny, green, gorgeous architecture, beautiful, well-dressed people everywhere - and even though it was Friday night and everyone was out, there was no horrible sense of threat you get from being in a city centre in the UK once the sun goes down. I couldn't see any binge drinking gangs either. Some of the people at the conference theorised that Italy has organised violence, but Britain has random violence. I kind of see what they're getting at. Definitely a place to go back for a longer time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hot and humid nights to be expected

Isn't the weather horrible. The British do not do air conditioning very well. We don't need it for 10 months of the year, but those hot 2 months in the summer are suffocating. Everyone walks around looking sweaty and bad-tempered, and you almost wish it was November again. But just for a second. My tip for surviving the heat - wet towels.

I am having my mortgage redone. My bank manager is one of those incredibly beautiful, socially confident and competent women who is actually quite scary. She is so amazing that she's penetrated my gay-shield and I am a little bit in love with her. She only has to look at me and I turn into a babbling wreck - this is what I imagine straight men must go through all the time. Every time I have to see her, I think about what to wear and whether she would be impressed. Honestly, it's too late in the day for me to be thinking about switching sides.

My wisdom-tooth hole is a bit better. I finished my antiobiotics today and the swelling has gone down. I have been living on soup all week. At least it's been cheap week for food and I seem to have lost a bit of weight. All this fuss over the GI diet and Atkins - when all you have to do is eat soup and get the same results.

Poor Jodie Marsh is getting married. It's for a reality tv show. She's been "auditioning" men all over the country. After much fanfare, her last reality tv show, "Get a Life" was cancelled by Living TV after a couple of episodes. I normally defend Jodie's bad life choices (another tattoo Jodie? another failed relationship? another rant?) but after reading this line "I've provisionally booked Ocean Colour Scene to play at the wedding" I had to throw up my hands. Who books a band to play at your wedding when they don't even know who they're getting married to? I think my girl needs to retire from the spotlight for a few months - it's all getting a bit desperate.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Nonsense over Big Brother

This story about Big Brother appeared in the Sun today:

RACIST Emily Parr hates ethnics and the overweight — and branded a black girl a “fat n*****” who should “go work at KFC”.

What's an ethnic? Surely everyone comes from an ethnic group? So does Emily hate herself?

If they're going to brand someone as racist, you'd think they'd at least think a bit about how they use language. The Sun are so clueless sometimes I want to cry.

How about this from the Mirror...

Big Brother turns Big Sister?

...The producers aim to raise the tension further by ensuring the first man sent into the house is drop-dead gorgeous. The source said: "We aim to put a hunk in first, not a geek or a gay, so the girls will get to flirt and fight over him.

Implication: you can't be "a gay" AND a hunk. Don't you love it when you're stereotyped.
Feeling misanthropic

There is nothing like staying in a cheap hotel at the weekend to fuel your hated of your fellow man and woman. I knew we were in for trouble when we saw gangs of youths carrying cheap luggage taking up all the space in the lobby. They all looked excited and happy, in preparation for their Saturday night out. To quote Coco Peru, I hate happy people - they make so much noise.

At 6pm the hotel corridors all had a sweet, heavy, herbal smell, even the non-smoking floors, and there were shrieks of laughter coming from most of the rooms around us.

As I was suffering from the effects of my wisdom toothectemy, I decided to have room service (which I used to consider to be a treat, but actually the food is usually a bit disappointing). "You've ordered a burger - you get a free drink with that!" said the voice on the phone. "Would you like a bottle of Budweiser or a glass of wine?" "I don't drink alcohol," I said. "Could I have something else like a coke?" "No, you can only have Budweiser or wine," said the room service person (translation "Britain has one of the highest rates of binge drinking in the world and we are determined to keep it that way thankyou".)

We went to bed at 11pm. At 3.30am all the youths returned from Fluid, Liquid and Climax. They did not go to bed though, but instead lollopped in and out of each other's bedrooms for the next hour. Doors banged. Voices were raised. The scary sleeping tablets I'd bought in Hong Kong (the ones that make you instantly fall into a dreamless black hole for 12 hours and then you wake up with a completely different personality) were no match for their merry singing and bawling.

At 9am in the morning we woke up. I had a bit of a moan on about "inconsiderate young people". And then as we stepped out into the corridor, something snapped and I decided to fight back by letting the door to my own hotel room slam. Twice.

My fella was suffering from hayever. He has the loudest sneeze you have ever heard. When he blows his nose small animals run for cover, expecting an imminent elephant stampede. Usually, when he blows his nose in public (which is often), I assume a pained expression and look away. However, that morning, for once, I was delighted. "Go and stand outside that bedroom door and blow your nose again, as loudly as you like," I told him. He did so. I defy anyone to sleep through that.

It was a rather childish form of revenge, but I did feel much better for it. If I ever stay in that hotel again, next time I will take with me a tape recording of Cliff Richard's greatest hits and play it through the adjoining door from 6 in the morning.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

No bra and all my own teeth - not bad for 35 eh?

Even though my teeth do not match up very well, I think I have a pretty reasonable set of them - for a British person anyway. But I wish I knew what the point of wisdom teeth were. Over the years I've had to have all mine out. And each time has resulted in the hole getting infected with days of agony. The last one came out on Wednesday. I'd been putting it off for years, but it was growing in sideways and had pushed the perfectly good tooth next to it on its side - what a bitch. It had all started to get painful so on Wednesday I popped into my dentist who cheerfully told me that I had too many teeth for the size of my mouth and the wisdom tooth would have to go. So £240 later I was given the tooth in a plastic bag, with instructions to take lots of Nurofen and salt water mouth washes. Although I obeyed the instructions, it was clear that something had gone wrong. The painkillers stopped working - and the pain - like nothing else you can experience. The side of my face swelled up, making me look like Paris Hilton. And my fella assured me that my breath smelt of death. I hate not being nice to be near. Anyway, I couldn't stand it any longer by Sunday night so went to the Liverpool NHS drop-in centre to queue with some drug addicts, who, to be fair, did look a lot worse off than me. The nurse told me there was nothing they could do for me as a) I wasn't local to Liverpool b) the drop-in centre didn't do dental stuff anyway and c) it was Sunday night. I was advised to take painkillers (which I already had). NHS drop-in centres seem like such a good idea and sometimes they can be great. But on the 2 out of 3 occasions I have "dropped in", all I've gained is experience in what it's like to wait for an hour in a room full of very poor, very angry, very ill people.

I got the train back to Bristol first thing in the morning and saw my own dentist. By this time I could barely open my mouth or speak. She's put me on anti-biotics and dressed the evil hole with something that tastes of cloves. I feel a bit better. I'm glad the worst is over. But I wonder how people 100 years ago coped with wisdom teeth before Codeine, Nurofen, Paracetamol and anti-biotics.