Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time for a Kylie Interlude!!

Kylie live on BBC's Live Lounge:

Doing a Bossanova version of Can't Get You Out Of My Head:



Doing a gorgeous Cover of Hurts' Wonderful Life:



Get Outta Her Way!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Books: I Was Told There'd be Cake



Sloane Crosley's debut collection of personal essays is a hilarious and poignant look at life through the eyes of someone who is sarcastic, naiive at times, bitter, intelligent, and yet hopeful. She lands somewhere between David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. With well written observations, Crosley manages to describe things in such a way that are spot-on and makes you wish you could've said it just as brilliantly.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freaking Out at Folsom!




So the main reason for going down to San Francisco this past weekend was to attend the annual Folsom Street Leather and Fetish festival. I've always wanted to go, and for those who know me well and semi-well, they might know that I've got my own kinks and so it's fitting for me to be at this event.




The event is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is however, for gay people, straight people, bi people, trans people, and etcetera. The pictures posted here are some of the more tamer ones. I mean, there was a LOT going on in the street, behind bar doors, in corners and alleyways... It was crazy and amazing. I was Alice in a Kinky Wonderland.




This person had on a mask which was kinda scary but kinda cool at the same time.




These two men approached us to sell a calendar for an AIDS organization. I was more than happy to donate to charity (I bought the calendar but didn't bother picking it up), and instead I asked for a photo with them instead. I liked Arthur, the one on the left here.




This woman had an entire procession at her service. Her carriage actually had four men pulling it for her, and as you can see, she was always covered in the shade of her umbrella, held up by one of her stooges. Fabulous!!




This one outfit elicited the same reaction from everyone who saw it:
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!!!!




It was awesome to see all these pervs and freaks come out of the woodwork to celebrate their diversity and embrace the so-called freakiness that some of us have inside!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And you're gonna love me

Just saw dreamgirls and am flying high. All I want to do is put my arms up in a v-pose!!

Wow. Holy frick amazing wow. Nothing can compare to seeing Dreamgirls live. When Effie takes the stage and you know what's coming, you know she will be telling you but you won't be ready, you won't even begin to know about the power, the emotion, the thunderstorm of passion that the end of Act One brings. 

"And I am telling you" brought me to my KNEES. I felt Effie's pain, her struggle, her desperation in hanging on to that one man she loves. When she insists and orders and eventually BEGS her man to love her, but you and I and she knows that it's already over, your heart will plead for mercy, your heart will weep, and for that moment, nothing else in the world could be more tragic. 

Never have I gone to a musical and been THIS moved by a performer, character, story, or song. Never have I been brought to such tears. No, no, no, no way. 

It was brilliant. 

One Night Only

One night only

Today I did some shopping/walking around. Found a body lotion w SPF that ive been wanting to get but it's only available in the USA. 

Americans are nice and friendly! Or maybe it's cause I'm in San Francisco where everyone is gay, it seems! The only unfriendly ones are my fellow gay Asian males. What's up ladies!? Why the dirty looks and glares? What about sisterhood?  This phenom is not specific to San Fran. It's a worldwide epidemic. 

Visited San fran's MOMA. Saw a kahlo, pollock, Warhol. It was a fun morning and early afternoon. Then I walked around w a friend I know down here and went to a leather party together. It was a mid-day happy hour thing and I met some folks I only knew from online so it was nice to meet in person. 

We had dinner in the Castro and stopped in at a bar called Badlands which was playing the Glee version of Vogue. I can't even imagine what it's like to be gay here. The options, the community, the everything! 

Now I'm sitting in my theatre seat ready to see Effie and the others take the stage for Dreamgirls!!!! 

This trip so far has definitely been a dream come true! And I am telling you!!!

Day One

Day one

The plane ride was short but not sweet. Got seated next to the ONLY crying baby on the flight. Then the buddy in front of me leans his chair back. Looking around, no one else has leaned their chair back. Lucky me. 

But im not griping. It was amusing. Of course it would happen to me right? 

The W hotel is Wonderful. I could just stay here the whole trip. The only complaint is that they charge for wireless Internet in your room (free in the Lobby however). 

Last night I had dinner - table for one please! - at the hotel restaurant, XYZ. No book for armour. Just me, a glass of wine, and my meal. Oh and my waiter nathan, whom i chatted up.  I find i am more talkative and social w strangers in a foreign city and on vacation. Maybe its also because im on my own? My first solo dining experience! 

Then I went back to the room and had a filled-to-the-top bubble bath. This is after I jumped around leaping from bed to bed listening to Katy perry. 

Time to hit the town since it is Friday night! I'm a bit surprised to see the streets were not that busy. Maybe im in the wrong part of town? But it was kinda dead out despite the gorgeous Indian summer they're getting. 

Attended a photography exhibit on S&m and then ended up at a foot fetish party, though I don't have a foot fetish. It was fun to watch and see people enjoying themselves so publicly. Then I hit up a "rice" bar where they were playing Teenage Dream when I walked in and where margaritas were only $3! 

There are gay people everywhere here I forget how amazing that is. Eat pray love! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

At the airport....

Traveling alone is interesting.  nobody dropped me off at the airport. I'm sitting here waiting for the plane amongst other solo travelers. Did someone drop them off? Is someone waiting to greet them on the other side? The only thing to greet me in 3 hours time is the golden gate bridge. That'll do. 

Warm, Wet, and Wild

I'm off to San Fran today, and can't be happier about leaving behind Vancouver's upcoming rainy weekend forecast! For four days, I'm going to be a California Girl!!!


Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Uploaded by EMI_Music. - See the latest featured music videos.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

San Francisco!!!!

Tomorrow I'll be riding one of these....!!!! Can't wait to get there!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OMG Can't Hardly Wait

I know it's September, but news of a Mariah Carey xmas cd SEQUEL brings me so much JOY.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can We TAWK?

I finally got to see the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work last night. It was FABULOUS!!!

At 75, this woman is a workaholic! The film is funny, touching, sad, and most of all revealing. You get to see what drives people like Joan Rivers. Namely, insecurity and the need for approval. That's what I got from it. It's not like she needs the money. Her NYC apartment is decadent and she's not scraping to get by. Yet, she continues to work continually, filling up her calendar and admitting that a blank daybook is her biggest fear.

An amazing glimpse into show business, and the life of a legendary comedy icon.

SEE IT!!!

Movies: The Ugly Truth

Spent a rainy Friday night in with one of my hags last night and she was wanting to watch a chick flick that even I had opted out on a few months ago. But, it's not hard to twist my arm into watching something like this, even though I already know how it's going to end up and how awful it's going to be getting there.



The ugly truth about this movie is pretty obvious:

SKIP IT!!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Boy's Right to Shoes

In my efforts to be a better gay, I've turned my attention to footwear. I hardly ever spend more than $100 on a pair of shoes. In fact, I'd say the average amount I pay for a pair of shoes would be $50-$60. I usually find my shoes at Century 21 in New York, on sale for cheap, probably bad for my feet, but not bad to look at. I'm fine with my Gola sneakers and Adidas runners. I don't need anything too fancy. Pumas were all the rage some time back, and I bought a pair because I thought they were cute but also probably because of the pressure of trends and fashion. Of course, I didn't jump on the bandwagon until late in the game, which made me feel all that more of a poser.

Still though, that pair of Pumas were maybe $80 at the most. Most likely less because I did make a trip down to the Outlet mall to find them.

Last year, I ended up splurging and buying a pair of Paul Smith shoes, which cost me $200.



To me, that was a major expense! It was by far the most expensive pair of shoes I'd ever owned. But upon a quick survey, I discovered this was pennies compared to what others have spent on footwear! I mean, let's not even get into jeans, which I refuse to pay more than $50 for and so am destined to buy my denim from The Gap or Old Navy forever. But for shoes, I just couldn't believe the amounts people have paid! What's the most you've paid for shoes?

Meanwhile, Back in Bradford...



What a surprise to be flipping through the latest issue of Macleans magazine to come across an entire article about my hometown of Bradford, England. Apparently a few weeks ago, there was a big anti-Muslim rally that took place there. I did notice that out of all the little British towns I meandered through, Bradford was the only one that looked the most un-British. Is it because it's a working class area and it attracts more immigrants because of that? I don't know... I wonder if my family had stayed there, if I would still be there today.

There are some photos found on Flickr taken the day of this rally.

I wonder if my fellow Bradford ex-pat blogger knows about what went down recently.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September

Here we are in the middle of September and boy does it feel like it. I've pulled out my comforter to ward off those chilly nights, I've donned a jacket and put away my t-shirts and shorts in favour of sweaters, cardigans, and turtlenecks. Summer seems so far away now and all that's left is an outdated playlist on my iPhone. I've hit the pause button on Katy Perry for the time being and transitioned over to some Alanis Morissette. I didn't fully appreciate her last album, Flavors of Entanglement, but I'm definitely feeling the mood and vibe that it is bringing. In fact, it's perfect for a Fall evening indoors.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Movies: Spring Fever



This film from China is directed by Lou Ye, who got his ass banned by the Motherland for directing his first film, Summer Palace, a movie that took place during the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Told he was not allowed to make any more movies for a number of years, Ye went ahead and made Spring Fever, which deals with gay characters and features gay sex. He just got his ban extended!

I loved how the film showed a gritty and grim side of living in China, especially if you're gay. The at times shaky camera work gives you an intimate feel of being there with these characters as they struggle to make their way through a country that's rapidly moved into the 21st century. There's nothing glamorous in this film, not even the drag queens that adorn the gay club, nor the girlfriend of one of the main characters.

If you like foreign films, then I would recommend this!

Again, here's the trailer:



See It!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Swarm - Day One

Day One of Swarm took place yesterday in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Tonight, Swarm takes over the Downtown Eastside.

I wish I had more of an eye for art or at least could appreciate it more. I mean, I like art, but I don't think I could ever look at something like say, a group of television monitors displaying drops of blood, and get some sort of meaning from it.

One exhibit at the VIVO studios was pretty cool though - created by Paul Wong, it was an installation of black rubber gloves formed into the shape of the Gulf of Mexico. It was a commentary on the BP oil spill, and all the rubber gloves he had found.

Otherwise, there were a few exhibits I didn't quite get last night, including a projector screen that had a film reel of the beach playing on it. To each their own of course, and I'm not judging - I just didn't understand or get anything out of it for myself.

What I did enjoy however was our last stop, which seemed to be inside an old condemned house off of Main Street. Calling themselves the Gropp's Gallery, the house has been renovated and is now home to 7 artists (and counting), and we were allowed to wander from room to room to take in all the eclectic stylings of each of the individuals. (More Gropp's Gallery photos.) It was like being in a real life fun house! It was Wonderland gone mad. It was amazing.

I liked this unicorn painting that was on display in one room:




I discovered this setup inside a tiny beta fish aquarium tank:




Killer shoes:




My favourite of the night, this bunny skin rug:


Eating Out: One Hundred Days

It's fitting that I went for a pre-Swarm meal at the new "pop-up" restaurant at the Opus, One Hundred Days. Fitting because their motto is "Art and Food remixed."



The restaurant came about when the Opus Hotel decided to get rid of their old restaurant, Elixir. They are in the throes of creating a replacement for Elixir, details of which are all under wraps until January. So for the time being, they've set up a makeshift restaurant for patrons and diners, hired a Montreal graffiti artist to decorate, and given us One Hundred Days, the name of which refers to the fact that this makeshift restaurant will only be open for 100 days. Come January, One Hundred Days will shut down and their newly planned restaurant will open up.

Their menu items sound intriguing, from their Duck Confit Pot Pie to the Lobster and Crab Popsicles. I wanted their Boar Bacon Grilled Cheese, but yesterday at lunch I ended up with a delicious Chicken Primavera sandwich that came with a tossed salad and fries, all for only $9. Philip had their Kick Ass Burger which was as homemade as anything he would make and tasted amazing. I can't wait to go back and try out their dinner menu!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Swarm!!!

It's that lovely time of year again! My favourite season, Autumn, is just ready to begin and what better way to kick it off than with the annual SWARM, a two-night art gallery hop around town!



It begins tonight, in the Mount Pleasant area, and tomorrow night moves into the Downtown Eastside. Ready to go see some art!?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cyndi Lauper Had a Change of Heart

Last Friday I went to the PNE fair to see the free Cyndi Lauper concert in the park. It was jam packed with people because it was the beginning of Labour Day weekend and also because it was a FREE CYNDI LAUPER CONCERT!



She focussed mainly on her new material from her latest album, Memphis Blues, which drove people away to get a corn dog or cotton candy, which was fine by me because I started out in the back of the crowd but was up mid-way to the stage by the time the non-fans left the area.

So there we were, enjoying the show, and she comes back for her encore to do her oldies. She begins with Change of Heart, but halfway through the song, she calls a stop to everything! She goes on a semi-tirade about "all you people with your cameras and your frickin' YouTube" and tells them that she's RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, and to look at her, and not through a camera and do you want to live your life looking through a camera or do you want to actually LIVE IT? Go CYNDI!! The crowd completely cheered her on!!

I know, it's a new time that we are living in. I remember the days when you went to a concert and cameras were taken away from you if you dared bring one in. These days, we've got our iPhones and digital cameras and Blackberries and all sorts of gadgets to capture the moment. But in capturing the moment, aren't we also missing out on the moment?

Here's a clip of Cyndi going off about this! (Thank God someone got this on film! lol)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

YVR: A Life in the Theatre

Last week, I went to see the David Mamet play A Life in the Theatre currently showing at the Vancouver Playhouse's Recital Hall.



David Mamet has been hit and miss for me. The first play I ever saw of his was Oleanna and it was downright brilliant. If you ever get a chance to see Oleanna, DO SO.

Then I went to New York and saw the revival of Speed The Plow, and it was pretty painful to sit through. Recently, I saw Glengarry Glen Ross and it was pretty good. So when I heard another Mamet play was being produced in town, I thought, Should I?

And I'm glad I did. A Life in the Theatre captures snapshots of two actors as they go on and off the stage throughout their careers. The Vancouver Playhouse's decision to show this in their rarely used Recital Hall space was the best choice ever. For one, this space used to be used for plays and recitals back in the 70s. Check out the "lounge" area, it's like stepping back into the past, I loved it so much!



The thought that we were in the basement of the Playhouse gave me goosebumps. It was exciting to think that we have this new/old unused space in the city and finally it gets to see the light of day! Putting a play like this on is fitting, because it's all about being backstage and within the guts of the theatre, both physically and mentally. The Recital Hall is the perfect setting for this.

A Life in the Theatre is only $12, as well. The acting is professional and probably worth more than $12. Therefore, this show is a valuable steal. It runs till Sept 12. Go see it immediately!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guess Where I'm Going?



Yep, that's right bitches!! San Francisco!!!

Can't remember the last time I was there, but I'm heading down at the end of September BY MYSELF!!!

I've never traveled by myself like this before. I don't really know that many people in the city, so it's not like I'm going and staying with a friend or anything. It made me a bit anxious and sad to think that this could possibly be my future - traveling alone. But, Philip suggested that I see this as a tiny Eat Pray Love excursion and that totally made me more excited!

I'm going down mainly to check out this Leather/Fetish festival they have every year, called the Folsom Street Fair. I can't wait!

I went online and looked all over for a hotel, but couldn't find one that was decent and affordable. The cheap ones were all too far away from where I want to be, or located in scuzzy downtown areas. So I ended up on Hotwire, which is always a gamble. I found one that was relatively affordable and right in the area where I want, so I made the jump, booked a room, and the hotel turned out to be....



THE W !!!

I am so fucking excited!!! I've never stayed at a W before, and have always wanted to, and I can't FRICKIN WAIT!!!

And know what else? DREAMGIRLS is playing live on stage and I've always wanted to see the stage production, so I'm totally going to go to that!!!!



It's going to be the GAYEST WEEKEND EVER!!

If you've got any suggestions on what else to do when I'm down there, where to eat, who to meet, let me know!!

I Hate My Job

Yep it's one of those days.

It's been 3 years officially now that I've been doing my current IT Help Desk position. Back in 2001 - 2004, I swore up and down that I would never do IT Help Desk again because three years of it back then was more than I could take, and so I went off and tried other things.

I found a great job working for a friend but it was contractual and the company had its own demons to deal with. Then I found what I thought was a dream job until it turned out my boss was a complete cunt. Then I worked for another friend and the people were great, but the job was uninspiring and dead-end for me. Now here, I feel like I like the people I work with, I love my boss, but the job, IT Help Desk yet again, is taking its toll on me. Listening to people bitch about their computer problems all day long does nothing for me, except drive me to drink.

I already got gunned on Tuesday night this week - I'm talking tequilla shots, wine, more wine, limoncello, and more tequilla shots. I basically reeked of booze the next morning in my cubicle. I took a break last night so I could catch up on all my tv shows like Mad Men, True Blood, Hung, and Weeds, but tonight? Tonight it's time for another drink fest!!

Bottoms up, bitches!!!

And yes, I am applying for other jobs on a daily basis because I WANT OUT!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Drunk, mainly.

It was a fantastic summer, as I got to house sit for my friend in the West End, which forms the heart of the gay community. It's also right by the beach, so there were mornings I'd wake up and look out at the water. I'd go for walks along the sea wall and hung out on the beach with friends. Alexis lived down the road so we got together a bunch of times to share a bottle of wine or two. The fireworks and Pride Parade were highlights. So yes, I did a good number on the ol' liver, so hopefully I will find time to let it heal and detox!



Went to the gay club The Odyssey the other night to have one last hurrah, since it will finally be closing its doors next week. They've been saying this for years, like they're a Cher Farewell Tour or something. But in the words of another disco diva, Donna Summer, "This time I know it's for real!"



The first time I ever went to the Odyssey was when I was 19 years old. Over a decade ago! Wow. A guy named Wayne brought me - he was inducting me into the gay club scene, and took me to all the bars that were around back then: The Dufferin, The Underground, Numbers, Denman Station, Celebrities, and of course The Odyssey. This was the time when people smoked in bars and restaurants and anywhere they could. So most of these clubs had plumes of smoke hovering in the air like smog. Many of them have closed their doors since then, and it seems like The Odyssey is the latest casualty in a dying gay scene. There haven't really been any new ones opening up to take their place, either.



I remember a boy on the dancefloor of the Odyssey cruising me and me being too shy to do anything about it. He moved on to someone else, and was probably high as a kite anyway. The drag shows at the Odyssey were memorable because they were funny and witty. The back patio where people smoked until the smoke bans came into effect. I went to a Halloween party at the Odyssey in drag one year. And those go-go boys who take it all off either on a Saturday night or on Thursday's popular Shower Power nights.

My last night at the Odyssey was with friends, dancing up a storm to Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Enrique Iglesias, Taio Cruz, Kylie, and all the other big summer songs that helped make this a season to remember. Goodbye to the Odyssey, my old friend. See you in the next life.

And farewell to a fantastic summer! You will be missed! Don't ever look back!!

Movies: Vibes

Cyndi Lauper is coming to town this week to perform a free show at the PNE. I recently took it upon myself to watch her movie from the 80s, VIBES.



It's absolutely ridiculous. In a bad, terrible, awful way. Jeff Goldblum is in it, and there is just nothing to make this worth watching, unless you're a hardcore Cyndi Lauper fan.



Oh well, at least it gave us this secret treasure of a song, Hole In My Heart: