Friday, October 13, 2006

So long

It's been almost three years since I started this here blog and I'm afraid, my friends, that the time has come for me to say "Good-bye."

I originally created this little thought pad as a way of informing my family and friends back in the UK of what I was doing in NYC, but as time went on my audience grew somewhat. The realisation that people from all over the world would actually want to read about my little life made me want to be more considered with what I wrote. It literally made me want to improve my writing, so I consulted friends who could help me do so.

And so I learned the correct use of apostrophes.

Upon further reflection I can see, in no uncertain terms, that since the beginning my blog has actually allowed me to work through some of the various things that have troubled me so much in the past. This may sound trite, but I think that it's true: this blog was the best therapy that I never had.

My life, as it stands right now, is the best that it has ever been. I love my life in a way that I never loved it before and the real irony, perhaps, is that I feel less inclined to write about it now. I don't feel like I need to. I don't know if that goes against the grain of what blog writing is all about, but that's kind of how it feels for me. At least that's how it feels right now.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your comments. It's been memorable.

Christopher
x

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Happy birthday to me, happy ... etc

This is the first birthday where I have had no cards or presents or phone calls from family.

That said, it is the first birthday that I saw in while drinking Bollinger champagne, sat next to a pool at a luxury hotel in Los Angeles.

You win some, you lose some.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I don't believe in God, but I can't accept that there's nothing. I don't particularly like the current Pope or what he stands for, but I'm ambivalent about the Catholic church and I can't blame people for wanting to have faith. I am not very well educated on Islam, but I don't believe that all Muslims are experts at flying planes into buildings.

All that aside, I genuinely don't think that it was the Pope's intention, when he quoted the Byzantine emperor, Manuel II, who described Islam as "evil and inhuman", to make some kind of Catholic first-strike against Islam. He may be misinformed and naive, but I don't think that he's stupid. Or at least not enough to think that he could imply that followers of Islam are homicidal maniacs and get away with it. I actually think that he knew that his words would carry some resonance, but not in the way that he intended. In the speech he said that Manuel i's words were "startlingly brusque," and apparently made certain that the audience understood that he was reading a quotation.

Of course what he failed to do was allude to Christianity's history of violence, such as the crusades or the Inquisition. In every religion there are always people who take the "word" too literally and end up landing outside of the rational. Islam is tarnished by violence right now, but Christianity has been just as violent in the past.

But what do I say to my Mum when she says that she just watched the news and thinks that those who follow Islam might actually be homicidal maniacs, after all? I want to tell her off and encourage her to be open minded. But to my Mum she feels justified in saying this and thinking this, because Christianity's violence is in the past and Islam's is happening right now.

Because to her, the Pope's references to Islam's purported disposition for bloodshed caused some Islamic followers to become so enraged that they went out and killed a nun by shooting her in the back.

How can I argue against that logic?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Whenever I read a critics review of a movie that tells me that it is actually my "responsibility" to watch it, I end up feeling fairly resistant.

An Inconvenient Truth is a movie currently receiving such an accolade, but this time it didn't put me off because for quite a long time now I've had a secret crush on Al Gore.

Having now seen the movie, last night, I can reliably inform you that it is indeed everyone's responsibility to see it.

The movie is actually a combination of a keynotes speech where Gore addresses a lecture hall full of people using graphs, photographs and representations to demonstrate the key points about global warming and climate care - all to great effect. To break up these scenes and, I suppose, to lend a greater cinematic impression, the filmmakers have dropped in archive footage of Gore as a child, as a young man, at home, at work, as a younger and then elder statesman. There are also clips of him campaigning for his presidency and then clips of him losing. Gore narrates, or rather muses, over the top of these clips, but in a way that cleverly brings what we are seeing into context. For example, the scenes of his family consoling him after he loses out to Dubya, are there not to make us feel sorry for him, but to explain to us why he is here talking to us. Well, sort of.

I left the movie thinking two things:

The first was about the effect of global warming. Even at the one of the least dramatic levels, which in the movie is cited as being the partial melting of Antartica and / or Greenland, the sea level could rise about 20 feet (and if we carry on polluting the atmosphere they way we currently are, then this is almost certainly going to happen in my lifetime.) The repercussions would be gargantuan, resulting in the deaths of millions of people, not to mention the displacement of hundreds of millions of others. Put into context it makes other "important" issues such as the War on Terror and immigration seem like trifling irrelevancies (which they arguably are, anyway.)

The second is why-oh-why did Al lose out to George? What went wrong? Visually, the contrast between Al's handsome older-man "thang" and Dubya's gurning mug is really quite striking. George Bush Jr. almost always looks like a simpleton. Although I have no doubt that this was the intention of the filmmakers, as they trudged through the archives: to find the least attractive representations of him.

But what really comes out of the Gore / Bush comparison is that Gore clearly understands the war that he's campaigning for, what the positive effects will be if we win it and what will happen if we don't. This is in stark comparison to Bush, who probably understands very little, if anything.

I'm not entirely sure if An Inconvenient Truth was intended not only to be a call to arms, but also a presidential manifesto for a future Gore administration. It probably was. And while I don't pretend to be an aficionado on the intricacies of American politics, I do know that many people in 2008 will vote on a single issue.

Therefore whoever ends up running for office, I'm now convinced that the individual who is committed to the war against global warming, above anything else, is the one who should get the most votes.

After all, every issue - the War on Terror, the economy, human-rights, immigration, education, health - each of them pales into insignificance when you really look at and think about this ...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Itinerary

Now, I'm not normally one to boast (um?), but ...

In just over a week I'm jetting off to LA where a bike journo and I will ride along the Pacific coastline to San Francisco and then back again in just under five days.

In two weeks I'll actually be steering (for a small part of the journey) this very yacht ...


... to Spain from Monaco. I'll then be racing against the yacht, back to Monaco, in a luxury 4x4.

In four weeks I'll be in New York hanging out with The Strokes, who'll be driving publicity for an event that I have been helping to oversee.

In November I'll be in Morocco driving a brand-new 4x4 offroad with a bunch of lifestyle journos.

Finally I've begun to see a return on those turgid, corporate rivers of blood, sweat and tears.

The downside is that there's nothing like the opportunity to do things professionally that you will never, ever do in your private life to make you seriously question your reality and priorities.

Monday, September 11, 2006

An eventful date for an un-eventful day

Every morning, when I get to my desk, I change my voicemail message so that callers know my whereabouts and whether or not to try to get hold of me on my cellphone. As usual, this morning I re-recorded my message, beginning as always with today's date.

Ella, who sits in my team, turned to me and said, "That sounded really strange. When you read out the date."

It did sound strange, but only because today's date is no longer just "any old date". I think it was because I was using it in such mundane circumstances.

Used in similar commonplace contexts, I guess it will continue to sound strange for a long, long time. I wonder if it will never again be just like any other unremarkable date in the year. I know that it shouldn't be, but at the same time it feels sad that it won't be. But most of all that it ever had to become remarkable at all.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wardrobe malfunction

I keep seeing this poster all over London and it has been bothering me. Am I imagining it, or does it look like Gisele is, er, "pleased to see us"?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another gem from Mr. Lagerfeld:

About Pete Doherty: "His music - the look - is over now. There is nothing to think about. It is too late."

Utter dismissiveness. God, he's fabulous.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

This evening I had a conference call with a client in Atlanta. The call was at 8pm, so at 6pm I decided to grab a newspaper and go to a nearby restaurant to have supper, before I came back to work for the call.

I sat in a quiet corner of the restaurant and just above and infront of me was a small television which was showing BBC News 24. At one point my attention strayed from the Evening Standard that I was reading to a news report about John Hogan, the man who recently jumped from a hotel balcony with his two children, an action which resulted in the death of his six year-old son.

The news report featured extended clips of this both literally and metaphorically broken man, crying uncontrollably as he was charged with the murder of his son and with his own attempted suicide.

During the report the waitress came over to take my order. She saw that I was looking at the TV and looked up to the screen herself. "Such a tragedy," she said. "How could he do it?"

I've heard a lot of people say similar things about this man over the past few weeks and while I can see why it is only natural that they should ask that question (after all, how many people, with complete sobriety, jump off a fifth floor hotel balcony with a child under each arm) I can't help but feel some kind of empathy for him and affinity for where he must be right now.

It was dazzlingly apparent to me, watching the news report, that John Hogan is a man deeply and desperately in remorse for what he has done to his son, his daughter (who survived with only a broken arm), his wife and the rest of his family, not to mention himself. Infact all of the objective news reports seem to all agree that John Hogan was a loving father and that what he did was completely out of character. While my circumstances are entirely different from his, I know what it is to wake up in an intensive care unit to be told that you have tried and failed to take your own life and as a result have your world completely fall apart.

I don't, and most likely will never know, what it is like to lose a child, let alone at my own hands. But I do know what it is like to experience something akin to insanity, regardless of what caused it. Each of us are passionate and often irrational creatures capable of wild and spontaneous actions that can last mere seconds, but have consequences that change everything and last a lifetime.

While I believe that anyone who breaks the law, in what ever way they have broken the law, should be prosecuted, I also believe that there always needs to be some kind of "human" factor to take into account what that person is going through in terms of remorse for their actions. I know that this does happen in some cases, but I don't think that it happens in all.

I hope that whoever decides upon John Hogan's ultimate sentence takes into consideration the massive apparent remorse he seems to be experiencing. This is a man who no doubt will suffer as a result of what he has done for the rest of his life.

But more than that I wish there was a way that I could tell John Hogan that not everyone is asking "why" and that not everyone despises him for what he has done.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ruined

Just over a week ago the owners of my company took all 150 of us to Oxford for a couple of days. During that time we generally indulged ourselves in much surreptitious, drunken, bawdy behavior.

A great time was had by all, especially at the mock-Woodstock type festival that was set up, with real stage and real bands, all in one of the gardens of one of the college houses. It was a fairly noisy affair.

A tad too noisy, perhaps.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Crack

I have succumbed and joined the MySpace revolution.

Can I just point out that I have been rabidly against doing this, because:

a) I didn't want yet another thing to distract me away from my work duties

b) when people talked about their MySpace profiles I wanted to be able to gloat that I didn't have one. You know, because I'm so fucking cool.

However, the reason I succumbed is because I am doing a project for work which requires me to join MySpace. Very irritating.

Despite that, please feel free to add me as a friend. Please! Because, um, I don't have very many at the moment ...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

On Monday night I went to dinner with my ex-boyfriend, Will, and his new boyfriend, Jason, who were stopping off in London on a trip. The last time I saw Will was over two years ago, just before I left New York to come back to the UK.

Despite some obvious worries about seeing him, we had a really great evening. I met them at their friend's apartment in Baker Street, we went for a drink, my friend Sam (who had met Will before in NYC) met us, we went to dinner and then we went to the Shadow Lounge. Will was as I remember him: still cute, still funny, great company but I was relieved to find that my heart wasn't doing somersaults all over the place, the way it used to when we were dating.

Jason was also really great and I didn't feel in any way threatened by him. He's just a really nice, funny, interesting, really cute guy, but we're obviously very different people. He and Will made a great couple and I felt comfortable in their company.

It wasn't until I'd said goodbye and I got in a cab to come home that I began to feel absolutely dreadful.

I'd been worried about seeing Will, only because I thought that there was a chance that I would fall in love with him all over again. That didn't happen. I think I'd be lying if I said that I don't feel anything for him anymore, but I think the feelings I have are really just feelings of fondness. I felt myself kind of just wanting to hug him and muss up his hair, as opposed to wanting to make out with him, if that makes any sense?

Having now had a few days to think about it, I realise now that what spun me out was seeing my ex-boyfriend with his new boyfriend, seeing them so happy, seeing them play it out with each other. The way that Will would squeeze Jason's shoulder, touch his face, smile at him ... made me think back to the time when he would do the same things to me. And it wasn't that I wanted him to do them to me again, instead of Jason. I didn't even feel jealousy. They just served to remind me of something that I had kind of tried to put to the back of my mind.

I really want a boyfriend. And not (as I said to my friend Bill, yesterday) in the manner of (say it like a teenager), "I want a boyfriend!"

I want a partner. I want someone to share my life with. I've gotten past the point in my life where I just want to hook up with hot guys (note the operative word: "just"). I want someone to make me compromise my selfishness. I want someone to come home to when I finish work.

And while he might be lovely, Jamie, my straight house mate, doesn't really count.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

God is in my iPod

This morning I felt a bit, but not a whole lot, better.

In my continuing funk, when I got to the gym, I couldn't decide what music I wanted to listen to. So I let my iPod do all the work by putting it on shuffle.

Kitty Empire, the music editor for The Observer, once wrote that she thought that God was the shuffle facility on her iPod. I think I agree, because the very first song to play was this.

Ok, it's maybe a tad fromage-tastic, but somehow apropos and the lyrics really did make me feel sooooo much better.

Ah, iPods.

Is there anything that they can't do?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'm still here.

Lots of things have happened in the past two weeks that I can't even begin to tackle in a single post. I guess I'll have to make a concerted effort to write about them individually over the next few days.

I've written a lot about how over the past two years I've come a long way from where I used to be. But every now and then I have a day where I feel that a touch of that blackness that I used to feel so frequently. Yet however bleak things might seem in a single day, somehow I'm now always able to pull myself back up and soldier on.

I'm feeling that bleak darkness now, but I'm telling myself that tomorrow I'll wake up and I'll feel better. Even if it's only slightly better, it'll still be better and a long, long way from where I used to be.

I have such a charmed life with so many wonderful friends who add so much colour and fullness to everything.

I don't know where I'm going with this.

I'm feeling sad. But at the same time I can't help but feel incredibly lucky to be here.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Ever questioned a gay mans credentials for dictating women's fashion? Well then, read this.

And who'd have thunk that Karl Lagerfeld would become my new hero? I must use the line "But I don't think you are well informed enough to make a discussion with me about this," ASAP!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ibiza

I love this! That comment pretty much epitomises the slightly obscure views that many of the elders at home have.

When you put that next to this, you'll start to understand why I tell people that I come from Bath (which is, incidentally, only 10 miles away and the nearest city.)

"Don't be ashamed of your roots," someone who didn't come from Trowbridge once said.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chevy Chase

On Friday Helen emailed myself and a few other people with a question.

She has been researching schools for work and the results included a school in America called Chevy Chase. The name sounded familiar to her, so she plonked it into Wikipedia and it came up with him.

Her question had been: why had a high-school named itself after a comedian who had performed so unspectacularly in his own education?

This prompted a few of us to do our own Chevy Chase search and there are, in fact, a few things, people and places named Chevy Chase. One might assume that it was one of them that provided the inspiration behind the naming of afore mentioned internationally famous comic genius.

Helen's brother presented us with this place. It occurred to me, from the banality of the website (and my overactive, salacious imagination), that behind the normalcy of the white picket fences, ornamental street lights and flag-flying would be a veritable hotbed of incest, bisexual partner swapping and a touch of slavery.

But then I realised that the same could be said by someone visiting the website of my own home town.

Monday, July 24, 2006

An open letter to straight men

Hello straight men! How are you? Me? Oh, I'm good, thanks for asking.

Hey, so I know that our conversations are usually fairly awkward, with you saying things like, "You probably aren't interested in football are you, mate?" and "That's so gay! Er, I don't mean it like that. I know loads of gayers," with me then responding with a much-practiced faux laugh and grin which hides a lifetime of pained despair ... but listen up, because I actually have some advice that may help the World become a more beautiful place help you pull birds more.

Now, I did make my thoughts on this subject quite clear some time ago, but just to refresh your memory ... three-quarter length trousers (also known as Capri pants) - so not a good look. No. Not even when you accessorise them with cheapo camouflage flip-flops from H&M, a too-tight beige T-shirt with "Sit on my face" written over your moobs and a lukewarm can of Holston Pils, deftly wedged in between your pudgy fingers and thumb.

Now come on. Don't be like that. It's not just because your loosely toned legs have the complexion of downy-haired chalk ...

Er. Ok. It is because of that. I'm not saying that us gay men are any better, because we have also been known to wear them as well (well, not me, or at least not for a very long time). But when we do at least we've recently gone to the effort of visiting a tanning salon or even Selfridges beauty hall to buy a bottle of St. Tropez.

So, I'll cut you a deal. If you promise to stop inflicting us all to the sight of your pasty, hairy pins in those bloody horrible, nasty trou-shorts then I promise that I'll never, ever tell anyone that when you were 14 you licked it. You know, just to see what it tasted like.

Lots of (platonic) love,

Christopher
x

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On Friday I was in the UK's biggest selling national newspaper. Not on page 3, as some of my friends have wittily retorted, but on page 5 of the motoring section.

The reason why was because the bike editor had reviewed the motorcycle course I took last month and wanted to use a picture of someone who had passed. So there at the foot of the page was yours truly, smiling handsomely in his motorbike kit, crouched next to a real-life motorbike. All very marvelous, except for the caption, which read:

"My fellow student: Chris [surname]"

It was like God had been reading my blog this week and decided to publicly defecate on my head.

But the really weird thing was that on the way home from work I stopped by a newsagent to buy my own copy of the newspaper and my name had changed to "Christopher".

Now I know that most newspapers (including the one I was in on Friday) have several print runs and that sometimes the front-page splash might change depending on a breaking story, but really ... is the correct form of my name so important to actually "stop the press" over?

Well yes, actually. It bloody well is.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Aftermath

Five people have responded exclaiming that they, also, don't like the shortened versions of their names, but thus far have felt that they could not speak up in opposition of their use.

One department head thinks that I am hilarious and have a clever way with words.

*stony face*

I am and I do.

My immediate board director thinks that I should be called whatever he sees fit to call me, which is currently CK (my surname begins with a K.) For obvious sartorial and super-hero alias reasons, I can live with this.

It has also created something of an existential debate: can one influence or complain over the choice of his or her nickname? My opinion is no, but a shortened version of one's name is technically not a nickname.

It's a minefield! It really is.

Monday, July 17, 2006

What is now an open letter

I just sent this email to my entire company and now I'm starting to have pangs of regret:

Dear All,

(I'm opening myself up to a barrage of emails here, but anyway ...)

When I joined the company there was one thing I didn't list as a "dislike" and that is people calling me "Chris". However, the trend for calling me just that is, to my disturbance, growing. I'm making no judgements on any of the culprits, because that would alienate most of the people I work closely with (some of whom are in charge of my salary and my having a job here!)

But until somebody comes up with a name for me which I deem to be even better than my actual moniker (e.g. Brutallyhottopher) it'd be much appreciated if you could just call me Christopher.

You can, of course, call me anything you like behind my back (and you probably will after having read this email.)

I love you all!

Christopher

Saturday, July 15, 2006

"How big are you? I mean, how tall are you?"

More about Thursday night's date tomorrow. In the meantime I'd like to introduce you to my new crush: Brandon Routh / Clark Kent / Kal-El / Superman / whatever:


I've read reviews which have commented on how good the film is, if only half an hour too long. The first part of the that I agree with, but the latter ... ridiculous. I mean, look at the man! Only the most red-blooded heterosexual male could be irritated at having to endure literally hours and hours and hours of staring at his near-perfect form. In my opinion the movie was not long enough, by far.

Kate Bosworth, on the other hand, was shite. Bring back Margot Kidder, even if she is 57 years old.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This morning I went to the gym and for the first time had a conversation with the brutally hot guy who has been cruising me for the past few months. A conversation that resolved itself by him agreeing to go for a drink with me on Thursday night.

"Would you like to go for a drink with me?"

"Yes."

It's a simple dialogue and who knows? Maybe it will set me on the path to this:


But then again, it may set me on the path to this:


(I Googled "anguish" and it came up with that picture. As any gay boy knows, the only way to properly experience anguish is to buff-up and wear tighty-whities with legs akimbo.)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Here's two more, entirely unrelated, questions for which I have no answers:

Is it at all possible for sex not to complicate things? And if the answer is yes ... then how?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Today the world's analysts, politicians and general public are questioning the logic behind Kim Jong-il's decision to executively-order his defense task force to undertake one of most provocative military gestures of the past 50 years.

But I have another question:

Why did The Guardian's graphic design department choose to represent human-to-Taepodong-2 missile scale with a figure that looks suspiciously like Michelangelo's David?


Look!


I can only think of two possible reasons:

The figure is not only a scale point, but is also an historic reference in a modern context: David as Korean rocket scientist. Michelangelo's statue (based on the Biblical King David at the moment he decided to do battle with Goliath) eventually came to represent the city of Florence as an independent state threatened by more powerful enemies. In this instance Florence is North Korea. It hardly seems to be an appropriate use of symbolism.

The alternate reason is that David is representing poor little western culture which is about to be nuked by a fucking massive rocket. Also inappropriate, when you consider that the combined military prowess of the US and friends would more than overwhelm North Korea and little Kim Jong-il.

Which reminds me - the answer to the question at the top of this post:

It's because he's short.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sarah is another account director and sits at the desk next to mine. We just had a fragrance fight. It was PR chemical warfare, with my Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce pitted against her Jo Malone Tuberose.

After we stopped fighting (I won!), her phone rang and she answered with, "Oh, hello! Sorry! I'm a bit out of breath. I've just been having a perfume fight with Christopher."

That has to be the gayest opening gambit relating to me, EVER!

God, I stink and my skin's itching.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Look! Goldfrapp come from Bath! That's so funny because, you know, I also come from Bath!

Huh. Weird!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Yesterday I went to lunch with an old friend from school who is having a few problems with her boss. The problems that she is encountering are not insurmountable objects, which she knows, but they are on top of other, more serious, things going on in her personal life, the main one being that her Dad is receiving chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

Towards the end of lunch we discussed how as we have gotten older our need to discuss our problems and issues with anyone who will listen has lessened. In fact there are lots of things that we don't discuss at all and the ones that we do discuss are usually with the people that we have known for the longest.

It wasn't very long ago that I felt the need to talk about all of my problems, all of the time, to pretty much anyone who would lend an ear. The fact that I don't feel the need to do this anymore is just another example, I think, of how I have grown up in the past two or three years.

When I was younger I lacked experience and I doubted myself and my judgment and I had a total lack of conviction in any decisions that I made. You need other people's opinions to make you feel validated. Similarly, when people had their own problems I was always chomping at the bit to proffer my own point of view and advice, because in a round about kind of way it would make me feel better about the decisions I had made in my own life.

These days the idea of discussing some guy I quite like with a relative stranger is really unappealing. That person doesn't know the person I'm talking about and they more than likely don't know me and all the things I have been through and how those things have gotten me to this point in my life. I don't discuss my sexual exploits with people I work with anymore, not because I'm ashamed of myself or of those things, but because it has become boring to hear girls screech and say things like, "But doesn't it really hurt?" (No. It feels great!)

Don't get me wrong. I love meeting new people and making new friends. But I love the warm blanket feeling I get from thinking about all of the people who have been through everything with me over the past 18 years or so and that I have gotten to the point in my life where when I do need to talk about things, they listen and understand and get me and the situation quick enough for the conversation not to have to drag on over hours and hours of sobbing and nose blowing.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ok, I didn't die but my Mum's other dog, Poppy, did. Not on the racetrack, but back at home in Wiltshire. She'd had leukemia for a while now, so it wasn't entirely unexpected.

Although how cool would it have been if she had died racing sportsbikes around a racetrack?

I felt a bit sad about it the last couple of days, because those two dogs have been such a huge part of my Mum's house for me. I'm borrowing one of the motorbikes to ride home to Bath this weekend and it's so strange to think that they won't be there. It's going to be really quiet without them.

However, the weird thing with my family and dogs is that almost as soon as one passes on, another comes along by some random coincidence. One of Mum's friends has just found out that she's pregnant, just a few months after getting a dog. She already has two children so has decided that it's going to be too full a house to keep the pooch around so it looks as if Mum's going to have it.

Personally I would have terminated the baby and kept the dog, but that's just me.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Easy rider

Well, I kinda was already, but now I am officially. I passed my motorbike test!! And now I'm off to Italy to race sportsbikes on two track days. Hopefully I'll be here to talk about it on Monday.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oh, the comedy of it ...

Apparently being on holiday is conducive to good blogging. That is, if good blogging can be described as posting links to TV commercials.

I clearly remember this from my teens and it's f***ing brilliant!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Last Friday my motorbike leathers turned up at work and naturally I brazenly discreetly tried them on in front of the whole office.

The comments that I received were generally quite positive, but back-handed, in the sense that the girls (and one guy) seemed genuinely surprised by the fact that they made me look hot. One of the girls even said I looked like Maxwell Caulfield:


And another said that I looked like Tron:


And the fact was, they did make me hot. Hot in the sense that I lost about five pounds of body weight in just ten minutes. And that was in an air-conditioned office and not on an Italian race track, where the predicted temperature is in the high-30s.

I started my training today and passed my CBT. On the FIRST DAY!!! Usually you pass by the end of the second day, so this means that I am awesome.

But it doesn't mean that I have passed my *test*, which is on Friday. I'm still convinced that I'll fail, simply because some omnipotent being wants to laugh at me, sweltering in my racing leathers, not able to ride any of the sports bikes, because I failed my test.

Overall, I'm good at U-turns, emergency stops and slipping the clutch (in a good way.) I'm not very good at lifesavers (figures.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

On Tuesday I took and passed my motorbike theory test, which was a result, because despite revising for four weeks, beforehand, I'd been taking the test on a computer programme all weekend and kept failing!

In just over a week's time, I am going up to Brum for the week to do an intensive training course with the test on the Friday: the final day.

But the thing that really sets this all off is that on that same day work is flying me to Milan, to race sports bikes around a circuit. I'm going to be wearing something like this:

No prizes for anyone who can spot the danger in a novice (to say the least) rider haring around a race track at speeds in excess of 100mph. I guess at least I'll look brutally hot in my leathers, as I'm stretchered off to hospital.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

My name is Christopher. Nice to meet you.

There are two specific things you can do when you first meet me that are both guaranteed to get up my nose and ensure that we will never, ever be friends.

The first is to shake my hand so hard that I find it hard not to yelp as I feel the bones crush and a couple of fingers dislocate. Granted, no ladies have ever done this to me, but plenty of guys have. I've often thought that those guys either a) don't realise that their handshake is a pathway to a whole other world of pain, or b) that their handshake is some kind of neo-Neanderthal attempt at proving an alpha-male status. Seriously, either learn to take your handshake down a notch or two or the next time you crush my metacarpals I'll stab you in the heart.

The second thing you can do which will make me despise you with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns is to call me Chris ... immediately after I just introduced myself as Christopher!!! (The caveat is that it is ok to call me Chris if I introduced myself to you by that name, which would have been at any point prior to 1996.)

The fact that I used to be a Chris is irrelevant. I always preferred Christopher to Chris, but my parents started the trend immediately after I was born and for a long while it stuck. A bit later in life, when I began my career, I decided to adopt my full moniker. So it's not me being precious or anything like that. It's just that I have a nice name and I prefer it to the shortened version.

And I'm sorry, but just immediately shortening someone's name is rude and overly familiar. Do you think it's acceptable to shorten Catherine to Kate, Elizabeth to Lizzie, Marilyn to Maz, or John to Jack (never really understood that though. Isn't the idea of shortening someone's name supposed to make it, er, shorter?)

So, just to summarise, if you do this:

"Hey Chris! Nice to meet you!" *crushes hand in vice-like grip*

... I may very well stab you in the heart. Twice.

Unless you're really hot, in which case I'll just be all giggly.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bad

I have found that going to New York, coming back again, going to Amsterdam, coming back again, dating someone, moving house, etc, is not conducive to good blogging.

I have had more great stories to tell in the past few weeks than I have had in a long while, but conversely no time to think about writing about them.

Anyway, this is cheating, kind of, I guess, but I need to post something, so here's a meme sent to me by my lovely friend Helen (who will be 32 on Friday):

1. What time did you get up this morning?
8.00am

2. Diamonds or Pearls?
Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Inside Man

4. What is your favorite TV show?
The OC, although season 3 has sucked slightly

5. What did you have for breakfast?
A chai latte and a low-carb doughnut

6. What is your middle name?
Jonathan

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Fish and chips with curry sauce from the Ancient Mariner in Trowbridge (Tim: I'm expecting a comment on this one alone!)

8. What foods do you dislike?
I'm struggling with this one. Oh! Whole fish. I'm scared of unprocessed fish the same way some people are about snakes. They FREAK ME OUT!!!

9. Your favorite Potato chip?
Sea salt and black pepper kettle chips

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?
"Logic Will Break Your Heart" by The Stills

11. What kind of car do you drive?
An SUV

12. Favorite sandwich?
Breakfast sandwich

13. What characteristics do you despise?
My characteristics, but only in other people

14. What are your favorite clothes?
Jeans and a white T-shirt

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation? Vietnam or Cambodia

16. Where WOULDN'T you go?
Blackpool

17. Favorite brand of clothing? Alexander McQueen (expensive)
American Apparel (inexpensive)

18. Where would you want to retire to?
A town house on the outskirts of Bath

19. Favorite time of day?
8am on a Saturday

20.Where were you born? Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

21. What is your favorite sport to watch? Tennis

22. Who do you think will not link to this meme?
Helen, because she's already done it

23. Person you expect to send it back first?
Um. I know, but I'm not telling!

24. Pepsi or Coke?
Pepsi

25. Beavers or Ducks? Ducks

26. Are you a morning person or night owl?
Like Helen said, I'm flexible as it depends on what is going on

27. Pedicure or Manicure?
Manicure

28. Favorite food to order out at a restaurant?
Lemon chicken and special fried rice from Deliverence

29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? I just moved to Shoreditch!!!

30. How many times have you really been in love?
Twice

31. Did you marry one of #30?
No

32. What is your best childhood memory?
Being taken to The Tropicana water park in Weston Super Mare by my Grandma and Auntie Viv

33. Favorite movie?
That's a tricky one. Three Colours Blue or When Harry Met Sally

34. Do you have a Will?
Yes. It's very, very strong!

35. Piercings?
Yes, in my ear and it's never ever closed over even though I haven't properly worn a piercing for years

36. Ever been to Africa?
No, but that will change in December

37. Ever been toilet papering?
No. I think that's an American thing

38. Been in a car accident?
No, thank God!

39. Favorite day of the week?
I want to say Friday, because of the anticipation, but anyone who knows me will know that I would rather it was Christmas Day than Christmas Eve, because it's closer to unwrapping my presents. So Saturday

40. Favorite restaurant?
Criterion in Piccadilly Circus

41. Favorite flower?
Camelia

42. Favorite ice cream?
Haagen Daz [sic] Strawberry

43. Favorite fast food restaurant?
McD

44. What is your dream job?
(Unrealistic and unatainable) internationally famous film star, but not a sell out. A male version of Gwyneth Paltrow
(Realistic, but still unatainable) or an accident and emergency physician

45. From whom did you get your last e-mail?
Katie. She sent me this:

















46. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Brown's Focus

47. Bedtime?
11pm

48. Last person you went to dinner with?
Andy

49. What are you listening to right now?
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

50. What is your favorite color?
Purple

51. How many tattoos do you have?
1

52. What time did you finish this?
10.15am

53. Favorite magazine?
Vanity Fair, especially when it features anything written by Maureen Orth

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Reasons to be sad to leave NYC

Well, one actually. Our dedicated waiter last Sunday night at Hiro:


Seriously though, I was a good boy. For once, I'm taken.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Back

I'm mortally hungover. I have vague recollections of putting $5 in a go-go dancers thong, stealing underwear from a party in a store and talking to actor Luke Wilson in the elevator on my way back to my room.

It would seem that I am back in NYC.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Madonna rip-off shocker

One of the great things about working for the particular company I work for is that I get really, really good perks.

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to purchase tickets to see Madonna, after they had all sold out in eight minutes. The tickets, however, with absolutely no mark-up added, were one hundred and twenty pounds! These were for pretty basic seats in the arena and were certainly not going to be so close to the stage that you were going to be sprayed with sweat everytime she "expressed herself".

I think I truly am a lapsed Madonna fan now, because I categorically object to having to pay fucking one hundred and twenty pounds for a fucking ticket to see some almost over-the-hill pop star probably get another hernia attempting dance moves that her backing dancers can clearly do better than her!!!

As I told my work colleague, I would rather spend the money on a flight to see old friends in Italy than line the pockets of a multi-millionaire octogenarian songstress.

Hmm. Perhaps I'm getting old, too?

Friday, April 07, 2006

I think that's the longest I've gone without posting for quite some time.

I've been incredibly busy at work organising this New York press trip. Tickets for flights needed to be booked by the close of play on Thursday and by close of play on Wednesday I had only one person confirmed. Which made my own position on the trip that much less tenable. But as is always the way the other two confirmed at the last minute. Now all is good.

So I leave on Tuesday morning and I arrive back in London the following Tuesday. Strangely I'm not particularly nervous about it. Thankfully I have a lot to when I am there and strangely I will also have enough English people there, while I am there to help cushion the emotional impact. My old flatmate, Lynda, and her boyfriend Gary will be there at the same time, as will by board director who I have known for ten years and my managing director who, sycophancy aside, is one of my favourite people at work.

On Tuesday night I am going to a party for a top tennis star, followed by a party David LaChapelle is throwing for Amanda Lepore and her new blow-up sex doll. That should be a hoot, natch. Then on Wednesday I am at the NYC International Auto Show all day, which is AWESOME! In the evening I have a dinner at the Mercer Kitchen. On Sunday I am having Easter lunch at my friend Lincoln's mom's place on the Upper East Side.

And at some point I am also going to see Will, my ex-boyfriend, for coffee. I realised yesterday that when I see him it will have been almost exactly two years since we split up.

It's all a bit surreal. I probably sound like a total drama-queen.

Anyway, I will take lots of photos and will try to post where I can.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

He feels the same way! Whoo!

The only potential issue is that from Monday we will also be work colleagues, although we will be working in different departments. I think we'll have to keep things on the lowdown. Or at least until we get engaged.

Ooh! We can be all furtive and kiss in the elevator and stuff! How exciting!

I love liking people.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I've been asked to go to New York on business for one week on April 11. It is the first time I will have been back since I left just under two years ago. I'm really excited, but also quite scared as well. It's going to be a test. I've so far only told three of my friends there (although by posting this I probably told a couple more!)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bonjour, Helene!

My dear friend Helen, who recently left the shores of England for those of South Africa to be a missionary, or a midwife, or a sex worker, or something ... has posted her first blog entry!

Apparently she will make a post a week as reliable and fast internet connection is not richly available in South Africa.

Let's check out her stories! But they'd better be interesting or she'll find herself wiped from my links list quicker than you can say, "16 years of friendship."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Two years on

Two years ago today I tried to kill myself.

At the time I was unbelievably unhappy in my job and while my fledgling relationship was working, for the most part, in retrospect I can see that there were many problems that I wasn't addressing. I was taking all manner of psychiatric drugs in very high doses and over the course of the six days leading up to the overdose I took three months worth of Ativan. I would never get up earlier than 8am. I never had breakfast because there was never enough time and even so I was still always late for work (everyone else was there at least an hour before my arrival.) I had no inclination to do anything when I got there and would spend hours just surfing the net. Everything I did carried minimum effort and thought. I couldn't stick with a book. I would listen to the same track on my iPod over and over and over again because I couldn't muster the energy to choose something else. There were other things, things that I can never tell anyone about because they wouldn't understand why I had to do them and I am too ashamed of who I was. I would lie all the time to cover up the truth of just about everything. I wouldn't be able to sleep through the night so sometimes I would have to sleep under my desk during the day. I would cry all the time for no reason and I would break things quietly, in my room or my office because I needed to vent my anger without anyone knowing. I would starve myself and then I would binge. I lost a lot of weight. I could drink a quart of Vodka and not even feel that drunk, even though everyone else knew that I was smashed. I would smoke at least 20 cigarettes every day, often chaining. More often than not.

A couple of weeks ago my Mum came up to London to spend the day with me. When I got up in the morning I decided that it would be easier, cheaper and nicer of me if I cooked lunch for us as opposed to going out and getting something to eat at a restaurant. So I went to Sainsbury and I bought a bunch of ingredients and made chicken parmesan, served with a salad and a home-made dressing. I washed up as I cooked. I hung up washing in between and emptied the trash. I think I also made some phone calls.

On Tuesday I dropped my iPod while waiting for a tube train. I calmly picked it up, ascertained that it wasn't working, felt a little bit pissed off, but then went back to reading my book, knowing that it wasn't the end of the world and I could get it fixed. Later on I checked Apple's website for troubleshooting. I reinstalled the software, charged it up again and it worked.

Yesterday (on a Saturday) I got up at 8am to finish writing PR plans for the launch of a new computer software. When after a couple of hours I started to have a brain collapse I decided to go to the gym because I knew that I had to do something else for a little while that would give me some focus again.

At the gym the brutally hot boyfriend of a well-known DJ on the London gay clubbing circuit came onto me in a not unsubtle manner in the steamroom. While I was immensely flattered by his interest and while I knew that accepting his advances could be awesomely hot, I was also very aware that it could potentially put me in a world of pain. So I cheekily smiled at him, left the steamroom, showered, changed and left the gym.

I get paid next Friday. For the first time ever, ever, ever my bank account will be in credit before I get paid.

Four out of five days of the week, without fail, I get up at 6am, make some breakfast, drink some coffee before going to the gym to do an hours workout. Even after that I still get to work 30 minutes early. I check and respond to pressing emails and then I write my action list. When everyone else comes in at 9.30am I am wide awake, energised and well into my day.

Let's recap:

I made lunch, multitasked and did some household chores.

I dropped my iPod and dealt with the problem, calmly and rationally, without losing my temper.

I had the focus to do some work on a Saturday, but I was also aware enough of my own capabilities to know when to stop.

I spurned the advances of someone entirely hot, but entirely unsuitable.

I have been careful with my spending.

I get up early and go to the gym and arrive on time at work, if not before time.

I think that most people would look at that list and say, "So what? Big deal." But the truth is that for me these things are major, major achievements. Two years ago the possibility that I could not go overdrawn at the end of the month was categorically absurd. The idea of getting up before 8am, ridiculous. The idea that I would spurn the advances of a super-hot guy, absolutely non-existent.

One of the hardest things I have had to accept in the last two years is that the person who wrote that note and took those drugs and washed them down with neat vodka and then climbed into bed to die could be the same person sat here typing away coherently on his laptop.

While I think that part of him is still in me somewhere, I know with 100% certainty that he will never have another opportunity to cause mayhem and bring it all to an end. And I've given up on trying to convince other people of that too. The best way to prove that you can do something is simply by doing it. And you prove that you won't do something else, by not doing it.

I have learned that there really is life in the details. And that there is pleasure in finally knowing what you can and can't do.

And knowing that everything is going to be ok.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

There is something about the London Underground system which brings out the most basic of instincts in people.

Sometimes it's violence.

Sometimes it's anger.

Sometimes it's pure comedy.

And sometimes it's something else entirely.

This morning I was sat on the tube reading my book ("In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote. Guess what I went to see at the movies?) when my attention drifted to a heavily pregnant woman who had just boarded the carriage. The pregnant woman very politely asked the 40-something man sat infront of me whether he would mind vacating his seat so that she could sit down.

The man, who was wearing a very smart suit under a very trendy black trenchcoat with a hood, disinterestedly looked up from his newspaper (it was The Daily Telegraph) and, after a short pause, brazenly replied, "Yes, I would mind." before returning to read his newspaper.

The pregnant woman gave him a lengthy fixed stare of incredulity, probably hoping that he would look up one last time and feel guilty. But he didn't.

So me, being the perfect gentleman (and always more than willing to sacrifice my own personal comfort to make someone else look like a proper twit) stood up, before being asked, and offered her my seat, which she took and duly (and, no doubt, purposefully) thanked me for.

The 40-something, nattily dressed guy just continued to read his paper and although I was now stood up, I continued to read my book. Several stops later, at Bank station, the nattily dressed 40-something man stood up to leave the train, right infront of me. In a flash the pregnant woman had lifted herself up from her seat just enough to slip a piece of card that she had obviously written on in the hood of ND40sM's coat.

It read:

"I AM A FUCKING IMBECILE"

And he got off the tube, exited the station and walked all the way down Cannon Street like that. Oh, and people SO noticed!

I know, because I followed him on the way to the gym.

The moral of this story, if there was one, would obviously be something along the lines of "Hell hath no fury like a pregnant woman."

But whatever. Pregnant tube lady is now my own personal Jesus.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

By coincidence, You're So Vain is actually one of my favourite songs.

After throwing it on at work today, the two other directors on my bank of desks and I started the age-old debate: who is You're So Vain about?

One of the girls found this website. I had no idea that Mick Jagger sung the backing vocals on the song. I seriously must have heard it hundreds of times and I never noticed that, but once you know you can totally tell.

So it's pretty unlikely that the song is about Mick.

It's also pretty unlikely that it's about James Taylor, as she had only just married him (one month in) when the song went to number one in 1973.

And since then she has said that the guy's name features an A, an E and an R. Which rules out Kris Kristofferson.

Which must mean that it's Warren Beatty, surely!?

She's such a tease.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The results

7.9 vs. 7.3.

Goddamnit!

Ok, you see if you could see me and Robbie side by side, in real life, you would totally see that I am the hotter one.

No, honestly. You would.

Friday, March 10, 2006

We probably think this song is about us ...

Robbie (aka Not The Mama in my comments) is a very close friend of mine and also an ex-flatmate. He's totally Scottish, totally straight, totally engaged and totally a father.

He's also totally hot, although I would never dare tell him that.

Even though it would appear that he already knows.

So while he might be a good friend, now it's war.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My "if money was no object" wardrobe

From the Autumn/Winter 2006/7 menswear collections:

A touch of Dries Van Noten ...

dSquared2 ...

Givenchy ...

Costume National ...

And finally my favourite menswear designer in the world, Alexander McQueen ...

God, that suit is amazing.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yesterday, Ken Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times:

"So for people who were discomfited by Brokeback Mountain but wanted to be able to look themselves in the mirror and feel like they were good, productive liberals, Crash provided the perfect safe harbor. They could vote for it in good conscience, vote for it and feel they had made a progressive move, vote for it and not feel that there was any stain on their liberal credentials for shunning what Brokeback had to offer. And that's exactly what they did."

It's cynical, but I can't help but see that there is at least a grain of truth there. It's totally conceivable.

I've never been one to moan about my lot, where being gay is concerned. I love everything about being gay and my first reaction to Brokeback Mountain was to be grateful at how lucky I am to be able to be who I want to be, in this country and to have never, ever felt real fear or oppression.

But then I have only ever been gay in London and New York. That makes it so easy for me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Manscaping: do's and don'ts

Because I am a responsible gay man I like to keep my nether regions in a good state of repair.

On Saturday evening, in advance of a night out on the tiles (and because I hadn't been laid in exactly three weeks) I decided to do a bit of man-scaping, most particularly around my sack and my crack, but not my back because, well, I don't have any hair on my back.

For the uninitiated amongst you, there are four main reasons for removing excess hair from your or your partner's man-bits:

1) General trimming back to a grade two or three (maximum) will make your equipment look bigger. And it doesn't matter if your equipment is already pretty big. After all, you can never have too much of a good thing.

2) General shaping will help make your lower abdomen appear more defined and means that there is less risk of your sexual partner accidentally flossing while he / she is downstairs.

3) The sensation of having no hair on your balls or around your arse feels very, very wrong ... but oh-so right!

4) Incorporating all of the above into your sexual repertoire can be fun!

There are, however, a few caveats:

Only ever use an electric trimmer and never, ever a pair of scissors.

Only ever use a safety razor and never, ever a cut-throat razor.

If you do use a safety razor make sure you or your partner has a clear field of vision (even using a mirror can be dangerous.) For that reason it is advisable to use a male depilatory cream around the sack and crack areas. This also helps to reduce itchy stubble!

That is unless you have been taking a course of steroids for two weeks, which will have left your skin extremely sensitive to various chemicals, especially to calcium thioglycolate, which is the active ingredient used in most common off-the-shelf depilatory creams.

Doing this can cause burning and blistering.

Which is what I discovered on Saturday night.

Which is why I have not been laid now in three weeks and two days.

Friday, March 03, 2006

My friend (and right now I use that term loosely), Marv, left a comment on my blog, yesterday, referring to some other ugly famous person that she thinks I look like (I amended the comment, so don't bother looking.) I don't actually know which hideously deformed celebrity she has in mind and to be honest I don't really want to know, especially as I am still smarting from previous comparisons to David Cameron ...


... and Christopher Biggins ...


Last night, over dinner with my account team, I bought up the conversation of my doppelgangers, hoping to get a misleading objective point of view from people who don't know me incredibly well yet.

The general consensus of opinion, and this is without prompting (and I always get this from strangers) is that I look like David Arquette.


Spooky!

Ok, this I can live with.

Marv darling: while I might seem to possess the outward constitution of a hardened ox, I am actually quite a sensitive soul, not unaccustomed to going to see Harley Street surgeons about having my cheeks "reduced" (I'm not joking.)

Oooh! I must write about that incident.

Anyway, anymore horrible celeb comparisons and you will be on the receiving end of my almighty wrath. I will also be sending you the substantial bill for my cosmetic surgery, you little minx.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

They are, apparently, four Tesco's in Inverness in Scotland, which is surely unnecessary? The independent village grocery store where I used to work when I was at school (before I, er, worked at Tesco. It was either that or Bowyers, the local pork farm, ok?) is now a Tesco Express.

And now Tesco has plans to conquer America.

So this is a boycott I heartily approve of.

My first step on the path to supermarket revolution has been canceling my weekly internet grocery order with Tesco and moving it to Sainsbury. When I called up yesterday to tell Sainsbury why I had done this the lady in the customer services department said that she would send me a free voucher for twenty pounds!

I love being socially disruptive. You get free stuff.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Double-0 Shut Up

Many things have been playing on my mind this week. Most of them I will go into in more detail tomorrow or on Friday.

In the meantime, this is particularly silly.

Now, you are all probably aware of the fact that during the selection period I was firmly on the Clive Owen, um, camp. But for whatever reason, Daniel Craig was perceived by the powers that be to be the cheaper better option. The deed is done. Daniel Craig was offered and accepted the part.

The main problems that the media and the people behind that absurd website seem to have with Daniel Craig is that he is not very Bond-like. One critic in last Saturday's The Sun compared this "disappointing miscasting" to another potential cultural spectacular: losing the Great British Pound to the Euro (which, by the way, I don't particularly care about either. Would the new money have the Queen's head on it? Am I bothered? Can I still spend it? Yes. Ok then. Silence!)

These are, apparently, the main reasons that Craig has been miscast:

1) He got two teeth knocked out by an extra while rehearsing an action scene.

2) He doesn't like guns.

3) He got seasick when delivered to the casting announcement on a furiously quick SAS raft thing.

4) He's blonde.

For crying out loud.

I don't remember anyone complaining when Sigourney Weaver was cast as Ripley in Alien (the fact that I was six at the time is beside the point) because she didn't have any real life experience in kicking xenomorphic butt. I also don't remember anyone complaining about Tom Hanks being cast in Philadelphia because he didn't actually have AIDS in real life. And I don't remember anyone complaining about Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal being cast in Brokeback Mountain just because they're not gay off screen (and for those of you who might be thinking, but why couldn't they get two gay actors to play those parts? I say to you, would it have been the same if it had been Rupert Everett and Sir Ian McKellan going at it on the range? No. I don't think so.)

Getting back to Daniel Craig. I think people are forgetting some very salient points.

First and foremost Daniel Craig is an actor. He doesn't do the things he does in movies in real life. In real life he's like anyone else.

Well, he's like me, anyway. He's probably not much like you.

Secondly, does anyone seriously think that the makers of Casino Royale will be keeping in the bits where DC hesitantly picks up his Walther PPK between his thumb and his forefinger? Or that they'll keep in the bit where he projectile vomits over the edge of his Sunseeker yacht after a high speed chase down the Nile? And that the bit when the Bond Girl slaps him round the face and leaves a really nasty hand print won't end up on the cutting room floor?

And as for the blonde hair. Well cause, you know, like that's so important. I can just imagine it ... people leaving the movie theatre, muttering things like, Well, I thought the bit where he saved The Houses of Parliament from being destroyed by that nuclear weapon by cutting the wires while riding it and jumping off at the last second before it blew up over a field would have been so much more believable had his hair been slightly more, I don't know, "burnt chestnut"?

Because of the films that I have seen him in, I think that Daniel Craig is a more than proficient actor and will be able to conjure up just the right amount of grit, darkness, brooding, menacing and sex-appeal to play 007 more than adequately. I am sure that he will make me suspend my disbelief long enough for me to enjoy the two or so hours of iconic opening credits, catchy theme tune and mindless, popcorn, formulaic action sequences and wanton destruction.

And lets not forget one other critically important thing about Daniel Craig.

He looks damnfine in a tight pair of beach shorts:

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pablo

I've just realised that I promised you all three boy stories and so far I have only really delivered on one.

Ok, the last is Pablo and is in actual fact, probably the least interesting.

Well, aside from the fact that he looks like Gael Garcia Bernal:


[That is Gael, in case you were wondering, not Pablo.]

So here's the lowdown:

Pablo is a 24 year-old Argentinean, living permanently in London.

We meet at Crash where very minor flirting (but no actual touching) is consistently protracted through the night and then onto Beyond (and beyond .. ha ha!)

As I'm staggering walking through Beyond to the cloakroom to get my things in order to go home Pablo grabs me and quickly persuades me pretend to be his boyfriend so that some guy I know called Allen will stop molesting him. I happily agree. After all, Allen once gave me the cold shoulder and I still harbor some considerable bitterness and resentment towards him for that incident.

As Pablo and I create our own super-hawt gayboy version of ...


... Sharon Stone's "let's really piss off Michael Douglas" lesbian dancefloor get-down in Basic Instinct, I notice with enormous satisfaction that Allen is looking really out of shape these days. Awesome!

Half an hour or so later Pablo and I leave and spend the rest of the day napping, eating, talking and having lots of hot pash. It's very nice because, you know ... he looks a lot like Gael Garcia Bernal.

The next day Pablo emails me to tell me that he would like to see me again, but that I should know that he is currently living with his boyfriend who he doesn't have sex with anymore. They are, by all accords, "splitting up."

I tell Pablo that I don't really want to get involved in that kind of situation but that I wish him all the best anyway.

Naturally we still keep calling each other anyway and texting each other anyway and making plans to see each other anyway, for almost a month.

One Sunday afternoon (um, er, literally five minutes after Andy dumped me) I call Pablo to say "Hi!" By an odd coincidence he was just leaving Later (yet another Vauxhall afterhours club) which is very close to where I live. He agrees to come over to mine for a booty call. I crack open a bottle of wine.

The booty call turns into a well-orchestrated, major bout of rumpy-pumpy, followed by me cooking dinner, the two of us watching half a movie on the sofa (half a movie, because I kept putting my hand down his pants), more le hot sex and eventually a cuddly sleep over.

In the morning, after he had left, he sent me one of the nicest, sweetest, semi-broken English texts EVER in the history of nice, sweet, broken English texts.

Something like, "You nice. I really like. Ass sore. xxx"

Followed by total silence for almost a week.

Followed by calling and texting and making plans and breaking them anyway. But not quite as much as before.

Oh, and he's still living with his boyfriend who he sleeps with, but doesn't have sex with, etc etc.

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Why do I do it to myself?!

Is it just because he looks like Gael Garcia Bernal?

Is attempting to understand the whys and wherefores of men dating men harder than trying to understand and then explain String Theory?

Nah.

It's definitely just the Gael thang.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Fabio

So I just finished writing this really long epitaph in memoriam of my doomed, fledgling relationship with Fabio. I got to the end and started to re-read and it suddenly began to dawn on me that I can't actually write anything about him.

The reason is that he is a fairly well-known name on the UK and European gay club circuit (for various professional reasons) and some of your British readers especially will totally know who I am talking about.

So sorry about that. Sometimes I really regret not having been anonymous on this blog.

But it's all ok really because there are, after all, other things to blog about:

Takeout
last night I ordered twenty pounds worth of Chinese takeout from Deliverance and when it arrived it was cold. I called to complain and they resent the order again, but this time with dessert and totally free of charge.

But when it arrived the order was stone-cold again. So I called again (incandescent with rage) and got the order resent again, with a promise that it would be with me in less than 20 minutes and with a twenty pound voucher for next time.

So, to recap, even though I had to wait almost three hours for my food, I eventually got one hot meal with a free dessert, two free meals (both of which are now in the freezer) and one free voucher for twenty pounds.

Awesome.

Dry cleaning
Spotted on the Fulham Road. Is this perhaps the best dry cleaner in the world?


Tales of the City
I'm sure many of you have read the Armistead Maupin books, but some of you won't have watched the Channel 4-produced TV show. There were actually three series made from the first three books, but the first is by the far the best, not least because Marcus D'Amico and Bill Campbell, who play Michael and Jon, are both smokin' hot.


See?

I watched half the series last night (in between the great, cold takeout debacle.) Best bit: when Jon helps Mouse to rollerskate properly and Michael says, meaningfully, "Let me know if you're going to stop."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Actually, before I get onto Fabio (as so to speak) I read in yesterday's paper that women are more attracted to men with deep voices.

For those of you who don't know, I have an extremely deep voice (moreso at the moment, what with my post surgical traumatic woes.) And the girls ... they love it. On my one day in the office last week, Susan, another of the directors, was flirting outrageously, getting me to say things like "Susan, you've been a very bad girl."

She was probably touching herself under the desk. How revolting.

Last night, during a phone conversation I told my friend Romain about the news story and asked him if he thought that the same was true for gay men as it was for women, that they also prefer men with deep voices.

"I don't know," he said. "Let's find out. Say something from a porn film. Yeah, you like that, dontcha?"

"Yeah, you like that, dontcha?"

"Do it again. Something else."

"Yeah, harder. Bring it home, fucker."

"Yeah, that definitely works."

"Ew! Did we just have phone sex?"

So I now I can provide expert witness that I have a certain Jeff Stryker like quality. Unfortunately it doesn't come with the matching appendage (although, I hasten to add, to date no one has ever complained!)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Andy - part two

So two months goes by.

While on holiday in Thailand Zach talks about his new boyfriend, Ricky, quite a lot. I'm sure he won't mind me saying this, but Zach doesn't really do relationships. He moves around quite a lot and I think his priorities are sometimes skewed or set too high (no different to most of the rest of us, then.) That said, despite the fact that Ricky was being quite keen (to my chagrin he bought Zach a PSP for Christmas) Zach was, for the most part, enjoying being with him and was putting aside more time and making more of an effort than was normal for him.

So this got me to thinking: if Zach could overlook the little things wrong in his relationship with Ricky, then perhaps I could have overlooked the little things that weren't quite perfect in my (week-long) relationship with Andy.

When I got back to the UK I texted Andy (the fact that I hadn't deleted his number from my phone when I dumped him should be telling), "Hey! How are you? x"

The response I received was, "Who is this?"

Yes. He had deleted my number from his phone.

To cut a long story short we spent the next few weeks busily texting and reacquainting ourselves. We spoke on the phone a few times too. Not quite so often as the texting, but when we did we would talk for a good hour at a time.

And something strange began to happen. This vacuous, superficial 21 year old model was becoming a much more attractive proposition. For example, I began to see that the designer clothes provided him with a sense of security. I realised that he actually had a really brilliant sense of fashion (this is a guy who wears Plein Sud winklepickers and Mulberry cloaks to Beyond) and an even more brilliant sense of humour. In between me dumping him and getting back in touch he had scored himself an internship at my old PR agency. He seemed to be doing well and from the way that he spoke about the job I could tell that he was being very dilligent in his duties.

Following on from what I said, we actually texted each other and spoke on the phone for about three weeks before we actually saw each other again. Perhaps therein lies the secret - instead of having le hot sex we were actually getting to know each other. Wow! Who'da thunk?

When we did meet up again it was at Beyond and again we were both trashed. He did come back with me to Wayne's hotel room for a chill out, but there was to be no rumpy pumpy because there were four non-sexual friends there. He left early because he had to go to a friend's birthday party.

The second time we saw each other was at Family the weekend before last. He wasn't supposed to come along, but I called him at the last minute and he dropped his plans. A sure sign, I thought at the time, of his deep and abiding love for me.

Now by this point we had been back in contact for almost a month and a half, but had actually only seen each other twice. I leave you to imagine just how horny I was by this point. No, actually I'll tell you. I was SOOOOOO fucking horny I could have almost exploded in a mass of pink, sweet-flavoured, sexy Creme Egg-style fondant.

But it wasn't to be. Although he came back to our friend's house for an hour, after Family had ended, he made his excuses (something about another friend's birthday the next day) and left. But not before he promised me that we would go to see Munich at the movies the following afternoon. Because I was so very, very horny I texted him several times on the way home, telling him that if he wanted to he could stay the night at mine after we had seen the movie.

In retrospect, probably not my smoothest seduction move.

The next day I checked the movie times (6.30pm) and left him a message on his voicemail. He didn't actually call me back until about 4.30pm, informing me that he had only just woken up (which, by the way, was one of the other reasons I had dumped him in the first place ... because 21 year olds sleep ... a lot!)

To cut a long story short-er he didn't waste anytime telling me that he was still in love with his ex-boyfriend (transparently a lie, as any of us over thirty and have used this line, like a gazillion times, can tell you) and that he didn't think he could really date me anymore. He also told me that he was still smarting a little from me dumping him the first time around (transparently the truth.) I had to say that I understood, but I didn't admit to him that I was completely gutted. Because now I really, really liked him.

[Aside - this all happened two days before Valentine's Day. A small irony is that I had been gloating to Drew that I would have a date on Valentine's Day. Drew met someone that Saturday night at Family and ended up having the best Valentine's date while I sat at home and cried.]

Anyway - here's the moral to this story.

The first time around Andy really liked me. The second time around I really liked Andy. Which just goes to show that the most important factor is usually timing. It's not the fact that he is 21, or sometimes vacuous, or that he mumbles from time to time. It's the fact that we weren't in the same place at the same time.

So that's Andy. One down, two more to go.

Next - Fabio.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Andy

My friend Bill emailed me a while ago to complain about the lack of boy talk on my blog. Usually I don't have an awful lot to say, boywise. But upon reflection, the last few months appear to have bucked a trend.

I met Andy at Beyond (a massive Sunday morning after-hours nightclub in London's Vauxhall) at the tail end of last October. The first thing I noticed about him was that he had very pouty lips, unusual messy hair and a slightly pointy nose - but all in an attractive way. It wasn't long before I'd got around to alerting him that I was kinda interested (by snogging him) and after that it wasn't long before I had alerted him to the fact that I wanted to take him home (by putting him in a taxi with me.)

Once the effects of Beyond had worn off and we were finally able to speak in something resembling English, I learned that Andy (for that was his name) was an out of work model, for the most part living off of his parents and spending most of his daytimes at the gym.

I also learned that he was 21.

Now I have nothing against fucking 21 year-olds. After all, there's twenty of them. [Ok, sorry, that was a BAD joke.] I have nothing against 21 year-olds, but this particular one reminded me ENORMOUSLY of myself when I was in my early 20s. Scarily so. I could see that there was a mind there, somewhere, lurking at the back ... but at the forefront was an unhealthy obsession with designer clothes, intense vacuousness, a propensity for fast mumbling about utter rubbish, no respect for his parents, no respect for himself, etc, etc.

Nothing like the Christopher you know today. Nothing! *shakes fist*

HOWEVER, the sex was frikkin' awesome! He was totally up for anything and I really mean anything. Well, apart from that. Well, he might have been up for it, but I wasn't. That's never gonna happen anywhere near me, thankyouverymuch.

And naturally, because the sex was so awesome, I decided that it might not be out of the question or too ridiculous for me to pursue a relationship with him. Because after all was said and done, despite the vacuous, mumbling, lack of respect-edness, Andy was a hot 21 year old model who was really into me (he said so after the second date) and with whom I could have regular, mind-blowing sex.

On Wednesday (day three and a half) I received a text from him which read, "Are we ok?" Neediness alarm bells sounded. But I quickly silenced them because, hey! Hot sex with a 21 year-old model!

Saturday (day six and half) came around and we agreed that he would come over after work (he got a job at a designer clothes store during the week) and I would cook him dinner. He was supposed to be at mine by 7.30pm.

By 10pm I had called him several times and left several messages consisting of various tones ranging from amusement, to concerned, to pissed, to an anger burning with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. By the time that he arrived at 10.30pm, exactly three hours late, I was practically incandescent with rage and anyone who has seen me that pissed off will tell you that it is a very, very amusing spectacle.

And, for some reason, didn't think it was funny and couldn't have been more apologetic. He even bought Krispy Kreme donuts as an olive branch. Think about this for a second. A model. Buying Krispy Kreme donuts. That's pretty fucking intense.

And for a few hours it worked. I calmed down, salvaged something from the chicken parmesan I had so lovingly prepared and settled down with him to watch a movie (which didn't get watched, really, because we kept getting distracted by putting our hands down each others pants.)

For some reason, the next morning, I woke up feeling very different and very grown-up. Andy slept softly and soundly next to me. He looked so sweet. And then I knew then that I could no longer date him. I pretty much know what I need from someone in a relationship and a 21 year-old, despite how genuinely good-natured he might be, was never going to be able to offer me any of the things that matter so much to me (besides a great horizontal repertoire.) So when he woke up I made him breakfast and then gently told him that it was over.

I looked out of the front window and watched him walk down the drive and around the corner and finally out of sight and for some reason I felt a pang of sadness, which was unusual because usually when I dump someone I feel intense relief.

At the time I didn't pay it too much attention ...