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: