Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Xfe Fait Le Sudoku


On our way back from Wicked, which we did get to see. Trying to avoid those ghosts and ghouls everywhere about. Next show Cabaret in Paris on Saturday. Xfe is pleased because it's all in French-even the songs.

StressedOUT

It's one of those sleepless nights...for a variety of reasons.

I've got quite a bit of work to complete between now and Thursday afternoon, when we depart for Paris...

One particular piece of business needs completed asap. Controlling the timing is out of my hands to a larger extent-and I had to work late Friday night and Monday night. As luck would have it we have tickets to go see Wicked again tonight, but I'm unlikely to know until last minute whether I can go. Whilst I don't want to seem uncooperative, I need to make it clear that if I'm going to be stuck in the office thenI'm going to have to be reimbursed the £110 plus booking fee for the tickets. And I don't see it as my responsibility to find a buyer-especially at such short notice...

I'm a light sleeper anyway, and the noise of the wind is distracting me. I had a nightmare which actually woke me up at 2.15am. I'm anxious about causing Xfe to be restless...

It's end of the month and end of the half year. I have bills I need to bill tomorrow, to agree with clients first, but with the pressure to get them out...

Still, at least my blog has been unblocked...and I better back to bed, mon C has just realised I'm not there.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Our National Security In Safe Hands

The other week former Home Secretary David Blunkett's memoirs was Radio 4's book of the week, and he was reading extracts. I listened to one particular extract twice-during the morning, and again at night. With incredulity (I just had to listen to it again to be sure I had heard correctly)...

He writes about an incident which occurred a few years ago, post 9/11. He spoke with old friends who had heard the story of someone who found an Arab gentleman's wallet in London. It was jam packed full of ca$h. They did the honest thing, and the wallet was reunited with Arab owner. He insisted they take a reward. They refused. He insisted again. They refused again. So he did them this favour-he told them, for their kindness, that whatever they were doing they should not be in central London on November 11th.

Blunkett writes:

"I immediately registered the significance of this...The 11th of November is Armistice Day, the one day in the year when all leading politicians from the three parties, the Queen, other members of the Royal family, and the leading personnel of the armed services are in the same place at the same time - a known time, in central London.

I decided that I should at least tell Tony Blair as it was absolutely clear that nobody had fully thought through the significance.

We agreed there was no way we could possibly cancel Armistice Day, but we were certainly going to have to take increased precautions."


Then later on the incident, he concludes:

"Sunday 11th of November: And we've come through Remembrance Sunday safely. All the worry was for nothing, thank God."


What a clown!!

Maybe if he had reported it to US authorities, their Department of Energy's Hoaxbuster team would have debunked (or de-Blunketted it) it as an urban legend.

If those safeguarding our National Security had followed the links from the DoE's Hoaxbuster site, (or even done a google search)they would have uncovered alarmingly similar legends...about helpful terrorists (from 2001) and their kindness to strangers.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Spam Blog

Well, apparently my blog's been blocked because someone has reported it s a spam blog. Mabe I'm writing too much about musicals...which is TRAGIC, because I have some exciting news on that front!!!!

Coming as soon as I can publish...

Horrible Tasting Vegetable Juice


Coke zero is not very nice. Unfortunately our vending machines don't do pepsi. Give me a pepsi max anytime.

Runner Up



Friday Update

I've been feeling poorly all week! So much so, I forgot I'm going to the theatre this evening. So I left my ticket at home-but the thing is, the theatre is just 2 minutes from my office, and I don't want to have to go all the way home and back. I'll see if I can pick up a duplicate.

I'm off to see Sondheim's Assassins. I'm not a huge Sondheim fan, but I like some of the score.

Mon C flies back to Paris this evening, and will be back in London tomorrow. Hurrah. But I think we will have a quiet time over the coming weekend so I'm fully recovered for our mini-break (to Paris) next Thursday afternoon, for a long weekend.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Those Smiths

Mon C (aka Xfe) loves Eastenders. So from time to time I dip in. And I've noticed in the Vic and in the cafe the background music on the radio or jukebox is often The Smiths. Someone must have been into them. It's my generation come up...

Just as another Smith. Sarah-Jane Smith. Tonight's repeat Doctor Who is High School Reunion, the one where we meet Sarah-Jane again. Wow, it makes me very emotional and sad. But it's 'cos my generation are now there running things-so it's all about what is sentimental to us.

Anyway. I imet (& interviewed) Morrissey twice. The second time for over an hour. Fond memory

Just like Sarah-Jane. Who said (well, her script writer appreciating her sentiment): "Everything has its time, And everything ends".

Time To Go

[unfinished post]

When my first grandmother died, the minister from her church (who didn't know her) spoke at her cremation. She used to play the organ at her church as a young woman. But latterly she was housebound and couldn't get to her parish church. Every week she put 21.5p into the church collection envelopes she had. Eventually someone came to collect them.

But the minister thought she was less because (not understanding her disability) she never attended the church when he was there.

My Nana was not religious for so long as I knew her. When she died, her family didn't want someone who didn't know her and who would be meaningless to speak at her service. So they asked me (1 of 16 grandchildren). I was proud to.

I'm not religious. Once I've gone, it would be meaningless to have someone who didn't know me to speak about me. It will be too much of a hardship to ask loved ones and friends to speak about me. It's not necessary and I don't want to burden them. So thinking about passing...as you do (I have no reason that I know of to expect it). I....

Potato Actress

One of my favourite French & Saunders' sketches is when they are running their Actors' Agency. Their incompetence is loosing them all the stars from their books, ending up only with cake baking Jane Asher.

They've just lost Elaine Paige due to Jennifer putting out a press release which, because of a faulty typewriter, instead of referring to her as a "petite actress", called her a "potato actress".

So, whenever I think of Elaine Paige, I think potato actress.

Anyway, here she is denying it all, explaining she *is* big and "it's the pictures that got small".


from Sunset Boulevard

Phantom Las Vegas

In February (depending on Xfe's schedule, which we don't yet know) we're planning a trip to Las Vegas to see Phantom-The Las Vegas Experience.

In June this year a new production of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" began at The Venetian Resort • Hotel • Casino. What makes the production special is that it's a re-worked production (basically the same as anywhere else, with a little trim) but incorporating special effects and enhancements using current technology, in a purpose built $40 million theatre.



One of my favourite moments of theatre is the begining of Phantom, when the opera house transforms around the chandelier. Here you see it coming together in Las Vegas from 4 different parts of the theatre. Showing here.



Showing here is one of the better known moments.



Another favourite part. I once mentioned the importance of being held, the need to be loved.



With Google in charge, I'm sure these YouTube clips will be pulled sometime soon, so visit them while you can.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Red And Yellow And Pink...


High land, hard rain (and sunshine). Makes for a pot of gold.

Here's a rainbow that happened yesterday. What fabulous promise does it hold for us?

I'd rather be gay. My parents (well, my mother) worries that I have a harder life because I am. It's one of the things that upsets her about my sexuality. But if I had the choice, I'd choose to be gay. Life is so much more interesting. So much more fun. Without it I'd be middle aged and settled (physically I mean), and still living in my home town. Working to earn to keep my wife at home to look after the children. Working to save their fees for school and then university.

Are children the greatest reward? My straight friends would absolutely convince us they are. But I am still responsible without the responsibility.

If I choose to I can go visit anywhere I want to of a weekend. We eat out as often as we like to. We enjoy fabulous fashion and treats (look out Las Vegas...here we come soon to see Phantom).

I don't think I'd be blogging if I were straight.

I wouldn't be as sensitive, and therefore I wouldn't connect with life through the arts as I do (it's us projecting our tragedy, that really isn't so tragic). Imagine life without showtunes!

But...ask me again in 20 years? I hope I'll still say the same thing.

Lego

I've not played with lego since I don't know when. However, yesterday evening I spent about an hour making this (without instructions, and only a picture to guide me). I'm sure my nephew could have done in it 10 minutes.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I Loved You Hard, Then Let You Go

It's my 300th posting, so I can be a little indulgent. Besides, it matches my present mood.

In August, we went to see "The Last 5 Years" at the Menier Chocolate Factory. It's the show that tells the story of Cathy and Jamie's 5 year relationship. His from the start, going forward. Her's from the breakup, going backward to their meeting.

I wrote about Cathy's tragic optimism making for a devastating end, having already seen what lies ahead. He knows it's over. For her it's just beginning, and she thinks it's going to be forever.

Here's that moment.



CATHERINE
...
Goodbye until tomorrow
Goodbye until the rest of my life
And I have been waiting
I have been waiting for you
...

JAMIE
...
I could never rescue you
All you ever wanted
But I could never rescue you
No matter how I tried
All I could do was love you hard
And let you go

No matter how I tried
All I could do was love you
God, I loved you so
So we could fight
Or we could wait
Or I could go...

CATHERINE
...
Goodbye until tomorrow!
Goodbye until I'm done thanking God
For I have been waiting
I have been waiting for you
I have been waiting!

JAMIE
Goodbye, Cathy

CATHERINE
I have been waiting for you

JAMIE
Goodbye

CATHERINE
I will keep waiting -
I will be waiting for you

Just close the gate
I'll stand and wait
Jamie...

BOTH
Goodbye ...


Here's someone else at the end of their journey; Hedwig. "Wicked Little Town" (Tommy Gnosis Version), from the movie.



And here's Hedwig's own version from before.



Another favourite show (which I've never seen unfortunately)is "Falsettos". That show is a combination of the latter two parts of William Finn's trilogy "In Trousers", "March of the Falsettos", and "Falsettoland".

These chronicle the lives of the character Marvin, his ex-wife Trina, his boyfriend Whizzer, his psychologist Mendel, and his son Jason. In Trousers shows Marvin confronting his homosexuality, and leaving Trinna for Whizzer. March of the Falsettos has Mendel fall in love with Trina, as Marvin grows closer to his estranged son. Falsettoland tells the story of Jason preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, as Whizzer succumbs to the then unknown disease AIDS, and Marvin grows to accept himself.

Here Marvin and Whizzer have a rather poignant love song (there are a couple of other,even more beautiful ones in the show).



And here is it's the last night of the world, with Simon Bowman and Lea Salonga

Friday, October 20, 2006

Camp As Knickers

Dear old Sir Ian luvy. I met him once, and he wished me well, just before he whisked Billy-Jean King (the original tennis lesbian) away from my side (yes, all true).

And my point is? Well tonight's Halloween movie was X-Men 3 (The Last Stand). Sir Ian, only possibly upstaged in campness by Servelan's unforgettable, Liberator blowing "Full Power"!

My Wycombe



Made it on time. So this is what 95% of my working life over the last 3 years has been about. It took me from one job to another. No other work has consumed so much of my time. This part of the site will be a House of Fraser store connecting to M&S, then a ten screen cinema and 60 unit leisure retail centre.

Fcuk's Sake


Desert Island Disks was so good this morning I find I'm in a real rush to get to the station. Got to get to Marylebone from Islington. The cab is trying to avoid traffic and all these ROADWORKS everywhere. So we are going through all these side streets and I'm being thrown around the back as we go over all these speed bumps. I just hate it. Less than 20 mins to get train now. Oh well...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My English For...

Perhaps it's time to learn some Polish. Last year I did a Czech language swap. It worked out quite well, and I learned a decent amount. With slavik languages it's quite necessary to have a native help you learn, if only for the pronounciation.

So it's off to Gumtree for a language sawp, and well blow me if I'm not inundated with Polish girls wanting to try me. Perhaps they sense a better life-and for sure; look at how many guys are specifically looking for foreign women. Why even the men are at it...here's one of the replies I had:

Hello,

I'm Dominic and I'm just looking for someone well-speaking english - the best would be if you're native (sometimes I have some problems with understanding real english accent) and woman (it's easier to learn when it's pleasantly as well:).
...

Sounds ok? Drop me a line about your needs (regarding your learning of polish:) and lets try.

See you soon

Well I guess it wasn't best for Dominic that I was a bloke.

And the point of my posting? Well tonight's Halloween Horror is the Ring 2. As if 1 wasn't bad enough. It's like watching paint dry, and such a likely scenario.

Tomorrow I'm off to High Wycombe to see how my building project is coming on, and for a couple of project meetings. Originally my meeting was at 9am, which meant getting up at a killer time. Fortunately it's been put back, so I will have a little extra time in bed!

I've got a cold starting, I've got an infected bite from an insect just below my eye from the weekend, and a poisoned finger from pulling out the wick of my nail last night. Not good! So I guess I will have a quiet weekend at home.


My Little Eye

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Vampire -v- Werewolf (And Huge Penis Evolution)

Which would I rather be? Continuing the theme of Halloween postings (and, well, I am watching Cursed).

I'd guess the pain of transformation from man to wolf would be a pain in the butt (magnified ten times over). Think "American Werewolf in London". But the transformation, I am figuring, gives a natural endorphin rush, so good you feel very charged the morning after. And even before, senses heightened, sexually charged...an unnatural sexual alert (well so it seems with these guys in the movie).

But you have to eat your victims... and end up with a hairy back.

As a Vampire, you remain uber-sexy; plain desireable. And you get to wear a swish cape (in velvet with a satin lining). And a big *bling* ring.

So, the point of my posting? Well, yes...larger penises.

According to evolutionary theorist Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics, mankind is going to split in two. And "men will exhibit symmetrical facial features, look athletic, and have squarer jaws, deeper voices and bigger penises". How wonderful!

On the other hand there will be an "underclass" of humans who will have evolved into dim-witted, ugly, squat goblin-like creatures.

Don't hold your breath for that larger penis, though. We have 100,000 years (or so) to wait until this happens.

Read more here.

Gross Movies



It's the season soon to be halloween, and the Sky Box is full of horror.

I recently watched "Hostel". Some of it was gross, but two things:

1 some of the torture scenes arouse.

2 it's not Slovakia. The town is Český Krumlov in the CZ, which is beautiful, and a World Heritage Site. It's also where the porn movie "The Jan Dvořák Story" was filmed, with two from a set of triplets getting it on with JD (who is really Pavel Novotny)!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Iron Chef America

Oh my God, don't Americans suffer any shame? With Sky+ recording some movies I'm a passive viewer. I was watching some Food TV to see what I should treat myself to the weekend. And now this thing...that is Iron Chef USA. Is this the same as Iron Chef America?

Well, quelle surprise, the US version failed! ("Something I've never seen...Iron Chef Lusconis is scoring in a diamond shape on some fois gras, and salting it...it could potentially backfire!) I'm edging (someone needs to update that entry as to its other meaning).

Well, I've caught up on my blog reading. I didn't contribute to blog for life, or whatever it was.

I'm in LOVE with how I'm smelling. I'm still bathing with the blue Molton Brown thing. So good. Try it, you will want to lick yourself. But also as I was tidying I found some of mon C's scent. Some of the LiseWatier stuff. It is very good stuff and I use it on the cat litter! Mmm, fresh.

Anyway I knew there was a point to this posting. While Xfe is away I have my radio on all night, switched low. About 2.30am-3.30am there must be some kind of for schools show. Some of the stuff wakes me up. Last night it was something I've been singing (Sting's "Come Again"), which I think we did first, and before a few weeks ago some spirituals. But it's a strange experience-go sleep with it.

(Meanwhile, on Iron Chef...

"Oh major chocolate tragedy....she needs some protective glasses"

"His florets are not so tightly bunched")

Halloween's Coming

Does anyone remember either of these? I remember them from primary school, vaguely, but enough to Google them...

~ HALLOWEEN ~
By Harry Behn

Tonight is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
Everywhere,
When ghouls and ghost
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
It's Halloween.

I remember this poem was set to music. I can actually remember the tune too. And this one as well...

~ Halloween's Coming ~

Halloween's coming.
Halloween's coming.
Skeletons will be after you.
Witches, cats, and big black bats.
Ghosts and goblins, too.
Flap, flap, flap go the big black bats
Ooooo. Boo!
"Meow, meow, meow," go the ugly cats.
Ooooo. Boo!


I'm not having a halloween party this year; last year's was such a success I can't possibly better it. Fortunately an American friend is having one. Unfortunately, he is insisting on fancy dress.

I was going to go as a Zombie...Xfe can easily do a convincing make-up job (if I get the right materials, because he only gets back on the Saturday of the party). Then on Saturday I realised that I should, of course, go as a Vampire.

So I'm trying to get someone to make me a swish velvet cloak in time. I can wear my dinner suit under it (with a shiny deep purple shirt).

There should be decent enough professional theatre make-up shop in London where I can get vampire teeth from. I've got a fair idea of the transluscent make-up I need to make me look pale and to draw veins over. And I'll need to get a wig-long black hair.

So that's the plan..

Of Unbounded Domesticity

Having survived a weekend of wodka drinking in Warsaw (mmm, and some very delicious food-which surprised me...I was never a fan of CZ cuisine really), I'll be heading home this evening to catch up with some chores. Our cleaner got a proper job, and quit. We never replaced her because Xfe did it all when he was home. But he's in Tel Aviv, and I can't survive the next 10 days without cleaning, washing and ironing. So I'll do what I can this evening, and then maybe just relax and watch some TV. I've a mountain of DVDs to watch and a stack of Sky movies on the HD.

For the first time in 9 weeks I have a free weekend, with nothing-and I mean nothing-organised. I've spent 4 of the last 7 weekends out of the country.

On the one hand, I can't wait to catch up with stuff. Clear out some of the clutter that I hoard, wrap up some presents bought well in advance of Christmas (or maybe just even locate them from their hiding places). I have to be organised well in advance because I'll be seeing my parents and brother on 10 November, and I won't see them again before Christmas. So I'll take up presents for them then.

On the other hand, I'm itching to do something. I've already been looking to see which play or show I can go see. I'm wondering if I can perhaps get a cheap mini-break in France-for some Christmas/seasonal shopping.

But reason tells me I should enjoy the chance to have a lie in. Besides, I don't have another free weekend until 9 December. In between I'm off to Paris, Barcelona, Scotland and having K from Warsaw coming to visit (with BF) for his birthday weekend. And after that more Paris, Cologne and Annecy (so good I appear to have 2 overlapping BA flights booked to go and come back).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Pointless Penny


Here is 1 grosz, pictured next to a 50p coin. There are 100 grosz in a zloty. 1 zloty is equivalent to 20 pence i.e. one fifth of a UK pound sterling. So, the 1 grosz is worth one hundredth of a UK 20p. That's one fifth of a penny. Hmm. I'll try not to spend it all at once.

Soldiers



A few years ago there was a soldier scandal in Prague. Those soldier boys, in order to make a little (ok-rather a lot) more money, did the gay for pay thing, and did it rather well. But these were the honour guard. The cream of CZ military. Here are some Polish soldiers at the tomb of the unknowns. I don't know if the picture shows it, but they have fiercely piercing steel blue eyes.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Here We Are


Taniec Wampirow

Remembering The Resistance


This is part of a much larger statue honouring the Resistance. It is very striking. In the short time that I have been here, it seems Poland has a lot of baggage.

Downtown Warsaw


This city is not what I expected at all. It is very modern. 80% of Warsaw was destroyed in the war by the Nazis and has been rebuilt. Even the Old Town isn't! The amount of destruction is mindblowing. We had a late and indulgent night last night...as the mobile posts probably show. We did tired clubs. The scene here is still rather underground. One of the polish doctors wanted to write. I have no idea what it says. Anyway, just a couple of hours until Vampires Dance.

Fake!


Tourists beware. Vita 2005 taxis are fake. Double price.

Gay Club



In Poland they are a little behind. We have to go through security to get to gay bar.

jak sie masz?

szukam kogos do ostrego




witam na mojej stronie

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Too Involved?

Arrived to an empty home this evening. Xfe is in Paris, leaving for Tel Aviv Saturday, for 2 weeks. He left me some halloween goodies (although he's back in time), and instructions. I don't know how I managed to load/unload the dishwasher, organise and actually wash my laundry and feed myself before we lived together! Mon C is very domesticated. And it's a treat. He cooks lovely mediterranean cuisine. He "tends" to our home-and has just discovered (having bought a super steam iron) that he enjoys the ironing, finding it relaxing.

I'll pack for Warsaw tomorrow. I find the airport experience almost unmanageable now. I have no idea now how long I should give myself. Last time I went to Gatwick it took me longer to get through the airport-from fast baggage drop (I'd checked in on-line), security and into the departure lounge-than it did to get from our flat to Gatwick airport.

I've bought M&S speciality sausages and bacon at K's request, to bring to him in Poland. I figure I'd better chech it in just in case the sausage is somehow classed as a potential explosive. And I found out that coming back from Poland NO hand luggage is currently allowed-Polish government. Bugger-there's a risk that all the Buffalo (or is it Bison) wodka I'm bringing back will smash!

Work has finally picked up, and I'm frantically busy. So no more correspondence with Agnes C. Poirier, or the organisers of the London-Paris "debate" about refunding the ticket price. Although referred to in PR stuff as a debate, the organisers billed it as a "discussion". Hence I'll not be insisting on a refund for getting a banana when I thought I was buying an apple. Best thing really. It was getting too involved.

Mmm. I smell good! I use Molton Brown bath, shower and grooming products. I use their vitamin lipsaver, and typically their invigorating suma ginseng bath & shower, and their even more warming eucalyptus bath & shower therapy. We also use naran ji handwash and soothing hand lotion.Recently someone gifted me a set which included blissful templetree bath and shower gel. Because of it's colour I'd never have picked it up. But, my, how delicious it smells.

Which got me thinking...what *does* the gayest gay use by way of grooming product-Molton Brown, Origins, something else?

And which underwear does he wear-aussieBum, Calvin's or other?

Is it too late for a glass of wine before bed?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wampirow!


This caught my eye in the news today. It's Roman Polanski and actress Sylvia Lambertoni promoting the latest production of the musical "Tanz der Vampire" (Dance of the Vampires), which premieres in Berlin in December (although the show is already well known and has been successful in Germany).
The show is based on Polanski's 1967 film, "The Fearless Vampire Killers", which also features Sharon Tate.

[Sharon Tate married Polanski in London in early 1968. Just over one and a half years later, at just over 8 months pregnant, she was murdered horrifically at her home along with four others, by members of the Charles Manson "Family"].

Polanski directed the original musical production, and is the artistic director of the Polish version ("Taniec Wampirow"), which I'm off to see in Warsaw on Saturday night.

A production in Japan premiered this July, and after Berlin, there's going to be a production in Hungary scheduled to open in 2007.

The broadway version, starring Michael Crawford, was a big flop. It started its lengthy preview run in 2002, with a premiere in October that year. It closed the following January. The broadway version was re-written, with more focus on comedy (perhaps trying to build on the success of Mel Brook's "The Producers"), which simply failed to work.

Anyway, there's a handy history here on Wikipedia for anyone who wants to find out more.

Agnès Poirier-Revue Et Corrigée

On Sunday I blogged about Agnès Poirier's poor show at the Paris-London debate. On Monday I revisited the post, removing references to her "shameful" performance, after she left a comment totally agreeing with me. I felt sorry for her when she revealed it was a "near death" experience. Her sunny smile in this picture, taken from her website, miles away from how she must have felt on Sunday, also warmed me a little!

She has now written about the event in her Guardian blog here (I'll be one of the people she mentions who thought her performance "pathetic"), prompting her to conclude that humour is the only topic taken seriously in Britain.

I think Agnès might also have had time to reflect on her experience in the cold light of day, to attempt to rationalise exactly what happened to her. And like me, she might have revisited her thoughts on the matter.

Hmm. Agnès writes of AA Gill:

"He absolutely refused to be serious".


But what did she expect-the debate was, after all, entitled "50 ways to loathe the French, Cinquantes façons de hair les rosbifs". It was also closing a weekend of events. I can't imagine that the debate was intended to be anything other than light-hearted.

The title of the debate is conspicuously absent in her article! Instead she gives it an air of gravitas simply referring to it as a "Paris-London" debate at the Royal Geographic Society. I think had she referred to it by name, it would have seriously undermined her argument.

She goes on to say:

"I tried to engage".


Sitting three rows from the front, directly in line with Ms. Poirier, I have to disagree. She never engaged with the audience. Her first offering was spoken with her sitting far back into her seat, well out of the range of the microphone. Rather like La Streisand's experience, this resulted in some heckling, with members of the audience instructing her to speak up into the microphone.

Perhaps this put her off-although she was clearly feeling awkward from the start. She never once sat facing the audience (unlike the chairman and AA Gill). Instead she looked at them for the whole of the debate.

I suspect her poor performance was to do with a sense of feeling completely overwhelmed and/or stagefright.

She thinks AA Gill was a bully. I'm not so sure he came over as that. He was enjoying the audience enjoying him. He-and the chairman-gave Agnès ample opportunity to profer her view or retort. It just seemed that it wasn't in her.

In fairnes to Agnès, if the debate was in her native language, AA Gill might have coped less well.

Oh La La Streisand

Barbra's back on a 20 gig charity tour, after a 12 year absence. And they're all a sell out, of course.

Monday night's show at New York's Madison Square Gardens, had a rather awkward moment though...For whatever reason part of her act included a sketch with a George W. Bush impersonator, portraying W as a bumbling fool.

There were quite a number of loud jeers during the sketch, and some of the audience let it be known that they were there to hear her sing, and not express her political views.

"Come on, be polite!" offered Barbra as the sketch progressed. But some hecklers persisted until La Streisand exploded and told them to "Shut the fcuk up...Shut up if you can't take a joke".

She later apologised.

Hmm. I wonder if anyone got it for YouTube?

Time Flies

Xfe is off on his travels again tomorrow. To Tel Aviv, via Paris, where he's working for Chanel. Before the end of the year he's got 4 more trips to make-Israel, Turkey, Moscow and Bucharest.

At first it might seem very glamorous-working in the fashion industry, private cars business class flights and top class hotels. But it's a job, he tires of travelling. We're apart, and when he's home the last thing he wants to do is go on a mini-break with me.

But, it does mean he accrues plenty of airmiles and hotel points so that when we do travel together, we can go in luxury!

Au revoir mon C.

More Things Which Annoy Me...

I'm not sure why, but I've become more sensitive to garlic "breath". I'm beginning to find it rather offensive. I don't mean the direct whiff you get when you're up close to someone (as unpleasant as that may be), rather the lingering cloud that hangs around people who tend to exhale deeply from their mouth.

I've smelled it on the bus, from people sitting behind, and in the gym during cycle classes. There's nothing to do other than open the window (on the bus) or move seat/bike.

Which reminds me, it's even more offensive travelling upstairs on a crowded bus when it's wet, from autumn onward. People close the windows, their body heat causing the damp to steam up inside. Gads.

Strange thoughts in the middle of the day...perhaps it's because I've been holding on HM Custom's and Revenue's Stamp Duty Land Tax helpline for about 18 minutes having already spoken to one operator, having waited to get through to her.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Big Hair



I posted about the premiere of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-The Musical.

There are the boys...

Fifty Ways To Hate The French

Last night we went to the closing "debate" of the IQ2 London-Paris festival. Entitled "50 Ways To Hate the French", and slightly tongue in cheek.

It featured author Agnès Catherine Poirier v AA Gill.

It was all rather one sided. From the start, something was wrong with ACP. She never faced the audience once, sitting side on, looking only at the chairman, or AA Gill.

She never challenged him, was unable to answer questions, and when questioned directly, frequently just asked AA Gill what he thought. All rather strange.

After plenty of this, she was boo-ed by the audience, to shouts of "answer the question".

And instead of signing her book afterwards, she rushed off....

She has a blog here, so perhaps she'll mention it!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thoughts Provoked-2

The other day Bobby mentioned the news item on a "gay orgy", held in Chelsea, west London where an unfortunate coked out person fell to their death from a roof terrace.

Despite host German aristocrat Count Gottfried von Bismarck testifying in court that he had not seen any homosexual activity, evidence from the police doctor that one room of the apartment contained a "bizarre'' assortment of items including a large rubber tarpaulin on the floor, towels, lubricants, bottles of vodka, buckets of sex toys and a TV set up to show pornograph, led him to conclude that "In common parlance, in the early hours of the morning, there was a gay orgy going on''.

Bobby poses some thoughts and questions on orgy etiquette (including a more fundamental one that I'd I heard a couple of guys discuss on the bus).

I reckon most guys probably fantasise about attending an orgy. I know I have thought about it.

Could I actually bring myself to get naked in a room with loads of other blokes and have sex with most of them? I'm not sure if I could.

What if you walk in and see the most hottest bloke in the world getting his ass pounded by someone smelly, elderly, overweight and with a hairy back?

...And what if you see someone who you find totally unattractive but who starts making the moves on you. Are you at liberty to say; "sorry mate, but no..."

I guess when it comes to an orgy you have to basically leave all your clothes and emotions at the door.

If I really had to, I don't know if I could do that. Could you?

Hmm.

I think it depends on the type of orgy you want to attend.

There's what I'd refer to as the orgy "by invite", where there is a screening process, to ensure that all guys are "hot". The invite can be the whisper in your ear when you're out clubbing, to come back with a group of guys. It can be an on-line invite. Showing here, for example.

Then there's the "open orgy", where you take the rough with the smooth, as it were.

They're both about sex, of course. But let me suggest that the open orgy is for the sex functionary, where the focus is the sex, and simply the sex. Where the emotion (love=sex=love) is divorced from the physical function. There's still a "mental" element of course, which might have to do with debasing yourself-whether by reason of having your body on offer for many, or by reason of having your body on offer to "overweight and hairy back[ed]" guys.

At the open orgy the sex might become more extreme-rubber tarpaulin and buckets of sex toys, anyone?

The orgy "by invite" is more focussed on the physicality of its participants. The sex is by way of tribute to (also read worship of) facial or body beauty. There's a certain narcissism, and a degree of insecurity. Because it's about the body beautiful, the sex tends to be strictly vanilla.

For some people there's an evolution. And that's when you will "see the most hottest bloke in the world getting his ass pounded by" someone you might think rather undesireable.

Oh, and according to Wikipedia it takes 4 or more to orgy-gay or straight!

The IQ2 London-Paris Festival

This weekend the l'Institut Français and the Royal Geographic Society are hosting a series of debates and discussions involving leading intellectual and political figures from both sides of the Channel, considering issues such as:

Is French foreign policy, and in particular its stance on Iraq, defined by any principle other than self-advantage?

And:

Why are French philosophers so handsome, hirsute and hip compared to British ones?

It's the IQ2 London-Paris Festival.

This evening friends are taking us to one of the closing events, a discussion between AA Gill and Agnès Catherine Poirier-"50 ways to loathe the French (Cinquante façons de hair les rosbifs)".

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Here At Last


Is it too early to put up our halloween decorations? Anyway we're off to see the wizard, and some witches.

Thoughts Provoked-1

A couple of postings (thoughts on the other one to follow) had me thinking recently...

There's a rather horrible ending to a happy event experienced here by GBL.

We should never loose sight that while we enjoy a comfortable, civilised status here in the London, it's less easy for gays elsewhere to be who they are. There are still battles to be won.

I remember, maybe about 8 years ago when I was still in Scotland, I got a call from someone who had been referred to me from the Gay Switchboard (I did pro bono stuff for them). He had been dropping his boyfriend off at the airport. Before he got out of the car, he turned to give his BF a goodbye kiss. I don't even think it was a snog. Just a farewell peck. Next thing, two policemen are knocking on the window. They are told to get out of the car and to come to the station in the airport, where they are quizzed, bullied and cautioned. Fucking outrageous. I told the guy that he had nothing to worry about. There was nothing that he had done wrong. Technically, the police could have tried a breach of the peace, but if they did I advised that it would have been very difficult to substantiate, and even if they did I doubted that the fiscal (Scottish equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service) would feel inclined to prosecute.

In fact, I told him that he should be writing to the Chief Constable to complain (who, incidentally, had a rather dishy gay son I'd dated a couple of times). The behaviour of the police was bang out of order. Obviously they were bored (and twisted), and just wanted a bit of fun. Of course, he didn't want to do this.

In turn, this reminds me of when I was a trainee lawyer and I had to go to Shetland to precognose (take witness statements) from 3 policemen, in connection with charges that had been brought against a client.

The first thing was that they had (deliberately I suspect) arranged the most inconvenient and unsociable times for me to see them. Apparently I could only see one of then at 3am, and then the next one at 7am the same morning, having had 36 hours since seeing the first one. It denied me a good sleep, and kept me in Shetland for 3 days...at the client's expense of course. What wicked and twisted ways the police operate.

However the most shocking thing was that one of them plain lied to me...In the middle of taking his statement, he changed his mind about something. Having told me that at one point during her detention and questioning by the police Mrs X said she felt unwell and requested to see a doctor (as the others had confirmed), when I went over this again, he changed his mind. When I pointed out that a minute ago he had told me she had requested to see a doctor, but now he was saying that she had not, he repeated that was correct-she had not.

The thing is that it wasn't in the least part significant (he seemed to think so, however). But I just remember being blown away that obviously-to me and to him-this policeman had lied to me, as part of his witness statement that was being taken for Court purposes!

Because of this experience I *never* trust the police.

Hangover

The great thing about a fine champagne is that it's delicious. The bad thing is, that 6 bottles later (and champagne cocktails) it gives you a killer hangover. I have that still slightly drunk feeling this morning. God I hate it...and mon C (aka Xfe) is still in bed.

Anyway, good friend J (I know him from Aberdeen) and his partner KC were round for dinner last night. J works for a magic circle law firm, and is on the partnership track. So he works hard, and consequently plays hard. He's a litigator.

He met his partner in Singapore when he was seconded there for a few years. In part, we were celebrating KC's obtaining residency in the UK, based on their relationship. It was an uphill struggle (of course), but come the day and the trip to the Home Office in Croydon, they had a rather nice lady and the application was a success!

I've lost track of what time they left. But, as I didn't wake up until 9.30am, it must have been very late.

My, what a beautiful day it is here in London (even though it's a crisp 13.8C).

Today is a big day. We are off to see Wicked, for the first time. I'm terribly excited. I chose this weekend for the first visit months ago. I wanted to wait until the previews had run, and the show had premiered. It's a very technical show, and as I thought there might be, there have been problems during the previews. I can't wait to see Idina Menzel, and I will be totally gutted if for some reason (8 shows a week unless ill) she's not on tonight.

Before we go, we have to watch the Wizard of Oz. Xfe has never seen it. Imagine that. He doesn't know what a "friend of Dorothy" is, nor the relevance of not being in Kansas anymore. And he's never seen those ruby slippers! He needs a crash course before we go, otherwise a lot of the show is going to be lost on him, I fear.

So yesterday Xfe bought the DVD. And look at how it's been repackaged, to sell off the back of Wicked's success!



Tomorrow we're catching up with another university friend and his partner, and we're off to the Royal Geographic society for a lecture by AA Gill..."Fifty Ways To Hate the French"!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday (Wishing It Was Friday)

  1. We celebrated Xfe's birthday on Tuesday with champagne, a Dalek chocolate cake and a trip to Mary Poppins, his favourite show and one of my least favourites. Well, I took him there on our first date, and thought that he'd enjoy a return visit. Practically perfect, apart from annoying children scattered throughout. They are just not interested, and why take them out late on a school night. A few were stretched out sleeping before the end...
  2. Went to Bevis Marks, a kosher restaurant (a first for me) yesterday, for lunch. I thought it was rather overpriced, and I was still left hungry after my thai shredded salt beef starter and smoked haddock main. I didn't think it was that special, BUT I was amazed at how my host seemed to know the majority of the other Jewish diners.
  3. Have friends coming for dinner tomorrow night. Because I'll have been in the office I need something easy to cook, so it will be delicious kedgeree. More smoked haddock. And more champagne.
  4. My best friend (KC) has safely settled in Warsaw, and is happier than he was expecting. He's become head of something or other for central eastern europe at an international property advsor. Sadly it means no more last minute weekends in CZ. Instead I'll be spending my spare zloty in Poland.
  5. Tomorrow morning I've got training on financial awareness. Like I need it. But at least all the morning will slip by.
  6. What am I yearning? I've bought some lego for me to play with from the lego online shop. Maybe it's because Halloween's approaching...and I really wanted to get the Arkham Asylum, which I thought would make a spooky decoration.



Hair-The Movie

Having never seen the movie version from start to finish, I decided that it was about time-especially after thinking about the show recently.

The movie version (made in 1979) is slightly different from the stage production. The most significant difference concerns the character of Claude Bukowski. In the stage version he is one of the hippies. In the movie version, he's a cowboy from Oklahoma who has come to New York having been drafted to fight in Vietnam. There he befriends the hippies before going off to army training.

The change is a significant one in relation to the resolution of the plot-and makes for an ending with rather more of an impact than the stage version.

One thing that struck me immediately was the similar themes which Hair and Rent both share. Set in New York (Hair is, mainly), focussing on a group of hippies/bohemians, both with something to protest about. Both offering something of and for their generation.



If you really enjoyed the movie version of Rent, then it might be worth having a look at the movie version of Hair.

There's a re-mastered version on DVD with an English (and German)5.1 soundtrack (see the cover pictured). Go for that rather than the original release with the stereo soundtrack.



Berger:

(what a Treat)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Survive A Plane Crash

Here's an interesting stat:

In the US alone, between 1983 and 2000, there were 568 plane crashes. Out of the collective 53,487 people onboard, 51,207 survived.

Last night BBC2's Horizon showed their Survivors Guide To Plane Crashes. (We were out so I saved it on Sky+ to watch later).

I'm a fairly frequent flyer, but certainly not as frequent as Xfe (mon C).

The one question that everyone wants answered of course is which seat fairs best for plane crash survival.

Mercedes Johnson survived the American Airlines Flight 965 which crashed into a Colombian mountain in 1995. Out of 159 onboard, only four lived. Ms Johnson believes where she sat played a role in her survival.

"The location where we were sitting was over the wing which was near the exit row and I've heard on numerous occasions that those rows are one of the safest areas to sit in because it's the most reinforced with metal," said Ms Johnson.

However, if there's an engine fire, well it's probably not going to be the best place to be...

Priscilla-The Musical

Finally it is happening to me,
right in front of my face
and I just cannot hide it...

Another quick heads-up, this time for anyone down under in Sydney, just in case it might have passed you by (as if)!

Priscilla Queen of the Desert-The Musical (based on the movie) has its World Premiere this Friday, at the Lyric Theatre Star City.

Good News: I've access to a ticket to the premiere and the after show party.
Bad News: It's just too far to go for the weekend.

So, if any of you down under guys are off to join Mitzi, Felicia and Bernadette as they head west across the desert to Alice Springs in the battered old bus, be sure to let me know how it is.

And if you're not down under, you can find out more from the official website here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Avenue Q-Cruisaid Fundraiser


Just a heads up...

The guys from Avenue Q are doing a special Midnight Show for West End Cares which is Part of Crusaid the HIV Charity.

The Show is on the 23rd October, tickets are priced from £15.00 up to £30.00.

Curtain up at 11.30pm.

You can book phoning the box office direct on 0870 850 9175.

Catch Up

A quick catch up...

Friday night I was held up at the office, so didn't get to go to the theatre. Yet another wasted ticket. I came home, pretty tired and unenthused (earlier C. had told me that there had been a cock up with his flights, so he wouldn't be arriving home until 8am Sunday). So I spent the remains of the evening in front of the pc, looking to see if mon C was on Skype, and otherwise amusing myself in an Avenue Q kind of way.

Had a disturbed sleep that night. I'm a light sleeper...as my body was feeling rather achey, so when I turned the ache sometimes woke me up for a brief moment. Then the rain, the heaviest rain I ever heard, woke me up about 5.30am. The thunder was freaking out the white cat, so I had to get up to reassure her slightly, and that was me awake.

Went to the gym, bought some food, spent the afternoon cooking, and saw Evita (probably for the last time) in the evening. I don't need to comment on it again...I've blogged about it already.

Because C. was scheduled to be out of town I'd promised to take someone along with me for their first London theatre visit. Unfortunately when Xfe (new shorthand for mon C) told me he would be back I told original guest that Xfe was probably returning early so would be able to come, and to feel free to make alternative plans pending absolute confirmation. When Xfe told me he would not get home until 8am Sunday, it was too late to ask original guest to uspet his schedule, but I managed to find another a buddy to go with me, and the second ticket didn't go to waste.

By the end of the show I had a killer headache (probably too dehydrated from earlier efforts in the day). Had a quick after show drink with R in the Retro Bar. Bar Acuda seems to have closed for business suddenly (well, it did always seem rather quiet).

Went straight to bed when I arrived home.

Sunday morning I woke up about 8.30am, feeling very refreshed, and excited. Xfe arrived about 10am, and after little affection, I let him doze for the rest of the morning and early afternoon.

Yesterday was a work at home kind of day, and in the evening I had to drag myself over to Camden to practice some Christmas stuff for the Barbican and Cologne.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Links Update

Mon C, back from Saudi is in bed, sleeping. I'm sitting here, windows and doors wide open, in my aB OUT underwear enjoying the freshness, but feeling slightly guilty-it was 45 in Saudi and mon C did comment that he was cold, but perhaps only because he was tired.

Weather station tells me it's 17.7C outside...but it's grey, wet and windy. Yup, October's here (hmm, when *will* we turn on the central heating?)

Anyway, I thought that it was time to update some of my links. Some have changed over (due to blogger beta, I think, but I just don't get it...), some no longer seem to post, and other's I've been reading for a while but only recently have got round to linking.

First up there"s Bobby's Body. He posted about giving up on his blog...so about a week later I was going to remove the link, and czeched for one last time. Thankfully, he had a change of heart. Maybe I'll see him at the gym and not realise it's him, well not unless he starts wanking in the shower or farting.

Then there's the Pirate King aka the Coterie of Zombies. CZ (as in CotZomb, not CZech) is, I think, heading off to Sweden to live, and he like's his art stores. Well, he is an artist. He did pick up from one of my posts that there was a new art superstore here in Angel, but I'm not sure if he found it. The Coterie of Zombies: Walking back to the Angel. Here is, rubbing ripe, juicy tomato all over himself. What people will do for their art (or someone elses).



D.U.P is the artist formerly known as DOWNUNDERPANTS, and currently showing the latest Gods of Stad Francais (and their invitees). Showing here (yes, another musical line/reference).

Then there is The project 76 blog. I only just happened upon it and without reading any of it had to link because his first post of Octoberhas a pic of Adric. Long live the Cybermen!

yarravillepaul came to my attention because he left various comments on my blog. Another Melbourner, his is a mix of nice pix, and personal feelings. Like me, he's admitted to feeling blue, though as he's in a different hemisphere it can't be bacause of the summer autumn season change.

Another southern hemispherer who's here and queer is Ziggy of Stardust, who I'm guessing is a 33 yo Aussie, soon to be returning home? But he is very popular, with huge amounts of CP (Comments Posted) by RBR (Regular Blog Readers), and he also has a BC. I never did find out if he had viewed C.R.A.Z.Y. (czechOUT: Bonus Time/C.R.A.Z.Y.).

How could I forget Gay Banker? We all dip in from time to time (well, not literally). Gayer than Belle du Jour? You bet!

Tajemství-Introducing Daniel Landa

Previously I've introduced the troika of Czech Divas, Hana and Helena and Lucy. Now it's the turn of the guys.

I have to admit that the latest batch of CZ musicals are my favourite. Yes there will always be "You Are My Lord" from Dracula, and Janek Ledecký's Hamlet.

However I'm very impressed by Obraz Doriana Graye (yes, it's the Oscar Wilde novel, which was very well re-told by Will Self, as Dorian-well worth a read).

But I'm even more impressed by Tajemství.

Now, this is where I come slightly unstuck. My CZ is extremely limited. So, I've tried to understand what I can, to put together my understanding of what it might be about. I may be completely off ball...in which case I'm hoping MM or some other CZ reader might post a comment to put me right!

At first I thought "Tajemství" meant mysterious, or thereabouts. (Here lies the first problem for non CZ speakers; it's not as straightforward as looking up the dictionary. Czech has 7 cases (and 3 genders). Sometimes the case looks nothing like the main-nominativ (I think)-form. So that means certain words can appear something like 11 different ways).

In my slovnik (dictionary) I find "tajemnost"=mysteriousness; "tajemn/y"=mysterious, mystery.

Also, there is a CZ movie, :TAJEMSTVI HRADU V KARPATECH" which translates as THE MYSTERIOUS CASTLE IN THE CARPATHIANS.

It's based on the novel, Le Château des Carpathes by Jules Verne:

In the 1800s, a baron, who is the owner of a castle known as The Devil's Castle and who is also an obsessed opera fan, keeps the body of his favorite diva preserved in a crypt in the castle. In order to keep away potentially nosy visitors, the baron's mad-scientist assistant, invents all sorts of spooky phenomena in order to give the castle a creepy reputation.

But in this case, the dictionary actually has an entry for "tajemstv/i", which means secret. So, literally, the musical is called "Secret". Yet, the cover of the CD depicts a castle against a background of snowcovered mountains.


Listening yields only a few clues. I recognise a few words, but most obviously (and 3 times) there's "Lykantropie". Without even looking it up, I'm assuming it means lycanthropy. And sure enough the CD cover has a full moon behind the castle, and the castle is guarded by the statue of two wolves.

So I think the musical has something to do with werewolves. And when I look again (well, 3 times again) I notice there are eyes in the clouds on which the moon casts it's light, rather like one of Francis Ford Coppola's scenes also set in the Carpathians, in his "Dracula".

So, I'm back to thinking it's more "mysterious" than "secret".

From the pics on the CD book, it looks rather contemporary. So, my conclusion:

Some college aged kids happen upon this castle, while treking in the Carpathians, which happens to be the Devil's Castle. They may tell each other frightening stories, but ultimately there's a real horror, and it's a werewolf. The past haunts and catches up with the present.

I know very little of Daniel Landa (the composer), but here is his video of "Tajemství", albeit not the version that appears in the musical. (In fact the musical version is harder and much rock harder). Although it's a theme that recurrs in the show it appears as "Mrtví už nic nepoví/Hraj s námi hru"


(A cloaked Daniel Landa(?) wandering the streets of Prague)

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