Friday, November 18, 2011

2011 Bear Party Wrap-up

Saturday was another amazing turn out for BEEF!   I want to thank our sponsors Gay Calgary and the fantastic staff of The Junction for helping us have a great time and raise some money for HIV Edmonton.   I also wanted to thank all of our volunteers who kindly put in the time to help make Beef one of the best bear events in Canada.
 
I also wanted to thank all of you who came out to the events and donated.  We managed to raise $930 dollars for charity last time this puts the 2011 total for money raised by the BEEF Bear Bashes to about $3400.00.   I know this money makes a big difference to the charities we donate to. This year we supported Queer Prom, Millicent's Red Diamond Retreat and HIV Edmonton.  I have included below a picture of all of the food and treats your donations purchased for the Queer Prom.  


In the spirit of supporting local charities I have received notification that the Edmonton Pride Centre is in desperate need and is attempting to raise $20,000  to help it get back up and running after an arson set fire to the building.   You can donate to the centre here.

2011 has been our best year yet and we have some really awesome and new things planned for 2012.   2012 FAB cards will be available online at beefbearbash.com starting next week for $10.  We will be mailing them out before the first event of 2012.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grim

There are days where everything seems wrong with the world.  Nothing but bad news on the nets and frustrating situations at work.

Sometimes human beings really suck.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Buried but not dead

Is this blog dead?  Did I fall off a cliff or get locked in some daddy bear's dungeon?

The blog is not dead and neither am I.  I apologize for the lack of posting.  

I have picked the worst time ever to take a break from drinking and detox because I could really use a beer right now.   Sober october has turned into a month from hell.  All the late nights at work are really taking a toll on me.  

I had some contracted developers deliver some software to me on Monday after about 4 months of work and it is a bit of a mess.  

I am working my ass off to survive the next while as we transition out some key individuals who are retiring.  This means I will likely be a VP before christmas.  It also means that I won't have a lot of time for blogging for the next month or two.

Plus most of the time I feel like my brain is about to melt out of my ears I am so burnt out.  

Things otherwise are good.

Here are some things I would have blogged about if I had time rapid-fire style:
  • I bought a pair of Vibrams five fingers.  They are awesome.  It is amazing what a different experience walking in them is.  You feel so much more connected to the ground and your surroundings.
  • American Horror Story is my new favourite show.  You need to be watching this late at night with the lights off.  Jessica Lang tears the hell out of every scene she is in.  I never would have thought the guy behind glee was capable of such fucked-uppery.
  • Fringe's new season is as good as ever.
  • Fable 3 is very disappointing. My least favourite of the 3.  They did improve the sex sounds however in a funny way so that is something.
  • Not a huge fan of IO5 or lion.  I will say the back to my mac feature is the coolest fucking thing I have dealt with in a long time.  It made me feel like I was living in the future.
  • Apple TV's are only worth it if you jailbreak them and install media player apps like plex.
  • The fella and I are looking at new condos.  I am tired of living underneath an ancient insane german couple and hearing every sound in the hallway.
I will try and do a bit more on here as time permits.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recovery

This week was supposed to be a week of reflection of detox and rest.  The weddings were both wonderful in very different ways.   It was so much fun reconnecting with my friends from my ill spent youth.  

I have learned a few things.   The irish can party like no other group I have seen.  Half the first wedding's group flew over from the green isle and spent it partying balls to the wall in Canmore and Banff.  I am sure some of them didn't sleep for the whole trip.  If you don't sleep you can't get hungover!

The fella and I had a mountain chalet to ourselves that we took great advantage of.  We had friends staying in units all around us. It really felt like a homecoming.   We are all growing up and growing old so quickly.   Yet when we are all together it is hard not to feel a little bit of that infamous invincibility of youth again.  

So many friends taking the plunge and committing to each other these days.  We had 6 this summer to go to.  I feel like they are all joining this cult and the pressure is on for Greg and I to follow suit.  It is almost insidious how the hypothetical conversations turn into realistic discussions about tying the knot. All with very supportive newly married friends standing around encouraging every step!

My liver, ulcer and waistline really took a beating.  I managed to aggravate things last night by going out for wings and beer with the cubs.  I may actually have to cut off the booze and bad food before my birthday next week and bump up my plans for a sober wedding free october. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Here comes the brides

I am leaving town tomorrow.  This weekend is the wedding of two of my best friends in Banff.  The weekend after is another wedding of two of my other best friends also in Banff.  Because it is mostly the same groups of people going to both we all decided to take the week off between and hang out in the mountains while we celebrate some joyous unioning.

This would all be good and fine but I feel like I have a million things I need to do before I leave tomorrow.  Work is insane right now.  I am MCing the second wedding and I  have no fucking clue what I am going to be doing.  Also the fella is going to be at another friends wedding this weekend so I won't see him till Sunday.

This will be the longest we have been apart (4 days) I think since he moved in.  I am sooo co-dependent its sick.

I think its going to be a really fantastic time.  But its going to be expensive and a lot of work as well.  I am not even really involved and I can not fathom doing all the work these girls are.

On the weekend the fella and I had a discussion about the logistics and realties we will face if we end up getting married and it was enough to make me want to run away and elope to avoid all the work, silliness and expense of getting married.

Monday, August 22, 2011

You Did Good Jack. You will be missed.

Jack Layton leader of the NDP and fearless advocate for canadian minorities and workers has passed away after a battle with cancer.

The most well liked canadian political leader and the one with the best facial hair :D will be impossible to replace.  It feels like a punch to the stomach today.  He was such a good man.

Rest in peace Jack you did an amazing service to your country and to the world.  Thank you for your service.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Praise the lord and pass the ammunition

Every morning I pass the @edmontonsun newsstand and I wince.  

If you were to judge Edmonton based solely on the headlines of the sun you would think we had fallen into total violent anarchy.

I had a much loved social studies teacher in high school once tell me that people should only read the Sun for the stereo ads. Reading the alarmist bombastic headlines every morning as I walk to work I am realizing more and more how correct he was.  

If it wasn't the fear mongering and consistent misrepresentation of life in this city, its the blatant editorializing of the news.  More and more it seems to me that the sun is not a paper about news in Edmonton but a publishing arm of a conservative think tank.   

I understand that all papers and journalists have a political bias of some sort but few are as blatant as the sun.  After the chief of police put forth his plan to deal with the perceived spike in homicides (fuelled by sloppy reporting and punditry which has been debunked by this great site here and here) they splashed a message on the front page under the headline about how they had doubts about the plan.  (Note: The Edmonton Journal has not been much better on crime reporting front here so it is not just the Sun at fault). Now editorialize all you want but you should keep that shit on the editorial or blog pages not splashed in bold on the front page. 

I have a theory that this is all part of a neo-conservative effort to engender a culture of fear in us.

Michael Moore touched on this way back when in his bowling for columbine documentary.   He looked at the difference in gun culture and deaths in the US compared to Canada and then in the differences between how the news media in the two countries talk about crime.  Canadians it seemed were missing that critical element of fear.  

To modern conservatives fear is a critical element of political discourse.  Fear creates an Us Vs. Them mentality.  It is that mentality that is at the heart of conservatism today.  One of the cons major talking points in the last election was about how they were going to get tough on crime even though crime rates had already been dropping steadily for decades.  Talking about it makes some people think its a problem because no one is going to go to the trouble to look up the actual statistics and most newsrooms are too lazy to break it down for people.  

As a gay man who has been constantly vilified and accused of trying to destroy Canadian society and ruin the Canadian family by conservatives I am intimately familiar with this Us Vs. Them tactic.  Thankfully Canada didn't fall for it last time and I hope we do not fall for it again.

So here you have conservative politicians fabricating a problem to work a political angle just like it did with the gays.  Then magically the conservative newspapers start filling in that story constantly every day with such vigour and hyperbole that anyone would be crazy to disagree with it.  It just smells fishy to me.

Now I am not saying this is some big conspiracy by the right to terrify us but I will say the current leaders of the cons have taken a lot of moves from the playbook of the republicans in the states.   These are people who love power and a population that is terrified will almost always be willing to give up more than they should for protection.  Just look at the UK right now and the US after 911.   

I feel this culture of fear will keep getting pushed down our throats until it becomes an every day part of our lives.  Lock the doors grab the guns and your bible there are roving gangs out there and pray to Stephen Harper that he can save us from it all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck

I don't know why the universe is trying to blind me in my right eye but this shit really needs to stop. I am going to just wear goggles everywhere I think.

On the way to work a bird managed to shit right in my eye.  The guy must have been a sniper as it managed to shit right between my glasses and my eye.  A one in a million shot.  I was too far to run home and had to use my sock to wipe up my face.

I though someone threw an egg at me there was just so much of it.

This is the same eye that went zombie almost a year ago and has been irritated and angry every since.

Seriously universe lay off the eye.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Music time

What happens when you mix a fucking awesome Canadian band with one of the best electronic artists around?

This.   Which also happens to be a personal anthem ;).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Down the rabbit hole

Things are a bit weird for me right now.  After winning the battle with my anxiety for so long I can feel it creeping back up into my day to day life. 

Its small things taken separately would be un-noticable.  Each one a small chip in my armour that I use to get through life.  Little things like:
  • Having to go back and check to see if I locked the front door or closed the patio door.
  • Partying too hard and ignoring my own limits.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Imaginary illnesses.  I keep worrying my eyes are getting infected to the point where I was carrying around polysporin eye drops (not to use but "just in case" just to make me feel better).
  • General short temperedness.
  • Random talking to myself (this is the worst one and can be so embarrassing). 
  • Additionally my stutter seems to be popping up more and more.
There has been a lot happening in my life.  Fighting with my neighbours, the bear party fund raiser, crazy work adding on a ton of responsibilities, home renos, mexico trip disasters and weddings are all starting to weigh me down. 

I don't know how much of this is related to the jellyfish venom.  I do know it messed up my body significantly for a little bit.  I just know I am slipping a bit back to how I was in university.  It is not a good feeling.  

I am not sure what I can do get back on solid ground.  I am hoping working out more will help and some r & r this weekend.   Greg has been so good about it and I really don't want him to have to put up with a super anxious ocd boyfriend for much longer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cabo trip 2011

Well i have officially unpacked my bags and my brain from our lightening fast vacation to cabo san lucas.

The fella went there for a conference for work.  His company was kind enough to pay for my airfare and hotel as his plus one.

The trip was a bit of a roller-coaster.  We got to have some delicious drinks in town and I got to do a ton of relaxing on the beach.

I managed to read most of Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente.  The book was totally amazing. It was like reading poetry.  The authors descriptors are so vivid it was easy to get caught up into the narrative.  The story is hard to describe but  it includes traditional slavic folklore, political commentary on the Russian revolution and a detailed discourse on war, marriage and the relationship of women in both.  Go read it seriously you will love it.

I also started Game of Thrones.  I am really impressed at how well the show was adapted from the book so far.

Things took a turn for the worse on the Tuesday.  The fella had the afternoon off and the company had organized a snorkelling outing.  I was super excited and despite the rather rough seas managed to enjoy the snorkelling a lot.

After about 30 minutes however I started to feel a little seasick and went to lounge on the beach.   Soon the called for us to get back on the boat.  By  the time I got on the boat I was ready to upchuck.   About 6-10 others were also pretty sick and our guide and a few others managed to get stung by jelly fish.

Something was not quite right with me however.  My hands started to tingle.  I assumed it was because I was dehydrated (which would have been tough as I had been drinking sooo much water).  Soon the tingling went up my arms and I noticed I was having trouble controlling my hands.  Thinking it was an allergic reaction I downed some benedryl that one of our travelling companions had.   At this point I started to get worried.

They can find no sting marks on me and can't figure out what is causing the problem.

My hands would no longer open.  They had turned into claws seized shut by whatever was in my system.  By this time the tingling and numbness had spread to my torso and started to go into my face.  Thankfully Jonathan who was a registered diver and had gone to med school was on the tour and he started to help the fella and I.  He mentioned my heart rate was like 140.  It all becomes a bit of a blur at this point.

They called for a speedboat from the marina which is 45 min away.  My mouth feels like I have been to the dentist and talking becomes difficult.  For a moment I think it would be much easier to just go to sleep.  Then the boat arrives.

The coast guards on the boat spoke no english but thankfully Jonathan and a tour guide came along with Greg and I to help translate.  I started to throw up epically and after start to feel a little better. One of the coast guards assumes I have been drinking all day and am sick from that.  Just for that I throw up in his direction a little harder.

By the time I am in the ambulance I am feeling better.  The EMTs also do not speak any english.  Jonathan pestered them the whole way to make sure what they were giving me was correct.  There is nothing more terrifying than being unable to explain what is going on to your body to someone who is trying to treat you.

The mexican hospital is spotless.  I have a very young Dr.  She speaks pretty good english and laughs at some of my jokes.  I am able to open and close my hands and the tingling is mostly gone.  I even feel some hunger pangs.

They inject me with hydrocortizone.  My body is not a fan and I throw up even more.  They stop doing that. They say they are going to keep me for observation for 2 hours.  I feel terrible for ruining both Jonathan and Greg's night off from the conference.

We have the best fucking BBQ chicken and ribs from a street vendor.  150 pesos and we cleaned him right out.  I can not hold a fork properly and spill my coleslaw everywhere.

Every inch of my body hurts.  My blood pressure is fine and after 2 hours of shooting the shit with Greg and Jonathan they allow me to go home.  The final bill was $500 bucks CND had I been local it would have been about $100.  I was really impressed with the efficiency and quality of care I received.

The marine biologist blames a Hyrdosuarios of some kind (something in the Hydrozoan family a cousin to a jellyfish).  Between translation and the shear number of things it could have been they could not give Jonathan a better name. It was likely the size of my fist and injected me with neurotoxins it also would not leave a mark till later.  They said it could take a while for it all to leave my system.

One week later I am still sore in my left leg and ankle (we think thats where it got me).   The shakes for the most part are gone ( I was already pretty shaky to begin with).  I am still very tired however.  I think I will be laying low for a few weeks.

All in all it was quite the adventure.  I feel like a much more seasoned traveller at this point.  I was very lucky to have had the help that I did get.  It was touch and go there for a bit and I really thought I could be royally fucked.   Thankfully I bounced back quickly with no long term ill affects.  Plus I have a really crazy story to tell my friends.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2011 Summer Beef Bear Bash!! August 20th

Beef Bear Bash Summer
Well after much planning and a few missteps we are finally ready to announce the Summer Beef Bear Bash!.  This promises to be our biggest event yet with things going on all weekend!

On Friday August 19th: 

The great guys at Edmonton Players In Gear EPIG are throwing another naughty and fun event.   So those of your traveling in from out of town may want to come out a night early to Flash for some fun in gear.
They will have live demos put on by some of our local Leather and BDSM community, and some will be on hand to answer questions for the less experienced in the group.
They will also have hands-on experiences for people who are curious to try! Violet wand, wax, and so much more, so come on out and get ready to try a new experience or two!

On Saturday August 20th

PART 1: A BBQ at Victoria Park at 1 PM (weather permitting).See here for a map. Daren will be serving his delicious sloppy pulled pork buns.  5 dollars will get you TWO buns and a pop or water.  We will also have some condiments and other snacks. Please feel free to bring your own food some bug spray and any outdoor equipment and come party with the bears and cubs in the woods!
PART 2: A dance at Junction Bar starting at 8 PM. Come check out the renovated Boots location. Cover is 2$ at the door for non FAB card holders.  FAB card holders get in for free!  This year we bringing back our incredibly popular Jockstrap auction for charity.  Come see some sexy bears showing off for charity! It wouldn't be a bear party if there wasn't some meet involved and this year Big Daddy will be cooking up some of his delicious BBQ with proceeds going to charity.  As always we welcome all Bears, Cubs, Wolfs, Otters, and Chasers. As always there will be great company, good food from the Junction's new menu.  See here for a map.  If you would like to help or participate in the auction please email or contact me here. Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people and it is for a really good cause.
Click here for the facebook page. 
PART 3: For those of you that are looking to get wet and wild Down Under Bath House is again going to be  offering the Bear Buns after party. As always FAB card holder will be able to get room upgrades at the door.  Down Under @ 12224-Jasper Ave.  Click here to visit the Down Under site. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why Edmonton Developers are Dicks

So developers are bitching about the Edmonton's  plan to encourage eco-friendly, responsible development.  The plan is very thorough and as far as I am concerned could go even further than it does to discourage sprawl and what I like to call fast food development.

Fast food development is when a developer purchases cheap unserviced land on the outskirts of the city and then decides to build a massive suburb in was otherwise land useful for other purposes.  Generally speaking this usually consists of fertile farm land.

Edmonton taxpayers have for decades been accidentally subsidizing this type of development by being forced to provide and support services to these new developments.  The further away from the core of the services of course the more expensive these services become to support on a long term basis.  The developer makes a ton of cash off of it's McMansions and Edmonton taxpayers are left stuck with the bill.

So when these subsidized profitable companies complain that this new plan with put a halt on Edmonton as whole an cause "bedlam" I say to them: Fuck you and get your hands out of my wallet!
Yes I am sure some players will exit the market permanently.  However the real question to ask is if these players could only survive by developing irresponsible, short term environmentally damaging developments are we really losing anything as a community by them leaving the market?

I would say not so much.

This plan is a great opportunity for progressive developers to take advantage of. Edmonton has long been known for it's shortsightedness when it comes to developing and the Way We Green plan is the first huuuuge step in fixing it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

How I became a rodeo junkie

We spent this past weekend in Strathmore Alberta for the 2011 gay rodeo.  This was my 5th gay rodeo and by far the best.  It has taken a few days to unpack my brain (and the fella's car) from everything that happened.  

This was my first year actually participating in the rodeo and I am so glad I made the decision to get involved.  In previous years I was content to go down and party hard for four days while cheering on friends as they got dirty in the arena.  I managed to convince my buddy Daren to come to the rodeo school they set up for beginners on the friday.  

A large part of me thought this whole thing was a terrible idea.  Here i am a desk jockey who has not been around farm animals in over 15 years and who is admittedly terrified of anything larger than a husky, going to go wrestle 600 pounds of angry beef in the dirt.

The rodeo school was brilliant and really helped me feel more comfortable with being around these animals. You really get a sense of how much these people respect both the lives of the stock and the participants.  I really dug the philosophy of doing your best and going as hard as you can  but knowing when to let go before you hurt yourself.  

The sense of camaraderie and family behind the chutes was really amazing.  Competitors helping each other out, giving each other tips, calming them when they needed it.  All of this is happening even though there is some real prize money on the line.  

I also learned a lot about how much of the rodeo events are basically just skills that farmers need to be able to safely and efficiently produce all of the food we eat.  When you see a package of ready made burgers sitting in a store you really do have no idea how much blood sweat and tears went into getting that animal to market for you to consume.  It has given me a glimpse into our invisible food chain and it really blows my mind how hard these guys have to work to keep us fed and them paid.  

The level of skill and athleticism shown off by the participants was very impressive.  I would say it is on par or above any sport I have played.  When you screw up in baseball or soccer there is no chance of being trampled by a huge animal.  In the rodeo that is almost a perpetual concern.  

I participated in three events. 
  1. Steer Deco: Which is a team event.  One teammate reels in a steer from the chutes using a rope and the other ties on a ribbon to the steer's tail.  I teamed up with a fellow rodeo virgin named Andrew.  It's an incredibly tough process as the steers kick and can be very hard to get control of.  Andrew was totally amazing however and managed to get up every time the steer knocked or dragged him down.  You also have to be in constant communication with your teammate as doing things in the wrong order will get you disqualified.  In our first actual attempt I had to run after the steer after Andrew got stepped on.  I thought the thing was going to drag me all over creation but I managed to hold my ground until he got to his feet.  We placed 12th on the Sunday out of 13.  Our time was 28 seconds.  About 20 teams participated but not everyone managed to get the ribbon on or the rope off.   I am also pretty certain we were the only first timers to place that day.  
  2. Chute Doggin:  This is the really scary event for me as you have to get up close and personal with a steer.  These things are massive and some of the veteran participants mentioned they were the biggest surliest stock they had ever seen at a rodeo.   Theres an element of luck involved to all of these events sometimes you get a good steer sometimes you get satan.  Our instructor at the camp actually got a hoof to the face as he was demoing the event to us.  Needless to say it did not make me want to hop in to this tightly enclosed space with an animal 3-4 times my weight.  Chute dogging is all about technique and control. It has very little to do with brute strength (tho that helps I am sure).  You basically grab the steer by it's horn and mouth and direct it out of the chute and flip it down so that all of it's legs are in the air.  You have to be in complete control of yourself as the animals can sense nervousness and fear.   You also have to be in complete control over the animal or else it will drag you across the arena.  You give it an inch and it will take you for a ride.   I managed to hurt my leg at the school because I gave the animal a chance to take control.  I had a great coach help me out on Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday was by far my best attempt.  I had a good steer and was feeling really good about things.  As I was getting into position I heard my name being called into the arena and I could hear my cheering section go crazy.  When that chute opened and I walked that steer out and started to flip it I felt like I could do anything.  The steer ended up flipping the wrong way despite me fighting it for a while.  I never got all 4 feet in the air and eventually had to let go as it was getting close to being able to gore me as we wrestled around on the ground.  I was so close!  That adrenalin rush was unlike anything I have ever felt in my life.  I was vibrating.  Totally elated.  I wanted to get naked and run around.  Something had flipped from fear to incredible joy.   I was beginning to realize that rodeo is the best drug around.  Sunday I let the steer get the best of me and didn't make a time but it was a great learning experience.
  3. Wild Drag: This is another team event and requires a man a woman and a drag queen.  Last year at the rodeo I met a great steer deco team who were looking for someone to do the drag position so they could compete. After a few drinks I said yes which is what started this whole rodeo participation thing to begin with.  The concept is very similar to steer deco except you put the drag queen on top of the steer and then get it across a line.  It is very dangerous as you are basically doing steer riding in a dress of some sort. I have never really done drag before so I dived in as best I could.  I make a very ugly woman. Our steer and the other team steer ended up getting too close to each other and we had to let it go before we could get a time. 
Sunday half the Rodeo was cancelled and we were evacuated to the main hall due to a tornados in the area.  The giant flying spaghetti monster must love the gays however as the storm cells split around the rodeo grounds and all we got was some rain and wind.  The Strathmore theatre was not so lucky apparently.  

Argra the organizers behind the rodeo really worked so hard to put on a safe fun event for everyone and I think they hit it out of the park.  The people of Strathmore could not have been more welcoming and supportive (its always amazing how money trumps politics when it comes down to it.  You really get a sense that this event has managed to change some people's minds in ultra conservative small town Alberta.  It is amazing what a little visibility can do.  Of course there was one or two assholes causing trouble and stealing from the campsites.  I even had to give a statement after identifying one of them. Overall however the only protesters there were animal rights activists.  A refreshing change from the usual bible thumpers. 

I feel different now post rodeo.  My body is sore all over still but I feel personally like I can take on anything at this point.  I feel stronger somehow.  The fella said I walk differently.  I didn't even miss not partying with everyone on the camp grounds. There is something visceral about facing fears and performing a real task with real stakes.  I loved that feeling of agency in chaos.  Control when there is none.   

That rush is something I am going to have a hard time recreating.  I can not wait until next year when I take what I learned and do better than this year.  

I wanted to thank my teammates and all the other participants that have made this such a wonderful learning experience.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Pride Edmonton!

\It is pride week in Edmonton starting today.  It is one of my favourite times of year.  Pride is the first big summer festival here.  It is like the pot of coffee that wakes you up after a long sleep.   Winter this year was particularly brutal and that really put a damper on a lot of things so it will be a great chance to see and get back in touch with people I don't get to see very often.  Plus it is an excuse to wear short shorts and I will take that any chance I can get it!
If you are on tumblr you have probably seen or read some comments on an article about post gays or nugays.  You will read a lot of comments on what judgemental douchebags the guys interviewed come off as and how out of touch they are etc. I don't think the photos really helped with making them seem at all approachable.   Really my issue is not with them. They are all pretty young.  At that age I was an insufferable arrogant asshole (hell I probably still am now at almost 29).  Thats the arrogance of youth.  Thats part of the journey.  Thats the age range when we say stupid shit and do stupid things because we are still building a core identity for ourselves.  I would want nothing to do with 21 year old Aaron other than to tell him to smarten up and drink less.  Hopefully some of the guys featured will see how they come off and maybe take something positive from the experince.  Reaming them out all over the internet doesn't help them and it sure wont help the community.
My main issue with the article is that the basic hypothesis that it puts forth is false for 99% of the rest of the community (yes I think it is a community regardless of what some may say).
a new generation of twentysomething urban gays—my generation—has the freedom to live exactly the way we want. We have our university degrees, homes and careers. In Toronto, we’ve abandoned the Church Wellesley Village. We’re tattooed and pierced and at the helm of billion-dollar industries like fashion and television. We vacation with our boyfriends in fabulously rustic country homes that belong to our parents, who don’t mind us coming to stay as a couple. Hell, we even marry our boyfriends, if we choose to, on rooftops overlooking Queen West. Our sexual orientation is merely secondary to our place in society. 
This myopic worldview is fine when your young, well off and well educated.  Choose to see the world like that if you wish it is your right but doing so ignores the experinces  of the vast amount of people who's lives are affected by systemic societal inequality.
I was at Edmonton's Queer Prom on the weekend very briefly.  Queer Prom is a safe, supportive gathering for youth 16 to 25 who do not feel comfortable going to school events because of bullying or homophobia.  It has been growing every year attracting kids from as far away as Alaska.  This year attracted over 350 youth.  Many of these kids are at risk or living on the streets or couch surfing. Some are just regular kids from supportive families in the suburbs (these kids are the exception not the rule).
The BEEF Bear party that my buddy Daren and I organized managed to raise about 1300 bucks to go towards food for Queer Prom.  As many of these kids don't know where the next meal is coming from food is a big deal at an event like this.  We dropped by after being invited by the organizers to touch base with some of the volunteers and see how things were going.
Walking into that party was such a heartwarming experience.  Everyone was having a fantastic time smiling and dancing away.  Many of them you could tell were just taking first steps into realizing themselves and the power that accepting yourself can give you.  The tentative unbuttoning of shirts while dancing, the awkward glances they were shooting each other, the first kisses..
Life without any fear for the first time. Those moments were like a rebirth for me when I was young. It was all totally adorable.  I was so honoured to be a part of it and to be able to help out  in some small way.  I was a lucky kid.  I managed to stay closeted and finish two bachelors degrees and not kill myself while living with my parents.  I own my own home and have a wonderful partner whom I hope to marry some day and luckily we live in a place where we can.  We both also have very supportive and loving families.  As someone as lucky as I am I feel it is important to try and give back to help those who are not been as lucky as I am.

So when someone says that our sexual orientation is merely secondary to our place in society I think yes your allowed to have that opinion but please do not wash away the struggle that many are still undergoing daily to love and live as freely as you do. Not to mention it totally abandons all the sacrifice and hard work of the generations that fought for your current comfort level. I hope this "new gay" the writer is talking about isn't universally ignorant to the suffering around them.

So to this I say Happy Pride everyone! Go out and queer it up if thats your thing (or don't if you so choose) but at the very least try and do something good for someone else!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sometimes you need a little Jann

This flu bug has really knocked me on my ass.  I tried to go into work today but the combination of cold sweats and an unsettled stomach sent me home.  I managed to clear off some deadline specific stuff from underneath a quilt on the couch  here which is good.

I don't know why this song has been in my head for the whole day but I thought I would share it with you.  Jann Arden is one of my favourite vocalists ever.  She sings with a fire and timber of someone who knows pain.   Living under June her debut will always be in my music collection.  Its the perfect music for a dreary day or post break up tunes for a long highway ride at night. Jann has gotten me through some tough times.  I hope she can do the same for you :D

Thanks Jann.

Monday, June 06, 2011

The kinky shopping list mystery

For Christmas last year the fella got me a super awesome man-bag to carry my laptop around.  My old one was showing it's age and was a little too small for what I needed.  In the process of cleaning out my old bag (that I had had for about 3 years at that point).  I found this folded up piece of paper in it at the very bottom of a pocket I rarely use.

It was a shopping list for cockring's from 2005 in someone else's handwriting.  How it found it's way into my bag  and who wrote it I have never figured out.  Whoever it was was seriously researching this and clearly wanted stainless steel.
So if you are out there kinky mystery shopper and this is your list you should let me know how it got into my bag and how your shopping turned out!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Things I learned In Chicago

It has taken me some time to unpack my brain and bags from our vacation to Bear Pride and IML in chicago last weekend.  It was so refreshing to get to be in a totally new and different environment.  If the fella and I had not caught some sort of cold on the way home I am sure we would be both feeling rather rejuvenated by the whole experience.

So here is the list of things I learned from my first real visit to the United States and my first Bear Run.

  • I have some of the best friends in the whole world.
  • Transit is much scarier and yet much better than it is in Edmonton.
  • I live in a tiny town.
  • The buildings speak in chicago.  The gorgeous architecture tells a story drenched in history and drama.   We have none of that here.
  • Lanes in Chicago are suggestions only.  As are signalling and waiting for crosswalk signs.
  • The newer the cab the more terrifying the ride will be in it.
  • Cabs are easy to get. We never waited more than 5 min for one.  In Edmonton you could wait for hours at peak times.
  • Pot holes are big enough to eat a whole car.
  • Chicago Deep Dish is indeed the best fucking pizza I have ever had. Giordano's was amazing!
  • While a 4 dollar appetizer in Edmonton is enough for maybe one person.  A 4 dollar appetizer in Chicago can feed a family of 4 for 2 days.
  • Carson's ribs are fucking tasty.
  • Tourist traps like the museum and the silver bean can be fun if you go with the right people.
  • OMG booze is cheap.  Like stupidly cheap.
  • 3 AM free pizza in the hospitality suite is both the best and worst idea ever.
  • I need to learn how to turn people down who proposition me rather than get embarrassed and then turning mute and running away awkwardly.
  • The tubs in chicago are nicer than the bars here.
  • Always rent a room when you go to the tubs.
  • I am already fucking the hottest guy at the bathhouse.
  • Never take anything to the tubs that you don't want stolen. The fella had his sandals swiped and had to wear these hilarious slippers around boystown.
  • Freepour is the devil.  A delicious and dangerous devil that I want in my mouth.
  • RIch Morel and Bob Mould have got to be two of the best DJ's in the world.  I almost died when they played Zero by the smashing pumpkins at Blowoff.
  • Dancing for 4 hours straight is like walking 9 miles.
  • While my shoes look great they are not designed for walking or dancing 9 miles.
  • Guys that play rugby and are on tumblr are guaranteed to be cute and fucking awesome.
  • Short shorts are not a trend in Chicago and people will look at you funny if you wear them.
  • At IML it is ok to hop around in a body suit with your dick hanging out as long as it is not in the main lobby.
  • Girls can throw boys in slings too!
  • Never eat leftover Queso dip that has been stored out on your patio overnight.
  • Changing in the middle of a display booth while wearing only a jockstrap is the honestly the least interesting thing people will see at the leather market.  No one will even give you a second glance.
  • Mango vodka and starbucks passion tea lemonade make for a fucking delicious combination at 9 am when you are on the way to the airport.
  • Even though you may not know anyone in this town somehow word of your sensitive nipples will get around to random strangers.  
All in all it was a really wonderful experience.  I am looking forward to going back next year maybe.  I miss it already.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NERDBONER

With many of my favourite shows being canceled or in off season this trailer for true blood makes be super excited about the new season.  I can't wait for more campy ridiculousness and for hilarious the post episode rundowns on io9.com.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Prove it faggot

Imagine escaping a country and a family at the age of 12 that had threatened to kill you for being gay. Imaging making your way to a safer place where being gay is for the most part accepted.

Then imagine being told you have to go back because you do not look gay enough.  That you can't prove your gayness because you were too young to have fucked around (because all gay men are sluts apparently in the government's eyes).

As a Canadian I like to think we live (or at least lived before this last election) in a tolerant accepting society. Please sign this petition to help keep Alvaro Orozco from being deported to nicaragua because he could not prove he was gay enough for the government officials.  You can help make a difference.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Derailed

This past weekend I did something I had not done for a very long time.  I worked out on my own. I wanted to supplement my boot camp classes with something a little more upper body intensive so I could bulk up a bit in my arms and chest.  Workout was great and I managed to not over do it.

I was looking forward to my class tomorrow however I just found out from another client of the gym that it is closed permanently due to financial reasons.  I am super pissed because I finally found a place that worked with my routine and was flexible enough to work with my occasionally crazy work schedule.

While I didn't always love the instructors I can not deny the results I have been experiencing.  Now I am going to have to find something else that kicks my ass within walking distance.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is why people think hockey players are neanderthals

I am going to weigh in briefly on this whole uptown sports a canadian hockey agent company coming out against Sean Avery in his support for marriage equality.  Todd Reynolds the vp of the management company tweeted obnoxiously about marriage being between one man and one woman. Then has defended himself afterwards.

Do these guys not know we have had marriage equality in Canada for over 10 years?  Like there is being behind the curve but come on all of your arguments about morality and slippery slopes have been proven totally wrong.  10 years and nothing.  It makes you look like a stupid dinosaur.

Here is a quote from mister brilliant.
I'm passionate about what I believe in. And I believe in morality and I believe in right and wrong. I know many people with different view points for what is right and wrong.
Honestly Todd your morality is not my problem and to spout off against someone who is trying to help a minority group makes you sound like an ignorant bully.  Unless your directly being affected by this issue I would advise you to keep your morality to yourself.

You see Todd I have my own morality and view point on what is right and wrong.  For example I am against nepotism in sports management companies but you don't see me tweeting or emailing your Dad (who also happens to own the company your VP of) to tell him this.  I think its really a moral issue of not hanging on the coat tails of your parents and becoming your own man. I don't hate people who have gotten jobs because of their parents.  I don't really hate anyone I just  think nepotism is wrong. I don't tell your father this because really its none of my fucking business. Just like marriage equality is none of yours.

You would probably think "Hey you don't know anything about me what gives you the right to comment on something going on in my life?"  Well Todd thats exactly my point.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Aaron SMASH!

So I am still depressed by the election results.  4 years is a long time for an asshole like harper to fuck up the country with no checks and balances.  Maybe its time to look into europe?
This came up on my tumblr today and kind of enraged me:

Here is my response:

The first pride parade was a riot in protest of the way we were being treated. It is activism at its core. Standing up and saying we wont take anymore of your bullshit your shaming or your discrimination.  
Bitching about pride perpetuating stereotypes is the same is saying:
"I am self loathing homosexual who secretly hates that there are queers, femmes, twinks, drag queens and transgendered people that are out in the world.   The world sees them and me as the same and that makes me feel less strong and less masculine by association. I am embarrassed by them because deep down inside I am embarrassed of myself." 
You have it easy you stupid fuck.  Not everyone is lucky enough to just fit with heteronormative stereotypes that you subscribe to. Some of us can't just make do with the occasional blow job from a dude in a bathroom.  
It is because of those queers, femmes, twinks, drag queens and transgender people unwillingness to conform that we are lucky enough to have the rights and privileges we do today.  
Your ability to live a normal life now is thanks to them so shut the fuck up about us taking a day to celebrate what sets our people (and yes we are a people) apart from the rest of the world.  Being queer, gay (whatever) is as much an experience as it is an orientation that means you like the same sex.  
Be proud of being queer femmy or liking a big dick up your butt and let the world know that there is nothing they can do to change that. That is power. That is pride.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Good things coming

It is election day in Canada so please go out and vote and have your voice heard.  I am voting strategically liberal as Mary McDonald has the best chance of defeating Laurie Hawn. Also I think she is a very smart person and she is clearly a hard worker.  She has knocked on my door twice already compared to 0 from all the other candidates.

I would love to vote NDP as I think Jack would make a great leader in a coalition government however I have to be strategic about this.

It was a nice quiet weekend. I have been sort of trying to sit back and take stock of where I have been creatively these last 5 years.   I have been putting a really half assed effort for so long that many of my creative projects are dead and the ones that aren't are too embarrassing to show in public.

Specifically my Justanotherepicfable.com project.  It is a story I want to tell and it has been evolving for so long in my head by the time I take the next step all of my previous work has become irrelevant.  Part of the problem has been my weakness for biting off more than I can chew.  So I have pared back the original animated concept and started looking at the project as a webcomic with some modern tweaks.

A big part of me wanted to just let the whole thing die and admit that I was an adult without time for these sorts of silly things. I told that part to shut the fuck up.

I have deleted a ton of previous work (that was sloppy and not very good) and actually started scripting the first book's chapters.  Each chapter will be about six pages that I am going to release to the web on a monthly schedule (unless I can find a kick ass comic/fantasy/steampunk artist willing to work for free).  I figure Warren Ellis is a pro and he manages to do 7 pages a week for Freakangels so 6 pages a month should be easy for me to script.

Since yesterday I have done up a full script for Chapter 1. I am 80% done Chapter 2 and have finished plotting up to chapter 6.  I have a few gaps I need to hammer into the narrative but it is coming along great.  I am expecting the first book should be about 20-30 chapters.  I want to get up to chapter 10 plotted and mostly scripted before I start drawing anything.

Scripting and dialogue have always been my weakest area.  My first comics were totally written on the fly as I drew them but a story of this size requires planning, some structure and to be honest with myself quality control.  Advance plotting has really exposed out the weaknesses in my original rough plot.

It is amazing what happens when you stop bullshitting yourself and get to work.

Also the fella just found out his company is going to send him and me to a conference in Cabo San Lucas this summer.   Mostly free trip to Mexico? Yes please!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It gave me chills

You need to read this blog post by an out lesbian in Syria.  I totally teared up. Words have power and so do we.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

iTunes Survey

Blatantly stolen from the fella
How many songs: 5349
Sort by song title:
First Song: À Nu (Pom Pom)- Big Sugar
Last Song:  57821 (Feat. Deep Cotton) - Janelle Monáe

Sort by time:
Shortest Song: R.K. Intro - Our Lady Peace
Longest Song: Easy (Skitsnygg Remix) - Dragonette

Sort by artist:
First Artist: MIA-roder (Kavinsky vs MIA)- A-Trak
Last Artist: Because The Night - 10000 Maniacs 
Sort by album:
First Album: Absolution - Muse
Last Album: 604 - Ladytron

Top Three Most Played Songs:
1. Mer du Japon (Remix by The Teenagers) - Air - 23
2. We are the people - Empire of the Sun - 21
3. This Boy's in love - The Presets - 21

Search …

Death: 184
Life: 78
Love: 338
Hate: 9
You: 659
Sex: 46

My Summer Look

I just received two new sets of ultra cheap prescription sunglasses.  I heart Zennioptical soo much.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Adventures in co-dependancy

The fella is out of town at a conference. I think this is only the third time we have been apart for more than a day since we moved in together. I am trying to not be a super lame but i do miss having him to cuddle with.
I have been super productive however so thats something.  I went and saw Scream 4 yesterday with a buddy.   I am a huge fan of the scream franchise and I felt this was an honest and fun re-visit to woodsboro.  Two things bothered me.

  1. Once the villain is exposed they go on a lengthy rant that felt like it was written by an old dude about them damn kids these days. It could have been shortened or cut entirely and I still would have loved the movie.
  2. Courtney Cox's face is starting to look like Lisa Rinna.  She is brilliant in the movie I love her character buuut you can see she has had so much filler put in around her mouth its painful to watch such a stunning woman do that to her face rather than age gracefully.  I didn't notice it so much when we watch cougar town but I have a feeling she gets more say on angles and shot styles there.  Neve looks as good as ever and her face moves naturally (maybe she should refer Courtney to her doc).
Other than that I can say as a fan go check it out.  Its worth it for the nostalgia factor alone.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lost without a muse

Things are still going well for me.  I have been working on my website for my company and trying to figure out how to present what I do.  I am running into a road block because much of the services I am offering I don't have professional credentials for. 

I have always been a bit of a journeyman picking up skills as I needed depending on the project.  Need to learn flash action script over the course of a week? Done! Need to learn how to do advance effects for a video project that has to be done in a few days? Done!  My whole career reads like a list of crazy demands and deadlines.

I have always prided myself on my ability to pick up new skills and abilities.  In my mind with hard work and the internet almost any skill can be acquired.  The problem is I never get a chance to master any of it. 

A though has been lurking between coherent thoughts.  Its like that thing you see out of the corner of your eye and when you turn to look at it it is gone.

I was watching an online illustrator tutorial and it blew me away how well the guy played the software like a piano.  An orchestra of skill creating some fantastic graphics.  He did things that I never even knew was possible.  It made me feel like a rank amateur.

Suddenly that had been hiding on my periphery for so long burst forward.

I have a hell of a lot to learn if I am going to make a living doing any of the things I have been planning.

I am really good at a lot of technical things but being self taught means I am doing so much the hard way or worse the wrong way.  I always felt that technology could be the bridge between raw talent and mastery.  I think maybe in 10 years that may be the case but today for me the divide seems to be growing in every area I try to work in.

Part of it is my own professional ADD.  I never stick with projects long enough to finish them.  The justanotherepicfable site has been a project for 10 years at least and I am no closer to releasing new material today than I was 5 years ago.  I used to draw almost every day and today I couldn't even manage to draw a nose.  I have been using technology as a lazy excuse for not practicing and that won't work anymore. 

I have been pondering taking an online course or two to help me master some of these handyman skills.  Or maybe even taking a few legitimate programming courses so I can start tying together my creative skills with my business plan. 

Back when I was young a lot of my creativity was a driving mechanism to help me escape how unhappy I was.  Now that I am happy I need to figure out a way to ignite the flame without making myself miserable again.

For now I am going to try and draw something every day on paper so I can start building up my artistic ability again.  I need to rediscover my style.  

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Stephen Harper Sucks and here is why

This is better than any list i could put together.  How these neoconservative assholes have stayed in power this long blows my mind.

What pisses me off even more is they have tried to make coalition governments look like a bastardization of democracy.  Personally i think proroguing parliament is a far worse offence than finding common ground with another democratically elected politician.

They want to turn this country into the US circa 2003.
No thanks cons. No thanks.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Walkin on sunshine

No I am not all fucked up on whippits (yes I am a terrible person for laughing at that I know). 
Spring has hit edmonton with full force.  The snow and massive lakes that form on the sidewalks and streets is starting to recede and the sun is staying out later and later.

Yesterday after a very productive day at work I walked in the sun to boot camp and we got to work out outside in the river valley which was super awesome.  I felt a little weird about being out in public in my tight workout clothes doing squats on the trail but getting some fresh air was great.  The group did get a few honks and sex stares as we worked out  (men are such pigs) but I think that had to do with the 15 girls in skin tight lycra bending over and not my luscious fuzzy man booty.  

Yes I am the only guy in the group but that doesn't mean its a work out program for women.  Just because its run by women and filled with women and we focus mostly on butt and leg exercises doesn't... hmmmm maybe I am in a ladies class.  At least I get the lockeroom to myself.  Some eye candy for me once in a while would be nice.

On my walk home I was pleased to see the sun was not only still out but shining so brightly that I had to wear my sunglasses.  Winter has this way of taking things from you, you didn't even know you were missing until they come back again in spring.  

I was welcomed home by the fella cooking delicious tacos with home made guacamole. Then  we had some friends over to watch this weeks drag race.   I don't know about you guys but this season has really been enjoyable.  Alexis who i started out hating has really picked it up the last 4 episodes.  Its almost like its been the Alexis show lately and I am fine with that.  I think its going to be her verses Raja in a bitchy cat fight to the death.   

Things are good I am busy but really happy. Sometimes I feel like I only come on here to bitch and moan so I am going to try and make an effort to share more of the good because right now there is a lot of good to share!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Bear aftermath part 2

Well because we are bad at math and we had some extra donations after the event the total final tally we raised for queer prom was $1210 dollars!  I cant thank everyone enough for coming out. Thanks again to the staff at the Junction, Gay Calgary and Down Under and all the guys who came out to support us!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bear aftermath

Had an absolute blast at BEEF on saturday.  We had a capacity crowd at the junction and managed to raise $1058 dollars for Youth Understanding Youth's Queer Prom.  Nothing better than lots of shirtless hot bears  raising money for a good cause!

This totally blew away my expectations.

Had some great volunteers that really helped take off the pressure from my micromanaging.  I can't thank them enough for the help they provided!  

I am still totally wiped out and loosing my voice.  Its gonna be a quiet week I think.  Need to recharge and recover.

Its time to start planning the next one!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Its coming!! BEEF SPRING BEAR BASH! 2011

I have been super swamped with work and extra curriculars this last week.  Getting the fundraiser set up for Youth Understanding Youth's Queer Prom and all the other details has taken far more work than expected.  We are expecting a capacity crowd so hopefully we can raise some cash for the kids and have a great time.  
Check out the facebook event here.

I am expecting a house full of cubs this weekend. As always I am not to sure where we are going to fit everyone into our humble abode but I am sure we will manage.  I still have a ton of cleaning that needs to be done before the boys get here.  

I have so much left to do I have decided to take the afternoon off (which happens to coincide with the fella's afternoon off) and get some running around and cleaning done.  Then its off to my Dad's birthday and then back for carnal desires at flash. 

I may need a weekend from my weekend by the time sunday rolls around!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Good week for geeks

I am stopping myself from buying an Ipad2 right now.  I am not even close to finishing my programming project and won't be ready for testing on the device for at least a month.  Plus I won't be able to write it off until I get incorporated which is going to cost me some big money.  Still I want one soooo bad!  I hear the lineups are already getting crazy (it gets released here at 5pm) even at non apple stores.  I could always buy it online and then wait the 3-4 weeks for shipping?  Surely I would be done by then right?

I guess I will just have to console myself with the fact that three of my favorite shows have been renewed for next season(s).  Fringe, Venture Brothers and Futurama have all been renewed and I could not be happier.

If you currently are not watching Fringe right now get up on it.  Its by far the best sci-fi/mystery show on television.  Additionally unlike some other shows (I am looking at you x-files) this actually seems to be going somewhere.

Plus I totally want to gargle Joshua Jackson's junk.

Neil Diamond lied: He is heavy

Family drama has struck the household this week involving primarily my brother.   Some people have alcoholics for brothers some have junkies and others like myself have a brother who despite all the support in the world can't seem to make a reasonable assessment of himself.

Now some of you are thinking "Whoa Aaron this is a dick move talking about this on your blog.  Shouldn't you be keeping this private or be talking to him about this? Just trust me I am going somewhere with this post.

There has been a lot of heated back and forth via text and phone that hit is climax today culminating in an argument that caused my neighbours to bang on the floor (so tacky I know).   A lot of baggage came bubbling up that has got my mind racing.  Insomnia and heartburn the kind only family can produce is why I am posting this at 230 in the morning when I should be in bed curled up with the fella.

We have never been close him and I.   Always far too similar, far too stubborn, yet far too different in a way that only brothers can be.  We could never really find a way to really get along for extended periods.

We both had trouble connecting with people socially in our youth.  We both experienced (and still do) extreme anxiety and most importantly we both have raging tempers.   He was always a little less street savvy and always the kinder of the two of us.    In many ways I think he is exactly who I would be if i were straight.

We diverged in our early teens.   In my heart back then I always felt anxiously broken because I was gay.   I was never going to be good enough for my family to love and care about me.  So I fought to be the best god damn kid I could be.  I started to excel at school and really push myself to become something.   I planned my whole future with the fervor only an obsessive compulsive with a deep dark secret no amount of planning or achievement could fix.  

Highschool and University came and my parents beamed and fauned over me.  The whole family did.  I was making something of myself with a lot of support.  It was all part of my plan to make them all love me so hard that when I did come out they would have no choice but to keep me around (this worked very well with some unintended mental side affects).

With each success my head grew and with it so did the chasm between him and I.  Simple conversations would turn into massive arguments or physical altercations to the point where I would have to subdue him in a headlock to calm him down.  I was no innocent in this.  As I have posted about before, I was an expert button pusher in those days and I had my skills honed to perfection on my family.  

Generally our arguments had one underlying theme.  Back then I never would have seen it but the benefits of time have given me some perspective.   They were always about him not seeing his own potential and self worth.  He never pushed himself harder than he had to get by and it drove me crazy.

My brain couldn't comprehend why he never expected more of himself.  Here were two people that looked alike, talked alike, socialized similarly and yet in terms of achievement (measures of my choosing of course at the time) could not be more different.   It infuriated me because I never wanted him to accept anything less than his best for himself.

I really think the difference was drive.   I had something to run from and something to run to.  All he ever had was me 5 years ahead of him in everything.  I know it would drive me nuts having an overachieving asshole brother that was 5 years stronger/faster//more independent/more knowledgable.

Being right about something only served to drive the wedge further and fester more resentment.

Not being great at admitting when I was wrong might as well have been a bundle of TNT.   This was all exacerbated by his unwillingness to do the same.   I could never resent him but there were many days when I couldn't understand why he didn't push himself a little bit more.  Why he surrounded himself with underachievers and losers.  Why he didn't want more?  Why did mom and I have to clean his room for him?

By the time he was 16 we would hardly talk about anything other than video games comics and toys.  By the time he was 18 I spent more time talking with his girlfriend (who had been living with us for 2 years) than I did him.  Over this time after being pushed away from him every time I tried to talk I sort of stopped trying.  All I was doing was making him resent me more.  The discussions stopped.

Moving out at 24 may have solved a ton of my issues with my parents but did nothing to bridge the gap between me and my brother.  He would call me for technical support or to ask to crash on my couch (usually at the very last second).   We would talk and hang out at family stuff or when I was over at the house but in that time he only came over to hang out once and that was before going on an 8 month trip to scotland.   We had a great night.  Ate pizza talked about his trip and played a ton of halo.  In some ways it was like things were back when we were much younger.  After he returned from scotland worldlier but with a broken heart, radio silence was resumed.

I always admire his heart and ability to see the best in others.  I can't imagine what that kind of world would be like.  This ability  to endlessly forgive others that he possessed always seemed to be missing when it came to me.  Every word I said to him came as if it was laced with acid.  Every bit of advice was a wound to his heart.

I have to wonder if I don't have a similar blind spot when it comes to him.  Do I automatically doubt everything he does because I feel he lacks a perspective on himself?  Are we like cyclops and Havok (for those of you unfamiliar with the two they are brothers from the x-men who's powers cancel each other out).  In many ways we fit the profiles: cyclops is an overachieving emotionally retrained control freak older brother and Havok was the younger passionate resentful and random one.

Currently he is making some really terrible decisions with his life.   Everyone around him sees it and everyone is very worried.  At the request of my Mom I tried to talk to him about it but we couldn't get anywhere.   He said things and I said things.  What hurt me the most was when he said I was a bad older brother who didn't provide him support for the last 5 or so years and had no right doing it now.  

I was pushed away and stopped banging my head against the wall and here I am today still the bad guy for not doing what he hated me doing to begin with.   All I ever wanted was for him to see his own potential and actually want to try and fullfil it.  He really is a better person than I will ever be and I envy that innocence he holds on to.   He deserves the best from himself and the people he chooses to spend his life with.

When i pushed him its because I knew he had the strength to lift himself to the next level he justs didn't know it.  When I fought with him it was because he couldn't see what I did.

In the end I love that guy to death and it breaks my heart that his picture of me is so bereft of any positivity.   I wish I could go back and find that magic formula of encouragement and support he was looking for.  I wish i could be the big brother he wanted.

Most of all however I wish that once, just once he would see himself the way I do.  Then maybe he would understand me a bit better.

Neil Diamond sang "He ain't heavy, hes my brother" many many years ago.  I can understand the sentiment but really have to disagree.  Like most people in your life for the long haul that we don't choose (look up family in the dictionary) they are a ton of heavy lifting often for very little reward.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nobody Cares like a bear in a drag show

After a ton of work saturday's drag show came too quickly.  I was stressed and feeling unprepared and we still had yet to do a full dress rehearsal for our number that night.   All four of us had never been on stage before and I could not even fathom what a huge rush and success it would be.

We met up  at the condo at 1 pm and started working on our costumes (by we I mean Brad who sewed almost everything we wore).  I worked on the body paint which turned out to be a massive disaster.  We could not get the right consistency no matter what we tried.   Add to that some drama with the clown makeup we bought and I really thought our night was going to go down the tubes.  There was makeup and cornstarch body paint from one end of the condo to the next.  It looked like a drag queen had exploded after a glitter enema.

Our flame dame Anna and her fella Morgan came by to help support and provide us a much needed ride to the venue.  We decided to call our group Grin and Bear It.  If it was bad at least we had warned them!

So here is what the care bears ended up looking like:

You can see the clumpy alligator skin on my chest was supposed to be royal blue body paint.  All in all i think we looked great in that dark bar lighting! Thats another drag queen trick they don't tell you.


The number was incredibly well received and it led to a rather sloppy night.  Who would have thought an innocent song from a children's cartoon would be so easy to fill with filth.  What the camera does not show is that immediately after this one of our team had to rush out the back door of the drag room into the alley to throw up as he had swallowed too much glitter!  Take this as a warning next time you throw glitter on stage while doing a dance number.

Will i do it again? Probably not for a long time. We represented the bears/cubs really well and had fun in the end but the amount of work to get to this point was crazy!  Its tuesday and I am still tired! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Green beer and drag queens oh my!

I did not really celebrate St. Patricks day this year.  Usually I would meet up with my parkie friends one of whom is from ireland and get ultra sloshed.

True to form this year they started at 11 am and I was getting fairly hilarious text messages by 1 pm.  As the night progressed pictures and play by plays of what was happening were coming in.   I actually prefer this passive method of participation as I get to hear all the stupid shit that happens without any of the drama , headaches or cleanup.  The fella had never had green beer so I made him a green corona.

So why did I not go out and get sloppy like a virgin at his first gay bar?  Well guuuurl (I talk like this now) we had work to do on our number  for feathers leather and fur on saturday.   We watched this weeks episode of Ru Pauls Drag Race and Untucked for some inspiration while we tested out different body paints and worked on choreography.

Its a good thing our song is only two minuets as anything longer and there is no way I would remember the moves.  I am clearly the weakest link in the team.  It seems my multitasking ability stops when singing or dancing is involved because I can only do one at a time.  To to do both would fry my brain.

I am thinking this point that it would be better to do actual drag because you can be so much more theatrical with your moves and hair.  We are limited in this case so we are keeping it simple for now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I don't know how the drag queens do it

This was a hell of a productive weekend.  Went shopping with the boys on Saturday for items for our costumes.  This saturday we are performing a number for Leather, Feathers and Fur representing the edmonton bear community.  This number requires some body paint and extras.

I think we are in a bit over our heads as none of us have ever done a number or choreographed anything before.  The costumes are coming together at least thanks to some surprise seamstress skills that Brad decided to show off.   Between the costs of things and the amount of work it takes to put on a single number I have no idea how drag queens do it every week.

I will be posting video of the disaster on sunday!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Music Monday: Working in the sprawl

Many people were surprised at Arcade Fire's recent grammy win.  This reaction surprised me because these guys have been a building block for the soundtrack to my life for a very long time now.  From my wild university days to now they have been creating music that touches a nerve with me.   It may sound weird but at times it is like they are singing for me not to me.  Neighbourhood #1 takes me back to so many good memories.

Ages ago before they became indie darlings in Canada they were playing a show at my old haunt the Power Plant.  I had been planning to go see them after some glowing reviews in See magazine.  l always regret not getting tickets in time before they sold out.

Here is a fantastic remix by Thunderlust of the already stellar Sprawl II.  If this doesn't get your ass moving nothing will.

Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (thunderlust remix) by thunderlust

BEEF SPRING BEAR BASH! 2011


Its that time of year for the next BEEF Bear Bash!  Check out the website for more details!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

What what in the Butt??

I am exhausted today.   My throat is incredibly sore which means that despite feeling fine for a total of 3 days my cold from last week has come back at me with a vengeance.  Or I swallowed some bad water at the waterpark on Sunday.

The soreness was so intense I even had it in my dreams which were super fucked up.  Mark Zuckerberg wanted me to give him a bj while we were taking a break from filming a comedy scene for an incredibly terrible zombie movie.  I know the movie  was incredibly terrible because Avril Lavigne was a featured star.

As flattering as his unexpected advances were I turned him down as his equipment did not meet my standards and my throat was damn sore.   Plus who wants to say they got fucked by Mark Zuckerberg?  I do not need a sugar daddy that badly.

I am working the tea today with hopes that I will be in good enough shape to hit up bootcamp tonight which I have missed almost 2 whole weeks of.   My 3 month contract is up on the 11th at which point I will be posting some before and after pics.  

I am not sure I can justify 3 more months of the program but something tells me my body would fall apart shortly after stopping.