Tag Archives: freaks

The Lesson: From Root To Twit

Personal Bits

It’s 1996 and I’m working in a quiet cafe just inside the doors of a fading gay favorite gym called The Bloor Valley Club. All the members had to cut through my dining area to get to the change rooms or the cardio area, giving me a great vantage point for people watching. In the spring of that year a regular to the gym started to slowly, shyly, order snacks and cappuccinos from me and in doing so, started friendly small talk.

He was a nice guy. We started to talk about books and books into movies and theatre. We talked about music and pop culture and various gossip. We would make comments at the day time TV playing over the bar and confess our secret shames in the love of soap operas. We would shout out answers to quiz shows and try to outsmart each other. He was sharply funny and subtly witty and could smile easily. You can guess where this is leading: after several weeks of chatting, when he inevitably asked me out on date, I turned him down.

Why? Because he had long hair.

He had a slight goatee, stunning blue eyes and was over 6’2″. Because he was a regular to the gym, I noted that he had tree trunk legs and I could get glimpses of chest hair through his workout clothes. But I couldn’t get past the shoulder-blade length hair! His mane wasn’t ratty or look pre-Tyra makeover or anything, it was just long. At the time I was trying to pigeon hole my tastes into a well defined scheme: skinheads and ubermacho tattooed motorcycle freaks. I was so hell bent on self conditioning I couldn’t see myself being with any other type of guy.

I let him down rather inelegantly too. I did let him know I only dated smoothed headed dudes because of a “shaving” fetish I claimed to have at the time. I don’t recall his reaction but I do remember there was an awkward silence after my shot through his heart. I remember him walking away in disappointment.

A week or so passed and I was doing waitressy things, as one does when they work in a small restaurant. The front door opened and down the hallway towards the cafe came a tall, goatee’d man with the slightest 5 o’clock shadow adorning his genetically perfect cranium. Of course, my whoremoans went into overload as time slowed down as he walked towards me like a hot chick in a Michael Bay movie. Yes, it was my “friend”. He had cut all his hair off and had gone skinhead. He. Looked. Amazing.

I know my eyes said “HELLO!” and I think I said, “Hello!” and he leaned in close and said: “This is what you’re missing.”

And never said another word to me ever again.

Deception as Motivation

Personal Bits

For the last couple months I’ve been putting off my promise to myself for losing 20lbs. I had been weighing myself religiously with every visit to the gym and had not noticed any great flux in my weight – it was hovering nicely around 225lbs, but 20lbs sounded so easy to do: no chips, no eating after 8pm, more salads, less sugar, bla bla bla, which made me complacent to actually doing something about it. I was making promises to myself that I’d lose it before Disney and what the hey, I had a few months to go so what’s the rush?

Last week I was standing nude waiting in line for the scale in the change room (I love walking around nude in there, no towel wrap. Freaks out the repressed Islamic/Catholics), when the guy on the scale steps off and blurts: “Finally! They fixed it!”


I step on.

It’s one of those doctor office ones with the sliding weights. I snap the weights to 225. Nope. Too light.

227? Nope.

235? No, the weights stayed put, not enough.

242? Finally the weights balance. Oh fucking shit on a toasted English muffin with a side of fucking home fries. With ass hollandaise sauce.

I felt cheated. I felt angry. I felt like some Fat Ass Fairy came and blessed me in the night with a gift of fat. I wanted to stride naked out of the change room to the administration office of the gym and wave my blubber at them while shouting: “YOU DID THIS TO ME!!” To say this was a wake up call was a bit of an understatement. I was nearing 1/8th of a ton.

I have friends who went on various Jenny Craig/Weight Watchers programs and while I honestly commended them for their choice of healthy eating (they all looked amazing after their run), when they talked about their food intake for the day like their relationship with food resembled a troubled loved one going through rehab, I would silently thank my lucky stars I wasn’t a “food Nazi”.

These things are cyclic: I have become a Food Nazi. So I’m eating more salads, less sugars, nothing after 8pm and getting back to the gym to do an hour of cardio for each visit. This is the last I’ll speak of it, though.

One Thousand Yard Stare In a 50ft Locker Room

You Stupid Dick

I’m changing from towel to street clothes and the guy behind and four lockers to my right is taking his own sweet time doing the same. That’s ok, some people dress slow and like to take their time but the thing is, he’s positioned himself in a T-intersection to oversee the entire locker room. A clear view from where he’s dressing to the main isle and when he goes up on his toes, he’s got a clear view into the cubby holes, created by the lockers.

Slowly he dresses. Watching everyone, except for me, for some insulting reason (not that he was good looking). I guess I’m too damn pretty or too easy to ogle. He slowly puts on his underwear, back to his locker (while 99% of us face our lockers when we dress), going up on his toes every few moments to see what’s what. Hey there! Hi there! Ho there!

Since he’s virtually ignoring me, I stop tying my shoes to actually look at his face and his eyes. There’s nothing I can read there. It’s as almost as if he’s doing this on automatic and has probably been doing it for years and doesn’t realize he’s being that “creepy guy” in the room. He certainly isn’t focusing on any one particular person, his gaze darts from person to person. He’s “just looking” in the purest sense of the word, but his default is set to repeat the scan, looping looping looping. He’s freaking me out a bit and I feel a pang of sorrow for his need to unabashedly, wildly look around the room like an expectant prom queen looking for her king to come back with the spiked punch.

I start to whistle “Some Day My Prince Will Come” from Snow White to charge the moment with some bitter malice on my part. He doesn’t notice.

Family, Secrets. In Repose and Response

Personal Bits, Queer stuff

Weekend Pictures Here

What can you learn of someone within 3 minutes? 30 minutes? 3 hours? 3 days?

This long weekend, we ventured up into the Gatineau area to visit SharkBoy’s “Summer Place” – Notre Dame Du Pontmain to be exact.

It’s a tiny village nearly smack dab in the middle of a massive amount of small lakes about an hour and a bit north of Ottawa, in the Gatineaus. NDdP makes it’s living on the one hotel, the one depanneur and one boat launch and a lot of video rentals. I’ve never been before and I hope I go back. A lot. Mountains rise up out of so many lakes it’s like visiting BC but without the weed. Every morning and evening the sun puts on a display of colours you become drunk with the spectacle. Deer peer at you with those creepy eyes from the sides of the road. Bears have been seen. It truly is one of Quebec’s hidden treasures from the English.

We left late on Friday night to a wall of traffic that spanned downtown Pickering to Brockville, where after 6 hours in the car at 2am, we desperately tried to look for a hotel. All the details of the travel can be found on Sharkboy’s blog. One thing I did enjoy was playing “Senator and the Hooker” in the divey-est hotel on the outskirts of Ottawa that had stucco swipes as wall decoration and other 70s Swiss Chalet motifs (“Spank your bottom? That will be $5 extra, Senator!”).

On the drive we talked a lot about family. The one we started ourselves (cat included) and the ones I was going to meet. As usual, but not so much this time, I felt the apprehension of meeting up with the in-laws and not being able to communicate as much as I’d like. But that always disappears within moments of getting past the front door because SharkBoy’s mom is always so welcoming and friendly (inbetween the “tabanac” and “câlisse”) and we generally communicate in elaborate hand gestures, drinks and the odd translation assistance from SharkBoy’s sister, Syl.

We did eventually meet up and make our way over to SharkBoy’s uncle’s extremely secluded compound after a long drive up, down, through, along swamps and riverbanks. Oddly enough we could see the house we were staying at from his dock, which would have taken 1/100th the time it took to get there if we had walked directly from door to door. Unfortunately the two places are separated by a large river, so unless you’re Jesus, that’s not possible. Visible but secluded. For a reason. He owned the entire mountain behind his house.

Leasing the road to the top of the mountain for a cell phone tower, he’s sitting on a developer’s wet dream of prime cottage land that overlooked the lake. But he wants to keep it to himself for now. That kind of power you don’t come by easy. As we were to learn when the pictures came out. Images of SharkBoy’s dad and his two uncles were presented in all their black and white glory and I got to learn how Romuald became the person who gave me SharkBoy. We also learned of some other stuff that I will respect a certain person’s embarrassment due to certain childhood behaviour, but let’s just say that it involved a chicken and a horse.

Later, SharkBoy’s cousin and her girlfriend piled us into their lesbian truck (who knew it was rampant in his father’s side?) and took us 1/3rd the way up the mountain on the maintenance road to the cell tower. Then we walked the rest of the way. Nearly straight up. For a solid hour. That’s right, this fat, office cube chubbo walked up the side of a mountain to get utterly drenched in sweat (thank god they’re all family now). I also got to spend my first really private moments with Syl and we discussed ex-boyfriends and how sometimes a family’s responsibility is not to mention that we’re dating a jerk. Nothing new or shocking but she managed to make me feel like a brother in those few moments. I also snapped a few shots:

After bombing around on ATVs, we went tubing. First time for me behind a boat where I didn’t fall down within the first couple of seconds of it taking off (I suck at waterskiing).

That night, after saying our bon soirs, we discovered that seclusion has a price: the road back to the highway was washed out in a freak flash flood that came down from the side of the mountain after a short rainfall. Who knew that a mountain could “retain water”? This is where SharkBoy’s family shone: they all came out to the site on their ATVs and trucks to see the damage and within an hour, we had “rebuilt” the road, moved a down tree and scouted ahead the 3 miles to the highway on the ATV to make sure that the road was clear. It was an adventure, to be sure (we could have been at that part of the road during the flood), and his uncle and cousins were actually apologetic for the delay.

The next day the “kids” (without Sharkboy’s mom and aunt) set out to discover the waterfalls at Windigo, a swanky time-share like resort that I’d love to spend a week at some summer time (hint hint). There I saw a frog. Hold your Quebecois jokes. But before leaving, I was struck with the biggest stomach pain right between breakfast and the time we got into the car, which I kept mostly to myself until it started to subside. I wasn’t too chatty that morning. But it passed and I don’t blame anyone’s food…

At this time it was becoming quite evident that one of the guests was not feeling the same emotions for being away for the weekend and would not put down their cell phone for all the texting that was going on. I kept on remembering that when I was their age, I was yearning for not being at family outings either, and would sulk annoyingly over in some corner with a comic or tv show. Kids today (ugh. shoot me. I just wrote “kids today”) have better ways of sulking the fun from the moment by tapping messages to their friends on a small keyboard. I wanted to take them aside and tell them that family time is extremely precious, especially at 40something, and that they should savour the time they have. But of course, I kept my nose out of it. But I did felt old remembering how I behaved exactly the same (sans electroniques). This led to the weekend being cut short by hours (thankfully not by a day) and we managed to get back to Toronto at an extremely decent hour, so thanks teen angst!

In all, a good weekend. I’d love to go back again!

Pride and Pre-Juices

Queer stuff, Toronto

All Photos here.

Pride in ketchupserifThursday:
Met up with The Photogs, The Mailman and Mr Insurance and broke my first rule of Pride (I think I broke 99% of them, this year), and had drinks at O’Greedys. Just drinks. While the service was attentive, mostly it was just smokey. Two pitchers of sangria, one pitcher of tap beer and a basket of poppers came to $120. Thanks for not letting me down, O’Greedys!

Friday, we went to get SharkBoy’s new ink and saw Wall•E. 72 hours later and I’m still thinking about it. Sign of a really good movie. Meesh was a bit endorphined-out so we headed home early, no visit to the street.

Saturday was busy: 7:30am we went to The Terminal Barber, where we manscaped, then off to the optomitrist where we met the most delightful new salesperson in the shop connected to our doctor’s office. She sussed us out in seconds and we left after SharkBoy dropped $1000 on new frames, lenses and contacts. Ow.

Radio City partyThen off to Church Street for breakfast again (I know I know), but huge KUDOS for The Churchmouse for not gouging their customers, just reducing the amount on the menu for faster service. So far I can say I have never had a bad meal there. Various early morning freaks abounded.

Off to a mid-day party at a friend’s at Radio City. These guys own a condo on the 9th floor who’s patio is as equally large as their condo. It was fantastic! Met new people and got a bit wet with some waterfuns.

Home for a drunk nap, then onto the street to try to catch TransX and Dragonette. Line up was impossible, so we stood outside the beer garden and while we could still hear them, bopped by ourselves. Home to bed.

Sunday was possibly the most relaxed Pride I’ve ever had. Breakfast in bed with Coronation Street (as usual) and then off to the Coach House for some real food. Then we wandered the street, chatting with people and taking the odd photo. This year I didn’t really have the heart to take pictures of weirdos and freaks like I’ve done in the past. I’m bitter about being bitter.

Mayor in da house!We got to see Kids on TV after a great set by two DJs who’s names I didn’t catch, but they played Black Kids, and we danced like 21 year olds. Then, we see Mayor David Miller. In a queer beer garden. Name any other mayor who’d do that. As Kids on TV are waving around a dildo-encrusted blow up sex doll, The Honourable David Miller was moving respectively and chatting with people around him, allowing photos to be taken and having a great time. He walked right by us and I guess SharkBoy had huge saucers for eyes (because the Mayor is like, you know, his boss, sort of) because The Honourable David Miller smiled wide and said to both of us WHILE PLACING A HAND ON SHARKBOY’S CHEST: “Happy Pride!”

Man has my vote.

Back home for a powernap and to tend to SharkBoy’s burning scalp. Poor dear. Overcast skies CAN burn you. Anyway, we went back to see Jully Black and SharkBoy wore his ThinkGeek Equalizer shirt. Which was a bit of a mistake. By 10pm, 99% of the people in the street and beer gardens are pissed to the gills. Wearing a shirt that flashes light in sync with sound for a couple thousand drunk people was asking for abuse. He drew attention to himself above and beyond what he’s use to and I was seething with jealousy. I’m not often out-gadgeted by SharkBoy. He was getting stopped every 2 feet and was chatted up which made me dance harder or hoot at the music or juggle plates. At one point someone waved at me. Gladly I wandered over and the person said “Can you move over? I want my friend to see that guy’s shirt.”

Mostly people swore at him: “THAT’S A FUCKIN’ AWESOME SHIRT!” “FUCK! COOL!” and “HOLY FUCK HOW DOES THAT WORK?” while they pawed his chest. One woman got a nice Indian burn on her wrist from not getting the clue of “no touchy!!” Poor drunk dear. Video below:

In all, a subdued, yet most enjoyable Pride! Yay!

Strange The Strangers

Celebs and Media

The StrangersSaw the trailer for The Strangers last week when we went to see Iron Man. Usually horror movies don’t do anything for me because I grew up on a steady diet of 70s/80s slasher movies. I even took a night course on how to make horror make up and actually got to work on a Bollywood-type movie about East Indian zombies in the water reclamation plant. Or something. We didn’t get to see a script, just one day to make heads into zombies.

I digress. The trailer actually made me jump. Seriously. Okay it had the usual “WHAM! SCREAM! BOOM!” kind of structure but it did find one thing that manages to freak me out every time. The old “being watched by the creep in full sight” shot.

I find if you’re going to scare me it has to be the most cleverest of bait-and-switches (not just “open the fridge, get something, close the fridge…MONSTER behind the open door!!!”) or it has to be subtle. Theres a scene in the trailer that has the female lead standing alone in a large room, no sound. From behind, through a darkened doorway, enters a masked figure. And they just stand there, the woman unaware that someone is at the threshold of the room, staring at her. Here’s some screen grabs:

The reason this freaks me out is probably because I read waaaay too much Edward Gorey as a kid . His drawings of vacant Victorian rooms and random acts of tragedy somehow reminded me of certain rooms we had in the house growing up (see image below, from The Gashlycrumb Tinies). This trailer is the same effect, visually, as sniffing something and having a flood of memories come back to me. I was terrified of the vacant apartment we had on the top floor of the rambling old house I grew up in and I think I only went into it once, clutching my sister’s hand, cutting off the circulation.

Oh yes, I think I’ll see this one!