July 31, 2005

Sigh

Barcelona is absolutely stunning.

Now weīre in Sitges. Y'all come vist, 'cause we might not be coming back.

July 27, 2005

Cue the Go-Gos

The calendar tells me it's August in a few days. So why do I feel like summer never arrived?

Maybe it's the weather. Despite a, ahem, "heat wave" a couple weeks ago and a couple of nice days in the park, I never got my tanolicious groove on. Being able to see my breath today certainly didn't help.

Maybe it's this yearís lack of trips to our second home in Ptown, or visiting friendsí places down the Shore or in Southampton (or being on any warm, sandy stretch of seaside). Brighton was lovely, but was only a day trip and it's not really the beach, is it?

Alas, all that is to be rectified maŮana, when we head off to Spain for the next 10 days. A pre-beach tour of Barcelona and then a week in Sitges. Never been to either place, and Iím totally psyched.

A beach and a pool, with healthy doses of reading and writing and resting. Unplugging from work for a while. Perhaps some pre-birthday assessment / goal setting. Plenty of navel gazing -- either mine or the boys on the beach. Maybe just hanging with some friends, having "just the one" cocktail, and finding myself in a few new adventures.

It's totally sin agenda, unless one counts the possibility of re-learning Canasta and the daily Scrabble games I've been promised. Btw, thatís sin as in "without", not "transgression" -- I've been brushing up on my Spanish. ŅEs bueŮo, no?

I'm so ready for a break. I want to come back tanned, recharged, refreshed, and ready to "go back to school."

July 26, 2005

Um, but it IS Rocket Science

I guess the 80/20 rule is now NASA approved.

Let's see ... we'll scrap the mission due to a technical error, not be able to solve the problem, and then go ahead anyway a couple weeks later.

Fingers crossed! Has Homer Simpson moved to Cape Canaveral?

Waiting for Release

The truth is out. Brad did not leave Jen because of Angelina. No indeed. He left her because of a potentially fatal career decision. If we've said it once, we've said it uhmmm, once: the three words you don't want to see in your project are ... "Starring Val Kilmer Kevin Costner.

Oh well. Rumor Has It could easily be redeemed by the Rob Reiner's direction and the other co-stars, Shirley Maclaine and Mark Ruffalo. And Ben Stiller's not in it. The trailer's here, replete with winter's new catch phase, "Come in, I'll put on a pot of bourbon."

Two more things to look forward to later in the year:

I'm very excited for Happy Endings to make its way across the pond, although I can't find a UK release date.

The new Doctor is sporting some catchy threads to go along with his new teeth [via plasticbag]

Good things come to those who wait ... we hope.

July 25, 2005

And 3 For Good Measure

It's now eight, not five.

So sad.

Bar Belle Etiquette

We were heading back to Soho last night for some post-S.L.A.G.S libations, and I had to pee really badly.

Me (alternating between jumping up and down and doing the "i'm gonna piss myself" wiggle): Maybe I'll just pop into CXR while you go to the cash machine.

He: Have you been?

Me: Oh sure, but, um, before I lived here and knew better.

He: [name deleted to protect the guilty] is banned from there.

Me: Gawd, how does one get banned from CXR?

He: He got caught giving a blow job in the back room.

Me: They don't have a back room.

He: Exactly.

July 24, 2005

Oops

The guy in Stockwell had nothing to do with the bombings.

And got 5 bullets in the head.

So why did he run? I thought maybe because he didn't speak English, didn't understand the police's "challenges" and was just scared. But L heard on the tv that language wasn't the culprit.

Original reports said he looked like the Asian guy suspected in Thursday's failed bombing attempts. Not according to the photos now released. Asian, Brazilian ... they all look alike? Methinks not.

He was wearing a heavy jacket in what the day's weather would seem unseasonable ... so he was a sheep in wolf's clothing?

It's all kinda scary, to say the least. I understand being precautious. I understand heightened security measures. I even can understand the shoot-to-kill policy.

But my oh my, this is a grade-A PR nightmare, eh?

There's too much missing from the reports right now to have an informed opinion. Why did he run? Why was he even being followed? Who were the guys that shot him (the officers names/pictures would be all over the press in the States ... whether that's good or bad I don't know)? All those camera phone pictures from 7/7, and nothing from the Stockwell shootings?

Seems like the Metropolitan Police are operating on a modified Kobayashi Maru ... the safety of the many outweigh the safety of the few. Or the one.

RIP Jean Charles de Menezes.

July 22, 2005

On the Beeb

You have to love journalists ...

Eyewitness: "I saw them chase the guy into the tube, he tripped, and then they unloaded 5 shots into the man."

BBC News Reader: "Do you think that killed him?"

This after several confirmations that police have shot and killed the guy.

In the States, there would be all kinds of live "on-the-spot" interviews, but here we've just got phone interviews with people who were at (or sometimes near) the incident.

:: :: ::

News Reader: "Now of course, it's not everyday that a man's shot dead by police in these circumstances."

These guys are sharp as tacks.

Stockwell Shooting

Stockwell, hmm, just a stop away from the Dame Edna Experience. I only go there on Sundays.

The interesting thing to me is that the vast majority of the police I've seen since I've lived here don't carry guns.

Now they're undercover, holding the guy down and shooting 5 times. Wow. Martial law may have begun.

I remember when I first moved to NY, I was on the 1 or 9 train, heading uptown, reading a book and listening to my discman (we didn't have iPods way back then). The train had been stopped at the station for awhile, and all of a sudden these three guys ran into the train, put a gun to a guy's chest, told him not to move, cuffed him and took him off the train.

And then the train moved on to the next station.

Quelle monde.

July 21, 2005

Tools for the Tools

Dear Ye Olde Bathroom Sharer,

While Iím certain that your mother does not frequent the toilet you use at work, I canít help but believe she would be horrified at your behaviour.

To wit:

kleenex.jpg
1. It seems that some of you have a hay fever problem, or perhaps some other sinus-related malady. It also seems that some of you donít know what to do with your non-member holding hand, while standing at the urinal. I might suggest, dear YOBS, that picking your nose is not the preferred action in this circumstance. One hand holding your cock, one hand up your nostril Ö itís just not pretty.

If you must pull out the dried remnants of a cold / cocaine binge Ö then at least flick it in the urinal (I know, some of you already do) and donít wipe it on the wall. There is plenty of tissue and paper towels (usually) in the gents, so you could in fact blow your nose before/after the slash and then wash your hands.


brush.jpg 2. Hereís another topic not to be sneezed at ó explosive diarrhea. Look, I know, shit happens. But that doesnít mean you need to leave the unfortunate remnants of your nights out with Stella and a curry-in-a-hurry in the bowl for subsequent YOBS.

Iím willing to wager you all take a quick look to see if the bowl is clean when you come into the stall. Is it so hard to repeat the process after youíve flushed (most) of your business down the drain? If you see something there's a more than you'd like to start with, then I suggest a simple tool. Itís called a toilet brush. It works fairly well Ö especially when the mess is, um, fresh.

Itís just a little courtesy, YOBS. Iím certain you donít act like this at home. And if you do, then I suggest:

a) itís no wonder you canít get laid
b) youíre mother/wife/partner is a saint
c) you need to pay your housecleaner a lot more

Please donít make me call your mother.

Kind regards,

b

July 18, 2005

On the Pull

It's kind of amazing, and a little frightening, how easily a tooth can be pulled out of your head extracted. I was a little nervous all weekend about this morning's yank, but the broken bicuspid has come and gone without incident.

Well, no incident unless you count the very long dream I had last night where I was sitting in room waiting for the Reservoir Dogs to slice my ear off. True story. I kept thinking it was a dream and telling myself to wake up, but I couldn't. Especially nice touch when Steve Buscemi told me it wasn't a dream and to quit fidgeting, I'd only make it worse.

"You're going to feel some pressure," said Dr. C (the not-so-demonic dentist of Fleet Street ... yes, I had dental work done on Fleet Street). Some pressure, a few lovely cracking noises, and then he asked the nurse to hold my head still, while he pushed and pulled a little harder. Fortunately, the radio was tuned to a classic station, not classic rock, and I didn't have to listen to "Stuck in the Middle with You" while he reached for the straightrazor pliers.

All hail the 3-part yoga breath and visualizations of warm sandy beaches and a naked chef preparing easy-to-chew soups.

From first novocaine injection to toothless hole, it was less than 20 minutes. Novocaine's wearing off, codeine's kicking in, and I'm meeting him for vodkas in a few hours.

Have to wait a few months for it all to heal and get a crown or implant. So now I'm one of those lovely people with a missing tooth. You can take the boy out of the trailer park ...

If only I could get an appointment with Madam Pomfrey to re-grow my tooth, I'd be a happy bunny.

Speaking of Hogwart's, should anyone wants to discuss offline (no spoilers for the slower readers), I think I was the first kid on my block to know who the half-blood prince is (not who I thought), as well as any other of the twists and turns of HP's sixth year. A perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday.

JK's got a lot of work to do in the next book, eh?

July 14, 2005

Tick Tick OUCH

Took a beach day to Brighton on Tuesday, which the spirits have chosen to punish me for. Work's gotten crazy busy and I cracked a bicuspid last night while eating a bowl of corn chowder before seeing tick, tick...BOOM!

Another first. I've now had my first experience with dental care in the UK. Jury is out on if the tooth is savable, but it was cracked right up to the root ... so I've got half of it left and had an unplanned mini root canal this morning. So now I'm waiting for the novocaine to wear off, with a hole in my gum where half a tooth used to be, and going back on Saturday to see if I get a crown or an extraction. Wheee.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the theater?

Lovely! I'd not seen the show in NY, and have only sporadically listened to bits of the CD. Christian Campbell is an adorable John. He's recently taken over from Doogie Howser, who'd been getting really strong reviews and was one of the reasons I bought the tickets. Fellow Buckeye Tee Jaye (I'm betting his mama didn't name him no Tee Jaye) was fine (made me wish I'd seen Jerry Dixon in it back home). Cassidy Janson was outstanding. She totally nailed her New York accents and stopped the show with "Come to Your Senses."

I've been thinking about theater the past few months, and missing the creative side of things ... the one I put on hold 7 years ago when I stopped auditioning and put my soul on a lease-to-buy program with the corporate world. No real regrets, mind you, but every now and again I miss the sense of community and the process of theater. How there must be something more to life and wouldn't it be cool to get paid to do what you really love.

And that's the gist of the show ... fear of getting older, wondering if you make your mark, will you have to sell out and take the safe route? I guess I'm not the only one who thinks such things. Mr. Larson wrote a tony little show about it. And then he went and died less than a month before before Rent had its world premiere.

And that probably hurts worse than my broken tooth.


July 13, 2005

What Would C.J. Do?

"Is there a credibility gap at the White House?" Um ...

I guess there would be worse jobs to have than Scott McClellan's, but I really can't think of one.

July 9, 2005

Huh?

Two things which I'll expound on this weekend (you decide which is more important).

1. Maxwell got evicted instead of Science?? And how much does Davina not heart the geezer.

2. What's up with this message on CNBC tonight during the broadcast of the American NBC nightly news when covering about the London bombings

CNBC does not have clearance to air this video

Addendum 11 July: No word on the CNBC European blackout of London bombing footage during the American nightly news. I called CNBC, got a recorded message and asked them to call me back. Not holding my breath for a response, but one never knows.

July 8, 2005

The Morning After

Cycled into work this morning. Traffic seemed a bit heavier than usual, which is to be expected with some of the roads closed and trains not running. Still I managed not to hit anybody, even with all the extra policemen about.

If only George W. were so adroit.

Running a country ... it's as easy as riding a bike.

Went to get some lunch awhile ago and Broadgate is full of people in gym clothes and robes; seems one of local buildings is being evacuated. Police have cordoned off a side street.

Hmm, looking out the window I see the the square outside our building is filling up with people. No announcements here though ... and the blinds are back up. So we must be safe.

:: :: ::

Addendum, 15:15: The block party caused by the evacuation of Broadgate Circle has dispersed without incident. Nothing more to watch out the windows here ... everyone's gone back to drinking tea, making personal phone calls, and checking out missed connections on Gumtree.

July 7, 2005

Kaboom -- Update 4

Was supposed to start my yoga course tonight, which I figured would be cancelled. But they said all systems go, so I hopped on the trusty bike, rode through a rainy Regent's Park and found myself in an oasis of zen at TriYoga. The class was just what I needed ... a gentle reminder to breathe, be present, have strong legs and only let yourself feel the sweet pain.

Thanks Louise ... you can push me into a deeper down dog anytime.

Had a very centered, relaxing cycle back to M2. The busses are running, everyone I know got home safely without (much) incident, people are wandering the streets, the pubs in Primrose Hill and Marylebone seem quietly active, and the air is fresh with the remnants of a summer shower. All things considered, I'm a lucky boy.

Y'all stay safe. People are crazy out there.

Kaboom -- Update 3

Apparently my first account of this morning was picked up by Der Speigel. Guten Tag to all y'all from Germany.

There's an interesting and useful wiki set up already for those looking for more information on today's events.

The Beeb keeps reporting increasing numbers of casualites, which was becoming more and more upsetting to me. Until I realized that some of the "casualites" had superficial injuries.

Hmm... one more language difference between English and American. Here in London a casualty is someone who has been injured. When the media in the States reports a casualty, it refers to a person being killed.

Imagine my surprise (I was downright gobsmacked) when the news report said there were 136 casualites at one hospital, but over 100 of those were released after initial evaluation.

Kaboom -- Update 2

Citi has 12,000 people in their building at Canary Wharf, and there will be no tube service for the rest of the day, and probably no busses. A mess indeed trying to get people accomodation and/or transportation home.

It's the blackout all over again. How is it I end up in the middle of all these events? That night turned out to be quite the party. This one ... notsomuch I'd imagine.

And meanwhile back at my office, I've just learned that, 4 hours after the incident, they've "lowered the blinds." An excellent security measure. It was also noted that the blinds next to my desk doesn't lower, so I'm probably safer at home. LOL.

This feeling of being in a city under attack (that sounds so dramatic, but I guess that's the situation we're in), while quietly and safely at home in my flat, is eerily familiar to 9/11. I missed the morning rush that day too, and ended up watching it on tv, answering the phone and answering emails. It's an interesting cocktail of emotions ... feeling safe and home, but feeling like I should be in the mix of it at work; guilty happiness knowing I missed being on a train this morning going into Liverpool St. Station, like would have been had I not decided to do that 9am call at home. It's all so random. And a little scary.

One friend described it as "Blitz Mentality" at work. I'm not sad to be missing that ... a collective group panic that can set in. And a air of fear that's unavoidable.

I remember walking around my neighborhood the evening of 9/11, seeing all the signs for "Give Blood" and "Have you seen .....?" I know this is not a good thing today, but I know that things could be a lot worse.

Still is all good news from everyone I know here in London, which is lucky. Very grateful for that. And it's comforting to be getting phone calls from home, especially from those I haven't heard from since we moved here.

Rumor mill is still rampant. Heard from one friend that Covent Garden is being evacuated. No news on the Canary Wharf shooter, but they're still advising people in one buidling to stay inside.

Oh, and it's raining.

Hey Lady .....

We Interrupt this Terrorist Attack ...

for inspired blog art.

Please do enjoy.

Kaboom -- Update

My little circle seems to be all accounted for. I'm at home and Larry's esconced in Canary Wharf.

Got to the Marble Arch tube station after doing a 9am conf call at home. Word had it that there was a "network failure." So I walked to Bond Street and it was just closed down. No signs, no people. Hmmm.

Busses were a mess on Oxford Street and no service on my Bberry or mobile, so I walked up to Marylebone Road to try to find a less crowded bus. Lots of ambulances and police. A couple helicopters.

I slowly got that pit in my stomach, the feeling that this is bigger than a power shortage. Those who had mobile service were murmurring "explosions" and "it is bombs?". It was all so calm. Not like 9/11 when people were running up the street. The Brits just don't get excited.

Heard that one of the incidents was at Liverpool Street, which is my destination, so I decided to just head home.

So here I am, watching the Beeb, talking to Gypsy (oh, she's home now!) eating toast, and fielding phone calls.

Hmm, Larry just called back and there are reports that a sniper was just shot at Canary Wharf. Nothing on tv about that yet. I'm guessing (hoping!) that's just a rumor floating around his office.

More news as it develops.

July 6, 2005

Say What?

We were somewhere the other day (probably The Yard) and I noticed a guy with a gold hearing aid.

Is this the new status symbol among the hearing impaired? Maybe he's a new white rapper ... Def Chav.

Yo yo yo, without this bling, I can't hear you sing.

July 5, 2005

The Alias Workout

I'm increasing my cardio between now and Stiges, so I don't have to wear can fit into Liza's old caftans. Being the self-motivator that I am, I've opted to take as many classes as possible at the gym. It's harder to say, "oh bother" and head off to the steam room when you're with a group of people and an instructor pushing you along. And truth be told, I've been enjoying my return to spin over the past week or so.

Today I tried Body Combat. It's a non-contact punching, kicking, jumping, fancy footwork workout. I'm a total sped at (I'll take 4th-grade slang for $400), but I kicked up a storm and sweated like George Bush during an IQ test.

I felt very Sydney Bristow the whole time. And my wig didn't come off once.

July 1, 2005

Wicked Little Town

Saw Hediwg last night (and for those keeping score at home, on Tuesday night as well). A ninety minute concert that celebrates your inner freak. I love it.

David Bedella dons the wigs this time. I developed a theater crush on him last year, when I saw him as the devil in Jerry Springer the Opera. He's an amazing performer. His is a is a kinder, gentler Hedwig; a bit more glamourout than haggard ... especially at the beginning. But all in, it was a great show. Good enough to see twice in a week.

On Tuesday night, I sat between Larry and Clay Aiken (or at least his doppelgšnger), who sang right along with me for the whole show (Clay, not Larry). Last night, I tried to round up a posse, but only one taker was around, so Mar is now indoctrinated and should be receving his own Wig in a Box shortly. Apparently it never made it to Americana. Kind of a fun show to see when you have no expectations.

I remember when it was closing in NY, I made my sister come see it. "I'm sending you a plane ticket ... you have to see this show." Good times.

It's amazing to me that it's only running for 2 weeks. Must be a labor of love for the producers, that's a lot of work to put something up for such a short run. Perhaps it's they're getting their toes wet to see if they could extend it in a longer run. Or maybe it's a tax write-off. Now that Mr. Bedella has an Oliver, I'd hope he could do better than play to a tiny house on a dancefloor of a nightclub, but whereever he plays next, I'll do my best to see him.

:: :: ::

In other news ... Happy Canada Day to all those lumberjacks, beavers, moose, and Mounties out there. We will be at The Maple Leaf later on this afternoon to celebrate. Mmmmm Molson.

Tomorrow is some concert (wear white) that people can't afford to go to, a parade of the gays (wear nothing), and a festival of shame(wear black). Fun for the whole city.