Monday, November 18, 2002

Monday morning....didn't do anything great this weekend. Joe worked Friday and Saturday night. I went out with Curtis and some of his friends on Saturday night, got really drunk but nothing too major to report. The only exercise I did this weekend was a gym session on Saturday morning. The chinook winds were too strong this weekend to get out for a bike ride, and I didn't feel compelled to get on the trainer. Oh well, rest days are always essential as well...

The Calgary Bicycle Track League AGM was on Thursday night. It was nice to see some of the people that I competed against all summer. I won the "Hammerhead" award for the B-cat, the person who put in the most effort through the season, whether winning or not. It was a popular email vote-in which made it even more sweet that I was voted the award by my colleagues. I also picked up a $125 cheque for ended up second in the season standing in the B-category. I'm also now on the 2003 Executive as the Member-at-large/Newsletter position, so I guess I'll be hanging around at the track some more in 2003.

Had a really great visit from Mom and Dad last weekend (Remembrance Day LW). Went out for dinner to Teatro on Friday night, went shopping at Chinook and Ikea on Saturday and then to Swan's for a few beers on Joe's shift with the folks and Cheryl-lee. They left Sunday morning for Red Deer.

Christmas is only five weeks away! Gross. I'm not going to have any money for presents again. I have a whopping annual gym membership to Fountain Park (~$600) due at the beginning of December. We're also saving up for the computer, plus the ol' ridiculous Visa payments.

Cheryl-lee and I are planning a Class of '89/'90 reunion for December 23rd at the GV Motor Inn. Hopefully we'll get a good turnout. I don't really want to have to call EVERYONE, but I guess it would be only fair to let everyone know about it.

The Housewarming has officially been set for December 14th. We've invited WAY too many people, but hopefully we'll be able to fit everyone in. Should be a good time (as long as it's not -30).

I bought the remixes for "Die Another Day" last week, and also the new Underworld disk, "A Hundred Days Off". Also got "Spider-man" and "Star Wars:Attack of the Clones" on DVD last week. Very cool. Possibly go and see "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" on Tuesday, and "Die Another Day" on Friday. "MIB2" and "Ice Age" come out on DVD next week, I think.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

A frosty Wednesday in Calgary...I think it went down to -15^C or something stupid like that last night. Fuck!

Joe and I went to see the Michael Moore documentary "Bowling for Columbine" last night. Very interesting. It's bizarre how much irony there is in the movie. The cause of the problem of out-of-control gun laws in the USA seems so obvious even though it isn't overtly stated. It's amazing they haven't figured out why so many people are dying yet.....I can only hope that the movie gets more people talking about the issues. Very sad parts about the boys from Columbine going to KMart headquarters to petition for the removal of bullets for sale in the stores. I was amazed about their success!

What the hell about Charlton Heston? Typical gun maniac. Always "it's enshrined in the Constitution", but never with any reasonable substance as to why it's necessary to keep a LOADED gun in your house. Sleeping with a gun under your pillow? WHA? Americans are so afraid of everyone and everything, there biggest problem is that they'll shoot first and ask questions later. Weird.....

Anyways, I bought several things last week. "The Simpsons Episodes, Season Two" and the special release of "E.T." on DVD. Realized after I opened it that A&B Sound charged me $10 more for the Simpsons than I would've paid at I'm quickly losing faith in A&B. They've been terribly disappointing in the last year. Who the hell orders their inventory anyways?

I also received my shipment from Grishko on Monday. I'd waited over a month for the stuff to come from Moscow. I was getting a little worried, but everything worked out. I ordered a footed turtleneck unitard, one black and one flesh colored. They fit very well, and I'm overall quite happy. The only disappointment was that they advertised the material to be polyamide, which would indicate a polyester/lycra mix, but these pieces are definitely nylon/lycra. I can't tell from the material tags because they are in Russian! I also bought another pair of black ballet slippers. Trust the Russians on how to make high-quality ballet clothing!

The move to the new apartment went rather smoothly. We've had people in fixing linoleum and carpet over the past few days. I think Joe is getting a little stressed out since he's had the last few days off and had to endure everything, but they should be done today.

Went to the Alberta Ballet performance on Saturday night and then to Greg and Marion Tompkins for their bi-annual house party. Ran in the morning and ended up at Lynn Gaudet's 50th birthday party in the morning.

The Ballet performance was very good. We particularly liked "sans detour" ( a woman's descent into madness) and " The Winter Room". "Rodeo" was a lot of fun, not very traditional though. "Celestial Themes" was good too, but not near as energetic as the other pieces. It always seems like the first performance has to set the standard and is always the easiest to dismiss. This one had eight dancers on stage, all tightly choreographed. The other three pieces were a lot more freeform.

Sunday I went to the football game with Kevin Bumphrey, his friend Ian, and Tony. We had a fun day, and Calgary actually won!

Thursday, October 17, 2002

"Invitation to the Dance" TSO Concert Programme - Pops Series

Jack Everly - conductor
Alexsander Antonijevic and Sonia Rodriguez, National Ballet of Canada dancers performing Scene IV from "Swan Lake" (White Swan pas de deux)
Rafael Holody and Agatha Hansen, ballroom dancers performing "Begin the Beguine" from Jubilee
Gregory Mitchell and Marianne Hettinger, tango and tap dancers performing "Put On A Happy Face" from Bye Bye Birdie, and "Libertango"
Karen Callaway Williams, tap dancer performing "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers"
Clare Casey, Anton Cronin, Shaun Langely, and Alanna McCrudden, Irish dancers performing music from "The Lord of the Dance"

What a fantastic (albeit too short - 1.75 hours) show!
From: "Mark & Robert"
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:25 pm
Subject: Black and Blue and those Canadiens

Whoa, what a week. First of all, contrary to rumors, the Gestapo never showed. Or maybe it just seemed that way, relative to our experiences here in Gotham.

We got into Montreal on Thursday evening and checked into our swell hotel, Hotel St. Paul, on 355 McGill, which we would heartily recommend to anyone interested in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building redone in a style to suit the modern world's way of life. Check out the website ( Our room was spacious and
streamlined and the bed was exemplary, which proved to be key for a week like this. There's a lovely restaurant on the ground floor called Cube, and a bar-lounge called BarCru, and the atmosphere in all the public areas was very Ian Schrager/Royalton/Delano/YouKnow. It worked for us, the entire five nights.

Hotel St.Paul was a refuge from some of the seedier aspects of Montreal. As Ed Childs said, the town is a bit run-down, and in constant disarray due to construction/renovation, and St. Catherine Est is particularly iffy in places, though not threatening if you happen to be an inhabitant of New York. We headed to the Gouverneur and picked up our passes. The Welcome Center was not nearly as social as the welcome centers in South Beach where you can count on cocktails and music and boys scouting, but it was well-run and our passes were handed over with smiles.

Smiles. That's what this town has in spades. In all our years of traveling, I don't think we have ever encountered such a plethora of friendly people. Not once in our five days there did we experience any of the nastiness which can punctuate the checkout lines here in Manhattan. Not once. Nothing but smiles. These people are happy, even if the weather is cold. Maybe it's because they have to sleep with another person so often, body to body, to keep warm, and maybe that makes them warmer overall. Whatever, it works for us.

So we headed over to Stereo for the Jock Ball. Hmmm. Talk about need of renovation. The club was closer to a YMCA, or maybe a high school gymnasium. Well, whatever. We fixated on the smiles. But here's an odd thing. We get through security, and then, not ten feet away, on the stairs leading to the floor, are three boys selling
whatever we needed/wanted. And later, we see the very security people who patted us down chatting up the dealers. Well, how cooperative it all seemed.

Anyway, we dance for a while and it's a kind of low-energy evening, in some ways, but there is this one BBCM dancer who totally gets the groove and he's on a box and he works for us and he gets us in shape. It's good to have a leader.

We leave around 4 a.m. and try to find papers on the way home, amidst all the detritus which litters the streets the further west we walk on St. Catherine. Yes, very much like the old Times Square around here... Phone call to Disney?

We walk the river, our one venture away from GayVille. We walk Sherbrooke Street, which Ed Childs might have liked because it was a plus more upscale. Holt Renfrew the department store which is kind of like Louis in Boston or Wilkes in SF. The Ritz-Carlton and McGill University. Very British, in a way. Lovely to see. We stopped and
sent flowers to our hotel room so the concierge we adored would be impressed and think we were really rock stars.

We're not exactly leather boys, but just the same, we wanted to hear Escape. He's such a sweetheart. His joy so infectious. His smile so contagious. Who could resist? And yes, he did play Dark Beats about six times or maybe a hundred, but it reminded me of the way Larry Levan used to play things over and over at the Garage (not that
I ever heard him live, just hearsay, you know.......)

We got there just in time for the show which was done to Bohemian Rhapsody and it was kind of intense weird and perfect for this strangely wonderful club called Medley. Think of a fur trappers' lodge crossed with an Elks Club with maybe an Oddfellow thrown in. Lots of wood and a balcony which circled the floor and a dark wood
painted ceiling and creaky staircases and the usual body painters and boot lackeys and spit polishing and such. And all of it done with good humor and lightness. It wasn't a dark party. These people were all dressed in leather, but I wouldn't have been surprised to hear them trading recipes.

At one point, there was this huge Alien-like creature wheeled into the center of the floor and it was on this kind of hydraulic pump which kept this apparition undulating up and down and back and forth and all in this black cloud of materials and horns and pipes and strangeness which was finally stripped off to reveal a sort of acrobat who swung around. It got me. I couldn't keep my eyes off whatever it was.

And Escape worked for us. He was fun to watch, and he made the night fun, and we didn't leave the place until after five a.m.


We wandered Gay Ville like good gays. We patronized the clothes stores and the restaurants. This section of St. Catherine Est is nicer, natch, than the section directly to the west. All the boys were out, everyone shopping and jabbering. The energy was nice, a sense of anticipation in the air.

As Ed Childs said, it's a big club, and also in need of a bit of freshening up. Think of Level in South Beach. A big theatre, stripped of its balcony seats. It also reminded us of the Roman Senate. We overheard a boy on his cell on the way upstairs, screaming into the phone, probably to his sleeping boyfriend, "It's only the biggest party of the year."

And it was. It was THE PARTY of the week. The next night was THE EVENT, but this was THE PARTY. It reminded us of Manny playing at Level two years ago for Winter Party. The boys were there for him, but we loved Gilles as much. The floor was packed, everyone shirtless, and sweating. So sweaty. The floor was slippery with
sweat. You could slide on the sweat. It was deliriously wet. It was futile to resist. There was so much going on. Upstairs, the balconies were packed, ring after ring of boys. Downstairs, hardly an inch to move, least of all on the floor. Manny played to them all, and they loved every bit of it.

Narcotic Thrust, or maybe just the lead singer, came on and sang Safe From Harm and, predictably, everyone sang along. Well, why not? It was the song of the week, you could tell already, and the subtext is all about being there for each other, blah blah, so it fit with the Humanity theme, and it worked. So why not sing along?

We loved this party, mostly because of its intensity. The energy was overwhelming, no holding back EXCEPT from overdosing. It was a wild crowd, but one without fall-outs/overdoses. Everyone was happy. Those smiles. And though the floor was packed, shoulders and elbows weren't jammed into your back.


Okay, so we've never really liked stadium events. So we had minimal expectations, thinking that maybe the dance floor would be concrete or else too vast or the sound dreadful or no sense of community fostered.

Wrong. We were so wrong. We took the Metro around 12:15 a.m., because our adorable concierge said it was the best thing to do, and good thing. The metro takes you right into the stadium, and there were droves of people there. But the VIP line moved quickly, and the coat check was relatively easy, and then security, which was much
less invasive than at Exit, and then, a long dimly lit blue hall and then down a staircase and there, across the stadium, like a carnival rolled into town for the night, there it was: Black and Blue.

Like a midway, with massage parlors and concession stands and souvenir stands and energy drinks and bars and bleachers all around, in a six-sided ring, and a stage in the center, and a track overhead, the likes of which looked as it if would support a subway, and a stage at the front, and the VIP area right behind the deejay, and it
was Tracy still playing, and we sat in the bleachers, at the top, and just tried to soak it all in.

The dance floor was packed, glow sticks bobbing and God, there was so much going on. Where to look, what to do, what to see?

And then, right at 1:30, this big platform starts moving through the crowd and there are these war-torn dancers on platforms and high above the floor, and there's the Red Queen on the platform moving slowly toward the center, singing, "I Want You to Get It Together" and all the screens around the floor are showing the world's peoples,
all kinds of people, and then the Buddha comes across the ceiling, on the subway track, in a huge cage, and he's just sitting there, and the Red Queen is waiting for him and the war-torn dancers are writhing and the place, the whole place, is going fucking crazy. I mean, crazy. It was so intense, so wild, and maybe I was just peaking, but I don't think so.

It went on for twenty minutes. This one production number, it was like a twenty-minute orgasm, and when it was finally finished, the two of us looked at each other like, What the fuck. My God. So now we knew. So now we knew what the night was going to be like.

And it was. We were there until ten a.m. This is unheard of for us. We never stay more than four or maybe five hours. Eight hours? Nine hours? No way. But we couldn't tear ourselves away from the music. And it was just as Josh had said: so much new music and just what we wanted/needed because, for me, I don't want to dance to what
I've danced to before. I want to feel something new within me, and let that newness take me away.

Those production numbers, they just kept coming. Angels in white, angels above the floor, one, then two, then another two, all of them about eighty feet high and then the sun rising from the floor. And then realizing that the angels were moons.

And then we were in the VIP area and Escape was there and so of course, chat chat chat. Love you, love you, blah blah. And there was so much food, if you wanted. And Paulette was sexy dominatrix in black leather and her beat worked me over. And also Superchumbo, and Irresistible was definitely the song. And then Mark Anthony and he
was ear to the boards and mix mix mix.

And the whole time, the floor stayed packed. We danced atop the bleachers, fixated on the pulsing organism which was the crowd. God, what incredible energy.

And again, we saw no people in distress. And all the people we talked to were so friendly, so happy. So many straight people, just happy to be there, dancing. And it wasn't about being gay, or straight, it was just about being together for the night, and celebrating our commonalities, and not freaking about our differences.

It was a joy.


Yeah, it took a while to determine whether or not we needed/wanted to go to this party. Again, at Metropolis, did we really need to do it? After the highs of the night/day before?

But, of course, we went. Dutiful circuit queens. Yet again. Back on the street, into the club. Yeah, we're here again. And it was fine. Maybe even good. It was good to see how the energy had changed from two nights before. How the crowd had come down a bit. How we were all in the same boat. How much fun the week had been, and how it was now about learning to let it go.

So we danced to James Anderson, and he got a groove working, and Suzanne did the Show Me thing, which kept that song in our minds, all the way home yesterday.


Montreal has wonderful energy. It's a town without hustle, which, as New Yorkers, we could appreciate. How pleasant to be in a place where everyone wasn't working you over. How nice to see so many farm-fresh boys, smiling and happy.

I can't say we ate the best food, but sometimes it was enough just to be surrounded by such pleasant people. And whenever we said we were from New York, there was such empathy for what had happened here last year, and their compassion was so genuine that it was almost painful. "Oh, New York," one cabbie said. "A terrible thing
happened there last year."

Yes, we know. But this week was about celebrating our humanity and all the things that bond us to other human beings.

BBCM did an exemplary job at making us aware of all the good that exists in the world -- and how you can still find reasons to dance.

Loved it. Anyone who goes again will too.

Mark and Robert


From: "Timothy B"
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 8:13 pm
Subject: Black & Blew all over ;)

I made the trip to Montreal because I have heard so many great things about the BBCM production style and the lineup of dj's appealed to me.. I was really looking forward to seeing Tom Stephan play. Not only is he a major babe, more importantly he plays the tribal music that I like. He did not disapoint. The high point of the Main Event was when I looked up to see five angelic creatures floating above the crowd on that huge crane structure that moved across the throngs of people. People reaching towards the angels and the roof as the light got brighter and the word's "You bring light in, to a dark place..." were coming out of the sound system from Tom playing King Unique's remix of Underworld's single 'Two Months's Off'. Brilliant!! With all the fear and violence and darkness the world has experienced over the past few years, that moment just rang
really true for me.. Also appreciated whomever it was that was drumming along to the music. Hmm maybe next year I will bring my drums and drag a bunch of my Radical Faerie freinds along to see what they have been missing.. Looked for the chillout area which supposedly had a separate dj Charles Poulin, but all they had set up was a section of bleachers in the main stadium.. =( Also, next year, I recommend a bigger dance floor, as they only used about one third of the entire main floor. While I don't mind being molested on the dance floor :P at times there was not enough room to dance.. All in all though, I had a blast and look forward to next year..!

From: "Paul Latiff"
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 10:39 pm
Subject: RE: That Bitch Who Ruined Black & Blue...Drew & Ed

I would have to agree with you, Drew, James Anderson is very hit or miss...but this past weekend was definitely "HIT".

Ed, I agree with you too.... many reviews can be very general and not offer very much in the way of specifics. I did not find your review negative...just VERY detailed. :-) (and saw you a few times as well, but by the time the signal made it from the brain to the feet to move toward you, the crowd had again swallowed you up) The crowd was definitely VERY diverse. Gay, straight, bi, confused, rave, circuit, etc... and I found this to be a nice departure from what I've become accustomed to.

Montréal IS a bit run down, and St. Catherine can be a bit scary, but for the most part I would guess that it's relatively harmless.

Musical preferences aside, from a planning aspect this party was goddamn near flawless. Never had to wait for a bathroom, security was present but never intrusive, (no one gave them any reason to be) there was ample food and water available AND they actually brought sinks in and set them up off to the side of the dancefloor. (GREAT idea)
And what in God's name was in those Red-Bull-like drinks? "BASE" I think it was called.....the shit was like carbonated sugar.. WOW.

As B&B is probably one of the most well known, largest, and most highly respected parties in the world, my feeling is that ALL of the DJ's and entertainers go out of their way to put their best foot forward for this event.

I said it before, and I'll say it again: The professionalism, organization, dedication, and friendliness of the BBCM staff is heart warming and refreshing and should be an example that promoters and party organizers in the US strive to follow.

Date: Thu Oct 17, 2002 6:13 am
Subject: BBCM: Don't forget...

As the reviews pour in from Black & Blue this past weekend, which for the most part seem overwhelmingly positive. Let's not forget that the BBCM is not only
renowned for organizing and presenting an excellent weekend of events....but also are EXCEPTIONAL at really giving back to the community that it truly
seeks to "keep safe from harm"...always great to know that not only do we get a great "bang for the buck" party wise, but also know that our money actually
goes back to a good cause...

Kudos to the BBCM!


From: "Dean Miner"
Date: Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:27 am
Subject: Thank you to the BBCM - Black and Blue 2002 Cultural festival.

yes, i agree wholeheartedly!

major thanks to robert vezina, katia koric, david, all the bbcm staff and volunteers, artistic developers, performers and dancers, production designers, security, and yes the medical staffing for an incredible year and cultural festival benefit week in montreal !

special thanks to all the djs for their work, dj jerry, sylvie g, norm robert, mccoy, zilon, stephan grondin, gilles jr, escape, serge dechesne, alex lauterstien, john le page, gilles massicotte, manny lehman, mat ste-marie, victor calderone, demarko, richie ladue, tracy young, paulette, tom stephan, mark anthony, stephane lippe, james
anderson, alain vinet, hex hector and jester.

hope i did not forget anyone there !

all done for charity and a great cause, "giving back to the community."

thank you guys, my deepest appreciation to you all.

dean miner
www,circuitpartyinsanity Online Magazine

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The "Invitation to the Dance" last night was fantastic! The Roy Thomson Theater is quite impressive too. I will write a review on the evening once I get my performance guide out again....Great variety of dance styles - from ballet to Irish stepping, great variety of music styles from Tchaikovsky to Giorgio Moroder. The conductor was very funny and it was a well organized and choreographed evening.
Here are some Black & Blue reviews from postings in Circuit Party Insanity message board:

From: "rshdolphin"
Date: Mon Oct 14, 2002 3:03 pm
Subject: Year of the "T" - Tracy Young is DJ of the Year !!!!

I was catching up on my CPI emails and ran across the one about Tracy Young. I totally agree with you that Tracy Young should be the DJ of the Year. Last year was Manny's year ...this year is Tracy's...I have started calling it "The Year of the T!"

Tracy has blossomed, come into her own sound, and become one of the hottest and amazing DJ's the circuit has seen. What a cycle to watch and experience.

Take it from someone who has come full circle in her music. Up until a few months ago, she wasn't one of my favorites. But a few months before the stars party, she TOTALLY got me with her music on a regular Sunday at Crobar Miami. Something had changed in her music.....She had a new sound ...she was on fire and she hasn't let up yet.

Tracy has a unique sound that has a power of its own. You cant compare it to Manny or to Victor. It is simply Tracy's sound. It can be hard and pounding, soft and teasing, and very sexual sound. Her music sneaks up on you ....your dancing ...feeling good....then she blows you thru the roof. Before you know it she's picked you up, tossed you around the dancefloor, and then punches you to the wall and the entire time you have a BIG GRIN ON YOUR FACE - BEGGING HER FOR MORE!

I am proud to say that she transformed my opinion and now I am one of her biggest fans. At the Stars party at Disney, for the first time in three years of circuit parties, I danced for FOUR HOURS without leaving my spot .....not ONE THING in my body, completely sober,......after being up since Saturday......I danced like a fool until the party was over and didn't even know it. I was stunned that music could actually consume you completely sober and lift your energy to an entire new level. Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end and my girlfriend said I cant believe you never left this spot, not once!! WOW!! I still cant believe it ...that was all Tracy and the music!!!

Everyone always bashes her for the foghorn thing, the Madonna thing, and not paying her dues. Well, after all the grief we here at CPI have given her and being one of the first woman to break out in this male dominated DJ world.....TRACY HAS EARNED OUR RESPECT!!!!!!

It's time we realize and recognize that Tracy is truly talented and gifted as a DJ and as a remix artist. She is her own sound and person. The woman really has talent..we should encourage it, embrace it, and cherish denying that!!!!!!!

She rose above the foghorn crap and she kicked all of our asses at the Stars Party. She continues to work us hard at Crobar once a month too.


This past weekend, Tracy is the FIRST WOMAN to EVER play Black & Blue. CONGRATULATIONS TRACY YOUNG!!!! She didn't get that gig for being pretty or because of Madonna....Tracy deserved that honor and she has earned it. I heard she was outstanding and that she turned it out!!!

From a non-fan transformed by your music to a DIE-HARD FAN FOREVER...... Speakerlvr sends Tracy Young MUCH LOVE and RESPECT!! Congratulations on B&B and Keep Working Us OUT!!

P.S. DEAN, I hear Tracy is not single. However, The line starts here.....I'M first in line can be second......HEHEHE... I added my favorite pic of Tracy for you!

From: "Paul Latiff"
Date: Tue Oct 15, 2002 5:58 pm

Hats off to BBCM and the City of Montréal.....

EVERY DJ this weekend was just ON. (Paulette at the Main Event, and whoever did Recovery.....WOW...and Mark Anthony...was he pulling those remixes he played towards the end out of his ASS? Absolutely wonderful)

I was TOO THRU when they brought the Buddha out OVER the dance floor and he just spun around.

The fact that BBCM can throw such a large, multi-faceted event, and treat all the party-goers with such dignity and respect, while not letting them lose sight of the REAL reason for the event speaks to their professionalism and dedication.

When I was searched as I was going in to the main event, and they found my HIV meds, I was quietly taken behind a curtain, asked by a volunteer if I needed to have them stored in a fridge, told where I could find food if I needed it to take my meds, and given a "The Party Needs You" pamphlet detailing possible interactions with party drugs and meds, and then sent on my way. I was speechless.

THAT is how you throw a party.
From: Ed Childs
Date: Tue Oct 15, 2002 10:39 pm
Subject: .:HUMANITE:. Black and Blue 2002

My first Black & Blue, and my second trip to Montreal, the first was way back in 1991. Unlike many cities that have had a resurgence in recent years, Montreal seems about as seedy and rundown as it was 11 years ago, perhaps even more so, lots of handicapped and homeless begging for change along Rue Ste Catherine. Montreal is a unique
combination of French party atmosphere like New Orleans, European culural influences, the regional pride of Quebec, and a bit of a New York edge as well. All in all this was very different than any other party I've ever been to. I was in Montreal Saturday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon.

SATURDAY TEA, DJ JOHN LEPAGE, CABARET MADO. Good music, small crowd, and cheap drink prices! Only stayed an hour or so before getting a bite to eat at La Pizzetta, then a disco nap.

BAL MILITAIRE, DJS GILLES MASSICOTTE & MANNY LEHMAN, METROPOLIS. The venue reminded me a lot of the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles in terms of size and the DJ booth on the stage and a large wrap around balcony. This place is huge! And it was filled! Much larger than I expected from the entrance on the outside. Great masculine energy of the Black Party type, everyone mostly in camouflage pants and barechested, a great equalizer of us as men. Although it really would be nice for a change not to find myself with GBA -- that's Glitter By Association -- the next morning after a military party no less. DJ Gilles Massicotte was awesome, I could have listened to him all night. Manny started with "Got The Groove" which he plays at exactly the right tempo at exactly the right volume with exactly the right lighting each time. Everyone went nuts, hands in the air and wild cheers. I think anyone else playing the same song would not get the same reaction, it's Manny's signature and works really well. From the opening things started downhill and he shifted into Top 40 Circuit diva stuff, unoriginal and nothing we haven't heard a hundred times before. But in all fairness the packed crowd seemed very into it even if I personally was not. Loved the stage shows but they didn't flow, the music always stopped, spoken announcements, show, applause, then the music resumes. Mark Baker's events with Gay Disney as the best example, that is how I personally like to see things flow. I left around 4:00am, thought I would take a two-hour catnap and head over for Victor Calderone at Stereo but the warm bed was too difficult to get out of. Heard great things about that the next day.

BLACK & BLUE, DJS TRACY YOUNG, PAULETTE/MINISTRY OF SOUND, TOM STEPHAN/SUPERCHUMBO, MARK ANTHONY. Apparently I arrived at exactly the wrong time for VIP ticket holders, took me about 45 minutes to get through coatcheck and security, which was basically a metal swipe and a respectful patdown with a slight shaking. Saw a few bullets on the floor which fell down from folks being shaken. Rude straight people cutting in line, or non-VIPs trying to get in through the VIP line, security were good at sending these people back to the end of the line. Folks with VIP tickets who arrived 30 minutes later than I did at 10:45pm breezed right in. Security was heavy-handed and all too present on the dance floor. Witnessed one case of uniformed security dragging someone off the dance floor, really killed my mood and lots
of others who saw this. Uniformed security patrolling the dance floor with flashlights really killed the party mood. Seemed like 75% straight ravers and 25% circuit boys to me, but more ravers at the beginning and mostly circuit boys at the end. Shows were kind of trippy and fun, some just kind of disturbing like the dancers in straight jackets getting zapped with electroshocks, well that's what it looked like to me, very Cirque du Soleil all in all: pouty acrobats and that gold painted buddha guy traversing the dance floor in a cage. The Human League show was basically the three of them singing on the front stage, two songs, not very long considering how much billing they got on the program. Tracy Young's set was pretty good, not as driving and intense as I've heard her at circuit parties, much more of the usual standard anthems and less of the intense trippy rhythms I've heard from her before. DJ Paulette was awful and put me right to sleep. Slow beats with a dropout about every 90 seconds. It almost became a joke with us, "I really like this, better enjoy it now, it will stop in about 45 more seconds!" But the ravers seemed very into her. The energy went way back up when Tom Stephan "Superchumbo" took over the turntables, had a great time with his set. Mark Anthony also did a good job, though not amazing like other folks have described his
Black & Blue sets before. All things considered it was a unique experience and I'm glad I went, but the circuit party vibe wasn't there for me, with the candy ravers and their pacifiers and the heavy-handed security presence and the straight women with their hair, ugh, just didn't feel like a circuit party to me for 75 percent of the time.

RECOVERY PARTY, DJS STÉFANE LIPPÉ, JAMES ANDERSEN, METROPOLIS. Not quite as crowded as Bal Militaire, but the same venue which I loved. Stéfane Lippé opened and I liked his style. Another Cirque du Soleil style show with acrobats twisting about elastic fabric hung on the stage, an audience member was tied to a chair while pouty go-go boys danced around him with unsmiling faces. Then James Andersen. Energy level was all over the map from really good, hard driving sounds to the occasional diva song, quite a number of complete fadeouts in the music, they seemed to be on purpose and had us all stopped on the dance floor wondering what just happened. This is the fourth time I've heard James Andersen so I can say he's one of the DJs whose music I generally do not like. The venue was great, the crowd was great and fun and frisky, Suzanne Palmer's show was great, her songs flowed well one into the next, she didn't stop to talk like so many divas do. For me, a recovery party in which the energy level grows over several hours, but keeps its focus on happy uplifting music, is the best way to close out a weekend and James Andersen did not deliver that.

MEMORABLE SONG OF THE WEEKEND: "Come Together" by That Kid Chris, I think I heard it at every party except the recovery party. It's on the Masterbeat Black & Blue 2002 CD, and I can't stop listening to it over and over again. It's not terribly new, but I really really like it.

OVERALL: I've checked Black & Blue off my list of big parties that need to be done at least once, not sure about going back, but I might. Expectations were set extremely high due to the longevity of this event and the life-changing religious experiences that others have written about. It would be hard for any weekend to live up to such lofty standards year after year. I didn't care for the straight raver focus of the main event, I could never escape the cigarette smoke anywhere in Montreal and the security presence was a huge buzzkill. However I will say that I only saw one guy on the verge of a swirl out, no messiness requiring medical attention, so security probably accomplished its goal. Favorite DJ of the weekend had to be Gilles Massicotte. Suzanne Palmer at the recovery party was the best show. I might come back next year, Bal Militaire and the Recovery Party had a good crowd even if the music was uneven, and circuit boys should definitely wait until the second half of the main event for the
kind of vibe we're used to experience.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Oh yeah, forgot to mention seeing the Queen and Prince Philip last Thursday. While in Toronto on the Jubilee tour, they are staying at the Royal York. I got back from running with the Frontrunners around 8pm. I saw a throng of police and crowds around the front (south) side of the hotel, and knew that they must be either coming or going. As I needed to stretch, I hung around the back of the crowd and did a cool down. Then they came out of the hotel ten minutes later, heading to Roy Thomson Hall for a performance in honor of the Queen. I saw her tiara and mint green evening dress for about .25 seconds. I'm sure it was well worth the wait for those who had waited for hours - how dumb. She's actually shorter than I thought. Oh well, that's my brush with fame for this week in Toronto, the center of the universe.
It's Tuesday morning after the Thanksgiving long weekend, and I'm trying everything to avoid a cold. Talk about partying yourself sick! The Black and Blue weekend in Montreal was AWESOME! Natasha and I had so much fun - unfortunately, time was the constraining factor to getting out and enjoying more of what Montreal has to offer.

The weekend went as follows:

We left Toronto around 5pm and got into Montreal around 11:30. We headed straight over to Wendy's birthday party. Jerome was there, as was Bob. We had fun meeting new people and dancing to Chemical Brothers. Natasha and I headed back to Jerome's around 3am after the party ended.

On Saturday, Jerome, Natasha and I strolled down St-Laurent for some shopping. I ended up buying a new pair of Diesel shoes at a discount outlet, but they still cost a few bucks. We ended up in the Village, had a quick beer at Le Drugstore and then headed back to Jerome's to prepare for the evening. A friend of Jerome and Wendy's, Ann-Marie was having a photography vernissage at Magnolia, a new lesbian bar on Ste-Catherine. We got down there around 7pm. Afterwards, we headed to Tom's place for some nasty drinks and a load of laughs before heading back down to the Village for a night on the town. Jerome's allergies got the best of him and he had to head home early. Natasha and I spent the rest of the evening hopping between Sky and Magnolia. We went for food afterwards, and got back to Jer's around 5am.

We didn't get out of bed until late Sunday afternoon. We got ready and headed down to the Village for dinner. We were too early to get into Estasie, so we went to Le Drugstore for natchos and beer to tie us over. We got into Estasie around 6pm. Tom was too hung over to come out for dinner, and Bob showed up later on after already having checked out the B&B preparty at the Sky Lounge. We headed over there after way too much sushi, miso soup and Sapporo, and hung out there until 9:30. We headed back to Jer's to get ready for the party and got down to Olympic Stadium around midnight. The party was in full swing, but apparently Tracy Young was just finishing up her spins in the DJ booth, and Human League had already performed. Tom Stephan wasn't on until 5am or so, and I have to find out who was playing between 1am and 5am. There were so many beautiful people at the party. We spent most of the evening dancing and sitting in the standings smoking joints and people watching. There were several shows during the early hours, but the swarming mass of people is what made the evening - oh yeah, and the beautiful boys.

We got back to Jer's around 9am in pretty rough shape. I was concerned about getting the car back to Toronto before 4:30, but sleep was what was on the agenda at that time. We slept for a few hours, and headed out of Montreal around 2pm. The traffic on the 401 was mind-blowing. It took us 7 hours of starting and stopping before we got back to Toronto. All said and done, it was an awesome weekend.

I ended up buying three of Jerome's paintings - "MartiniBoy" and two of the insect series, "Gabbigiana" and "O.H.R. Giger Zee". They will be very nice additions to the new apartment.

Tonight I'm heading to Roy Thomson Hall for a performance of the TSO and several dance companies called "Invitation to the Dance". Figured I had to do something cultural while in TO.

No other plans for the week. I head back to Calgary on Friday, and then it's moving all weekend (after Ekiden on Sat. morning, of course).. I hope this sore throat and congestion goes away before the weekend.....

More on everything later...

Friday, September 27, 2002

I'm leaving Toronto in a few hours. It's pouring rain here - remnants of Hurricane Isidore, I believe. It's supposed to be raining for quite awhile. Not quite as bad as the snow they're getting around Calgary today. What a great thing to look forward to.

I've been assigned more work projects today - they'll keep me nice and busy next week. It's not too bad. I know my code is going to be pretty rough-looking, like trying out a new language you've learned on the locals for the first time. They'll snicker and smile at you, but eventually you'll become proficient and efficient at expressing yourself.

I'm waiting for the code reviewer to come around. Both he (Roy) and Peter Kelcey are here today. Peter sat down with me for a few minutes to set up my Connection objects to run an SQL query on the database, but now I'm trying to work through some more stuff that is stumping me. Go figure.

I got out for another run with the Frontrunners last night. Man, that lead group of guys are fast. They're all very good runners. Some of them aren't too bad looking either. It's nice to know there are some other gay guys out there that aren't driven by the bar party and coffeeshop scene. Nice group of people.

The plans are set for Thanksgiving in Montreal. I bought my Black & Blue ticket at Priape yesterday after running. The Toronto flights, hotel, and car rental are all set. Jerome is warned we will be on the highway on Oct. 11th, and should be expecting us late evening, depending on how bad the traffic is. He's supposed to be attending a vernissage for one of his female artist friends at a lesbian bar in the Village, so Natasha is excited already that our first stop in Montreal will be a lesbian bar.

I'm looking forward to seeing the gang tonight. I will finally be able to unwind with my own kind.

Joe's completely psyched about Apt#1203. It's twice the size of 1206, with an extra bedroom, bathroom AND a dishwasher. That's what sold me, even if it is an extra $100 apiece every month. If I don't have to do dishes anymore, I'll be able to spend more time vacuuming and dusting. YEAH RIGHT!

That's all for now. Another few hours stuck in traffic on the 407 and 401, and then desertion in the bowels of Pearson Airport and then I'm OUTTA HERE!

More later......

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

I'm almost done the second hitch in Toronto. I've spent the last week and a half at Royal York, and spent most of my time at work building ASP pages and COM classes, learning how to build WSDL files to allow SOAP communication between applications on the web, and getting a better understanding of the database architecture we're working with. Since the the steering and architecture committees that determine the direction of the project are still changing specs on a daily basis, there is still a lot of confusion and ambiguity going on. I will be surprised if we get this project done by our deadline, but I've been surprised before.

From the looks of things right now, I'm coming back to Calgary on Friday night. I should be coming back to Toronto the following Sunday and spending another two weeks here. Natasha and I are planning on going up to Montreal for the long weekend and participating in some of the Black & Blue festivities going on that weekend. I still have to get my ticket for the main party at Olympic Stadium on the Sunday night, but I'm waiting to get confirmation on what's happening with work.

I've been doing WAY too much shopping's time to come home and save some money (yeah, right!). Last week I dropped some more cash at the Shoe Room, buying a pair of white M.Stevens milliskin tights and two pairs of Freed ballet socks. At HMV, I found an import of Kylie Minogue's "In Your Eyes" with the vocal version of Jean Jacques Smoothie's remix. Awesome. On Sunday, I ended up buying the Layo and Bushwacka! - Night Works and the new Lamya - Learning from Falling CDs last week - they're both pretty good. I didn't know what to expect from Lamya, but it's a pretty nice piece of work - her collaborations with Nellee Hooper remind me a lot of Morcheeba and others of that ilk.

Natasha and I went out for dinner Fri. night to a place in the Village called "Hair of the Dog". It's a nice little place and the food was fantastic, reasonably priced. Sat. night went out with Robert to Babylon for martinis and 5ive, which is a really kickass bar. It was really packed around midnight-1pm, then the crowd really cleared out. Apparently the Barn (which is the popular bar du jour here - Lord knows why) stays open for dancing until 4pm, so everyone heads over there till close. We stayed at 5ive though. Robert is SO funny - we had a great evening. He thinks I'm a riot too. We laughed about my "naivete" coming from the western frontier where subtlety isn't a strong point. I did a few "Yeehaws" in the bar to prove his point, and found the queens scampering for cover. Hilarious. I found out from Jerome on Sunday that Bob Flynn's brother is a co-owner of that place.

Sunday I went shopping - oh no! As per usual, my mother called me at 10AM on Sunday morning waking me up. It's so funny talking to her when my voice in an octave lower than normal - "What mom, oh no I wasn't smoking last night....". I was a zombie yesterday. Went down to BodyBody and Priape, spent a bunch of money in my weakened state, then did the tourist thing and wandered aimlessly around the CN Tower and Skydome. At one point before getting there, I thought "if it's affordable, maybe I'll take a ride up to the top of the tower." Geez...What was I thinking? $30!?!?! What a ripoff! Needless to say, I fully enjoyed the grandeur of the tower from ground level.....
I bought a pair of Body Body board shorts at the store on Church, then went over to Priape and bought a really nice pair of Jocko workout pants and a DVD ("Out of Athens - Pt.2" - yay!). After Jerome informed me of the CK/Joe Boxer/etc underwear sale at the Bay, I popped in there last night and dropped another $170 on underwear, socks, and shirts - yikes! Oh well, you can never have enough undies and socks, right? Two pairs of CK bikinis and tank top, a Pour Lui lycra belly shirt, two DimSkin thongs, and six pairs of CK socks....

I also sent an order to for two new Grishko unitards and another pair of Grishko slippers. The unitards are a men's cut in a poly/lycra material full body with zipper in the back and turtle neck top. One is black, the other is skintone. I'm so excited to check them out! I hope I chose the right size for a snug fit though.

Other than that, I've been working out in the Royal York gym and I went running with the Toronto Frontrunners on Sat. morning. Went on a hard 15km trail run through the Don Valley and Rosedale. It was a lot of fun! Spent the rest of Saturday helping Natasha move to her new place - finally got back to the hotel at 9:30pm and rushed to get ready and meet Robert at MLG at 10:30. Frontrunners are out again on Thursday - I'm planning on running with them again tomorrow night.

As far as the weekend's concerned, yes, we're going to the Davison's on Fri. night as soon as I get home. Saturday I should be doing laundry, etc. and then Joe and I are supposed to be going out for dinner for our anniversary, then possibly going out for awhile - no solid plans yet. I had wanted to book a room at the Palliser or something like that, but gotta put a hold on spending for awhile, esp since Montreal isn't going to be cheap. Sunday is Joe's birthday. I think a bunch of people are supposed to be going to The Keg for dinner, then to Boyztown for the drag show. It certainly sounds like a busy weekend. And then...Sasha on Wednesday night.

Gizmo (the cat) is doing well, I guess. Joe says he's out of control and needs his knackers removed. I guess that will be happening soon enough. I've been elected the "permanent enemy" that will drop him off at the vet. He's growing so fast!

The Ekiden plans are in the works for the 19th weekend. I should be flying into Calgary Friday night, off to Banff Sat. morning. I have to get release forms signed yet....more later.

That's all for now.

Friday, August 30, 2002

I lied. Had to post one more blog before I leave Toronto. I went out with Natasha again last night. We took the subway up to Bathurst and walked down to College. It's a funky little neighborhood east of the College/Bathurst corner, including Little Italy and the Portuguese district. We went to a sushi place called Tempo. A little pricy, but delicious.

Headed back to the gay village afterwards. Checked out CREWS, Buddies in Bad Times (closed), 5ive (cover - didn't go in), stepped into Woody's, and ended up at a comedy show at Slack Alice's. Got back to hotel at 1am, called Joe.

Checked out this morning. Got charged $33 for local calls. Supposed to be free with Presidents Club membership, but what a ripoff. You can definitely tell you're working with a former CP company due to their pathetic tight-assedness. Especially when anything you buy in the hotel is 25% more expensive than in the real world due to the simple fact it is the Royal York.

Needless to say, I'm back on the 15th. Staying at the Days Inn on Carlton and Yonge. Close to the village, out of the core, and a short subway ride to work in the morning.

More later.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Thursday afternoon....looking forward to heading back to Calgary. Talked to Joe and Mom last night. Nothing much new to report. I ended up going for another run last night, heading west along the lakeshore instead of east. The area around the CNE was swamped with cars, people. Part of the walkway along the lake was closed to make way for an airshow starting next week, and of course additional parking for all of the CNE-goers. A bit more greenspace, but not a whole lot. Are there any decent parks in this city of what? No doubt they've all been paved over. I will never dis Calgary about lack of greenspace EVER again.

This will be the last entry before I head home. I'm apparently going to be back on the 15th, but the Royal York is full, so as of today I'm staying at the Marriott at $269/day. What a rip-off. I'm going to try and get into the Royal York on the days they aren't full. Reports when I start travelling again.

It’s Tuesday night. I just got home from visiting with Natasha. Joe is supposed to be calling around 11pm.

I slept in this morning, thinking I’d be in the gym this evening, but instead I drank beer and ate chocolate truffle!

I got out of classes at 4pm, and John Walker had fixed the problem with the modem, however now my login name isn’t accepted on the dialup network…never ending problems. At least when I got back to the hotel room I was pleasantly surprised to have a message from Natasha on the voicemail. I was off early enough I ran up to Malabar on McCaul to check out their dance wear and gear. I bought a new pair of Capezio "Romeo" line of white men’s split sole ballet slippers (crème de la crème of men’s slippers – and pretty pricey too $65! - oops) and a new Mondor dance belt. There were some really nice Mirella navy blue unitards there as well, but I decided to hold out on that, at least until I check out some other places. I decided I was going to run back down to the Shoe Room on Jarvis and buy a pair of white M.Stevens tights. I got there about 5:45 and realized that they are closed today until Friday for inventory. I remembered seeing the sign up when I was there on Saturday, but of course, I forgot. It was probably fate, since I’m not in a great need for buying more dancewear, but I’m a slave to my obsessions! I guess I can reconsider that and possibly get them when I return to Toronto.

Anyways, I had a hell of a time finding an operational pay phone after that to give Natasha a call. One was plugged, but the sun was glaring on the display and I didn’t see the warning until I had already put a quarter in. I tried another down the street, but they had restricted calling between 6pm and 7am – obviously a ploy to keep money out of it – only in the big city would somebody be breaking into payphones for money. I finally found one on Yonge Street and called Natasha. She was down by the Royal York of all places, but I waited for her to show up at the Wellesley subway station and we went to Zelda’s on Church for dinner and a few beers. We had a great visit, and we’re meeting up tomorrow so I can give her her pictures from her birthday party in the spring. We decided we’re going to take a trip up to Montreal this fall together when I’m around. She’s never been there, and I’m dying to go back, so it all works out well!

I made it back to the hotel, and realized I didn’t get the bill from Zelda’s to expense, so I’m out more money –dammit!

Joe just called a few minutes ago. He always gets busy at work as soon as he calls…that’s the way things always go. We just talked quickly about what possibilities there are for doing something on the weekend.

So, since I missed my workout this morning, I’m going to go running again tomorrow morning, and hopefully get into the gym tomorrow night or Thursday morning, and I guess I can get in there on Friday morning as well. Natasha thinks I’ve lost even more weight, but I hardly feel like it!

I also emailed Greg Britz this afternoon, asking him what is going on with the project. I’m getting sort of anxious to find out what’s going on, since it will require a lot of replanning of my sporting events and other things going on in Calgary that I will now be unable to attend if I’m spending a large part of the fall in Toronto. It’s quite possible they have no idea what’s going on at that end either.

Did I mention that Joe has found a kitten for us? It’s through a friend of Marion’s, apparently the same woman that gave Joe Bailey so many years ago. It’s another calico cat like Bailey was with black, white and wisps orange. It’s nine weeks old, already litter-trained, and apparently shy since it’s the runt of the litter. Just like us to get the underdog! I love it! I’m so excited about the kitten, but depressed at the same time that I won’t be around for the formative months. I have a bad feeling that it will haunt me for years to come. At any rate, we’ll have to find a cool name for him once we analyze his personality for a while.

Well, I’m going to head to bed – I have to maintain some semblance of a workout regimen while I’m here – that means an early morning. Good night.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Tuesday long have I been here? It feels like forever already. It was great to talk to Joe last night - got me wanting to get home even more. It was fairly late when we got off the phone, and I was still feeling sleep-deprived, so I decided to sleep in this morning, and hit the gym tonight after class. I still have to take the stupid laptop to the 40U office tonight to see if the hardware guy can figure out why the PCMCIA card isn't working properly.

I have one more dancewear store to check out tonight, not holding my breath on finding anything I like. I also found out which subway station I have to get off at to check out the bike shops up Bloor I want to visit - I'll probably do that on Thursday, possibly tomorrow. I'm still waiting to hear from Natasha, and I also have to do some laundry. I could probably hold out until I get home, but I'm almost out of socks.

Last night I took another walk up Yonge, and came back through the Church and Wellesley area. I stopped at a grocery store to pick up some stuff for the hotel, and as I walked out, to my surprise, I met up with someone I knew from Calgary! Jan plays on the Apollo baseball team. Anyways, he and his bf are moving to Toronto in October, and he was in town looking for apartments. It was quite weird to see someone familiar, and he seemed quite happy too, since he mentioned how depressing it was not to know anyone. Anyways, I got his new phone number, etc. so it will be nice to have someone else to contact whenever I'm in town again.

Speaking of, I still have no project details. I'm planning on emailing Greg Britz this afternoon. Hopefully he'll be able to shed some light on the situation.

Gotta get back to class....

Monday, August 26, 2002

So, here I am in Toronto. I escaped from Mississauga on Friday afternoon. I arrived at the Royal York around 2pm, checked in and then headed to the CPR offices at 40 University Ave. I met up with Carolyn Bradley-Hall who allowed me to get into a carrel and do the login settings for the laptop that I needed to do. I visited with a few people before I headed back to the hotel and settled in.

I walked around a bit, getting dinner at a Quizno’s on Yonge Street. I got ready for the evening out and met up with Robert Torrance at Maple Leaf Gardens at 10pm. We walked around the Church and Wellesley area for a bit, and then went into Woody’s for a few drinks. We ended up at Zippers, a piano bar/club after that, and then ended up the evening at The Barn until about 3am. Robert walked me halfway back downtown before turning around and heading home. I hit the pillow at 4:30am.

I had a really crappy sleep that night and got up for brunch in the morning. I had intended to do some exploring, but didn’t get out of the hotel as early as I had originally hoped. I hopped on the Downsview line of the subway and ended up at the Toronto Dancewear Center. I was thoroughly disappointed with the selection of menswear – mostly cotton/lycra jazzpants and one pair of tights, all with a very poor fit, so I headed back down to Bloor Ave. and walked to the Shoe Room at The Betty Oliphant Center on Jarvis and checked out their selection – much better, but still not what I was looking for. There were a few black footless M.Stevens unitards and a huge selection of black, grey, and white footed and footless tights, but I decided to wait. I walked back down Yonge to the hotel stopping at Sam’s Records and HMV on the way. I picked up remixes of Basement Jaxx’s “Get Me Off” with a Superchumbo remix, George Michael’s “Shoot the Dog”, the import of Sheena Easton’s “Giving Up Giving In”, and the CD re-release of “A Private Heaven” with remixes of “Strut”, ”Sugar Walls”, “Swear”, and all the B-sides from the singles off the album that I’ve had on 45 singles for years, but now on digital CD! I resisted buying things that were available in Calgary, knowing full well that I can get them cheaper there. I wanted to have another quick nap before Chris Bailey came to pick me up. I didn’t get much time other than to pack up a few things before Chris showed up. We headed up to Barrie and hung around until Jenn was done work. We ordered pizza and then got ready to go out. We met up with their friends at Hooters before heading to Club 163 (?) for Leslie’s birthday. We headed to The Roxx/The Boiler Room around 11pm and danced there until 1am or so, until Chris got kicked out by a loser bouncer for being too drunk, which he really wasn’t. After that we went to the Spot (the Barrie gay bar) before heading home.

Jenn had to work in the morning, so Chris and I woke up, made brunch and then headed to Wasaga Beach for the afternoon. It was a really nice location – great beach, lots of scenery for the whole family! We came back into Barrie, picked up Jenn after work and made dinner before we decided to head back into the city. Traffic was a nightmare again, and I made it into the hotel room around 10:30pm.

I am tired enough now that I can’t think clearly, so I’m heading to bed soon. I will call Natasha’s place before I head to bed, and hopefully hook up with her sometime this week. I am in dire need of getting some laundry done too, so I have a few other things to get done as well. I’m planning on getting to the gym in the morning as well, so I should turn in. I’ll write up another report during the week, unless I’m spending all my time trying to understand this crazy Visual Basic stuff I’m working on this week.

From the looks of things, we’ve already got carrels set up at 40U for the Portal project, and Aly has said that he’s got his flight booked for September 8th, so I suspect I’ll be back in Toronto before too long, and spending a lot of time here over the next few months. I guess that’s why I’m not too anxious to see everything Toronto has to offer, since I’ll be spending more time here than I care to up until Christmas. In the short term, as long as I’m in Calgary for the Labour Day Classic game and able to compete in the Canadian National Duathlon Championships on the 8th, I’ll be happy. Chances are I won’t be in town for the Calgary Corporate Challenge 10K on the 13th, but I’ll have to be getting the team together during the week that I’m home. I’m also not sure what to do about the Ekiden run in October, or whether I should be buying season tickets for the Alberta Ballet like I had planned to do as a surprise anniversary present for Joe. I will hopefully get some more clarity on the project and what I’ll be doing for the fall this week and the week that I’m back in Calgary. Cross my fingers that I will be able to have some time in Calgary over the next few months.

Monday, August 19, 2002

I managed to get up to Red Deer on Friday night for an extremely quick visit. Trevor and Marlene Britton are also staying at Owen and Chloe's - there is a craft show going on in Edmonton that Marlene checks out every year. We sat around the kitchen table until late talking and trading pictures. Scott and Jen also came over for a little while.

On Saturday, I went out for lunch with Scott Rhodes and spent the afternoon with him. Managed to see Brandy and Brady at the new Tony Roma's. Erin Skocylas came to pick up Brady, so I got to see her too. Scott and Linda were going to a BBQ with all the guys I used to work with that are now working in Scotland. regrettably, I had already committed to returning to Calgary on Saturday night since there was no longer going to be a birthday party for Owen and Jen. I got back to Owen and Chloe's around 5pm, but the guys were out playing golf and got held up, so Irene came over and picked me up to take me to the bus depot. We had a really quick visit, and then I was off back to Calgary.

Joe and I went to Detour for a little while, and then went home.

Sunday morning, I continued to get ready and headed up to the airport. The flight left around 3:30pm. I got into Pearson at 9:30pm, and was in the hotel by 10:30. Well, here I am in transit again. Things fell apart as far as the Calgary-based training courses were concerned for the new Portal Remediation project, and now I find myself in a computer classroom in Mississauga. Everything is extremely convenient - the TriOS offices are right across the street from my hotel, and next door to that is the big Square One shopping mall. That should keep me entertained until Friday when I move into Toronto. I'm staying at the Royal York (a vacation in itself). The CPR offices at 40U and the TriOS offices at 55U are all extremely close to the hotel, so things should stay convenient. I'm glad I didn't rent a car afterall. I won't really need to go anywhere this week at least (there doesn't seem to be a lot to see in Mississauga. It's one big suburb - we're in the CBD, and it's all centered around the shopping mall, if that gives you any idea of the setup of this burg). Next week, everything will be within walking/subway distance.

The hotel has a 'gym' and a pool, which will be fantastic. It would be nice to find a running area, but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of greenspace in this area. I will do more investigating though.

Nothing more to mention about Mississauga. I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. Until later.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

I guess I never really talked about my trip back to Manitoba. If Montreal/Ottawa was the partying trip, then the trip back home was the relaxing one. I flew into Regina on July 13th. Mom and Dad picked me up and we got back to Grandview in time to catch dinner at the Farm celebrations across the road. I went into town later on to catch Carla Morran's engagement social, and managed to visit with Dave and Nicole, Michelle Jubenvill, Terry and Felicia Hyra, Chris and Lindsay Samonsky, Brady Campbell, etc.

Sunday we went across the road again for breakfast, and got to meet the Dalgleish relatives from Vernon/Penticton, BC. Ryan Yarush showed up and we went up to Myer's site at Child's Lake. Had a great day there, then came back to GV. Donna Yarush drove me home.

Monday I worked out in the basement and pulled a muscle in my side that didn't hurt until that evening. It hampered the rest of my training plans for the week, although I did get a 15km run in on Tuesday.

Tuesday Dad and I headed up to Child's Lake. We spent the afternoon on the lake and then Mom and Grandma showed up for dinner. After they went home we spent most of the evening at Connor and Bonnie Macdonald's site. The next day we were out in the boat again, still catching nothing. The Macdonald crew went and caught a bunch of jackfish at Little Laurie Lake, so we managed to get a good feed in from their bounty. Dad and I headed back to GV that evening after packing everything up. I went over to Lance and Buffy's in the evening.

Thursday came around rather quickly. I met with Tannis and the boys and Roxanne and the girls at Pulock's place for a nice visit in the morning before mom took me to Dauphin to catch the bus to Winnipeg. I missed the express bus by minutes and had to go through Brandon instead. I managed to get into Wpg around 9:30pm. Ryan and Lynn picked me up and we spent the rest of the evening visiting.

Friday morning Ryan and I took Takeo to Bird's Hill Park for a run through the woods. We got back in the afternoon and did a little looking around in Osborne Village before getting to Carlo's and Murphy's for a few beers and a visit with Kristy and Barry Westerlund. We relaxed the rest of the evening.

Reid was at the house around 5:30am to start the trek back to Calgary. Very uneventful - I'm glad I only do that trip once a year or less.

It was back to work on Monday after relaxing on Sunday - actually I think I rode 100km that day.

The following Sunday was Elbow Valley, and then off to Ottawa on the Monday. What a bunch of whirlwind trips :-(

Sigh....back in front of the office computer - back at work for another stint until vacation comes around again.....

We got back last night with very little difficulty, except for the sprint through Pearson to catch the Calgary flight since the flight out of Montreal was delayed 15-20 minutes. I still feel quite groggy even though I'm back in my environment - it may take a few days of re-adjustment yet.

We ate at Bato Thai with Jerome and Tom, and ended up going to Sky on Friday instead of Le Parking. The choice was a good one - everyone managed to join us for the evening, and all Labatt products were $2 apiece. I knew I should've stayed on beer, but we all started drinking those stupid lemon coolers - I think Labatt's is called Lemonice or something equally disgusting. Needless to say, I was puking by 4am while sprinting out of the cab on the way home. The last thing I remembered was pushing Bertrand's wheelchair around the block while we were trying to finish off all of the coolers we stole out of the bar on the way out.

I spent all of Saturday in bed. I couldn't keep anything down until 3pm, and then once getting up at five we headed out for dinner once again. The choice was a very good Italian place on Ste-Catherine, of course we didn't get out of there until 9:30 or so, and proceeded to the T-dance until 11pm. Joe and I followed Bertrand and Alain to Club Date and howled over the karaoke hell we were being put through. Bob came back into town and met us for dinner and the evening. Jerome, Tom and Karen all went home early to prep for the next day.

Joe and I decided we wanted to catch a drag show at Mado before heading home, but the club had already been transformed into a dance club when we got there. We went home.

Sunday we headed to the parade route on Rene-Levesque around 11:30. The parade started around 12:30 and continued until around 3pm. It was a fantastic parade - 800,000 people showed up for it. Afterwards we moved to the blocked off sections of Ste-Catherine and did a lot of people watching before moving back to Sky for a few drinks, and then to the dance on Berri and then the festivities in Parc Emilie-Gamelin. We slowly lost everyone until Bob, Joe and myself were left. At 11pm the outdoor shows were done and we went back to Sky again. We smoked more ganja before heading home.

Monday morning we got ready and went out for breakfast. Bob drove us to Dorval and then we headed home.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Joe's still sleeping, so I thought I'd drop a few lines. I was hoping to get out for a run today, but it poured out last night making everything muddy, and now it's getting hot we need the humidity.

Yesterday was fun. Joe and I spent the day shopping on Ste-Catherine. We did the obligatory stops at Simon's and we both ended up buying new sandals at Aldo. I bought a couple of bathing suits on sale at Simon's and Joe bought a pair of shorts and several shirts. We continued walking towards the Village and stopped at several others stores before grabbing a bite to eat at Cafe Europeen and heading back to Jerome's. We quaffed a few beers and headed to Cafeteria on St-Laurent where we met up with Karen, Bertrand, Simon and Alain for drinks and food. Joe and I headed back to the Village and spent the rest of the evening dancing at Unity II.

Today we're planning on walking around the Vieux-Port and getting our souvenir shopping done. Tonight is the beginning of the weekend long party, starting with the HomoRama fashion show at Le Parking, and possibly to Stereo, Aria or Sona for afterhours dancing. Tomorrow is the T-dance in Emilie-Gamelin Park, and possibly some dancing at Sky or one of the other bars afterwards, and Sunday is the parade on Boulevard Rene-Levesque, and the street parties on Ste-Catherine and Berri, and who knows what else afterwards? If I don't manage to add an entry over the next few days, these are my excuses. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Greetings once again from Montreal! Joe and I arrived safely last night (Wednesday). After spending 48 hours of non-stop walking in Ottawa, it was nice to get somewhere with acceptable transit. We had a lot of fun in Ottawa, and obviously didn't get everything done we had set out to do, but we did get quite a few things accomplished (including taking six or seven rolls of pictures). The city is beautiful. On Monday, we went out for a late dinner on Bank Street, and then Bob Flynn took us to a bar in Hull called "The Living Room" that had a gay night, and apparently is one of the few occasions during the week when anything is going on. It was fun.

Tuesday we spent walking around. We had a tour of the Parliament Buildings, and walked up Sussex Drive, stopping outside the Canadian War Museum and Rideau Centre. That evening we went out with Bob again for a few beers in the Bytown Market.

On Wednesday we caught the changing of the guards on the Parliament grounds and then went to the Canadian Museam of Civilization in Hull. What a fantastic facility! We spent about four hours in there, and realized we were going to have to miss everything else to keep on our schedule and make it to Montreal in the evening. We caught the 5pm bus to Montreal, and we were at Jerome's place around 8:30pm. Joe and I headed down to the Village in the evening, and stopped in at Campus for a few beers. Regrettably, we missed the Flexx show at Emilie-Gamelin Park, which was one of the countless Pride Week activities I actually wanted to check out. Oh well, there's always next year!

Today we are heading downtown to do some "window shopping". Hopefully this does not lead to any impulsive purchasing, but we'll see what happens. I already know we're going to run out of time by Monday to do everything we want to do, but we'll do our best to get as much in as possible.

Still feeling a great high from my finish at Elbow Valley Half Ironman on Sunday. I knocked 20 minutes off of last year's time, ending sub-five hours, which was my goal (4:57), so I'm quite satisfied with my performance, even though the 2km swim was no hell yet again.

Anyhoo, I will add more tomorrow.....

Friday, May 31, 2002

I"ve decided to race in the Bikeshevik this weekend.....I'm not sure if I've made a mistake or not! Actually, with how things went last night at the race series, I hope that I can pull off some good results. I think I'm registered in the 200m sprint heats, the 3000m and something else, on top of the possibility of racing some Points races, Devils and Scratch races. There could be six races in all on Sat. and Sun, all in the Master's category.

Joe has Sat. night off and wants to do something. I'll have to play it by ear.

Results on Monday......

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

What's been happening? Not too, training, competitions. I've had a cold that won't disappear for the last two weeks - I ended up missing the Bikes on Broadway Stage Race in Saskatoon on the long weekend due to that fact, plus my ride arrangements fell apart at the last minute.

The races so far:

Calgary Police Services Half Marathon, April 28, 2002 Place: 24th. Time: 1:25:49. Pace: 6:33.
Creative Restaurants Banff-Calgary Relay, May 4, 2002 CPR Track Stars overall team place: 14th. Category place: 4th (Fun category). Total time: 11:06:12. Pace: 7:45
Individual results: Leg 1 (Banff-Canmore - 22km) Leg place: 9th. Time: 1:29:19. Pace: 6:32.

Crankmaster's Bearspaw Breaking Away, April 21, 2002. Individual TT time: 12:31, place 2nd overall. Team TT: 14:25, place 2nd - Team place 1st overall.
Velocity Ardrossan Stage Race, May 11-12, 2002. Individual TT: 8:02 (14/53). Criterium: 41:48 (31/53). Road race: 2:19:23 (35/53) GC: 3:09:13 (33/53).

Next up: CBTL racing night on Thursday, May 30. Bikeshevik Grand Prix at Glenmore Velodrome on June 1-2. Headwinds SR June 15-16. Geldsetzer Memorial Track Competition on June 22-23. Arbour Lake Triathlon on June 30.

The Lilac Festival was on May 26 - Joe, Doug, Wayne and myself spent the day moving up and down 4th Street and sampling all of the different beer gardens. Spent most of last week in the gym and at yoga, due to the fact I was still feeling crappy and had the sensation that there was no cardio endurance to be summoned.

I received another order of M. Stevens dancewear at the end of April. I ended up ordering a navy blue unitard, a white leotard and a nude dance belt all in milliskin. The unitard is the most comfortable lycra article I've ever owned - paired with the milliskin dance belt, I could dance forever. Fits like a second skin. I can't wait to start lessons now! I ended up making two waist belts to hold up the tights from some material I bought. The belts work very well, especially with the tights over the milliskin leotard. There is movement at the waist, but you can cinch the belt tight enough to secure the tights in place. Marvelous!

I'm waiting to buy some more Juventus team gear - jacket, skinsuit, bib shorts. I will probably get the rest of the order at Headwinds, but now I'm thinking that Juventus, even though they are a great team, aren't for me. I'm going to join Bicisport or Synergy next year. They get track practice time included with their membership, which is a great deal, plus all of the organized team rides. I'm feeling pretty isolated here - if I was in Edmonton, Juventus would definitely be the way to go. I was hoping on being able to do more team stuff here as well, but since all of the other Juvie riders in Calgary are Cat 1/2/3, there's no chance I'll be able to ride with them, at least for the first half of the season. By adding in a track practice and racing night once a week, plus weekly crit races on Tuesdays, I'll be able to network and meet some new people, and find new people to train with (hopefully). The limits of Wednesday and Friday nights for group road rides isn't working with Tim, Doug, Wayne, or Hugh's schedules so far.

Joe and I finalized purchase of our flights to Ottawa/Montreal a week ago. We're heading to Ottawa on July 29th, returning from Montreal on August 5th. I wish we had more time, but that's the way of the world. We're going to spend a day or two in Ottawa and check out the sights, and then we're going to bus to Montreal and spend the remainder of the week and Pride weekend in the city. It's going to be so awesome! I found out from Jerome that Bob Flynn is living in Ottawa now, so hopefully we'll be able to meet up with him, along with Fraser and Matthew. Jerome will be done is art show by then, Tom will be free, Karen will have just moved there, and Wendy will be around too. FUN!

I'm planning now on heading back to Manitoba on July 12th for Keith and Sharon's Century Farm celebration, and return the following weekend of July 21. I may be hitching a ride to Grandview with Bob and Trudy, and hopefully will be able to spend the 19-21 in Winnipeg visiting the old haunts. I want to spend most of the week up at the lake - I'm really hoping I'll be able to either take my scuba equipment or my bike. I was originally going to go back with Cheryl-lee for Pattie Rausch's wedding on June 15th, but it was too early and too much money I don't have that factored in to screw up that plan.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

The volunteer list for the Juventus team has been posted. It looks like I'm going to be helping out with the design of the team website, and also in charge of team clothing for the Calgary contingent. Sounds interesting!

Speaking of the rest of the workout clothing, I'm hoping to buy some more M.Stevens dance stuff. The Milliskin material is SO superior to anything else I've ever worn. The dance tights fit like a glove and feel like you almost have nothing on. I'm intending on buying a black unitard, a white SS leotard, and a nude color dancebelt, all in Milliskin from Get to the Pointe dancewear online. I probably won't do this until mid-summer, when some more of my bills are out of the way/under control.

I'm really looking forward to trying new things this fall. So many options - I'm seriously considering taking a few dance classes (for sure Introductory Ballet, and possibly a jazz or modern class), but also possibly getting back into speed skating again. Why not? It's a good overall sport for muscle conditioning, and I already have all of the equipment! On top of that, I'm also wanting to get back swimming with UCTC in September. We'll see what happens.
Get a bonus copy of "Fever" with the "CGYOOMH" CD. I'm going to give it to Oliver Obermeyer, in appreciation for burning me all of those CDs. It will be great if I get it before the weekend.
Received Kylie Minogue "In Your Eyes" remix CD-R from Rob Rumble in Lincolnshire through eBay auction at the end of February, the week before Malina's 25th birthday party.

Received Kylie Minogue, "Butterfly" limited edition remix CD from BluePlate Records in Chicago (Mark Picchiati's label) on April 4, 2002. Expecting "Can't Get You Out of My Head" club promo CD from Praphan (Kevin) Kongthanasunthorn in Bangkok this week.

Another letter to Fraser Valentine in Ottawa:

Hey Fraser,

I'm just heading out of the office for another week....just thought I'd drop you a quick "hi" and see how things are going.

Not too much new here. The weather is still sucking shit - really putting a damper on getting some miles on the bike before competition season. The first race of the season is on the 20th...only two weeks away. I doubt the snow will all be gone by then, but hopefully the route will be clear enough.

I've been in physiotherapy for my knees for the past month. Nothing too major, apparently muscle imbalance in my legs from concentrating on too few sports has tightened up my IT band and weakened my gluteus medius muscles enough to pull my knees off center when I run, causing some nagging pain. The massage and acupuncture therapy has been doing a lot of good, and I've been doing a lot of Pilates, yoga and stretching along with muscle training in an attempt to swing things around. I went for a test run on Tuesday night - 16km, everything seems to be working okay, which is a good thing, since I'm running two half marathons back-to-back on April 28 and May 4.

The rest of the summer is full of competitions, either triathlons or road/track races almost every weekend. I am still taking the August long weekend to come to Montreal for Pride. I would really like to take a few days to check out what Ottawa has to offer too, still no definite plans. You and Matthew should come to Montreal for the Pride weekend. Should be a lot of fun!!!

Sept. Labor day long weekend is the Vancouver International Triathlon taking place in Stanley Park. I'm definitely considering that one as well. I'm planning on taking the week off after that to do some riding on the Pacific side of Vancouver Island and some scuba diving off of Nanaimo, Victoria and the Lower Mainland coast.

Some friends are also considering heading to Toronto for Pride in June as well. One of our good friends is moving there this weekend, and so we'll have a place to stay. So many plans, so few confirmations......

I guess I'm considering so many trips because I have a pile of Aeroplan miles and Airmiles I can use up for some free trips, and instead of putting myself further in debt this year, I've thought it would be a good idea to use them up to still complete the trips I've intended on doing, while still keeping my spending under control. It all sounds good in theory, at least.

Most of my spare time right now is spent in the gym or in the pool. I've had one cold after another this season, which has really been dogging things as well.

I haven't bought any new gear lately either. I think I told Matthew that I won an auction on Ebay a few months ago for a longsleeve 2000 season Mercury-Viatel skinsuit. It's a beautiful piece, I've been wearing it on the windtrainer, but I'm anxious to test it out on a few time trials this season.

Other than that, not too much is new. Work is going better after the budget fiasco that occurred here at the beginning of the year. I got picked up by another project team at the beginning of February, and things have been pretty hectic since then - just the way l like it! Joe (the bf) has 24 days until his last exam is over, and then he's officially an alumni, barring any technicalities like failing a course. He's so excited to be done (he's been in school seven years sans break as well) - so am I - maybe we can start building a normal life together with normal hours. Who knows? Maybe spending more time together is exactly what we need. Maybe it's not. I guess we'll have to wait and find out. I'm still having issues with commitment specifically because of this vagueness in our lives right now - time will tell whether the fog clears somewhat.

Speaking of school, isn't your dissertation due at the end of this term too, or maybe it was at the end of the fall session??? I can't remember anymore (something tells me I'm three months behind things). At any rate, you're close to being done too, thank god. It's so nice not having all of that studying to do on top of everything else, like classes, jobs, working out, maintaining your health and diet, and boyfriends for starters.

Well, I've been at this desk enough hours today. I'll drop another line soon. We should be firming up our Montreal dates within the next month or so. I think the plan is to leave Calgary on the evening of July 28th (after the big triathlon of the season - Elbow Springs- on the morning of the 28th) or the morning of the 29th. We are planning the return flight from Montreal on August 5th, but I am still thinking of using a few more AV days to get to Ottawa after the 5th. Maybe I should fly into Montreal, and return from Ottawa. That will sort of depend on what Westjet is planning for its flight expansions this year.

Enough about details! I hope everything is well at your end. Drop me a line or two to prove you're still alive.

Talk soon,
Another letter - "The State of Training" address to Reid Cummings:

Hey RJC,

I think everything is going really good. I was at six pills a day last week with no adverse effects - I was even sleeping good. I started 8 a day yesterday, and everything is still fine. I guess I will stay here until either I reach my target weight or the pills run out. I'm sitting under 180 (178 to be exact on an empty stomach at lunch hour today), a loss of 6 or 7 pounds already. I think I'm setting 165 as my absolute low limit for now. I haven't weighed that little since early high school, I think. I reached 167 at one point last summer, and I know that once the weather warms up, I will have no problem maintaining that. The rate things are going, I should only have to take one dose of this stuff (240 pills) and save the other batch for next spring. That would be a good idea considering I am starting to balk at the cost of all these supplements.

BTW, I paid $72 for a pail of Endurox at Samson's last Tuesday on their 20% off day. Another friend has told me their products are overpriced. Would you check out the regular price of Endurox (and Hydro-Lean) at Gator's the next time you're there? I'm curious to find out how overpriced they are...I don't really think they are, if you buy on the SuperTuesdays.

I took a dose of Endurox on Saturday. I ran 21km in the morning, did Pilates at the gym and then an upper body workout. I drank a glass of Endurox afterwards, and I did feel pretty good an hour or so later, as I continued to stretch out awhile longer.

I had hoped to ride yesterday, but you know what the conditions were like. I ended up going to Swan's in Inglewood on Sat. night to meet up with Joe (that's where he works), and we ended up staying until 1am playing darts and drinking beer with a bunch of people. The snow started falling around 9pm, so I knew I wouldn't be going out for a ride anyways. It was nice to have a full day off at any rate.

Once cycling starts, this is going to be the schedule I will be trying to maintain:

Monday am - gym workout
Monday noon - stretch/abs
Monday pm - cycle - speedwork

Tuesday am - swim
Tuesday noon - stretch/abs
Tuesday pm - Crits at UofC Research Park

Wednesday am - gym workout
Wednesday noon - Pilates
Wednesday pm - run

Thursday am - swim
Thursday noon - stretch/abs
Thursday pm - cycle - hillwork

Friday am - gym workout
Friday noon - Yoga
Friday pm - OFF

Saturday am - run/Pilates
Saturday pm - OFF/distance cycle?

Sunday am - distance cycle/OFF?
Sunday pm - swim/OFF

The weekends will change according to when everyone else wants to ride, and when the competitions are. Most people want to go out for their distance rides on Saturday morning. I'd much rather go out on Sundays, but since most weekends are being taken up by competitions anyway, it won't matter much. I'm going to have to find a full OFF day during the week in that case.

Anyways, gotta go,

Monday, April 08, 2002

I've had five (?) physiotherapy sessions. I like Mina, she's very good, but the receptionists at that Lindsay Park physiotherapy center are pretty inept. Acupuncture and electric therapy are pretty weird, but they seem to be working. Man, could Mina ever massage the crap out of my IT band. I came out of their with bruised more than once.
I went for a 16km run last Tuesday and a 21km run on Saturday morning with Wayne Guest. My knees didn't hurt at all! I was so relieved and this fact has alleviated a lot of training stress for me. I was so worried I wouldn't have anything for the Policeman's half marathon, and it would take me a good chunk of Spring training to get back in shape.

I've been taking Hydro-Lean for two weeks now. I've already lost 6 lbs., down to 179. I was quite amazed. If it stays at this rate, I'll be down to my target weight in 1 to 1.5 months. Then I'll be a lean cycling and running machine! It will definitely be an advantage for me in the early races this season.

I've been feeling pretty good lately. I feel spring is right around the corner, and with that comes freedom, the warmth of the sun, and MOBILITY! I will be able to spin all over the city again on my bike. I really enjoy that.

Here's a letter written to Jerome a few minutes ago:

Hey Jer,

How are things? Spring MIGHT be finally showing its very late sorry-ass face around here soon. It snowed again on Sunday, and I don't trust it enough to say that it might not do it again. I've been dying to get my bike out on the road. I have a race on April 20th, only two weeks away! Talk about an abrupt start to the season, eh?

Ahh, now that the obligatory Canadian conversation about the weather is over, how have you been? I imagine you are feverishly painting once again. That next show with Tom and Marie-Josee is coming up in a few months, isn't it? You were so successful at your last show that you are probably having to do a few more paintings than you had originally thought before the first show. Oh well, sucks to be talented...LOL

I was thinking earlier today that it has almost been a year since I was in Montreal, and I am SO wanting to come back and visit. You live in a fucking cool city, man...I want to experience more of it. It's so much fun having a cool friend there to hang around with too! Diverscite is going to be so much fun. Joe has managed to book days off then, so we're heading your way for sure! Be scared, be very scared!

I think the tentative dates of arrival and departure are July 29th to August least that's when Joe goes back. I wouldn't mind taking a few days after Pride to check out Ottawa, but my AV days are pretty precious (aka scarce)...I'll have to see what else is going on. I'm considering a few more short trips this year.

The Vancouver International Triathlon is on the Labour Day long weekend, and I'm thinking of going to it, and then taking the week after that to cruise around Vancouver Island on my bike and do some scuba diving. It would be fun to have someone to go with, but I may go by myself anyways.

Also my friend Natasha, who was integral spoke to a fun set of friends, moved to Toronto last weekend. A few of us are thinking of going out there for Pride in June.

I have two free flights in North America that I can use, so I am thinking of using one to come to Montreal. Joe and I will split the cost of the other one and then I'll have one left to play with.

I was considering using it to go to Vancouver, and then I thought, "Why waste it on a trip that's cheap?" So now, I'm thinking maybe San Francisco for a getaway in November or something like that, OR coming back to Montreal for Black & Blue? Hmmm....what kind of crazy thought is that???

Nevertheless, Diverscite will definitely be a blast. I am so looking forward to partying with you again. Tom and Wendy will nicely add to the mix, and JOE WILL BE THERE! Wow! The mystery boyfriend....

Anyways, I've got lots of bike racing and triathlon crap to do before that. We were even originally thinking of coming to Eastern Canada on about July 27th , but my main triathlon of the season is that weekend! Joe ended up having to work that weekend anyways, but you get the idea. I pretty much only have maybe a half dozen completely free weekends this summer. It's all very good. I've been working out pretty hard this winter getting ready, so I hope that all the hard work is going to pay off.

How's Tom? I guess he'll be in Taxation hell for at least another month. Maybe you'll get to see him sometime in May. You'll have to tell him that I'm deeply in love with Kylie Minogue (again - I'm such an 80's hag), and that the DVD "Live in Sydney" of the last show of her "On A Night Like This" tour last year comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. She is such a sweet, appreciative woman - and a great ass too! I've been getting a lot of her rare remixes imported lately; winning eBay auctions, etc.. She's such a diva.

I've still been in touch with Rejean Livernois. He was living with Louise from the Aids charity dinner we went to last spring because he ended up not moving to California as he was supposed to last year. We've been playing answering machine tag over the past six months. He's living with a guy named Robert now. It will be fun to see him when we are there too.

Sean and Nancy's housewarming is this weekend. I called Susan Armstrong tonight to see if she had any gift ideas, but we're both stumped for the time being. I've had the advantage of already being to the condo since the naked repainting job they did, so I know the color schemes, etc. I was trying to think of something for their bathroom, but I'm at a loss for ideas. I regret not thinking earlier of getting them that painting you did of them. I could've had everyone chip in some money and could have easily covered most of the cost. Anyways, too late now. Do you have any good gift ideas? I need something original yet functional.

I'm starting to run out of things to talk about. I would have called you tonight, but I didn't get home from the gym until almost 8pm. Email is a great thing, isn't it? It's just crappy when you have a lot to say and type like a drunk monkey. It takes so much longer!

Anyways, I gonna take off. I hope everything is going well in your end of the world, and I'll talk to you soon.


Just thought it would be a good way to update the blogger too.

Friday, March 01, 2002

Went to the physiotherapist at Lindsay Park last night. She told me she thinks my knee problems are due to poor balance of my muscle groups (some muscles more developed than others, creating misalignment in the knee socket) as opposed to damage per se, although that will occur soon enough if I don't look after the knees a bit more. This will require a lot more stretching, yoga, loosening the I-Band muscles, building the gluteus medius and inner thigh muscles. She's suggested I stop running for awhile, do some pool running, exercises.....worth it to get rid of the pain, no doubt. God, I can't wait till cycling season starts.....
Forgot to mention Joe, Doug, and myself went to the Carl Cox show at the Whiskey last Wednesday night (Feb. 20). Great venue, great music, great's nice to see DJs as big as "the People's DJ" don't mind coming to these little backwater burbs once in awhile. Thanks Coxy! Come again soon!