Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday we headed to Eastleigh to buy Ian some golf clubs (what a horrible town that place is!) and then headed down to Gosport. We ditched the car and caught the ferry to Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard. This lies in the shadow of the awesome Spinnaker Tower. In the dockyard we were impressed by the HMS Warrior, compressed by the cramped HMS Victory and depressed by the sad fate of the Mary Rose. Ian was particularly taken with the Action Stations interactive exhibit. It was good to see the flag of Union flying high for once (rather than that hideously dull St George Flag) although I was perplexed as to why the Confederate Stainless Banner was flying on the Warrior... hmm...
Had fish and chips sitting by the harbour before catching a ferry back to the car and getting room service at the hotel.
After a cafe breakfast it was home again from a restful weekend away.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Last night I managed to drag myself out with Jim and our downstairs neighbours for drinks at the Richard 1st. It was a lovely evening ending in the Favorite <sic> Fried Chicken on Shooters Hill Road. As I stood their waiting to order I felt a tingling on my neck... impulsively my hand reached up and swiped at whatever was causing the sensation... and got promptly stung on the finger. I haven't been stung since I was about five. It's very unpleasant. Bastard wasp... I'll get you next time!!
Off to Portsmouth for the weekend (random I know!) So...
Jae Kay is Away
Friday, July 28, 2006
Go check out the latest, long overdue, update at the Battlestar blog. I'm just too excited over the upcoming series... CANNOT WAIT! Especially as it means more of the gorgeous Lee Adama...
Gordon Brown: Homophobic or Too Busy? I can answer that one for you. From the articles I've been reading about Mr Brown over the course of this Labour Government I get the opinion that Gordon Brown is even more of a religious crazy than Mr Blair. I've actually started to miss John Major... *begins to beat himself over the head with an iron for thinking such evil thoughts*
Is it me of have the Liberal Democrats (my party of choice) completely lost their grip on reality again? I miss Charlie...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
After that we headed downstairs to the warmer Below Zero bar where many drinks were consumed… people got quite drunk and feeling a little lost (being without money always makes me feel lost) I headed home fairly early (i.e. I caught the last train). Now just how many tourists can be at large in London near midnight? Answer: a lot! And they all seemed to want to get in my way. Being sober enough to walk in a straight line, but drunk enough to be in a mood to beat people up for getting in my way I'd soon cleared a path. But still... surely they should be getting some sleep, drinking in Soho, or heading to their hotel? Hmph...
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
And surely allowing people to fly international flags any which way they want to will mean most of the populace (who wouldn't know flag etiquette if it bit them on the bum) will fly them in a disrespectful manner.
Oh well... all in the name of freedom... now can we fly our pride flags in Westminster???
Wait... yes we can!! WOO! How did that slip by my gay news eagle eyes? Darn it... ruins my whole poor done by homosexual angle to the argument...
Monday, July 24, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
A poster for Star Trek XI (due for completion in 2008) has been released confirming 100% that this is going to be some kind of prequel (please God not Starfleet Academy) involving characters from the original series. So probably not my cup of tea...
Saturday, July 22, 2006
***You can ignore this it's a braindump/rant****
Since this blog was "reinvented" after I moved to London I've stopped talking about my job. Not because I'm ashamed to work in customer service, but because work is, in my opinion, just about earning money to survive.
But... customers are so stupid and I just have get this out of my system... Outside of work, especially when I'm around people who don't know my job description, all I ever hear is complaints about customer service. Entire websites are devoted to moaning, whinging consumers.
Trust me... if you came and spent a day listening to the calls and emails I deal with you'd soon realise customers are dafter than the workers!!! People complaining that they've received the wrong item... without even opening the box! People moaning about us taking a second payment when we should have refunded them ("Sir... I think you'll find only one of those is in the debit column...").
I usually start my calls with the standard "Good morning/afternoon, <company name>, Jason speaking, how can I help?" The following are the most common opening remarks from customers
1) "Hmph..." People seem to like to the start the call with a happy "I really hate you" sigh... If they'd been on hold for 5 hours I could understand... we don't have people on hold and we don't have those "Push button 1 for Flea Infestation" lines either... so why the fuck start a call off like that??? Learn some manners...
2) Is that <company name>?
3) Is that <not company name>? When politely told no they revert to the "Hmph" response...
4) What's your name? Of course by the end of the call they'll always think I'm called something else anyway so why they bother asking I don't know...
5) "My <insert random number here... could be a card number, date of birth, anything> is ..........." My usual response to this is Thank you, how can I help? Although in my mind I'm thinking "Thank you so much for that total irrelevant, and unnecessary, random number, perhaps next time you could respond to my question with a pleasant "Hello, I'd like you to..." " Is that too much to ask??? Just some common decency? Erm... 5 years in customer service has taught me one thing... it's far too much to ask.
6) "Do you sell <product>?" "Yes" "How much is it?" "<this much>" "And how long will it take to deliver?" "<this long>" "Oh ok... that's what it says here on the website" YES I KNOW! Do you really think I'm going to bloody contradict the website when we're a flipping online company???????????? Do you know where I'm getting my info... FROM THE WEBSITE! Why did you call to ask these questions if you already knew the answers???? WHY???
I really hate the fact that customers call with stupid, irrelevant queries. Why? Because I'm lazy? NO... because I'm a customer... every call they make means the price of some product I'm trying to buy goes up by some small amount to pay for somebody to sit there and answer their stupid question. Yes... it's true... if we only used customer service staff to solve real problems they'd be far less of them (probably a better percentage of whom would be intelligent) and things would be CHEAPER!
But then you wouldn't have a job, I hear the many naysayers out there say. In my opinion customer service agents should work with the ultimate goal of solving all problems and making themselves unnecessary.
And shall I tell you what annoys me most?? People who can't use Google. Most of them seem not to understand Google Adwords. Most of them will search for the name of some manufacturer of a product we sell. Because we have quite a good Google team we tend to be the top of any such search. People will click on our site. Despite the fact any sane person could see they've come to a retailers site they BELIEVE we are the manufacturer and will call us to ask technical questions, moan about the quality of a product they haven't bought from us, etc etc... I could NEVER imagine myself searching, for example, for a DVD and then when Amazon's site comes up contacting them to find out if I could get the autograph of one of the stars... that's pretty much what it's like. STUPID.
And they are so rude too.
Anyway rant over.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Ok... so I understand (ish) Cherry Cola. I can forgive Diet Coke with Lime. I'm actually interested in Coca Cola Blak. But what the hell is Coca Cola Zero???? A few weeks ago I accidentally picked it up at the shop. My first thought was "Why?" We've got Diet Coke already. Jim mentioned that it tastes like Pepsi... I have to agree.
Now it seems to be everywhere... the concourse at Waterloo East is covered in discarded cans of it (obviously freebies). I really think Coke needs to get some focus...
Give me a Diet Coke any day...
Technorati : coke zero
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Fire crew reported over gay pride snub. Now let's just say these 10 firemen are prats. Pure and simple. But... should 1) we force fire crews to attend events like these and 2) force firemen to attend events which conflict with their personal morality? I think not. I, for one, wouldn't want to be forced to attend a Christian rally. How's that different to these idiots being forced to attend pride? And does the gay community really want these kind of guys hanging around at a pride event?
The giant shadow of sexuality - an interesting piece on the connections between misogyny and homophobia. In fact Haaretz offers some interesting articles and a little seen Israeli perspective on the current conflict.
Blooplanet was launched today, an "internet revolution for gay men". Seems much of a muchness at the moment but shows some promise. Check it out...
The Gay Police Association seems to have hit a nerve with an advert linking religious belief with homophobia. Wow... where on Earth did they come up with that crazy link????
After our successes with destroying the World Trade Center, inflicting AIDS upon the world and all the other terrible things we've caused the gay community has done it again... yes guys... we started the Israel-Lebanon crisis. Pat on the backs guys. Next week... let's assassinate the Queen...
Technorati : news
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Oh dear lord, it's hot! Now don't get me wrong; in Thailand temperatures were sometimes 37 degrees at night! But somehow it seems hotter here... maybe it's because in Thailand I didn't have to commute nor work...
I don't know what it is about trains. But as soon as I get on the 18.16 from Waterloo East I start to sweat... copiously... I am blaming being terribly tall and thus having to put up with all the rising heat from everyone else. Today my trip home wasn't made any more pleasant by me getting on the train and opening my bottle of water. This was mainly because the water in the bottle had managed to build up sufficient pressure to explode all over my fellow passengers. Embarrassment... then a small child began to hit me... repeatedly... actually todays commute was one of my least pleasant experiences of the month...Male and Beautiful is back... yay!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Now yesterday was not as good as it should have been. This is no reflection on the day itself, rather a reflection on my state of mind. I was not (and am not) in the best of moods. But still I did enjoy myself a little (begrudgingly... ;o) )
Met up with Sam America at Clapham Junction and caught a train to Brighton. The journey wasn't too bad despite the amount of people on the train. Getting off the train at Brighton Station I pondered how much I love Brighton yet can never really enjoy it... I'm always a little bit down when I'm there. Cursed, I tell ye!!!
Anyway we wandered to the beach, had a packed lunch and a snakebite in the Walkabout where the Australians of Brighton had gathered on masse to watch rugby. We'd arranged to meet John and Elliot at Brighton Pier so afterwards headed there past way too many half naked Gods of the Beach. I suppose I should point out Elliot and John are Joinees and yesterday was their third annual Pirates RAoK MEet. So there was a lot of people dressed up as pirates and they were busy organising a Cutlass Amnesty (genius...). After more pirates had arrived we headed to the beach and on the way grabbed lots of free bottles of water from kindly members of a Sports Relief run...
Within minutes of being at the beach Sam and I decided we needed alcohol and the pirates wanted rum anyway so we wandered up to St James Street to find some. Ah.... how I love St James Street... With alcohol in hand we returned the beach and had a lovely time... Joinees are by their very nature a friendly and kind bunch. We had a Bonnie style party to go to in Tooting so we made our excuses and of course we got offered a lift to the station. RAoK (Random Acts of Kindness) are a Joinee requirement. On the way Joinee Goldy played Avenue Q songs and we had a singalong in the car... perfect.
Headed to Tooting carrying with us and consuming at regular intervals Snack-a-Jacks and a box of wine. Classy. Sam America may have been a little drunk. Meet up with Tamara at Vauxhall and wandered to Bonnies BBQ. Had a good time there then got a lift home with Paul. Thanks Paul!!
Friday, July 14, 2006
Lance Bass has been spotted in a gay bar. Does this mean he's gay? No.... But trust me if I was straight and my drinking partner was Reichen Lehmkuhl I think I might have changed my mind by the end of the evening. What do you think?
Seems there's some controversy because the Blade has claimed that Lance IS gay... the main controversy being is it right to out someone against their will. If it's the truth then I don't see how you can argue against it. The right to free speech (not defamation though) trumps the right to privacy any day. Sad but true in this media dominated world.
I'd like to thank Lance for visiting this gay bar, because if he hadn't I might never have discovered Reichen... ;o)
Thursday, July 13, 2006
One look at BBC News shows up some interesting news for once. Of late I've found the news to have been terribly bland stuff... No longer...
Eurotunnel is suffering financially. As a former employee I can't say I'm surprised. It is one of those heavily bureaucratic businesses that seems to have absolutely no dynamism... my opinion is a new, more creative company needs to be given the chance to take on Eurotunnels responsibilities. Of course I'm not pleased to see Eurotunnel in trouble... Folkestone is not a rich town, and really shouldn't have to suffer any more possible job losses.
The Arab-Israeli conflict seems to be stepping up a gear again. Never a good thing, sometimes I really don't know what to think about the whole thing. Both sides seem as bad as each other (a bit like our own "Troubles"). They both need a good slap, no supper and an early night.
After Lord Levy's arrest, is it not time for the Blair Government to call it a day? It's been too long, it's grown too fat and it needs cutting down to size. Trust me I want a Tory Government less than a Labour one... so I want Labour to be in the best position possible by the next election. That means we need some renewal to get us over the corruption, the spin and the war. Preferably a team more concerned with rolling back the red tape, and the attacks on our freedoms, and lead us back to the nitty gritty fight on poverty, education and crime.
Oh and I think this story gives me the perfect moment to apologise for things I said about Mr Menezes just after his death. I made comments that suggested he was to blame based on what the police were telling us at the time. As it turned out the police were lying and he doesn't appear to have done anything to warrant what happened to him. Mr Menezes Rest In Peace.
Hey Jesse Metcalfe... yum!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Superman Returns was awesome. OK so the word "cliche" may cross your mind once every 5 minutes, but that's to be expected when the source material has been gone over to many times. Brandon Routh was wonderful, and everything was just as it should be. Except the film was too long again. That's my only complaint...
Monday, July 10, 2006
You, Dear Constant Reader, may think Your Correspondent has spent his first year here in London doing nothing but piss arsing about. But I have actually been discreetly observing the strange and wonderful species that we are blessed with here in this urban jungle. And today I shall begin to share my findings with you.
The Swinger (Homo Swingus)
This fascinating creature can be found in abundance on London's public transport system. Little is know about the Swinger beyond it's perchant for using the many bars and handles on trains and buses to exercise. It's especially fond of the floor to ceiling variety found on trains and the tube. Once it has located said pole it will begin to swing back and forth, using as much surface area as is possible. It has been speculated that the Swingers have very bad eyesight, or perhaps a very low intelligence. This speculation arises from their inability to recognise members of the Homo Commutus species who share its habitat which causes it to often fall into them during exercise sessions. This doesn't deter the Swinger from continuing its activity but has been known to cause great upset to Commuters who have a strange belief in a concept known as "Personal Space".
The Ricochet (Homo Idious Ricoche)
This amazing animal has been so successful that it can be found in all areas of our city but does tend to venture out most often during busy periods such as the morning and afternoon rush hours. One of it's most diverting features is its inability to walk in a straight line. The Ricochet will begin it's journey as if it was a Homo Commutus, however it will quickly move towards the nearest wall. As other creatures attempt to pass it on its free side it will change direction and head towards the other wall. It will continue this change of direction several times over. It is thought this behaviour is caused by a similar condition to the Swinger and has lead some to think they are one and the same animal. These people label this possible species the Cretin (Homo Cretinus).
The Cruiser (Homo Middus Lanus Cruiserus)
A surprisingly slow creature it is fond of keeping strictly to the centre of any walkway. It is particularly fond of carrying large, bulky objects (bags, guitars and bicycles are particular favourites) and/or walking abreast in groups of two or three. The presence of a Cruiser ahead of you is often felt by large crowds of people following in its wake.
Technorati : commuters
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I just saw Doomsday, final episode of Doctor Who Series 2. And I feel sick. IT WAS THAT GOOD. If you imagine Randy Orton, Brent Corrigan, Dolph Lungdren and Vin Diesel all naked and oiled while making sweet love in a field, you are still far off the mark of how orgasmically good this episode was. Firstly there are the Cybermen, who are my favourite Doctor Who villians. The new design is awesome and they are just perfect. Secondly there are the Daleks. Not only are they pure evil, they are bloody funny too. See my title. Then thirdly... they go to war!!! Ooo.. and fourthly... a Gallifreyan prison ship flying over Canary Wharf.
Add to this the terrible breakup of the dynamic duo of Rose and the Doctor, and you have the perfect episode. I was literally holding on to the sofa as Rose began to fall into the void space. Thank Christ for Pete Tyler is all I'm going to say. I had tears in my eyes as Rose and the Doctor said goodbye.
The solution to the Dalek/Cyberman invasion was not total bollocks as I felt the Parting of the Ways ending last year was. And the actual ending was sooooo moreish I can barely wait for the Christmas special.
Yesterday Jim and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Man's Chest. I don't want to say it was bad. It wasn't. It was funny, it had Captain Jack, there was action and there was crazy weird pirate adventure. However... considering it is a two parter it was way too long. The plot barely plodded along at some points. And it was too serious at some points. There's a whole East India Company subplot (just hearing the words East India Company makes me drowsy) that was soooo tedious. And Davy Jones? Not a patch on Captain Barbossa. He just wasn't scary nor was he funny. And I hate two parter movies. So unsatisfying. Although the ending was... intriguing
Oh well after that little let down (I did enjoy it, don't get me wrong) I now turn my hopes to tonights episode of Doctor Who. There are Daleks, Cybermen and Rose leaves/dies/
becomes one with the universe. Goodbye Rose, it's been one hell of a ride. Thank you Billie Piper... you helped save Doctor Who.
Friday, July 07, 2006
I hate the way this event is being portrayed by the media. It was an awful event for hundreds, maybe thousands, of people. It was an upsetting event for millions. But if you believe the media portrayal it was the worst thing that's ever happened. Why do we not have a two minutes silence for the people killed in the Lockerbie crash? Where's the two minutes silence for all those victims of the Troubles??? And what happened to the quiet reflection of a period of silence? Now you have to hang around on the streets with flags and placards while you "remember" the fallen. Grief Inflation I think it's called. One picture on telly today was of a Muslim school who had all their children standing outside with signs saying how sad they were. Surely it would have been better for these kids to 1) be kept away from the glare of cameras while at school, a place of safety and peace and 2) learn the benefits of silent reflection.
The news presenter on telly just said "Ian Blair has just confirmed that our vibrant city will survive these attacks". Thank God! There I was thinking we were all going to have to leave. This nation has gone insane. Have we forgotten the Hell London went through in the war? The terror of the IRA? We must have because if we did remember these things we'd know we've been through rough times before... and came through the other side.
But 4 men with crude explosives, stupid enough to take their own lives thus ending their struggle, seem to be the harbingers of our pending apocalypse.
I am pleased to say that not one person in London I've spoken to seems to feel like the above. I must only know sane people. The people I know think it was a very sad thing to happen... and that's that. Most British people I've spoken to have referred to the IRA campaigns and shrugged off the threat from Muslim fundamentalists as more of the same.
That gives me some hope.
Technorati : 7/7
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Southland Tales may not be liked by the critics but it's high on the totty factor...
The Rock is so nice..
Look at those arms!!
Won't say much more got a terrible cough that won't go away... :( Being ill is made worse by me being a terrible (if closeted) hypochondriac. It's only started in the last few years but I am under the never ending belief I'm suffering from one form of life threatening disease or another (sometimes both at same time.. you know Ebola AND Bird Flu). Grr... stupid brain...
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Considering I got the book for free from a stall at Europride and it's cover was particularly uninspiring I was rather taken aback to be quite impressed with the story. Peter Mitchell certainly draws some inspiration from the style of A Picture of Dorian Gray which, in my opinion, is not a bad place to start.
The story gives the reader some fabulous insights into different aspects of the gay rights movement, travel, and AIDS. Oliver is a particularly easy to like character and travelling with him as he explores life to the full is a pleasure. It's a short, sharp and sweet little book to see you through an afternoon. And although you'll probably guess the ending it's still totally zany enough to be interesting.
If you'd like to know how to buy it let me know and I'll email you the address to write to... you won't be disappointed.
Got the song "The Internet is for porn" from Avenue Q stuck in my head!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Today I headed up to Birmingham with my manager for a work trip to our main supplier. Never have I felt so embarrassed as I was confronted with the incompetencies of my colleagues. I shall be in a bad mood when I get in tomorrow...
After that trip was over we still had some time to spare my boss showed me a brief view of the delights of the Birmingham gay scene on Hurst Street. We stopped in Prague, a nice lesbian bar where the barman was unable to pour a pint properly. We left there for Missing (Ruby's Bar) which was a standard dirty gay bar, seedy toilets, decor to suit, and a clientele and staff who gave the impression they'd give you a good shagging for free but a smile was extra. Not overly impressed I have to say but I saw a lot more potential places...
Trip home was a bit BLAH except while waiting 15 minutes on the Northern Line a cute German (they are everywhere!) fell asleep on my shoulder. That was nice.
Currently reading a book I picked up for free at a stall at pride (free stuff at pride.... I can't say no!). Called The Peculiar History of Oliver Trent by Peter Mitchell, it's a bit reminiscent in style to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and I think that's intentional as the book is referenced. Not too bad at all. Gay rights, history, politics, San Francisco, London and Thailand all in one book. Can't go wrong!
I'll do a proper review of it later. It appears to be a little hard to come by too so I'll fill you in on the details.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Yesterday was a very busy day indeed. After getting up mega early (for a Saturday!) I got myself a haircut, had a Jim bought McDonald's breakfast (thank you hun!) and headed into town. Of course Greenwich station had a higher than normal proportion of gay travellers. Gay pride days bring us all out of the woodwork. As is a tradition I set up my normal position by platforms 5 and 6 at Charing Cross to await Sam America. I love just standing there and watching the world go by. On a normal gay pride day Charing Cross is awash with all sorts of interesting and unusual characters. Thanks to the England-Portugal match it was even crazier than normal.
Sam called and told me how she'd accidentally go the wrong way and was currently in Trafalgar square so I went and met up with her before we went and found her mate Joe. We had a drink in a bar somewhere off Trafalgar Square and Joe disappeared off to work. Sam and I headed to Regent Street and got a prime position to watch the parade.
I spent most of the time there with a huge smile on my face and clapping my heart out. It was as always a brilliant parade. I have to admit my heart swelled with pride when the Navy and Police contingents marched past. As always the police got the biggest round of applause. Gods Bless 'em.
I was pleased to note I got a few shouts of "Hey cutie" and "Hey gorgeous" from some of the floats. And not a few waves. Glad to know I've still got it!!
The only downer was the occasional homphobic shouts from groups of passing footie supporters. Not really experienced homophobia at a pride event before (beyond the "Jesus Loves" type anyway). It wasn't very nice.
I loved the pink Union Jack... a flag to be proud of!
After the parade Sam and I grabbed some McDonald's for lunch... it was only as I munched into my Big Mac did I realise it was my second of the day. He he... Sam made me feeling better by saying it was a holiday so we could do what we wanted.
After lunch we wandered down to Trafalgar Square for a bit of the rally. I stuffed my pockets with pamphlets and free stuff. This is always my fave part of pride... the crazy reading material...
Had a drink in Trafalgar Square before heading off to catch the football (JOY!). Now we headed to G.A.Y bar to see it there but every other person decided the same thing so we made a detour to the Walkabout... it too was full. Sam became flustered about missing it but by luck we slipped into Ku Bar and watched the first half there packed in like sardines. Whoever said gay men don't like football was an idiot. After that uncomfortable experience we headed to Planet Hollywood to see the second half, where we had a lot more space.
By extra time we were tired of standing and hungry so we watched England get sent packing while munching a meal in the restaurant. Jim I've mortgaged the flat so I could pay for that meal, I hope you don't mind.
After the defeat London cleared out of most of the footie fans (shame half naked straight men looking terrified in the face of half a million queers was a turn on!) and we headed to Leicester Square to catch some of the cabaret (I LOVE PRIDE CABARET SHOWS). It seemed like all the other gayers were appearing from their various football watching bolt holes and the square soon filled up.
We caught the Dame Edna experience which was hilarious. Loved it.
We wandered up to Soho which was crazy and sat outside Starbuck's for a while having a chat and watching the gorgeous men and the wonderful drag queens wander past. We moved on to Holborn in search of Joe and ended up drinking in the Shakespeare's Head. Realising Joe's work (Footloose) was actually in Covent Garden we wandered down there. Covent Garden is wonderful at night. Met up with him and few other people from the staff at the theatre and had a drink at a nearby bar. It was at this point I grew too tired to carry on and called it an evening. All in all a very pleasant day, marred only by Jim's absence.