Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Tuesday 31/07/07

Here’s another story that I posted in my old blog, but I feel I have to transfer here for the sake of completeness, and also because this blog gets about 1,500 hits a day compared to 150 for my old one 6 months ago.

Back in January, I was in Pret on Oxford Street with Scott and RF. I was about to have a casting for the cover of Men's Fitness (of course I didn't get it), so I was just looking at the food, but I couldn't eat any. I was in a mood.

At that point, I see a guy and a girl looking at me from another table. I think nothing of it, but then the guy comes up to me and tells me he works for Abercrombie, and asks me if I’d like to work in their new store which was opening in London. The position would be a "model", i.e. somebody who just stands around wearing Abercrombie clothes and sort of represents the brand. He thought my look would fit that. Let's call the guy Alex (because that’s his real name).

I don’t know what representing the brand means exactly, but I guess in the case of Abercrombie it has a lot to do with looking like something a 45-year-old closeted gay man might choose to masturbate over, when his wife rolls over and falls asleep.

As if my normal 9 to 5 job weren’t enough to keep me busy, and never wanting to miss an opportunity for ridicule, I say OK and we arrange an "interview" in a couple of weeks time.

At the interview the following things happen:

- It’s a group thing with 8 of us being there at the same time. At 27 I am the oldest and the only one with a proper job. Everyone else is a “model” or “student” (non-science degrees obviously). I realize that even though I’m in a completely different demographic to those people, I must have a similar look, otherwise I wouldn’t have been scouted on the street just like they were. So basically it’s only my fault that I look like that and Alex thought I would fit in there (i.e. on first sight I must come across vacant, shallow and stupid)

- The moment I face the woman conducting the interview I can feel a mutual antipathy. She is wearing flip flops, sitting cross-legged ON the desk (I’m not making this up) and has a completely transparent faux-breezy attitude. So breezy I’m starting to get chills. She’s easy to see through though and her fake enthusiasm about EVERYTHING is making me feel uncomfortable. Being melancholic and introverted by nature I know this isn’t a good match. She can tell that I’m seeing through her and her smile seems a bit more strained every time she looks at me. I know I don’t have this “job”

- The interview itself is ridiculously contrived of course. We get asked what the Abercrombie brand means to us (having written my MSc dissertation on sportswear advertising I know more on this than the numerous 19-year-old Danish models I’m surrounded by), what “diversity” means and other such drivel. We get also asked to role play with a customer. It’s very cringe-worthy

Sadly I don’t remember the name of the woman, but if anyone has also been interviewed at Abercrombie London by a short, English, blonde, pseudo-enthusiastic woman with a sunny Californian attitude but dark, menacing middle-England undertones, please enlighten me. For the time being I’ll call her Kimberlee (she changed it from Ruth when she got the Abercrombie job).

Two weeks later they ring me and say I haven’t been successful as a model, but would I like to work as a cashier instead? This isn’t a huge surprise, but it is a bit degrading. What happened between being "scouted" and going to the "interview"? Had I gotten uglier? I really don't fancy myself as a professional model (blatantly) but it's them who approached me about the position first. And I don't see how my performance at the interview got me demoted from model to cashier. Did I not appear vacant enough?

I decide to go along with it (instead of showing I’m annoyed) and tell the guy on the phone – sure, I'd love to come and fold clothes for a living. So he asks me to go back to Abercrombie and meet the team etc. I go there a few days later.

So I walk in and the following things happen. Alex (the guy who discovered me) is stood at the entrance. He greets me. The place is packed with new employees (models and cashiers) possibly about 100 people. We are supposed to mingle and network. I chat to a couple of model girls, who are actually nice. Kimberlee is there mingling heavily, and she only sees me just before I leave, and says: “Ah shame, I didn’t get the chance to talk to you”. In an ideal world where I am quick-witted I say “That’s alright, you’ve done enough for me already”. In the real world I smile back embarrassed and leave.

On the way out, I speak to Alex and ask him what happened and I was demoted from model to cashier. He is quite uncomfortable and says I should call the office, explain the situation and ask. He is very quick to brush me off obviously.

I had no intention of taking up the cashier job, but I went so I could confront them and ask what happened. I had nothing to lose, because I get enough money from my job and don't need weekend pocket money.

Incidentally, models and cashiers get paid £6.50 an hour to work there. I can live without that.

Having a boring, empty life, I can’t let this go so when I get home later that evening, I write a very sarcastic and arrogant email to Abercrombie. I don't expect a reply, but I'm sure I've given them something to laugh about in the pub.

The next day I’m very excited to see they have replied. Here's what Dominique (don't know who that is), says:

"Morning London Preppy, Please let me clarify the situation for you. Firstly you are under no obligation to accept the position you are offered. The Model position you applied for is not based solely on looks but on personality and the answers you give to the questions asked. Apologies for the confusion and that your application was unsuccessful. I am presuming you are now not interested in taking any part-time position with us. Dominique"

So I guess they're saying that it's not how I look that cost me the job (that I didn't apply for), but it's actually that my personality sucks. That does make me feel much better, I must say.
I reply to this (because I'm a fool?) saying that no, of course I'm not interested in taking a part-time job folding clothes when I was initially offered a model position and Dominique hits back with:

“Thank you for your interest in Abercrombie & Fitch. Unfortunately you were unsuccessful in your model application. You are more than welcome to apply for another position at any time. Many Thanks Dominique"

I end the Abercrombie communication with a final email (because I’m a petty cunt) where I make implications about Alex’s sexuality and suggest that next time he feels horny he should have a wank instead of cruising sandwich shops to pick up boys by promising them modeling jobs.

All this happened back in January as I said, and at the time I was quite pissed off, but right now (it’s taken me a few months but I got there) I think it’s actually quite hilarious.

I do miss Kimberlee though, I would have loved to work for her. She could teach me a lesson or two about shaking off your heritage and emulating a different country’s culture (with variable success) in a completely fake way that’s never going to work (as I’m also trying to do).

I have 1 song by Bel Amour and I've played it 2 times
I have 2 songs by Belinda Carlisle and I've played them 5 times
I have 17 songs by Belle & Sebastian and I've played them 268 times

Monday, 30 July 2007

Monday 30/07/07

On Saturday I set off to go to the gym with Scott but then we have an argument just before we get there, so he turns around and leaves me there to go on my own, after telling me to fuck off. I actually think he was trying to pick a fight so he could storm off and skip the gym, because he seemed like he couldn’t be bothered to me, and he just threw in the swearing to make it more convincing.

And I’m not really difficult to pick a fight with to be honest, because I have a very short fuse which I think is the only remaining sign that I’m Greek – plus a stupid accent which becomes stronger the angrier I get, so that’s a vicious circle I don’t like to find myself in.

At the gym I meet Donnell and we can’t really be bothered either so we mess around a bit and I stare at a guy who’s nice and looks straight and has a good build, and if you disregard the hairy shoulders he’s pretty hot.

In the evening I stay at home and watch TV and decide that I’m really fat and I’ve lost all my definition, and that’s because of two main reasons:

a) I’m looking at some pictures that were taken a few weeks after I left the hospital last year and I’m still 8kg less than I am now and my abs look really good in them (but I’m less muscly overall obviously)

b) There is the prospect of doing this photoshoot for AXM at the end of this week and of course, before taking your clothes off and having your picture taken for a magazine you get a little more paranoid about the amount of fat around your waist

And this is why I decide to try something new and take my diet to the next level and not have any chocolate either until the following weekend, but of course this can all start on Monday so I go out and buy a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie and eat it all whilst waiting for Scott to come home.

And here’s a picture from the glory days after having spent 2 months confined to a hospital bed.

On Sunday we’re invited to some party in the afternoon (I don’t go to that because I don’t participate in any activities from midday onwards on Sundays – I prefer to stay at home and stress about going to work the next day), but before Scott heads off to that, we lie in front of the TV a bit and chill out.

And at that point Scott reveals he can actually give massages (I was unaware of that fact in the whole 637 days that we’ve known each other) so I say that I’d love one and he says OK, do I have any baby oil in the house and I say no, I’m neither a porn star nor a prostitute, so we find some tanning oil instead (factor 5), which isn’t that greasy, but it will have to do.

Finally, on Sunday I get an email from somebody who reads this blog asking me whether I’ve ever considered adding an Amazon wishlist or a Paypal tip jar to my page and I look into this and find out that:

- An Amazon wishlist is a link where people can click on and buy things that you’ve selected on Amazon and send them to you if they want to give you a present
- A Paypal tip jar is a link where people can click on and send you money if they want to give you a present

And obviously I hurry up and add those links to my page (at the bottom of the sidebar) even though it seems a bit trampy, but at the end of the day I never claimed to have any shame or morals because if I did, it would just be undignified.

I have 1 song by Beats International and I've played it 18 times
I have 4 songs by The Beautiful South andI've played them 10 times
I have 5 songs by Beck and I've played them 31 times

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Saturday 28/07/07

So on Friday I meet Matty and Niles and Elliott and we’ve made plans to have dinner and go to the theatre. Actually we’ve got a deal type thing where you get dinner and your ticket for £20, so expectations for both are pretty low. The restaurant is unsurprisingly a pizza place, so I pick at a couple of salads and then before the theatre go to a shop and buy some chocolates instead and I’m happy with that.

The play is some low-budget comedy set in the 1930s called The 39 Steps and there’s a cast of only 4 people and they play 150 parts (this is what the London Theatre Guide website tells me anyway, I wasn’t counting) and it’s enjoyable I guess in a manic, fast-paced way and I think one of the guys is kinda sexy but I also fancy the female lead a little bit, so God knows in what state of mind I was.

Niles sits to my right and he spends the whole time asking me if I want to leave and complaining that it’s a bad production and Matty tells him “you can’t come in and expect them to have spent 3 million pounds on it” and Niles says “yeah but 3 pounds would have been enough”, and I actually think that’s the funniest joke I heard in that theatre all evening.

Then we all go home and even though I had vague plans to go and meet Scott and go to a club briefly, I really can’t face going out again, so I cancel and stay in and go to bed at midnight.
Another thing that happens on Friday is that I get a call from AXM and the editor asks me if I want to take part in a photoshoot they’re doing for a feature regarding body issues and eating disorders or something and I know I’ve said I don’t want to do any modeling again, but I know the guys at AXM and I like them and I feel there will be no pressure, so I provisionally say yes.

Also he mentions that they’d like me to write a feature on my experience and understanding of modeling and the fashion industry and how I feel about the way other gay men perceive me and the way I look and I’m actually very keen on doing that; it’s an outlet for what I really want to do at the moment – write.

And I mention this to American Girl and Pam in the office and we joke a bit that I should write something like: “The way people perceive me and my look? I don’t know – I don’t think of myself as a sex symbol, I just do what I do and if people like it that’s a bonus” – which is a line delivered straight from the mouth of Hilary Duff / Channing Tatum / Kendra from Girls of The Playboy Mansion (Girls Next Door in the US) with utmost sincerity. But I might actually give it some more thought than that.

On Saturday I finally confirm and book the holiday to Iceland (first week of November) and also take part in the following exchange:

Person A: What are you doing?
Person B: Cuddling.
Personal A: I don’t want to cuddle, I want to fuck

I have 1 song by Beasy & Leon and I have played it 15 times
I have 1 song by Beatfreakz and I’ve played it 13 times
I have 1 songs by Beats Beyond and I’ve played it 2 times

Friday, 27 July 2007

Friday 27/07/07

On Thursday after work I go to the gym and I’m pleased to find that the muscle dwarf with the incontinence pants is also there. That’s always a good thing, because a little bit of hatred gears me up and I have a better workout. Let’s call him Lubov, because “muscle dwarf with the incontinence pants” is a bit lengthy to keep typing.

Lubov is living up to expectations with stripy hot pants, long t-shirt that completely covers them (making them invisible) and general “fuck you” attitude. For the first time though, he’s not reading the Financial Times, but instead a copy of the Metro. (Metro is a free newspaper they give away on the tube and is best used to cover the seat that somebody has pissed on before you sit down). I imagine the following sequence of events that have led to this swapping of reading materials:

September 2006: Lubov jumps off the boat that carried him to the UK illegally, swims to the coast and makes his way to London (eating raw chickens and potatoes that he steals from farms on the way).

He enrolls to the School Of English for Aspiring Little Businessmen from Eastern Europe (Central London). There, in addition to his lessons, he’s encouraged to read a newspaper on a daily basis to get exposure to the English language. He chooses the Financial Times because that’s what Serious Businessman read and it will look good in the pictures he sends to his widowed, toothless Father back in his hometown (unspecified).

Roll forward 10 months and 5 courses of steroids later (he brought them with him from Eastern Europe jammed up his bum to avoid getting caught, now he injects them into it) and his English hasn’t improved at all. Lubov wonders why, because he really has been reading the Financial Times every day in the gym. What is he doing wrong?

He discusses his progress (or lack of) with Professor Windsor from the School Of English and realizes that there is more to the FT that graphs, tables of numbers and little arrows going up or down. He was supposed to also read the words that run between the pictures?! Nobody had told him that! Professor Windsor suggests that he gives the FT a break for now and tries the Metro instead. Lubov obliges.

Anyway, back to the gym on Thursday now. Another brilliant thing about this little guy is the way he chooses to do his exercises. If there’s a way to climb onto something and do something completely awkward, he will certainly give it his best shot.

For example, instead of sitting on a bench and doing tricep extensions: He will climb on the bench, kneel on it, lean against the back and do it there.

Or, instead of doing a simple chest exercise at the cable cross-over, he will take 2 of these adjustable Steps, put them on top of each other, lie on them upside down, balance the newspaper on his legs and do it that way.

Most of these acrobatics involve him elevating himself by climbing somewhere, which I suppose is a good way to make yourself prominent when you’re 5’5”.

Because he’s so tiny and wide and he curls himself up in these little positions, I personally feel quite fatherly towards him. Just like picking your child up when he’s fallen asleep in front of the TV and carrying him to his bed. Instead, I would like to pick this little guy up and put him in the bin.

Anyway, after the gym I go back home and watch the last episodes of Frasier I have on DVD (what do I do now – better start buying Family Guy I guess) and eat and then take my picture hanging upside down on the sofa trying to look sexy or like Lubov or both and then I go to bed around 2345 but I can’t sleep so I take half a Valium at 0100 and I still can’t sleep so I take the other half at 0330 and then I wake up at 0822 and come to work.

I have 1 song by Baz Luhrman and I've played it 23 times
I have 1 song by BBE and I've played it 16 times
I have 3 song by The Beach Boys and I've played them 7 times

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Thursday 26/07/07

On Wednesday I meet Scott and we go to the gym and Steven is there too and we chat to him a bit and plan to hang out together at Brighton Pride in a couple of weeks. Also at the gym I’m having a conversation with Scott and I say something that he doesn’t like (I’m not to going to repeat it on here) and he empties his water bottle on my head, right there, in the middle of the weights area. I don’t like getting wet when I’m dressed, in fact it’s one of my least favourite things, and Scott knows that, that’s why he does it. But I don’t want to overreact, so I only not talk to him for a couple of minutes and then I get over it.

Then Scott and I head over to north London to meet Matty, Mean, Nicole and H and watch the Simpsons movie. I never, ever go to the cinema, because my brain has a defect and can’t concentrate on one thing for such a long time. When I have been to the cinema before (usually at gunpoint, or to pretend I’m a normal person* to people who don’t know me very well), I have taken iPod, magazines, a book and lots of snacks. *Sadly, this has often had the opposite effect.

Anyway, the Simpsons movie is very funny and I do manage to stay interested all the way through, apart from a few intervals where I get bored and I start texting Donnell and we discuss his love life. Also the storyline involves the Simpsons moving to Alaska, so there’s lots of snow and huskies and open fires, which reminds me of Iceland and my holiday there and that makes me happy.

During the movie I also have a look at Scott’s new phone and realize that he has the picture of some random guy with tattoos as his screensaver, so I’m not happy with that and I demand that he takes a picture of me and puts that on instead. Later at home, we take this picture and he replaces the tattoo guy.

On Wednesday during the day the following things happen:

- I have a casting for a shoot at lunchtime but as I mentioned last week I don’t want to do any modeling any more, because it’s really stressful and it gives me even more body issues than I already have, so I decide not to go, and I’m too much of a wimp to tell my agent that I want to quit, so I end up saying that I can’t make it, which means that he’ll probably try to re-arrange it and I feel quite guilty

- Instead at lunchtime I walk around Covent Garden and I’m trying to find some shorts that go with my new loafers that I bought yesterday and I’m sure Ralph Lauren would do them (I can picture them in my head) but Ralph Lauren is too far and I just go in Paul Smith and try some on, but I know they’re wrong from the moment I pick them up, so I put them back and I leave

- I walk past a guy who was in the club on Saturday night and he had the biggest chest I have seen (in a good way) and now in the daylight he’s a carrying his dry cleaning and he’s even nicer, so I make a mental note to use him for my next wank. But I always say that about people and then on my next wank I can’t think of anyone so it’s a waste of time. Maybe I should write these things down

- In the afternoon I get bored and I zone out and start thinking about this guy in the office who’s nice and smart and sophisticated but not very interesting (at all) and I drift off and I reckon that maybe he has a double life that we don’t know about, like he trawls the streets of East London on damp nights and kills prostitutes and I’m starting to hope that he actually does that and by that time it’s time to go to the gym

By the way, I wanted to say thanks to Matt from Debriefing The Boys for mentioning my blog. To help all the new people that are visiting for the first time, I have added direct links to some key posts from the recent past, which will give you some background on who I am, what I write and what this blog is all about. You can find the links under the Less Than Zero picture on the right. The stories I chose are:

My coming out: Because lots of people seemed to like it and felt they could relate (and hopefully not just gay people, but everyone who’s a bit introverted and not terribly loud / confident).

My covers: Because I may be pathetic and meek but at the same time I have no problem taking my clothes off and having my picture taken.

My diet: Because I have an eating disorder which is quite funny.

My sickness + my friends: Because I was very sick at some point last year and that made me a bit less of a cunt, but not completely.

My tattoo: Because nobody has told me as much about my own life as Bret Easton Ellis and if you recognize my style of prose, that’s where I stole it from.

I have 1 song by Barenaked Ladies and I have played it 0 times
I have 2 songs by Barry White and I’ve played them 7 times
I have 9 songs by Basement Jaxx and I’ve played them 138 times

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Wednesday 25/07/07

I read all the comments and responses people have sent for the blog yesterday (thanks by the way) and I narrow it down to a shortlist of Stockholm vs Reyklavik. Ideally I want Reykjavik to be honest, but I’m not sure Reykjavik will let me in without a passport (which I haven’t got back yet after applying for Citizenship), so I email Iceland and ask them. When they get back to me I’ll make the decision (or actually they’ll make the decision for me).

EDIT: Iceland has been very efficient and they already emailed me back. They will let me in with an ID card, so it looks like I’m gonna head there.

On Wednesday I have the sudden idea that I want to get some brown loafers to wear with khaki shorts and a polo shirt. This look is inspired by some friends of mine who are properly preppy and not pseudo-preppy like me (like Matty and Elliott), because I may have gone to private school, but I certainly don’t come from the conservative / privileged background real “preppy” requires. More a “my parents grew up in a village, then came to Athens and made a decent amount of money to send me to private school and make me a stuck up cunt, but I was still the poorest kind in the schools I went to” background.

Wikipedia gives a good description of the two types of preppy – original and crappy.
Original (other people): “Preppies are people who attended elite college preparatory schools, often boarding schools. Preppy culture idealizes intelligence, athleticism, sociability and wealth”.

Crappy (me): “Those who try to appear better off financially or class-wise than others in a middle class environment. Used in this manner, preppy most often describes people absorbed in the middle class hypermaterialistic pop culture of ostensibly quality-made goods sold at prices attainable by almost all Americans. As such, teenagers often apply this slang label to popular clothing not characteristic of "prepdom" such as Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, etc”.

Anyway, as part of my hypermaterialistic pursuit I decide to go and get my loafers at lunchtime. Because I have no imagination whatsoever, I can’t think of a better place to get them from so I go to Gucci. Sadly they have exactly what I want, but they have almost ruined them by printing their stupid G pattern all over them. I decide to get them anyway.

While I wait for the shop assistant with the incomprehensible accent to get me the shoes, I am entertained by two kids (late teens? early 20s?) with short hair, great tans, gym muscles, tight t-shirts and tracksuit bottoms who decide to spend their rentboy money on Gucci trainers and belts.

I pay for my aspirational, tacky shoes and leave.

I have 1 song by Band Aid and I have played it 12 times
I have 3 songs by The Bangles and I’ve played them 37 times
I have 1 song by Barbra Streisand and I’ve played it 6 times

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Tuesday 24/07/07

On Monday I finish reading The Rules of Attraction and now I’m ready to move on to American Psycho, which is a bit like a huge Cardigans fan listening to Lovefool – maybe their best known work, but certainly not the one I like the most. So we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, this week I have been thinking about going on holidays / traveling. I don’t like traveling one bit. Traveling gets me out my routine and my comfort zone and we certainly don’t want that. When I go to a new place for the first time (let’s say for a week) I go through the following sequence:

Stage 1: Inevitably I dislike it for the first few days. I don’t know where to buy cans of tuna, I don’t know where they sell newspapers, I don’t know how to get around or how anything works. This stage sucks and I want to go back home and sit on my sofa.

Stage 2: Mid-week things are slightly better. I have developed a pattern that I feel comfortable with, I do the same things every day and I’m happy with that. I still don’t know how to get anywhere though because I have no sense of orientation, but that’s OK.

Stage 3: By the end of the holiday I don’t want to leave. I’ve got used to it and I don’t want to change again (even if it means going back home).

This enviable personality disorder means that I’ve only been to 3 countries in my life (apart from the ones I’ve lived in which are Greece and England) and I don’t feel like I want to go anywhere else.

In any case, I’m saying all this because I’m now planning at trip in November as I mentioned before. Initially I wanted to go traveling around the Highlands of Scotland in a camper van, but then I thought, where is it even more bloody freezing and there are even fewer things to do? In the Arctic Circle.

The holiday that I want ideally has:

- Snow huskies and a sleigh
- Possibly reindeer. Or is the Arctic Circle too cold for reindeer? Who knows.
- More snow than you can shake a stick at
- Lots of ice and not just in my drink
- Big coats (with fur hoods)
- Frostbite
- Hot chocolates and marshmallows
- An open fire
- Saunas (but not like the one next to Barcode in Vauxhall)

Unfortunately it turns out that this kind of holiday is a tad too expensive (around £850 per person for 5 days) and as I’m planning to pay for Scott as well (as a present for having gone out with him for 2 years – I hate the word anniversary), I really don’t want to fork out all that money. He’s not that fucking great, right?

So the next best thing that I could come up with is a city break in Reykjavik or Oslo or Stockholm. They’re cold, right? And slightly less expensive. But apart from that I don’t know much else.

This is where you come in. Has anyone who reads this been to any of these 3 cities? And which one fits what I want most? What do we know about the reindeer population there?

I guess I’ll have to hope that people have visited, because I don’t get many hits from people who live in those places. Google Analytics tells me that Oslo is the 117th most popular location for reading this blog and Stockholm comes in at 211. Nobody from Reykjavik has logged on yet, but I suppose those guys are preoccupied with shoveling snow from their drives or something. Fair play to them.

If you can help with your amazing Scandinavian insight, please leave a comment or drop us a line at london.preppy@gmail.com innit.

I have 1 song by Bad Religion and I have played it 4 times
I have 3 songs by Badly Drawn Boy and I’ve played them 22 times
I have 1 songs by Bananarama and I’ve played it 33 times

Friday, 20 July 2007

Friday 20/07/07

So I’m watching Frasier and it’s the episode where Frasier and Niles and Martin hire a Winnebago and they take a road trip for a reason which I forget now and they end up spending New Year on an Interstate Road in the middle of nowhere after several mishaps of course where everything starts going wrong but comes together in the end.

And I’m thinking this is what I want to do, I want to go on a motorhome (or is it camper van?) holiday somewhere and drive around for a week and I want it to be really rural and cold (maybe snowy) and nobody’s around and I have to wear boots and a scarf and gloves all the time. And I remember that I met Scott 2 years ago in November, so what better opportunity to do this than around that time for a 2-year anniversary type thing.

And it would be fucking brilliant to go to Canada and drive around (because that’s exactly the kind of scenery / experience that I’ve got in my head), but for reasons including that I don’t a) have a passport and b) the money to afford this I decide the next best thing is Scotland – more specifically the Highlands. That’s gotta be bloody freezing, isolated and beautiful, right?

So I go online and find some flights to Inverness (that’s the most Northern Scottish airport I can think of that won’t be criminally dangerous and built out of wood and mud), find some flights for around £100-£150 return (reasonable I think) and then start looking at hiring a camper van for a week. Shockingly, this costs around £500-£600/week. I reconsider, thinking that spending £1,500 just to drive around in the freezing cold exploring the rugged and mountainous regions of Scotland and risking frostbite is a bit excessive. I still wanna go somewhere nice and cold though, but I might have to leave the Winnebago behind.

On Thursday I go to the gym and I’m doing legs and after my lunges I walk over to the leg press and somebody’s using it, so I just wait there for him to finish. Sometimes I’ll ask people if we can share, but on this occasion the machine is turned the wrong way and it’s too fiddly to alternate and I can’t be bothered talking to anyone, so I wait.

Then some guy walks up to me and the following happens. Well actually, let me tell you about the guy first. I’ve been seeing him in various gyms in central London over the past 1-2 years. Call me what you want, but I fucking hate that guy. Well I hate his look anyway. I’ll try to explain but unfortunately I’m scared that I don’t have the descriptive ability to completely convey how ridiculous he looks. Here are some key points:

- He is very short. He is much shorter than me. I am 5’8”, so imagine what we’re talking about here. I estimate that he’s around the 5’5” mark

- He has a very serious steroid problem, i.e. his arms are as wide as my waist and his legs are so big that he can’t walk in a straight line. His thighs just push into each other and direct him into a permanent concave walking pattern. I think if he tried to run he would just spin around himself on the spot

- Imagine that width on such a tiny frame. This is exactly why I should never experiment with steroids, because incredibly short people don’t look that good when they’re incredibly muscled

- He is extremely hairy. Hairs are coming out of everywhere and I don’t really want to think about this anymore

- He comes in the gym wearing a suit, which can only have been bought at Toys R Us. In the “Little Businessman” costume section (if such a thing exists). It’s a bit like this:

- He comes in the gym and he’s reading a copy of the Financial Times every time I see him - whilst training. This is as comical as watching Jodie Marsh read a copy of The Spectator to be honest, because he looks like a Neanderthal and you wouldn’t really expect a Neanderthal to concern himself with financial trends and other such issues. Maybe he is a fucking investment genius though and I’m just a hateful cunt, I don’t know.

- However, I could get over all these things, if it wasn’t for the final point. His working out outfit. Every time I’ve seen him he’s worn the same thing and it truly disturbs me. The guy always wears incredibly short, lycra fitted stripy shorts. I knew I could never describe them perfectly, so I’m so fucking happy I found a picture to show you what I mean. His are so short and tight that just cover his arse, but thankfully we get a full view of over-inflated hairy thighs bursting out from every direction

- To complete the look he combines those with obscenely-cut revealing vest (also seen below). I’m sorry, but I really don’t want to see anyone’s nipples while I’m training. Sometimes we're lucky and he wears an actual t-shirt, but it so long that you can't see his shorts under it (I'm serious), so you think that a little hairy muscled dwarf has sneaked in the gym wearing a t-shirt and no pants.


Anyway, this guy walks up to me as I’m queuing for the leg machine and says (enter heavy Eastern European accent here).

“Are you waiting for machine?”

Me: (enter less heavy Southern European accent) Yes

Neanderthal Guy (NG): Are you both using it?

Me: No, I’m waiting for him to finish.

At that point, to my astonishment, NG walks up to the guy using the machine and says:

“Can I jump in” (therefore stealing my turn in a swift steroid rage induced move)

The guy on the machine gives me an odd look cause he knows what’s happening, but can’t really say anything. So I walk up to NG and the following exchange occurs:

Me: What do you think you’re doing?
NG: If you don’t want to train with people, that’s what happens.
Me: *face drops*
Guy already using the leg machine to me: “Don’t worry, I only have one set left, you can take my turn then”
NG to me: See? When he goes, you work in with me
Me: Thanks

Unfortunately at that point I should have continued and told him off but I’m not very good at face to face confrontation, plus I think of all the best lines too late. Like when I’ve gone home. Or in the middle of the night.

In the changing rooms later I’m ready to leave and he comes in. He takes his top off in a territory-marking confrontational way in front of me (I can almost smell his sweat) and stands there for a couple of minutes reading the Financial Times in his elastic incontinence pants (I’m not kidding). Then he puts the FT down and proceeds to flex his incredibly short but wide arms in the mirror. Seriously, I am not making this up. I consider hanging around until he gets in the shower so I can flush his pants down the toilet or something, but can’t be bothered with that in the end and just leave.

Seriously now – does anyone who goes to the same chain of gyms as me in London know which guy I’m talking about?

Apologies for this being a very negative and bitchy blog, I’ll return to the usual manic depressive / obsessive compulsive / I love myself - no I hate myself ramblings tomorrow.

I have 1 song by Azzido Da Bass and I've played it 1 time
I have 2 songs by Baby D and I've played them 22 times
I have 8 songs by Babybird and I've played them 133 times

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Wednesday 18/07/07

I started working out for the first time in the summer of 2000, because I was back home on a break from University and it was hot and I was bored and I needed something to do. So I got some free weights and started lifting them in a room in my parents’ house watching music videos and I kinda liked it, so I kept it up.

And the initial motivation wasn’t to be big or toned or muscled or anything, it was just something to do during a tedious summer. Then I did start seeing some changes and I can’t say I didn’t like that. When I went back to Uni for my third year I bought some free weights there and continued to work out in my bedroom every day at 1800. And I never went to a gym at all until some time in 2002 – 2 years after I had started training.

In the first few years I did that every day with no fail but then (in 2003?) I cut down to 4-5 times a week and this is how often I go today.

So when I came out and started going clubbing in 2005 I was already worked out and a bit muscular and inevitably I joined that gym bunny scene. And this is a scene where everyone is muscled and people talk to each other and are sociable using this as a criterion and if you don’t have this certain look I don’t think you’re gonna make many friends there. Or this is what I’m told anyway – as I said I went straight into it with that certain look and I don’t know how people treat you when you’re too thin or too fat or have no tone or something.

So I’m not sure what people would think of me or if I would have so many clubbing “friends” ( = acquaintances) if I didn’t have abs, but you know I’m not on some morality trip here, fair play to the muscle-Mary scene, what can you do.

Anyway, here are some random pictures of various friends and me in states of undress just to keep people coming back.

Today I go out of London for work again and on the way there I travel with a guy from work and I show him my tattoo, but on the way back I travel on my own and Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World comes on my iPod and I almost get depressed sitting there alone in first class (tragic?) writing this, but then I don’t have time for all that – I’m back in London so I take the tube and head back to the office.

I have 2 songs by Avenue D and I have played them 44 times
I have 5 songs by Avril Lavigne and I’ve played them 38 times
I have 1 song by Azwell and I’ve played it 11 times

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Tuesday 17/07/07

So where I live is a very touristy area and there are lots of hotels around and you really can’t walk down the street to take the rubbish out without stumbling upon some group of Canadian or central European tourists dragging those annoying suitcases on wheels behind them looking at an internet print-out trying to find their hotel.

I am definitely not complaining about the tourists like many other Londoners do because: a) I like living in an area that people want to visit from around the world and if I didn’t I’d move out to Leytonstone, b) I was one of those tourists on several occasions when I used to visit London in my teenage years, c) I am one of those tourists now when I go anywhere else. So in conclusion we like the tourists.

We like those wheelie suitcase things less though, because you can’t really see them when somebody’s dragging them behind and you end up walking into them or you try to get in the lift that takes you to the tube platform thinking there is space left, but no, the space is occupied by a stupid wheelie bag.

But we’re not here to moan. Other benefits of having all these tourists around are:

- You go to Tesco on Sunday mornings and see lots of inappropriately dressed tall, fit American boys with nice calves wearing board shorts and sunglasses

- (I haven’t put this to the test yet because I have a boyfriend but) you can easily meet somebody walking around here, go to their hotel room and sleep with them, spend a couple of days there, think you’ve fallen in love, then never see them again, i.e. have a brief holiday romance on your doorstep, without the need to trave

- Finally, when the summer finally arrives in London, you can go to the park which is 2 minutes from where I live and stare at all the people mentioned in points 1 and 2 with their shirts off, throwing a ball at each other whilst drinking out of beer cans. For the time being unfortunately, you can only see them walking around in rain jackets

But the main reason why I started writing this tribute to my area is a bar that’s located very near my house on the main touristy street around here. Let me give you a quick overview: Tiny entrance that gives you no clue of what it’s like inside. Big plastic white sign with palm trees painted on above the door. Open all the bloody time when I walk past – presumably 24 hours. Stairs that go down once you step in. Darkness looms. Never seen anyone enter. Sweaty, overweight Middle Eastern guy stood outside as security looking bored.

I speculate that once you go in, you go downstairs to find an uninterested, lonely barman in waistcoat and bow tie, with Bacardi stained sleeves glazing over at the TV screen which is showing Columbo repeats on a constant loop. There is a single mumbling drunken guy sitting on a bar stool holding some kind of malt and a small group of Danish teenagers who stumbled in and decided to stay because at least they can get served – they’re on Budweiser. The music (Laura Branigan’s Self Control followed by Alphaville signing Big In Japan followed by Francesco Napoli) is relatively quiet and the tapes are a little worn out but still playing.

I’m becoming obsessed with this bar, because it seems so drab, decadent and tatty. It might have been a destination in 1988 (I can even imagine a relatively big opening with people dancing to Taylor Dayne’s Tell It To My Heart) but now it just attracts lost tourists and alcoholics. It won’t close down though, it just keeps going. For some reason I’m attracted to that, it’s so sweet and melancholic.

What I want to do is go there when I’m feeling really down and really be part of this. I can see the following happening: Scott dumps me, I’m devastated, I go there on a Wednesday night, get hammered drinking vodka straight, pass out and get thrown out by the Middle Eastern guy, fall asleep on the doorstep not being able to walk for 2 minutes and get home. I wake up around midday, obviously having missed work, drag myself to my flat where I stay until 8pm crying / drinking more / listening to Roxette, then I go back and repeat.

Here are some pictures of the place (both real and imaginary).

(Speculation) This sign hangs next to the TV. The letter R is broken though and is not lit.

(Speculation) This is what it looks like inside. Lots of neon. Helf empty bottles. The fridges are empty though.

(Real). Actual picture of the bar I'm talking about. I've blocked out name so you can't google it and find where I live.

On a more positive note, I think after a week of not eating again I’ve got my abs back.

I have 1 song by Auf Der Maur and I have played it 4 times
I have 1 song by The Automatic and I’ve played it 4 times
I have 3 songs by The Avalanches and I’ve played them 30 times

Monday, 16 July 2007

Monday 16/07/07

This is the story of the weekend, leaving out the tattoo incident which I wrote about yesterday.

On Friday after work I go to the gym and I meet Scott and Donnell and work out with them, and it seems to me those guys are doing some big weights cause I really can’t keep up with them. Donnell says that since he started working out with Scott he’s put on about 2 kilos in muscle and to be honest I want in on some of that action, so I make a point to work out with those guys whenever I can.

Then those guys go and hang out at the Box for a little while, but I just go home and watch TV because I feel unsociable. Then Scott comes and spends the evening there.

On Saturday morning I go to Tesco to do the weekly shopping and I see that they sell Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream half price, but not the Chocolate Fudge Brownie flavour that I want, so I pick up a tub of Vanilla and a tub of Chocolate Fudge Brownie and I take them to the self-scan machine with the rest of my shopping with the intention to scan the Vanilla and bag the Chocolate Fudge Brownie. But the Tesco guy is stood right there and he’s chosen to watch exactly what I’m doing, possibly because I’m wearing sunglasses even though it’s raining outside and also because Scott is biting my chest while I’m doing that. In any case I do some fiddling and maneuvering and I get my Chocolate Fudge Brownie half price.

In the evening Donnell and I go to Scott’s house for dinner, but he puts the chicken in the oven and then an hour later when he goes to check he realizes that he hasn’t turned the oven on, so we go to Nando’s and eat there instead.

Then we all go to Soho and meet some other guys to hang out with. We go to a bar but there’s drinking and chatting everywhere and I find that quite hard work so around 2300 Scott and I make our way back home on Scott’s motorbike.

As Bruce Springsteen sings the Streets of Philadelphia inside my crash helmet we get pulled over by police and they give Scott and nice big fine for speeding. I consider myself lucky for a wearing long sleeves, because as we all know I have a tattoo now and this is a very rebellious and anti-authoritarian move and god know how many years in jail we would have got if they had seen it.

During the rest of the ride (and at a lower speed) I consider what other pseudo-revolutionary options I have left, after the tattoo. What else is left that was groundbreaking and edgy 50 years ago but now every 15-year old with a grudge against his parents does it? This is the kind of boundary I like to push, so any suggestions welcome.

On Sunday, I go back to my house and in between spells of rain and thunder I invite some people over for a barbecue. The people that turn up are: Scott, Matty, Nicole, Matty’s sister C, Niles and Elliott (nicknames their choice). I haven’t spoken about Niles and Elliott specifically before, but they are the 2 other guys I was sharing a four bedroom house in Ealing with when I first moved to London (+ Matty).

Matty and I were on the Graduate scheme of a company and Niles+ Elliott were working there as placement students on their year out from University. So basically none of us had any serious work to do and we messed about a lot. As I mentioned in my coming out blog last week, for quite some time that year I was leading a double life, but apart from that we also had lots of opportunities to have fun together.

On Sunday at the barbecue we reminisce about old times, including such incidents as:

a) Matty and Niles hiding under Elliott’s bed and scaring him as he went to sleep, b) Niles and Elliott finding a packet of biscuits of mine, eating all of them, sealing the packet back up and leaving it there empty for me to find and go mental on them, c) Matty’s parents visiting our house with the family dogs, his dad picking up one of them for a photo opportunity and dropping it on its head and lots of other happenings like that, which don’t sound very funny now because I guess you had to be there.

Then everyone leaves and I stay at home and watch TV until I have to go to bed and I wish that I still had some housemates and wasn’t old, bitter and alone.

I have 1 song by Astrud Gilberto and I have played it 9 times
I have 1 song by Atlantic Ocean of I’ve played it 9 times
I have 8 songs by Audio Bullys and I’ve played them 185 times

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Sunday 15/07/07

On Thursday this week I get an idea. Suddenly I want to get a tattoo. I have never wanted to get a tattoo before, I actually find them relatively unattractive (that depends of course), and I particularly hate tribal / maori / freestyle ethnic designs. Everyone has them and they mean nothing to me. Not to mention that if you have a tattoo that covers your whole arm or something, it hides your muscles / definition, so what’ the point of not eating / going to the gym in the first place? Anyway, as I said suddenly it just hits me that I want to have the words Bret Easton Ellis tattooed on the inside of my left arm – across my bicep. I don’t know how this comes up originally but I can’t think of anything else.

Naturally I test this idea by asking a few good friends. The best response comes from Mean who says:

“Why the fuck not”.

I spend Friday typing the words in dozens of different fonts and I’m looking for something that looks stark, geometrical and sterile. I choose a font called Estrangelo Edessa Bold.

I guess I’m safe with this tattoo unless Bret Easton Ellis turns into a Nazi / paedophile / terrorist, or even worse as Bobby points out, his next book is absolute rubbish. But even so, I’ve got the tattoo now and as we all know nothing really matters (at least I’ve got the trademark Ellis nihilism nailed).

On Friday I also discuss this idea with the girls at work and we consider the fact that for the rest of my life I will be asked who Bret Easton Ellis is and why I decided to permanently burn his name across my arm. American Girl comes up with some alternative replies I can start giving when I get fed up with telling people that he’s my favourite writer (which sounds a bit poncey anyway).

Having a tattoo obviously makes me really hard and dangerous and working class, so the suggestions are as follows. Bret Easton Ellis is the:

- Name of my 12 year old son who I had with my first baby momma when she was 13

- Name of my cousin who was shot in a drive by from a rival gang

- Name of my father who died from falling off a bridge while highly intoxicated and stumbling home

- Name of my pitbull who was put to sleep after he mulled 3 young children

On Saturday I meet up with Scott and Donnell, I take a Valium and two paracetamol and we head to the tattoo place. Fifteen quick minutes later I come out with a permanent mark on my arm and £70 less in my pocket. I will post pictures of the procedure later (Scott has them on his phone at the moment), but here’s a couple more of the final result.

My favourite part of this is that when my arm is in a normal position the words are drawn on a completely straight line - as seen here…

…but when I flex my arm they get all wavy - as seen here:

On Sunday I listen to Suede sing the lyrics "cause on you my tattoo will be bleeding and the name will stain" on repeat for about 2 hours, because this is the only song I can think of the mentions tattoos and I love (The Wild Ones).

I have 5 songs by The Artful Dodger and I have played them 26 times
I have 8 songs by Ash and I’ve played them 49 times
I have 1 song by Asian Dub Foundation and I’ve played it 1 time

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Saturday 14/07/07

This is all for now. More tomorrow:

Friday, 13 July 2007

Friday 13/07/07

So on Wednesday I go to the gym and I do legs and Aussie Boy is there and I feel like I'm friends with him, because I see him nearly every day and he seems really nice – even though we've never actually spoken to each other. And there's this other guy who's there and I think is quite sexy and he seems straight and I've never seen him before, so I stare at him for a bit and he does look back a few times, but I'm not sure that's because he likes me or I'm just freaking him out. Probably the latter. I refrain from jerking off in the shower cause that would just make me the new gym Pervert but I keep this guy in mind for future reference.Then I go home and Scott comes over and I do his final steroid injection for this course and then he leaves. I finish reading Less Than Zero for possibly the 11th time in my life and I go to bed.

And I wake up earlier than usual on Thursday because I have to travel outside London for work and during the course of the day I'm on a train for approximately 5 hours and 10 minutes (not counting tubejourneys) and I like that because I get the chance to read 157 pages of The Rules of Attraction.

For those of you who haven't been paying attention I am currently in the process of reading all the Bret Easton Ellis books in order again – a process which is building up to an event, which I can't writeabout yet, but it sure is kind of a big deal. And maybe I won't be brave enough to go ahead with it but we'll see.

EDIT: I actually can't wait that long and this event is now taking place on Saturday at 1430. I will write about it soon after that.

After all this traveling I come home and a sit on my own and stare at the ceiling for a bit and I put on this playlist that I've made on my iTunes, which has lame love songs from the 80s. And I actually manage to get upset by these songs, which indicates there must be something wrong with me – I mean come on who can sit there and emote over I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner? I fear that I’m very similar to a single 38-year old woman with sad memories of her youth. Then Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon comes on and that floors me, because REO Speedwagon sing the line: "And I meant every word I said, when I said that I love you I meant that I'd love you forever". And for some reason I want at some point in my life somebody to say this to me and mean it. And I won't care if 10 years later they don't actually love me anymore, just as long as at the point when they say it they believe it.

Then I get over myself and I go online and look at some analysis on my blog traffic that google runs for me and I find out the following.

The top 20 cities where I get the most traffic from are:

1. London
2. Manchester
3. New York
4. Brentford
5. Sydney
6. Birmingham
7. Thames Ditton
8. Indianapolis
9. Newcastle
10. Sheffield
11. Copenhagen
12. Miami
13. Milton Keynes
14. LA
15. Newbury
16. Athens
17. Prague
18. Milan
19. Vienna
20. Croydon

I also find out that most people have saved the link directly to my blog and just type that to get here, but then some people end up on it by accident when they perform a google search. And my favourite random googles searches that have directed unlucky people here are (please note these are actual phrases people have typed in on google):

- rotten teeth and vodka

- rat boy walking shorts

- how to draw muscly people
(I guess a bit bigger than non-muscly people?)

- London rent boys 2007
(Is there an annual list produced? Like the 2007 Guild of Architectural Ironmongers or something?)

- wanna shag in London
(I suspect that spending time googling this is actually counter-productive to the purpose. How about walk through Vauxhall at any given time and be inundated with offers for free sex AND drugs?)

- eating disorder
(At least this person found the best site to get some tips from)

I have 9 songs by Armand Van Helden and I have played them 77 times
I have 1 song by Aarmy Of Lovers and I've played it 4 times
I have 1 song by Aart Garfunkel and I've played it 11 times

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Wednesday 11/07/07

And I came to London about 3 years and 3 months ago, in April 2004, and in the beginning I really didn’t know a single person here, so I didn’t have a single friend. Then I met friends at work and I moved in with some of them – 4 of us were sharing a big house in Ealing – and we went out a lot and drunk and some people would pull each other and maybe occasionally sleep together, but not so often because we were working in numerical jobs and sex occurs less frequently in those industries.

I wasn’t gay back then and I didn’t know anyone who was and I hadn’t slept with anyone ever and I think I might have kissed a total of 3 girls in my life, but not for very long. I was 24. I wasn’t that bothered to be honest, I thought I would never come out and I was planning to lead a pseudo-straight life, because being gay was too scary an option.

Sometimes in the summer of 2004, I would take the tube though in the evening on my own and sit there and go round in circles and think what I wanted to do with my life. Because London gives you lots of opportunities to do what you want and destroy your life a little bit, so I didn’t want to not take advantage of those.

Other times, on a Saturday evening, when I had nothing to do, I would sometimes take the tube and go to Soho on my own and walk around a bit. And I would walk past gay bars and shops and book stores, but I wouldn’t go in, because I was too embarrassed. Later that summer, I would sometimes get the courage and I would go in and look at magazines and DVDs on the shelves, but I wouldn’t pick them up, because I was scared somebody might see me.

Around that time I decided that maybe I wanted to go ahead and meet a guy. I started going on gaydar and I made a profile and put some pictures up, without showing my face of course. I was telling myself that I would meet somebody once, sleep with them, and then I would get this out of my system and be straight. I spent about 4 months talking to people on there and trying to find somebody that seemed like a decent person to do this with. I bought a laptop to go online with and I kept it hidden from my housemates. At that point, I still hadn’t told anyone anything about being gay, not even my best friends that I went to school (Alex) and University (Andrews) with.

On Friday the 5th of November, I met the guy. I took the day off work and I lied to my friends that I was going away for the day. I was meeting the guy at 1100 and I was completely terrified, so I remember downing two beers and some vodka before I left home. I met him, we had coffee, I lied to him about my name, my age, where I’m from, what I did for a living, everything. He was nice enough to pretend to believe me when I was telling him that I don’t want to be gay, this would only be a one-off experience and I would never come out. We went back to his place and things happened. I was 24 years, 9 months and 29 days old.

I didn’t tell anyone anything for another 2 months. The first person I told was Andrews. We were in some bar in Athens after Christmas and Miss Kittin was singing Silver Screen Shower Scene and I told him I had something to say and I started crying because I thought he would never want to talk to me again and then I told him.

It took another month until I told the second person and that was Matty. By the end of the summer of 2005 I had told all my friends in London and now it seems like a lifetime ago, but it’s been less than 2 years. And this is how I ended up here: a secondary character out of Less Than Zero.

I have 2 songs by Arcade Fire and I have played them 2 times
I have 1 song by The Archies I’ve played it 2 times
I have 16 songs by The Arctic Monkeys and I’ve played them 135 times

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Tuesday 10/07/07

On Tuesday morning I get up and as I’m getting ready for work I also throw out any remaining carbs in the house (some pot noodles, some rice in the fridge, some croissants), because I’ve decided to stop the madness now and go back to my original diet. Not too dissimilar to Nelson Mandela being released from prison or Lindsay Lohan when she comes out of rehab, I feel I’ve been to hell and now I’m back and I have a story to tell.

The main reason why I started doing this was to see if I would bulk up more. And I’ve put on a couple of kilos in the last week that I’ve been doing it, but at the end of the day I don’t care about being bigger – I’d rather maintain my abs. There was a comment in the blog yesterday by somebody who said people with chiseled abs are more intimidating, and I kinda agree with that and I like it.

There are three categories of people who look like they work out / have attractive body shapes as far as I can see and they are as follows:

a) Group A – Big muscly guys. These guys are big. And muscly. They like to take steroids and they don’t mind having no definition, as long as they are BIG. These guys are usually older than me I guess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissing them, I like the occasional steroid guy. They are, in fact, my second favourite group.

b) Group B – Moderately muscled guys with definition and good abs. These guys are quite fucked up in the head, because they concern themselves with their body too much. They are worried about their definition and they have lots of issues and I don’t really have the time to help them resolve them, because I’m busy thinking about my own. Those guys are me.

c) Group C – Naturally athletic muscly guys. These guys play a lot of sport and that’s how they got to be fit and sexy. Everyone is attracted to them, because they are effortless (unlike group B) and masculine (unlike group A). They are also an urban legend, because they don’t really exist. If they do exist, they tend to be straight, so you wouldn’t want to shag them anyway, as they are likely to be messy and un-groomed in the wrong places. In theory, they are my favourite group.

There is of course a 4th group of people (Group D), those who have everything and more and you only see those guys in pictures that people use on myspace when they don’t want to put their own picture up. If those people were around, I really wouldn’t want to associate myself with them, because if guys from Group B have issues and are self-involved, can you imagine with Group D would be like? A classic example of this non-existent guy in real life is this. I mean let’s get real, this guy is like fucking Bigfoot: everyone has seen his picture but nobody has seen him in real life.

Anyway, at lunchtime I walk around and I’m feeling much better than I’ve felt over the last week. I’m feeling hungry and my stomach hurts a bit, because I’ve only had a protein shake and two bananas and a can of tuna all day, but that makes me happy, because when you’re feeling hungry and refuse to eat, your abs are only getting better. Then I go in HMV and buy a new series of Frasier on DVD, so that’s the rest of my evenings this week sorted.

After work I go to the gym and I’m done within 40 minutes and I don’t have to go on stupid treadmills or running machines or whatever they’re called to burn any fat, so I just shower and go home.

At home I go on youtube and find the Hung Up performance from LiveEarth and I find the sequence where Madonna rides the boombox and then spins on the floor on her ass and I watch that for the next 15 minutes on constant loop. You know – the sequence where she ends up like this.

I don’t know how I manage to be fascinated by that woman after all these years and I really don’t know how it fits with my other musical tastes, e.g. Morrissey and Suede and Bruce Springsteen, etc. Maybe the gay icon association has something to do with it, but I really don’t have an interest at all in other people who carry that label too like Kylie Minogue or Cher, etc.

What I do know is that I have a double vinyl copy of the Immaculate Collection from when it first came out and I have written on the sleeve and given marks out of 10 to all the songs according to how much I liked them. I also have drawn little geometrical shapes next to the song titles (triangles or squares or circles) but I have forgotten what significance those had – some code that I can’t crack anymore.

And if all these things aren’t signs that I would end up a slightly autistic gay researcher I don’t know what they are.

I have 1 song by Apollo 440 and I’ve played it 3 times
I have 2 songs by Aqua and I’ve played them 17 times
I have 1 song by Aqualung and I’ve played it 25 times

Monday, 9 July 2007

Monday 09/07/07

Some background if you don't read this regularly: this is my usual diet here. In the last week I have decided to see what would happen if I started eating like a normal person. How soon will I get fat?

Anyway, I’m not sure I’m liking this eating carbs thing. In the last few days that I’ve been doing it, I have eaten such banned substances as:

- Macaroni and cheese
- 2 pot noodles
- Spaghetti bolognaise
- Porridge for breakfast
- 6 croissants
- 5 chocolate cookies
- 2 sandwiches
- Toasted bread dipped in oil
- Paella
- 2 bread rolls
- Packet of crisps
- Pasta with tuna
- Pop corn

Actually if you count since last Tuesday when I was sick and I stayed at home and pigged out on comfort food, it’s been 7 days now and I’ve also had:

- 2 large pizzas
- Garlic bread
- 2 more pot noodles
- Assorted soups

The result is that I feel bloated and slightly sick all the time. This might be because I’m actually eating twice as much as I used to. I’m still eating all the protein meals, but in addition I eat all the carbs between them. I don’t think it’s worth it really, I mean yes, you get excited when you have bread for the first time after a few months, but then on the 3rd bread roll the novelty has worn off and you’re craving soaked toilet paper again.

Not to mention that I have to spend extra time in the gym and do cardio at the end of each workout, which seems to be a waste of time. As far as I can see, there are two options here if you want to be fit / slim / have a six-pack:

a) Watch your diet / do not eat carbs and go to the gym and do weights only (no cardio)
b) Eat carbs and everything else you want, but then go to the gym and spend an extra half hour burning it off

Which one is easier, more efficient and less time consuming? I’ll take the eating disorder any day thanks.

Also, since I started this, I have observed the following sequence of events:

I eat carbs, which leads to putting on weight and losing my definition, which leads to me getting pissed off. Hence, eating carbs is just making me grumpy.

Anyway this is an experiment that I started just to see what effect it would have on my body, so I’m going to continue until Friday. On Friday I’m going to take a picture of my newly fat stomach and then forget about complex carbs once and for all. I seriously can’t remember the last time I’ve been so grumpy – and all that just to get the “pleasure” of eating a croissant or something. Is it right that people get pissed off when they go on a diet? It seems to be working the opposite way for me.

Finally, here’s a picture of my abs after 7 days of eating crap food. I took this when I got home today. Fair enough, you can still sort of see them, but they are not well formed and lean as they used to be. They are almost there, covered by a layer of fat. Not to mention that I have completely lost the bottom two. I feel a bit like the guy who did the Supersize Me documentary. I’m self-destructing for an experiment and to prove a point, but I’m starting to regret it.

I have 1 song by Anouk and I have played it 11 times
I have 6 songs by Antony & The Johnsons I’ve played them 47 times
I have 2 songs by Aphex Twin and I’ve played them 3 times

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Sunday 08/07/07

On Friday evening I decide to not bother with the party I was going to and instead I talk to Matty and I go over to his house. So I take the tube and I get to Euston and I’m walking down the street and I’m wearing Energie jeans and a DSquared2 hat and a red Kabbalah string on my left wrist and Puma trainers and a t-shirt from the Gap which I bought at lunchtime with the sleeved rolled up so you can see my biceps better and I’m thinking I really couldn’t be anything else apart from a gay guy living in London in 2007. I also have a copy of Less Than Zero in my back pocket cause I was reading it on the tube and Pat Benetar is singing Love Is A Battlefield in my ears through my iPod.

I mentioned having Less Than Zero in my back pocket and this is not an intentional look this time, but it’s something I used to do a lot: I would plan what to wear and I would also use a magazine or a book in my back pocket as an accessory (with the title showing of course). And my favourite magazine for doing that with used to be the ES magazine, which is the magazine that comes with the Evening Standard (the local London newspaper) on Fridays.

ES is a society magazine with lots of pictures of groomed people and royalty and aristocrats going to parties all the time, and restaurant and art reviews, etc. I used to read that a lot and I used to love all the people that featured in it, and most of those people had mixed European names because they were inbred European upper class guys whose father was the Duke of Luxemburg and their mother a debutant from London or something. So in the end I changed my surname and now I have a mixed European name myself, which makes you wonder, where is this guy from, Greece, Scotland, Norway, who knows. But I still haven’t had a call from ES to appear in their pages.

Anyway, I get to Matty’s house and Nicole is there too and by that point I have a headache so I ask for some paracetamol and Nicole says she doesn’t want to feed my painkiller addiction, but in the end gives me some and then we watch Friends and eat chocolate cookies and put me in a cardboard box and chat and then I leave.

On Saturday I go to the gym and I spend longer there than usual, because now that I’ve started eating carbs again I also have to do some cardio to avoid becoming a bloater. In any case, I’m gonna do the carbs experiment until next Friday and see if this has made any difference at all and then I’ll go back to my eating disorder.

In the afternoon I have a casting for a photo shoot and it actually pays really well, but I call the photographer and cancel, because I can’t be bothered. I’m starting to feel I’m over the whole photo shoots / modeling thing and I don’t want to do anything anymore. It just stresses me and puts me under pressure to be really fit and have a certain image all the time and it’s a pressure I can do without. It’s not like I’m gonna lose out on anything much financially anyway, I was only getting one job every couple of months approximately.

In the evening Scott and I meet Frederik for dinner. Frederik tells us lots of stories about becoming famous since he got his own Channel 4 show and how there are several websites and blogs out there that write about him now and publish pictures that they capture from TV and it’s all very entertaining. I’m very glad Frederik has found success in that field now, not just because I have compromising pictures and stories I can sell to the newspapers, but also because he’s having fun with it and is doing something more exciting than just working a tedious 9 to 5 job.

On Sunday, Scott and I do the following:

- Customise a couple of t-shirts by cutting off the sleeves and part of the actual shirt, so you can see our lats and pecs and possibly our nipples from the side. I forget to take a picture

- Go to Hyde Park and meet Donnell and his brother so we can see the cyclists from Tour De France which is starting in London this year, but by the time we get there it’s too late and they have probably reached Marseilles

- Decide to go shopping instead so we go to Selfridges and H&M and try several things on / buy nothing / take our picture in the changing rooms

- Then I get a headache and go home

I have 10 songs by Annie and I have played them 147 times
I have 3 songs by Annie Lennox I’ve played them 9 times
I have 1 song by Another Level and I’ve played it 2 times

Friday, 6 July 2007

Friday 06/07/07

On Thursday I’m feeling much better and after work I actually can’t wait to go to the gym, because I missed it on Tuesday and Wednesday and God knows what might happen if this continues. I actually haven’t been to the gym since the Thursday before, because I was away, which makes it 6 gym-free days. I don’t even want to think about this anymore, I’m getting very stressed out as I’m typing this.

So I go to the gym and it feels like home and I do back and biceps and abs and on top of that I do a chest exercise (even though I’m not supposed to) for luck. Then I go home and Scott comes around and I do his steroid injection and Genesis are singing Land of Confusion on iTunes, which turns into Borderline by Madonna, as we lie on the bed for a bit.

Then Scott leaves and I have my dinner while I’m watching a programme on Britpop that Enid taped for me, which makes me think of hundreds of back issues of the NME and Select and Melody Maker that I’ve left in a basement at my parents house in Athens and I almost get upset, because if I could go back and be 14 again, I would certainly do everything differently in the next 13 years. Then I go to bed and only take 5mg of Valium and that puts me to sleep.

On Friday I spend most of the day contemplating whether I should start eating carbs again after 2.5 years. The reason behind this is that I think if I start eating carbs, I will bulk up and become musclier. On the negative side, I might lose my abs. I do a poll amongst some friends about this (Scott, Mean, Jimmy, Donnell, American Girl, Andrews) and there is a very mixed response. To be honest most people think I shouldn’t mess up what I’ve got and I should continue with my eating disorder. More specific views include:

Mean said: “Eating carbs again will mean that you can start eating normally. That will probably make you happier in terms of feeling fuller more and also getting to eat tasty things that you probably miss. It will also mean you will develop a much fuller body shape.

On the minus side you will probably lose your abs. Obviously to bulk up you need to be in calorific surplus, meaning that you will put on a little bit of body fat. This will probably freak you out.

I think to 99% of the population you would probably look better if you ate more, as you would look bigger and still be very cut. But I think to the 1% of the population that value being shredded over size it would probably not look so good.”

Andrews said: “You can eat more carb if you do lots of cardio cause you need the calories. And you don’t need more bulk anyways, you are better as you are! Otherwise we’ll have you fat and round in no time”

Jimmy said: “Don’t do it!”

So the consensus from all this is that I will try eating carbs for a week and if next Friday I’m a fucking bloater with a belly I will go on a starvation strike until I can see 7 abdominal squares again (the 8th has always eluded me).

Apart from all this, on Friday night I’m going to a friend’s house party type thing (with the Lads). On Saturday there are several activities during the day (which I’ll write about later) and in the evening I’m having dinner with a friend. Let me tell you about him a bit.

I haven’t mentioned him before, so let’s call him Frederik. I have known Frederik for about 3 years now, and in the beginning we used to date. Or shag, call it what you like. Now we’re friends and he’s actually one of my referees in my Citizenship application. He does the same job as Donnell and he’s very good with his prescription pad. I like Frederik, because he’s as amoral as I am and there isn’t much he won’t do. Here is one of my favourite stories about him.

A long, long time ago I was seeing a boy. And I was falling in love with that boy. That boy had an ex and they had just split up. The ex was still in the picture though and he was actually still very much involved with my boy. Sometimes they would go out and they would spend the evening together and kiss and go home together, and friends would text me and tell me what’s happening and my heart would break. So I had to do something, because that boy had to be mine. I needed the ex out of the picture.

So I came up with an ingenious plan that involved Frederik. Frederik is very, very attractive and not many people will say no to him. As I said he’s also very liberal with his ethics. This combination made him the ideal candidate for this. So I went round to Frederik’s flat, cried a bit and explained my perfect plan.

Frederik would have to: seduce the ex, shag him, make him fall in love with him and forget about my boy and possibly break his heart. Now how many people can you tell this plan to and they’ll say, fine I’ll do that for you? Not many. But Frederik was one of them.

In the end, after some initial contacts with the ex (whereby the ex did express an interest to meet Frederik) we didn’t have to go ahead with this because true love won and I got my boy without any scheming, but I still love Frederik for accepting to be part of this.

And if he ever wants me to shag somebody to take revenge for him, I’ll be happy to do it.

PS. I told you my life was much more exciting when I was single and a lot more happened. Oh well. I will have to go back and draw stories from the past every now and then.

I have 1 song by The Androids and I have played it 4 times
I have 1 song by Andy Bell I’ve played it 14 times
I have 1 song by Anita Baker and I’ve played it 4 times

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Thursday 05/07/07

On Tuesday I leave home and get on the tube to go to work and I suddenly start feeling sick and I black out and I drop my newspaper and get off the tube 1 stop before work. So I know that I need to get back overground and get some air, but I can’t face the crowds or the escalators and I sit down at the platform and wait for it to go away. Then a few minutes later I get back on the tube, but instead of going back home I continue going to work for some reason, and I think the reason is that work is closer to where I am than home is. When I get to work, it’s pretty clear that I’m sick and I can’t function properly and I just go back home.

So I’m feeling really bad and I think I have a head cold cause I have a blocked nose and slightly high temperature and my sinuses hurt and I’m dizzy. On Tuesday and Wednesday I stay at home, but it’s not even fun cause I can’t concentrate on reading or watching TV and I spend most of my time taking aspirin and falling asleep / waking up in 30 minute intervals, which makes me even more tired.

And I think there are two reasons why I’ve got this cold: a) Scott insisting we sleep with the air conditioning on when we were in Madrid (and I knew this would make me sick) and b) the 2-hour wait at Luton airport in the freezing cold on our way back to London, when I didn’t have any warm clothes with me.

On the positive side I don’t have a sore throat or anything and I can eat what I want, so on both days I order pizzas and garlic bread and tubs of Ben & Jerry’s and I eat everything and I don’t even attempt to make myself sick. And there’s the American GQ on the table, which I bought at the airport on the way back, but I can’t read it cause it’s making me dizzy. So to entertain myself I listen to Marion and the Bangles and Bruce Springsteen non-stop, and I’m starting to find parallels between the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen and the writing of Bret Easton Ellis, with regard to escapism from the main characters anyway, but I’m sure by that point I’m just hallucinating.

And I get a visit from Scott who brings me chicken soup and pot noodle and a box of chocolate brownies and of course I eat everything. Also I get a text from Nats who tells me the London Paper is running a competition for male underwear models and I should send my pictures, so I send my pictures and then much later I read the terms and conditions and realize that you don’t win any money, just a photoshoot. So I email them again and say that I want to withdraw, but it’s too late and my pictures are already on the website and I’m really hoping that they won’t be in the paper as well the next day, but at the end of the day what does it matter.

And the two days at home pass and by the end of Thursday I’m feeling much better and I guess I can go back to work. But having stayed at home for two days has given me a lot of time to think, maybe too much, and we all know that this is never a good thing. So my thoughts over the 2 days are:

- I have now found parallels not only between Bret Easton Ellis and Bruce Springsteen characters, but also myself. The similarities are that all those people are stuck somewhere and they’re trying to get out and move on, but they can’t; they’re trapped there and they have to live with it. The differences are that they find different ways to escape: for the Bret Easton Ellis guys it’s taking drugs and spending money. For the Bruce Springsteen guys it’s daydreaming and losing themselves in their blue-collar dead-end jobs. For me it’s both and neither

- I realize that I often find myself looking at the clock in my life. Half the time I want time to pass very quickly and the other half I want time to stop. Mostly I want time to stop in the evenings. As it goes from 1900 to 2000 to 2330, I get progressively depressed. I don’t remember clock-watching in the evening until recently. What’s changed? Is it because I now live on my own and have nobody to play with? Should I consider getting housemates again?

Finally, I would appreciate it if people left comments every now and then. The page had 218 hits yesterday and nobody felt like saying anything. No pressure though, innit.

I have 1 song by Andrea Doria and I have played it 2 times
I have 1 song by Andreas Johnson I’ve played it 9 times
I have 2 songs by Andrew WK and I’ve played them 15 times

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Wednesday 04/07/07

So the Pride party finishes around 0730 on Sunday morning and a few thousand half naked people who haven’t seen the daylight yet head out and attempt to get on the tube to go back to their hotel rooms / arranged orgies / to sleep. We have the fantastic idea to organize a “chill-out” party in our hotel and invite some people over.

Whether you’ve been clubbing in London on a normal Saturday night or you’re on holiday somewhere, the term “chill-out party” is usually a euphemism for unmoderated group sex and other illegal behaviour, but in our case we are boring and we don’t invite people we think are sexy and we want to shag them, but instead people who are our friends and / or we think are interesting and fun. So at this chill-out we have Scott, me, Simon, Donnell, Erik, Stuart, Rich and Andy.

So we go to our hotel room and find various ways to entertain ourselves, which I’m not going to write about because they are immensely boring and nobody would have an interest to read about. Here’s a picture of somebody instead, which I think says it all. Of course I have no idea who this person is / how he found his way in my hotel room / what he's doing. Any guesses welcome.

We stay there for a few hours and at 1130 I start to panic because Scott and I have to pack and check out of our room before midday. In a manic rush I pile all the clothes and everything else I can find into our bags, change into an outfit that doesn’t say “I have been sweating in a club wearing very little for the last 12 hours”, put on some sunglasses and head to reception. I pay the bill and then all of us move to the rooftop pool area to continue partying hard until 1930 when we have to get a taxi to the airport.

On the rooftop there are lots of lazy sunbathers, some of which have been up all night as well and some of which are normal people who lead decent lives and certainly do not wish to observe this spectacle. To accommodate everyone’s needs we utilize the “hide under the towel” technique of having fun – inspired by the method used by that wise bird, the ostrich, of hiding its head in the sand at times of danger. This is of course based on the assumption “if I can’t see them they can’t see me either”, which seems to work for us at that point. Pictures below – and no, I have no idea who is under that towel.

At 1915 there is another mad rush of activity, wheny Scott, Simon and I say our goodbyes and leave for the airport. During our journey back the following things happen:

- Scott gets stopped at security again and they search his bag

- During the flight I flirt with the gay cabin crew guy, because I am so shockingly bored. This is what my life has come down to

- I am the most lively out of all 3 of us and Simon suggests that I am less tired than them, because I conserve energy by being so quiet all the time. I like this theory

- When we get to the completely pointless airport that is London Luton (located nowhere near London or near a railway of course) we have to get a bus and a train and a taxi to get back home, all of which take about 3 hours

- It’s freezing and Scott has to change into something warm while we’re waiting for the bus

That’s all from EuroPride then – was it worth it? No.

I have 1 song by Amy Grant and Vince Gill and I have played it 3 times
I have 17 songs by Amy Winehouse I’ve played them 90 times
I have 1 song by Andrea Corr and I’ve played it 4 times

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Tuesday 03/07/07

On Saturday morning Scott and Donnell and Simon and I, go out to get some breakfast. First we go to a cafĂ© and those three have orange juice and coffee and croissants, but I can’t find anything that complies with my eating disorder so we go walking around town trying to find a supermarket, where I can buy meat and tomatoes and chocolates.

Then we go back to the hotel and head to the roof where there’s a swimming pool and general prancing-around area. That’s quite disappointing to be honest and the crowd is a bit sub-standard. We decide to leave and go to the main outdoor swimming pool in Madrid, where we suspect everyone we know from London and all the other European steroid guys that we like will be. Scott, Donnell, Simon, Jimmy and I arrive there, and it’s a very different story indeed.

The following things happen:

-We meet and hang out with lots of London people we know from clubbing as we had expected

- For some very odd reason, there appears to be a very high proportion of people with six-packs. We estimate that around 30% of people there have abs that are equally good or better than mine. Donnell comments that it’s the kind of place that would drive me to an eating disorder if I didn’t already have one. We try to think why that might be and decide that there is a high proportion of Spanish/Mediterranean people there (it’s EuroPride, but it’s Madrid of course) and people from those countries might naturally have lower body-fat percentage than Northern Europeans

- We also discuss people’s postures there compared to people in London. As everyone knows, there are two ways to walk around when you’ve got your top off and are surrounded by other shallow muscled gays. You can either a) put your shoulders back, flexing your abs and walk with your stomach sticking out a bit (which makes your abs look amazing but you lose a bit in chest) or b) slouch forward slightly with your shoulders down (which gives you a more prominent / droopier chest, but you lose some abdominal definition). It appears that the current fashion in Spain is in favour of the first method. This has also been my walk of choice since I started going out a couple of years ago and I’m glad Spain agrees

Here’s a picture from the pool.

After a few hours there we head back to the hotel because the others want to watch the Pride parade. I am personally not fussed at all, so I stay in the room and watch German TV game shows (I love Germany and I love the German language and I’ve learnt it for 5 years so I can get the gist if I’m watching something) and I have a bath and I read my book for a bit. Then Scott comes back and we decide to have a rest before going out. Then Donnell starts texting from his room and says that he’s bored and can he come over and we say sure and then he comes and we all lie in bed and chat and then we try to decide what to wear.

And here’s a picture from the outfit selection process.

Just before midnight quite a few of us meet up and head to the party. This is the main party of the weekend, it’s at Madrid Arena and I’m not kidding, but my best guess is that about 15,000 are there. I could be completely wrong of course and there could only be 5,000 people or even 25,000 people but here are a couple of pictures I took of the main dancefloor from the 3rd floor balcony so you can make your own estimations.

At the EuroPride party, the following things happen:

- I send and receive 51 text messages during the 7 hours that we are there asking people where they are, if they’ve found anything good and trying to arrange to meet them outside toilets / near bars / on an impossibly packed dancefloor

- Once again there is a ridiculous amount of extremely fit / muscled people, but I guess you would expect that in a crowd of 20,000. Scott comments that when we next go out in London we will be very disappointed that everyone will look flabby in comparison

- So many events take place and I really can’t remember everything, but some highlights include:

a) Meeting people randomly who I’ve chatted to on myspace / gaydar before, but I had never met in real life, because they live in different countries

b) Repeating the phrase “Is it ___ o’clock yet?” to each other many, many times during the night and always replying yes

c) Looking over at Scott at some point to see him kissing some random guy and being told he did it for free ___, which is actually fine

d) Meeting a ridiculously muscled American couple from LA (where else) with Scott, who had taken so many steroids they had lost all human shape and were instead 2 big square blocks with 19 inch arms. Hanging out with them for a bit and seeing Donnell trying to take our picture while they were trying to snog us, but never giving him enough time to do so, because we didn’t concede

e) Dancing to only one song all night (Love Is Gone by David Guetta, which is my favourite dance song at the moment and I have spent significant time in my bedroom practicing how to dance to it), because I was busy chatting / walking around / playing with friends and random people

Here are a couple of pictures from the party with naked muscly people that I know you like so much.

That’s all for now – tomorrow the third and final installment of what happened on Sunday, after the party.

I have 1 song by American Hi-Fi and I have played it 20 times
I have 2 songs by Amerie I’ve played them 11 times
I have 1 song by Amii Stewart and I’ve played it 5 times