Quick London Update

Cheerio All-

Things go smashingly in London so far. We arrived safely (with only some flight cancellation shit at the outset), have done some shopping (no purchases) at Harrods and around Piccadilly and my birthday was… Well, it was mostly staying up to fight jet lag.

On Wednesday we saw the Tate Modern and we bummed around until the Kate Bush show:

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I’ll blog more about the show individually when I get back. It was very “Kate”– artsy and esoteric. I will say I quite enjoyed the theater piece of “The Ninth Wave”. It was brilliant.

Yesterday was getting up after about 2 hours sleep and going to Stonehenge, Bath, and Lacock. Stonehenge was my “goal” for the trip:

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Yes, we got inside the monument. No I didn’t touch any of the stones. Yes it was amazing.

Today is an easy day around London and then a Cabaret show tonight.

Cheers!

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Just For Men

Okay. So I’m at the gym yesterday and I saw not one, not two, but THREE “men of a certain age” working out with horribly unnatural hair color.

Shockingly so.

The first guy had to be in his 60’s yet he had a head of ginger-brown waves styled into a coif that would make Rue McClanahan jealous.

The second was a guy in his (I’m guessing) later 40’s with a jet black shock of hair that was very reminiscent of gor-DON in the Framily commercials.

The third was an older, bald guy with a uniform, “kiwi shoe polish” beard.

Dudes. Come on.

Unless you’re a teenager making a statement, I believe that no man should color his hair. Ever. Mostly because it’s glaringly obvious when they do. And if anything, it detracts from their appearance.

Oh sure, there could be “exceptions”. Like if a guy is going prematurely grey and needs the vanity boost by covering a few errant strands– ok. Sure. Knock yourself out.

But if you are over 30% grey? Give it up already.

And don’t get me started on coloring facial hair. It neverlooks natural. Plus it takes a crapload of maintenance.

This got me thinking– what other unwritten “rules” are there for men of a certain age? I can think of a few:

- no wearing of AF, Hollister, or other teeny bopper labels
– no skinny hipster jeans
– no facial piercings
– no using the words Boi or Kewl

I’m sure I’m missing several– what are your suggestions for the list?

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London calling

This coming Monday, Kyle and I will be jetting to The UK in order to see Kate Bush in concert. I think I’m mostly ready….

I’m working right up to the last second– including a half day on Monday. I just need to make sure everything is set prior to my departure.

I have cat-sitter lined up. I have my hair freshly cut. I have my wardrobe “mostly” planned. We have our flight reservations and seats chosen, air bnb reservations, Heathrow express reservations, Stonehenge your reservations, tube maps, daily itinerary, Kate bush ticket confirmations, passports, etc.

Oh, and did I mention we’ll be arriving in London ON my birthday??

Kyle and I have just a few things on our sight-seeing list (I’m excited for Stonehenge) and naturally we have the concert– but that’s about it. We’ve both been to London before and done many, MANY of the touristy things already.

Any suggestions for cool, off-the-beaten-path London things to do? Cool (gay) bars to hit? Interesting, hip shopping/artsy areas? Cool places to eat?

Any and all suggestions welcome.

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Music update

This past weekend I fell down the rabbit hole of music composition again. Many hours were spent tweaking “Within You Without You”.

I have it fleshed out a bit more, have added lyrics and some dynamics, and have thickens up some harmonies at the end.

Of course now I’m in the part of writing where I’m listening to the playback and thinking “Hrm– that part isn’t marching what I’m hearing in my head….”. I’m also a bit undecided as to the ending.

But as a whole it is coming along nicely.

It may be about ready to run past our musical director for the chorus to get his input on structure, voicing, difficulty level, etc.

But I need another weekend or two of work before that. And a couple of stuff drinks….

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“Single” and “It’s Complicated”

So, I’ve still been texting and FaceTiming Erick quite a bit. Which is good and bad.

We fully acknowledge the difficulty of the situation and the myriad of challenges our connection presents. And the general fucked-uppedness of it all. We both know that there is no resolution in sight, and are trying to make the best of it.

But it may be verging on “too complicated”.

Poor Erick kind of started withdrawing and shutting down this past week. Too much going on with his family, job, life in SF, friends, Etc. And then when you toss a geographically undesirable guy into the mix….

Well– it “complicates” things.

I feel bad. The last thing I want to do is add to his frustration or stress. I know this situation isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be upsetting. And it really bothers me that it might be.

Sometimes I kind of wish Erick would meet some great local guy who makes him happy so he would forget all about me. Yeah, it would suck and I would be a bit heartbroken, but Erick would be better off.

In the meantime, he’s trying to sort things out and I’m just avoiding while hoping that the universe makes all the decisions for us.

Facebook doesn’t appear make a status for this.

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Le sigh.

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Li’l B*Hole Again!

Another installment of the comix- I hope you enjoy!

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Shooting

A Minneapolis A-lister gay guy was gunned down at a gas station yesterday. I didn’t really know the guy, but it’s still a bit upsetting.

This guy was a co-owner of one of the newer gay bar/restaurants here. He was also a VP for Boston Scientific and active in the gay community.

Evidently the police have focused their investigation on one guy (possibly an evicted renter or business partner?), but there were reports that earlier the police arrested the murdered guy’s fiancée as a suspect.

How awful. You find out your husband to be was gunned down “execution style” at a gas station and you are handcuffed and hauled in for questioning?

I’m sure more details will surface, but what a shitty thing to have happen.

I’m more concerned about this than about Robin Williams, that’s for sure.

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Re-composition

This weekend I did something I haven’t done for quite some time– I worked on music composition. Well, technically it was mostly arranging, with some originality tossed in.

After becoming stymied on the concert band piece I was working on, I sorta shelved the whole “composing thing” for awhile. Not having a composition teacher or mentor kinda sucks. Plus I got involved in drum corps and chorus and and and….

And excuses.

Anyway.

The 2014-2015 season for the gay chorus was announced and next spring we are doing an entire concert of Beatles music. I love the Beatles (at least the trippy, druggie shit), so I found myself cautiously optimistic.

But something tells me the concert will lean more towards “I wanna hold your hand”, and less toward “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. And I sorta predicted no chance of performing my favorite Beatles song of all time “Within You Without You”.

Which got my ham pater wheel turning.

What if I were to arrange “Within You Without You”? It would be my homage to the Beatles and give me a chance to try my hand at doing something for the chorus. And to possibly have a piece of mine performed.

So I got online, found a condensed sheet music version of the song, printed it, and set to work turning it into a piece for men’s chorus.

Again, my lack I formal training is a bit hampering from a technical side– but it also gives me a sort of freedom as I have no pre-conceived notions about how or what I should write.

On Saturday I sat down at my computer around 10 am and started setting the first notes to the page— and when I looked up, it was after 6 pm. I continued on after dinner until my brain was mush.

On Sunday I did much the same thing. And by yesterday evening I had the piece “on page” from beginning to end. Yes, it needs some major tweaks and adjustments, but the structure is there.

And I feel good about it.

For those of you unfamiliar with the piece, this is a George Harrison song that is written for sitar, violin, cello, tabla, and voice. The lyrics are very Buddhist and kind of deep.

Compositionally, it was a challenge to turn a solo vocal line and bizarre (and thin) instrumentation into 4 voice parts. Especially with the sitar drone and tabla percussion.

I think the message of the piece translates very well to gay chorus. The song is about embracing love and not being false or striving for something yet losing your soul along the way. And also about looking beyond yourself and realizing we’re all one.

In my version, since Indian percussion will be hard to come by, I wrote it for Acapella choir and snare drum. It takes on a militaristic feel while almost chanting this call for the listener to open their eyes. I actually repeat the “Are you one of them?” line to form a dramatic accusatory climax.

The piece is far from done, but it’s a good start. And I hope (beyond reason) that it will end up being singable and possibly debuted this spring.

“Within You Without You”

We were talking
About the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves
Behind a wall
of illusion– never glimpse the truth
Then it’s far too late
When they pass away

We were talking
About the love we all could share
When we find it
To try our best to hold it there
With our love, with our love
We could save the world
If they only knew

Try to realize it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking
About the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world
And lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see
Are you one of them?

When you’ve seen beyond yourself
Then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come
When you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you….

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Li’l B-hole Comix

My b-hole’s back and your gonna be on trouble!

Here you go– happy Friday! And I need your help on the last one:

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And now this one. What’s a good way to finish off the “hot as” phrase? Give me some new ones!

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“Some Hair”

So I got a message on Scruff the other day (I.e yesterday) and I found it a little odd. The guy wrote me a a said:

Why does your profile say “some hair” when you clearly have a full head of silver hair and a beard. You should leave that descriptor to guys who don’t really have much.

Um….

So I wrote back:

“Some Hair” refers to “body hair”. I have some hair on my chest and torso, but am fairly smooth everywhere else.

To which he replied:

How vivid.

To which then I replied:

Look at the profile categories. The hair one is for body hair (hairy, some, etc). I didn’t choose it– if you take umbrage with this, you should direct it to the scruff creators

To which he then replied:

What an asshole. I was just complimenting your hair.

And then he blocked me.

So he seems like a good, same option, no? Perhaps I should stalk him.

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