Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Harry Potter Experience

PREVIOUSLY: Slideshow

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SPOILER ALERT! Just kidding, there are no spoilers here. This post is not about Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows although I am currently reading it, which by the way, is fucking heavy. You almost have to be a bodybuilder to lift this book which is ridiculous because we all know that bodybuilders don’t read. Well, except the label of their food supplements, which they do very carefully with the help of somebody reading it to them.

This post is about our second hotel in London, the one I booked just in case our first hotel was a fleabag hotel. Believe me when I say that I didn’t expect this new hotel, The Hazlitts, to be a Harry Potter experience at all, but it did.

First of all, after checking in, we were led down to a room under the stairs. For a few seconds I thought that the door was going to open into a cupboard. But to my relief, it opened into the dungeon, ehem, basement. The stone walls were painted a bright yellow, I think to distract you from the quaint shackles hanging from the wall and the mace.

The room was called the Thomas Archer room, after some famous person I've never heard of. The color scheme looked like Colonel Mustard came in there and shot his load all over the walls. Ok ok ok, I exaggerate, as you can see in the pictures below, it wasn’t quite that bad, but boy, it was what Michael Kors would call ‘matchy-matchy,’ which is Korspeak for ‘burn the thing down.’

The room was dark. The window only provided a sliver of light from the street above. It was small, but you know me, I'm not a size queen. Ok, I am, hel-looo! but the size of the room was ample. At least the bed was comfortable and clean. The worst part about this room was the bathroom, which was only had a bathtub. I don’t know about you, but the last time I took a bath, I was still playing with rubber duckies, you know, when I was thirty-two.

There was no shower, but there was a hose with a shower head. However, since there was no shower curtain, you could only crouch in the tub to ‘shower’ unless you wanted to make a huge, wet mess. Plus, I sometimes pee in the shower and the first time I used the tub, I accidentally relaxed my bladder and peed in the tub while I was sitting in it. Peeing on someone else--sexy; peeing on yourself--not sexy, unless of course, you're being paid to do it, then very very sexy. Hazlitts, if you're reading this, you could install a shower curtain here and it would go a long, long way.

You know, I'm sure that the other rooms in this hotel are grand, light and beautiful and charming, just like all the pictures in Expedia, but not this room.

But I suppose, it wasn't too bad. Though I think, they should've thrown in an owl in a birdcage, a Nimbus 2000 and a house elf, and then called it the 'Harry Potter' room...now that would've been an experience...






NEXT: Notes From The Underground

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Explore Harry Potter's house.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Slideshow

PREVIOUSLY: Gay Food Porn

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Heyyyy, come in. Thanks for coming. We’re going to be starting very soon, but here, sit down. There’s chips and dip, some other little munchies over there.

Donnie, Aimee and Rob are already here. So are Joz, Michael Guy and Matty, they’re over in the sidebar chatting and commenting. Jade Park and Violet should be here shortly. Of course the always vocal, always crazy Jeremiah. I’m glad you made it though, the weather has been really bad, hasn’t it? You tell me--I stepped into a puddle with my favorite shoes, you remember, that brown pair with the stripes and the nice pink bow? That just blows, because it was a very very very expensive pair...that I shoplifted from Prada. Now it’s ruined. Oh well.

Sorry, the place is a bit of mess--we just got back from London you know--so the blog’s just a bit dusty, but we should have some new posts up soon. I have a new one ready to go--what’s that? Oh, yeah, London! It was wonderful!

I would totally live there! I would totally fit in because I totally love royalty, I totally love Stella McCartney and I totally feel superior to dumb American tourists, you know, like my boyfriend Brian.

We’ll get started with the new blog, but first, you should see the pictures we took! No no no, it won’t take long at all! Just sit down, it’ll be over before you know it! I promise!

click.





...and this one was when I was at G-A-Y club, completely drunk out of my mind--what? You have to go? But we haven’t even gone through the pictures from the second day!

Ok, come back again soon, I’ll have a new post up by then.

...aaaaaaaand we can go over Brian’s pictures!


NEXT: The Harry Potter Experience

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gay Food Porn

PREVIOUSLY: The Tipping Point

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On the bustling streets of Soho, the restaurants beckon you, tempting you, flashing their fare with displays in their windows, menus of their exotic specialties, and signs calling out their two-for-one deals: hey you, and your buddy, together--!

Like a sailor on shore leave, we were eager to sample what the city had to offer. No limits, save what our (designer) purses can bear.


Balan’s Café on Old Compton had a good deal on a great English breakfast: eggs, rashers, sausage, grilled tomáto, toast, sauté mushrooms and potatoes, nicely presented, all for £5.25. Watch out for their gregarious and friendly waiter, only known with the mysterious moniker “Babe.”

Just a few steps away, The Stock Pot, had a set English breakfast for £4.50. The set consisted of one fried egg, sausage, rashers, toast and baked beans. Coffee or tea is included. Serviceable, but nothing to blog home about, but a good alternative when you’re low on cash after binge-drinking. By the way, ‘rashers’ are not some sort of VD, but a sort of thick-cut bacon, more ham than bacon really.

We had some of the best Indian food ever at Punjab Restaurant on 80 Neal Street. Punjab specializes in north Indian cuisine, which is rare in Chicago so we had to try it while we were here in London. We started with Punjabi Samosa, which is a fried, crisp pastry filled with spicy potatoes. For my entrée, I had the Chicken Madras, a hot and spicy tomato based curry. Brian had the delicious Chicken Jalfrezi, with pieces of chicken cooked in ginger, tomatoes, onions, green pepper and other spices.

Our other Indian experience at the Palms of Goa on 4 Meard Street, wasn’t as exciting. The restaurant served south Indian food and boasted Goan specialties. We were eager to try this new Indian cuisine from Goa. For our starter, we ordered the Batata Wada, a bland variation of the familiar samosa: mashed potatoes, green chili and green peas fried in a gram flour batter. I ordered the Pork Mas, a Goan specialty of diced pork, cooked with vinegar, ginger and garlic and spices. I was pretty excited about it because I had never seen pork in an Indian restaurant before, but it turned out bland and the pork tough. Brian had the Chicken Tikka Tandoori, served on a sizzling plate. Tandoori is a style of cooking that involves barbecuing in a clay oven. This Goan variation seemed more lemony than similar dishes I’ve had and was pretty good.

We also had a chance to go to a couple of Indonesian/Malaysian restaurants, which is also pretty rare in Chicago. Indonesian and Malaysian food are the most similar to the type of food that I grew up with in the Philippines, due to its proximity. I was very excited to find these. I could hardly keep my knees together, I was about to come with excitement.

Melati on 30-31 Peter Street was the better of the two. We tried the Mee Goreng Istimewa, which is fried noodles with squid, beef and prawn, served with a fried egg on top and two skewers of satay covered in peanut sauce. Awesome! Brian had the tasty Ayam Rendang, which is chicken cooked in a hot spicy coconut gravy with lemon grass. The other restaurant was Bali Bali on 150 Shaftesbury Avenue. We started with the Udang Goreng Tepung, which is delicious prawn fritters served with chili sauce. I ordered the Nasi Goreng Special which fried rice with eggs, shredded chicken, king prawns, vegetables and chili which I enjoyed. Brian ordered the Semur Daging, which is beef slices cooked in Indonesian soy sauce. Brian loved it, but I thought it was a tad too sweet.

We had to try some English food so we stopped at this pub called Old Shades on Whitehall just south of Trafalgar Square. I had the fish and chips, which was beer battered fish and french fries. However, under the batter, the fish still had the skin on. I wasn’t sure whether this was a British thing or not, but it made me sorta gag, like a vagina. Brian had better luck with his sausage and mash.

Viet Noodle Bar on Greek Street had decent Pho Tai, a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup with fresh greens and are you still even reading this b.s. or did you just skip to the end of the post. I thought so.

Then, there was this encounter with an enormous sausage, a twelve-incher on Charing Cross--after a night of heavy drinking at G-A-Y club. I was lured by the smell of sizzling meat. The smell led me to a street vendor grilling pale sausages, already turning a nice caramel brown; grilled sweet onions waited in a corner to be used as condiments. My mouth watered at the thought of that sausage at the back of my throat. With the munchies clouding my judgment, £3 had seemed reasonable. But I was quickly disappointed. The meat was tasteless, the skin was dry, and the bun, cold and doughy. It reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, but that's another story.

Finally, there’s Caffé Nero, a coffee shop, the one on Frith and Old Compton, smack in Bent Central is a good spot to boy-watch and while away some time, where I wrote this post. But beware of the back of the shop, where the acrid smell of piss wafts up whenever somebody leaves the loo, which is located downstairs.

Unless, of course, you’re into that sort of shit.


There were several other places we went to, but I started feeling stupid taking notes on all of them. I felt like I was blogging about my vacation instead of taking it. The short of it is that Soho had a lot of great food, all within a short distance from the two hotels we stayed in. Gays, you should definitely stay in this area.

NEXT: Slideshow

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MapEasy's Guide Map to London
was essential to our trip! It gives you a bird's eye view of a city and makes it easy to figure out what places to go. It shows detail maps for Covent Garden/Soho, Greater London, Out-of-Town, and Underground. It is a location map and guidebook in one. Each hand-drawn Guidemap contains useful facts on hotels and restaurants, as well as information regarding shops, museums, and attractions. Plus, the map is made of a waterproof, tear resistant material. Check it out!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Tipping Point

PREVIOUSLY: Counter-clockwise

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“Whatever you do, absolutely, do not, leave a tip,” advised my friend and sometime guest blogger here at NMP, Matt.

I was starting to think that he was having a laugh at our expense when I gave our taxi driver £60 for a £58 fare. The taxi driver’s eyes looked menacing as he bit out, “Is that it, then?”

“Uhh, okay,” I managed. I was actually expecting my £2 back, but his accent combined with his sharp tone confused me. It also made me pee a bit in my britches.

I did a quick mental calculation, converting the pounds into US dollars. The fare with my begrudging tip, was $119.4929 to be exact, or roughly $120, or $2 for every £1.

If you didn’t get any of that, it’s ok, I understand. This calculation only took 1/10th of a second for me because Asians are equipped with a built-in calculator in our brains, which is useful. Although I wished my parents opted for the upgrade package when I came out of the Asian Baby Factory and installed a vibrator in my penis as well.

After checking into our hotel, I quickly went on the Internet to check up on the local tipping customs.

What I found left me a little perplexed and unsure, but it seemed that there are three main rules: you do not tip a bartender or at a bar, even if there is food served; you don’t have to tip a waiter if a service charge is already added to your check; you do not tip the taxi driver, if you can run very fast and you’re not carrying any luggage, otherwise, it’s 15%.

Granted, the currency exchange rate is not exactly an enticement to tip, when everything you buy is implicitly double the listed price. When there is a choice between a nice Indian restaurant or, that place with the big yellow M where they serve 113.45 gram (1/4 lbs) hamburgers, served with chips (french fries) and medium drink for £4.45, VAT included, well, I’m lovin’ it...

Yes, if you do the math, that’s still $8.90, which is ridiculous. But what can you do? You make the most of it, try to skimp on some things, and on others, you just have to bend over and take it from The (British) Man. You just hope he’s kind enough to use some lube.

After spending $119.4929 getting to the hotel, I doubt if we would be taking a taxi back to the airport later this week. The tube will have to do. The money saved will go towards a noble cause: my vibrator implant fund.

Huzzah! Our hotel didn’t turn out to be a fleabag hotel at all! The Radisson Edwardian Mountbatten was located at the Seven Dials area, in the fashionable Soho district. It had free wireless Internet, which came in useful to do travel research. The room wasn’t huge, but it has nice decor, clean, comfortable and even had a gym equipped with treadmills, a step machine, a rowing machine and free weights. I booked it from Hotels.com. Location was amazing as we were within walking distance to West End, the theatre district, Leicester Square and other attractions. Lot of great shopping too!

Alas, because I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t going to be a fleabag hotel, I only booked it for half the trip. We will be switching to another hotel for the other half. More on that later.


NEXT: Gay Food Porn

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We will be heading back to Chicago tomorrow. Watch out for more posts about our London vacation and pictures!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Counter-clockwise

PREVIOUSLY: Packing Heat

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There’s a lot of free time waiting at airports. They tell you to be prepared for very long queues, because of the high state of you know, bitchiness, from the airline employees. You go a few hours early so you don’t miss your flight.

I find that there are two things you end up doing at airports to pass the time: one is eating and the other, people-watching. Since I didn’t bring my girdle--I was on vacation after all--I decided to do the latter. Time enough to gorge later when there aren’t so many people around. Also, I like to set the mood when I eat; I prefer a darkened room, softly lit by the lightbulb in the refrigerator, a gentle cool air wafting out of its open door.

So, I people-watched. I turned on my gaydar by flipping the switch hidden behind my ear, to try to figure out who’s gay, who’s straight and who’s simply given up on life. I know, I know--how boring. I don’t know why this is still so fascinating in this day and age of total gay world domination, but I find that it is. Maybe if I found one (i.e. a gay), we could go to the loo and do some clandestine, you know, gossiping.

But apparently, based on new and advanced, ground-breaking scientific research, it has been found that you can tell if somebody is gay or straight by the direction of their hair whorl. I had recently learned that if a person’s whorl goes clockwise, they are straight; otherwise, they are gay. This research was leaked to me from a top secret gay laboratory where they wear impeccably tailored white labcoats and use designer test tubes and beakers.

Brian and I checked the top of our heads and found that we both have counter-clockwise whorls. It must be 100% true with two snaps. I used this arcane knowledge on the people passing by: Straight. Straight. Gay. Straight. Total Beyonce-singing, Shakira rump-shakingly Gayyy.

However, this is very hard to do on people who are much taller than me. I tried standing on tiptoe to get a better view. If they turned around while I was on tiptoe, I innocently pirouetted away, throwing in a grande plié and a jeté to make it convincing. But being on tiptoe was useless, so I had to rely on more common methods, such as looking for signs of excessive dry clean-only fabrics or a garment bag.

This information comes at a very opportune time because it’s hard for a foreigner to discern if a Brit is gay because their accents make them sound swishy. And I’m talking about the women. The men sound like they are total flamers. It wasn’t hard to imagine them all having a collective hissy fit over converting their currency to Euros. It must have been pretty fearsome, since they’re still using the pound sterling. Plus, they have a queen on all their currency, how fabulous is that?

I hoped that this new whorl research would aid me in my search to connect with my own highly moisturized tribe.

But I am wondering if the research is flawed and the Brit whorls are reversed, like how in Australia the water flushes down counter-clockwise to our clockwise. There are signs of this: the Brits drive on the left side of the road; the steering wheel is on the right side of their cars; they think Victoria Beckham is a fashion icon. What? You’re not a fashion icon until the paparazzi have taken a photo of your pussy when you get out of a limo. In the U.S., Victoria Beckham would be like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And, she’s a mother of three; one more and she could start an orphanage.

On our flight, our gay flight attendant Curtis’ whorl was clockwise, which would indicate that he was straight. He was definitely gay because I totally, absolutely, do not find him attractive. I am attracted primarily to guys who look like they sweat for a living, you know, like aerobics instructors.

I am sending an e-mail to our top secret gay laboratory in hopes that they send me a solution to my dilemma spit-spot. I have a brewing emergency, something that only Gay Brits can help with, something that could be a life-or-death situation: I have forgotten to pack my moisturizer.

God save this queen.

NEXT: The Tipping Point

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Packing Heat

If you don’t hear from me in a few weeks, then I would have been a victim of terrorism.

Brian and I are headed towards that hotbed of terrorist activity, that center of political unrest, that city of miscreants: London. Yes, tomorrow, we are headed to the United Kingdom, hopefully to meet royalty, the beloved leader of her people, whose profile adorns a multitude of official gear, Dame Graham Norton.

We had made our vacation plans before the latest bomb scare this past June and it was too late to make any changes; we would just have to pray that we would not witness anything scarier than poor dental work during our trip. I light a candle to all the saints that protect me, including the capricious saint of all vertically-challenged dancers, St. Elton John.

To be honest with you, until recently, I have never been particularly afraid of bombs since I am quite familiar with the workings, the recipes of various cocktails: the Irish Car Bomb; the Cherry Bomb; and the most dangerous of them all, the Jägerbomb. I know, because there have been many times I’ve barely made it home with my shoes on after imbibing these drinks. I prefer that when I am bombed out of my mind, that my skull remain intact during the process. Besides, I hear that blown-out brains stains like a motherfucker; it would totally ruin my carefully selected vacation outfits.

This is on top of the fact that I have acrophobia--a fear of heights, and by extension, I am deathly afraid of flying, you know, coach. I get a skin rash from the fabrics they use in Economy. Also, I need wine and caviar immediately served to me upon embarking to calm my nerves.

But since I am not flying business class, I am resigned to squeezing myself into a small compartment, with little leg room. It’s a good thing I am limber enough to fold my legs behind my head, which I gained from years and years of ballet, gymnastics and turning tricks. But let me tell you that it is extremely difficult to hold in a fart in this position. For an eight-hour flight, this will be a challenge worthy of a Ninja Warrior.

Brian and I have started packing for the trip over a week ago. It’s hard to decide which items to bring for a nine-day trip, since we are only planning to bring a minimum of luggage: two large suitcases, two smaller ones, a backpack and just a teensy weensy cosmetics case weighing 15lbs. I intend to use it for arm curls during the long flight to keep my muscle tone. Bonus: my skin will be flawless.

It’s hard trying to anticipate all the different outfits that I would need for the different situations I may find myself in. For example, I hear the Brits have this custom of getting together in the afternoon. I believe it’s called high teabagging. What do you wear for that? Normally, my outfit is the last thing I think about when somebody puts their balls in my mouth, but tell me, do you think I should pack a bonnet? Or a bib?

Thankfully, it’s also summer there (unlike freaky Australia where it’s like freaking WINTER) so packing for the heat means only one thing: I have to bring a swimsuit. To save space, I am trying to decide whether I should bring a pair of thongs or a pair of band-aids. I think the band-aids are more modest, so I decide to bring those.

And just the shoes alone can fill up a suitcase: black shoes, brown shoes, sneakers, sandals, flip-flops and that’s just what I need during the day. For the evening, I have similar items but more formal and tasteful, you know, with rhinestones.

Then, there’s also the uncertainty of the quality of the hotels. I hear that the star ratings of London hotels are wildly different from U.S. hotels. TripAdvisor.com had some very dire descriptions of the hotels. Whereas a five-star here means an Olympic-sized pool, in London, it could mean that they don’t have a pool of, you know, piss, on the carpet. We just have to bite the bullet, pick one and hope that even if it turns out to be a fleabag hotel, the British fleas won’t bite us out of disdain for Americans.

But joking aside, we’re pretty excited. We are totally looking forward to it. It’s going to be a totally different culture and they even speak a totally different language. I'm just afraid that if someone asks ‘you gotta fag?’ whether he wants me to give him a cigarette or an impromptu dance number.

However, just in case, I’ll pack some Marlboros, a lighter and of course, my tap shoes...

NEXT: Counter-clockwise

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Other places I've been:

Warmth - I slid into the warmth of Montreal. Thank God I brought lots of lube.

Wedding Party - We arrive at the City by the Gay, San Francisco, our capital city.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Giving Up

by Rob!

Sometime in the 80s. Lost in Space reruns. The show would be much better if Major Don West would take off his shirt. I bet he looks like the guys in the JCPenny catalog. You know, in the underwear section. I'm not quite sure, but I am thinking he may be a better "actor" than Burt Ward of TV's Batman. Although Robin does wear tights. Hmmm.

I wonder if my mom is buying my whole "I hate it when you watch Days of Our Lives" routine. The truth is, I love it. I wish that show was on 24/7. Billy Warlock as Frankie Brady. Billy Hufsey as Emilio Ramirez. And of course, Steve Burton as Harris Michaels. Too bad there isn't some way to pause the TV. Those hot, steamy scenes go by way too fast!

School sucks. I hate it when we play kickball. Four Square is way better. And why can't everyday be gymnastics day in P.E.? Football bites.

I can't wait for Saturday! Grocery shopping day. While mom goes looking for the best price on generic pop, I've got to get caught up on my Teen Beat. I'm way behind on the news. I've got to find out what Kirk Cameron did on his summer vacation, what Joey-Joe McIntyre's favorite Jelly Belly flavor is, and which actress Chad Allen is dating. Chad is so dreamy. It sucks that he has a girlfriend. Too bad we don't know each other. I bet he'd want to hang out. Play Chinese jump rope or something.

I hope I have enough allowance saved up to get that Samantha Fox 45. I don't see why the guys at school think she is so hot. I think it's disgusting that she did porn. Why would anyone pay money to see her Virginia? I do love lip syncing to her songs, though. Naughty girls need love too!


20 years later. Crap. They're gonna be here in 20 minutes. Hide the Wizard of Oz box set behind the Godfather trilogy. Swap out the Bath and Body Works soap with some Dial. Put the candles away. Let's make this place macho! Too bad I don't have any Traci Lords posters to hang up on my bedroom wall. Is she still popular? Is she still alive?

Am I walking too gay? Talking too gay? What will he think? What will she think? Maybe it's a phase? I'm sure I just need to meet the right girl. Yeah. That's it. The right girl. How about the blond at work? I suppose I could convince myself to become attracted to her. Maybe I should think about her as I drift off to sleep...I'll have one of those 'dreams' they talk about and when I wake up...I'll be in love! Yeah! That's it!

Don't get too excited when Regina's "Baby Love" comes on the radio during the flashback hour. Don't let it slip that you saw the New Kids, Paula Abdul, Lisa Lisa and Milli Vanilli back in junior high. Embarrassing! Don't wear that lavender shirt to work, even though it does compliment your skin nicely...people will talk. Life sucks.


2007. Looking back...I can't believe how ridiculous all of that masquerading was. All the anxiety. All the depression. Tons of stress. What a waste.

I must have been about 25 when Danny Roberts and his fine ass were on the The Real World-New Orleans. Talk about dreamy. Here's this guy, coming out on national TV, a masculine guy dating a soldier. If this guy can say 'fuck it,' then why can't I? Why must I live in constant paranoia?

You're taught by your parents not to give up. But giving up was one of the best things I ever did.

I gave up pretending to be someone I wasn't. It was too much work. I hate hassle. I'm sure that in all my efforts to be more masculine, I probably came across as some sort of joke. Like when Scooby Doo would dress up in that trench coat and pretend to be human...with his tail wagging out the back. Stupid stoner dog.

Besides being constantly paranoid, I was hurting those close to me. There were a couple of times in high school that I had been asked out by girls and had to politely decline. Without being able to tell them the real reason, they'd often go away crushed; feelings hurt. Some of those friendships were never the same again. I was sick of hurting my friends, hurting myself, and being alone.

Falling in love is not a choice. Being attracted to someone is not a choice. It just happens. I just don't understand why people can't get that through their heads. It's not about having mother issues, no father, too much estrogen, not enough Jesus. None of that matters. We are attracted to different people the same way we are attracted to different colors, different music, foods, TV shows, colognes.

I don't mean to put one plight above another. Yet it's hard to hide the fact that you are a Black. Or an Asian. Or a woman. But hiding your homosexuality? It's pretty easy. In fact, even if you are a nelly straight out of Paul Lynde's closet, just keeping to yourself should do just fine. No one will ask...for fear that they might catch a case of the gay. Or AIDS! Yikes! It's the ease of hiding that makes it so hard for us to tear down the wall.

I'm glad I was able to see a role model in some two-bit reality star. We need more role models. No one has anything to be ashamed about. Get out there and be proud. You don't have to be famous. You don't have to be the Grand Marshall of the Pride Parade. You don't have to be the poster boy for some smutty bathhouse. You just have to be yourself. Go and show others that being gay isn't about being dressed in pink and listening to Barbara Streisand (although she is divine, isn't she?) And not every gay likes to get it up the tush.

We all need to stop acting like someone else and start being ourselves. And I'm not just talking about the gays out there. This message is for everyone. Be who you want to be, dammit! Do what feels right. Don't try to live according to someone else's rules. Who cares what a book or a celibate man has to say? Do what feels right. Be happy. Make yourself happy. Love yourself. Love each other. Respect.



Our guest blogger Rob! writes that superfab pop culture blog Welcome To The Bloghouse. His current favorite TV show is So You Think You Can Dance and he will give you a blow-by-blowjob account of Wade Robson's tight ass. Make sure to check out his archives.


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Other really gay posts:

Coming To Terms - nate, a visitor, mongers hate and flings curses.

My Fiscal Year - I already came out to my family--sorta.