The execution was haphazard at best. I'd planned to save up a few grand over the summer to execute the move in proper style, but that was my first party summer, and there just never seemed to be enough money. I saved $1,000 in May and June and virtually ...

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"The Free Thinker" - 5 new articles

  1. One year in Toronto part 1: The move
  2. An open letter to Starbucks® regarding the excessive ice in my iced coffee
  3. I knew I was tempting fate when I bought that twelve pack of condoms
  4. You can't spell misogyny without gym
  5. Risen from the dead
  6. More Recent Articles

One year in Toronto part 1: The move

The execution was haphazard at best. I'd planned to save up a few grand over the summer to execute the move in proper style, but that was my first party summer, and there just never seemed to be enough money. I saved $1,000 in May and June and virtually nothing more by the end of September.

As a result, plans had to change. Instead of having $3,000 saved, I had $1,000 and a fresh new VISA. Instead of an apartment, I was staying with a "friend" I barely knew until I landed a job. Instead of moving in the traditional sense, brought two suitcases and two knapsacks, with everything else thrown into storage in Ottawa.

Usually this is the sort of half-assed plan hatched by starry-eyed 19 year-olds, who end up giving up and moving home once they've blown through their savings and their parents' generosity. In my case, there was really no home to go back to.

Everything I considered home was in Ottawa, and the apartment I had there was gone. Even if I wanted to move back, as a dirty unilingual I'd never be able to land a job that paid as well as the (awful) one I left behind. That's why I had to leave in the first place. It was all fucking scary, because failure would mean moving to a dying town of 500 with my grandparents who, while loving, would rather play golf than take care of their 23 year-old grandson.

I left for Toronto in late September. Six very long weeks, and countless job interviews later I landed a job that paid less than I was making in Ottawa, but didn't make me want to die, and an awful bachelor apartment I could afford. By the time February rolled around I decided it wasn't worth living on my own if I could only afford a shoebox, and moved to a nicer place with roommates.

I didn't have the money or the logistical ability to move all my crap from Ottawa until the ex moved here as well. From September 25 until May 1, I lived out of those two suitcases. By then I'd almost forgotten that I actually owned any furniture and it felt like Christmas to bring all this niceish Ikea crap into my apartment. In essence, it took me seven months to move to Toronto. In the interim I was in purgatory.

This isn't a sob story. Those long, dark moments. The stress. The loneliness. It was all worth it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. More than a testament to me, it's a testament to Toronto. My life here isn't perfect. I still make less than I made in Ottawa. The financial outlook isn't what it should be. But it's hard to be pessimistic in this city. There's an energy, an optimism here, as if the city is telling me to hold on and everything will be alright.

Because now this is my city.

A toast to you, Toronto. I don't regret a thing.

Image courtesy of sandrino.

An open letter to Starbucks® regarding the excessive ice in my iced coffee

Re: Excessive Ice

Dear Starbucks,

I have enjoyed your drinks for many a year. During the summer, my favourite has always been your iced coffee. The fusion of your usual euphoria-inducing, caffeine-loaded coffee mixed with a soothing cool temperature is just perfect for those hot summer days.

Alas, I've noticed lately that you've been going heavy on the ice, and light on the coffee. I don't know when this happened exactly, but it seems I finish a grande a heck of a lot faster than I used to. I've attached a picture of last Saturday's coffee after consumption, for illustration.

As you can see, the ice takes up a little more than half the volume of the cup. Now, let's consider for a moment what the ideal amount of ice in an iced coffee would be. The purpose of the ice, of course, is to keep the beverage cool on the aforementioned hot days. So, ideally, the ice should be completely melted by the time I'm finished drinking. I understand you brew the iced coffee more strongly than your regular coffee, such that as the ice melts to dilute it, it will match the strength of a standard warm coffee. If this is the case than a drink left with excessive ice can be considered a failure, because one of two things has happened, neither of which is desirable:
  1. The consumed coffee was too strong because all of the ice, compensated for during brewing, did not melt during consumption.
  2. All the ice was not compensated for, so the ice is taking up volume that could be used for more crack...err, I mean coffee.
Now don't get too upset, Starbucks. This isn't a Dear John. I'm not mad. We're still friends. I'm just letting you know, as I might notify a friend of their bad breath or a stray booger. Your staff are friendly and personable. Your washrooms are clean and convenient. But no relationship is perfect. Just make it right, and all will be forgiven.


I knew I was tempting fate when I bought that twelve pack of condoms

Seven weeks. Forty-nine days. One thousand one hundred seventy-six hours...since I’ve had sex.

Oh sure, I’ve gone this long before. But I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without trying. The more observant, homosexual and Canadian among you may notice that Montreal Pride was seven weeks ago.

Let’s just say that I did something...out of character. Something a lot of gay men do. But it wasn’t me.

I haven’t dwelled on the event itself, but it made me feel like such a nasty, carnal beast that I resolved to make myself feel human again. It worked.

But something unexpected happened. Going chaste seems to have *gasp* made me happier. See the thing is, sex can be great. But most of the time it’s awkward, or rushed, or sloppy, or just plain awful.

But I kept coming back for more. Because I went out, I took too much G, and suddenly getting laid seemed like a mission. But the truth is hunting down sex is fucking stressful. And with that stress out my mind I have the emotional energy to actually enjoy my life. There’s also some satisfaction that comes from knowing I’m in control of my hormones.

Not to worry gay world, I am far from done with intercourse. But it would seem that, for the time being, I’m done with random intercourse. If somebody really wows me I’ll go for it. But the bar has certainly been raised.

I look back on the people I’ve been with, and even the people I’ve wanted to date, and I wonder what the hell I was doing wasting time with those losers.

Screwed over once again by hopeless romanticism. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to head off to the gym. When the time comes to re-break my man-hymen I want to be ready.

Image courtesy of tim_d.

You can't spell misogyny without gym

Alright so I broke my promise. I'm so sorry blogland. You just can't compete with summer.

But since today is a holiday in the US (where all our clients are), but not in Canada (where we are), I am at work...with nothing to do. What better time to get back in the groove? However, I'm going to stay away from the heavy stuff until I'm back in better blogging shape. I therefore bring you: the signs that I go to a gay gym.

Now just as there's more to being gay than really liking penis, there's more to a gay gym than having a primarily gay clientelle. No, the gay gym drips in gayness, even without any homosexuals present.

My gym is gay because:
  • It has three calf machines that see almost no use, yet three ab machines and an ass machine that are in near-constant use. My last two gyms had neither ass nor ab machines.
  • It has a hair gel dispenser and two handheld hair dryers in the change room.
  • It has a separate women-only weight room to keep all the pussy out of the sausage party.
  • The few straight guys that come always bring their girlfriends...and kiss them constantly to reinforce their heterosexuality.
  • It is, quite literally, right behind Fly, the most gayest gay club evar.
  • Everybody there is in really good shape. As if they bulked up at a "normal" gym first to prepare themselves.
  • To work out there is to checked out non-stop...and to like it.
  • The change room has ten showers with doors and one without. Guess which one gets used the most.
  • Last month a bunch of posters went up trying to sell personal training sessions. The tag line: "Get in shape for pride!"
  • Guys are constantly pulling up their shirts to check out their abs.
And finally:
  • There's not a sauna, because, well, do I really have to explain this one? A gay gym with a sauna would soon end up being used as a discount bathhouse.
That's it for now folks. Let's hope I can get back in the habit!

Risen from the dead

In case anyone has been wondering, I'm not dead or anything. Life has been...hectic. I promise to update you all on my latest hijinx by the end of the week.

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