Recently, Canada has been thrown for a loop with a terrifying news release concerning 3 men from the East Coast with strong ties to senior al-Qaida figures. While we’d all like to believe we live in the “Switzerland” of neutral countries where Gay marriage is legal and no one depicts the prophet muhammed in cartoons, there is still ever-present the possibility and constant threat of hatred and acts of terrorism against us. One of the three people arrested today in a terrorism investigation in Ottawa is a 28-year-old Canadian Pathologist from Montreal: Khuram Sher. The doctor- who graduated from McGill University in Montreal (christ, I almost went there! :P)- was actually on CANADIAN IDOL two years ago!
Sher auditioned for Canadian Idol after moving to Canada from Pakistan only a couple years prior and he sang Avril Lavigne, “Complicated” in front of the panel of judges in his audition, while doing an awkward dance that included moonwalking. His appearance had him in a full length beard and wearing traditional Pakistani garb which unfortunately I guarantee you had many viewers rolling their eyes and muttering “terrorist” under their breath as he bored the judges with an overly verbose introduction and odd description of himself as a “hockey lover”. Sher is married and has three children, ages 4, 2 and eight months.
To set the scene: Donovan, Joel and I show up to the opening of the Queer Film Festival Thursday evening. Surrounded by the who’s who of gay indie film cuture-glitterati of downtown/east side Vancouver (so the big guns ;) and as we passed 18-year old after 18-year old of hopeful future film school dropouts we entered the promise land of events: an open bar. Serving up beer, vodka and (my 13.5% per volume alc. choice of the night) wine, the ever sexy Ryan Steele and Peter Mendres offered a Niagra falls of flowing options to early attendees hopeful for a gentle buzz as we settled into our (thank GOD) air conditioned seats for the viewing of Javier Fuentes-Leon’s “Undertow“.
After a quick 10 second spot with my immortal crush Morris Chapdelaine as on-site reporter for “Out TV” during which I spent more time whipping sweat from the 32 degree room off my brow than being clever, we met up with Donovan’s hubby and settled into our “reserved” seats for the film. [Note: By reserved, I do mean that we took our nametags off our shirts... cause really, who doesn't know my name by now: I'm the guy who slept with your husband ;) and we placed them oh-so officially on the seats we best liked in the theatre. Class acts all the way]. And, so began the film.
How often have you been asked or posed that question to close friends or even complete strangers who just happen to be reading the same book next to you? We all have our favourite authors, artists and directors and from there we’ll IMDB or Wikipedia the hell out of em’ until we find out Corinne Bailey Rae only really has one or two good songs and that the director of the amazing “In Bruges” has really only ever just made that movie… so what next? Well, the good nerds at Gnod have attempted to solve that problem- and done a pretty good job at it!
Gnod makers describe their (FREE to use) creation as “a self-adapting system that learns about the outer world by asking.” It’s essentially a web creation that asks for either your favourite movie or author and then does some magical computations based upon thousands of collected and learned connections between similar themes, styles and other user “I like this movie AND this movie” input and create a fluid spider web of about 30 movies/authors that relate on an X and Y axis to your originally submitted “favourite pic”. Okay, that got a bit nerdy there, but click through and you’ll see what I mean.
In the infamous and perfectly chosen words of Samuel L. Jackson:
“I have had it with these motherfucking babies on this motherfucking plane!”
… Okay, maybe that’s not the exact quotation, but it should be!
Breeders we get it: you can have babies and we can’t… but what we can do that you don’t seem to be able to is LET PEOPLE AROUND US ENJOY A PEACEFUL PLANE RIDE!!!
Okay, I know this is a bit rant-esque and mothers everywhere are signing a petition to have a kiddie-hater like me banned from the skies for fear my eye rolling might “emotionally scar” their precious babe until 20 years into adulthood therapy… but honestly, you may be use to that sonic boom your child belts out, but the rest of the plane ain’t!
Continuing on with my gay hookup app review we come to a newer addition to the bunch: BoyAhoy, which claims being one of the most downloaded and well-received smart phone homo-connectors out there. If that’s true then we’re really too forgiving a people.
BoyAhoy has a catchy- if not kitschy- title to it and that’s about where the positives end as far as I can see. This app is a disaster. While getting your profile up and running is easy I’m worried they made it that way so you wouldn’t get bored by the lackluster set up and options it offers. Right away as you “load more guys” around you you realize that either every single mo out there is using a disposable Kodak to take torso shots with OR rather that the resolution offered by this app with regards to profile pictures is atrociously sub par. Programmed by what I have to assume is 13-year old Bosnian, BoyAhoy looks cheap and comical.
Now here’s a case of a good concept with not enough membership. Admittedly West Fourth sounds like it’s more specifically designed to appeal to Manhattan, east coasters, the app IS international and I have to search based on my personal location so maybe the boys from Gossip Girl will have a better result with this baby but for now you’ll have to suffer my west coaster review.
First off, this is actually a pretty well-made app. The very Manhunt-esque option to wink is offered, as is Grindr‘s patented Block and Favourite option. You know I loves me some snobby blocking so that always goes over well with me… Especially when the trashier trolls don’t get the picture. What’s unique about this block option is the ability to “undo” your last block. Though this may seem an odd and unnecessary addition, I’ll let you know that after having Grindr for about 5 months (which equates to about 600 blocked men….. No joke) I accidentally hit Block instead of Favourite on a particularly hot Seattle stud and was forced to decide if undoing all my blocks was worth getting him back or moving on my life without him… I choose to take back all my blocks and didn’t even hook up with the dude. Total nightmare.
Unfortunately, like Grindr but unlike the smart DList app, West Fourth only allows for one profile pic. I’m hoping constantly updating apps like this and the Grind adopt this method of self selling as one pic is NEVER enough to properly judge a book by ;)
Well, the boys at Grindr have cleared the way for gay online hooking up and the masses of online app creators have responded in kind: man on man sex has never been so easy. Catching Grindr in its earlier stages, I’ve been deemed the resident sex-visor for Homorazzi… though, maybe that’s just because I have so damn much of it. Either way, this is Part 1 of a three part review to tell you about up-and-coming- or so a couple of them would have you believe- smart phone apps (iPhone, BlackBerry etc.) that are attempting to sneak into this industry of homo humpin’. Today’s article considers Dlist and their attempts to facilitate sex for the masses.
To the seven gays out there who aren’t aware, these apps are offered for free (for the most part) and allow you to use your phone’s GPS to put your location into cyberspace and find other mo’s around you based on their proximity to your locale. Typically you get to see a screen name, a profile pic and some brief stats allowing you to decide if that’s the boy you want to interweb-nudge that night and ask that fateful question: “What you into?”
Two weeks ago, Adam and I embarked on a week long sailing trip with two of our friends, Colby and Duncan. It was personally my first time sailing, but I surely don’t want it to be my last! Adam, Colby and I flew out of Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver (really close to my apartment) to Desolation Sound, up the Straight of Georgia. There we met up with Duncan along with his other half Roy (it’s their sailboat) and the crew of friends that sailed it up there. Then, we switched. They flew back, and we hopped aboard the “Broomstick,” as their sailboat is called.
The weather was absolutely beautiful, the boat was amazing, great food & drinks, and most importantly the people I was with were so much fun. We went kayaking, hiking, sailing (duh), swimming, swinging of tarzan swings, and much more. It was nice to get away from it all (computers, cell phones, work, etc.) Sidenote: To be honest, I did have to call my BF Tyrell whenever we had a signal (which was very sparce) a) because I missed him and he was originally supposed to come with us, and b) because he was waiting to hear back about the results of his Hellcats audition (the new cheerleading show on the CW this fall). The results? He’s got the part and is on the Hellcat cheerleading squad. He started this past Monday!
That, coupled with the amazing sailing trip made for one pretty incredible week.