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In: Reader Submissions

As I sit down to write this, I realize that I am just beginning my fifth month of unemployment. It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent almost one half of a year not working given that I’ve pretty much had a steady job of some sort since I was 16. But alas, this is a reality that I’ve had to get used to, along with 328,000 (or 8.8%) Washington residents and some 15 million (MILLION?!?!) other Americans. Granted, not all of those unemployed were laid off like I was, but still, that is a huge number.

Some background: Almost a year ago, I began my career in the advertising industry and fell in love with it. However, if someone had asked me 6 months ago if I wanted a vacation or even an extra day tacked onto my weekend, I probably would have said, “Yes, please.” Not because I disliked my job or was overworked, but just to have that one extra morning to sleep in and watch Ellen at 11 and Oprah at 4, and really, who doesn’t enjoy vacations – big or small? I loved my job, was successful at it and was beginning to make a name for myself, not only around the office but also, with our clients.

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Parody: Tyra Banks Nightline Interview

In: Reader Submissions

I’m obsessed with ABC news magazine shows a la “Primetime,” but I rarely watch “Nightline.”  So, like a sign from God and Jesus above, I just happened to tune in on September 8. 
I was half-watching in bed while my Ambien kicked in, and then the interview started getting good.  Cynthia McFadden does this amazing voiceover right before the stare-off explosion where she says, “One Might be forgiven for suggesting that the real star, cycle after cycle, is Miss Banks, herself.”  I died.
To see Tyra, whose entire shtick is about being real, unwittingly reveal her phoniness and come unglued so easily, was downright shocking (and hilarious).  
I transcribed the best parts of the interview for my website and, on a whim, asked my friends to film the interview with me playing both parts.  I just went off the transcript and ad-libbed the rest. 
I lost respect for Tyra and gained a new found respect for Cynthia McFadden.

Click here to check out the spoof

The New Turkish Delight Comes to Denman

In: Reader Submissions

I saw it coming for quite a while, I mean how could you not, especially when you work down on Denman like I do. Bright banana yellow exterior, cartoon mustachioed dancing potato, and that delicious looking picture in the front window. Flash in the pan, or legit lunchtime treat?

Mr. Kumpir is a fastfood chain from Turkey (yup, Turkey), and by fastfood, I mean delicious fresh baked potatoes with unprocessed equally delicious toppings. After wading through the history of the potato as a vegetable (apparently began with the Incas who knew), I still could not find how many countries or locations Mr. Kumpir is in, but I’ll be damned if I can find any mention of another location in Canada.

Let’s get down to business here. For $4.00 and change, you get a delicious gigantic baked potato, broken open and stuffed with a bit of butter and cheese, then mashed IN THE SKIN to make it smooth. This comes with up to three toppings and sauce (each additional topping is 50 cents), and by toppings and sauce I mean a plethora of toppings and sauce. Meat? How bout crab, spicy marinated beef, ham, a mountain of bacon bits? Don’t stop there. Veggies? How about broccoli, corn, pickled eggplant, cabbage, roasted red peppers, kidney beans, tomatoes? And did you say sauce? Why limit it to sour cream? How about some hummus, hot sauce, garlic cream, tzatziki?

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This fall, we have a lot of exciting changes happening with Homorazzi, and one of these changes will be implemented this weekend. We’ll be moving Sunday Submissions to Saturday, meaning that they are now called Saturday Submissions, and Sunday will be more of a Behind the Blogday where the cast focuses on writing more personal entries and sharing their own personal confessional or weekly recaps via webcam, should they be inclined to do so. Unscripted: Just the cast being themselves.

We are very excited to designate weekends on Homorazzi to getting to know our readers more, and getting to know the Homorazzi cast more.

We’ve had readers sending in their articles for a few months now, and we must say it has been a great success! Men, women, gay, straight, people from different backgrounds have written in to speak their mind. Saturdays on the site are devoted to our readers all over the world, giving YOU the chance to write and be heard!!!

Submit your article to saturdays[at]homorazzi[dot]com each week by Friday, so we can go through your article and get it ready and ensure it is suitable for posting. Don’t worry about the pics – if you have suggestions or a specific pic you’d like to use, please include them in your email.

We look forward to hearing what you have to say – something funny, touching, whatever inspires you…

We ask that the article be a minimum of 2 paragraphs, and know that we reserve the right to not post all articles if it is not a fit for the site. Include where you are from, and you’re welcome to include your name and a picture of yourself if you like to be placed at the end of your article.

PS: If your articles become uber popular, you never know where it can lead…

PPSS: Thank you to all of our Sunday Saturday Submission writers thus far – keep up the good work!

Religion, Interrupted

In: Reader Submissions

As part of my daily routine coming back from work is to pick up my mail and sort through bills, junk, mistaken mail and the odd but exciting old fashioned letter. I always look hopefully for an old fashioned written letter from a friend from overseas or from back home. For a second, I got quite excited to see a handwritten envelope. My curiosity increased when I saw the remittance name. Who is this person I thought? A name that I had never heard from addressed the letter to my partner and I. Quickly I opened the letter fantasizing that it would be a lost friend wanting to reconnect when oh big surprised. The letter came from the Mormon Church inviting us to attend a workshop/talk/conference on how to find real happiness and the true meaning of marriage. Enclosed to the hand written note was a magazine clip from a Mormon publication where the Bible sites the importance of marriage and how it should be in between a man and woman. I was surprised that the quote wasn’t highlighted to make it even more obvious what this was all about.

I then had to start putting all of my thoughts and feelings in order. Was I upset because this person who signed the letter (which name I am not going to mention for confidentially matters) was trying to teach me what the real meaning of happiness is? In what are they basing their assumption on that I am not happy? What does God have to do with my happiness? Who are these people to tell me that I haven’t being able to find the true meaning of a relationship or furthermore happiness? For a second I thought that maybe the reality show Big Brother installed a camera in my apartment and is broadcasting my partner’s life and mine to the Mormon Church and now they are calling me to dismiss me from their show.

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Utah and Salt Lake City So Far…

In: Reader Submissions

This travel adventure took place in Utah back in July when I was there on a business trip and the weather was a dry heat and very HOT! The landscape was that of a mixture of dry desert meets mountains of various shapes and sizes. There was still some snow on some peaks, the names of these goliaths escape my memory but it was a sight to behold at the time I was there. The populace consisted of very tall blonde and blued eyed men, Latinos and a smattering of Asians but they were mostly women. The city of Salt Lake City downtown core showcases turn of the century buildings, side by side modern skyscrapers but there were not a lot of tourists or people walking about, as you would think there would be. But a striking tourist attraction was the Temple, where all the streets of downtown converged at. The grand Church of the Latter Day Saints is an impressive monument to religion shrouded in mystery and secret rites. The temple dominated a good four blocks or so and it boasted an office building dedicated to the running of such huge orginization.

The surrounding area, namely called the Avenues, consisted of houses and apartments that are situated on a perfectly grid-like planning and is home to the younger and artsy populace of Salt Lake. Its close commute to downtown also makes it an ideal living area for young professionals and apparently is a strong foothold for the Democrats. The houses found in the Avenues are reminisce of houses found in Shaunessy (Vancouver, BC) or New Westminster, BC, old grand houses that are well maintained, colourful and have a strong aura of history.

The Hyatt Summerfield was the hotel my company had put me up in, is located in the city of Sandy, UT, which was south of Salt Lake City (SLC). I thought I was going to have to rely on taxis to get around but I found they have a local transit land rail, similar to our Skytrain system, called Uta-Trax. From what I can tell, it ran in a North to South direction, connecting Salt Lake City to other cities along its route. The waiting times for the trains were not too long and the cost was very inexpensive.

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Str8 Tripping

In: Reader Submissions

What is a gay guy suppose to do when he’s out and about with his straight friends? Have an awesome time, that’s what! I love clubbing and socializing with my straight friends, Melissa, Ryan, Cheryl and Danai. They are a great group of friends that I like to hang out with when I can and when we do, we usually end up getting into a lot of mischief. I also like getting the chance to go to straight bars, which I would usually never consider going to, but the eye candy at the bars are worth it.

Recently, my friends had decided to take me to the Blarney Stone, which is located in the heart of Gastown, on a Friday night. I just got back from a business trip in the US and after two weeks of drinking their so called alcohol, I was ready for the real Canadian stuff. Upon setting foot on Canadian soil, my comrades in mischief called and convinced me to go out with them that night.

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The Princess and the Racist?

In: Reader Submissions

I have a niece who is half African American, and from a very early age was given a black doll to play with. My sister recognized that growing up in a small town in BC where seeing a black person was like spotting a four leaf clover, my niece would need some recognition eventually of her own skin colour, in absence of her African American birth father and being surrounded by us whities. Fast forward a couple years later when, on a trip into Vancouver, my niece from her stroller, pointed to little black girl and said “Look Mommy, she’s just like me”. Despite her being given that doll from birth, not one word of her having a different skin colour had been uttered, and she figured it out all by herself.

Disney’s latest film “The Princess and the Frog” stands for a couple of things. Firstly, it’s hand drawn, back to the basics, and hallelujah, I feel like people my age are damn excited about a Lion Aladdin and the Beast Mermaid Disney film that isn’t about some form of computer animated inanimate objects; maybe it’s just me making myself feel better about getting older. GO PUMBA!

Secondly, this is the first Disney cartoon ever to feature a black princess. Wait, what year is it? Yes that’s right. Ever. Despite Disney’s obvious attempt at racial Princess equality with films like Aladdin, Mulan, and Pocahontas, the racial issue plaguing the States since the early 17th century (count your fingers and your toes people), has been swept under Mickey’s rug until 2009. Not once has Disney given any little African American girl an animated roll model, a plush toy, an action figure with a tiara, to look up to and think “She’s just like me”.

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