Month: September 2009

Birthday continued

We have what some consider to be a strange arrangement in our family. As soon as a birthday looms we are required to produce a list of things we want (within a reasonable price range) and send it out so that the siblings and parental types know what to buy. I understand the logic, but I always hope that they’d think of something that’s not on the list.

I remember one year I was told how someone had taken something back (that I would have loved) because it wasn’t on the list. So now I try make my list as thorough as possible, but end up looking greedy. So I’m in a catch 22 of sorts. I love getting gifts (you may have noticed there are only 12 more sleeps) and I love birthdays, so I really want to make sure that my list is a good one this year.

The strangest thing is – I can think of nothing that I want! I have a list of big things (I need a new car) but these can never be on the birthday list for fear of losing the friends I have. SO I managed to scrape together a little list that looked something like this:

  • Madonna – Celebration (I’m sure the queen planned the release to coincide with my birthday)
  • Muse – The Resistance (apparently it’s really good and I should have it)
  • Dan Brown – The Lost Symbol (I thought I had pre-ordered it, but seems to be lost in cyberspace)
  • White smart shirt (can never have too many white shirts!)
  • Clinique M-Lotion moisturiser (I’m about to run out)
  • Playstation 3 games (because I’m nearly 40 and want to feel like I’m 13)
  • Will & Grace Season 7 (the only season I don’t have)
  • Angel Season 2 and 3 (I have season 1 and will never know what happens if I don’t get it)
  • Spa voucher (because nothing says I love you more than a stranger rubbing you)

Anything I’ve left out?

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A gay day

I received a mail this morning, which is no reason to write a post on this blog, but this mail really caught my eye. It was sent from an organiser of Joburg Pride (which is a day when gay people walk through the streets proclaiming their existence, and often dressed in ways that they would never normally be seen). I think South Africans know that gay people exist. After all, we have that afrikaans gentleman doing makeovers on TV, and there is no way in hell anyone thinks he’s straight. And, then of course, there’s the nutsman…

Annnnnyyywaaaaaaaaaayyyy…

I got the mail and it was advertising a movie premiere where we could see a movie (a whole bunch of gays piled into a cinema) and get a free coke and popcorn as part of the price. This way we could help raise funds for the important plight of getting gays to roam the streets. The movie is probably full of half-naked men experiencing gay life – seems to be the best way to draw audiences to gay things. Throw in a Spanish title, and it all becomes appealling. But, hey, they had me at free popcorn.

This, though, was not the interesting part of the mail. The fun part was that she ended it with a small instruction to all the recipients. She said “Have a gay day people!”. So as I headed to work I started wondering what this gay day could possibly mean. I’m sure she never meant it in its archaic version – meaning happy – because Lord knows, people no longer make that mistake. A simple “I feel gay this morning” could get your colleagues out the office and fleeing for their lives in confusion.

So she obviously wants me to have a gay, as in homosexual, day. How on earth do I have a gay day? I am gay (in case you haven’t realised), but never knew my day should be too… I thought Joburg Pride was meant to be the gay day, but it seems I should have my own personal one.

If you would like to join me, here are the top ways to make your day gay… feel free to add your own to the list… I think a gay day could only be fun.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR DAY GAY:
1. Wear tight fitting clothes and stroll through your office shouting “I’m here, I’m queer – get used to it”. It’s perfectly appropriate to do on the streets, so on gay day, let’s take it to the workplace. Nothing gets a person’s respect more than yelling about your sexuality.

2. Send everyone in the office an e-mail with your favourite topless hunks. Topless ladies if you’re a gay woman. It’s fine… you’re gay so you’re a dirty pervert anyway… but you’re here, you’re queer, so they should get used to it.

3. Ask a colleague if you can borrow her frock and do your favourite Celine Dion song in the foyer. Nothing gets respect more than lip-syncing to River Deep, Mountain High.

4. Start a blog and do a countdown of the top ten things you love about being gay. Ahem…

5. Whenever a colleague asks how you are, yell “faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous” as you click your fingers, and swoop back your fringe. Nothing gets respect more than a carefully choreographed click of the fingers.

6. Pluck your eyebrows. C’mon, you know you wanna.

7. Remind everyone that the queen releases her greatest hits on the 21st of September… and then regale them with your favourite tune. After all – music, makes the people, come together…. yeah!

8. Tell everyone how you think Jesus was actually gay. That always gets a good laugh in the board room.

9. Explain to everyone about why we need pride. And maybe let me know too?

Let the countdown begin

It’s officially time to start the countdown. I think it’s only fitting and only right that a day so huge be acknowledged daily, as it’s enormity looms. You see, it’s a significant day in all our lives. A day that has added much life and value, to me especially, and a day for which I will be eternally grateful.

Now, as a gay man, you may think I’m talking about the worldwide release of Madonna’s new album on the 21st of September. While there is much merit in a countdown to the Queen’s imminent arrival, I do think this is grander in the bigger scheme of things. For me, especially.

So, as a public service, I will now start the countdown, so you can get your lists in order, and allocate the necessary budget to the appropriate gift as response.

Ladies and gentleman… it gives me great pleasure to start the countdown.

As of today, 15 September 2009 , there are only 14 sleeps, yes 14 sleeps, left until my birthday!

Picture of beauty and being significant

Today, I am the picture of beauty, even if I say so myself…

Perhaps I think I’m pretty because I have enough corenza c flowing through my veins to immunise an African country. Loving the drugs. As I sniff and cough my way through a day of work, I feel like I’m floating above my desk, watching this pretty person at his computer.

In reality… I have snot flowing from my nostrils. I cough and sound like I’m gagging, then cry in pain as my throat, which feels like a hot poker was rammed down it (a few times), reacts to the coughing.

But thanks to drugs… I feeeeeel fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiineee…

I have so much going on in my mind though, but struggling to write lucidly in my euphoric state. I’ll blog more about this, but losing a friend (in such an unusual and unexpected way) has really jolted me. and a number of other people I might add. After Barry’s death I have seen more and more people saying that his life has inspired them to live theirs differently. I have written before that I believe the meaning of life is found in our relationships. And I feel that even more now. Here is a guy who has been creditted by hundreds of people as being significant in their lives, and so many saying he was the best friend they ever had. Yesterday’s funeral was incredibly sad, yet we all walked away knowing we wanted our lives to be like his – significant.

This means something different to everybody, but I realised that the only way to be significant is not by changing people, not by trying to help them, or save them (spiritually), but to be present. That was Barry’s most remembered attribute. He was present. Passionately in the moment with you, whether you were breaking down crying, laughing hysterically, debating the issues or just walking side by side. He was present.

So in my aim to be significant, I aim to be present.

Even in your death, Barry, you’ve challenged me to be more alive.

A pic of Barry and I (freshly sunburned) on our first December camp together (1997 I think), acting like real “zoobs” as we pretended to play the demo on the keyboard. The pic was flashed up on the screen during the Joburg funeral and I could only laugh. Such a good time… (thanks Ryan for posting the pic).

Dark and down

It’s been a rough few days… not just with the horrible news last week, but just in general. Poor old FJ is working himself to the ground. This morning he was up at 1:30 am to get to the farm. He only gets home around 6 in the evening so he’s working insane hours. Safe to say I’m totally worried about him, and hating the whole experience. Mostly because I can’t be grumpy because I’m tired. I mean how can you beat that.

And in one deft swoop, I make his stuff about me… it’s a gift I tell ya.

Annnnnnnnnnnyway, I was moaning.

So he’s exhausted most of the time (but surprisingly chipper), and I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself. First a fever blisterdecided to settle on my top lip – that was the start of my falling apart. I called him Henry and applied cream to him daily. Lovingly.

Then I got a neck spasm. Have no idea how it happened but I couldn’t turn my neck from side to side without yelping in pain. Driving to work was a gas. Took me half an hour to cross Louis Botha Drive. I had to manoeuvre myself so that I could turn my body 180 degrees, and just as I had seen if the right was clear, ten minutes later I managed to get my head to an angle where I could check the left. By the time that was done, the traffic was flying past on the right. I’m thinking now that I maybe shouldn’t have been allowed on the road.

And now, I have a throat infection. I really do feel like I’m falling apart a little bit. I wish I could just climb into bed and sleep for a week, and wake up feeling all better about the world. But right now, I’m not a happy camper.

Barry

This isn’t going to be a usual rambler post; it’s an attempt at catharsis while I sit at my desk with my mind reeling. I’ve spilt most of my life on this site, so I might as well let you in to a bit of the raw stuff.

You see, I just heard that a friend has passed away. I’ve known him for about 15 years, and met him through the church. He was a minister in the methodist church, and we met to discuss a camp he wanted to join on with his youth while I was a youth pastor. We clicked instantly. I can remember us sitting all formally in his office in Boksburg chatting about the ministry and our concerns and satisfactions. He became my mentor – he was a minister after all. He’d hate that I wrote that.

I could tell you all the memories that keep flooding but it’s just going to sound trite. But, all I can say is, Barry changed my life. And I know a lot of people will say that.

I wrote him a letter to tell him that I was gay. Being a minister I knew he had a biblical stance on homosexuality. And we had chatted about his reservations about gay people. I was petrified about how he would respond. But he wrote back (and I still have the letter). His first words were “wow, how does one respond when you hear a friend is gay”. Such an appropriate response. He affirmed our friendship and never changed the way he responded to me.

I will always appreciate that. He gave me hope, where I had walked away because of rejection. He even made me promise that he’d be the minister officiating if I ever got married. Hehe, chop.

Barry, you’ve touched so many people’s lives and I’m grateful to have been one of them. I know that there are a whole lot of very sad people out there who feel your loss immensely. I know some have no words. As usual, I have too many words.

I will always remember the laughs, the joking, the tears, the intense debates, our attempts at rebellion by swearing, your intense love for God, the Church and his people … and the songs. Man, I’ll never forget the songs.

RIP my friend. Thank you for the time you gave me.