mardi 13 juillet 2010

cut off in my prime

I love technology.

I hate technology.

Depending on the day/hour/minute either or both of the both can apply.

Saturday I headed from Paris to Newark NJ on the big bird of Air France. The lovely people at Air France and CDG airport managed to get together and come up with a 90 minute delay as a leaving gift for me. Which was nice.

So landing in EWR already late, it was with much happiness and smiling that I welcomed the news that another aircraft was parked at our stand and wouldn't be moving for at least 30 minutes.

So much for my decision to bring cabin bags only. Like that saved me any time at all.

Anyway, technology. Upon landing (late) at EWR, I switched on my iphone. It found me AT&T and T Mobile. Quite the choice.

However, it refused to connect me to either.

I tried every trick in the book during the wait for the stand, the queue for immigration, during the line to collect my rental car. I carried on trying whilst sat in the queue for the Holland Tunnel. Whilst waiting to check in to my hotel.

By the time I got to my room, I was distraught. How to tell friends that I was in town? How to set up a date for the night? How to give out my number to hot guys. Oh yeah, and how to ring my husband to let him know I'd arrived safely.

There was nothing for it but to jump in a cab and head north. To the Apple store, driver, and don't spare the ponies....

Well, let's just say that my visit to the church of the holy pomme was less than a religious experience. I left the underground chapel of the apple with a phone that not only no longer worked, but that now had no photo's, no contacts, zero music and zero apps. Yep, they wiped the fucker.

Back at the hotel and with the world of technology and jetlag working against me, I attached the phone to my macbook and set it to restore before flopping on my bed.

I fell asleep hoping that things would sort themselves out.

I woke up with the sure fire knowledge that they had.

How did I know that my phone had reconnected to a network?

It would be the three am ringing, beeping and buzzing of the numerous 'where are you?' emails, texts, voicemails and facebook messages coming in from the ether.

Yep, I had reconnected.

Yep, I had woken up.

Nope, I didn't get back to sleep.

Yep, I hate technology.

vendredi 9 juillet 2010

The Canadians are coming

So I'm sat at my desk at work yesterday and in a dull moment, I decide to log on to a chat site that I visit from time to time.

Now, one of the guys I chat with is from Toronto and (promise) I was initially attracted to the photo's he'd posted of his art. The fact that he's as handsome as a handsome thing didn't hurt either. Anyway, we're both happily married men and so we chat about fairly mundane things but enjoy each other's virtual company.

So yesterday when logging on I get a message from him:

"Husband is in Paris with work and is bored to bits. Can you call him and take him to a bar or two please? Here's his number....."

And, being a good virtual friend, that's exactly what I did.

That's how, at ten pm I found myself at the entrance to the BHV greeting a very handsome Canadian guy. Now we're talking handsome here. Really handsome. Kind of 'be still my beating heart' handsome.

He was blond, stocky, big arms and shoulders, and a hairy chest showing at the top of his t-shirt.

Knowing how in love this couple is, I didn't dare get too excited. But excited I was.

So anyway, we meet up with a couple of my friends - the fiercies - and we get some drinks inside us. We start with chatting at the Freedj - my bar du choix. We then head on over to the Raidd bar to watch the boys dancing naked in the showers. Classy, right?

Anyway, it's whilst at the Raidd bar that Canadian Boy receives an SMS, looks at it, giggles and then turns to me and says "do you and FP have an open relationship?"

I splutter my beer over him, recover and try to be cool when I tell him that we do - but that we have no secrets. If we sleep with someone else it's allowed as long as the other one gets told about it.

"Yeah, me and hubby have the same deal" he said. And he showed me the text message that he'd just received from his husband.

It read "If he's that hot then you should absolutely go for it. And send me the photo's"

Now, beyond that what can I tell you? You know where this is going, right?

I mean, I could tell you about how we ended up in a sexclub. How we grabbed ourselves a cubicle. How it was the most amazing, passionate, dirty, refreshing sex I've had in a long time.

I could go on at length about his arms, his chest, his ass.

I could turn the whole encounter into a work of literature of epic proportions.

I could do all this, but I won't. I'll spare all of our blushes.

I'll just say 'hot damn' and 'God bless Canada' and 'oh my oh my oh my' and leave the rest to your imaginations.

But as a word of warning - be careful who you ask to look after your husband when he's away from home. You never know where it could all end up....

lundi 8 mars 2010

oh my God, oh my God, oh my God

"Is that? It is! It is! Oh my God!"
This is the sound I made, having seen one of my all-time idols in the flesh. In fact, on a chilly sunday afternoon, in the middle of the 13th arrondissement, I ended up seeingtwo people that I *almost* worship and one that scares me to death but who I would LOVE to be.
It happened like this.
"I have a surprise for you on Sunday afternoon". This is how le FP started my weekend.
"Tell me", I demanded. I hate surprises.
"Nope, you'll see" and he kept schtum from that moment on.
Four o'clock Sunday afternoon arrives and he tells me we're leaving in 30 minutes. He also tells me to dress 'fashion fashion fashion'. Shit, I hate it when he does this to me. What on earth to wear?
So I rustle up an outfit - Jacket by Francesco Smalto, sweater by Massimo Dutti, t-shirt from Armani, jeans by Levis and fabulous silver Nikes - and fix my ever growing hair.
We jump on the scooter and head off - in the opposite direction of anything that is fashion in Paris. I figured we'd be heading to the avenue Montaigne, to the Faubourg St. Honoré, to the Place Vendôme. Instead, we headed out of town and crossed the Seine on the pont de Bercy (still one of my favourites of all the Seine bridges).
He pulled up outside a dubious looking venue in the 13th. The venue was somewhat enhanced, however, by the presence of paparazzi and limousines. And a crowd of gawping public.
With a flourish, he produced an invitation - written on a pirate's treasure map, no less - and whisked me through the crowd and past the security.
"What the fuck...?!?" said I, still unsure of what was going on. It being Paris Fashion Week, I figured it was a show - but whose?
"It's John Galliano, baby" said le FP. Oh my. I love Galliano. This was going to be special.
We made our way into the venue and were stood chatting with a friend who we'd bumped into when it happened.
Now, this never happens to me. I see famous people and I'm rarely impressed - I think it's funny, exciting, but never does my heart stop. But this time it did.
"Excuse me" I heard a gruff voice say, and a security guard tapped me on the shoulder. I turned to see that he was making way so that they could pass.
Who are they, I hear you ask.
Well, I turned and there she was. My heroine. My idol. The grande dame herself.
Grace. Coddington.
Mon dieu. My God. Mon gode.
And walking ahead of her was her nemesis. The Ice Queen extraordinaire.
Anna. Wintour.
Oh. My. Wet. Pants.
I grabbed le FP's hand and squeezed. He looked at me and we knew that both of us had just had one of those moments that you never forget.
I didn't know what to say. This was like the September Issue but for real. Oh my goodness.
"Our life is amazing" said le FP. He's not wrong.
We took our seats (third row, alas) and waited.
Then the chaos descended.
Lindsay Lohan was ushered into the front row directly ahead of us and the paparazzi descended.
It was craziness. Push, shove, Lindsay! Lindsay! Over here Lindsay! push, shove. Madness.
And then they stopped and turned.
I stopped. I turned. I nearly fucking fainted.
And there she was, walking in like the Queen of Fucking Everything. Beautiful, too beautiful.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you....Beth Ditto.
And that was the moment where I started to breathe again and thought to myself, "How is this my life. How is this what I do on a sunday afternoon?"
Reader, I don't know the answer, but I do know that I'm a very happy boy.
And a very lucky one at that.

lundi 8 février 2010

curious questions #2

So, I was on the métro heading home the other evening. The train was full, rammed, blindé.

I hate it when the train is full - I'm always thinking that I'll get my wallet stolen, so I tread a fine line between keeping my hand on my pocket and holding on to a 'grippe-A'-infested handrail.

At Hôtel de Ville, a guy got on and came to stand next to me.

Well, I say he came to stand next to me - he actually had little choice, it was the only space available. And he didn't stand next to me, so much as stand against me.

I looked up to see who had suddenly squashed up against me. It turned out to be a well built, hairy, well-dressed bear of a man. As I looked at him, he chose the same moment to look at me and there was an uncomfortable moment when eye-contact was briefly made.

Well, it was uncomfortable for me - it's just not the done thing - but for him it seemed to be the opposite.

"Bonsoir" he said, cracking me quite the grin.

"Bonsoir", I replied, looking away.

Two stops later, the train pulled out of Bastille station. We both looked up at the same time, again.

"Where are you getting off at?" He asked.

"Quoi?" said I. "What?"

"Which station are you getting off at?"

"Gare de Lyon", I replied. The next stop.

"That's a shame" said the bear. "I'm staying on until Vincennes".

And with that, the train pulled in to my station. I stepped out and gave a backwards glance at the guy.

He once again cracked that big smile and winked. Yes, he winked at me.

Nice to know the old magic is still there, but I have one question - how did he know I'd be interested in what he was offering?

Hmm. Could it be because when he purposefully pushed his crotch into my wallet-protecting hand after saying bonsoir, I didn't pull away? I may even have pushed back a little.

Yeah, thinking about it, that might be what gave the game away...

mercredi 3 février 2010

curious questions #1

A couple of days ago, I left le FP on the sofa and headed out in search of a taxi to take me to meet friends for a drink in the Marais.

It was nearly one a.m. and I asked the taxi driver to drop me on the corner of rue du Temple and rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie. This is an intersection where you'll find at least five gay bars within twenty metres. It's kind of poofy like that.

"You smell like basil" said the taxi driver as I settled into his cab.

"Really?" said I, a little taken aback.

"Yeah, like a bowl of pasta" he replied.

"Good enough to eat?" I ventured, jokingly.

"Well, erm, maybe" he replied, definitely uncomfortable with the turn the conversation had taken.

"le Marais is full of queers you know" said the taxi driver.

"Really?" I said. "You do surprise me."

"Are you gay?" he asked.

"Why do you ask?"

"Well, you don't look gay but you're going to the Marais at this time of night".

"Well," I said, "I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is." I nearly pissed myself laughing at how funny I found this.

"I don't understand" said the taxi driver.

"Never mind" said I. "Probably best if you just concentrate on driving".

jeudi 28 janvier 2010

New friends, flat packs and fisting

I hate Ikea.

I don't object to their furniture. I don't object to their meatballs. I don't object to their stupid names for things.

I just detest the whole experience.

Traipsing out to an industrial wasteland on the edge of town.

Feeling depressed by the people running out of the store clutching 2 euro vases that they think hold the secret to happiness.

Trying to find an 'assistant' to 'assist'.

The fact that you can't get in and out in fifteen minutes.

So, it was with a heavy heart that I accepted le FP's request to go to Ikea last night. We've needed new wardrobes for, like, ever and last night a friend was offering to take us out there in his car. We couldn't really say no.

The friend is a guy who le FP knows vaguely and I know even less well. I have a feeling he's after a threesome. He keeps on doing us both favours and turning up at the house with gifts for us. Anyway, I digress.

We don't know him that well, but last time I saw him, he was in a bar wearing 'military' gear (i.e. a camouflage jacket, a khaki string vest and green make up on his cheeks) and heading off to a 'specialist' evening in a salle de fêtes in the suburbs.

He spent the entire journey recounting his evening at the 'Soirée Cuir, Latex, Uniforme'. Now, these kind of salles de fêtes cater to marriages, funerals and barmitzvahs - you know the kind of establishment.

What they'll have thought of this fetish evening, God only knows.

Apparently, there was pubic shaving, various swings and glory holes and - la pièce de résistance - a 'fisting podium'. But again, I digress.

We arrive at Ikea and I'm hungry. Three 50 cent hot dogs (that's how much they cost, they're not designed by the rapper) later and I'm still starving, but more willing to take on the behemoth of a store.

Actually it turns out that this Ikea is no behemoth. In fact, it's positively rikiki, the smallest Ikea on earth, quite possibly.

Nonetheless, we still manage to lose three hours within those hellish yellow and blue walls.

The friend has turned up wearing some god awful outfit that includes a badge that reads 'be happy'. I'm not sure if this is a reminder to himself or what, but he's just lost his job so I can only think it's some kind of motivational device. Anyway, he's so badly dressed that le FP and I are very happy when we manage to give him the slip somewhere behind the Billy bookcases.

He finds us again as we are busy choosing our wardrobes. He listens to us rant and wail about how the house is full of shit and how we have to stop buying things. He hears our tales of woe as we recount to the poor assistant how we have no storage space in our apartment.

He then disappears. Again.

Next time we see him we're at the checkout. He's paid and is waiting for us to be reborn into the real world - the world where tables don't have names.

He has a trolley full of shit.

When we get to the car, he presents us with a gift each.

He gives us each a 2 metre long cuddly shark. One each. I kid you not.

"Thank you" says le FP, graciously.

"Where the fuck do you expect me to put these" say I, somewhat less graciously, but worn down by the whole experience.

"I thought we could use them in the bedroom" said the friend, with a menacing look on his face.

We journeyed home in uncomfortable silence. He dropped us at the front door and we took our shopping from the boot (the wardrobes being delivered at a later date), thanked him and sent him on his way.

As we waved him off, le FP turned to me.

"Don't those sharks look lovely in his back window" he said.

He's méchant, that boy.

I guess that's why I like him....

mardi 26 janvier 2010

The opposite of cool

Le FP got given a handful of Nintendo DSi's a while ago (don't ask).

Naturally, one found it's way into my workbag and was soon loaded up with les Lapins Crétins. If any of you have a big commute, I can truthfully say that slingshotting virtual rabbits into the air at virtual targets is a fine way to pass the time.

So it was a bit of a worry when I realised late one night that my workbag had suddenly gone missing. I'd had it that evening when I left for dinner with my boss. But then I couldn't recall seeing it afterwards and decided that it was in Debbie's car.

I didn't really worry too much - I was certain that it was in Debbie's boot - and so went to bed with an easy mind.

At 1am the telephone rang. It was the manager of the Café Beaubourg.

Now I know I'd been there for a drink earlier in the evening, and that they obviously appreciated my patronage - however, I did think it was a bit much to be ringing me at such an hour to thank me for my visit. Turns out that that wasn't the purpose of the call.

Apparently they had found my bag. Apparently I'd left it there in a moment of giddiness.

Well, luckily it's an honest establishment, given how the bag contained a full life support system of passport, wallet, keys, DSi, Blackberry charger and a small insignificant thing called my work laptop.

On top of all that is the bag itself - a lovely Lancel number. It's worth a pretty penny and was a gift from le FP in our early days. Yikes. Well done them for being honest.

The next day, I went to collect my bag. I took the opportunity to meet up with an old flame that many of you will remember - Skaterboy. He works in the neighbourhood so meeting up for a boisson seemed like a good idea.

When he arrived, I looked at him and started to wonder what I'd seen in him all that time ago. He's cute enough, but, to be honest, he's not my type. He's thin - and I really don't like thin. And he's nerdy. Although I quite like that. Plus he looked like he needed a good wash. I really don't like that.

He sat down next to me.

"So you got your bag back then?" he said.

"Yeah, thank goodness" I replied. "le FP was about to kill me for losing one of the first gifts he ever bought me".

"I got the best ever gift from my boyfriend this Christmas" Skater boy said.

I never knew there was a boyfriend, but hey, it's not like I'm bothered (nor would I have been had he been mentioned at the time of our 'thing').

And then he started to tell me what his boyfriend had bought him.

A gun.

A rifle, to be exact.

A real one, from the German army. Decommissioned.

"Is it a modern gun?" I asked him.

"No," he replied, "It's from World War two".

"So it's a Nazi gun?"

"Yeah, a real classic".

"Right. A used Nazi rifle. And what exactly are you going to do with it?" At this point I was getting a bit worried.

Rightly so, it turned out.

"Oh, I'll be taking it out with me when I wear the uniform he bought me for my birthday" he said, cheerily.

"Let me get this right" I said. "You have a Nazi uniform that you wear outside the house and now you have a real-life-used-by-Nazis-nazi-rifle that you plan to wear with the Nazi uniform?"

"Yeah" he replied, enthusiastically "Cool, isn't it?"

I couldn't even begin to explain to him how this was so far from cool that it was off the scale.

I got the bill. I paid. I left.

I deleted his number.

Some things are best left to others to deal with, right?

mardi 12 janvier 2010

Did someone order a threesome for two?

So. The new blog.

I kind of thought it was a good idea, but it didn't feel right. I felt like I was cheating on TBNIL. The goal was to find motivation to post, but it went the other way. I felt less motivated to post there than I did here.

So, fin bref, I'm back.

Back chez TBNIL and back in Paris after a huge trip to the states and Canada with le FP. And I'm back with tales to tell, you'll be happy to note.

Let's start with a wee tale of Los Angeles and how not to have a threesome with your boyfriend.

You see it all started really innocently. As do most things in my life (yeah, right).

Me and le FP had just arrived in LA and, as is our habit, we got online and started surfing the 'boyz' sites to try and find someone who could tell us where the best bars, clubs, etc in town are to be found. This is how we found Serge.

Serge was an American guy, born to French parents and desperate to communicate with someone (anyone) in French. He lived and worked in LA (in the movies, bien sûr) and we chatted for a while. He told us about some great bars (really great bars) and before signing off he invited us to go eat sushi with him.

Now me and le FP are both sushi freaks and we'd been craving some good maki rolls for a while. The offer was to good to turn down (plus Serge was cute...).

We ate sushi together, we drank drinks together and we flirted with each other - me with Serge, Serge with le FP, le FP with me, and so on....

Anyway, by the end of the evening, me and le FP had decided that he was a great guy, but that he wasn't going to be getting the ménage à trois that he was so obviously looking for.

So how he ended up using the bathroom in our hotel room is beyond me. Suffice to say I'd had a few drinks too many by this point.

As Serge slipped into the bathroom, le FP muttered something about having to make a phone call and he quickly disappeared off to the hotel lobby with a grin on his face.

He'd left me in the bedroom with Serge in the bathroom - and, trust me, he knew what was about to happen.

I, on the other hand, was pretty clueless and unsuspecting.

When Serge exited the bathroom completely naked I was somewhat taken aback.

When he got down on his knees and undid my jeans I was somewhat startled.

And then I was just kind of shocked.

I grabbed my phone and texted le FP...


He did come back to the room. But only once I'd managed to extract my nethers from Serge's grip and sent him packing. Only then did le FP appear at the door, laughing hysterically.

He'd left me in the lurch with a lovestruck, horny, desperate American boy.

He'd skeedaddled when he knew that Serge would be making a move and that I was too drunk to be able to resist.

He thought this was the funniest thing ever.

I wasn't too sure that it was funny. But it certainly stuck in my mind for a couple of days afterwards....