Monday, 29 November 2010

The Girl Next Door

One of my favourite things to do is to track down an old movie I’ve not seen for years. I like to watch these films not only for the cinematic value but for the memories that are often unearthed. Memories of what was happening around the time when I originally watched the film. Something is unlocked in the sub-conscious that evokes incredibly provocative emotions.

The other night whilst waiting for Lee to come home from work, I lay awake watching The Girl Next Door, an absolutely atrocious film. When I watched it when I was fourteen I distinctly remember enjoying it greatly, if I had watched it for the first time the other night I would have probably switched over. The storyline was nothing special and the acting was rather dismal, though sat there watching it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in a long time. This was purely down to the not so distant memories it unlocked. It’s rather amazing how film, music and art can do that.

Why this ever appealed to me is beyond me.
The Boy Next Door - Now that would have been appealing.

Each and every one of us is reminiscent of our past, whether it’s those happy childhood years, those lustful teenage years, those ambitious young adult years, or those hectic middle aged years: there is always something we’re looking back to.

I know I do, in my third year of university I think back to my first year: leaving home, setting up my very own living space, sitting on the window sill with the smell of freshly cut grass creeping in whilst I watched the topless muscular gardener… Hearing the opening few bars of Jump in the Pool instantly sends me back there.

It is only now as I reminisce I realise that although it is an important part of life to look back and remember fondly, it’s also important to appreciate the here and now. In a couple of years I know I will be looking back fondly to my third year of university and remembering how good things were, I won’t forget that. Appreciate each day, make memories; they’ll stick with you forever. After all memories shape who we are. What would we be without them?

Friday, 26 November 2010

Wait a Minute Mr Postman...

Bright eyed and bushy tailed I approached my new job as a postman: I considered the thought of wandering through towns and villages delivering post long before I applied for the job and decided I couldn’t think of a better part time job. It would be a few notches above the retail work I’d previously done, that was for sure. I was convinced the job would go a little something like this...

“Those delivery offices are nasty places, though” a friend advised me cautiously. “They are?” I sort of side-stepped the advice and put it to the back of my mind.
It’d be fine.

In a small corridor I was surrounded by skin-headed, pierced, tattooed and furious looking men. I’m a tall person, and the truth of the matter is I’m probably a lot taller than most of the men there, but I find it difficult to describe how small they made me feel. I was Alice in Wonderland reaching for the bottle labelled “Drink Me” and downing the contents.

I was shrinking faster and faster, I would be able to fit through the tiny door at the end of the hallway that was the exit. I’d go through and never come back. I became a speck of dirt to those men. They spoke crudely to one another, and to me, making anti-Semitist, racist, homophobic and offensive remarks. No matter how loud I sang ‘Wait A Minute Mister Postman’ in my head it wouldn’t drown out their intolerance. These men were all working class, white and heterosexual. They knew nothing else. Tolerance and diversity were left at the door.

I felt like a child in there, it’s terrifying. I usually deal with a potentially depressing situation by exuding optimism, being bubbly and friendly to everyone, but here, it didn’t take a genius to realise that would only make matters worse. “Morning,” I said smiling. I got some grunts and a few dirty looks.

At this point I really did feel like Alice down that strange rabbit hole. I was in a strange and unfamiliar place, I felt like I could drown in my own tears- can you imagine the repercussions of that?

I’m not usually one who reacts badly to homophobia. I write and preach against it because I think it’s wrong; I’m rarely ever hurt by it. This was different. This was a whole different ball game. I was hiding who I was, hiding my sexuality. It became a secret again. I hadn’t treated it as a secret since I was 15. I got flashbacks to my teenage years and was reminded why I found it so difficult to come out. With this realisation I really feel for those who haven’t yet come out. After you have come out it’s easy to forget the hardships you had during that transition.

I feel terrified and threatened to be around these people even in a work environment. I feel this really sets the precedent for how homophobia really can hurt. If these remarks and attitudes make me feel like heading straight for the door and leaving a job I otherwise really like, there is obviously something terribly wrong.

I decided to send a message out to the Universe telling it how much I disliked working alongside these men and how low it made me feel. I hid behind a mask, I didn’t change who I was. I was merely acting.

Surely enough the next day, without me speaking a word I was moved to a section full of happy, respectable men and women. I have many more problems to iron out, but I have faith that the Universe will guide me through any rough patches and I’ll come out stronger on the other side.

Positive thinking can get you a long way; thinking negatively will never resolve a problem and will only make matters worse. Whatever trials you are facing at the moment just remember to keep your chin up and you’ll get by.

Just remember some things are impassable but nothing's impossible. ^^

Monday, 22 November 2010

No Unauthorised Access

Have you ever wondered, like I have, what lies beyond all those "No Unauthorised access" doors scattered around here, there and everywhere?

Well I have.

Yesterday, whilst desperately stumbling from University campus to University campus looking for somewhere to print I happened to stumble through a set of those doors. Searching darkened deserted hallways I managed to find a room with a light on. I approached slowly and peered inside.

CCTV in operation. No Unauthorised Access. Inside I noticed a lone computer and printer, the red standby light blinking slowly. I looked back down the dark corridor from where I had just come from and back into the CCTV protected room.

I gently pushed the door open and made for the computer at the opposite side of the room. As I did, I noticed there was somebody else in the room. Somebody who had previously been out of my eye-line. It was a woman. A woman looking at pornography on her computer. "OH HI!" she said noticing me standing behind her, minimising the pornography and fumbling in her chair nervously. "Sorry," I said walking backwards back out of the room.

And that is why you shouldn't go through doors that read "No Unauthorised Access", it's just jargon for "I'm Watching Porn."

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thou Shalt Not Steal and Other Delusions.

Religion. It’s a delicate subject and one must advocate a strict and considered approach before blindly slandering it for all its merit. For that reason I would like to say that every point I make is my own opinion and I wouldn’t like to offend anyone.

Religion brings about a vast quantity of good to the world, in no way am I denying that but considering the amount of bad it brings to the world I often think why isn’t all religion abolished? We all have our own beliefs and faith, I personally don’t know how I would go from one day to another without faith. Believing in something is enough for me, I don’t need rules and regulations to abide by and I don’t necessarily know what it is I’m believing in: I’m just happy to feel that there is something watching over us, protecting us and guiding us through everyday life troubles.

You may be sat there thinking, what good does religion bring? So I’d like to clarify a few points.

- Religion brings people together within a community; it makes them feel like they belong to something.
- Religion is more often than not charitable, helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
- Religion often puts suffering into a wider acceptable context.

And the bad points?

- Religion causes arguments, unlawful disputes and even wars.
- Religion often forces non-believers to believe and be a part of it.
- In many places across the world religion is deemed fact and not opinion.

Religion gets away with a lot; many religions openly slander sects of people, (particularly gays) blindly without any real evidence. From my opinion the bible condones homosexuality, though read from a different perspective it slanders it.
Therefore homosexuality is wrong: fact – What? No.

Religion seems to take ancient texts, interpret them how they want to and then deem that fact. It's ludicrous if you ask me. The commandments for instance, there weren't ten commandments at all, there were actually around 252. I guess the top ten favourites were chosen and the rest discarded. So, if the commandments are God's words and we respect and praise him so much, why are we ignoring 242 of his commandments? The option to repent when you sin seems like a bit of a cop out to me. Don't do any of these things or you will not get into heaven - Well, if you kill somebody and apologise that's all good...

Again these commandments leave no room for loop-holes. I'm starving to death and a man with incredible riches choses to burn food in front of me for fun. I'm not allowed to steal any? - Okay, I'm being facetious but I hope you see my point.

The persecution of non-believers, gays and even women across the world due to religion is ridiculously disproportionate to the kind of societies we should be living in. In any other context this would not be overlooked and it would be stopped. In my opinion religion seems to have its own right to vigilante justice, violence and even segregation. These things are all outlawed in most parts of the world, yet when religion comes into it the law turns a blind eye. I personally think it is an outrage.

Hypocrisy within religion I find often proves the point I’m trying to make. Where there is hypocrisy there is usually something not right. How the Catholic Church and the pope can discriminate so widely against homosexuals and not be persecuted for it is beyond me. Particularly after harbouring and sheltering paedophiles. This is a risky topic and without extensive research into the matter I don’t feel I have the right to talk about it, so I’ve made my brief point and I’m going to move on.

I see no reason why religion needs to be organised, I see no reason why religion needs rules, if you believe, you believe, why force those beliefs onto everyone else?

Okay, I do realise I’m being a bit of a hypocrite here, this argument is a bit one sided and in a written context it’s difficult for you to argue back so in a way I am forcing my beliefs onto you. I apologise and would welcome any discussion on religion. If you are strongly apposed to what I’m saying, please leave a comment.

My entire argument essentially boils down to the fact that religion is widely associated with positivity; it isn’t that often that the negative side of religion is openly discussed. Religions are based on spiritual traditions and I don’t understand why they can’t be just that. The bible stories a lot of us are read as young children are positive and teach us morale values, why can’t Christianity be just that?

I personally don’t believe that religion should be passed onto future generations; I believe children should be encouraged to have faith and be given a wide span of religions to chose from should they wish to. Children are often raised into religious families and adopt that religion as their own without being shown the spectrum of religion and where they feel they best fit in. I know little of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other faith. I was taught Christianity in school, we touched upon the other religions in secondary school but never went in depth.

Does this not strike anyone as absurd? You wouldn’t show a child the colour red and no other colours and then ask them to select their favourite, so why would you show them one religion and then ask them to choose their faith?

Thursday, 18 November 2010


It’s very easy to go about our lives and forget about the tragedies happening in the world. Every day hundreds, thousands, millions of people suffer. Whether they’re starving with nothing to eat, a victim of a natural disaster, or simply can’t afford to feed their children. These things are on-going and as much as it hurts me to say, probably always will be. We cannot control a lot of these things, though we can offer our help and support.

Feeling sorry for ourselves is a part of our nature as human beings, but it often helps put things in perspective when you compare your life to those that are suffering. There is always someone worse off than you. Perhaps the boy you’re in love with doesn’t love you back, it’s sad: I’m not arguing that it isn’t, but just think of all the great things you have going on in your life.

The majority of us have a supporting friendship group and family base, the majority of us have food on our plates every day, the majority of us have a roof over our heads. The majority of us laugh on a daily basis.

Just remember those less fortunate than yourself next time you’re feeling like your life is over, remember how good you actually have it.

I know I try, and it helps.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

As Years Go By...

It was today, the 17th November last year when I first started this blog: a black background and a brief four line post about Christmas. How things have changed.

Happy 1st Birthday The (Not So) Fabulous Life of Cal!

That’s not the only thing that has changed in such a retrospectively short period of time. This time last year I hadn’t a single thing published: now I have a long list. Having a Trauma wasn’t in any kind of existence, plans are set in motion for moving to New York and overall I think it would be fair to say I’ve grown up considerably too.

As I think of my own future, as a person, as a writer, I wonder how things will have changed in another year’s time. I wonder how my blog will have changed in a year- I do so hope I’m still writing it.

It’s been a delight to hear your feedback, messages from every last one of you. Messages from Germany, American, Spain, Austria, New Zealand all blow my mind. The few messages I have received saying that I reached out and helped somebody have made me feel an overwhelming amount of pride. I adore writing my blog but what I love even more-so is knowing that somebody has enjoyed it. I thank each and every one of you for reading. I invite you to leave a comment below telling me your favourite post over the last year: hopefully with enough feedback the top five will go into “The Best of” section I’m planning to implement at the top of the page.

I’m sure as time passes I will have countless more stories to share and I do hope you stick around to hear them. Who knows what the future will hold? I know what I want for my future and I’m putting all of myself into assuring everything I want to happen does.

Thinking to the future positively will always spur you on to making those things happen; think forward; think positive. Where do you see yourself in a year’s time, and where do you want to be? Wherever and whatever that might be, I’m 100% behind you.

Go for it, believe in yourself, and things will happen.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Blondes, Brunettes and Gingers.

“I don’t have a type,” a friend told me recently. Puzzled, I thought for a moment, what is my type? What do I look for in a man? Okay, I’ve already got a boyfriend but I can still have a type, can’t I?

Between the age of 18 and 24, tall, smart, funny…

We all tend to list off the same characteristics but when push comes to shove more often than not the people we fall for aren’t in those defining categories.

(For those of you that can't read it it says: Brave, Intelligent, gentle, polite, energetic, non-alcoholic, industrious, self-organized.)

So why do we insist on putting a label on our interests? Why can’t we just say anybody who takes our fancy? I know I’ve found 5’6 men and 6’5 men attractive; blondes, brunettes, even gingers; skinny and muscley; intelligent and yes… not so intelligent too. Putting labels on the men we chase after can be detrimental to our future love-lives too. You never know, your friend might stumble upon somebody just right for you but she doesn’t pass his number on because he has brown eyes not blue.

I’m going round in circles a little here, but I think you see what I’m saying.

Men and women, don’t box in possibly lovers, take a chance on him; who cares if his hair is completely the wrong colour, that’s what they made hair dye for.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Learning to Laugh

Sometimes we need to learn to laugh at ourselves in life, adopting a serious nature when somebody playfully shoots an inappropriate joke our way can often be the easier option. Embracing a joke however can often leave to better relationships and better well being for yourself. I could get all high and mighty about every gay joke I see, for instance, but I don’t.

That doesn’t mean if somebody made a completely offensive out of line joke that I wouldn’t defend myself – I would.

All of us seem to fit into some type of stereotype, whether it’s your nationality, your skin colour, the colour of your hair, your intellect or your sexual preference, nobody is immune to mockery. I come across gay jokes on a day to day basis and for the most part I find them genuinely funny. Programmes like South Park and Family Guy continue to ridicule gay men: I don’t see it as an attack though, I see it as satire. I personally believe that these jokes are actually mocking homophobes and not gay people at all.

A lot of people cast off programmes like these, considering them low art, unintelligent and offensive but I believe if we look underneath the surface they have a level of intellectual depth. I entirely sympathise with those people who are genuinely offended, I just feel that perhaps sometimes we may act offended because we feel we should be, not because we actually are.

Laughing at ourselves is important, falling over in the street can be tremendously embarrassing, you only make things worse if you act angry about it though; just relax and embrace the joke. You’ll feel better for it. It’s inevitable.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Speak Up, Speak Now

I am highly aware that I have a large student readership, for this reason I would like to draw your attention to Speak Up, Speak Now. A new project founded by Kristina Proffitt. This project intends to get the voices of thousands of students heard within a single web-blog. The project aims to tackle the government cuts for Universities head on. I will be adding my contribution to the list and I encourage any of my student readers to visit the blog and write down their own thoughts and opinions too.

Visit Speak Up, Speak Now or contact me and I will pass your details along to Kristina myself.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Gay Representation

Gay representations have always been present in media throughout my lifetime; though sometimes they have not become as obvious until later years. Family programmes like The Simpsons have always had some aspect of gay portrayal, though as the years have passed they have become more evident and prominent. Camp characters, both real (Elton John) and fictitious (Dumbledore – From Harry Potter) have always been present but perhaps not always realised.

Men kissing in the media has slowly been developing over the past few years, it is not particularly uncommon to see men kissing in soaps, music videos, comedies, reality T.V or most areas of the media anymore, though it is still a rare occurrence if compared to the amount of heterosexual kissing shown to us on a day to day basis.

Music videos have always been prominent in representing gay culture; from Christina Aguilera’s groundbreaking video back in 2002 to the more recent videos featuring homosexual romance such as, Katy Perry’s Firework and Pink’s Raise Your Glass both currently in the charts.

The question that lingers within my mind is when we see gay men kissing, what do we see beyond? I have a suspicion that the majority of people may connect it with sex rather than love. Typing gay love or men kissing or something of that nature into a search engine somewhat proves this. Instead of romantic images we are bombarded with degrading images of gay porn. How accepting of gay men are you, truly? It’s okay to see straight couples kissing, it’s even okay to see straight children kissing– as long as it’s not in a sexual nature of course.

Billy Elliot is a prime example of a widely respected film where there is a gay kiss between two male children; however it isn’t in the romantic sense as such. It is a touchy area however I strongly believe if children and teenagers are to become more open about the concept of homosexuality then homosexuality in children needs to be represented within the media as well. – Homosexuality in the companionship sense, homosexuality in the innocent attraction to a member of the same sex.

The following music video, as well as being brilliant, haunting and heartbreaking even made me question my own beliefs on gay love.

I’d like to know your opinions – even I was taken aback at first, though I did appreciate the beauty of the piece and was touched by it, I did find some of it a little too much, possibly even disturbing. (You will know the part I mean). How did you feel watching this?

Happy, confused, disturbed, gratified, disgusted, overwhelmed?

What do I see when I see men kissing? I see love. I see what I see when I look deep into my boyfriend’s eyes. I feel butterflies inside of me and have an overwhelming sense of purpose and faith in humanity. I personally see no emotional difference between a gay couple kissing to a straight couple.

Do you see a difference?

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Childish Things

When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - C.S Lewis

We're all too quick to shout out "Stop being childish" "Grow up." "Act your age" when somebody does something offensive that we consider 'childish' but let's not forget about embracing our inner child and having some fun.

Sometimes the most important thing we can do in life is to take a step back and act downright childish, how much fun is a cardboard box when you're four? Exactly. The world is a much more exciting place as a young child, we forget our worries and just embrace every day for the fun filled adventure it is bound to be.

Consider being childish and stay headstrong and pick up that train set, navigate it around your bedroom or through the kitchen, pick up that lego set and build a two foot phallus, buy sweets from the shop and get incredibly sticky, after all we always wished and dreamed for the day when we wouldn't have parents telling us what not to do - look around.

What do I choose to do? Have a frank and open discussion about politics with my bear. I've had him since I was born. He knows more about this world than I do, and it's often more than easy to forget the importance of his opinion.

Just be careful what you ask him, he's honest and might just tell you what you didn't want to hear.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Young Love (In the 21st Century...)

We stood in line at the cinema watching the two teenage couples, linking arms and whispering into each other's ears. Shirts and jeans - that's smart for 14 year olds. It was a sight that made you believe in young lovers and romance; in risk of sounding incredibly patronising it was adorable.

That was until...

I was reminded that we were living in the 21st century, the boys had their jeans around their knees and the girls were caked in orange make-up, they swore at each other and anybody who came within one hundred yards of them.
"Am I paying then, or what?" one of the girls said to one of the boys.
"... Obviously." he rolled his eyes at her and she looked at him like a love-sick puppy.

They reached the front of the queue.

"Hi guys, sorry, this film is a 15… I'm going to need to see some I.D"
"I don't even need to show ID coz I look well old." the girl said slamming down her money. "I'm only 14," the boy said. Honest, I thought. Then he followed it up with.
"But I’m taller than you, so give me the tickets, you get me?"

My bubble burst. Those ideas of puppy love and romance went straight down the drain. I guess that kind of young romance only still happens in films -
- Too bad they’re not old enough to see those films, they might have learned something.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Tonight, I'm Cleaning Out My Closet.

A lot of us have the tendency to hoard oogles and oogles of 'stuff'. I think it's rather inherent that I got this tendency from my mother; when I was twelve she asked me to help her clear out the cupboard underneath the stairs.

I found four thousand handbags.

All these things we save away are a burden on our lives. Often, the less you have the more free you feel. When you go away on a trip or on holiday, what do you bring?
That's probably everything you need.

With my journey to New York impending faster and faster, ten months *gulp*, assuming all goes to plan I realise I need to condense my belongings down to a finite amount of necessities. Thinking to myself, I look around and think how much of this do I really need?

My laptop, my phone, my box of published work. That's all I really need.
My DVDs and photos are the only things I really want.

A few odds and ends here and there are worth saving but looking around I have so many things I don't need and probably don't use.

My musical instruments and furniture are too big to take with me but I will find a home for them here until I get back.

Even if you're not going anywhere for a very long time it's worth thinking about, how much of what you own do you actually need? How much do you actually want? And how much is just taking up space?

If you can’t motivate yourself to clear out all the rubbish you’ve gathered, there’s always the added bonus that you might stumble upon something you’d forgotten about but truly do love; something that really is worth saving. Just look what I found when clearing out my closet...

Don't rush for your closets too fast ladies, I can't guarantee there will be a man in there. We can always hope though, eh'?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A Dog is For Life, Not Just for Christmas.

Okay, it’s rather an obscure thing to write about, given, but hear me out.

I’ve wanted a husky since as long as I can remember; I even have a name picked out readily for when the day comes when I am ready to take on that responsibility. I’ve always said I would raise it from a tiny puppy right into its old age. It would be female and unsurprisingly would be named Kylie. – Not just because I’m a raving gay and want to name my dog after Kylie Minogue but also because I think it would be the perfect name for a husky.

So, other than the fact that my landlord doesn’t allow dogs, why don’t I already have one?

It’s something I’ve thought long and hard about. I’ve always grown up with dogs and although I have seen the love and attention they give to my parents and how they infinitely must increase their quality of life, I know that it is not the right time for me. I have seen my parents routed down, seen them fork out hundreds of pounds for vet fees and untold obscene amounts of money to take them away to Spain with them when they moved.

I want to travel, especially while I’m young. As some of you may already know I’m currently setting the foundations for my plan to spend the next two years in New York. If I had a husky you can only imagine the additional complications thrown in, probably resulting in me having to give the dog up, pay ridiculous amounts of money I don’t have to take it with me or have to be away from it for two years. None of those things bear thinking about.

That’s not my only reason though; I can barely afford my own rent and food, I wouldn’t be able to support a child so why should I be able to support a dog? The expenses associated with having a dog are endless. At first we may think of the price of buying the dog, then we think of the food, then the upkeep, then vets bills. Before we know it we need thousands of pounds very few people my age have.

I want a big garden, I want the free time to walk and pay attention to my dog, I want the money to support it through life, through the good, through the bad and through any medical condition. I once saw a family suffer great emotional stress when there family pet was severely injured yet they hadn’t got pet insurance or the money to pay for the operation. It was heartbreaking; I never want to be in that situation.

And that is why I don’t have a Husky. My husky’s grandparents are probably out there frolicking right now, one day, when I’m in my thirties, I will take up Kylie; my husky puppy and I will know I am ready to be a proud dog owner.

A dog is for life not just for Christmas. – True dat.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

My Likeness to Robert Pattinson

"Wait, don't tell me!" a stranger said stumbling in her high heels as she approached me. "You're meant to be Robert Pattinson, aren't you?"

Why do people keep asking me that, I thought.

"Yeah. Sure. Why not."
"I'd ask you out but I'm too old for you," she told me, convinced I would be disapointed.
"I'd accept but i'm afraid I'm too gay for you," I answered back.

And I was right. I was too gay for Graham Norton at this point.

(The resemblance is uncanny, isn't it..? - Okay, it's probably a compliment to be compared to Robert Pattinson, but personally I think the man is fugly)

The idea behind my costume was to be the personification of glitter, I don't think many people understood it though; I'm pretty sure most people thought my gay was just leaking out. "Fucking Faggot," one party goer shouted into my face, just because I was covered head to toe in glitter - or maybe I touched his bum...

Laura GaGa said I looked like a Norweigan Popstar, she was right on the money. Purple (temporary) hair dye, pink leg warmers, Kanye shutter shades and drenched in glitter. It was only a matter of time til I burst out into my own rendition of Dragostea Din Tei.

We all got horrifically drunk, so much so that the only way me and my photographer friend knew that we crossed paths was because we had pictures to prove it.

Lee didn't get the memo that Halloween was no longer about looking scary but all about looking slutty - he still looks rather dashing though; don't you think?

And as for pumpkin carving. What do you think we carved in it? If you know me and Lee at all you will already know that we carved a penis.

Happy Halloween (for two days ago)
Love Cal! x