2005: looking back, part II

in april, i received a promotion at work, and moved out of development. i also went down to houston for another business trip -- definitely it wasn't as fun as london, but a good experience. in houston, everything is big.

in may i ran my second half marthon -- it was fun running the race but the training i could do without. preparations geared up for our show, where we had a photoshoot on the rooftop of my building.

in june we welcomed likha, and had a show commemorating our 10 year partnership at the QET. it was another great learning experience, and a very well polished show indeed. after all the months of preparation, summer officially began with a trip to kelowna for mori's stag.
Posted by double R at 11:05 AM | 0 comments read on


2005: looking back, part I

in january, i was lucky that work sent me to london for a new project. it was an exciting trip for me, both work wise and considering it was my first time in europe. the architecture, the customs, the accents -- it was a great experience! the highlight for me was going to the national gallery, and being in awe of being able to see first-hand the work of the masters. i was beside myself when i saw this painting by seurat. it is so neat to think that the work of these artists have stood the test of time.

in february, i went to lauryn's birthday party -- i can't believe how fast my little god daughters are growing up. i ramped up the training for my half marathon in may.

2005 marks my third season of riding. in march i went up to whistler and tried doing a few more jumps, though i think a helmet would still help with me feeling more secure. i received one for christmas from my brother, however we're still going to have to alter the extra large to make it fit...:)
Posted by double R at 5:13 PM | 0 comments read on


merry christmas.

well merry christmas everyone. i hope everyone had a great, restful holiday, lots to eat, received some thoughtful gifts and gave ones that made people smile.

this year was a bit different because it was the first year that rodney has not been 'at home' for christmas morning. christmas tradition at the romero household involves going to church, having a late dinner at our aunt's house, opening up one gift before we go to bed, waking up christmas morning, opening up the rest of the gifts and then lounging around all day until we ate again. this christmas is the first that rodney has been a married young man, so naturally he spent it with his new wife.

so as much as things change, new traditions are born. it was nice to hear my dad sing his solo of 'silent night' at christmas mass. for the past few years, the choir director always gives him that song to sing, and i love it -- my dad has a beautiful voice. it almost has become synonymous with christmas.

i can't believe that 2005 has almost come to an end. it seems such a long year -- so much has happened. because i have such a terrible memory, i thought that i would choose a picture from each month to help remind me of what went on. stay tuned.
Posted by double R at 5:20 PM | 0 comments read on



i'm going to let the movie sink in a bit more before i write my own thoughts, but andrew sullivan has a great review here.

Sometimes I start to imagine how much accumulated human pain has been inflicted for so many centuries on so many gay hearts and souls, and then I stop. It's too much. We are slowly healing; but some wounds will never heal; and they are inscribed on the souls of millions in the past - the ones who persecuted, the ones who suffered, the ones who never let themselves be loved - or saw it briefly once, feared it and lived their lives in the lengthening shadow of their regrets. Yes, these were souls whose backs were broken. And now a new generation stands up.
Posted by double R at 12:06 PM | 0 comments read on

brokeback mountain.

just came back from the theatre. my review will have to wait, but all i have to say is..."wow".
Posted by double R at 12:18 AM | 0 comments read on


without a credit card.

i've always only had one credit card, either a mastercard or a visa. after working in the retail bank for such a long time, i always encouraged my customers who had problems with credit to stick to one card and with a low limit. it just makes things easier to manage with only having one statement, to keep track of purchases etc.

anyways, thanks to the fraud department of visa, they have informed me of some fraudalent charges on my account (i never bought anything in ontario, at least recently). i was very happy that they let me know that this was going on, but they also told me to "go ahead and cut up my card now". the first thing that went through my head was that how am i going to shop on boxing day?!

it's probably a sign that i shouldn't be shopping since given the holiday season, i will get my replacement card in 7 to 10 days...)

other random thoughts:
1. in another life, i would like to come back as the son of a greek shipping magnate.
2. how do i become the 'new face' of a fashion house?
3. i want a 'house'.

ok, i'm being silly. time to go to bed.
Posted by double R at 11:17 PM | 0 comments read on


ask randy: peeking turtles.

Hi Randy! It's been a while since anyone has made use of this fabulous service, so I thought I'd pose one for you... Walking around looking for clothes to replenish my basics, my eye caught a glimpse of some turtleneck sweaters prominently displayed in a few stores. That got me thinking... Are turtlenecks for everybody? Or does it only work best on folks with a specific body/neck type? I tried one on, and couldn't make a decision as to whether I liked it or not. Do you have any vague guidelines for what kind of people can make turtlenecks work? Or what kind of people shouldn't wear turtlenecks? I theorized that tall lanky individuals with long skinny necks would be ideal for the turtleneck. But it's only that...a theory. Looking forward to your thoughts on the matter!


P.S....Happy Holidays!

Hey Ernie, thanks for your question. In general, I think you are right about theory -- I prescribe to it myself. If you have a regular or longer neck, you should rock the turtle neck, because well basically, they have more to cover. Myself, I stay away from turtle necks because b) I don't have a neck, but I have a large, thick neck and b) I have a very large head. Remember it is always about proportion -- if you're short and stocky, run from the double breasted suits, and if your neck starts at your shoulders, well stay away from the turtle neck sweater. In the early 90s, there was the advent of the mock neck, which helps the neck-challenged, but please stay away from it if you do not want to date yourself (think Bob Saget in Full House wearing Dockers, a black mock neck and a burgundy mouflon sport coat).

That all being said, I think the turtle neck is a classic piece, and if you feel comfortable and confident, I say go for it. For me, even though I said all of that above, I have the perfect thick wool apres ski turtleneck just for the ocassion...:)
Posted by double R at 11:27 PM | 0 comments read on


christmas 1, randy 0.

last night i started my christmas shopping quest. all i got was a couple of things for me... :(

rematch today.
Posted by double R at 12:55 PM | 0 comments read on


slightly obsessed.

if you've been around me lately, you know that i'm slightly obsessed with the release of 'brokeback mountain'. okay, maybe i don't blog about it as much as this guy, but i too have been following the story of this movie for a very long time. (by the way, he has a great summary here -- thanks andy).

if you look at the summary, you'll see that there's a lot of fuss going on about this movie. so what is the big deal? i've always been a movie lover ever since i've been very young. i think i kind of got it from my dad, who loves watching all types of movies, even if they aren't very good. i don't have a digital box like my dad, and i'll be honest, i'm looking forward to christmas because along with getting some cool gifts (hopefully), it'll also mean that i get to watch a whole bunch of movies while i loaf on my dad's couch.

anyways, as i get older, the typical hollywood blockbuster doesn't do it for me. actually let me correct myself. i guess what it is that when i do find the time to go and see a movie nowadays, i look for something to speak to me, i look to totally escape, or find characters that i can identify with. now with brokeback, it does not mean that i want to be a cowboy in living wyoming. while i appreciate the diversity of the portrayals of what it means to be a gay man (the birdcage, the crying game, my own private idaho), i think most mainstream movies outside of the gay and lesbian film festival circuit have never really tackled the themes of romantic (gay) love. the reviews are generally positive, but quite honestly, i don't care. i just think that it is important for movies like this to be made. i think it is a pretty accurate assessment, but i think there are a lot of people like me that are hungry for images and stories that reflect themselves. not all of us want to be drag queens. not all of us are hairdressers. not all of us are cowboys. but i think most all of us, in some form of another, want love, and i think this is what this movie is about.

anyways, it opens here in vancouver at the park on friday. if it is as any good as ang lee's the wedding banquet, i'll be happy.
Posted by double R at 11:33 PM | 0 comments read on


tis the season of the christmas party.

last friday we had our company christmas party at the rvyc. ever since my canada trust days, i've always loved the company christmas party, as everyone seems to let loose after the year and let their hair down (including myself).

i can't believe christmas is only a few days away. even if my list is short, is it bad that i haven't done any shopping yet (except for myself, of course)?

here are a few pictures from the night...

Posted by double R at 8:41 AM | 0 comments read on


random thoughts.

1. i use lip balm usually only in the winter, but i think using it actually makes my lips more chapped.
2. there is a higher proportion of men that are extremely fashionable in england vs. north america. i think it is because while most young boys want to emulate their favourite sports star in both countries, in england, their sport god just happens to be a fashion icon.
Posted by double R at 11:30 AM | 0 comments read on


missed flight (almost).

[pearson international, toronto]
my flight this morning out of heathrow was at 9 am. and me being the ocd freak, i set my wake up call at 5:30. but because i was so paranoid that i wasn't going to wake up, i didn't fall asleep until 2:30. add to that for some reason i have no idea where the remote went to the tv in my hotel room, because i wanted to set that alarm as well. of course i went to set my cell phone alarm too, but that was dead. anyways, i wake up to my wake up call, which was actually 7 am instead of 5:30 am!!! in a panic, i rushed to get ready (luckily i was already packed) and ran downstairs. i was planning to take about a 15 minute cab ride, and then the heathrow express from paddington station, but the concierge assured me that it would be better to go by taxi.

needless to say i made my flight, now just waiting for the last leg of my journey back home. next time, i'll just stay up all night!!!
Posted by double R at 9:30 AM | 0 comments read on


communal table.

[london, england]
so on friday night i got together with my good friend dexter. it was nice to hang out with him like old times -- he used to live in vancouver. we met at picadilly circus, and proceeded to go to the gay ghetto where we found ourselves having coffee on old compton street. we had prime people watching seats, it is actually quite amazing to see the tonnes and tonnes of people just out and about. he asked me about vancouver, and what's up with the city. we got around talking about how hard it was/is to meet people in vancouver. it seems that most people have an attitude about them, an invisible wall. i mean sure, i think most vancouverites are friendly once you get to know them or are introduced to them through other friends, but in general, people walking down the street or on the skytrain with you stare blankly into space while listening to their ipods. in london, dexter has had no problems meeting people. his experience is that people are very friendly, and it probably has to due with the fact that it truly is a crossroads of people from all around the world. vancouver, we both agreed, could be a very lonely place sometimes. i would have to agree with him.

what do you guys think?

afterwards, we went pub hopping, which was fun, and then ended up at the 'astoria' (or g-a-y). it was a friday night, and the music was totally 'brit' style, much to our disliking. we did however make our way to the stage, to be in the same space that madonnna was just a few weeks ago where she performed. you've gotta hand it to madge...it's her year.

today's saturday, and after sleeping in, i walked central london, side by side with the gillions of people doing their christmas shopping. i found a few pieces which were sort of deal even with the exchange. after braving oxford street, carnaby street, i found myself in soho again and went for dinner at satsuma. sitting at the communal table in very close quarters, the lovely woman next to me said hello. soon after, conversation ensued, i started talking with the man she was dining with. very nice people, the woman was from namibia, and the guy was also from africa, but i forget the country's name. i told them that it was refreshing for them to be so friendly. they said that it is very normal to acknowledge people from where they are from, so it was kind of shocking for them when they first moved to london, where the opposite was true. soon after a german sat right across from me, and all four of us became engrossed in conversation.

i wonder if something like that would ever happen in vancouver. sometimes i think that in an urban setting we become so detached from each other, even though we're all physically close together. sometimes i think even though we have those walls, we would like to make contact. its almost as if one day, one person decided to put a wall up, an untouchable air, and soon enough, everyone else followed suit.

anyways, i didn't make life long friends with those people, but i think about how much more interesting my dinner was with the conversation. i'm going to try to connect more with the people i come in contact with everyday. with strangers. with people who will potentially think i'm crazy. so if you don't know me, and you see me smiling at you, all i'm doing is acknowledging that you're not alone in this urban jungle.

here's some pictures from the day...

Posted by double R at 3:36 PM | 0 comments read on


day 2.

[london, england]
day 2...what a busy day, but a good one. more random thoughts so far:
- english people are very polite. they hold the door open, say excuse me or pardon me all the time.
- in canada we say, "i'm going to go get you". here they say "i'm going to collect you".
- the please make up room sign that i hang on my hotel room door has an image of a woman cleaning the room
- elevators are called lifts and most of them announce that the door is opening or closing
- housekeeping knocks on the door and asks if i want turn down service
Posted by double R at 6:16 AM | 0 comments read on

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada