A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for July 2002

Thoughts to Date

So. As I write this, it’s 10:30 pm on a Monday evening. I’m waiting for some Chinese food to arrive from the Panda Garden. I’ve done the laundry, in accompaniment with Tom, bought some liquor at the liquor store (mainly for him and his boyfriend Derek; they’re really cute together), developed my photos, and am generally relaxing in preparation for a movie. I’m feeling quite nice, and quite accomplished, and increasingly comfortable with myself.

Tom and Derek, incidentally, are an excellent couple. Quite cute together, quite mutually affectionate, photograph quite well, and are quite brave. At Busch Gardens day before last, Tom and Derek walked about holding hands. There was the occasional snide remark, and the surprised looks were wonderful–“Oh my goodness,” and “Now I’ve seen everything” were my favourites. And then, when we bumped into two cute lesbian couples–oh, that man who whistled at them, only to have his girlfriend hit him, call him a pervert, and ask him what the fuck he was doing. Good times. đŸ™‚

And if this can happen in Virginia, why not PEI?

Written by Randy McDonald

July 29, 2002 at 10:31 pm

Posted in Assorted

My Adventures With Public Transportation

My flight, this past Friday the 26th (two times 13–a coincidence?), from Toronto to Washington D.C. passed well, almost too well. I settled down at the baggage-check area to wait for Tommy. But then, at 7:30, my name got paged, and I went to the Traveller Assistance area, and I listened to Tommy’s description of his car’s death wish. Fortunately, there was a bus leaving for Richmond under Greyhound’s insignia at 7:40, so I went and bought the ticket.

But. Things didn’t go that simply.

Basically, I missed the first bus to Richmond–attendant had a thick accent, bus driver I asked was an idiot–so I had to take the bus to Washington D.C. at 10:15. Actually, no; it was raining, so it was 20 minutes late, and I was a bit of a bundle of nerves.

I got into Washington D.C. (incidentally seeing the Capitol and the Washington Monument on the way in, both nice edifices), barely managed to get to the bus to Richmond in time. (I saw the Pentagon on the way out.) At least the bus to Richmond was on time, and Tom was waiting there. Which was quite nice.

A very good end to the day which, um, could have been better. Ah, well. Subsequent events more than made up for that.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 28, 2002 at 11:31 pm

Posted in Assorted

A Belated Description of Toronto (21 to 25 July)

This is the first of several different posts, bringing things up to the present date.

The flight from Moncton went quite well. Little turbulence, quiet people, wonderful view of Moncton taking off and Toronto descending. People are wrong when they say that from a plane, people and buildings look like they’re toys. That is only true on takeoff or in descent; at all other times, people are ants at best, building insignificant. It’s an interesting perspective, I think.

The plane arrived at Toronto ten minutes early, but it was delayed ten minutes by lightning strikes that had caused the evacuation of workers from Pearson. I got into Toronto, after waiting interminably for the luggage to arrive, at 1:30 and promptly met up with James.

Now. James is–if I do say so myself–an excellent host. He gave me comfortable lodgings, showed me superbly around the wonderful city of Toronto (attractions and restaurants alike; at the King Garden he showed me how to use chopsticks, succeeding where others had failed), and provided excellent conversation and advice aside. I mean, his guideship (what’s the word?) to the Royal Ontario Museum alone would be enough to justify the visit, never mind his counsel about my sexuality. I’m very glad I’ve gotten the chance to meet him, and I look forward to meeting him again.

And then, there’s Church Street. PEI is an exceedingly homogeneous society lacking any enclaves–ethnic, regional, religious. Church Street is such an enclave; it was quite a surprise to see such a concentration of non-heterosexuals, and non-heterosexual-oriented businesses, and such an easy and unrestrained display of same-sex attractions and love. (This is part, I suppose, of my general problem with attractions and loves irregardless of orientation.) I could see why people would want to migrate from all over Canada to the neighbourhood of Church Street, and, well, it felt good. Knowing that I’m normal, so to speak, really understanding it at an instinctual level where I guess I only understood it in a detached fashion. It was fun.

Meeting Craig at long last was also great. Craig is a wonderful guy who was a great help to me, and fun to talk to, and a very nice people to get to know. He, just as much as James, helped me to truly realize that you can be out and, well, normal. (This seems silly in retrospect, even to me, but, well, I guess I hadn’t fully realized that.) And the BI-MOT meeting was wonderful–my thanks to each and every one of you, you were great to a foreign newbie.

So. When I left Toronto, I felt so much more accomplished and secure in my own skin when I arrived, and my thanks to everyone who helped me get this far.

Next post: My adventures with the Capital Region’s public transportation.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 28, 2002 at 10:56 pm

Posted in Assorted

No big surprise

Written by Randy McDonald

July 28, 2002 at 12:17 am

Posted in Assorted

Well, tonight is the night …

… before I leave for Toronto. I’m all packed, I’ve got my tickets and sundry prepared, and I’ve arranged to meet James at the airport.

I just want to tell everyone that I immensely appreciate their help over the past months, and that I look forward to seeing my hosts as soon as possible.

Ah, Toronto.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 21, 2002 at 10:33 pm

Posted in Assorted

I’m really going!

I got my passport yesterday, via overnight courier. I’d like to shout out my thanks to the office of Shawn Murphy (MP, Liberal, Hillsborough) for helping me get it so quickly from the day it was processed, this Tuesday. I’d also like to condemn the Canadian passport office for failing to process my passport for almost an entire month after I submitted the application: What is with you? I also booked my train ticket from Richmond to NYC over the computer, so that went well.

I’m going. I’m really, really going. I’ll be having lunch tomorrow with Steve at a Chinese restaurant to talk more about this, but right now I feel increasingly excited by my new prospects, and by the idea of travelling.

This is really fun. :-

Written by Randy McDonald

July 20, 2002 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Assorted

Lately …

Things are going well for me right now, I believe. I’ve gotten the plane tickets, again–they sent my plane tickets with my name misspelled–and my flight from New York City to Moncton has been rescheduled nicely, allowing me a longer morning and all that. I’m still waiting for my passport, but it should come, too.

So, why am I down?

Part of it might be Mark. I think we’re just friends–I’m not attracted to him romantically. I don’t know about things from his perspective, though, which could be a problem.

Part of it might be my paucity of real-life friends as opposed to on-line friends. I find that a fair number of people know and respect me, but whether I can move beyond that to friendship is something else.

Part of it might be my concerns over the future: school, careers, relationships, family.

I’ll go out biking; hopefully I’ll feel better, or at least more coherent.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 12, 2002 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Assorted

A Short Note

I’d like to refer people to Vegard Valberg’s on-line blog at


It’s a very fun webpage full of interesting opinions. Some of these are contestable, certainly, but then I read Andrew Sullivan’s blogs. Anyway, read on!

Written by Randy McDonald

July 11, 2002 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Assorted

Sundry Notes

Yesterday was Canada Day. I’m not particularly patriotic, although to be sure my Canadian identity can be some (partial) excuse. I’d planned just to stay at home; but then, the night before, I was talking over MSN with Mark, a cool guy from the gaypei list which I comoderate with Steve (thanks!), and we arranged to meet for dinner and a movie. The dinner was at Silver Stream, an excellent Chinese restaurant with a cool buffet; wonton soup is interesting. The movie in question was Scooby-Doo, more on which below.

It was fun. I had to go home early, at 8:30, because I told Mom so, and I was afraid (and right) that Dad was a bit weird about me going out for an evening with a gay guy. I won’t classify this as friends meeting or a date because I don’t know what it was, and frankly, I think that the difference is irrelevant. All I do think is that it was fun to be with Mark and I’ve missed out on a lot of things but not going to social occasions. I’ll be spending another evening with him later, and another evening with Steve, and work on getting a social life. (Coming out sexually seems to have been a prerequisite for coming out socially.)

Scooby-Doo was fun. The mainstream movie reviewers condemned Scooby-Doo for being immature and unserious and whatnot. All that I can say is that Scooby-Doo isn’t supposed to be a mature and serious movie, it is simply supposed to be fun, and that it certainly was. I really liked the entire movie, like The Phantom Menace; perhaps I am too unsophisticated, I don’t pretend to know or to care. In the past, I have not gone out to too many movies; this is also going to change.

And, my travelling. Today, I confirmed my three plane tickets–Moncton-Toronto, Toronto-Dulles, LaGuardia-Moncton (via MontrĂ©al)–having confirmed that the Washington flight to meet Tom wasn’t to BMI but to something close, and having changed Newark to LaGuardia for ease of travel. I expect to get my passport soon, in a week or two, along with my VISA card. I still have to buy the Amtrak ticket, which I’ll do tomorrow, but I don’t expect to find it too difficult. (Or am I wrong here?) So, the trip is going as planned.

And a final positive note. When I stopped by the Charlottetown Visitor Information Centre–a provincial operation to provide information on attractions and reservations to tourists, where I worked for three summers–I saw some of my old co-workers. They are all quite cool–it was a wonderful place to work, they remembered me. I was particularly happy when one coworker looked at me and said–I think honestly, she did do a doubletake–that she hadn’t recognzied me from all the weight I’d lost, perhaps from my new care for my appearance.

It’s nice to have that happen; it’s somehow symbolic.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 2, 2002 at 10:49 pm

Posted in Assorted