Sunday, 19 December 2010

Too much snow

Yes, I know it is beautiful, but to have two snow periods even before the official winter has started is a bit too much. Had to cancel a few social events this weekend as it wouldn't be fun to spend 7 hours in the car.....or worse getting stuck somewhere. (that's my car 2nd from the right)
More snow expected for next week and probably a white Xmas - but with current travel conditions a few of the plans for Xmas might be in jeopardy as well. Well, nothing to be done about it I guess.
Might decide to work from home at least part of next week.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

This made me smile.....

"Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants....."

Not that this is applicable to me, of course ..... or is it? :)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

An unexpected trip

I am in Alanya, Turkey.
On Thursday late afternoon I received a call that OS had been brutally assaulted while on holiday here and he was in intensive care in the hospital. I flew over as soon as I could on Friday and saw OS in the hospital late that evening. His face, legs and arms are almost full of bruises, but fortunately the doctor says there is no internal damage and there is nothing that won't heal, except maybe the mental scars.
Today I spent most of the day in the hospital, at the police station and in OS' hotel room to collect his bags and have a look at the crime scene. OS doesn't remember what happened: he says he went to bed around midnight and the next thing he knows he is in an ambulance. Apparently the cleaning lady found him unconscious and covered in blood in his bathroom.
The same day (!) a Russian lady was found in another room in the same hotel after a failed suicide attempt. The lady was interviewed by the police and she says she has spent time with OS drinking and smoking cigarettes. OS categorically denies that he even knows the lady. The lady was on holiday with another lady and a Russian guy who looks like a block of concrete.
The police think that OS was the victim of the Russian guy who might have been jealous that one of his girls spent time with him. Nobody knows why the Russian lady has told the story that she spent time with OS. OS doesn't recognize the Russian guy and the police have no evidence, so they can't arrest him.
Now I am fighting with the travel insurance and the health insurance people who is going to take care of OS re-patriation. It will take another few days for sure.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

RIP Antonie Kamerling

Almost exactly 20 years ago, when I was a couple of years into my first job, I would often come home in the evening and watch the first Dutch soap which was especially made for young people (teens and twens) on TV: "Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden" ("Good Times Bad Times")
Two of the main characters were good-looking young men: Reinout Oerlemans played Arnie and Antonie Kamerling played Peter. In our group of friends of that time we had discussions who was the cuter of the two, and I didn't have to think about it: Peter was definitely my type.
Since those days in the early 1990's I have followed Antonie's career and I often liked what I saw, also professionally. he was not only an actor, but also had a nr 1 hit with this song.
I was shocked this morning when the news broke that he committed suicide, aged 44, leaving behind a wife and two children.
We will miss you, Antonie. Rest In Peace.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Work and money

We had our annual reunion of University friends this last weekend - this time it was in Brussels and we enjoyed the city and the great Belgian food. Have I ever mentioned that Belgian food is one of my favourite foods in the world? Not as "queeny" as French food but much more refined than Dutch or German food. Just perfect.
Anyway, it was interesting to catch up with everybody and our careers have taken very different paths. Some of us have been very successful job-wise with matching salaries, whereas some others also have nice jobs but with much lower pay, mostly because they work as teachers and University professors.
I am good friends with the wife of one of my Uni friends and she was complaining that her husband works too many hours ("every evening") and she is worried about his health. She also told me he earns half a million euros per year which was more than I would have guessed. They have a nice house and two cars - however, I don't think their lifestyle is much different from mine. I think I wouldn't want to swap places with him and work 80 hours a week - after all, we are economists and we know the marginal utility of money is small after a certain level.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Another gay bar closed

Amsterdam's gay bars are closing faster than Amsterdam's trees lose their leaves in autumn... Today it was reported that Soho closed yesterday - this is after Exit, April, Arc and Cockring all closed in the last 6 months or so.
It surely feels like a part of my "youth" has been taken away: these are all bars that I spent way too much time in from 1988, when I moved to Amsterdam, until recently. So many memories, so many people I have met in those places, so many happy moments.
I also still remember being proud of Amsterdam as the "gay capital of Europe" (and at one point, possibly the world) during the 1990's and early new century - now that is only a distant memory and many, many cities have overtaken my city in this respect. Sad.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Too much beauty

I am in Western Canada on a family visit cum holiday, and today we were touring Jasper National Park. It is so incredibly beautiful here - I have been here as a teenager and it is great to refresh my memory how beautiful mother nature can be.

Monday, 30 August 2010

A free performance in Chinese Restaurant New King, Amsterdam

Act 1: Customer at table next to us complains about cold food, waiter offers to heat up food. Customer refuses claiming "we have waited long enough". Customer tells waiter "we go and will pay drinks only". Waiter insists that customer pays for drinks and food. Waiter and customer quarrel for 10 minutes.
Act 2: Angry customer walks away. Waiter (160cm) tries to physically stop customer (190cm) from leaving. Angrier customer shouts he is being assaulted by waiter and forces his way out of the restaurant. Waiter #2 calls police.
Act 3: Five minutes of peace and quiet during which we enjoy our (hot) food.
Act 4: Customer, waiter return to the crime scene accompanied by a police officer. Both parties tell their stories to police officer. Officer decides customer needs to pay, customer refuses, officer tells customer to come to police station.
Act 5: Customer and police officer leave. Applause from public.

Monday, 23 August 2010

A new experience: lab.oratory in Berlin

I spent last weekend in one of my favourite cities: Berlin. The city is constantly changing and there is always something new to discover. Also, my friend FE lives there and it was nice to catch up with him. On Thursday, we went to a nice gay neighbourhood bar for chatting and drinking, and I was introduced to FE's friend JO.
On Friday, FE called around dinner time and informed me that JO wanted to go to "another bar" which was a "bit further away", and I should dress "not too queeny". I didn't ask more questions, but when I arrived at FE's place he was wearing a Spanish police uniform. A little later JO arrived dressed very casually in shorts, Tshirt and sport shoes, so I thought my jeans and Tshirt would be just fine. We took a taxi which took us to the former East Berlin, behind a railway station in an industrial area to an old abandoned factory. We queued for a while, paid the 6 euro entrance fee, and then we were all given a plastic bag to put our clothes and valuables in. Nobody had told me and fortunately there was no dress code that evening so my jeans/Tshirt were fine, but when we got in 50% of the guys were in underwear, 10% totally naked (included JO), 30% in leather/rubber/uniform and another 10% in normal clothes. Slowly I began to remember RE's stories of his orgies in Berlin, and yes, this was the same place called lab.oratory. A relatively small bar area surrounded by quite large play rooms everywhere (I wouldn't call them dark rooms as they were quite brightly lit), a garden and more play areas in another smaller building in the garden. Most guys were in their 30s/40s/50s, with some in their 20s and a small group of 60+. And sex everywhere. Everywhere. If there is a Sodom and Gomorrah, it's current location is Berlin. I thought I had seen it all in Amsterdam, but compared to Lab.oratory the bars in my home town are mellow, calm, clean and dull.
Oh - My - God. Imagine: guys kissing and feeling up everywhere. Dozens of guys in doggie position waiting for whoever wants to fuck them. Fist fucking. Double fist fucking. They have 5 urinals in the toilet but when I wanted to take a leak there were guys kneeling at every urinal waiting for a hot drink. Then I went to a cubicle and the first looked like it had just been vacated by someone who was either 1) very sick; or 2) likes scat. Finally in the 2nd cubicle I could urinate in private. I escaped to the garden where for a little while I thought I could escape the smell of sex, but soon two masters appeared with two slaves on leashes, and within a minute the bottoms were sucking and two minutes later the tops were fucking and taking turns with the holes and mouths of the slaves. Right from the hole of slave #1 into the mouth of slave #2. And most (if not all) of the sex I saw (and it was A LOT) was unsafe.
I tried to find FE and JO after 2 hours but they had disappeared in the huge play areas. Enough is enough, I thought and took a taxi to my hotel.
I was actually quite disgusted with what I had seen. And not horny at all, on the contrary. It's official: I am a prude.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Only in the Netherlands - part X

Everything needs to be *arranged* in this country - so now in Rotterdam they have put signs in a park indicating the area where gays may cruise and have sex....... "This is to make it clear to everybody where men may have sex in public, and to prevent that those who do not wish to come into contact with such activities enter the area" Sigh......

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The leather boat

Cockring is (temporarily?) closed but here is the leather boat

Monday, 9 August 2010

Proud of my city

My friend sgboy01 in Singapore recently did a post in which he expressed his love for his home town. In a way, I think that everybody loves his home town because you know every street and corner, the majority of your friends and family are there, and the DNA of the town is inside you as its inhabitant.
This weekend was Gay Pride weekend in Amsterdam and once again, I was full of fuzzy feelings for the city. The atmosphere was fantastic, even the non-stop rain during the Canal Parade did not deter people from partying, smiling, being nice and friendly, and having a great time. Many politicians, artists, TV personalities and other well-known characters, straight and gay, sailed in the parade to express their solidarity. I also realized that Amsterdam is one of the few cities in the world where one can kiss his friends in public without even thinking about it - even last week in Cologne during the gay games I saw many of the city's inhabitants staring and looking strangely when we kissed friends on the street.
Fortunately, the weather was much better on Sunday and we had a great closing party with old and new friends. What a GREAT weekend!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Incestuous Singapore

So friend#1 posts on Facebook that he is looking for a lawyer to help him with a legal problem and if anyone knows one, please tell... So I write to friend#2 who is a lawyer currently out of work and he says "fine you may give my contact details". Friend#1 communicates with friend#2 (I am copied on the messages) and it all seems very business-like until I get a message from friend#2 "you don't know, do you, that friend#1 is my ex's ex and we are not really on talking terms...."
I didn't know, but should have as in Singapore everybody is his ex's ex in either the 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree......

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Cologne here we come!

One of the best weeks of my life was when the "Gay Games" were held in Amsterdam back in 1998. It was the world upside-down with gays being in the majority almost everywhere in the city, a great and liberal atmosphere, everybody in the mood for love and friendship - in short: paradise.
Some of my friends were so enamored with the Gay Games that they flew to Sydney in 2002 and to Chicago in 2006 to re-live the experience. I didn't do that, but now that the Gay Games are just a 2.5 hour train ride away I decided to see if the atmosphere of friendship and love can be re-created in Cologne. At least 20 friends from Amsterdam will be going so if nothing else, we will have a nice weekend partying with the Germans.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Be careful with your passwords....

One of my friends was asked by his parents to book some theatre tickets on-line for them. After a few days, the parents received two envelopes from the theatre: one containing the tickets for the show they wanted to see, and another one with a letter as follows:
"Dear Mr. XYZ,
Thank you for booking tickets at ABC Theatre Internet booking service. For future reference, hereunder you will find the details of your registration with our on-line booking service:
user name:
password: FistFuck69
We are looking forward to seeing you on-line again soon!"

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Slick suit

As soon as winter is over every year, RO starts asking for a barbecue and last Sunday was the day. Many of my friends live in inner city apartments without decent gardens, so when summer comes my garden is a popular place for outdoor activities. Some 25 friends showed up, and it seems the expression "fashionably late" can be replaced by "fashionably early": I had said in the invitation that the party would be between 3:30pm and 12:30am and at 3:30 sharp the first guests arrived and by 4:30 almost everybody was stuffing themselves with salads, meats, and drinks! I had bought (amongst others) 150 beers and 8 bottles of white wine, and ofcourse everybody chose the white wine so now I am left with a 100 beers...... All in all I think the party was successful and we had a nice time.
Yesterday during lunch break I saw the most beautiful young man in a slick suit walking in my direction. I looked at him (from a corner of my eye, I thought) and when we passed each other he smiled and said "hello". Half a minute later I looked over my shoulder and he was doing the same thing! Oh my god, he is in his late 20's and so beautiful, he must have been joking or what.... Anyway, he probably works close to my office so who knows I will see him again. One can always dream....

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Bad planning

I will be leaving today on a business trip to Lagos, Nigeria. It is of course not the nicest destination in the world, but I normally never mind going somewhere for the first time, just to have a look and see a city with my own eyes. This time however the planning is particularly bad - at the time the semi-final is played tonight I will be queueing for immigration and customs at Lagos Airport. I hope they have TVs in the arrivals terminal but I am not too optimistic. Fortunately I am scheduled to be back from Lagos on Saturday so I will be able to see the finals here. Now the Oranje team "just" has to beat Uruguay to reach the finals....

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Brown socks in sandals

A quiet day at home today, watching some Tour de France, working a bit in the garden, and doing admin before going to EL's birthday party in the early evening.
Talking about birthdays. I had a small BBQ party with my family last Sunday which was nice. I was honoured that my nephews and nieces still joined their parents for the party - after all they are in their late teens and early 20's now and normally people that age are not so interested to visit an old uncle! The weather has been hot and sunny for the last week so perfect for a day outside in the garden. On my birthday itself I just worked and went home a bit early, and watched football in the evening. The big party for friends (another BBQ) will be in two weeks time.
Yesterday my brother celebrated his birthday and I went for a few hours before joining my card playing group for another BBQ at HA's place and a few rounds of card games. I noticed that both my brother and ER were wearing brown socks in sandals - now if you know me you know I am not a fashion queen but compared to them I have some taste! Must be the difference between living in a big city compared to having spent all your life in a small provincial backwater.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

I was right....

It is always nice when the facts confirm what you always knew. I have stated many times since I regularly visited / lived in Singapore that the country has the most gays per capita compared to any other country I know. So when I read today that "last year, of those aged 30 to 34, 42 per cent of men remained single, up from 33 percent ten years ago" I was not at all surprised. Fourty-two per cent!!! Deduct the loners and weirdos who can't find a wife, and we are left with some 30 per cent gays in Singapore. Which is obvious if you have ever walked around in that city.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Back to the stone age

If you are as old as I am, you may remember the days that gay men would write messages on the walls and doors of public toilets, usually indicating the kinds of sexual activities they liked, always with a phone number to call, and sometimes with (often very nice) illustrations featuring cocks, balls and sperm.
Since the Internet became popular in the mid 1990's, these messages have largely disappeared in most countries I regularly visit. So I was very surprised when holidaying in Sicily (Italy) last week, that the old fashioned toilet message system is alive and well there. It must be because most of Italy is still in the stone age as far as Internet access is concerned.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

My name

A new cool website: you enter your first name and you can see how many people have that name in the Netherlands. So now I know there are 13,836 people with my first name, and also that my name was very popular in the 1980's and 1990's, and less popular in the new century. They also found out that people with higher education give their children Dutch, French and Scandinavian names, whereas people with fewer braincells prefer English names.
By the way, the sweetest man has 21,876 people with the same name in this country, and his name was popular in the 1960's and 1970's.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Crash course in homosexuality

If you don't know what gays do in their bedrooms, watch this.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Germany wins Eurovision Song Contest

She was not my favourite, but this year the audiences voted for originality I guess.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Four days with mom

It is Sunday afternoon and my mom just left after being here for 4 days. I realized that since I left my parental home when I was 18 years old, it has not been often that I spent so much time with my mom. Initially, when my dad was still alive, I would visit every 4 to 6 weeks for a weekend (to get my laundry done ;-)), later in the few years that my mom was alone I would visit more often but usually just for a weekend max. And after my mom met my stepdad I would go back to the 4 to 6 week interval weekend visits.
We had a good time - on Friday my brother and his family joined and we went to a museum and a bar in downtown Amsterdam. All days I cooked dinner at home which I enjoyed and my mom liked (or so she said....) And yesterday we went to the beach to fill our lungs with fresh air - my mom always says that the only things she doesn't like about the place she lives is that it is far from a beach.
Now tonight back to the Sunday evening routine of drinks with friends - for the last time in April as they will be closed after the owner didn't solve the dispute with Heineken to pay the huge overdue bills.....

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Monday, 26 April 2010

Back from London

Our card playing group of friends is together for 25 years (actually, we don't know how many years exactly, but we decided it was 25 years) so we went to London for a long weekend to celebrate. We rented a Landmark Trust apartment which was wonderful. Very traditional English furniture, and we had a kitchen so we made sure to prepare full English breakfasts every morning. We also went to Tate Modern, "Jersey Boys", the musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons which was OK, and "The gala of St George" in Royal Albert Hall where we sang along to The White Cliffs of Dover, Rule Britania and Land of Hope and Glory. It was shamelessly nationalistic but for some reason the English make fun about it and our neighbours in the theatre actually apologised about the whole thing...
Add good food for dinner (French, Indian (always eat Indian food in London!), and pub grub), good weather and of course playing cards and chatting with good friends, and the weekend was perfect!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Ungrateful boss

One of my bosses is stuck in, of all places, Singapore since Thursday as a result of the Icelandic revenge. He is quite unhappy about it. Ungrateful man! I would not hesitate to swap places, if at all possible. ;-)
In the mean time I enjoyed the brilliant weather this Saturday on DA's boat with the good company of some of his and my friends and wine, beer and ice cream. Just too bad I had to leave early as I had promised to pick up my mum from a dinner party she went to. Today I was gardening at her place a large part of the day. Soon I will be very dark after all this sunshine - first in China and now here.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

A new bike

I got my new bike today, and am happy like a small child. My old, Taiwanese made, bike did prove to be not so reliable during last winter so I decided to make use of a gift from the company, who may give employees a bike tax-free every three years. Only in the Netherlands, I am sure. My new bike is a Dutch Gazelle which I hope and trust will be more durable than the Taiwanese Giant I had.
I still wake up every morning at 4 or 5 am - probably I am still in the Asian time zone after my trip there. It was one of my best trips ever also because it was long (3 weeks) and I could really switch off from work. Should take such longer trips more often.
Back at work it is the same old sh!te and the financial situation was even worse than expected, until today we got very good news that one of our customers will pay a huge performance fee. So the survival of the company is guaranteed for another 6 months or so.
Tomorrow morning the dentist will be waiting for me for the bi-annual check-up. WI had his teeth bleached and is very happy with the result, I will ask my dentist if he can do it for me, too.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

A Single Man

I watched A Single Man yesterday. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was somewhat disappointed by the movie. The story is about George (Colin Firth), a middle-aged University professor in the early 1960's who has lost his (male) partner after a 16-year relationship. From the beginning of the movie, we see him making preparations for the suicide he is planning. He has one good (female) friend Charley (Julianne Moore), who has been left by her husband and still regrets that she and George are not together. A young student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult) tries to get closer to George and in the end they get drunk (and naked) together.
On the one hand, the movie didn't bore me and I liked the tension that develops in the relationship between George and Kenny. However, it doesn't become clear from the movie why George wants to commit suicide (we know he lost his partner but as viewers we don't feel the loneliness and sadness that George apparently experiences). Also, two beautiful young men basically throw themselves at George and he doesn't accept the offers?
This movie should have been longer - the characters could have been developed better.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Elton John interview

Elton John gave an interview and it seems he made mistakes that I have seen other people make:
"I'd always choose someone younger. I wanted to smother them with love. I'd take them around the world, try to educate them. One after another they got a Cartier watch, a Versace outfit, maybe a sports car. They didn't have jobs. They were reliant on me. I did this repeatedly. In six months they were bored and hated my guts because I'd taken their lives and self-worth away. I hadn't intended to."
OMG, and he is surprised when "younger guys", "without jobs" are given "Cartier watches, and sports cars" and get "bored"? How naive can one be?
He apparently also knows a lot about history: "I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man"

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Sex drive

A while ago I was talking with HE who has been single (again) for the last few months. He told me since being single he didn't have much sex yet and sex is not high on his priority list at all. One night, some guy put in a lot of effort and HE decided to take him home, however he told me he almost had regretted it even though the guy was cute and the sex not bad.
I must say that for the last year or so I have the same attitude towards sex that HE has. It happened naturally, it is not a conscious decision at all. Sex dropped substantially on my list of priorities and I don't regret it at all. Ten or even five years ago I would feel a bit unhappy if I didn't "score" for the weekend, lately I couldn't care less. I go to the bars to hang out and have fun with my friends, and even when there is a clear opportunity to have sex more often than not I decide it is too much hassle and not worth the trouble.
The low sex drive gives a strange (but pleasant) feeling of peace. I wonder if it will stay this way or if my wild days will ever come back........

Sunday, 17 January 2010

New gay bar for senior citizens opened

The (lesbian) city councillor of Amsterdam opened a gay bar for senior citizens this week: Café Rosé. So there is hope for the (distant) future......

Friday, 15 January 2010

Das Weisse Band

A small village in Northern Germany, 1913. Life is as it has always been: the landowner exploits his suffering labourers, the labourers all have many mouths to feed, the local vicar instills fear and obedience in the people while raising his children with stern words and a whip, the widowed local doctor fucks his assistant and the young school teacher falls in love with the new nanny who takes care of the landowner's children.
Suddenly, accidents happen: the doctor has a strange accident while riding his horse, the landowner's son is brutally beaten, a window is opened next to a newborn baby on a very cold night, and the handicapped son of the doctor's assistant is found half-dead tied to a tree.
In two and a half beautiful hours, filmed in black and white, Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte ("The White Ribbon - a German children's tale") tells the story of life in this village. The film asks many questions which are left unanswered - at the end we still do not know who is responsible for all the incidents and accidents. But we witness how a very strict upbringing, unjust social and economic relations between the classes and a religion of fear that lacks love and compassion all work together to create an evil generation.
A beautiful movie.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

What's in a name?

A sordid tale has captivated the deeply religious and politically partisan confines of Northern Ireland, involving 60 year old Iris Robinson, an MP and top politician's wife, and Kirk McCambley, her then 19-year-old lover.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Would you fuck your boyfriend's lover?

Most of us will have some experience with 3-somes. Personally, i have only limited experience (and one experience with a 4-some) and I can't say I liked it. It is just too complicated and the feeling of intimacy and concentration on the (sex)partner vanishes if there are more than 2. That's my personal opinion.
Now YY and ZZ have taken the concept of 3-somes a step further. I have written about YY and ZZ in the past and I recommend that you re-read this post to get an idea about their relationship. Now recently ZZ has met a new guy and he has "managed" the new guy (let's call him XX) into his relationship with YY. In fact, now most of the time XX is in YY's and ZZ's house and they have created a real "Ménage à trois" It is clear that XX is more interested in ZZ, and that ZZ is very much charmed by the attention of the (young and cute) XX, although YY told me that he and XX are also getting along well and are having sex. They have been very open about their relationship and all of the friends have followed events in this complicated relationship. YY keeps a brave face although I can just sense that he is jealous and feels like the one who loses the most in the new set-up of their household.
Yesterday in the bar, ZZ took me apart and asked "tell me honestly, what do you think about our new relationship?" I was very careful with my answer, as it is their life and who am I to judge them, but I told him that he needed to be very careful or he might hurt YY and lose his 14-year long relationship. I think ZZ understood what I was saying, and of course he must have thought about it too, but for the moment he is enjoying the excitement of a new guy in the house, and will continue with the relationship. If it works out well in the long term, good for them!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The unreliability of SMS

I sent quite a few SMS with good wishes for the New year on new years' eve, and got only one reply from my friends overseas, so either nobody loves me anymore or everybody changed their nr without informing me or people have stopped celebrating new year... MA came up with another explanation when he told me none of his SMS abroad had arrived (he checked via MSM / e-mail) so apparently SMS communication is not reliable around new year's day.
So all of you who have NOT received an SMS from me: Happy New Year 2010 and may at least some of your dreams come true.
I had quite a busy period: I continued working (somebody has to pick up the phone in the office), and had quite a hectic schedule in the evenings attending a live TV show (yes, I was on TV but I think only my mom watched...), a theatre play, went to the movies, JM visited and slept over, MT visited and slept over, I went to my mom and stepdad again, drove back in heavy snow and had a flat tyre, new years' eve with the gang at MA's place, so quite exhausted today and NOT going out tonight...