12.30.2008

Showtune Tuesday: Hello, Dolly!

Confession: I have never seen Hello, Dolly! and know very little about it. But I saw WALL-E, and this song is used with great effect. For all the hopeless romantic robots out there, this one's for you!

(Alas, old links are broken.)

12.29.2008

New Year's Resolutions, 2009

1. Run a marathon.

Didn't do that one yet.

2. Move to Denver.

Also, take advantage of New York.

3. Think before spending, think before eating.

When will I ever learn.

4. Skydive.

YEAH! Let me know if you are interested; I will need support to go through with this one.

5. Practice French and study a new language.

Sign in '09?

12.23.2008

Showtune Tuesday: Meet Me in St. Louis

This one was a no-brainer. Merry Christmas, dear hearts.

12.22.2008

Present

This weekend, I was surprised to receive a free gift with purchase from my supermarket:

That was a nice gesture, I thought, but I didn't see much need for a wallet with my grocer's name emblazoned on it. But the surprises didn't end there. Christmas is a time of miracles, you see. When I opened the wallet to check out the interior...

...it transformed into this stylish reusable shopping bag! Thanks, C-Town!

12.17.2008

Remembering the Hiding Spots

Ideas for project 47 from the 52 projects book: “Remember All Your Hiding Spots.”

We used to play “Monster” with Pop-Pop M. It was the same as hide-and-seek, just that Pop-Pop was always the seeker (the Monster), and we were always the hiders. The time I finally outsmarted him I hid in the space underneath the pullout couch. Mom and Dad would use the pullout couch when Nana and Pop-Pop came because they let our grandparents take the bedroom. I bent open the top half of the bed, climbed into the hollow where the bed was stored when folded, and pulled the top back into position. Pop-Pop passed but never found me. Eventually I got bored of hiding and came upstairs.

My sister and I hid on the pew during Mass. She made up a priest called Father Paypot. I love that name.

I played Manhunt in many of the neighborhood yards: ours, the Sykes, Ferrignos, Logies, Detrolios. Manhunt is what you called hide-and-seek when you grew up and played it outdoors at night. I started wearing a black cape from an old vampire costume. I used it to some success on the Ferrignos’ deck. Another night I remember hiding with Dan in a natural ditch between the Sykes’ and an adjacent yard. There was your heart beating rapidly and cold breath and your friends in jail. The game swung between stillness and violent bursts of action. Sprinting, shouting, flashlights, hugging the ground…

At the beach you always wanted to sit and play under the boardwalk because your mom used to sing a song about it. When you got there, it was cool the way the sand was striped with the shadows of the boards, but everything else was gross. The sand was clammy and full of cigarette butts. It smelled like beer and old carnival food.

In middle school we skied on Friday nights, and love was so shiny like lights on the snow. Two by two they go, up lifts and in buses home, each pair of seats its own hidden universe. I held Jen’s hand and we kissed, huddled under a vast winter coat. I listened while words tumbled from John’s lips about Jeanie. My back pressed against the icy window.

On stage you wouldn’t think there are hiding places, but there are. There are wings, there are dressing rooms. There is the fact that you are not yourself. It’s one big fucking hiding place.

I buried my secret in the body of woman. She played me a song and hid one in me.

In Long Island, a giant vent in the floor let the heat through.

When Pop-Pop C fwas sick in the hospital, Nana would hide sangria in a Yoo-hoo bottle and bring it in for him.

My parents hid the Nintendo I would get for Christmas in the attic.

We slept in the basement. My parents were home.

The place we went to make out? Only one guy took me there: Kelly Drive at evening.

In Boston, a nondescript bridge on Columbus Avenue crosses over the Mass Pike. We kissed there, and what made it so delicious was that besides the onlookers not knowing our names, there was nothing hidden about it.

Other people, who knows where they went. My front lawn, it’s been said. Town parks. We were not very creative.

My lover hid her wedding dress in a FedEx box at the top of my hall closet. She married without it.

Narrow gaps separate the tombs in the walls of the mausoleum where my grandparents are buried. They don’t let you place flowers. You slip things into the gap: baseball cards.

12.13.2008

Prop 8 Protest, Etc.

Last month, I went to the national protest against Proposition 8 at City Hall in New York. It was amusing to be there early and see everyone pacing the sidewalk or leaning against the gate. I thought this band of protestors looked so polite and orderly, waiting for instructions. Finally someone said, "There's a stage THIS WAY!" and mobilization got things fired up.

A lot of people spoke. Christine Quinn, Speaker of New York's City Council, borrowed MLK, and was confident despite the passage of Prop 8: "Always, in our great country, the arc of human history bends toward justice." I thought ANTMer Kim Stolz gave a terrific speech. She started by saying, "10 years ago I realized I was gay. 8 years ago I told my parents. 6 years ago we started getting along again." It was easy to connect with her. One of her main points was to talk to everyone about gay marriage and let them know why it's important, and "Don't assume any particular person or group will not support equal rights."

(I wish some of the other speakers had heard her message, because there were one or two who spoke vehemently about Mormon support for the initiative. Still, make sure you read the Rolling Stone article on how poorly the No on 8 Campaign was run. You can question whether a church can be tax exempt after something like that, but man up and say you ran a shitty campaign.)

It was a good thing for me to hear, especially since I generally don't talk to people about gay marriage, and besides donating to HRC (an action which had questionable impact on helping oppose the Cali measure), I didn't really do anything to help stop Prop 8 from passing. But, as if to drive Stolz's point home, since the protest, one colleague from high school, who is an active Christian, does not support the ban, and another posted a link to the Newsweek story about the religious case for gay marriage. I should talk to these guys more. We should all be talking more.

I saw Milk this weekend, too, so the issue has been top of mind. There is a great scene with Milk and Dan White, and Milk says Proposition 6 (a measure that would have prohibited gay teachers and teachers who supported them from teaching in public schools) is more than issue; "this is our lives we're fighting for."

I posted pics of protest signs on flickr. My favorite, of course, was "Hate makes Baby Jesus cry."

Links

1. I just read about Stick Shift for the first time yesterday and am very happy that Queerty showed me the way. There is a very forceful argument for why the Mini Cooper is not gay. I also enjoyed the search for the best twinkmobile.

2. If I am feeling down, reading this always makes me laugh.

3. Drunk yelping.

12.02.2008

Showtune Tuesday: Moulin Rouge!

(Alas, old links are broken.)

12.01.2008

Assorted Notes

The Philadelphia Half Marathon: The best thing about running in Philly is the eating surrounding the actual event. Reading Terminal Market is a pre-race staple. Sabrina's is for post-race brunch. The weather was cold. I had a cramp for the first few miles, but afterwards was fine. The race was by far easier than the Seaside one last year. I was well prepared. Dre and I ran it in 2 hours and 6 minutes! We laughed ourselves silly with Lisa Dilly.

Thanksgiving: First, good family news; how's that for a change? Second, it is awesome that my aunt and cousin got me a "coming out present." Last, reunions with high school buddies and Livingston contingent!

Songs: If they are good, it's like you've known it all along. How do people write that? Meanwhile, my current pop song:

If all I have is funny,
(It's funny 'cuz it's true),
And I can't make you laugh anymore,
Then what am I to you?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: This one is my favorite so far. Dumbledore galore, plus Horcruxes are a clever twist. Snape in action. The unfolding of events is elegant compared with the previous installment, and the ending chapters are kickass.

Things I've read in between Potters: I've read some fascinating stories from The Best American Travel Writing 2006, notably "How to Sail Across the Atlantic"(only an excerpt is available online), and "After the Fall". Most recently, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.