Monday, February 27, 2006

An update

So the trip to Ohio went better than we could have ever hoped. The show was great. The people were great. Our lecture went great. The trip home...well, we made it, and so did our luggage. The rest is just details, right?

Judy (Shepard) was speaking in Cleveland one of the same days we were. We didn't manage to meet up for cocktails or dinner like we'd hoped. We did, however, get a chance to talk. Judy was on the same flight back to Denver that we were. :) I love it when the universe looks out for ya. So I mentioned my Denver plans to her, and that I was working to become a professional speaker. She simply smiled and said "I'll keep that in mind." I REALLY love it when the universe looks out for ya. ;)

So tomorrow I'm off for the wonderful world of Denver. Surgery is Wednesday morning, and I'll drive down tomorrow after work. I'm really looking forward to it, and not just because it means almost a week in Denver. I really am excited by the thought I won't need glasses in the office anymore. And that it won't cost me anything out of pocket in the long run.

Just a quick little update so you know I still love you all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Greetings from Berea, OH

Hello faithful readers! I am happily holed up in Berea, OH at Baldwin-Wallace College. Dave and I arrived safely, though our luggage did not. We had the wrong flight time for our departure from Laramie; they let us on the plane, but not our baggage. It took 24 hours for it to get to us. This meant wearing the same clothes 2 days in a row. It also meant I didn't my breathing we got about 2 hours of sleep. A 16 year old kid got sick on our flight...on the 2 businessmen in front of him. Dave and I were glad we were several rows behind him and on the other side of the aisle. But it's been a very good trip, because:
  • This is the first time I've seen a stage production of the play since the original Tectonic group performed it. I was nervous about how it would look if people didn't have the opportunity to meet the people they were portraying. The kids here have done an AWESOME job.
  • Everyone here has been incredibly gracious and appreciative that we're here.
  • Dave and I are giving each other endless grief and shit...and loving it.
  • Following the post-play talk-back session on our first night here, a student came up to me. She said "I'm a very conservative student, and I walked in here tonight knowing how I felt about homosexuality. I'm only here because my teacher said we had to come to one show for points. But even after just this short time, after listening to the play and you two talk...I feel a lot differently now. I've mind has changed. Thank you for being here."
  • After our large lecture (the best attended and received lecture in their "Marting Lecture Series" in a LONG time, they tell us), a 50ish man came up before the play began. "I teach at a high school, so I'm not really in a position where I've been able to be out. But I've been able to help some students who've come out to me...and we've been lucky enough that none of them have killed themselves."
  • We have seen the show 4 times here now. Dave and I have become VERY close with the cast. They are an amazing group of students, and have huge hearts. They are sassy, funny, fierce, and tender. We've invited any and all of them to visit us...any time.
  • At the end of the last show, they pulled us up out of our seats onto the stage with them while they sang the final song (For those who know the play, the songs were added here and were written by a friend of the director. They are AMAZING and really added to the show. I have them on CD and will share them with anyone who wants to hear them.)
  • We don't want to leave them...but will also be glad to return home and let our hearts settle a bit. And return to you all. I miss you and can't wait until I can hug you all again.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Post #169 - Good friends, good times

Saturday night was our second drag show here in Laramie. It wasn't a full-on show, but we instead provided entertainment for Lovers and Gamblers, an event hosted by Wyoming Equality. The night was a lot of fun (and involved a lot of painful feet), but I noticed something very important (once again): I have some amazing friends and family in my life. Without Nairobi (Jess) and Wyoming (Margaret) Dudd, we wouldn't be able to get in and out of a damn thing. "Hand me..." "Tie this..." "Where's my..." "Could you go get..." We are demanding bitches once the make up starts going on! The ladies take this all in stride...and then buy us flowers! Thanks for being the perfect backstage crew, and oh so much more.

Several friends came to see us at the show. Having friendly faces in the crowd means more than you know, and it makes us keep going with something that takes a lot of patience and energy...and hard fucking work too! Rehearsals, choreography sessions, memorizing songs in the car/shower/anywhere we can play a CD or MP3 Player. Pressing, dressing, and stressing! Thanks for being a fan base.

And tomorrow I leave for 4 days on a trip to Ohio with Dave O'Malley. 3 days of speaking to classes, play casts, audiences, and lecture halls. Dave and I are sure to have fun, and come back with a host of stories. It turns out that Judy (Shepard) is speaking in Cleveland one of the days we're in Berea (a suburb of Cleveland) so we're trying to work out some way to get together for cocktails after our respective lectures. Cross your fingers!

And then I'm back in Laramie for a few days before I leave for Denver for lasik...where even more friends will be driving me to/from surgery, caring for my blind ass for a while, and putting me up in style.

Who could ask for better friends than I have? NOBODY.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Flowers, Balloons, and Candy...OH MY!

As I have for the last couple years, I delivered flowers for Valentine's. My friend Stephen roped me into it one year, as he delivered for Killian's Florist here in town. Janet (Killian) does some of the most beautiful arrangements in town, and has several fun and crazy people who help her out on crunch days. Monday afternoon when I got back from Denver was great. I delivered with the window down, wearing a lightweight knit shirt. It was sunny, cheery, and happy.

Tuesday, or as I like to call it, Villain-tines Day, wasn't so pleasant. But more on that in a sec. Why do I deliver flowers when I have the anti-heart bitterness required of terminally single individuals, you ask? Well, it's simple, really. I have found a way to get paid for having to suffer through the nasty holiday. Good thinking, huh? That, and it reminds me that there are things worse than the job I have now. So here's a brief recap from yesterday (I didn't pay as much attention on Monday afternoon):
  • 54 - orders I delivered
  • 5 - re-deliveries I had to make when someone wasn't home or wasn't where they were supposed to be (3 of these were to one person - she was NOT my favorite)
  • 135 - total orders delivered
  • 85 - miles I drove around town yesterday
  • 9.5 - hours spent delivering
  • 32 - average temperature for most of yesterday
  • 45 - mph for gusts of wind (great fun for orders involving balloons)
  • 3 - gin and tonics I drank at the "light at the end of the tunnel" party we do each year after closing

Friday, February 10, 2006

Note the expression

A little piece of last weekend. Now imagine this on a long term basis.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A dose of my own medicine

Many of my friends have come to me over the years with problems, asking for guidance or advice. Time and time again I have told others "you need do what's best for YOU, not someone else." Friday night a dear and brave friend gave my advice back to me. I think most of you will not be surprised when I tell you that I have been doing some thinking over the last few months. Certain situations at work are far from ideal. And I've known for some time that a change has been coming. This post is my way of coming out and telling you all about my thoughts and plans: the time is coming for me to leave Laramie for Denver. It's not happening tomorrow. There isn't even a timeline as of yet. My friend told me I wasn't doing what was best for me, and that I had to let go. That I'm not responsible for keeping "gay" alive in Laramie. And that I didn't owe Matt my life and my happiness. That he would want me to be happy too, to find more. And he was right. I am ready for the next part of my life to begin. That part will be in Denver, of this I am certain. Please know that the only thing that gives me pause is the thought of being further from the family the universe has created for me here in Laramie. Notice I don't say taking me away from, as Denver is NOT far away, and I trust in our ability to be together. So I will be working on getting the house fixed and tidied. I will be putting more time and energy into launching my career as a professional activist and speaker. There's still plenty of time, folks. It will be several months before I could feasibly sell the house. And I'm not planning to rush this, either. But you are a part of my life, and you deserve to know.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Paybacks for Mandy

A young man gets a job as a bus driver for the Sesame Street School Company. Boy is he excited! It's his first day on the job. He arrives at his first stop, opens the doors and looks out at his first passengers. And there he sees a mother and her two daughters. The mother looks into the bus and says, "You're new aren't you?" The bus driver says, "Yes ma'am, I am." She says, "Well, I'd like you to meet my two little girls. This is Patty Sue and this is Patty Anne." And when he takes a good look at the girls, he simply can't believe his eyes. These kids are big. Really big. I'd like to be kind, but these girls are fat. The mother says, "Now Patty Sue and Patty Anne are big for their age..." He keeps his tongue under control. She says, "I'd like you to give my two little girls individual seats of their own on your bus." "No problem," he says, as the two girls squeeze down the aisle and find their seats. He closes the door and drives to the next stop.
He opens the bus doors and he sees a mother and her young son. The mother looks at him and says, "You're new, aren't you?" He says, "Yes, ma'am, I am." She says, "Well, I'd like you to meet my son Josh. He's very special." And he looks down at what can only be described as the nerd to end all nerds. The boy wears thick glasses with white tape holding them together. He has pencils in his shirt pocket. He has the short-sleeved dress shirt. He has the white socks and sandals. The mother says, "My Josh is very special. I want you to give him a very special seat on your bus. I want him to sit up front every day." "No problem," says our driver, as Josh proudly seats himself right up front. The bus driver closes the door and goes to the next stop.
He opens the bus doors and sees a mother and another little boy. The mother looks at him and says, (you guessed it) "You're new aren't you?" He says, "Yes, ma'am, I am." She says, "Well, my name is Mrs. Cleese, and this is my son Lester." And when the driver looks at Lester, it's a pitiful sight to behold. The poor little guy obviously has foot problems. He's limping painfully. The mother says, "Lester has problems with his feet." The driver nods sympathetically. The mother says, "I want you to help Lester as he gets on and off your bus everyday, so that he will not trip, stumble, or fall." The driver says, "No problem," and he helps Lester limp to his seat.
And then, as he closes the bus doors and drives away, he sees in his rearview mirror that Lester has removed his shoes and socks and is picking at the largest, most grotesque bunions he has ever seen. It's disgusting, the way that Lester picks at his feet. Our driver shudders and drives on. He delivers the kids to school and returns to the bus barn. He parks the bus and finds his supervisor. He walks right up to the boss and yells, "I QUIT!" The boss says, "Whaddya mean, you quit?" The bus driver replies, "There's no future in this job." The boss says, "What are to talking about?"
And the bus driver answers, "Well here's my problem. How could I take a job where all I would have to look forward to every day would be TWO OBESE PATTYS, SPECIAL JOSH AND LESTER CLEESE PICKING BUNIONS ON A SESAME STREET BUS?"