Monday, March 31, 2008

A fab gay post coming soon

Hello faithful reader...or random strangers. There is an inspiring, motivating, and giddy post coming about the Bear Dinner very soon. I had planned to type it up tonight, but I'm tired. The Squid and I were in the car at 5:05am today, after a fantastic weekend! Another low-key tame weekend centered around an amazing event for an amazing cause. So many stories, but they shall have to wait.

287 was open this morning, so we snuck in while the rest of the roads were closed. I was at work on time, and spent my lunch hour at the new clinic location for Laramie Reproductive Health. The move happened this weekend and we open back up tomorrow. It looks amazing. I hung a few posters and put a few boxes worth of meds in the closet.

Back for another 4.5 hours of work. I did steal the time for a quick dinner before going to the AIDS Walk Meeting. Back to the clinic to make sure they were done and didn't need more help. Fortunately, they accomplished the impossible today, and it's ready to go! So I carried all the luggage in to discover Turbo is sick.

Puppy laundry, dinner, baths...then I can unpack. Who knows...I might even get to do my own laundry yet tonight. So...the inspired, passionate post will have to ferment in my brain a little longer. In the mean time:

We are home safe. The dinner was incredible. Exciting things are going to happen. More info soon.

Today's lesson: Know when to stop. Take a moment for yourself. Breathe. Not everything has to happen at once. There's a lot to do this time of year. Pace yourself. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Breathe again. Repeat as necessary.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dancing with a Voluptuous Star

Okay, I admit I delayed posting this to give my Barack Obama post some extra airtime. It was a serious post, but now it's back to gay gushing!

The latest season of Dancing with the Stars started on St. Patty's day. The uber-queen in me goes giddy for the sequins, tuxes, and almost over-the-top costumes. The amateur dancer in me wants to cha cha and foxtrot for a crowd, especially with a studly professional wearing the yummiest of outfits. When they announced the new cast, I knew I was hooked and that this season is likely to be pure candy for me.

Extra hunky men. Iconic women. And a few twists, that make me want to kiss ABC. They've been fabulous in the past, hosting men and women of all ages. From Jerry Springer to Jane Seymour, and Scary Spice to Mario Lopez. They've included people of color, athletes, actresses, and Hollywood icons. I was floored when Heather Mills, who wears a prosthetic leg, did a cartwheel. I was just as impressed when she fell on a different night, and not only got back up and finished like a champ but came back with renewed determination.

This season, as hot as some of the male celebs might be, my out of the gate favorites are some of the ladies. What gay man could resist rooting for a figure skating legend like Kristi Yamaguchi? I have long been a fan of Marlee Matlin, and have huge respect for the brass she's shown. I am going to LOVE watching her push herself and adapt to music she can't hear, and laughing at her AMAZING sense of humor. I can't imagine trying to dance by the feel of the beat and the count alone. And then there's Marissa Jaret Winokur.

She's best known for her Tony award-winning performance as the curvy and bossomy Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray on Broadway. She's now taking to the ballroom. She's the shortest contestant in the show's history, not even reaching five feet tall. She's also the biggest gal in six seasons, and they couldn't have picked a better rep for the bigger girls. She makes no apologies about her size, and expects none from someone who notes her girth. "It's just the way my body is, and that's okay." She quips "I'm here to represent all the girls who aren't a size 2!" And she does it with SUCH personality, energy, and heart. You can't help but love her!

She represents part of what has been missing on TV and in the media. She's a regular woman, who doesn't starve herself to fit into the latest runway fashions. She's got big hair and makes no bones about the fact that she's positively giddy to be ballroom dancing like the stars she grew up idolizing. Did I mention she's got some talent as well? In her first dance, she drew a standing ovation, and nearly endless screams from the audience. She looked GREAT doing the cha cha in her plus-sized sequined electric blue gown.

I can only hope Ms. Marti Gras looks and moves half as well as she did on night 1. I love that shows like Ugly Betty exist. They remind the not-so-pretty, the not-so-popular, and the not-so-thin folks out there that they're okay too. That they can DO. They can BE. That it takes all shapes and sizes. And colors. And sexualities. And religions. That we should always be proud of who we are, and always reach for the stars. Dream big and take risks. Even if you're trying to change or improve, LOVE YOURSELF.

It's one of the hardest lessons, and is one I struggle with every day. I think we all do in our own ways. In the end, I think that's why I love Dancing with the Stars so much. And the Olympics. The Oscars. They give us hope, and show us stories of real, everyday people who have achieved incredible feats despite overwhelming odds. They show us dreams DO come true. And so I say "Dance on, ladies, and kick some ass!" Show us what you can do, and better yet, show yourselves!

And if I have to watch sometimes shirtless hunks gyrating their hips in the process, I can suffer. ;) Speaking of curvy divas, I have one last gay gush. I've now been measured for a custom corset. It will be more comfortable, more durable, and MUCH more fabulous. Look out kids, Marti is planning to WOW at this year's Drag Queen Bingo (7pm, April 19th, Laramie Ho-Jo: more details to follow).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm here because of Ashley too

If you're on Spring Break and missed the buzz that's going around today, Barack Obama gave a speech on race today. It was in response to controversial comments made by Obama's clergy of choice. The internet is awash with comments that say the speech "will go down in history" and "wow." I heard clips today while driving back from my lunch hour, and the snippets were impressive, to be sure. The commentator on my gay radio station gushed "It's so good to hear someone finally SAY these things. It's important to actually HEAR them."

I walked into the office and my aide Janet said "have you listened to this yet?" She sent me a link, and I cued it up to play but paused it while I coped with a few tasks here and there. When I walked in a few minutes later, she was crying. A lot. At first I thought she'd gotten a call telling her someone had died. Suddenly I realized that she was still listening to the speech. "Is it really THAT good?" I asked her. As she blotted and dabbed with a Kleenex she just nodded.

So at the end of the day, I too watched the video. Being the emotional homo I am, I too cried. The radio host and Janet were right. It was SO refreshing to hear someone say what so many of us already know in our hearts. He talked candidly about the anger so many Americans feel. And not just people of color. He rightly pointed out that we MUST remember the pain and problems of the past to understand the present and to perfect the future. He also talked about the anger many white Americans feel.

He was articulate, eloquent, and truly inspirational. Rather than distancing himself from someone who was becoming controversial, he addressed the issues behind it, and showed true leadership. He didn't blame anyone, and allowed everyone their own feelings while putting the issue in context. I can't think of any words other than "Brilliant!"

As my friends know, I've been hesitant to pick a favorite in the upcoming election. My official stance has been "as long as it's not a bat-shit crazy Republican, I'll be happy. I'll even take a non-bat-shit crazy Republican, as long as they're not what we've had for the last 8 years." Today, that has changed. I have not been so moved by ANY politician about ANY issue.

It's not just the words he used, as anyone can hire a speech writer. It was the raw leadership and wisdom he exuded. I can put my faith in someone who reasons this way, because they will look at an issue and address it honestly. Fairly. Not with PC political speech, or what will poll well. But honesty and integrity. That's the only way we can start to fix our country. To become the ideal we're supposed to represent. The spirit upon which we were born. The way I want to face problems. The way I want my niece and nephew to see America. A heritage they can be proud of.

Today is the day I cast my vote for Barack. But listen and read for yourself. Then decide for yourself. I'm certain you will at least be impressed.

Click here to watch the video and/or read the text.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Can't win for trying

I fear I can't go into much detail just yet, but I've reached a point where I can't win for trying at work. I've done everything that's been asked of me. I've dealt with ever-increasing workloads, expanded services, and next to no recognition. But I am paid decently and do my work well. My performance reviews even say so...for the most part. It's like beating my head against a wall.

Today's lesson...don't beat your head against the wall. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Reach out for help when you need it. Stand up for yourself when necessary. You're a person first.