Thursday, June 30, 2016

Getting Out - Texas Style

I'm heading to the Lone Star State to see muh Ma, pop some fire crackers and OD on Chile Con Queso.  Let's see if this visit home doesn't get the hot El Paso sun to burn away this cloud that's been hanging over me the last few weeks!  ...actually, I think an overload of puppy loving will do it...


Monday, June 27, 2016

Gay of A Certain Age - Dark Sunday

Yesterday, I had a Dark Sunday.  It's not as scary as it sounds, although some of that Orlando depression is still gripping me.  I think of it more like Broadway shows are dark on Mondays.  I did not want to leave my apartment yesterday.  I had very little energy, minimal cooling and a touch of the blues.  My eyes opened Sunday morning and I stayed in bed, with my ceiling fan blowing my window units cold air down on me.  I didn't move, I stayed there for a long time, hoping to fall back to sleep since I felt so tired.  I guess I had been pretty busy... Thursday night muh DAB, Dennis & I went to see the UNAUTHORIZED MUSICAL PARODY OF THE BIG LEBOWSKI.
I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped.  The cast is great and I did get some real laughs, but the show's style is just too loose for me, with more winking to the audience than I care for.  An unrelated and unfortunate side note; when the cast launches into their rendition of Welcome To the Jungle, there's added sound effects of machine gun fire.  I was immediately unsettled, what with the loud music in a club atmosphere, I was instantly transported to Orlando.  I know, it's Drama Queeny, but like I said, this one is hanging on to me.

Friday, I drove to City of Industry to be an extra for my friend Billy who needed folks for a convention scene in Season 2 of CON MAN.
I had a good time.  it reminded me of the old days, when I used to do extra work frequently.
I got to hang out a lot, talk with muh fellow extras, act a little bit and eat all the bananas I wanted! Plus, I got to have a little chat with Leslie Jordan, who was there shooting another scene.  That took up most of the day, I got home close to 9:00 pm, so I plopped down and watched TED 2.

Saturday, I breakfasted with Oscar/Kay Sedia, did my taxes and met Ray/Chita Parol for lunch/rehearsal.  I got caught in Hollywood Bowl traffic on the way back from Ray's, placing me in the intolerable heat for a good 30 minutes longer than expected.  I got home and napped, in my underwear under the fan.  By the time I woke up I realized I just enough time to get ready, gather crap and head to the theater for TACO KISSES, totally missing a BBQ at Alex/Bossman's.  I performed at the 8:00 & 10:00 shows.
We stayed after the show, talking to guests and then talking to each other, having a good, solid catch up session.  I didn't get home 'til close to 1:00 am.

Sunday came and I was dark.  I enjoyed the last three days' events, but I felt down. I decided to turn on my Sunday music mix and do some things around my apartment. like clear out the bottom of my bathroom vanity and organize.  I did a load of laundry, even though it involved stepping outside, which I truly wanted to avoid.  An invitation to brunch turned into a torturous 20 minute consideration of how to reply "no" without sounding suicidal.  Then, that turned into consternation because I should be able to choose to stay in my apartment feeling how I feel, without having to justify or even explain it to anyone.  Yes, "no" can be that dramatic.  I got back to enjoying my time alone, chorin' & snorin', as I call it because I broke up the day with a nap. Later, I ordered my favorite Chinese food and watched GAME OF THRONES alone and thrilled.  

I don't know why I felt guilty wanting to stay in, by myself, but I did.  Then I remembered that tonight I have dinner plans after work, a work meeting on Tuesday night, then I fly out to El Paso on Thursday night, so I'm not going to have much time at home, at all!

As a Gay of A Certain Age, I'm finding that not only do I not mind being alone, but sometimes, I NEED it!  Listen to your body and heart, it's telling what you need.  Sometimes you need to go dark!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

He Don't Even Know - Survey Says...

This is "Evan",
I met him when he asked me 
if I'd answer some questions.
I answered "yes" to everything!
Especially, "will you go out with me?"
He let me ask him a question...
"Do you think it will fit?"

Monday, June 20, 2016

Getting Out - Recharge of the Hot Brigade

Last week was hard on me.  Saturday I fought really hard against the urge to stay in my darkened apartment with the air conditioner on all day and joined muh DAB Glenn for a friend's outdoor birthday celebration in Griffith Park.  Despite the heat, the sunshine and company of sexy fellas did a lot to cheer my dampened spirits.  I'm still bothered by the shooting and mortified that a senate vote today resulted in absolutely no change in gun laws, but I'm not letting it get me down.  Take a look at the pics, and I think you'll agree that it was a life affirming, spirit charging good time.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gay of A Certain Age - Orlando, No Dawn

I'm generally an easy going guy who rolls with the punches and moves on, but this Sunday's Orlando shooting has really gotten under my skin.  I can't shake it.  It's hit me harder than anything else.  Sure there's the obvious LGBTQ connection, but it goes beyond a simple belonging to a group, it feels very personal.  I didn't know anyone involved in the shooting personally. I wasn't anywhere near the incident, but I feel like have been personally attacked.  As a Gay of A Certain Age, I've grown up hiding my feelings and desires, so deeply I didn't fully realize them until I was in my late 20's.  Even though I didn't know I was gay, I was picked on all through school, because THEY knew I was gay.  After I accepted my gayness, I had a fairly easy time because I had unwittingly surrounded myself gay and gay friendly people.  Still, I was aware of all the gay bashing and hatred around me, even though I hadn't been attacked personally.  I embraced my gayness and grew bold with a healthy sense of self worth, despite the spite spewed at me from the political and religious right. I mourned the countless brothers and sisters lost to AIDS, even though I didn't know any of them personally.  I grew strong and confident through all the crap.  I found myself living and working in one of the gay friendliest cities in the world.  ...and then THIS.  This Orlando massacre knocks me back down to a level even further down than when I started.  I am flattened; buried; less than.

When there have been mass shootings before, (sadly, so many before) I have felt sad and mourned for the victims.  I've angrily agreed that there has be some level of gun control.  That mourning usually happened along with the rest of the country, if not the rest of the world.  This time around, along with the initial attack on Sunday morning, there are the "after" attacks, that wound even more deeply, like the second explosion that takes out the entire team of first responders after a bomb.  Not only do we have to endure the sadness and frustration of the gunman's bullets, we have to go through the political and religious wringer again.  When Sandy Hook went down, we didn't have people flooding the internet with "Good job! Those children deserved it!"  After San Bernadino, I didn't see any "Praise God, those employees had it coming!"  But all week I've seen the Baptist preachers praising the gunman, I've seen the tweets on twitter laughing, cheering.  I've seen the people sworn to protect our country threaten us and the jerks on social media, whose only take away on this was a means of bashing the president.  I usually see a good amount of this crap everyday and my shield deflects it, I go about my life.  Orlando has smashed that shield into tiny tear drop shaped shards.  This past week, all of these attacked have gotten to me.  I am constantly on the verge of tears, trembling, getting sick in the pit of my stomach at the thought or site of the victims' families (as I pause to gather myself to prevent tears while writing this), all the while smiling and pretending I'm okay. If you look closely you can see it.  If you say the right thing, you won't have to look at all, I'll crumble.  If you are not a gay person, I don't know if you can truly understand what it is like being attacked from different directions for being who you are.  To some degree, if you are Black or Latino or Muslim (any other ethnicity or folk who wear Religious garb) you know what it's like to pegged on sight based on your appearance and how you have to be aware of your behavior in certain places. Add to that the fear of expressing any form of love, like kissing or holding hands; it's quite a burden to carry with you every day of your life.  Sometimes, for the Gay, you even have to be on guard at home because you know how your family hates gays.  Even in one of the gay friendliest cities in the world, we're attacked in the street (There has been a rash of attacks in West Hollywood the last few months).  It's hard.  It's depressing. Right now, it's unshakable.

I do appreciate the positive responses from others; Celebrities, politicians, just plain folks.  I notice the actions from organizations I hold in low regard; Walmart announcing they will discontinue selling assault rifles, Chick-Fil-A providing food and help to those affected by the tragedy as the aftermath of events unfolded.  There is a great deal of positive and supportive response, which I am grateful for. Unfortunately the hate and evil seem so much louder.  I feel like I am in the dark; like the sun never rose on June 12.

Monday, June 13, 2016

On A Tragedy - Orlando

This is James Cerne.
I met him when I performed as Reba Areba at the Oscar party at Precinct DTLA, a gay club.
Today, his words about the shooting at Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, rang so true to me.
They enforce my belief that those who use their religion to suppress the LGBTQ community, politicians and money grubbing preachers alike, who have chosen us as their common enemy to unite against, are killing us spiritually and physically with their hate-mongering and rhetoric.  When the weapon they use against me is religion, I can choose not to believe in their religion and take that weapon away.  Unfortunately, even if I take away that weapon against me, their weapon becomes the confused and self-hating people they have created, along with the guns they sell them.  This Orlando shooter is said to have gone on this rampage because he was infuriated by seeing two men kissing.  What could two men kissing have to do with this guy?  Why was it such a threat to him?  Was it because whenever he has seen two men kissing something horribly bad happens to him?  He feels physical pain?  Or is it because he has been told, just as I was today on Santa Monica Boulevard by Jesus Christ's followers, that we are"Disgusting", an "Abomination" who "Do not deserve to live" who "Should die" because we are "sinning in the eyes of the" person they chose to worship?
I know I am not a disgusting abomination who doesn't deserve to live. Sadly, there are weaker souls out there who have been beaten down by these religious fuckwads who actually believe that their life is worthless and so is ours.  It is so hard for me not to write horrible, hateful things about ANYONE who follows ANY religion, especially one that sits back and lets these assholes use it to stir up murderous hate.  If you truly love your god & religion, stop worrying about who's taking a shit next to you and take it back from these truly horrible demons who have perverted it into a money making, gun profiteering, murder inciting cult.

Here is what I took from James' Facebook wall...

"I'm so mad at everything.

I'm so mad that my mom is calling me and begging me not to go to work or the parade today.

I'm so mad that I can't give blood.

I'm so mad at Jarrod chin hissing "faggot" over and over again behind me in Spanish class and miss Mahoney for smirking when I answered a question with a feminine lilt in my voice.

I'm so mad at it gets better

I'm so mad that I still meet beautiful talented intelligent and incredibly kind men whose parents denounced them as sick and disgusting and never took the words back.

I'm so fucking mad my shoulders still tense up when he touches me in public.

and the mothers who wouldn't let their sons play with me or sleep over in elementary school.

And the proprietors who ask me to play something more masculine

and the places we can't go after the club if one of us is in drag

and whether my trans friends or my non white friends will feel welcome

and why does everyone in this room have the exact same body

And would things have worked out differently if I had a bigger dick

and every single one of my gay friends struggles with self esteem and depression. and you can do all the work on yourself and feel all the pride in the world and live without judgement

but you still have to confront the reality that the world does not share your values and gives you a constant stream of reminders of the reasons why you will be hated the reasons why you will be excluded the reasons why you will be judged the reasons why some people would kill you and the reason why some people would not be sorry to see you go.

You can be as enlightened as fuck but you still have to carry all of that with you. All the time. All the hate and all the reasons why you don't measure up.

50 dead.

I want to fucking explode."

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

He Don't Even Know - Packed Man

Say, "Hello" to "Julian".
"Julian" is the boyfriend it's best to game with!
He takes me to my favorite retro arcade
and stuffs dollar bills in his waistband
ready for me to grab whenever 
my Pac-Man is caught by ghosts
or I'm overwhelmed by a long Centipede.
When all the dollars are gone, 
we go home and he grabs my joystick
and shows me how it's done!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Gay of A Certain Age - These Little Feets of Mine AKA Mortified

People, I am MORTIFIED! Yesterday, not one day after vowing to get fit & recreate my friend Geoff's picture, I have had an extremely horrifying experience with muh DAB, Brett.  Brett's contribution to my fitness needs, after trying everything else, is to get me to walk more.  Yesterday, as we've done a few times before, we planned to walk from his house to the Westfield Mall in Century City to watch a movie.  This trip's movie was THE NICE GUYS
I was a little weary because the times we have done this before, I've suffered from chaffing so awful that it feels like wearing a barbed wire jockstrap.  Even with that pain, I soldiered on until we got back to his place.  This time, as we approached the half way mark(1.5 of 3 miles), my legs started to ache as the muscles along my shins, down to my feet seized up.  As I felt it coming on, I casually requested we stop to stretch for a second, not letting on how much pain I was experiencing.  More painful was the fight in my head, trying to go on in tremendous pain or just stopping and confessing that I couldn't go on.  There was also confusion; just the week before, I was in the Bronx, walking in the heat trying to find the Botanical Garden that promised to be just a block or two from the Fordham subway stop according to the map.  It was a long walk.  I walked all over New York for 5 days, without this problem.  Why now, with Brett, was this an issue?  Confusion or not, we stopped.  I confessed to Brett that I couldn't make it.  He was gracious and called an Uber, to drive us a shameful 1.5 miles.  Well, it turns out, it was a good thing we did, because we got there with only a little time to spare, we would never have made it in time for the movie!

Even though I enjoyed the movie very much, and we enjoyed a very nice lunch at Rock Sugar (Where I loved the fabulous Festive Rice) I was awash in embarrassment.  Why'd this have to happen with Brett, of all friends?  He is my most focused friend with will power and discipline to match.  Even though he was supportive, I still felt like I let him down... and robbed him of 1.5 miles of planned fitness.  Well, it's just more motivation to get more fit, right?  I have got make it up to him.  I owe Brett 1.5 miles.  I suppose now is a good time to get started on that hot water diet he's been trying to get me on.  Cheers!
Chef Brett with my prepared hot water

Friday, June 3, 2016

Gay of A Certain Age - Geoff at 50

I've told you about my friend, Geoff Meed, or at least his subtle influence on my physical well being, but he is more than just a subtle source of guilt for me.  Geoff has been a constant source of inspiration.  When I first met him 20 years ago, he was already well into his acting career, becoming a renowned martial artist and all around goofball.  He had already starred in KICKBOXER 5, done many guest star roles on TV and had a nice spot in the BUFFY opening credits montage, but hadn't developed a "famous guy" attitude.  He'd gotten passed the Hollywood Guy behavior bv the time we started hanging out.  As with any acting career, things would get slow, but Geoff didn't sit around waiting for stuff, so he would write his own stage shows to act in.  He didn't have Tom Cruise's bank account, so he would pay for each production with his savings or income tax returns.  He always wrote a part for me, for which I was and am always grateful for.  My favorite role written by him was that of an evil clown who acted as narrator/Greek Chorus in VISIBLE DARKNESS.  Geoff's refusal to sit back and wait for opportunities really stuck with me and makes me feel a little guilty when I don't follow things up, just like I feel guilty when I don't work out. Thanks, Geoff!  I was happy that I got to return the favor when I wrote the role of Judas Solo for Geoff, in JESUS CHRIST SUPER STAR WARS.

My dear friend and influence moved to Houston 4 years ago.  His acting career was put on hold for a while after, while on a job, a horse danced on him, breaking all of his ribs, puncturing a lung and breaking a good number of bones in his face, requiring a few surgeries to heal.

Not one to rest on his injuries, Geoff continued writing- a few screenplays that were produced.  He also opened up his own Martial Arts School, GEOFF MEED'S DOJO FIT, where he teaches actual, practical arts, not the showy stuff.  His acting career is picking up again and he continues to write, as well as teach, and he's got a nice girlfriend.  I say she's nice, because I somehow got a hold a picture she recently sneaked of Geoff.  I admire her covert styling skills.

As a Gay of A Certain Age, I have once again been inspired by my buddy, Geoff, who is 50 years old and has a rockin' body even after being trampled by a horse not too long ago!  As I approach 50, (16 months from now) maybe I can, once again, find inspiration in the friend I admire and get off my ass!

Okay, after a little thought, I CHALLENGE myself to recreate this photo on my 50th birthday.  Also, knowing me, I will stipulate that I MUST have a body, fit like Geoff's, not just the one I have now.
Wish me luck! (...or will power.  Whichever)