Monday, August 31, 2009


Could it actually be a breakthrough? Did anyone feel the earth shift?

I went in search of several things for my apartment today. Things I either need (blinds, storage cube) or want (dishes). I hit brick walls of price, size, or availability around every corner.

The storage cube, even though on sale, was more expensive than I remembered. The dinner plate of the dish set is bigger than I thought, but only by a 1/4". I think it will actually be okay. The people at Home Depot don't seem to be able to keep the 35" X 72" blinds that I need in stock at that size. They've had four boxes of them, already cut to 30" X 72" for a week. Hello, order some more and leave them at the correct size for those of us who need them cut to 32" X 72". I'm just making a suggestion!

Anyway, I kept my frustration at bay. I did get frustrated in Home Depot that there didn't seem to be a customer service rep available to help me, but that's a different story not covered by this blog. Progress!!

I realized I can keep looking for the right storage cube and I can have patience for the availability of blinds in my size to increase.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Today was supposed to start with a sense of excitement. I was meeting Matt, Neal, and Stephen for breakfast at our regular little joint - Georgio's Kountry Kitchen. Great pancakes, waffles, french toast, omelette's, eggs. You get the picture. Instead of excitement though I was tired. My alarm went off and I just wanted to go back to sleep. I sleepily walked to the shower, turned on the water to let it warm up, and then just stood under it to try and wake up.

This breakfast actually threw my day off because it made everything start earlier. I had to leave the house earlier and that broke the routine. I ended up leaving the air conditioner on and the murphy bed down. I left without jewelry or water in my Klean Kanteen.

Breakfast was great as it always is when we get together. It was rushed though. I had to be at work less than an hour from the time we started so it wasn't as relaxing and carefree as I would have liked. Time with the guys though is always good and important. Recharging the friendship batteries is a necessity.

One person threw a wrench into my morning after I got to work. It was all about wanting tickets with a discount code that he thought was valid but wasn't. Honestly, it should have been valid according to the information. The moment he approached my window and started speaking to me I didn't like him. My problem, not his. He asked too many questions right off the bat without waiting for the answers. Everything that transpired between us after that had me feeling like a cat with his back arched and anxious. I just wanted to be rid of him. Unfortunately, I wasn't rid of him for 15 minutes. That 15 minutes was enough to put me in a foul mood for several hours. I tried to just smile and change my mood. I tried to be nice to all the other customers to change my mood. It's amazing how something so small can affect me for so long. I'm not really sure what actually caused my mood. It could have been the loud upstairs neighbor that annoyed me as I tried to go to sleep last night. It could have been the earplugs that were hurting my ears that prevented me from falling asleep last night. It could have been the change in the morning routine that caused me to rush this particular morning. It could have been the customer.

I'm in charge of my mood. I can change it.

I think I was more angry with myself for not handling the situation with the customer better. I treated him poorly and I'm pretty sure he knew I was annoyed. My problem, not his. Getting over anger is hard. Forgiving myself is harder. Learning from my mistakes is the hardest. I should have treated him better.

The cloud lifted when I heard my friend Christine say "mmm hmm". I couldn't even see her, but I knew it was her voice. A two minute exchange produced a big laugh which pummelled the negativity shroud I'd been wearing into dust.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reason, Season, Lifetime

Most of us have heard the saying about people coming into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Well, I got to hang out with my two lifetime friends tonight.

Neal is in town from Boston and Matt's schedule was open for our evening.

A little back story on these two is simply that we three went to Western Kentucky University together. We all met in college in the Theatre and Dance department where we began studying dance together and working on BFA's in Musical Theatre. We went through a lot of stuff together. A lot of firsts. We truly bonded during the summer of 1992 when we were cast in Hilltopper Dinner Theatre. It was a summer stock program through the University that cast us in three shows played in rep though out the summer. We waited tables before the show, excused ourselves to get into costume, performed the first act, put on an apron at intermission to serve coffee and desert, excused ourselves to perform the second act, then did a meet and great line, then bused the tables and reset for the next evening. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. On Wednesday nights we took our tip money and our tired selves to O'Charley's for $1 margarita night. We were such a fixture there that one particular waitress upon seeing us would just motion us to a table in her section. We loved it. Our bond began.

We graduated in 1994 and have remained in touch ever since. Oh, there have been moments of estrangement, and moments of hurt feelings, and moments of distance across the country, and the other side of the world, where only the phone or email was an option. There have been countless moments of laughter and tears. Heartaches and hugs. There's a place for each of us to sleep at the other's home.

They are the two people in this world that I want to share good news with or that I go to for support. They are my family. As Neal mentioned tonight, we can dig and jab at each other with our words, but it's all good-natured ribbing. We truly love each other.

Tonight we met for a drink at Blockheads before Neal's husband Stephen had to head down to the West Village to see a performance of OUR TOWN. As Matt hadn't been to my new apartment yet and Neal had only seen it crammed with boxes from the weekend I moved, we decided to have dinner on the east side in my new neighborhood and then come back to my apartment to just enjoy each other's company.

It was so nice to have my two oldest and dearest friends sitting in my apartment. An actual place that I share with no one. A space that is truly mine. They were so excited to see it and I was so thrilled to host them. I can't wait for them to come back and see the changes as I continue to make the place my home. Wine will be consumed and laughter will be heard. These walls will feel the joy that is the friendship we share.

I am truly a blessed man. I have been given so much. When I was younger I loved watching St. Elmo's Fire. That group of friends loved and supported each other through everything. I remember one time at the end of the movie I was crying and asking God for friends like that. God listened. I do have friends like that. I am thankful for them everyday of my life.

There's a sitcom of our lives just waiting to be written. I've started it. One of these days maybe you'll actually see it. Don't be surprised if you recognize some of the stories. Our bond is old and strong and deep. There's a lot of comedy gold to be mined.

Gratitude is abundant for this family.

Tea & Vogue

Thanks to my friend Patrick I discovered a little coffee house I'd never heard of before. He posted a link on facebook today for 71 Irving Place Coffee and Tea Bar ( and I had just started my visit to the website when my friend Stephen called to see what I was doing.

Stephen is married to my best friend Neal. They live in Boston and they are in the City this weekend. Stephen came up yesterday and Neal didn't arrive until tonight. So Stephen and I had some time to hang out and catch up. I hadn't seen Stephen since April so we had a lot to talk about. I suggested we go to 71 Irving Place. I like coffee and we both like tea. He was game so the adventure to a new place began.

Those of you who know the area of Union Square know that it's gorgeous as you get over in the Irving Place area. This coffee bar was located at 18th. Gorgeous. It was exactly what you would expect from a coffee bar - not Starbucks. Small round tables, cafe chairs, almost every seat taken with people reading or working on their computer or meeting up with friends. It was the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and catch up on the 4 months of our lives since we last saw each other.

I enjoyed the moments while sipping green tea and listening to how Stephen spent his summer in both Texas and Seattle.

It was raining when we left the coffee bar. I should say it was sprinkling. The day couldn't seem to decide if it wanted to rain or sprinkle. Pick one and stick with it I say. I couldn't figure out whether to use my umbrella or not. Neither of us wanted to walk around in the I-can't-make-up-my-mind rain/sprinkle so we decided to check out the movie times at the Union Square 14. With only 20 minutes to wait Inglourious Basterds got our money.

As this entry is not really about Inglourious Basterds, let's just say I enjoyed the film for the most part, but it was just a stop along the way.

The film I really wanted to see today was The September Issue ( You can learn all about it by visiting the website, but here's a brief synopsis. It's about putting together the Fall Fashion Issue of Vogue. The documentary was filmed while the 2007 September issue was being put together. The Fall Fashion Issue is the biggest issue of the year. Biggest in terms of thick. It's currently available so check it out next time you're in the grocery store or anywhere magazines are sold and see what I mean. It's huge. And heavy. I should know I'm carrying around the current September issue in my bag. Chiropractor anyone??

The documentary is currently only playing in NYC. It opened today. We didn't buy tickets in advance. Big mistake. Who knew that the 9:30 showing would be sold out. Well, honestly, we should have. I mean it was showing in Chelsea and it is Vogue and Anna Wintour. We bought tickets for 10:45. By 10:11 it was sold out too. The gay boys and fashionistas love them some Vogue and Anna Wintour.

I must say I was thoroughly entertained. Anna Wintour makes or breaks fashion. Such power! If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, this is the real deal. Meryl Streep's character was loosely based on Anna Wintour.

I've always had a flair for fashion. Always a clothes whore. Living in New York it's fantastic to see the fashion walking down the street. On 57th Street you can window shop at Prada, Chanel, and Lacroix. Turn on to 5th Avenue and you can window shop at Versace, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Saks, and Bergdorf's. The list goes on. Those are the ones I know off the top of my head. It all makes me want to spend money. Money that should be in savings. Alas, savings wins most of the time, but not all of the time.

After the coffee/tea bar, the rain, the Basterds, and some more rain, The September Issue was like being wrapped in a cashmere throw. Familiar, comfortable, and cozy.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I am a singer. I've always been a singer. Ever since I sang my first song in church at age 7 I've been singing. I sang at my church. I sang at revivals. I sang in a summer youth choir. I competed in vocal competitions. I sang in the University Choir and the University Show Choir. I graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre. I sang in summer stock. I sang in musical after musical working toward my Equity card. A card I'm happy to say I got! I moved to New York and began singing at auditions. I started singing less at auditions. I started working on writing and singing country music. I cut a demo and moved to Nashville where I quickly got discouraged because no one seemed as excited about me singing as I was. I moved back to New York. I sang at auditions even less.

Fear crept in and singing in public all but ceased. My last audition was 8 years ago.

Over the past 6 months I began singing at Karaoke Night and Open Mic Night, each held in the lounge of the theatre complex where I work. I don't like to make a fool of myself. I'm very much a perfectionist. Let's just say that not only do I rehearse what I'm going to sing at open mic, I rehearse the karaoke songs too. My friend Erin who runs karaoke is always willing to hook up the machine and let me sing through a track 2 or 3 times before I sing it in public. Most of my friends laugh at me about that. It is karaoke after all. Perfectionist typing here. I want to know what the track sounds like. I want to know if the song is really in my range. Honestly, I want people to want to listen to me sing. Karaoke is not really the best place for that, but hey, it's where I'm singing these days.

Tonight there was a new me at karaoke. I sang three songs for the first time in public and did not rehearse them beforehand. I just decided it was time. The lounge wasn't very full. In fact I knew almost everyone there. That can be comforting or nerve racking. I chose to kind of feed off of them. I have been wanting to sing the theme song to True Blood for some time now. It's a country song by Jace Everett called Bad Things. Erin actually downloaded it tonight for me. I got up there and just did it. It was amazing to just sing like it didn't matter if it was perfect or full of mistakes.

My confidence was strong at the end of that song and I decided to sing Mercy by Duffy. I laughed at myself as I messed up phrasing. It was okay. No one was there to judge me. I truly felt supported. After that there was nothing holding me back. Erin, Ryan and I sang Closer To Fine by the Indigo Girls. We did our best to harmonize. It wasn't our best moment, but we had a great time and will probably do it again. I personally added two new songs to my repertoire tonight plus the trio song. The more I face the fear the easier it gets to just sing again.

I am a singer. I've always been a singer.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Giving Back

Today was a day for giving back.

I have a wonderful boss. He always does right by me. He gives me days off that I need. He offers me vacations when everyone else but me has had one. He lets me leave early. He keeps me employed when others would lay me off. He listens to my problems and has very helpful insight and advice. He tells me that he wants me to go home for Christmas because he sees how much I miss my family. He's a fantastic boss.

He hasn't been feeling well for the past few days. Stomach issues. He was part of the Coney Island excursion yesterday. He was nowhere to be found when I got to Coney Island. I was the only person with his phone number so I called him. Voice mail. I left a message. I tried again about half an hour later. Voice mail. Finally he sent me a text saying that he wasn't feeling well and was heading home.

I was sad for him and for the rest of us. He is a very jovial man and can certainly keep the laughter rolling.

This morning when I woke up he was the first person on my mind. I sent him a text asking him if he would like me to go in early. I was on shift for 3pm and he was on shift for 12:30pm. He said that I was sweet and he would appreciate it. He said that he would come in later and that I could leave early. I told him there was no reason for me to leave early and that he should concentrate on resting and feeling better.

When I arrived at work and explained the situation to my coworker, he called our boss and suggested that he just stay home and rest. The two of us could easily handle the day. He was very appreciative.

It isn't often that I have a chance to give back to him in such a way. I hate that he isn't feeling well, but I'm happy to have been available to work and give him some time to recover.

It's a good feeling when you can help those who so often help you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coney Is

Okay, here's how it begins. Around 11am today I'm doing dishes and I get a call from my friend Michael. Our company planned an outing to Coney Island today and he called to ask if I was going. I said I was going and he asked if I wanted to ride with him in the zip car that he rented today. Turns out he needed to go to a reading of a new show in New Jersey and needed the car to get there. The car was a convertible Mini Cooper. It took me half a second to say, "I'll be the person in the passenger seat of the Mini Cooper."

It was a compact, cute, maroon Mini Cooper. I ended up in the back seat because I didn't want to be the direction person so Katrin took the passenger seat. That was fine by me. I sat in the back and let the wind blow through my hair without a care in the world as to what I would look like when we arrived. There were so many things to look at while driving from Queens to Brooklyn. A sight that never gets old is the skyline of the city. I love it. As we neared our exit to Coney Island we had nothing but water on the right. I felt like we weren't even in New York anymore. Looking at the Verrazano Bridge, which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island, I felt like we were in California. It was amazing. The sun, the wind, the water, the car, the radio, the laughter - all things that just made any stress melt away.

When we saw the exit sign for Coney Island it read Coney Is. I yelled, "Coney Is" and Michael yelled back, "right lane."

We got to the boardwalk and everyone was thirsty so beer seemed in order. It was such a beautiful day to be on the boardwalk and the beach. We three met up with our coworkers who already had a spot on the beach. I took off the shoes and socks and rolled up the jeans and put my feet in the sand. What is it about sand and bare feet? It feels so good! I wanted to go to the water's edge and let the surf wash over my feet. I love the way the sand erodes as the water retreats. How perfect to be standing in the water with a cold Corona having a great conversation with friends from work. Kudos to our company for doing this for us.

Enough with the water. It was lovely and all, but we all wanted to ride the Wonder Wheel. It was time to hit Astroland. I've lived here 12 years and this was only my second time to visit Coney Island. Both of which happened this year. However, the park was closed in April when I took my mom to Coney Island so this was the first time to ride any of the rides. We started with the Wonder Wheel. It's completely different than the ferris wheel I used to ride at the Carlisle County Fair back home. For starters, it's bigger. For seconds, some of the cars actually swing. We chose a swinging car. When it first started to swing as we moved I couldn't believe I had gotten myself into this. By the second time we started to swing I was better. I asked why there was nothing for me to hold on to in the back seat. Michael said, "Because it's a kiddie ride." By the second rotation of the wheel I was more relaxed and having a great time. The view was breathtaking. I just wanted to stare at the water. There's just something about the ocean. It's soothing and comforting. From the top of the Wonder Wheel there was even a view of downtown Manhattan. Again, gorgeous. The bumper cars and the spook-o-rama were the next two rides that had me laughing harder than I've laughed in weeks. It reminded me of Noble Park in Paducah, KY. We used to go there when I was a teenager. It was old and nostalgic much like Coney Island. If the opportunity arises for you to drive around and hit people in bumper cars, I say do it!

Then came the final ride. The one not everyone would ride. The rickety, wooden, looks-like-it's-gonna-fall Cyclone. Four of us chose to ride the roller coaster. We were in the middle of the cars. As we started up that first hill, that incline that will plummet us down once we've reached the top, I began to prepare myself for the plunge. And what a plunge it was. I swear it's almost straight down. I came out of my seat every time we went down hill. It reminded me of The Screaming Eagle at Six Flags or The Beast at King's Island. One of those old wooden coasters that goes 90 mph and throws you all over the place. We were thrown around like rag dolls. Well, rag dolls that had a safety bar in their laps. I laughed and screamed and said "Oh my Lord" so much that Michael made fun of me for the rest of the evening. When we reached the starting point again, the attendant asked if we wanted to ride again. Michael and I were totally game and headed to the front car this time. Let's just say it was a crazy good time.

The main event of the company outing was the Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game. How many of you that know me think of me and baseball in the same sentence? I bought the requisite hot dog with mustard and relish and a Miller Lite. I wanted a Corona, but that wasn't even an option. We sat there and cheered and clapped and talked and laughed. There were at least 20 of us total. So it wasn't Yankee Stadium. It was Keyspan Park and my first baseball game in New York. It was fantastic!

Piling back into the Mini Cooper we headed toward the lights of the city we call home. I'm tired and my neck hurts a little, but I wouldn't trade this day for the world. It was the perfect day to be at Coney Island and this bunch of people and the things we did went together like the ingredients in a blended cocktail worth savoring.

Monday, August 24, 2009

All Washed Up

I did something today for the first time that most New Yorkers would probably find laughable. I dropped my laundry off. I attempted to do the laundry myself, but as I've moved to a new neighborhood I had to find the laundromat first. Google to the rescue. 51st and 2nd is the nearest one. Only three blocks down. Not too bad. I packed the two books I'm reading, my journal, and my water bottle and headed out to wash my clothes. Turns out that what Google didn't know was that the above location had been torn down and was under construction for something new.

As I had no clean underwear left I had to take advantage of the ladies at All Washed Up. It weighed in at 12 lbs which equaled $12. Much more expensive than if I'd done it myself but I digress. With my laundry dropped off and not ready for pick up until 7pm, my day kind of opened up.

I went to a new patisserie called Financier Patisserie for lunch. It's a cute little French cafe I've been wanting to try for about a week. They make a fantastic Coconut Rocher w/chocolate. It's basically a macaroon, but better. Then it was off to Home Depot, The Door Store, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Crate and Barrel. I'm looking for blinds and storage items for the new apartment. Realizing I was a block away from Central Park with books in my bag it seemed the perfect opportunity to go sit in the park and read for a while.

Sitting on that bench in the park, I was surrounded by beauty. French boys next to me, a lake and flowers in front of me, and a lovely lawn behind me. The sky was blue with white clouds. The birds were chirping. People were walking by talking and laughing and we were all enjoying our lives.

Then I saw a homeless woman with a bag as big as she walk past me in too big shoes and dig the remainder of an ice cream cone out of the trash. Our realities are so different. I threw away food last night that I was just too full to eat. She was a small reminder of how blessed I am. I have a home, food, and thanks to the ladies at All Washed Up, clean clothes.

Doing the Dishes

Is there anything more satisfying than doing the dishes after a great meal? Okay, I know there are many things more satisfying. Buying a pair of Prada shoes or Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses or sex. But tonight I cleaned the dishes and found myself singing the entire time.

I enjoyed a great meal with Michael and Katrin tonight. Katrin made the meal, Michael bought the wine, and I bought the red velvet cake.

We sat on the floor around the coffee table and ate and laughed and chatted as we watched Sex and the City: The Movie for God knows which time. Let's just say that I got the "I'm gonna punch you in your face" look from Michael as I quoted the dialogue.

Of course we had to stop the movie at 9pm and watch our latest addiction: True Blood. It's difficult to wait for that fix every 7 days. I feel like an addict on "V" withdrawal by the time Sunday roles around again.

I wanted to do something more than just bring the cake. After all, Katrin paid for the food and cooked it, Michael bought wine and hosted at his apartment, and I brought cake. I decided I would do the dishes. I have often found joy in doing the dishes. It's a small task that, once completed, gives me a sense of accomplishment. Michael really wanted to do the dishes, but I insisted that he let me do them. It wasn't something that I had to do, it was something that I wanted to do. I wanted to give back to my friends. I found myself singing the entire time which means I was happy. It was like the seven dwarfs whistling while they worked. It was completing the day.

It's nice to have friends to dine with and dishes to clean afterward. I am truly blessed and grateful for it.

Work, food, wine, good friends, laughter, clean up. Big smile!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Paris

With a glass of J. Lohr Paso Robles Cabernet poured it is time to reflect upon this evening.

Like Carrie Bradshaw did in an episode of Sex and the City, I took myself on a date to The Paris tonight. I must admit that I've been curious about and wanting to go to The Paris for years. I have no excuse for not visiting sooner. Laziness or fear of subtitles comes to mind, but I'm going to plead the fifth.

I was expecting something spectacular as I walked through the art deco doors, but what I found was an ordinary theatre. It did however have a curtain covering the screen. A purple curtain to be exact. I love a curtain. I love it when the curtain opens to reveal the screen as the previews start. It harkens back to another time when going to the movies, much like attending the theatre, was a glamorous event. An occassion that one dressed for.

The film I saw tonight, MY ONE AND ONLY, was not subtitled. It was a period piece plus a comedy and a road trip movie rolled into one.

There were two important things that stayed with me after the film.

1. The main female never played it safe. She always said "Things will work out for the best." She never sat around waiting for something to happen. She went out to make it happen. It didn't always happen, but you couldn't say it wasn't from a lack of trying. She was compared to a cat, always landing on her feet. I am working hard right now in my own life to overcome the fear that keeps me weighted to the ground and prevents me from soaring to the sky. I have to stop limiting myself, and my possibilities, with this fear.

2. Don't look in the rear view mirror. It doesn't matter what's back there. Actually in terms of driving you have to look in the rear view, but in terms of life you don't need to stare too long. We have to learn from the past and that means looking at it, but dwelling on the past too long is not healthy for the present. I sometimes think too much about things in my past, especially with my dad. Things I wish were different. The fact is those things happened and they're over. I'm older, he's older and we're different people now. If I stare too long in that mirror I don't progress in my life I just drown in memories that won't let me grow.

I had a great childhood, and I love my dad. I just think a son more like him is what he wished for. He got a creative, funny, loyal, gay son instead. The "instead" is instead of a fishing, hunting, sports playing, loving all that is outdoors, kind of son.

The point of this is, I have to face the fear so it will get out of my way, and stop dwelling on the past and live in the present. I can't change anything back there anyway and fear is an ugly color no matter what season it is.

Friday, August 21, 2009

District 9

SPOILER ALERT!! If you haven't seen District 9 but plan to, read no further.

Sometimes all we want is to go home. Sometimes the good guys are bad and the bad guys are good. Sometimes us vs. them becomes us vs. us. Sometimes a film is an analogy of racism, segregation, hate crimes, & gay rights not to mention taking advantage of someone you perceive to be less than you!

So is the case with District 9. You know how it is when you root the bad guy to get killed in the end or for the dirty cop to get caught, or for the strings to get cut from the one pulling them all. It's a sense of relief, accomplishment, believing all can be made right in the world. I had that moment where I silently applauded at a scene near the end of the film.

I went on this ride and was very invested in the one of us (humans) trying to help one of them (aliens). I was rooting for the one of them to get back home. I couldn't wait for the leader of the human military unit to get what was coming to him.

Life changed, and quickly for one man. A good man, just trying to do his job, please his father-in-law boss, and love his wife and family. When he was no longer like one of us he became a commodity. His government turned on him led by his father-in-law. Isn't it amazing how when a person is different we have to fight to not change the way we treat them.

We need to treat each other with respect. We need to treat the person without a limb where there once was one, the person with cancer where there was none, the person with AIDS that was once disease free, with respect. All of us deserve respect and compassion with the hope that we will be treated the same if something should "change" in our own lives.

The changed man, the hero, in the film District 9 set out firstly to help the alien creatures get back to the mother ship for selfish reasons then helping for the right reasons prevailed. It was one alien and his son. Getting back home was the only thing the aliens wanted. We, the humans, quarantined them and prevented them from leaving. Why?? Did we think we knew better what to do? Did we just not try to understand them? Did we think we were right? Was is out of fear? Is it so easy to just point a gun and say "Do what I tell you?" Maybe the one that got away will come back with an army and declare war on us.

Is the war we're still involved in right now because we thought we knew best?


Rewatching August 16th's episode of True Blood I am struck by Sookie's ability to show love and compassion for the 2000 year old vampire Godric as he prepares to die by meeting the sun.

Godric: Do you believe in God?
Sookie: Yes!
Godric: If you're will he punish me?
Sookie: God doesn't punish, God forgives.
Godric: I don't deserve it, but I hope for it.
Sookie: We all do.

It's a simple human emotion. I want to show that kind of compassion. We're all human, and we all need each other. I need the compassion too.

Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.

Thursdays with Rheaume

I rode the bus home from work tonight with Rheaume. She's a co-worker of mine. She's always good for a story about something past or present in her life, the show she's in or rehearsing (she's a musical theatre actress), or from the Bible. Usually there is some element that makes me laugh. I'm a storyteller myself. Never leaving out a detail. I tend to go for the funny. If I do something ridiculous you can bet it's going to end up one of my stories.

Musical theatre, church, and storytelling are what we have in common.

Tonight waiting on the bus she mentioned a song she should learn - Another Hundred People. It's from the musical COMPANY by my favorite composer, Stephen Sondheim. Discussing that one song led to me exclaiming my love for the man. She isn't very familiar with his body of work. I may have to change that. The Sondheim talk gave way to Kander and Ebb talk. A songwriting duo that I also adore. She was singing a song softly to me on the bus that I have never heard. She sang another song of theirs on the walk to 1st Avenue which I've never heard. What kind of a fan am I? She also mentioned the song Colored Lights from THE RINK. I was able to listen to that one on my ipod on my walk home from the bus. Listening to a song that so perfectly captures the moment is such a beautiful thing. It amazes me that a song can grow from an idea or line of dialogue or gesture in a scene and become something that truly defines the character or moves the plot.

This is the second week in a row that I've taken the bus with Rheaume on Thursday night. I truly enjoy it. It's a moment away from work where we can just be 2 people talking about whatever we choose. From 50th and 8th to 50th and 2nd we let go of the stress that is our jobs and just hang out during a bus ride that is much too short. I look forward to the next conversation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wine Rack

Tonight I found myself smiling as I looked at my wine rack. The explanation is simple really. I bought wine last night to put on the rack and looking at the rack tonight with actual bottles on it made me happy.

I wanted a wine rack for a very long time. I put off buying one because I either didn't have the space for a big one with a cabinet and drawer or I didn't like the options in the smaller counter top models.

Then I found one that hangs on the wall from Crate and Barrel. I saw it online and then saw it hanging in the store. I walked out with it that day. I looked around my old apartment for the right place to hang it and then discussed the placement with my roommate. I measured and drew lines and measured some more and hammered and then hung the wine rack. It was crooked. So I started over with the drawing and the measuring and the hammering. It was still crooked. I gave up on the wall idea and just sat it on top of my low bookshelf.

When I moved into my new apartment there was a wall that was screaming to hold the wine rack. I knew it needed to be there. My friend Michael came over and did the drawing and the measuring this time and with a little help from me telling him that one hole is lower than the other, he got it right and finally it's on a wall.

The wine I purchased last night was a gift to myself and a symbol of my independence in the new space. I didn't have to ask anyone if I could hang the wine rack there and I know, as long as I remember to replenish, there will always be a bottle for me to enjoy.

Two things that I love coming together created one ear-to-ear grin!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Today was simply about finding joy.

Before I left for work I decided it was time to hang my Degas reproduction over the sofa. The print entitled La Classe de Danse (The Dance Class) is very special to me. It was a gift my best friend Neal. Just a little something he picked up for me after a museum visit. I've had it for more than a decade.

On the way home from work I stopped to purchase cleaning supplies. Yes, I found joy in purchasing cleaning supplies. The reason: they are my cleaning supplies. I share them with no one. They are the first cleaning supplies purchased for my first space of my own in NYC.

I purchased wine tonight to fill my wine rack. Cabernets and Pinots. New wines never tried. I opened a bottle to have with dinner and sat on my sofa enjoying the time that was my own.

If you don't have Showtime, rent or purchase Nurse Jackie when it comes out on DVD. Some of the best laughs I've had of late are courtesy of Merritt Wever and Eve Best.

As I lay in my bed and gaze at the beautiful print of a teacher instructing his ballerinas, I smile at the joy I received today by simply hanging the print, buying the supplies, drinking the wine, and laughing at a really good performance. It doesn't take much most of the time to just be happy and fulfilled.

All I had to do was choose, and I chose happiness!

One Day You Will

Yesterday I discovered this song by Lady Antebellum. I found it emotional and uplifting. I've been in this place many times and yesterday I decided that "One Day" is now. Check out the song on the self titled album - Lady Antebellum.

You feel like you’re falling backwards
Like you’re slippin’ through the cracks
Like no one would even notice
If you left this town and never came back
You walk outside and all you see is rain
You look inside and all you feel is pain
And you can’t see it now

But down the road the sun is shining
In every cloud there’s a silver lining
Just keep holding on (just keep holding on)
And every heartache makes you stronger
But it won’t be much longer
You’ll find love, you’ll find peace
And the you you’re meant to be
I know right now that’s not the way you feel
But one day you will

You wake up every morning and ask yourself
What am I doing here anyway
With the weight of all those disappointments
Whispering in your ear
You’re just barely hanging by a thread
You wanna scream but you’re down to your last breath
And you don’t know it yet

Repeat Chorus

Find the strength to rise above
You will
Find just what you’re made of, you’re made of

Repeat Chorus

One day you will
Oh one day you will

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dirty ~ High

Today started like any other. Wake up, put the coffee on, watch backlog of television while drinking coffee, gym.

After that though, the day took a turn toward the fantastic!

I went to the Museum of Sex. According to, "The mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. Through its exhibitions, lectures and publications, the Museum of Sex is committed to open discourse and exchange."

The first floor was all about animals. Some animals have regular heterosexual sex and some animals have both hetero- and homosexual sex. It's not an issue. It just is what it is. I watched primates have sex. Crazy sex. I saw Zebra, Turtle, Elephant, Rhinoceros, and Dolphin penises. I saw many penises from the animal kingdom actually. Some of the penis-like appendages actually belonged to the females. Some of the creatures actually have genitalia of both genders and some actually switch genders during the course of their lives. It was a very enlightening experience with a little Darwin thrown in for the evolution contingent.

The second floor was all about us - the humans. The exhibit starts off with a bang by showing pictures and printed blurbs from interviews with people who invented or use sex machines. A mechanical machine with a dildo attached to use for your pleasure. I saw pictures of a pre- then post-op transexual. I read the story of how she just didn't feel like a man and how she could finally relax after the surgery because she felt whole and normal. She spoke of feeling like she had just been born in the wrong body. She just wanted to live the life she felt was supposed to be hers from the start. There were 1950's sex education videos playing, metal Ramses condom cases, and books for men and women on how to perform oral sex. There was a small yet terrific black and white photography set displaying outdoor sex, explicit vintage sex, french postcards, male physique, burlesque and pin-ups. Then I turned the corner to find Anime - Japanese animation. Of course it was X-rated animation both hetero- and homosexual. I put my bag down on the bench next to me and sat down to watch for a while. Somehow I even tuned out the laughter of people younger than I who obviously were a little embarrassed. I moved on to robot sex and the birth of robot children after that. Who has time to come up with all of this? Robot children? It was a little freaky. There were life size "real" dolls for both men and women. As if robot sex wasn't kinky enough, I found myself in front of a female latex body suit and a video of someone wearing it and the words above it announcing to me that I had stepped in front of the kink section. Medical fetishes, pony fetishes, cannibal fetishes, BDSM. It was all there and represented with costumes or toys or videos. There were dildo's, anal beads, horse hair whips, cock rings, and paddles. The final thing to the exhibit and something I found very interesting was the Condoment set. Yes it's spelled correctly. It was salt and pepper shakers formed from inflated condoms that produced one-of-a-kind, unique shapes. I'm not sure what it would be like to offer that up to mom and dad, but it sure was original.

After stepping back into reality I decided to take the train across town and hang out for a while at The High Line. The High Line is a 1.45-mile section of the former elevated freight railroad of the West Side Line, along the lower west side of Manhattan, which has been redesigned and planted as a greenway. Check out for more information. It is a beautiful new addition to the parks of NYC. There are benches and chaise lounges along with wild flowers and sunshine. It is a perfect place to read a book, listen to music, write in your journal, or have a conversation with friends. The perfect place to de-stress your life.

Today was interesting, informative, and beautiful. I finished it by meeting friends for dinner and drinks with lots of laughter thrown in the mix.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

True Blood and Queens

Most of you who know me know that I've rarely ventured to another borough. I tend to stay put on the island of Manhattan. However, in the past week I've been to Astoria, Queens, more times than I can count on one hand. That's a lot considering I've been here 12 years. My friend Michael from work lives in Astoria. Our friendship has grown stronger over the past couple of weeks as he's been a very positive cheerleader in respect to my move, and he's extremely handy with a drill.

Tonight he invited me to come to his apartment after work and watch True Blood. He said Katrin was cooking. Katrin is also a co-worker of ours. She's staying with Michael as she looks for an apartment. She prepared beef wrapped in bacon complimented with rosemary potatoes and salad. We ate like we hadn't eaten in weeks. It was one of those lick the plate kind of meals. Good food, good wine, and good friends. What more could a person ask for. Well, ask and ye shall receive. It was another fantastic episode of True Blood.

We sat stuffed on fabulous food staring captivated at the television as Bill, Sookie, Eric, Godric, Jason, Jessica, Hoyt, Hoyt's mama, Tara, Eggs, Maryann, Sam, & Lafayette entertained us with an after dinner melodrama.

It never ceases to be less than a bloody good time!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What a pain in my...feet!

So today started like any other Saturday. My alarm went off, I got up, I showered, made coffee, put on the outfit I chose to wear, and as I reached for my shoes...I changed my mind. I decided to wear the cute Kenneth Cole shoes instead of the "no-name" burgandy boots. Then I left for work. I swiped my metrocard paying no attention to the hand written black and white signs hanging on each turnstile. I knew there were service interruptions this weekend so I didn't bother to read the sign. As I waited for my E train to take me 3 little stops across town to work, an MTA employee starting shouting on the platform that there was no E train service in this station all weekend. "That is not what the signs say," I say to him. He tells me the signs were printed incorrectly. I decided to just walk to work today. Not a bad choice considering it's a straight shot across the city. However, the cute Kenneth Cole shoes are tight and by the time I got to work my feet were throbbing. Sometimes we suffer for fashion right?

As the morning turned into afternoon, I sent a text to my best friend Matt to ask if we could hang out tonight. Turns out he was doing some shopping and needed to head down to Soho. We went to Valhalla first for a Hefeweizen then headed to the subway. After a day of mostly standing or sitting, that meant more walking in the cute but tight Kenneth Cole shoes.

From 54th and 9th we walked to the subway on 55th and 7th, took the subway down to 8th and Broadway walked down to East Houston and Broadway then back up to 8th and Broadway then over to 7th Avenue South and Bedford. If you're not from here that is a lot of walking. By the time we reached our destination - Daddy O - I thought I might have to start limping.

Off my feet and sitting at the bar in Daddy O I could only have wished for a little more air conditioning. This was my first time in this little corner bar/restaurant in the West Village. First on the agenda was a cold beer. I followed Matt's lead and ordered the house beer, Daddy-O Kolsch. It was a refreshing, light, summer ale. One of the appetizer specials was chilled, peeled shrimp. Perfect for a warm summer evening. For dinner it was another first. I ordered the fried catfish sandwich. Any of you that know me know that I rarely eat fried fish. It just seemed like the right thing to order. A side of hush puppies would have been nice, but I took advantage of the tater tots. Couldn't eat them all though. Where is Napoleon Dynamite when you need him.

Tonight there was good conversation and good food in a new place on a street on which I've never been.

When it came time to leave the only logical choice was to hale a cab. There was no way I was walking to and from the subway. I wasn't even willing to walk one avenue to hale a cab going in the right direction. "It can loop around after I'm in it," was my thought.

It's so nice to be sitting on my sofa, wiggling my toes. Thankfully my feet aren't bleeding, but I may have to wear flip flops tomorrow.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

Today was a day for hanging out with an old friend. A friend who just informed me has been my friend for 7 years. I just moved across town to Midtown East 2 weeks ago today and she wanted to see my apartment and my new 'hood.

We had some lunch and a little Pinkberry, my first experience there I might add, then headed up to the movie theatre on 64th and 2nd. We went to see Julie & Julia. It was one of the best movie going experiences ever in NYC as it was full of older people who couldn't be bothered to text or talk on their cell phones during the film.

As for the film, it was wonderful and inspiring. It's the whole reason for this blog. Julie Powell decided to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook in a year. She was committed and reached her goal. She blogged about it and people actually read it and cared. Deciding to do something and them having the focus and drive to see it through is something that I want.

Right now so many emotions have been brought to the surface because of the move. It's stressful and traumatic and made me question my existence in New York City. I wanted to run away from everything. I even thought of leaving the City. Then I woke up yesterday and decided to make this new apartment my home.

I do want to be in NYC and that means I need to take advantage of what this fantastic city has to offer. Julie Powell decided to cook and write about it and I've decided to actually live, instead of just exist, in NYC. I'm gonna write about it.

Here we go!!