Monthly Archives: January 2009

so many mis-hears lately.

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i’m at work and i felt the need to stop what i was doing and tell you all this: i am transcribing a cassette memo (yes, my boss still uses dictaphones like it’s 1978 or something). there was one sentence that i was having trouble with. it sounded like he said, “the big jerk of the XXXX family is named eugene.” i rewound it over and over, but that’s all i heard. my boss is known for being wacky, but could he really have said that? finally it hit me–he was saying “the PATRIARCH of the xxxx family is named eugene!”

my brain automatically substitutes the word “big jerk” for a mumbled “patriarch!!!!” is anyone surprised? i’m not.

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oh, bama!

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the inauguration was pretty effin’ incredible, as predicted. now, the slavish devotion to our new leader scares me a little bit; and i am not into hero worship of anyone, especially some straight rich dude who’s now the boss of me. BUT, nobody can deny the fact that a) change feels really good b) things appear to be on the up-and-up and c) washington DC was pure magic for 24 hours. and i am very happy that i was there.

the on-ramp to I-95 was shut down and totally clogged with people, not shitty gas-guzzlers! it was truly an amazing sight.
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imagine if the world was always like this? incidentally, the crowd was so fucking amazing. over a million people, all freezing our asses off, and not a single person was mean all day. i mean it, i didn’t see a single instance of unkindness. everyone was smiling & talking to each other & helping each other out. i think that is more surprising than a black president.
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right after i took this picture, some people were frantically waving and yelling “obama!’ at a video camera. an old man observing the brouhaha yelled, “now put your hands in the air if you love hot dogs!” which was possibly the funniest thing that happened all day.

after walking for hours in the cold, we finally made it to a sea of humanity by the washington monument. i took some pics but they were all shitty. however, i thought this one was really amusing:
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it was hilarious when someone fell off, which happened a few times, and the whole crowd would yell “OHHHH!” in unison. i couldn’t see anything from where we were, and cop cars and ambulances kept ruining the speeches. but we all fuckin’ cheered our little asses off when he became the prez! everyone was so happy. obama’s inaugural address was ruined by more cop cars, but i heard the salient points and felt good. i was surrounded by weeping middle aged white women.

then we headed over to the parade. i was freezing my gay ass off. we stopped to skate at the reflection pool, which was frozen over. ray was too scared to really skate on it
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but i rushed right out on the ice and began turning circles. that’s a very typical aries-cancer scenario, wouldn’t you say? incidentally, i took this pic of myself while twirling around on the ice, which is why the background is so blurry:
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part of the reason i was so cavalier was that i was hoping the ice would break & we’d have an excuse to go home, as i was exhausted, freezing and hungry. but i am so glad that i remained dry, because the parade was fucking amazing!
we waited for an hour and a half, so goddamn cold. getting whiny & it seemed that it was never going to start. but then it did! incidentally, we got great seats because the giant info-screens told people not to even bother going to the parade because the route was already full, which was not true. so, hardly anybody was there. but our seats for the inauguration were so shitty that we couldn’t see the screens & never got this misinformation. we got a spot right by where it started, with nobody in front of us!
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and here he is. when the limos started rolling, everyone was trying to figure out which one was the obama-mobile, and then a man yelled, “oh shit! there’s michelle!” and everyone FRUCK OUT. oh em gee. i’ve never seen anything like it. ray took a video, but i don’t have it to share. the windows were too tinted to really take pictures, but i could see their hopeful little faces through the glass in real life. obama made eye contact with me and smiled, and his smile is so luminous in a way that cannot be captured on film or TV. it was truly an incredible moment. after he had passed us, ray & i just hugged each other really hard for a full minute, maybe longer, because there was just no other way to express what had happened.

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and then we walked back to ray’s uncle’s house; frozen and truly exhausted but also so happy to have been there. feeling like shit was changing, both in the country & in our lives. like i said in the post i wrote when he was elected, joy is the only word.

RIP jonathan h., 1983-2009.

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i played the one song i have by xtina on my ipod, on the bus, in your honor. i looked out the grimy window and was sad that the world has lost yr aesthetics & hilarity. i haven’t seen you in five years and honestly i probably never would have seen you again if you’d lived to be a hundred, but i had a lot of fun with you when i knew you & i hope you are in some sort of amazing well-decorated faggot heaven. goodnight, christina faguilera.

some bizarre things from the universe

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1. i came across this amazing picture while wasting time at work today:
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nobody would appreciate this picture like ex-BFF would, so it makes me miss him.

2. i heard on the radio that our esteemed mayor, luke ravenstahl, is temporarily changing his name to “luke steeler-stahl” in light of the steelers vs. ravens game this weekend. i love pittsburgh, but sometimes i wonder what the fuck is wrong with everyone.

3. i was watching the news yesterday & the leading story was that it’s really cold out, followed by some steelers chatter, then more cold, then more steelers. see the last sentence of item #2.

4. the news also had this story about local high school girls who are texting nude pics of themselves to local high school boys. a news-anchor said solemnly, “as the chief of police says, nothing good can ever come of taking a naked picture of yourself.” i disagree with this statement vehemently, but it was funny to hear on the news.

& so it’s winter

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& mercury is in retrograde so this is not the time to be feeling good about your life, your body, or anything involved. everything is annoying. everything is taken personally. everything is an insult. so you’ve been sick for over a week because you can’t afford to adequately heat your house? that’s what you get for being a fuck-up. you get sicker because you have to walk for miles in the snow every day? that’s what you get for being a fuck-up who can’t drive. you don’t have health insurance, it’s your own goddamn fault. you can’t write a grant; you can’t write a book; you’ve mortally offended the mentally ill man who is a client at your law firm and now he won’t stop calling and you’re not answering the phone because you do not give a fuck.
& your favorite ex-con at book ’em got sent back to prison for no real fucking reason. for having a few glasses of wine with xmas dinner, which isn’t allowed at his halfway house, and you think about how he used to say, “my only goal in life is to never go back to prison,” and he said it real proud, like he thought he was going to do it, and you wonder what he’ll be like when he comes out. if he’ll even try at anything anymore. and you can’t tell this to anyone and have them understand how devastated it’s made you because everyone you are currently close with has not had to eat shit every day of their lives; and that chasm is the widest, the most uncrossable.

one thing i learned yesterday

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i took a long walk through a cemetery in a snowstorm. mainly because the allegheny cemetery is in the way of pretty much every place i need to get to, so i thought i’d cut through it. this never saves me any time; but i never learn. it almost doesn’t matter how much time i waste in there, it’s so beautiful. my ipod literally froze so it was just me & the silence & the snow & all the dead people. beautiful, even though i felt like shit and was cursing pittsburgh’s lack of decent public transit. i saw two other people walking through too. they both looked so interesting, like they really had somewhere to be, like they had a good reason for taking a long walk in shitty weather. i felt a part of something bigger, and better, than myself.

danceparty!

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amanda & i decided to celebrate the fact that we both randomly received 90’s-dance-song-themed mix cd’s in the same week, both of which were made by people who know our love of kitchen dance parties, and who insisted that their cd’s be used in the kitchen. this was a bizarre coincidence, but a nice one. & so on new year’s day, we gathered some good peeps together to freak out to junior high dance songs.
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how can you make a document of something using still pictures, using fixed words, when its inherent nature is one of movement, one of change? not using flash helps, but who likes dancing in adequate lighting? not me. when you want to remember, but you don’t want it remembered like this:
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the flash arresting everyone, frozen in an eternally awkward pose. when it wasn’t that way at all. when you moved, you were beautiful. you felt it. you became part of something larger than yourself, as cliche as that perhaps is. cliches happen. your formerly freezing cold house was now sweaty; everyone’s outerclothes in a gigantic pile on a kitchen chair. you let people come into your home & you had a moment, without spending money or worrying about looking cool or whatever. you just let yourselves go; you let yourselves happen. and it was amazing.

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that’s a little more like it. but still, not accurate. but really, how can you or i or anyone describe anything that happens to us & have it be accurate? that’s just how it is.

p.s. did you know that i apparently make this stupid-ass face:
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every time i dance? i guess you would if you ever danced with me. but since i don’t often look in the mirror while dancing, i had no idea until amanda took multiple pictures of me dancing & i was making that face in every single one! oh well.

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new year’s eve & day were strange & magical. the bar was set pretty low after last year’s life-ruining drama-fest, but by anyone’s standards it was still pretty fucking good.

_____ came to visit & at 11:45 we set out for an abandoned industrial wasteland by my house with good graffiti. it was only fifteen degrees out, but we lit sparklers
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and when midnight came i didn’t even notice.
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and then when the cold started getting unbearable we wandered over to the blue moon in search of my BFF’s. they had abandoned ship long ago, but we did meet this incredible drunk gay man:
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who initially started talking to us because we were hovering around the free buffet (all gross meat.) “don’t eat that! it’ll give you the worst gas!” he implored about the kielbasa/sauerkraut combo, which he’s eating in the pic. (he also referred to it as “little dicks with white pubes” !!) i did not photo-direct this picture at all, it’s what he automatically did when i asked to take a picture of him.
also, me and ___ were taking pictures in the corner & he said, “yinz have great chemistry! i’ve been in the film industry for years and i know great chemistry when i see it. you should be in a play or a movie together. don’t let that go to waste!” at which point we kinda snickered.

then this wacky dude went to attend to his lover, who was passed out on the bar & snotting all over. sweatered dude held his lover tenderly and said, “my partner is my best friend. isn’t that cool?” stroking his lover’s hair, even though he [the lover, not our new BFF] was so drunk he could not sit up, “there’s so few of us out there, and when you find someone beautiful, you need to hold on to them.” now: my dad is an alcoholic & my stepdad was a drug addict. i completely do not romanticize any aspect of chemical dependency, the families it destroys, the lives it ruins. but this statement, made in that particular moment in time, was more sweet than depressing. very poignant. it’s hard to convey.
i stole ray a cigarette & we met more bizarre old men (not pictured) while asking for a light. the bizarre old men were flocking to _____ cuz he looks like such a cute little faggot.

and then we left & our be-sweatered friend hugged us both & said he could tell that we were both going to have an excellent 2009.
& the new year’s hat wound up on a steer at the manger down the street from my house…
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and i have another event to share that happened less than 24 hours later, involving five of my favorite people, my kitchen floor, and two 90’s-dance-song-themed mix cd’s. but! i think i will stop here for now cuz this post has taken hours to do (not hours of continuous work, but hours of minutes-snatched-when-the-boss-is-distracted work, plus battling with the office’s slow-ass dsl) and the sun is sinking and i’d like to get home before it’s totally dark. xo!