Friday, February 27, 2009

A Tar-ry Reminder

Lately I have been really living my life. I mean full out. I think because I have a VERY dear friend who is in my same company I just have someone there at all times who I can play with and joke with and laugh with at any given moment. So I've been at my most unleashed lately. I just kind of say what I am thinking and usually a lot of people think its pretty funny. But yesterday I had a moment where it didn't pay off. I was talking with the hair supervisor about getting a haircut, and he told me that he would have loved to help me then, but he had to do an annoying double color treatment on one of the other chorus boys in the cast. This particular boy has fully bleached out platinum Brigitte Nielson hair. I mean just Abba Gold hair. It actually looked cute on him, because he has the personality to match it.. larger than life. So, pretty soon the hair guy starts talking a little trash about this guy's look, "'I mean that hair! Thats one of those moments where you're like, HONEY where was your momma to tell you NOT to do that!" I just chucked and said, "right?" on my way out the door and lo and behold that platinum hair was just staring me in the face. I froze and said to myself, OH NO. I can't believe I participated in that conversation. True, I didn't say the mean thing, but I didn't disagree with the mean thing. He was on his phone, so I wasn't positive that he had heard it. But I literally spent the entire evening feeling bad, and thinking about this poster:

Its a solemn reminder to all of us. Watch out for people passing tar your way. It could be hot, and before you know it you could have dirty fingernails. If you see some hands right next to your hands with tar in them, don't keep your hands there! Oh yeah, and there could also be feathers, which would be REALLY bad. But seriously though, knowing that what I said or didn't say really hurt someone's feelings made me so sad and so ashamed of myself. I spent the entire evening unable to shake the feeling that I had willingly hurt another person. That is SO against what I want to be that it just made me feel terrible.

The next day I walked into work wholly prepared to apologize profusely for being a part of that conversation. I was determined to make things right and take responsibility for my behavior. But he walked right up to me and started chatting with me, which told me that he had NOT heard the comment at all. I decided it would be worse at that point to apologize then to just let it go and allow it to be a lesson to me only. I guess I needed to remember that even if I'm living my life without filtering what I say, I need to remember not to participate in anything that could be hurtful to anyone if overheard. Easy? NO. Important? Vital.

"I want to be kind to everyone, for that is right, you see. So I say to myself remember this: kindness begins with me."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Staring upward

I should really be leaving my house right now to run some errands before our second day of tech rehearsal, but I wanted to share something first. Yesterday I was thinking about my very first tech rehearsal ever, which was a production of "The Secret Garden" at BYU deJong Theater. I remember that my part in the show was so ridiculously small.. I played some dead ancestor that only came back to life to do some backstage singing and move around these big pillars that they used to create the mazes of the garden and the house where Mary Lennox ends up after her parents die of Cholera/Fire in India. Even though I had 0 stage time and everyone else in the chorus was complaining about that, I was just thrilled to be there. I remember laying around on the stage while the lighting designer was trying to get a cue right, and just staring up into the rafters above the stage. Seeing all the lights and just being in a dark theater in the middle of the day just felt so right to me. As I look back on that feeling, I think it just felt so familiar to me, like I had been there before, and that this is where I belonged. Continuing to pursue theater was truly accidental. I didn't try to be an actor. It just sort of happened to me. To this day, though they are tedious, I love tech rehearsals. I love being in that magical place where you get to create a feeling; a mood. I love knowing that soon our little creation will be something that we will share with thousands of people. And we hope that they will love it as much as we do.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

3rd Grade

We moved around a lot when I was young. I was born in Los Angeles, moved to Texas at 2, moved to Wyoming at 3, and then to Southern Illinois (Carlinville to be exact) when I was 8. My first day of 3rd grade in the new school was of course a bit scary. Not only did I not know anyone of course, but now it was really starting to matter. By 3rd grade cliques are already forming, friendships are budding, and in Carlinville, people are meeting the people that they will one day marry. The majority of my graduating class in C'ville found their spouse among the other constituents of our high school. I obviously didn't, but my best friend Ashish did. Ashish was the first person to come up and talk to me in Mrs. Priest's 3rd grade class. It might have even been on the first day of school. We became instant friends. We started have sleepovers soon after that on the weekends, jumping on the trampoline at our house, making home movies, playing games, and just being kids. Ashish and I were also pretty nerdy. We always did well on tests, did our homework and in Junior High we were both star players on the scholastic bowl team. The other interesting thing about Ashish is that his family believed and practiced Hinduism. In their basement they had a Puja room, which I was never allowed to enter, but which greatly intrigued me. Ashish would go in there sometimes to pray, and his dad would go in there almost every day. He taught me a lot about his religion and I taught him about mine. I was very interested in his beliefs, but of course I knew that I had the truth so I never though of exploring his religion beyond a curious interest. Ashish and I remained close friends until my dad was finally transferred back to Houston when I was nearly 16. After we both went college, I went on my mission and moved to new york, Ashish married a lovely girl who was a year younger than us in school, Jessica, he finished med. school, went to the Mayo clinic to do his residency, then do a fellowship in St. Louis. Over all those years, we have hardly spoken on the phone, but when we have he would always ask if I was married, ask about my life etc. Since I wasn't ever sure I would have ever sit down with him again, I just never felt to come out to him. Until this week. Ashish and his wife Jessica (I found this out because she is an AVID facebook user) came to Chicago this week because Ashish is doing another year of training, and the program he wants is in Chicago! So on Thursday night of this week I sat down with him, his wife, and another friend from Carlinville, Brad, who also happens to live here (again Facebook is how he and I found each other). We had a 3 1/2 hour dinner together! It was so enjoyable. The people that they have become are exactly like the people I knew and loved growing up. It was crazy! I finally had a chance to explain everything about my sexuality and the changes that have taken place in my life. Ashish said to me, "wow you really are exactly the same as I remember". I told him that I felt the same way about him. Both Ashish and Brad have families and have 2 children each. What a wonderful moment to spend with old old friends and be able to reminisce about the past with people who were really there. We had so many fun stories to share with one another, and we laughed a lot. 3 1/2 hour dinner! That says it all. As I walked home I felt so good about life and the people we get to share our lives with. Its such a tender blessing to have friends, and its even better when people are just here to love and embrace one another and make this walk of life a richer place for everyone who they meet.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Love, or el amor, depending

Ever since I saw my first episode, I have been hooked on Ugly Betty. I love stories about underdogs, people who have so much to offer but who are not given the chance to reach their potential because of societal barriers or other roadblocks. Because I didn't see the very first episodes of Ugly Betty, I am not sure how they set up the story and character of Betty. I have always thought I should probably go back and watch those first episodes, just to see if there is anything important I missed.

Recently I was setting up my new DVR in Chicago, and I stumbled upon "Betty la fea", the original Colombian series which inspired Selma Hayek to produce the US incarnation. I was also fortunate enough to land on the very first episode! I guess I got what I asked for, slightly modified. As a side note, I find it fascinating that both Ugly Bettys are absolutely beautiful in real life. There is already meaning in that alone I think. Anyway, after watching the show all week, I am absolutely hooked on THIS one too. In fact, Thursday night I watched Ugly Betty, and then (even though I had many other programs on my DVR) I went right on to Betty la fea. Not only is it a MARVELOUS way for me to keep up with my spanish, its also just really good. Of course these tele-novelas are very dramatic. Whenever you land on them you kind of shudder at the over the top acting. However, I am starting to see it now more like a genre of its own, and I think the good novelas, though emotions are severely heightened, have a lot of heart as well as relevance. In the US version, Betty is VERY committed to her boss, Daniel. I have never fully understood why she is always seeming to bend over backwards to get him out of all the awkward situations he gets himself into, especially considering he never seems to fully appreciate her help. In tonight's episode of "la fea", after saving her boss from a scandal and earning his trust, Betty is stood up by some neighborhood boys who asked her out as a joke. Broken-hearted, she writes in her journal, "De nuevo la vida me dice que el amor no es para mi, que es un sentimiento que tengo que enterrar. Nadie me va a dar la oportunidad de demostrar cuanto puedo amar. El motor de mi vida tiene que ser el trabajo. Es lo unico que me puede salvar. Y trabajar para el. Ser su sombra y su aliento. Ese es el motivo de vivir." (Once again life has shown that love is not for me, that love is a feeling I ought to bury. No one will give me the opportunity to show how much I love I have inside. The driving force of my life must now be work. That's the only thing that can save me.. and working for him (Daniel her boss). I'll be his refuge and his comfort. This is my life's purpose now.)

I was almost taken back by how suddenly invested I felt in this character. What started as a spanish lesson had turned into something more significant. Ok, I admit it. I cried while watching a spanish tele-novela. There I said it. It just makes me sad to feel that there are people out there who think that because they do not look a certain way, that they can't have love. I want to challenge that idea. I don't think that work or some other obsession can or should take the place of love. There are so many places in this world where we can find love, and we need to search for that love in order to thrive as human beings. In the times when we are not in a place to share romantic love, we can partake of other kinds of love-- love to family members, friends, even strangers. Sometimes actually getting the love is not as important as that search for greater love, outside of ourselves, and of course within as well. "Love's a fake, love's a fable.. just a painting on a ceiling, just a children's fairy tale-- STILL YOU HAVE TO LOOK AND LOOK AND LOOK AND LOOK..." (the Light in the Piazza) For when you look, you find. That's how it is.

I am excited to see Betty la fea take her journey toward love. She is just starting to discover it; to see what a risk it is to try, and why we should never give up on it. EVER.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Have you heard the news?

Joaquin Phoenix is retiring from acting. His new career is Drugs -- I mean Hip Hop.
"why are you laughing at me?" The interviewer can barely hold it together.

This is him on Letterman last night. The interview is so strange and bizarre. At first it seems like J. is just playing for laughs but it then it becomes clearly evident that Joaquin is NOT in on the joke. Again the audience starts to laugh just like the reporter in the previous clip when he mentions hip-hop/rap. Other highlights: J putting his gum under Dave's desk, then taking it back just before the clip from his new movie begins. And of course the final quip, "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight." Wow. Any guesses as to what drug he is on?

As a sidenote? Have you seen the clip of him rapping? His new career is already underway. I've heard better from Vanilla Ice impersonators in malls.

This is a good lesson for all of us childrenz. Say no to drogas perjudiciales; that's harmful drugs if you're nasty.

Don't Lose Hope--BYU Has the Answer

I still get Alumni emails, magazines etc. from BYU. I am also on a few other email lists for the Dance Dept. etc, and sometimes I just get a fair amount of entertainment from the culture of mormonism. Recently the dance division at the Y was having an alumni meeting and the theme was like, "dancing and doctrines," or maybe "doctrines in motion" or something else like that. It is just SO funny and amazing to me. Anyway this morning, I got another email from the alumni association, and I thought I'd share this gem with you. First of all, I can just see some BYU alum struggling at home and just knowing that he is going to find the answers from BYU. Second of all, there was a picture of a black guy next to this article! They just never cease to impress. Its about doing a being prepared to give a good job interview. Enjoy!

Practice rehearsed spontaneity
While this seems to be a contradiction of terms, it means that you prepare for an interview as much as you can even practicing certain answers to commonly asked questions. When you are asked a question you know the answer to, be sure you seem spontaneous with your reply. How? Don't answer immediately, but take a few breaths and answer slowly. This will buy you a little time when you do get that difficult question where you really do have to take a little time.

Is it just me or is this similar to the part in Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Collins is talking about giving compliments to ladies?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Its my birthday

I am 32 kids. 32 candles, 32 spankings, 32 minutes.. but me? I measure my life in Love. Thanks for being a part of that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

guess that celeb in drag

I'll give you a hint. He is British. He played opposite Julia Roberts in Closer. He was in a wheelchair in Gattaca. Did I give it away? If you don't know, find out here.

Friday, February 6, 2009

This is seriously amazing

This is a hugely viral video-- it has 4 million views. You'll see why.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Courage Campaign

A while ago the Courage Campaign asked for photos, videos and stories of gay marriages for this video which was recently released. I think it is incredible to see the faces of people who are affected by the potential effects of proposition 8 in California. The jury is still out on whether the same sex marriages performed in california prior to the passage of prop 8 will stand or be nullified.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

If that doesn't break your heart...

The silver team goes down in flames

First let me say that this is the first time I have watched a season of the biggest loser but I am obsessed with it. Particularly with the "silver team" who just got eliminated this week. Ok, just to lay this out for you, in the first video usually the couple talks about how this experience brought them closer together, and the music is all positive and upbeat but what they are saying is SOO not. It's a pretty brilliant juxtaposition. Joelle's face kills me! She is the one on the left. Favorite quote from this is after Carla accuses her of not working hard enough and says all the work she did made her lose 0 pounds, and joelle, desperate for a retort comes up with, "You know? It may lead to 0." Brilliant!

In case you are curious, Fakin the funk means this:

when an indidvidual doesn't show his or her's true personality, individual fails to keep it real


When an upper or middle class person suddenly becomes hard around the presence of colored or lower class individuals.

-- courtesy Urban Dictionary (spelling and punctuation kept in tact)

Apparently after not seeing each other since leaving, Carla and Joelle have a reunion. Its definitely worth the 2 minutes. Trust me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A faith demoting story

Ok so I was walking home from work today and I decided to take a quick walk toward lake Michigan just to take in the brisk air coming in off of the water. As I was standing on the shore, I heard a rustling at my feet. I looked down and froze in my steps, because there was a rattlesnake right there. I was just starting to slowly move away, when the snake began to speak. "Can you help me" the snake pleaded. Its so cold here. I am old and dying, and all I want to do is have one more margarita in Boys Town." Completely put off by this troll snake I spat back, "First of all, QUEEN, you are way too old and scaly to hang out with me. I have the common sense to use moisturizer, and the common sense to not get stranded somewhere on the shore of one of the Great Lakes. Secondly, you are a snake! If I even pick you up I know you will bite me and kick my A to the curb at your first opportunity. So basically, NO. I won't help you. I suggest you find a leather bar somewhere closer and live out the rest of your days with your own kind." The snake slyly retorted, "No I swear I am not like that. I just tots need to get to boys town and I promise I will not bite you. Just take me Britney Spears 'Slave for you' style up past Lincoln Park and just drop me off at the corner. I'll manage from there." Well, I guess I was weak. I felt bad for the old betch. I guess I gave in to peer pressure. I picked that reptile up and started walking.

As we walked the snake was so chatty cathy! It was really annoying. He kept name dropping, "Oh I totally lived next door to Brangelina for 6 months before I came here. Oh me and the Olson twins tots designed this really fierce vintage crop top a while ago but we had a falling out.. over post-its LOLOLOL." Ug. So obnoxious. Matters got worse when he DEMANDED we stop at Starbucks so he could get a warm drink. He was SO rude to the barista demanding specifically a 7 pump non-fat chai latte extra hot. He made that poor girl make it 3 times and was finally satisfied when she burst into tears. I thought to myself this is IT I'm never picking up a gay snake AGAIN!

Finally, just as I was approaching the bar that Snakezoid wanted to go to, he coiled back and bit me right in the areola! It hurt so much that I just cried out in my falsetto, "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?! You swore you wouldn't bite me. You skanky skanky tramp!" The snake just slithered away, and after a moment turned back, flipped his weave over his shoulder and said, "You knew what I was when you picked me up." I screamed back, "Yeah I did you F'ing snake! Now wait up I'm going with you! I had no idea you were into biting or I would have invited myself sooner."

And with that, the snake and I rode off into the sunset together and got married in Connecticut.

The End.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Political Cartoon incoming

Click on it to see it full size.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Speaks for itself

Ix-nay on the icrowave-may!

You know those TV dinners you find in the freezer section of your local grocery store? Well 3 years ago I barely knew they existed. Growing up we never ever encountered them in my home, and in the nearly 12 years after leaving the nest I had hardly eaten a single one of the microwave "meals in a box." Well that's not exactly true. I do remember this one time, (at band camp) at Food 4 Less (which apparently is not there any more) in Provo my roommate and I found some microwave dinners at about 25 cents each or something ridiculous. So Timmy and I bought about 40 of them and packed our freezer full. I think after eating them for a solid month I never even looked at those boxes again, that is until I met Constantine.

Constantine eats what I call a modified Amer-iterranean diet. Amer because there is a cookie or Fro-Yo after almost every meal, iterranean because there is often Hummus but ALWAYS plain yoghurt on top of everything and of course ample EVOO, and modified because he literally cooks everything in the microwave. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. His stove, which is in perfect working order, has never once been turned on. In fact, it is unplugged and full of copies of the New Yorker that he has not yet gotten around to reading. There might also be a stray copy of In Style or Us in there, but I can't say for sure. GWYNETH WORE WHAT?! OMG!

The first few times we ate together I was really surprised at how effectively he used that microwave. That kid can cook anything in there. And though he is creative with the machine, for the most part he sticks to the basics: meals in a box and the occasional can of soup. Since I was in college, the quality of these meals has definitely gone up. Of course, so has the price. My favorite TV dinner is the Kashi Southwest Style Chicken. Kashi also has some other great ones, but they usually run about 5 dollars a box. They have great ingredients, but they are only about 250 calories per box, which for me means I should probably eat about 3 boxes for dinner in order to keep my manly physiche (squeal). Wait 15 dollars for a dinner? I might as well go out to dinner! Wait do I really want to afford 10-15 dollars for dinner every night? This is NOT the way I was raised people!

So, ever since I arrived in Chicago I have vowed that I will not buy a single TV dinner. My first trip to the grocery store was a little bit confusing. I kind of forgot you can make other stuff. 1 week later, I find myself very contented with my progress. I remember now what I used to eat before the ameriterranean MODIFIED diet took hold of my heart. And if my calculations are correct, I have probably spent on average $2.50 per meal. And that includes swimmin'.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I love the stance this iconic woman takes on the passage of prop 8 in California. She also talks about the recent passage of Arkansas law allowing only hetero couples to adopt. I like the way she shares her view. She seems tolerant yet passionate. YOU TELL 'EM JUDGE JUDY!