Forward to the Future

12 01 2010

Happy New Year Friends!

We have made it to the future.
Sure we don’t have flying cars and 9 hour work weeks, but we’ve still got time for that.

RHS and I rang the New Year in with some close friends and their lamb and their cheese and their Wii and their general awesomeness.  It was delightful.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year and instead, RHS and I just dove right into wedding planning.

  • We found a venue.
  • We found out that our wedding budget had been decreased by one half.
  • We stared at each other in the kitchen as I moaned, “My vision!  My vision!”
  • And then we regrouped.
  • We thought of a clever catering idea [a potluck hors d’oeuvres competition – feel free to use that].
  • And on Saturday we went to our very first Bridal Fair.

We had high hopes, it was at “hip” bar in Brooklyn (and not even the assy part of Brooklyn where the bars that are considered “hip” are) and there was free Brooklyn Lager and Prosecco and there would be music and free food to try and talks to attend.

There was also a crowd of blurry-eyed, mirthless brides and their disheveled (possibly unwashed) blahblahblah fiances.  They picked at the vendors’ wares like overstuffed vultures and flocked in their frizzy dismay here there and everywhere.  I hated them.

But mostly, I hated that we were the only identifiable same-gendered couple.  And I hated the snide looks from the other brides.  I hated that when we sat through the DIY Ceremony with Officiant seminar, the officiant (and licensed clinical psychologist) did not even acknowledge that same-gendered couples existed.  In the words of RHS, “Just because it’s not legal, doesn’t mean that the gays aren’t doing it.”

But… but we did meet a lot of cool vendors (that we can’t afford).  We were charmed by the two lovely gentlemen that were from ThreePhotographers.  They offer a great package, were as cute as buttons and really captured genuine moments in their wedding photography.

As far as caterers go, I was really excited to discover that one could fry beets like potato chips and serve them with popcorn.  Thanks Tyler, from Naturally Delicious, Inc. (Also, RHS totally thanks you for the 15 or so pomegranate martinis you gave her.)

We fell in love with the photo-booth at THE BEST WEDDING EVER and we delighted to find that there was an option in Brooklyn.  The fellas at Shootbooth, have even built their own stand-inside Bellows camera.  I am most excited about The Sidecar which has a camera mounted in a ball-pit.  Can you say 35th Birthday?  I can!

And lastly, we fell in loveLoveLOVE with Tanesha Smith-Wattley and her Small World Terrariums.  I love it so much that I use my patented WhyAren’tYouGivingMeWhatIWant stare to try and finagle one into our wedding budget.

We came away from the Fair with mixed feelings.  We met some wonderful vendors and got some good ideas for things that we might want to try and incorporate on our own.  On the other hand, most of the other brides that we ran into were just stank.  And we also left feeling a bit sad about our financial options.  But, a couple of days have passed and we have committed ourselves to moving forward.  We have a venue that we love.  We have awesome friends who have gotten excited about competing in our hors d’oeuvres competition.  And most importantly, we have each other.  We are going to throw a kick-ass party and we are going to confirm our commitment to Team Mackwell in front of our friends and family.

We will face the future together.  (And the future is now!)

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Mad World

15 12 2009

Ah, Tears for Fears… when have you ever been wrong?

Last night Doctor Rachel Maddow who errs in now way (except for the way that her teenyteenytiny section in the NBC Store in Rockefeller Center does not carry Mind Over Chatter shirts that fit me) was all over Sloppy Joe Lieberman last night like herpes on a Hilton (I said it and I stand by it).

Vodpod videos no longer available. Vodpod videos no longer available.

I cannot compete.  But I can sum it up with a little help from my friends Roland and Curt.

I can’t stand this indecision
married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world.






NOprah

21 11 2009

I have three major influences in my life.

My mother, the obsessive compulsive, super-smelling, freakishly-strong for her size, shoe loving, potato-chip eating marvel of genetic design that she is, Barbra Streisand (I know, surprisesurprise) and Oprah Winfrey.

Strong Black Women

Since her first show in 1986 I have been an Oprah fan.  I was six and she was Oprah.  She was the best thing to hit my afternoon TV since Reva Shayne on The Guiding Light.  Sure, I stopped watching her show when I got to high school and it began to interfere with my busy life of show choir [I still, 10 years and two sweatshirts later, am a little bit foggy on what exactly “Expressions in Motion” means but that might just be because when I was motion my expression was singular: pained.] and shadowing Windsor HS’ stage-manger extraordinaire in drama club rehearsals.  But with Oprah the adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was true.  The less I watched her show, the more terrific her personality loomed in my mind.

Some people believed in Jiminy Cricket.  I believed in Oprah.

When you wish upon a star, chose either Oprah or Barbra.

When people were running around with those silly WWJD bracelets (Answer: He’d slap you for wearing those stupid bracelets.) I would scoff at them and secretly think, “WWOWD.”  I even wore my hair like Oprah. (Somewhere there is the photographic evidence of this.  Let’s you and I both hope that they are not in electronic form.)  Oprah was everything I wanted to be: respected, successful and powerful.

So while I understand that after 25 years Oprah is ready to move on to other things, I’m really floored.  I feel like she just told Harpo to beat me.
I honestly thought that the Oprah Winfrey show would outlive me.  I thought that Oprah Winfrey would discover the cure for aging past 60 and would just go on forever.  I know that she’s striking out on her OWN but it won’t be the same.  I won’t be the same.  And now you know that awful Tyra is going to want her own channel too, though ANTM does pretty much own the CW which I guess sort of counts as half a network.  That just sent shivers down my spine.

But I guess once you’ve beaten the meat industry and picked a President there’s not much left.

Oh-prah.





He ain’t Dick Cheney. He’s my brother.

23 10 2009

I never thought that I’d say this but, you guys, I’m worried about Dick Cheney.

And not worried in your run of the mill, Holy Mantights Batman, that VeePee Vermin has Struck Again! sort of way.

I’m talking worried like, Sweet Rollerskating Jeebus it’s Friday Night and my Budget Will Only Allow for Beer or Pizza- Not Both.  You know, seriously worried.

At first, I thought that he had a case of the George “It’s not a lie if you believe it” Constanza-s.  But after seeing the footage on Dr. Maddow’s show last night I’m becoming a bit alarmed.


My brother is unwell.  He presents with symptoms concurrent with schizophrenia.  His illness manifests itself in paranoid delusions, anti-social behavior and disordered thoughts.  He has accused me of working in collusion with Them while being part of a vast gay conspiracy to imprison him.  He once told me that he had to stop using the internet because the computer was talking to him and watching him.

He refuses to seek treatment because he believes he is the only okay one in the world.

Listening to the voracity with which Dick Cheney defends and praises the use of torture is like listening to my brother defend and praise his “camouflaging” and admonish me and the rest of my family for suggesting that he might not need to camouflage if he would seek professional help.
When Dick Cheney talks about giving comfort to the enemy, I imagine one of my conversations with my brother when he accuses me and my sister and my cousins of being snitches who are out to get him.
Thinking about the fact that Dick Cheney spent most of the 8 years of the Bush Administration in an undisclosed bunker that could not be imaged on Google satellites reminds me of the fact that not once in the past 6 years has my brother told his address or kept the same phone number for more than six months.
The unwavering sureness of Dick Cheney’s convictions, despite fact, history and public opinion to the contrary is indicative to me of deep and chronic delusion, paranoid in nature.
I think he’s crazy.  And not just racist and mean-spirited crazy like Pat Buchanan, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.
Really crazy.

You know, when he was in charge I was scared for us.  Now, despite my best intentions, I’m scared for him, as I am scared for my brother.





Sang a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go.

11 10 2009

So, I’ve been sitting here on my couch watching American football (arguably one of the best things about Fall – except for the foliage, of course), ironing my clothes for the week (It’s a weird, nerdy total time-saver and is super-helpful when you’re between laundry runs), making dinner, being domestic with RHS and recovering from our 4-mile run today.

I totally forgot that it was National Coming Out Day.

Over at Pam’s House Blend they’ve got a lovely compilation of videos from the March on DC that seems appropriate for the day.

I tend to think that everyday is a coming out day.  Not that I run around New York City, stopping random passersby and tourists to let them know that I am gay (I let my tie and my loafers do the talking for me) but every single day I live my life as openly as possible.

When I came out to my mother in 2003 over the phone…

BPD: Guess what Mommy, I’m in a play!
BPD’s Mommy: That’s wonderful sweetie, what role do you play?
BPD: I play a lesbian and that’s really easy because I am one in real life.
BPD’s Mommy: How wonderful, you’re in a play.
BPD & BPD’s Mommy: (awkward silence)
BPD’s Mommy: So you’re a lesbian in real life?
BPD: Yeah.
BPD’s Mommy: Well you’ll draw on experience then.
BPD: Yeah.
BPD’s Mommy: Well, thanks for telling your mother.
BPD: About the play?
BPD’s Mommy: About everything.  Thanks for feeling like you can tell your mother anything.  I appreciate that.
BPD: You’re welcome.
BPD’s Mommy: I love you.  Break a leg in your play.

… my biggest worry was that she’d hang right up on me and that’d be it.

Her biggest concern was (and, I would wager, still is) that life would be difficult for me.  I was (and, I would wager, still am) her BabyGirl and the last thing that she wants is for my life to be difficult.  And over the years I’ve tried to make her understand that being closeted made my life difficult.  That as awful as it sometimes is, having to endure hateful tirades and having to keep constant vigilance about my safety when I am about in the world is still loads easier than those years I spent closeted.

So every day that I am out in the world living my life just as I see fit is a victory. Every day that I don’t have to live a closeted life is a triumph.  I come out every morning when I roll over and see RHS’ sleeping head, every pay-day when I look at my check and see that we are covered by my health-insurance, every Sunday when we go on our runs through Prospect Park and talk about our plans for the future, every time someone stops me at work to ask me about my ties and every time my sister wants to talk to RHS on the phone so that they can commiserate about me.

I congratulate all that have made today (yesterday and tomorrow) National Coming Out Day.

Especially you, Diana.





Interwebs lift us up where we belong…

28 09 2009

Last week was a hard week.
I was totally stressed out at work.
I was audited by the IRS and had the first of my installment payments due and had to figure out what I wouldn’t be paying in order to give the government its due  (fingers crossed this gets me the Public Option I want).
I’ve been a bit worried about something coming up in my offline life that’s been keeping me distracted and I found a line on my face.  The worst part is that the line on my face is probably caused by the frequent and painful multiple day-long headaches that I have (which are probably migraines).
Also, I found out the the Phelps clan would be in my fair borough to picket outside of synagogues on Yom Kippur because they’re classy-McClassersons who are still protected by Free Speech. And though I am not Jewish and I didn’t spend the day fasting (I did spent the day tidying and meditating on things that I might need to atone for [like calling my sister “stupid” a lot when I was younger]) this kind of… just nastiness by the Westboro klan really floored me.

There were some bright spots.

RHS booked an Off-Broadway gig (which pays) and is now finally able to turn Equity.  This makes us a two Equity-card household.
Oprah Winfrey kicked off her 24th Season with interviews with Whitney Houston, and in a double whammy Jay-Z and, the light of my life, Barbra Streisand.

But the brightest spots were found on the interwebs.
I was browsing my favourite blogs and discovered Wordle.net (beautiful world cloud maker) at CKHB’s blog.  Here’s the wordle from last week’s entries.

Every silver lining has a word cloud.

Every silver lining has a word cloud.

I found out where the limited edition Barbra Streisand Barbie doll can be purchased.  (Wink, wink.  Hint, hint.)  And I found videos of the Vanguard performance (that I, sadly, did not win tickets to).

Hello, dolly.

Hello, dolly.

Some smartasses after my own heart found a way to counter the non-housebroken-ness of the Phelps clan.

Amen, dude.

Amen, dude.

And finally… Oprah gets surprised.

Thank you interwebs.





The Facts of Lifestyle

20 09 2009

Yesterday on the way back from a wedding (lovely affair) to which one of the grooms’ parents declined to attend – lifestyles, lifestyles – RHS and I had the lovely pleasure of sharing our commute with the neighborhood’s homophobe.¹

He spent much of the 45 minute ride spewing graphic invectives against me and my lady and what we do in the privacy of our own home, on more than one occasion whispering at me to look at him so that I could see what a real man looked like.  And this, this is the place to which many of the negative responders to my lifestyle stoop.  And I just have to say to all of those gentleman homophobes:

Sirs, you’re not doing your argument any favors by being bloated, drunken, poorly groomed, ill-mannered, unwashed, uninformed and inarticulate.  You are not what a real man looks like.  The fact that you think so will not only not help you in “converting” lesbians, but it will also prevent you from getting a woman who isn’t a lesbian.  You’re alone right now, drunk, ashy and on the train trying to get me to beat your over the head with my navy-blue Italian leather heels.  “Real men” aren’t doing that.  Mine (what with the successful relationship and the job-holding, 401K having, renewed lease obtaining and debt-management) is not the lifestyle² you need to be all that’s not natural about.

Because honestly, the lifestyle that the Duggars are leading gives me great pause.

Do you know about the Duggars and their show 18 Kids and Counting?

The Duggars are a family in which the father and the mother have made the choice that what God really wants for them is to turn the mother into a baby-machine and to pimp those babies out on the television machine.  Since 1988 the Incubator and the Sperminator have produced 18 children (but wait, there’s more!).  That’s right, 18 children in 21 years.
The oldest boy just got married off so that he could finally have sex and promptly knocked up his very own baby-machine wife.  Like father like son.

He put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.

He put her in a pumpkin shell and there he kept her very well.

The Duggars ascribe to the there’s nothing better or a woman than for her to be pregnant and in the kitchen because contraception is an affront to God’s will (and is just mighty inconvenient) and we’ll prostitute our offspring on TV because while “Children are the heritage of the Lord” those TLC payments and those book deal and speaking tour ducats are all for us kind of lifestyle.

And yet, they can vacation in the Caribbean Isles without being worried about being killed for sport and enjoy a subway ride without lewd and violent insults being hurled their way because somehow their whorish and parasitic lifestyle is better than mine.

You take the good, you take the bad,
you take them both and there you have
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life.

There’s a time you got to go and show
You’re growin’ now you know about
The Facts of Life, the Facts of Life.

When the world never seems
to be livin up to your dreams
And suddenly you’re finding out
the Facts of Life are all about you, you.

.

.

.

.

¹I really do mean the neighborhood homophobe.  RHS and I currently live in a predominately West Indian neighborhood.  Many of our neighbors are first or second-generation West Indian and many of them are from islands that have very lax laws about the treatment of people who are gay.  For example, our neighbors are from Trinidad where it is illegal to be gay.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Trinidad_and_Tobago  I do not want to know what they think of my lifestyle.  But having been on a more than one B41 bus with Belligerent McHomophobe (and now, the Brooklyn-bound Q from 57th Street) I know exactly how he feels.

²Seriously, this is the kind of lifestyle that gets your goat, homophobes?  You’re hating because I work at an awesome non-profit, know what kind of pants properly drape my shape and have a 401K?   Is that really it?  Because, it can’t be because I’m gay.  I didn’t choose that.  I did choose to work to pay off my debt and give to charity and vote.  Being gay is not a lifestyle.   However being filled with hate and stupidity is.