Make the burning stop.....

Friday, June 30, 2006

Pop Quiz


Last evening after the deluge of rain, the fine folks from the Parks Department set off fireworks in Astoria Park. Amidst the sounds of The Muppet Show on DVD, my cousins Bridgid and Deirdre heard some noise outside. After we ruled out gunshots and the possibility of a civil war re-enactment, we went outside and walked under the Triboro. I always feel like a little kid during the fireworks - ooohing and aaahing through the 15-20 minute display. My favorite fireworks are the silvery ones that look like a weeping willow and then the very ends twinkle brightly before they die out.

It is a half day here at work so most people are fucking off anyway. As I type this, there are 5 people behind me watching the World Cup on the tv the security guard is attached to. A highlight of today was brunch, complete with swine and blueberry french toast. It is also payday and the Friday before a long weekend ... so I'm in unusually good spirits.

I was inspired today while reading a fellow performer's blog, to take some quizzes. I took the two that Carolyn took and then found another of my old favorites.

Amybeth Whissel --

[noun]:

A master of storytelling



'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com


Seems pretty accurate. Of course, it don't pay the bills.





QuizGalaxy!
'What will your obituary say?' at QuizGalaxy.com


Also true, however it should read, "at The Elks Club #2394" not the American Legion.

And for those of you who want to define your political and moral leanings beyond just Left or Right, go here.

Economic Left/Right: -6.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59

I share political idealogies with Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. I find myself feeling enraged over global injustice while also very much at one with myself.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Catfish


Nicolio was kind enough to send me the following photos of my brother, the fisherman. When we were kids we used to go fishing in Canada, but I never caught anything like this... I don't remember ever catching much more than little silver bass.

It used to be that my brother would turn to dust if the sun hit him before noon. This same creature of the night, gets up at 5am and schleps his ass down to the water to go fishing with his buddies, without an unkind word or a threats of violence.

It would seem that my therapy for Mom and a whole bunch of other stuff is running and Mattie's is handling worms, guppies and various types of chum to woo and prevail upon the "channel cats". Hey man, whatever works.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

God Made Me


I realize that I have a propensity for juvenile antics but when it involves gay pride day and the police I can hardly be held accountable. On Sunday afternoon, I joined my BGH, Tony and his brother Mike for a day of merriment in the Village.

Prior to meeting up with a cast of other characters, we watched the parade from the corner of Christopher and Bleecker. There was a church group handing out stickers and I plastered a couple of them on my ass pockets. One read "God Made Me Gay", the other, "God Made Me a Lesbian." The third, I decided should be saved for someone special ("God Made Me Trans").

After placing some extra stickers on unsuspecting parade-goers, Rob and I came across these lovely corn fed police officers, who were kind enough to pose with me.

In our haste to capture a photo of our new favorite Transexual Cop, Rob and I tipped off his partner to the sticker on his back. She cracked up and let him wear it for awhile before telling him it was there. Quite possibly my favorite part though, was Rob and I "hiding" behind a lamp post giggling while we watched the scene unfold.

Lemme see your pride, bitches!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

It keeps you running...

On Saturday, I did the Front Runners Pride Run (5 miles) and continued to work towards building my endurance. Sadly, when I went outside to retrieve my flashing light tiara, I realized it was stolen out of the trunk when my car was burglarized in Buffalo. Tragically, I was forced to run in my drab old running clothes minus the flash and fun.

I have another race tomorrow for another worthwhile event in honor of V Day. This race, called "Until the Violence Stops" will help me in my goal toward guaranteed entry into the 2007 ING-NYC marathon, as well as an opportunity to support one of the many events in this 15 day festival.
I'm really excited to be running a new course and for a chance to see Prospect Park.

The countdown is on for my friends Melaina and Michael who are in the last stages of their Ironman training. So, the day after my birthday when I am most likely bloated and headachey or on a deep sea fishing expedition, the two of them will be participating in more physical activity in one day than the average American kid does in a year*

*(based upon well researched statistics I made up)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Jive Political


I've been a really apathetic little monkey lately and it isn't something I'm proud of.

It's so easy in the course of our lives to become wrapped up in our own small sphere of reality that we forget what part we play in the larger picture. This is one reason I really admire Angelina Jolie. She's used her fame to bring attention to projects she's passionate about. She's trying to expose mainstream America to the reality of how blessed we are and how much good we can do in the world - in spite of the current administration.

Another person whose dedication, knowledge and passion about world issues and politics that I admire, is my uncle, Tom Carney.

Tommy came to live with us before I was even born. He was my mother's baby brother who went with her and my Dad on dates to the drive in. In the early part of their marriage, my grandfather passed away from a malignant brain tumor and my grandmother from what was later deemed Alzheimer's. So, even though he is my uncle, I have thought of him as my brother for as long as I can remember.

There was a time when we both lived in Buffalo and every Monday night was "Movie Night". he exposed me to a lot of films I may never have seen otherwise. One documentary I remember particularly well was "Hearts of Darkness - A Filmmaker's Apocalypse".

My memories of Tommy are all tied up in music (he's seen some amazing shows), film (he was a bartender and watched old black and white films from 5-7am after work) as well as books (he never failed to have his nose in a book or three and was incapable of hearing anything while reading). Incidentally, there are a few choice other stories, such as when a boy from the neighborhood rode his bike over my sister's legs while she sat drawing on the street. Tom decided the best way for him to ponder hurting her would be to dangle from the lamp post across the street from our house. So, he hung him up and walked away.

Since those days, Tom has been living in Portland, Oregon and becoming increasingly progressive - both politically and environmentally. Unbelievably, he's also become an even better, kinder, more compassionate person than he previously was.

That said, if you're looking for a place to inform yourself about some of the known and not so known hot zones of human rights and millitarization, visit Tom's new blog, Mad as Hell.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Summer Solstice!


Wishing you all a summer season filled with cold beverages, good friends, plentiful slices of pizza and a big gay husband to call your own!

Today is my favoritest day of the year.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Girl, you gotta have pride!


My BGH has been sending borderline threatening emails. I am to get rid of this last post of green eyed jealousy and seriousness and replace it with a touch 'o frivolity.

The above photo was taken after Rob and I saw a friend's production at the Producer's Club this past Friday.

In honor of Pride weekend here in NYC I'm running a 5 mile race in Central Park on Saturday and my BGH and Tony have agreed to cheer me on at the finish. I did another 5 mile this past weekend for Father's Day/Prostate Cancer Awareness and it was hotter than monkey balls.

It seems I'm happiest lately when I'm running.

So, just think how much ebullience I'll have on Saturday when I run in a tiara and feather boa.

Friday, June 16, 2006

green eyes


Jealousy is a kooky thing...

It's a feeling that fills me with annoyance and self loathing, yet I allow myself to be susceptible to it.
I permit the little cracks in my self esteem and the things I know to be false to gnaw away at me ... until I've inevitably pushed away the person or goal I want to get close to.

I can clearly define the moments where rage, fear, envy and anger are the pitfalls and I have a clear and rational idea of the situation but still can't help reverting to old habits. I hate that about myself.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Don’t you think I want to
Don’t you think I would
Don’t you think I’d tell you baby
If I only could
Am I acting crazy
Am I just too proud
Am I just plain lazy
Am i, am i, am i, ever


Cause I'm jealous, jealous again
Thought it time I let you in
Yeah, I'm jealous, jealous again
Got no time, baby

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You better recognize


I'll bet that very few of you know about my up and coming music career. Don't delay! Get on the bandwagon and sign up for my fanclub, where you'll receive advance notice on all my shows and promotions.

I'm also available to play your wedding, sweet sixteen and bar or bat mitzvah. Reasonable rates. Satisfaction guaranteed.

TCB, baby!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Yikes. He's cranky!

My mother died at Nazareth Nursing Home in Buffalo, NY, in the early evening of May 26th, 2006.

From Monday night when I got to Buffalo until that afternoon, I sat with my Mom. I read to her from the paper, from the Artvoice, The Garden of Eden and The Alchemist. On Friday, after the 3-11 shift change, I left the room so the nurses could get my Mom settled in bed. On my way back inside, a CNA appeared to tell me I needed to get upstairs and call the rest of my family.

Mom’s breathing became shallower and her face and hands started to turn blue. The minister from her church had been called but hadn’t arrived, so my sister asked the nurses station to call on the chaplain.

I’d met Sister Bernard several times before. She came and said a prayer with us when I arrived in Buffalo, which seemed like it would be my Mom's last night on Earth. I remember her voice being sweet with more than a hint of a brogue, even after 30 plus years in the States. She walked to the foot of the bed and took my hand and my sister’s. Betsy held my brother’s hand while he held my Mom’s right hand and I held her left. What I’m saying in a convoluted way, is we held hands in a circle.

Sister Bernard began a prayer that I still cannot recall other than the fire and brimstone filled words that passed her lips. “Agonizing…sinners punished …fiery hell. She wasn’t saying Mom was going there, which is why I couldn’t understand why she spent so much time telling my Mom what she would be spared instead of stressing what awaited her. She was very sweet and meant well, make no mistake, but it reminded why I am glad I was really raised a Protestant rather than a Catholic. The Catholics just seem to dwell a lot on the negative stuff. The stuff that makes people behave and follow (blindly). If it weren't for Mom's insistence on the Protestant Church, I may have never found my way to Wicca or some of the other philosophies and theologies I’ve incorporated along the way.

In the last minutes my mother breathed, time was an agonizingly slow space where I unconsciously held my breath to the point I thought my chest would cave in under its own weight. Her breathing stopped for what seemed like 2 minutes and I thought it was over. Then suddenly she gasped and began breathing again. This happened at least two more times when my brother finally broke the tension. “She’s doing this on purpose.” he said with a grin. Betsy and I both laughed through our tear stained faces and dripping noses. We told her we’d watch over and beat on each other always and she could let go.

Then it was over. I’d been lying in bed with her when she died and I waited a while before getting up, not wanting to let go. I went outside for a cigarette with my brother and Nicole. Bruce McKay, the pastor of my mother’s church came up the stairs to the entrance and it struck me this is exactly the way we saw one another four days before. I’d just arrived from NY and I was having a cigarette with my brother and Nikki when his car pulled up.

“I’m so glad you’re here”, I told him. “Sister Bernard came and said a prayer with us and there was a lot of talk of hell, the devil and sinners. My mother believed in a compassionate and forgiving God, not this cranky, vindictive God.

“Please come in and say a prayer with Momma so we can banish angry Jesus!”

Bruce laughed and hugged me and we all went inside and prayed one last time with my mom. I don’t remember what was said specifically but I do know it was about releasing her pain, the love that we shared and of course, butterflies.

Angry Jesus couldn’t have made butterflies.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Back to ?

I returned from Buffalo last night to my cozy, albeit,rather messy apartment. There were cards crammed into the mailbox along with a passive agressive postcard from the mailman about mail forwarding. My apartment was hot but thankfully stank free. Kelson came over last week and emptied the garbage, washed the dishes and watered the plants.

If this experience has taught me anything other than how unfair life can seem, it is that I am truly blessed with compassionate and supportive friends.

I'm going to do my best to respond to everyone individually for their kindness and prayers but until I manage to do that, THANK YOU.

In the aftermath of family and friends participating in a three day Irish wake (with food provided my beloved Italian)I may ask for your occasional patience. I feel like I'm in a half state where the past ten years of my Mom's illness, the last week of her life, the day she died, the time I was in Buffalo and the time away from my life in NYC is all mish mashed into some strange place in time that exists outside the actual reality of time. I can barely finish my usually nonsensical statements.

Anyhow, my BGH and Tony (who were infallibly supportive and kind through this madness) are on their way over to welcome me home.

While I force them to look at old pictures of my Mom - because that's what I need to do right now, I'll know I'm lucky. I've seen a lot of very lonely people at the nursing home these past seven years.

Warning: slightly preachy but well intentioned statement to follow...

Call, write, visit, someone you love and spend time with them without worrying about all the other stupid shit that needs to be done. Better yet, visit a stranger in the nursing home who has no family (or one that is lost to them) and whose days pass largely uninterrupted from the routine of waiting to die.

(I hope no one I love ever forgets about me.)



Jokes are coming people, I promise.