Friday, March 29, 2002

I Almost Forgot!

Oh, no, the Friday Five, I almost forgot it again! Thank goodness I checked in before midnight, I would have missed it. The "Saturday Five" doesn't have so much panache.

1. If you could eat dinner with and "get to know" one famous person (living or dead), who would you choose? I've always been fascinated by Alexander the Great...but I don't suppose he would be much fun to eat with, and I don't speak ancient Greek. So I guess it would be my idol, Miss Marlene Dietrich. I could ask her if Gary Cooper's dick was as big as Cecil Beaton said it was.

2. Has the death of a famous person ever had an effect on you? Who was it and how did you feel? When Diana, Princess of Wales died, I was utterly distraught. I remembered following her engagement to Prince Charles in all the magazines, and getting up at four in the morning to watch her wedding live on TV. I just about worshipped her when I was a kid, so pretty and glamorous and apparently nice. I felt bad when she had all those emotional problems, I expected better of her, and was really angry when she broke up with Charles, it seemed so déclassée. I mean, sure he was a big-eared mook, but I could put up with a lot to get my mitts on all those jewels, not to mention my own live-in couturier. But when she died I felt like I lost an important person of my youth; worse, I felt that every fairy tale suddenly had an unhappy ending. I never even met her, but I grieved for her.

3. If you could BE a famous person for 24 hours, who would you choose? Brad Pitt. And I'd spend the whole time masturbating and feeling myself up.

4. Do people ever tell you that you look like someone famous? Who? Not really. Most days I think I look like Charles Nelson Reilly. When I was a teenager, people used to say I looked like David Bowie, mostly because I was so skinny and because I wore oversized jackets and ties to school (this was in the "Let's Dance" and "China Girl" phase of Bowie's career). When I started doing drag, people told me I looked like the actress who played Natalie on All My Children. I hear lots of other things along this vein...I think it's terribly unimaginitive to tell people they look somehow remotely like some famous person. Kind of tacky, if you think about it, implying that it's not good enough to look like oneself.

5. Have you ever met anyone famous? Not to speak to. I saw Richard Simmons once outside of Macy's Men's Union Square (he was taller than I expected). I saw Elizabeth Berkley at a restaurant in Hollywood (she was very tall and extremely striking...too bad about her career). And of course one runs into local news-people now and again. But otherwise, I've never met anybody more famous than myself.

Say Cheese!

I Love Suzanne Somers!

Miss Suzanne Somers is my new best friend. It all started rather day I was flipping through the channels, and while flitting past the Home Shopping Network, something sparkly caught my eye. I paused and waited as two dizzy dame-voices chattered on about this gorgeous to-die-for bracelet that one of them was draping across her hand, making it catch the light. Then the camera panned back, and LO AND BEHOLD! It was Suzanne Somers! As she continued nattering away with the rather dull blonde co-hostess about the various sorts of outfits one could wear a gorgeous Cartier-type link bracelet of pink and white cubic zirconia, I had to readjust my prejudices. I mean, this was "Chrissie" from the worst sitcom ever, Three's Company, that dizzy blonde with the topknot and the braless t-shirts and the IQ of burnt toast. This was the chick who made a parody of herself with the ThighMaster! The woman who then went on to star in yet another completely pointless sitcom, Step By Step (which at least had the factory-fresh blandness of the Disney Mass-Consumption Machine to keep it from being completely horrid).

But all past sins considered, I was flabbergasted to find that she'd taken up pushing costume jewelry on television...and, Oh My God, it's fabulous costume jewelry! Move over, Joan Rivers! Step aside, Nolan Miller! Take a walk, Kenneth Jay Lane (you bitter old fairy)! Suzanne's jewels are really nice! The freaky blonde broad has actual taste!

Well, anyway, I was impressed...but the pieces were still a bit pricey for my taste, and I didn't feel like calling up some anonymous drone in Kentucky or wherever (I hate talking on the phone) and spending my hard-earned ducats on brand-new costume knock-offs with a celebrity brand-name mark-up on it. So I continued on my merry way, changed the channel, and more or less forgot about it.

So, Episode II: all this last week I've been bingeing on jewelry at eBay. In the course of my travels, searching for bracelets (I don't know why, but I love bracelets best...yet they're so hard to find in my size), I wandered into a page entitled "Suzanne Somers 8" Trilliant Bracelet," so I went to investigate. The pictures were lovely, the bracelet was a line of equilateral-triangle-cut cubic zirconia in gold-plated settings, with a box-clasp and safety lever, which is really classy, and it was eight inches! For those who don't know much about costume jewelry, eight-inch bracelets are more rare than (real) eight-inch cocks; and since I have a 7.75" wrist, this is a lovely and necessary thing. Most of my bracelets have to be altered in some way, by either crafting an extension, or by buying bracelet/necklace combos and cannibalizing links from one to the other; it's really a pleasure to wear a bracelet that closes all the way, hangs a bit from your hand, and slides up and down your wrist. When I see an eight-inch bracelet advertised, I jump. And I'm willing to pay a lot more than I would for a seven-and-a-half-inch bracelet that has to be let out.

Well, I won that auction, rather pleased with myself, though somewhat irked that I'd almost gotten outbid and had to go up to $60 for the bracelet. Then I sort of put it out of my mind, concentrating on newer things.

The bracelet came in the mail yesterday, and it was love at first sight! I don't know if you've ever seen a trilliant-cut gem, but they're gorgeous! They catch an amazing amount of light. And the bracelet was so smooth, heavy and light at once somehow, and it draped on my wrist so prettily! I've been wearing it ever since. I even slept in it. When I took it off to take Grandmother grocery shopping (she doesn't approve of men wearing diamond bracelets, even imitation), I kept thinking about it. I can't wait to go put it back on!

The day I got the bracelet, I decided to go to the Home Shopping Network's website to see if I could discover when there was going to be another sale of Suzanne Somers items. Upon arrival I discovered that HSN has made a signal improvement since last I visited them: you could buy online, and didn't have to talk to anyone on the phone (which, like I said, I hate...which makes it odd that I chose to become a secretary).

So I wandered through the costume jewelry section, and saw lots of pretty things I wanted! But they tended to be a trifle expensive. High quality, beautiful things that I couldn't really afford easily...for example, the Trilliant bracelet was still available (I was considering getting more of them), but it cost $159.95 on sale (which made me feel a lot better about the sixty bucks plus shipping I paid at eBay). But I intended to come back and look often, keep an eye peeled for sales!

Well, to occupy the time between, I scoured through eBay again trying to find more Suzanne Somers bracelets. And I found two! A Trilliant bangle (also eight inches in circumference, and also still available at HSN, currently on sale for $59.95) and the twin of my new eight-inch beloved. Both at chunky prices, though well below retail. Well, I snagged the bangle with the "Buy It Now" feature; the line-bracelet, though, I had to wait for, since someone had already bid the minimum (which removes the possibility of Buy It Now), but the auction wouldn't end for another seventeen hours, at 6 pm the next day (today). So I planned my entire day around being on eBay at 6 pm...and some asshole outbid me in the last minute of the auction! EEEEEAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!

Well, the nerve of some people! But I will not be vanquished! If I couldn't have that bracelet, maybe there are other bracelets I could have for a similar price, at retail or on sale, from HSN. I don't have to wait through the tedious auction process, I can get it straight from the source, making sure good ol' Suzanne gets her cut! And so I did. I bought the Lavender Starlight Bracelet, the Multi Gemstone Cuff, and the Clear 8½-Inch Simulated Gem bracelet. Okay, so they were a trifle expensive (a whole day's wages, pretty much). But OHMIGOD they're my size! My Size! I have never seen an 8½-inch women's bracelet anywhere, and never such a gorgeously gaudy one!

And that's why I love Suzanne Somers. She has heard my cry for eight-inch bracelets of unparalleled glamour, and she has responded! God bless you, Suzanne. You have made one accessory-mad drag queen very happy.

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

My Millennium!

Well, friends, I just passed the 1,000-mark on my site meter earlier today! I am so thrilled! It's such a lovely milestone! Thanks to everyone for visiting often and pumping up my ego! I feel like I ought to do something special to mark the event, but I can't think of anything. Redesign? I don't have the time. Launch a personal domain? I don't have the energy. I do plan to do both of these things, just as soon as I can, but I just don't feel up to it this week.

I haven't been giving much energy to my blogging lately...first was the deepest dark-before-the-dawn portion of my depression, and I had nothing to say; then I was busy at work, around the same time; and then the last few days, all of my online time has been devoted to enlarging my wardrobe and jewelry preparation for the upcoming Miss Gay Marin 2002 Pageant, I went about looking for fabulous new things...and just didn't know when to quit.

I have to tell you, darlings, I am just about shopped out! I spent over $250 last week, just at eBay! Mostly jewelry, but also a really sweet beaded evening ensemble. Plus I spent about half that much in other online emporia such as CyberNetPlaza (fabulous evening gowns at amazing prices), Shorline (less fabulous but still lovely dresses), and the Windsor Collection (new costume jewelry, particularly large-size rings)—and then I spent another $250 today, in just three places in Alameda. Okay, so part of today's expenditure was my new car insurance...but I figure that counts as shopping, even if it is required by the State of California, and not nearly as fun as the sage chiffon tea gown, the rhinestone-beaded black silk twin set, the gold and emerald pendant, the gold aurora borealis bracelet, or any of the other goodies I hauled in from Park Street.

Fortunately, the last purchase today was a very large jewelry box. And I do mean large! It's a 'jewelry wardrobe,' really: crafted of carved maple and lined with salmon velvet, two feet tall, a foot wide, with five drawers, swing-out door compartments for necklaces on each side, and a mirrored lift-up lid over the padded ring tray (a little bit like this one). I spent a lovely hour this afternoon moving everything from my large old white leather jewelry box, arranging it all according to color. All of my colored and gold pieces went into this chest; my white/silver rhinestone pieces went into the older white chest, and my pearls all remained in the gold laquer Chinese covered dish (I should remember to take pix of these and post them here...I think my jewelry collection belongs in the cast list as a major player in my life). I sat quite some time just gloating over my hoard, like a troll under a mountain. It was most satisfying.

It was, in fact, better than sex. But then, so many things are better than sex, in my opinion. I've not had very happy experiences with sex, and have in the last six years completely avoided it. Actually, more like ten years. In the last ten years, since I came to live with my grandmother and go back to school, I've had sex with exactly three men. God, that sounds depressing. What's more depressing is that none of these men were really worth the bother. There was one I met the very last time I visited the Steamworks, who I suppose was nice, except all I can remember is that he was blond and a bit older than me. The second was a guy I met at the Town & Country, a dive gay bar in Oakland that thankfully closed down some years ago (not long after I quit drinking, though I doubt the two are related); all I remember about him was that he was chubby and short and balding, had pretty brown eyes, and lived with a humorless lesbian who came home while we were in flagrante delicto on her sofa. The last, six years ago this summer, was a reasonably nice guy, very tall and relatively handsome though quite a bit older than myself, and it was the first time I'd ever had sex sober...unfortunately, his niceness didn't really extend beyond the bedroom, and he wasn't prepared to deal with my lack of experience and aggression in bed. He rather made me feel inadequate. I was inadequate, of course, with my numerous inhibitions and my distaste for prolonged oral—but one never likes to be made to feel so.

Well, anyhow, I figure all the money I save on condoms, blood tests, romantic dinners, bail, hotel rooms, Valtrex, and other boyfriend-related expenses is rather more than the amount I spend on it's more than a fair trade. And no matter what, my jewelry never squeezes the toothpaste in the middle, hogs the covers, or tries to take the remote control from also never argues, it never dislikes my friends, and it never makes me cry. It just makes me look lovely and sparkles so nicely in the light.

I suddenly feel an urge to go back to eBay...and there was this other evening gown place I wanted to investigate...

Oops, no can do! I'm out of money until payday on Thursday! Oh, well. I guess I'll have to resort to porn instead (I already have lots of that).

So until I blog again, thanks for the Millennium!

By the way, kids, have you been reading my novel? Please, do! Now. And tell me what you think. :-) XOXO

Friday, March 22, 2002

The Friday...Ten?

Once again I missed a week of Friday Five-ing. And once again I make up for the past while catching up with the present. But this time, the Fifth Question is not the same for both weeks! So we have ten instead of nine. Are you confused yet? Read on:

Last Week's Friday Five

1. What's your favorite animal? I really love elephants. I don't know why. I also love cows, and again can't say why. I guess they're just so peaceful and big. As pets, I love dogs (especially little teeny-tiny itty-bitty dogs).

2. What pets have you had in your lifetime? Hmmm...when I was five, I had a mutt named Rusty, who I saw run over by a semi; later we had a mutt named Whistlepig (because she made whistly noises and looked like a black pig), who drowned under suspicious circumstances (I suspect my evil stepfather); then we had a black labrador named Coffin who survived being hit by a car, being shot, and falling out of an upstairs window, but who finally died of malathion poisoning back in the Fruit Fly Panic of 1982; later I had a white collie (mixed, obviously) named Alexander, who died of food poisoning; we had various cats in the course of my life, though the only one I really remember was Calico (a tortoiseshell tabby, obviously), who scratched my neck and infected my lymph system with tuberculosis, which resulted in having a lymph node removed from under my chin, leaving a really unattractive scar that makes my chin droop (I never liked cats much, but since then have hated them with a passion); I've had fish, but never got attached to any of them, they usually died pretty fast; I had a budgie named Sebastian who died of starvation when I forgot he existed (after two months, his chirping became a background noise, like the freeway and the refrigerator, which I only noticed when it stopped); most recently we had a dog named Maggie, a lhasa apso...after going blind, she fell off a balcony and broke her back, so we had to put her to sleep.

3. Is there any specific pet that you've wanted but never had? Why? Well, I really want another dog, but look at the above paragraph: my mere ownership seems to constitute cruelty to animals. But if I thought I could care for it, and that I wasn't pet-cursed, I would love to have either a shih-tzu or a pug. I just love both of those breeds, they're so quiet and cute.

4. Are you allergic to any animals? No. Just plants.

5. Do you have any 'pet' pet peeves (your pets or others')? The very existence of cats bothers me. Though I am polite to my friends' pets, and would never willingly harm a pet, cats always make me want to pick them up and throw them far away. I am also rather irked by people who have repulsive pets (rats, snakes, tarantulas, iguanas) and try to convince you that these vermin are loveable. They are NOT loveable, which is why such people want them...they like shocking people.

This Week

1. What is your favorite time of year? Autumn, I think...though I like all seasons fairly equally. In Northern California, they aren't really all that different from one another.

2. What is it about your favorite season that, well, makes it your favorite season? Indian Summer is the best weather in the Bay Area, and always comes in October; it's a season of beginnings, with school starting and all that; though the weather here isn't all that seasonal, there is a certain type of day that mostly only happens in autumn, when the sun is shining but there's a light and icy breeze that smells of fresh water. Besides, I simply love the word 'autumn.'

3. What is your least favorite time of year? Why? August and February. I am always physically/mentally depressed those times of year.

4. Do you do anything to celebrate or recognize the changing of seasons? My Grandmother looks up from the paper and says, "It says here that today's the first day of [insert season here]"; I reply "So it is. Hmm." And that's pretty much it.

5. What's your favorite thing to do outside? There isn't anything I enjoy outside that can't be done just as easily inside, except for walking. I love long walks, and while I enjoy walking in malls and don't mind using the treadmill at the gym, I prefer to go around the lake or through my own hilly, woodsy, residential neighborhood.

And the Traditional Friday Five (or Nine or Ten) Beefcake Punctuation:

Monday, March 18, 2002

An "8" on the Guilt-O-Meter

This is exactly why I am committment-phobic: I feel so awful when I fall behind, let down my end of the dresser, neglect my duties, or generally let things go by the wayside. The dearth of blogs here on my blogsite is a thorn in my side. So I'll try to make up for it by being unnecessarily informative.

Well, the last few days, at least I have an excuse for my silence...aside, of course, from having nothing of interest to say. Last week, my Grandmother's first-cousin Juanita died (at the age of 96, the magic number for women in Grandmother's family), and I had to take the Grandmother to Visalia for the funeral on Friday. Of course, the funeral was at I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning (after getting to sleep at my accustomed 12:30) in order to leave at 6:30. It's a four-hour drive (going the speed limit, anyway), and I planned for us to get an hour behind schedule, as we usually do, and spend an hour at breakfast on the road (I just love Anderson's in Santa Nella...the Danish sausage is absolutely to die).

So we got to the funeral home in Visalia, just a trifle early, and I slipped into the top half of my rather fabulous black suit with pale taupe Geoffrey Beene shirt and tie...and almost instantly wished I hadn't, after getting a gander at the other, more casually-attired mourners...hell, even the mortuary staff were wearing navy. The décor quite simply defied taste, being made up of faux-Victorian 'antique' repros, copies of bad lithographs, representative oil paintings entirely lacking in artistic merit, and bric-à-brac that would shame the name of Flea Market. The only really tasteful thing about this place was the corpse...excuse me, the "dearly departed." It was the first time I've ever seen a dead body that actually looked like it was still alive, and, according to the relatives who had seen her recently as she suffered the double-whammy of cancer and Alzheimer's, she looked rather better than lifelike. And she really looked like she was asleep, attired in a very attractive royal-blue fleece housecoat with pretty lace trim. For the first time in all the times I've had to go to funerals, I wasn't uncomfortable being in the same room with an open casket (normally I find open caskets morbid in the extreme).

Well, the viewing portion of the proceedings went fairly well as I chatted with a slough of distant cousins I've never met before (how many people are acquainted with the offspring of their grandmothers' first-cousins?). The graveside service, however, was hellishly irksome. The minister was of the Calvary-Baptist variety, and after the long and poorly-reasoned soliloquy on the nature of salvation (aimed more at recruiting the survivors than comforting them) was completed, he handed out colorfully illustrated evangelical tracts. I was deeply offended. Plus my feet hurt, as my shoes were fabulous rather than comfortable (black Bass cap-toed oxfords), and there weren't enough chairs, so I had to stand behind my Grandmother on the stone slab marking the final resting place of Phyllis Ethel Herman, Beloved Wife and Mother, 1898-1986.

Afterward, we wandered about a bit in the cemetery, where many of Grandmother's family are buried--her parents and two of her brothers and two of her sisters, as well as various aunts and uncles and cousins (the Grandmother comes from a large and close Oklahoma/Texas family, most of whom lived in Visalia at one time or another; she's one of two survivors of her generation, just her and her older sister Alice in Texas, out of seven brothers and sisters and about ten first-cousins). It's a very flat cemetery, as Visalia is a very flat place (which makes it so attractive to displaced Texans); the gravestones tended toward the sentimental, with all sorts of unsolicited information about the persons planted beneath, especially if those persons were young. It had some lovely trees, though it was obvious that whoever planted them hadn't realized that the trees would actually grow--the trunks were often right in the middle of several graves, having filled out from a blank corner and pushed the crypts out of the way. It always amazes me how stupid people are when they plant trees. It's the nature of a tree, after all, to get bigger.

So then we went over to the home of the deceased's eldest daughter, Imogene, for the wake. This was also nice, with lovely food and nice conversation and suchlike. Imogene collects miniature porcelain village buildings and things with hummingbirds on them. Unfortunately, the four hours of sleep and the four hours on the road being constantly reminded of the speed limit by my passenger started to catch up to me, and I got quite dizzy. I went out to the car to rest for a few minutes and actually slept for just over an hour.

Then we drove out to Ivanhoe, an agricultural community in which resides Grandmother's nephew, Lee, and his wife Beverly, in the middle of fifty or so acres of orange trees. Beverly collects all sorts of things: Victoriana, black-and-white cows, mammy dolls, delft ware, antique lace, Depression glass, etc (made me feel much better about my comparatively tame obsession with costume jewelry). Both of them smoke, too. But they're very nice people, and they let me have the TV remote (a signal honor for me, as one of my few really masculine characteristics is a lust for power centering on the remote control), and I chose a double-feature of Brenday Fraser movies, Bedazzled and Monkeybone. I just love Brendan Fraser. He's so goofy and approachable-looking and yet somehow sexy.

Come Saturday, we headed back home...again driving at the exact speed limit despite my preference to drive at whatever speed the car wants to go (usually 80-ish) and which guarantees my ability to pass people of whom I disapprove. It's a long-standing argument with my Grandmother and I...she feels that it is her business how fast I drive, and always spends any trip we take with her eyes glued to the speedometer. And it's not a fear issue on her part...she doesn't do it to anybody except me. But it's very tiring having to drive to someone else's specifications, not being able to listen to any music that might make her nervous (i.e. nelly and disco-heavy soundtracks like Queer as Folk (Brit version, of course) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. It was also really windy that day, and the noise around the car was very like being seated behind the engines on an airplane...a very wearying level of noise. But we stopped at Harris Ranch for lunch, where I ate the biggest T-bone steak in Creation, so it wasn't all bad.

Upon arrival home, I had to jet right back out again to Shiloh's...he was having a dinner party, and very kindly invited me along (also inviting my matching silverware, a commodity he does not possess). It was a very pleasant evening, with stimulating company, and Shiloh is a very good cook, so the whole thing was quite a success. After a dinner of mushroom white lasagne and salad, we had the most sinfully delicious chocolate soufflé for dessert, which we then followed with a rousing game of Cranium (a hilarious time was had by all, though my team lost, defeated by the charades component).

Which brings us to today! Caroline came over in the early afternoon and we talked about the Brewer Twins and the A&F Quarterly while I sorted my laundry (ooops, I just remembered my bed doesn't have any sheets on it...) Then I went over to the Ds to discuss the music for some upcoming shows with Daisy; afterward we had pizza and watched Queer as Folk. A most stimulating day, but not too strenuous altogether.

Well, darlings, I had better scoot off to beddie-byes. Big day tomorrow. Gotta go to work. And try to get car insurance. And send in my registration for the Fourth-Step Retreat. And start hunting for a green beaded evening gown. And any tasks my various taskmasters might come up with for me...and I won't be able to kow-tow to their vicious whims without a good night's sleep!

À bientôt!

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Heap Happy Hump-Day, Honey!

Wednesday, O Wednesday, woeful no more...but busy as a one-armed paper-hanger.

Well, I haven't been writing much for three reasons...the first is that I have had absolutely nothing to say. Nothing pleasant, nothing unpleasant, nothing witty and nothing dull. I'm a blank. The second is that my wrist is acting up again (not carpal-tunnel, I think it may be arthritis), and I can't bring myself to endure the pain of typing in order to write about nothing. And third, work has been ridiculously busy all week. But today I managed to do a bit of multi-tasking, and in between bookkeeping and banking and letter-writing and copy-making and file-finding and phone-answering and calendar-jotting and information-chasing, I managed to finish a web project I've been wanting to do for some time now...putting my unfinished novel online.

Actually, it's not 'unfinished' so much as it's sort of floating about in the shallow end of the pool. I've been working on it for ages, and I know the ending pretty well, but I am having a hard time focusing on filling in the middle. And of course, I am no run-of-the-mill procrastinator...not only do I put things off, but when I do get around to them I never pick up where I left off but instead start all over again. This is the fifth start of this particular story...and every time I get stuck I start another project, and then come back to it when I get stuck on the new one, and then start it all over again because I hate the tone or there are too many logistical problems or it just looks stupid.

See, I actually finished this novel once...long long ago...for this story was in fact my first writing project ever, the one that got me interested in word processing, in getting an education, and in becoming a novelist. It was about nine years ago, I think, when my father came to live with me, my sister, her husband and children in an apartment we shared here in Oakland. He brought his computer with him, and it sat in my sitting room, just begging to be played with. I wasn't working then, anyway, and my days were boringly I sat down and started jotting out a story I had been making up in my head for a little while. A month and a half later, I had a thirteen-chapter, 250-page murder mystery.

It sucked, of course, being not only a first effort but also the product of a shoddy public education...after I finished the story, I started it over again, trying to make it make more sense. Then I started to college and learned more and more about much more that I decided I had to completely junk the plot and move the characters into a more grown-up situation. During the course of a creative writing class, I developed two of the main characters even further, and started a new novel about them. When I transferred from Laney to San Francisco State, I took another Creative Writing class, and developed one situation between these two characters and a third brand-new character that became the basis for yet another novel, one that I thought had a lot of potential...but I couldn't force any structure on it, and it kept getting longer and longer without actually going anywhere.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the staying power to get through these books...something else always got in the way...particularly after I started work, and no longer had huge gaps of school vacations to play in. And I had great difficulty concentrating for very long at a time on the subject. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that the characters I was working with were too close to me, I simply knew them too well...

So I went back to that old plot, the silly murder mystery with the fifteen characters in a mansion on a private island off the coast of Maine. And I sort of parodied the characters I had developed in my latest fictions, creating a similar set of people with certain things in common; I added in some rather funny characters with silly names, and a bunch of other characters based on porn stars and the like. Unfortunately, though I enjoy a good parody, it's not in my nature to write one. Soon the 'parody' characters became even more real and believable to me than the characters they were meant to parody. Curious.

Well, anyway, I am hoping to jump-start my writing again by (hopefully) getting some feedback from my blog-reading audience (all four of you). One of the greatest spurs to creativity is to share the results with others...that's why creative writing classes are so cathartic...they don't teach you to write, but they provide a dedicated audience, expert feedback, and a lot of walls to bounce things off of. So to that end, I am posting my little opus, Stag Island. Right now it will just be a link in this entry, but I will perma-link it later so you can check on any progress I've made (hopefully, posting what I have so far will inspire me to leave it alone and move forward, instead of incessantly tweaking with the parts I've already written).

So anyway, tell me what you think...I don't have comments yet (I'm waiting for my redesign and personal site launch, which should come in the next month or so, before I do it), so just send me an email, or an ecard, or a messenger pigeon, or whatever.

Thanks for your attention! And have a great day!

This is a computer-painted image of the house on Stag Island, which hasn't been introduced to the story as posted, but which I'm really proud of...clicking on it will take you to the first Chapter...I warn you beforehand, it's very wordy.

Friday, March 8, 2002

A Good Friday?

Well, just when I was getting ready to write off the entire concept of Fridays, along comes a Friday that I thoroughly enjoy! The weather's gorgeous, the work-load light, the office silent, the mood fairly chirpy. There's money in the bank, a weekend of fun ahead, and nothing hurts. I had a lovely lunch with Shiloh, they're playing good music on the radio, and my hair looks great! Plus, when I first tried to post this message at 4pm, Blogger was down and the windows went blank...but I had fortuitously already saved the text before I clicked "Post," so I lost nothing!! O Joy!!! O Rapture!!!!

I just don't quite know what to do with myself!

Oh, I know! I can do the Friday Five! Or, since I missed it last week and would like to remain current, the Friday Nine (omitting last week's fifth question, since I already answered it directly below).

(Last Week's Friday [Four]):

1. What's your favorite vacation spot? I'm torn between the entire state of Hawaii (O, those tropical breezes, those boy-strewn beaches, those vast and fabulous malls, the orchids sprouting out of the sidewalks, and again the boys...those sun-bronzed, tight-muscled boys with their surf-shorts riding low on their hips, hiking up from the beach with a board under their arms and a wild look of triumph in their eyes...mmmmm) and the city of Victoria, BC (miles of shopping, fabulous architecture, really great food, nice weather, that typical Canadian cleanliness all over...and, oddly enough, just truck-loads of really good-looking people, as if they import hot men from all over the country just to work in Victoria...even the girls were really something...and you just haven't lived until you've been pedalled all over town in a rickshaw pulled by something right off the pages of Abercrombie & Fitch, let me tell you!)

2. Where do you consider to be the biggest hell-hole on earth? The Midwest. All of it, from the Sierra/Cascades to the Mississippi. Yuck.

3. What would be your dream vacation? A European Museum Tour...I plotted it out once, visiting all the major museums in Europe and the Mediterranean, starting at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and ending at the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, staying at four- or five-star hotels all the way (the various Ritzes, the Hassler, the Mena House, etc.)

4. If you could go on a road-trip with anyone, who would it be and why? I can't think of any particular person I would especially want for a road-trip. But ideally, it would be someone with whom I can talk endlessly, who likes to sing, who likes to stop and look at roadside curiosities and tourist traps, and enjoys sleeping in motels...basically, me—but in a different body, good-looking, and with more money, and who finds me irresistable. If I could find such a man, I'd marry him on the spot!

The Current Friday Five:

1. What makes you homesick? I don't think I've ever really been homesick. But then, I've never been away from home for very long. I do feel a little deprived when I don't have certain home comforts with me, like my own bed, my entire wardrobe, my Nintendo64, my computer...or all the comforts of living in a city, like a Starbuck's on every corner and large gay communities to play in.

2. Where is "home" for you? Is it where you are living now, or somewhere else (ie: Mom & Dad's house, particular state/city)? All of the above: I live in the city I (mostly) grew up in; specifically, I live with my Grandmother (who is as much a parent to me as the traditional mothers and fathers and steps). I think of Oakland as my hometown, and am quite fond of it...warts and all.

3. What makes it home for you? People? Things? I'd have to say the "there-ness." Though Gertrude Stein once said that Oakland has no There, I have to disagree. To me, Oakland, and my Grandmother's house, have always been the only stable things in my life. My parents have gadded about all over California, and even Europe, sometimes living in three or four different apartments per town, and of course dragging us kids along with them, losing our toys and changing our schools...but my Grandmother's house has been in the family since 1934, with the same phone number, the same colors of paint, mostly the same furniture, on the same street in the same district of the same's just so THERE.

4. Where is the furthest you've been from home, miles-wise? According to the link provided (, the farthest afield my crow has flown was to Atlantic City, New Jersey, which is 2,559 miles from Oakland. The next farthest was Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, which is 2,459 miles. I preferred the latter, incidentally, though it was almost intolerably humid (not uncomfortable, mind felt quite like being hugged in a sauna...but physically hard to breathe in all that moisture...Kauai is the wettest place on Earth, and it takes a few hours to acclimate).

5. What are your plans for this weekend? This evening I'm getting together with some Galaxy Girls to go have a dekko at our new digs at New George's in San Rafael. Tomorrow I am going to the San Francisco Vintage Fashion Expo with Caroline, and I intend to spend every spare dime I have on fabulous accessories and jewels. Sunday is the Galaxy Girls' Tribute to Miss Gay Marin 2002 Ivy Drip. It's going to be one hell of a roller coaster ride, and hopefully I'll be too busy to be depressed.

So, there we are. I'm starting to run out of beefcake photos, but that isn't going to stop me from posting one...I just have to start going through my hard drive to find some more cuties, and upload them into my FTP space.

Have a Fabulous Friday, my darlings!

Wednesday, March 6, 2002

I Laughed, I Cried...

In the interest of enteraining the passersby before I start unburdening my besiegèd bosom, I'm going to start the post with a beefcake, instead of ending with it:

And now on to the moaning and wailing and gnashing of teeth...

When last I wrote, I was of the opinion that I was due to come out of my funk at any moment. And events conspired to give me the false impression that it had passed. But, unfortunately, it hadn't...instead, I seem to have become rather manic. Instead of plain old down-in-the-dumps depression, I get to experience the joys of up-and-down rollercoaster mania. Yippee.

Last Friday, I went out shopping and bought all sorts of new jewelry. It was ever so much fun! There's nothing for improving a mood like buying jewelry. I also wrote a fun blog over at the Galaxy Girls' site. And assembled a newsletter. And had a nice dinner with Caroline. And so on and so forth. A great day, all in all. I forgot to do the Friday Five, though...oops! There's always something I forget on Fridays.

On Saturday I did a spot of housework before getting into the car and heading down to Ivanhoe, CA, to pick up my Grandmother at her nephew's house. It's a four-hour drive, mostly on Highways 5 and 99 (two of the most boring roads in California), which I usually loathe...and I was alone in the car, which I also usually loathe. But for some reason I had a hell of a great time! I felt really truly happy. I had a new CD player (I decided to go for the gusto this time and got something worth stealing, a bright-red Sony), and found myself singing along with Ella and Keely at full voice as I flew down the straight, relatively uncrowded roads, flanked with gorgeous flowering fruit orchards and surrounded by rolling green hills and vast green fields.

On arrival at Lee & Beverly's house, my mood continued benevolent as I chatted with the Grandmother and my cousins, and later when watching two rather western-themed movies (Brad Pitt & Julia Roberts in The Mexican, a very strange film with very overdone acting, which I nevertheless viewed with an indulgent eye; and Clint Eastwood and a cast of standards in some bleak piece of junk set in New Mexico called Joe Kidd, which didn't make any sense and had the biggest structural flaws I've ever witnessed in a plot, but which for some reason I enjoyed). Then the drive back home, though not as ebullient as the drive down, was generally quite pleasant.

And then I had to come back to work...and I wish now that I hadn't. I guess I can say it now, in all honesty: I Hate My Job. Now I am just like most people, as job-hating is more an American Pastime than baseball or getting worked up about sex. But I used to really love this job, so that admission cost me a lot. Monday I didn't get much of anything done, as I was busy hiding my head in the sand (or, more exactly, in eBay) while all hell broke loose around me. On Tuesday things were less evil, but certain things happened for which I was ill-prepared and which either got under my skin or hurt my feelings. But, like on Monday, the downs of the day were balanced out somewhat by my shopping (I got the most gorgeous dress ever! Though it has to be altered before I can wear it...too tight in the shoulders...anybody know a good cheap seamstress?)

And now today, I had a really hard time dragging myself into the office (like last Monday, I woke up with all my muscles tied in knots). And once here, I pretty much spent most of the morning crying. Now, crying isn't something I do very often, and usually only in cases of extreme emotional overload. Today I am just a wreck, and every little thing is just tearing right though my heart like a buzz-saw. And making it all worse, I feel like I'm not doing my job properly. This depression thing sucks really hard. I think the time is coming, sooner than I had hoped, that I will have to be medicated. But to do that, I will have to go into therapy, and to go into therapy will cost a lot more money than my jewelry habit, and then the medication will be awfully expensive since I don't have any group health insurance (another reason to hate my job). It's an unpleasant bind.

But I am going to hold on to the hope that this depression will go soon, that this severe funk I'm in is just the darkest-before-the-dawn low-point, and the whole thing will pass along its merry way leaving me not too much the worse for wear. In the meantime, I am going to utilize all of the emotional outlets I have at my disposal...this website, for one; my friends (though I tend to avoid friends when I'm down, as I don't like to burden people with my negative moments); and the remainder of my finances (the Vintage Fashion Expo is coming up this weekend, and I intend to break the bank on yummy and glamorous accessories).

Well, thanks for listening, my darling reader! As a reward and a palate-cleanser, have another plateful of masculine pulchritude: