Monday, June 30, 2008

United by Pride, Bound for Equality

Such was the theme of the 2008 San Francisco Pride parade and festival, in which Caroline and I participated yesterday (much to the chagrin of our now-aching feet). We had a fantastic time hanging out, marching, and otherwise schmoozing with our friends in the Royal Grand Ducal Council of Alameda County, and then had almost as good a time wandering through the festival grounds.

Wanna see some pix?

There was one whole float full of Charos...

The Teatro Zinzanni Float, which was amazing...

My new husband (though he doesn't know it yet, and probably never will)...

Me in my festive best...

The Honorable Ron Dellums, Mayor of Oakland. My Grandmother can't stand him, so I made sure to get a picture with him (but it's on Caroline's camera, so the pic isn't available yet). The Grandmother and I had a little set-to about my participating in Pride, so I've been alternating between defiance and conciliation towards her all week.

General fabulousness was everywhere. So were dogs and babies. I rather prefer dogs, myself, but it was so cool seeing so many families with children about.

This is the contingent that marched (or rather vroomed) behind us in the parade... I was never very clear who exactly they were, aside from a lot of queers on motorcycles.

The Imperial and Grand Ducal Courts of San Francisco, and Mr. & Ms. Golden Gate, were in front of us in the parade.

Me again, in full-on parade waving mode...

I loved this sign...

The Barbie Support Group... very funny.

These guys were just fabulous...

And the blond on the right is my other new husband...

The Charos in action... note the one on the far left carrying a baby... the baby was fast asleep.

The quality of my new camera left something to be desired... you can't see how delectably hunky all the members of the Crunch gym contingent were...

There were a lot of churches represented in the parade. There has been a lot of Christian outreach to our community recently.

More hunks, this time on the Mamma Mia! float.

You might be wondering at the sparseness of the parade pictured above... the thing is, I had my hands full with the parasol and the waving, so I didn't take any pictures of the parade itself. So all of the pictures I took were in the staging area before the parade started and in the demobilizing area at the end of the parade. I wish I'd been able to carry my camera as well, as there were many fabulous sights along the parade route, but alas: of all words of tongue or pen, none are sadder than these - what might have been, etc. and so forth.

The dense crowds at the festival; mind you, this was before the parade was even over, imagine what a zoo it became later on! I had some difficulty with dealing with the crowd, but every time I started getting a little panicky, we lucked into an open space like this one, so I didn't have a breakdown.

When I pointed out to Caroline what her wrist was touching, she freaked out... fortunately she didn't notice it at the time...

One of the many dance areas in the festival...

And that's all for now. I took more pictures, of course, but these are the highlights.

It was a generally wonderful gay day, and we had a lovely time. But it was tiring! My feet still hurt, and my back hurts, and I somehow managed to get a slight sunburn on my face even though I was under that damned parasol the whole day... must have been from reflected light. I rather wished I'd been able to watch the concert (Cyndi Lauper headlined) or spend more time in the festival perusing booths, but one's age does tell on one in these events. Forty may be the new thirty, but my joints didn't get that memo.

In closing, here's a fun little slideshow I made (I'm still exploring MS Movie Maker, so it's rather amateurish) with one of my favorite songs.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Blast From the Past

A few weeks ago, I mentioned something about an upcoming drag performance while discussing this & that on JUB; one of my fellow JUBbers asked me if I had any of my past performances on video that I could share. Well, at the time I didn't... but after a certain amount of aggravation, I managed to get some.

I had this videotape that Cookie Dough made for me some years ago, which contained two performances of mine (as well as performances from the rest of the Galaxy Girls); after some initial mishaps, I located said video in my bookshelves, and took it down to the local copy-and-imaging store to have it converted to DVD. After the modest outlay of $18 for the conversion, I brought the DVD home and tried to copy my performances off of it.

Which, of course, I couldn't do, because that's not how DVDs work. So I had to find some kind of software to convert the DVD into Windows Media of some sort. More mishaps followed... I tried screen capture software first, none of the freebies of which worked; then I realized I needed DVD-AVI Conversion software... which also didn't work (for me, anyway) in freebie form. I finally found one, though (Plato), which I was able to operate and which I will certainly buy once I have money again.

Now that I had the videos in AVI format, I had to edit them with Windows Movie Maker, which came installed on my laptop. And of course, I didn't know how to operate Windows Movie Maker, so I had to pretty much teach myself a new software all alone.

However, I finally did it, added titles and credits, then uploaded those precious two performances to YouTube so I could share them with everyone!

This first is one of my best performances ever, though the video quality isn't all that great (nor could one expect it to be... I mean, DVR to VHS to DVD to AVI to Movie Maker to YouTube? It's surprising you can see anything at all):

This second one is not what I consider one of my better performances; it was notable only because it was so wildly out of character for me... and the video is even worse:

So there you have it... Miss Me from six/seven years ago. Fifty or sixty pounds ago, too. It makes me want to perform again, though... I will be performing next month at the RGDC Ducal Ball, hopefully somebody will videotape me and give me a copy of it so I can share some more. In the meantime, I am going to upload some more of other people's performances from the videotape I do have; there were some great numbers on there.

In other news, the job is going fantastically... I just love being here. The work isn't terribly difficult, the people I work with are wonderfully nice, and the building, though slightly ramshackle in appearance and appointments, has such a great homey feeling about it. I pinch myself every day to make sure I'm not dreaming.

Well, speaking of dreams, I'd better go have one or two. G'night!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yay Me!

Whatever you did, whichever deity you invoked, it worked:

I got the job! I got the job! I got the job!

I'm thrilled and relieved. I'm dazzled and delighted! I'm choking on my own spit!

The best part: the reason they delayed in offering me the job is because they were getting permission from the Board of Directors to offer me a higher starting salary than was listed! It's still not a lot, I am relying more on the feeling of accomplishment in the job than on the pay, but it's very satisfying to get a raise before you even start.

And I start on Wednesday, which gives me a couple of days to get my shit together, get my wardrobe squared away, and finish off all the little projects I've been meaning to do since I've been unemployed. It's going to be a busy few days.

And I couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Bearded Lady

As previously promised, I present Little Me in "all my Grissom-y goodness":

I really like having a beard. I like the way it covers up my jowls and the sag in my chin, and I LOVE not having to shave except to trim around the edges once a week. I don't really like the big patches of gray, and even gave in to the temptation to buy a bottle of beard dye (Clairol Just For Men)...though I haven't used it. But in general I am happy being a bearded person. I will miss it when I have to shave it off next time I do drag (which is slated for July 19, RGDC Coronation).

In the meantime, I am still waiting to hear back about that job. I am pretty sure I'm going to get it, based on overheard conversations reported to me by my friend who works there and told me about the job and encouraged me to apply in the first place; but being pretty sure and knowing for certain are not quite the same thing. And that little space between being pretty sure and knowing for certain is driving me nuts!

In other news, I am currently recovering from a nice session of oral surgery. I've been suffering from a toothache for a few weeks, and so I went to my dentist and he took an X-ray and decided that what was hurting me could be best characterized as "gross decay" and the offending tooth would have to come out. And, by the way, the one next to it is loose so it should come out, before it falls out on its own or gets abscessed. He told me that I could have them out right then, with a local anasthetic, but I remember all too well what it feels like to get a tooth pulled and would like to have rather more than a little gas and some novocaine... so he referred me to an oral surgeon who would put me under completely for the procedure.

That was great, except for my lack of dental insurance... the two teeth cost me $1065, completely wiping out my savings. Oh, and the need to take Vicodin for a few days after the surgery, which made me rather goofy and gave me nightmares. Then there was the "take it easy until the stitches come out" part; which, though quite pleasant in and of itself, unfortunately was terribly habit-forming, and so I've had no energy to do anything for days.

But now I can eat ice-cream again! That makes it all so worthwhile.

Anyway, I'll be off now, and wish me luck on the job thing. Toodles!