Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Starns

Today is Roby's birthday. He would have been 46 years old. It's impossible for me to even imagine...

So, this year, I imagine Roby having a party for Amy much like the last scene in "Long Time Companion" where all friends who have gone before are gathered together, young and healthy and beautiful forever, celebrating each other.  Hank would be there, Dean, Chris Roper, Lady Elaine Peacock, my Dad...they would all be there to show her the ropes.  And then, they would gather around and drink to Roby for his birthday.

I wish I had a picture I could post...but...there aren't any new pictures.

Happy Birthday, Roby.  I haven't forgotten.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I hate Thanksgiving.

No. Really. I hate it. I always have.

Now before you get up in arms or fire off a flaming comment, please know that I don't hate being grateful or thankful. I'm very grateful for many things and I try to express my gratitude when I am feeling it. Here's what I hate about Thanksgiving.

 Everyone pretends that it is the great family time when everyone is on their best behavior and everyone is happy to see all their family and all their family's various and sundry orphans and all the orphans' orphans. And that it will be fun. And that those of us who are relagated to "not a cook" status enjoy hanging out with all the other "not a cook" people. There is an assumption that everyone has a history of traditional, warm, loving fun Thanksgivings to reminisce about. There is an expectation that even if you would rather stick bamboo shoots under your nails, you WILL PRETEND TO BE GRACIOUS and accept every turn of events as they come on. There are all the cultural assumptions that food is the only way we can show love and that you'd better like all the "delightful" Thanksgiving food that you would NEVER eat any other time of year. I like turkey. Mashed potatoes and gravy are fine. Some corn. Maybe a roll. I didn't even eat pumpkin pie until I was in my mid-twenties...Food is not a reward for me. It is a painful punishment and brings about painful memories of other painful times.

Roby's birthday was usually celebrated on Thanksgiving when he was alive - the only good part of Thanksgiving, in my experience. Now, it is just another reminder that he is gone. It doesn't matter that it has been 16 years.

I hate being a bitch about it, too. Next year, I'm taking Thanksgiving off. Not just from work. I'm not playing. Opting out. I have already made my plans known to those who need to know. This relieves me of decisions and trying to figure out how to make things less painful. As soon as I decided that I wasn't going to participate next year, I felt a weight come off of me.

After today, I'm living Thanksgiving-free.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Be Brave

"The hardest thing in the world is to live in it. Be brave. Live." - Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 5 "The Gift" True words.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Missing Amy

Grieving the loss of a good friend today. Amy McFarland was the heart of the group of friends I am in - the quiet, hilarious one who held the space for us to be crazy, loud, annoying, funny and loved. She was not interested in the spotlight - just in loving her people. My circle of chosen ones came into being at her house in Salem on Mockingbird Lane one her birthday in around 1997 or 1998. I owe her many debts of gratitude for that. Appropos on this day: I know all your life you wondered about that step we all take alone. How far does the spirit travel on the journey? You must surely be near Heaven and it chills me to the bone to know Amy knows the great unknown. *original lyrics by Rick Springfield. I added Amy's name. This is the reminder I guess I was needing to put things in perspective. The people and relationships are what's important. All the rest is just decoration.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


So, how sick is it that there is a group of people I want to send gifts to but I'm afraid that they will not understand it, reject it, judge me for it? I have been struggling with this for a long time and what I know is that it is a result of receiving gifts from people who mean well and sometimes miss the mark. People who I think should know me, know who I am and who DO NOT. At all. Then I am mad at myself for not being gracious - it really is the thought that counts. I know this to be true and I allow that to guide me when I might have a less appropriate thought. How to overcome this judgement of myself that I am flinging onto other people and having it bounce back on me, leaving me frozen and unable to act? Just do it, I tell myself. And the little fear monster on my shoulder - not a devil - whispers to me, "Don't embarrass yourself!" The little bastard knows that playing the embarrassment card is the one that will work.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Little Personal Perspective

As I was driving home last night from work, longing for the election to be over just so that I don't have to listen to it anymore, I was struck by a memory. The car in front of me, in fact, most cars that I see, had no indicator showing their presidential or political leanings. I do not have any political indicators on my vehicle, either. I don't know why it struck me particularly, but I realized that part of the reason I don't talk about politics and don't show my leanings publicly is fear. This line of thinking was surprising in some ways, but it was an opportunity to look back and see how much things have changed and/or how little. In 1992, there was a ballot measure (Measure 9), which was basically an fear-based attack on the LGBTQ community. At the time, I was much more active in the gay community - working with AIDS/HIV organizations, hanging out in the bars, interpreting drag shows, etc. So, when Measure 9 came down the pike, I immediately put a bumper sticker on my car - "No on 9". Simple, effective. And I was followed by cars for miles, people screamed obscenities at me, flipped me off, agressively tailgated me and finally, someone dented my car. While I can't be sure that all of this behavior was directly related, much of it was. It was a fearful time. One of Roby's neighbors was followed home from the bar and beaten almost to death. After that, my political leanings have been fairly silent. I may agree with someone or say something insignificant to a friend or someone I'm close to, but for the most part, I am not comfortable sharing that part of my life. As I was reflecting on this past of mine, these strange and seemingly unrelated things (the measure then and the election now), I realized that I still feel a sense of fear and reluctance to showcase my political beliefs. As a society, it seems that we are far less equipped to have civil discourse when we disagree. Everything becomes so extreme and it flies in the face of my desire to avoid conflict when possible. No brilliant revelation - just thought I would share some perspective as it came to me during my lengthy commute last night.


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