Friday, May 25, 2018

Look who’s visiting!

And who’s still impossible to photograph! And who’s gotten dog hair all over my sweaty, sticky, just-ran-three-miles-in-full-humidity-and-heat self!

Flashback Friday: Monkrat Love Edition

This photo is from the last show I did with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus. I can't remember the name of it--I'm sure it was a vaguely gay pun using monk-related words, and I'm sure one of my better-memoried fellow chorines will helpfully provide it for me in the comments--but it was an original story using modified lyrics of existing music about a budding gay romance in a monastery.
My online research tells me it was nine years ago--though my memory makes it feel more like 25--but the few indelible memories I have of the show--aside from getting to perform as always with 100 talented men and their big, beautiful, proudly gay voices--include struggling to to do simple chaînés in fisherman sandals that had enormously chunky Dr. Martens soles, struggling to remember the repetitive and cruelly endless lyrics to a rewritten "Veni, veni, venias" from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, struggling to wear all 10,007 pounds of authentic fireman gear in my deus-ex-machina fireman role near the end of the show, and having a bit of a crush on one of the two lead monks. (Dear two lead monks from that show, if you happen to be reading this: I honestly have no memory of who you either of you were or which one of you I was secretly crushing on, so for the sake of no hurt feelings and/or no creepy lecherous objectification, please just assume I was and/or wasn't crushing specifically on you, depending on how you wish to remember the experience of that show. Thank you.)
WAIT! Bad Habits! I'm pretty sure the show was called Bad Habits. Because I'm certain it wasn't Monk-eying Around. Or Hold Me Cloister, because that would be about nuns. Or Gurrrrrrrlastery. No, it definitely wasn't Gurrrrrrrlastery

Take Back Your Monk, maybe?

Thursday, May 24, 2018


You know how when you’re lying on your side with your head wrapped in off-brand Saran Wrap and your ear wedged in a sawed-off drinking cup as you wait for the cold, rubbery alginate—which is your new favorite word—to congeal for your ear mold and someone hands you your iPhone to alleviate your boredom and you think it might be fun to take a selfie?

I’d probably take one if I ever found myself in that situation.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Shirtston, we have a problem

The problem with running a 5K last weekend all by yourself with nothing but the rambling stuff in your head to keep you occupied is you sometimes come up with weird, crazy ideas.

The problem with the Internet is you can easily turn those weird, crazy ideas into a (quite clever, if you ask me) shirt you'll wear in every race you run for the rest of the year.
#HowToTurn50 #AndCleverlyRememberToLeaveRoomForYourBibNumber

We struggled through a ROUGH 3.33 miles this morning

... which my running buddy and I finally admitted—albeit cautiously, so as not to plant the idea of struggling in each others’ heads but mostly just to not look weak and devoid of toxic masculinity—to each other around mile 1.75. But we had beautiful weather and we slogged through our struggles and surprised ourselves with a final pace of 11:12, which is actually a tad faster than where we’ve been clocking in. Then we (masculinely) bro-hugged (again, masculinely) goodbye and parted ways without taking a commemorative photo ... and now I can’t stop sweating and I’m waterfalling so much that I don’t want to go in the house yet so I’m waiting out the deluge on a charming wrought-iron chair by the front door with nothing to do but swat gnats, take selfies and blather on about our rough-but-victorious run on Facebook. Plus use waterfall as a gerund.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Apparently my mini-diatribe against halter necklines over the weekend upset a few of my halter-not-hostile (halter hugging? I’m trying to go for cheap alliteration here) friends

As penance, today I’m wearing to-the-knee orange camo cargo shorts with hangy string things, a Dockers T-shirt featuring a fake-vintage eagle logo of a fake pale ale, and electric-orange-and-electric-green running shoes that don’t go with anything in the known universe—all of which I’m selfie-ing in front of a plaid chair I love that apparently everyone else in the family thinks looks dated and sad.

So have at it, halter-lovers: MOCK ME.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

What’s more shocking:

I blithely voted for the Iowa girl on American Idol just because she’s from Iowa or I’m hip and cool enough to even know what American Idol is?

Hondreds of hostas to the horizon!

Jake and the Amazing Heterosexual Theater Date

Just two dudes seeing a musical. About clothing. With an obsessive focus on its color palette.

Nothing suspicious here.


It's a rarely useful word for a re-used writing surface that still bears evidence of its incompletely erased original text. It comes from related ancient Latin, Greek and Sanskrit nomenclature for this very common occurrence in a time when writing surfaces were rare and therefore had to be frequently reused.

In the modern world where paper is available in abundance, palimpsest is used literally in the context of ancient documents and old handwritten diaries and metaphorically to describe extant evidence of anything from old buildings to previous marriages.

I’m always fascinated by the evidence of old windows, old staircases and even old painted rooms that are unearthed on the side of one building when an adjacent building is demolished. And there’s plenty of palimpsest currently high in the air around a demolition site in downtown Cedar Rapids. I’m especially fascinated by the evidence of the adjacent tan, blue and brown rooms that clearly had elegant frame moldings on this second story:

While the remnants of the painted rooms above are no doubt destined to disappear forever once they get primed or sealed or bricked over as the new building goes up, bricked-in windows offer a more always-on-display palimpsest, and to me they always look like secret-hiding ghosts, like the ones from the above demolition site and across the street in the alley next to the stately Granby Building:

I find history fascinating and engrossing in a macro sense, but personal, intimate, human-scale historical evidence—like old rooms where people lived and worked and made human-scale decisions like what color to paint their immediate surroundings—is to me far more meaningful.

How to repair a flat tire:

1. Cancel all your plans for the night.
2. Get up early the next morning and run 2.25 miles with a buddy who totally kicks your butt at a 10:09 pace even though he’d told you he was a slow and unsure runner.
3. Liar.
4. Be one of the first people in line at the Walmart auto center.
5. Find out that your tires are really old (which you kind of already knew) and that your flat tire was beyond repair (which you kind of assumed).
6. Get four all-new tires for way less than you’d mentally budgeted for.
7. Eat heaping piles of sugar and regret at the nearby Hardee’s while you wait for your less-expensive-than-you'd-assumed tires to be installed.
8. Facebook!
9. Pad your list because you want an even 10 and you have plenty of time to get there.
10. Done!
11. Oops.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I’m home safe and sound!

And apparently THIS happened during all the excitement of my day:
Thoughts and prayers, Melanie. Thoughts and prayers.

I hate to be all judgey BUT I’M GONNA BE ALL JUDGEY

because AAA just sent the cast of Deliverance to wordlessly change my tire and start to climb back into its truck with zero interaction with me regarding the inflation level of my spare, how long they recommend I drive on it or anything else related to what I should look out for as I pull back into the highway with the back-right quarter of my car supported by a donut that hasn’t seen the light of day for 14 years. 

AAA, you really suck right now. But I’m heading home. Or into fiery death in a ditch.

Guess who’s parked precariously on the narrow shoulder of a rural highway somewhere north of Vinton IA with a flat tire and a 45-minute wait for AAA

Hint: It’s the gay guy who worked very hard to make sure this flat-tire photo is centered, balanced and artfully composed:
This 45-minute wait has given me plenty of time to cancel my much-looked-forward-to afternoon (sorry!) and evening (also sorry!) plans using my new, non-battery-abruptly-dying phone, though. So there’s that. It’s also given me plenty of time to visit the websites of every tire store in Cedar Rapids to find out that they’re ALL closed Saturday afternoons PLUS all day Sundays. Because there’s no reason to have convenient weekend hours when we all know that car tires go flat and need to be replaced only on weekdays. EXCEPT MINE.

But! AAA and iPhones are a potent car-trouble-fixing combination when you’re parked precariously on the narrow shoulder of a rural highway somewhere north of Vinton IA late on a Saturday afternoon. And I have a full tank of gas and a not-gonna-die-anytime-soon phone battery (plus Facebook!) and I’m as relatively safe as I can be parked precariously on the narrow shoulder of a rural highway somewhere north of Vinton IA, so this unexpected turn of events is more of an adventure-ish setback than a catastrophe.

OH BUT WAIT! Because LITERALLY JUST AS I TYPED THAT LAST SENTENCE, AAA called to tell me it won’t be a 45-minute wait—40 minutes of which have already passed—BUT A THREE-AND-A-HALF-HOUR WAIT.


Why the fuck do I even *HAVE* AAA if they’re going to suck this bad? And I really have no place to move my car and try to put on my spare by myself IN MY SPORTCOAT AND TIE while I wait.


Charcuterie couture!

Rare footage of Bitch Kitty being pleasant and delightful


• The city of Marion was clearly and cruelly platted by M.C. Escher because the entire 5K route was uphill and yet it mysteriously finished in the same place it started.
• Every hot man at the race was accompanied by a woman and/or child.
• Many of those children totally lapped me in the last mile.
• Which, I remind you, was totally uphill.
• That one guy in the black shorts and yellow shirt would have especially looked handsome with me in our wedding photos.
• He can reach me here if you know him.
• I’d forgotten that this race had clydesdale (meaning big ol’ heavy runners) and masters (meaning just ol’ runners) divisions. Which usually means less competition for us big and ol’ folks who should get trophies just for showing up in matching shoes. But even though I qualified for both divisions and did indeed manage to show up in matching shoes and therefore mathematically should have won in those big and ol’ divisions, I came in 15th.
• I placed 248th overall, but I didn’t register a place ranking for my gender.
• Seriously. After “G Plc” on the finisher listings, I have a big fat NOTHING.
• That’s not a metaphor for anything.
• Uphill.
• The whole way.
• Hot guys lugging around the accoutrements of heterosexuality.
• I couldn’t decide between that last bullet and “Hot guys albatrossed with the accoutrements of heterosexuality.”
• So I included both.
• Cleverly.
• I really stink right now.
• Because the whole damn race was uphill.

Well, shit

Just when I thought I’d successfully shamed the sartorial horrors of halter necklines from all fashion now and into the infinite future, Meghan has to trot in front of the cameras in a wholly unnecessary second wedding dress with a halter silhouette and make the look seem royal and admirable and therefore the inspiration for a new generation of copycat dresses that make women look like they’re being choked by tapered murderer hands. I’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR DRESSING POOR HAPLESS MEGHAN IN A MURDER WEAPON, STELLA McCARTNEY.

The early bird gets the parking spot. And all the time in the world to blog about it.

GOOD NEWS! I got Doris Day parking for this morning’s Marion Arts Festival 5K (the second race of my epic, internationally celebrated, cooler-than-a-stupid-royal-wedding Summer Of Running Away From Being 50!) because I not-very-good-at-guessing-how-many-people-would-be-running-the-race-ingly got here 75 minutes early to avoid the inmates-loose-in-the-madhouse-level lines at the packet pickup.

SUBSEQUENT GOOD NEWS! I’m so early that there’s nobody here yet so I have nobody to talk to and therefore plenty of time to take (multiple!) selfies and write ridiculously-long-compound-adjectived Facebook and blog posts.

BONUS! The race bags that we get at the packet pickup for this 5K contain free samples of (respectively) BioFreeze menthol gel and Udderly SMOOth skin cream, which you usually get only for half and full marathons where you’re all but guaranteed to get (respectively) cripplingly painful muscle injuries and cripplingly horrifying chafed, cracked, unstoppable-fountains-of-bloody nipples. So this 5K might be pretty badass. Or badnipples.

ALSO BONUS! My bib number is 99, which is somehow really cool to me. It’s very symmetrical. And it’s unmissably safety-pinned to my chest. Like my very-symmetrical-unmissably-safety-pinned-to-my-chest-and-apparently-a-looming-threat-in-this-5K bloody nipples.


#HowToTurn50 #Nipples!