Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fucking whiny sociopathic worthless piece of shit man-boy failure

Reasons to come see Billy Elliot:

1. Talented cast

2. Awesome costumes and sets

3. People calling each other wankers

4. Epic power anthems

5. Tear-away pants

6. Time steps

7. New mustache

8. Did I mention wankers?

9. Wankers wankers wankers!

10. Cool selfies after the show under the color-changing uplighting on the Iowa Theatre Building's Corinthian pilasters

Shhh ... sales tax

There are legitimate, across-the-aisle-respected economic theories and models and ideologies that shape the modern Republican party -- well, not the clown slaughterhouse of the party's current assault on rational logic and human decency but on the modern party in general -- that can easily be generalized enough to be explained to and understood by an 8-year-old ... not to mention the entirety of Twitter.

Then there are the staggeringly ignorant, lazily belligerent, contemptuously grotesque oversimplifications of Republican economic agendas that permanently disqualify you from every conversation on every topic ever even if you whisper them only to a dead elephant.

Grover Norquist -- a Harvard Business School MBA who founded something he calls Americans for Tax Reform -- is apparently that dumb.

Ladies. PLEASE.

I know my new all-natural, all-masculinity mustache makes me engine-revving catnip to everyone whose mustacheless life is starving for a smoldering swoon or ten, but notice the background -- if you can tear your eyes away from my suave-1920s-bank-robber lip -- in this selfie. It's shoes. Hundreds of shoes. Organized by color. SHOES. Do you know what that means? It means I'm homoshoeual. My passions and emotions lie first with shoes. Chicks are like a distant 46th on the list. So you, me and my romance-novel bad-boy mustache? It just wouldn't work out.

But my dark-mysterious-stranger mustache and I can't stop you from swooning at a respectable distance. We know you can't help yourselves.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

What the hell do gay people have to be so proud of?

We’re proud because despite relentless persecution everywhere we turn—when organized religion viciously attacks and censures and vilifies us in the name of selective morality, when our families disown us, when our elected officials bargain away our equality for hate votes, when entire states codify our families into second-class citizenship, when our employers fire us, when our landlords evict us, when our police harass us, when our neighbors and colleagues and fellow citizens openly insult and condemn and mock and berate and even beat and kill us—we continue to survive.

We’re proud because pride is the opposite of shame—and despite what systemic bigotry and the ugliest sides of organized religion work so hard to make the world believe, there is nothing shameful about being gay.

We’re proud because—thanks to the incredible bravery shown by gay people who lived their lives openly sometimes to the point of being defiantly in the decades before us—we can live our lives more and more openly at home, at work, with our families, on social media … and even on national television.

We're proud because we've worked tirelessly to achieve legal equality in marriage, adoption, parental rights and many other ways that make our families recognized as Families in our states and across our country. And though we have more to accomplish—and though bigotry disguised as morality and religion and the supposed mandates of constituents works and sometimes succeeds at eroding our newfound equalities—we have the momentum and intelligence and drive and humanity and ability to keep driving back the hate as we continue to drive forward with both our newfound and future equalities.

We’re proud because through our tireless work and the prevailing powers of common sense and compassion, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and Proposition Hate and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act have collapsed in on their illogical, immoral, meritless foundations—and new legislative attempts to dehumanize us gain little to no traction or visibility and soon die on the trash heap as well.

We’re proud because we are smart enough to overcome the self-loathing that our venomous, mindlessly theocratic society forces on us, and we have the power to stop its destructive cycle by fighting back and by making intelligent choices involving sex and drugs and money and relationships and the way we live our lives -- and by using our lives as examples of success and humanity and love that other gay people can respect and emulate and achieve more and more easily.

We’re proud because after all we’ve been through, the world increasingly continues to notice and respect us and enthusiastically appropriate the often fabulous culture we’ve assembled from the common struggles and glorious diversity of our disparate lives.

We’re proud because especially this month and always all year we’re celebrating with parties and street fairs and parades overflowing with drag queens, leather queens, muscle queens, dad-bod queens, glitter queens, you’d-never-even-know-they-were queens queens and even straight-but honorary-queens-for-a-day queens, and together we can see beyond the pride in the parades of our lives and together celebrate the underlying Pride in the parades of our lives.

Quite simply, we’re proud that we have so incredibly much to be proud of.

If he got paid a nickel every time he tweeted this, he could eliminate the national debt and pay off Putin by Thursday

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sitzprobe (noun)

1. A seated rehearsal that merges orchestra, vocals and sometimes body microphones for the first time in the production of a musical; 2. A vaguely naughty-sounding German word that though it may seem so at first reading doesn't really lend itself to clever sexual innuendo and don't even think you're going to come up with the elusive and brilliantly definitive "probe" joke because millions of very talented and clever and profoundly disturbed actors and singers before you have exhausted every last possibility a thousand times over; 3. THE COOLEST REHEARSAL OF EVERY SHOW OF YOUR LIFE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE; 4. I'm wearing my sporty-cool lightning-bolt shirt today; 5. That has nothing to do with Sitzprobe but I didn't have any other place to fit it in today.

It's time for man-boy and his traitors to shift to other accommodations involving the words "lifetime" and "prison"

Flashback Friday: Personal Best Edition

I hit my yet-to-be-beaten personal best (1:56:03, baby!) in the 2009 Chicago 13.1 Marathon (which is a weird rebranding name for half marathon). My goal was to finish under 2:00 and I'm STILL four minutes early to everything because of this race. 

Fun fact: I ran so fast in part because a friend told me to take a bunch of Advil before the race so I wouldn't feel any pain. And it worked! Until the Advil wore off and I discovered I'd crippled myself FOR LIFE. But at least I figured out how to not pay for any pictures of my tendonal immolation.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Still not quite straight

I'm pretty sure that standing in the street for the last four minutes trying to center my head, the TCR logo on the marquee and the Palladian window above it all in a vertical alignment while artfully cropping myself to look handsome and buff and managing to take this picture without a car zooming by behind me or my hand shaking because I have yet to eat dinner was harder than the entire three weeks it took to learn and clean the tap number.

Anyway, we open in a week. Here in this gorgeous historic theater. With a cast of people I positively cherish. And a combined level of talent that will blow you away.

Come see our little show. You won't regret it. Get your tickets here.

CedaRound: Checking the architecture

It would be irresponsible and reckless of me to have picked a new bank when I moved back to Cedar Rapids based on its aesthetics -- as a random example, the former Merchants National Bank, which was built in 1926 in a neo-classical style with a tripartite exterior that allowed for a gilded three-story atrium, though none of that has any influence on which financial institution I trust to hold and protect my entire life savings -- but JUST LOOK AT THIS LOBBY.

Uh oh. Something's not right.

Please notice that I did not make a gratuitous pee joke

I took the morning off for my six-month neurology appointment, which is in the same building as this helpful sign. I'm -- either cynically or proactively -- always worried my doctors will run late, so for the big appointments I always take a half day of vacation for my visits. But my doctor was right on time and now I have a lot of time to kill before work. So I'm following the arrows on this sign to get myself a refreshing beverage and we'll just have to wait and see which arrow I follow after that.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CedaRound: Kingston Square

The trump trash from tonight's rally has pretty much cleared itself, though I did just hear a "grab her by the pussy!" yelled proudly to nobody from a passing car as I walked to mine after rehearsal.

Speaking of, I'd grabbed the first spot I saw when I got downtown tonight, which ended up being about six blocks from the theater in Kingston Square, a long-neglected neighborhood that's making a slow but gorgeous recovery after drowning in almost 10 feet of water in the 2008 flood. There is a layered boxiness that visually links the architecture in the area, from the 1911 People's Bank Building designed by Louis Sullivan in his fortressy "jewel box" style to the post-war brutalist commercial spaces clad in corrugated concrete to the new mixed-use residential construction profiled with broad crenellations and proud cornices. There is a relentless horizontalness to the neighborhood's rooflines and setbacks, and someone somewhere in the neighborhood's recent revitalization decided to trace all that horizontal geometry with simple, bright white lights. And the effect at night is at once austere, majestic and stunning. So stunning, in fact, that I go out of my way to drive through the neighborhood every time I'm in the area at night. I've stopped and parked and wandered around with my camera a couple times to try and capture the magic, but I could never find the right spot to capture the full expanse of everything I find so beautiful. When I got to my car tonight, though, I discovered I was in an ideal location to capture most of it, which -- since I've finally accepted that all that grand horizontalness is just too horizontal to squeeze into one picture -- is still perfectly breathtaking.

So here, after almost a year of attempts to find the perfect angle, is why I always reroute my nighttime trips through downtown Cedar Rapids to make sure I approach the area of 1st Street and 3rd Avenue SW from every angle:

The Trump rally stink hangs over my entire downtown tonight like a fog of one-tooth spittle

OF COURSE there's a goddamn confederate flag

Because American "patriots" ALWAYS support an anti-American army that was defeated by America.

Do. Not. Even.

A pseudohuman who barely qualifies as a rudimentary intellect -- much less a functional president -- is clogging my downtown in a choking effluvium of losers (his favorite projection word!), half-wits and fiercely proud troglodytes for a rally tonight. So I'm wearing my pseudoscience T-shirt in a heartfelt tribute to them that will ironically soar miles over their echo-chamber heads.

I have rehearsal directly across the street from the man-boy rally. There are children in our show and we're all on high alert to protect them from the belligerent trash that is already littering our streets. A friend of mine was assaulted by a group of these rock dwellers as they started to coagulate downtown just hours ago. THE MINDSET OF IGNORANCE AND THE CULTURE OF PROVOCATION THIS HUMAN FILTH FOSTERS HAS ALREADY RESULTED IN THE ASSAULT OF A FRIEND OF MINE WHO WAS JUST WALKING TO HIS CAR FROM WORK.

Fair warning, trump trash: I am bigger than you, I am smarter than you, I loathe you and everything you breathe for, and if you start ANYTHING with any of my friends, show personnel, show kids or anyone else who actually matters tonight, I will finish it for you. I am not a violent person and I will contain the fury you fire up in me tonight unless you even try to start something. Then there are no rules.

You do NOT want to find out how serious I am about this.

Come for the locusts. Stay for the plagues.

Darkening skies. Reddening hats. Blood running from the faucets. Collective intelligence flushing into the sewer. "Material Girl" on the Spotify.

The trumpfant terrible is clearly on his way.

Ain't nobody gonna be grabbing this one while you-know-who's in town today

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I'm so grossed out by what the world must think of us these last few months

And man-boy is rolling the CretinFest 2017 party bus into Cedar Rapids tomorrow. The whole city will be littered with ineptitude, hypocrisy and China-made pro-America hats by the time he oozes away. Gag.

Me and my Billy Elliot backup dancers

Only one of us is gay. But if the conversion currency is still toaster ovens, I'm probably gonna need lots of room on my kitchen counter.

I speak for the trees

As we all know, the social cure for the heartbreak of increasingly fluffy Billy Elliot hair is the distraction of really adorable Dr Seuss T-shirts.

BAM! Done.

Monday, June 19, 2017


Darn it 

go bc I hv 

It's grotesque enough that man-boy will be violating my hometown with his simpleton drooling this week, but doddering old Chuck here bragging that he'll miss the cretinfest by spinning his lazy dereliction into an I-showed-up-so-I-get-a-trophy gold star at least lessens the invasion of catastrophic political failures by one.

Less god. More punctuation.

Passing for normal

No, the Ringling Brothers didn't call and no, they don't want their rainbow-spiral tie-dyed infinity kitty shirt back because THEY DON'T HAVE A PHONE ANYMORE.

Besides, I look positively adorable today.


Could Jay Sekulow possibly be a more arrogantly belligerent, desperate-to-stay-on-script liar then Kellyanne Conway? Maybe they should put together a Grand Guignol act. And take in on the Vaudeville circuit. And be sponsored by coal. Someone should really investigate that idea.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day/Sister's Anniversary/Delicious Mystery-Flavored Brown Bread Impaled On A Freakishly Fat Knife Day!

We had a wonderful, charming and relatively efficient waitress tonight at the venerable Cedar Rapids Outback Steakhouse, but I wanted the scruffily handsome dude serving the table next to us. And I never know the etiquette in these situations. Do I fire the waitress personally and demand she bring me the scruffily handsome dude in her place? Do I ratchet it up a level and have the manager fire her? Or do I skip the middlemen entirely and throw a slab of steak at scruffily handsome dude's head to strike up a conversation?

Sigh. Dating is so hard.

CedaRound: Cedar Rapids History Center

The old Cedar Rapids History Center was built in 1935 as a Quonset hut encased in industrially horizontal blond brick for the Rapids Chevrolet car dealership and stood resolutely as what seemed to be a permanent, demoralizing architectural stain on First Avenue at the edge of downtown until after I was out of college.

It was an exceptionally dreary example of early 20th century prefabricated architecture that was probably seen as austerely noble in its day and was unfortunately built to last well past its visual expiration date a decade later as the architectural world rediscovered the soul-nourishing properties of ornamentation.

So you can imagine how the city aesthetes rejoiced with great jubilation when the building started to be torn down in the 1990s, and then we waited with surprised but hopeful trepidation when we realized that what had brought devastating visual and emotional blight to the city for over half a century was not disappearing entirely but was instead being partially repurposed into delightfully contextual architecture: Ghosts of chipped-away pillars, arcs of corrugated metal and jagged geometries of pre-war brick suddenly stood with beauty, grace and a touch of fun as part of the endlessly clever new Cedar Rapids History Center building. And I quickly learned to stop sighing and looking away every time I drove past it. The new concept was quirky and invigorating and created a meaningful architectural dialogue between antiquated visual efficiencies and modern plays on scale, material and embellishment.

Last year, the Cedar Rapids History Center began its move to Cedar Rapids' historic 1896 Douglas Mansion -- whose adjacent carriage house at 5 Turner Alley was transformed in the 1920s into an apartment and studio by "American Gothic" painter Grant Wood -- and the History Center building was slightly renovated to become the new Cedar Rapids Day School. I'm kinda sad that the History Center abandoned its delightfully contextual hybrid-architecture home, but I still rejoice with great jubilation every time I drive by it.

And Newt knows a thing or two about obstruction



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tails from the front

You know how when you're watching a war movie and the soldiers barricade themselves behind trees or cars or bullet-riddled remnants of walls or especially baskets at the tops of staircases and they peek carefully around them to see where you are before they shoot you with guns or lob grenades at you or leap for your jugular with their ferocious teeth as though you were a hapless, unsuspecting milk-jug ring?

I'm afraid to go upstairs right now.

Shooting straight

The party you delusionally declared your intention to create the position of "trans ambassador" for and who humiliatingly rejected you and everything you are hates you. Hates you. Amid domestic poverty, the acceleration of violent racism, international terrorism and many other threats that are of vital importance to address, they devote inordinate amounts of time writing legislation and pushing a party-wide agenda to segregate and humiliate and dehumanize you for trying to go to the bathroom. THE BATHROOM. And just wait for the vitriol they'll hurl at you if you try to marry a woman. Or anyone. As a trans person, you are barely human to them.

The trans-embracing left does nothing on that level of cruelty but expects a reciprocal level of compassion and human decency from you. Making opportunistic partisan jokes about attempted murder -- especially as a woman who has killed another human being -- shows there is no bottom to the absence of compassion and human decency that rots your entitled, self-important lack of a soul.

I am done defending everything about you over this statement. I stand up to and try to educate anyone who makes cruel or simply insensitive comments about trans people. You to date have generated the overwhelming majority of these conversations. And until this, I defended you despite our idealogical differences. But you are less than human to me now too. You are no better than the party you cling to who works so hard to loathe you. You deserve each other.

Saturday stuff

1. Sing show tunes
2. Go to the gym
3. Troll pants-wetting cretins who don't know the difference between the Salem witch trials and The Crucible

Friday, June 16, 2017

And we're back!

When he's not grabbing pussy, blaming everyone for his catastrophic failings or screaming FAKE NEWS! every time he doesn't get his way, Bachelor #2 enjoys concocting meaningless catchphrases and desperately searching for validation everywhere he can find it.

Tucker Carlson sure knows a lot about gay beaches 

Tucker Carlson always looks like you threw the ball but he didn't actually see it leave your hand so he's not sure if he should run and try to fetch it.

It's like she WANTS us to attack her personally 

Flashback Friday: Passing the Baton Edition

Seven years ago, I ran a 200-mile, 36-hour baton relay with 12 people, two vans, three pair of shoes, one shower in a high school at the halfway point, fitful sleep, and a big glorious mix of challenge and determination and pain and euphoria and friendship and encouragement and accomplishment and unbridled joy. 

And I both totally and never want to do it again.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Crooked H?

How is destroying a phone with a hammer obstruction? You're never gonna make "bleached emails" happen. Your AG apparently can't remember the last time he went to the bathroom, but he definitely knows he didn't talk about Russia in two meetings he doesn't remember being in. And I'd enjoy watching your arrogant delusions come crashing down and eating you alive a whole lot more if you hadn't stolen my rap name.

Is this mean,


I'm letting my hair and possibly my beard grow out for Billy Elliot

In the past, people have told me I look like Wolverine when I've gotten all scruffy and fluffy like this. Despite the fact that I've never seen a Wolverine movie, I take this as high praise. In fact, my ex agreed to be boyfriends as long as I honored his get-out-of-this-relationship-for-free clause in the event Hugh Jackman showed up at our door in a towel. I'm embarrassed to say that I chose Nick Lachey -- WHO WAS SEXY AND RELEVANT AT THE TIME -- for my escape clause. But it didn't matter in the end; it was Patti LuPone who broke us up.

Anyway! My trainer just put me through a brutal back workout and I'm all but oozing sweat through my paint-spattered shirt from my college newspaper so I took a selfie in front of my gym's breaker box because that totally completed the uncanny Wolverine resemblance I'd achieved. But as I said, I've never seen a Wolverine movie so for all I know he didn't work at his college paper, didn't sloppily paint his sister's house or didn't go to a gym painted the color of microwaved mangoes. Nevertheless, you still have my full permission to tell me I look like Wolverine.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mr. Paul:

I don't even want to understand the vile psychopathy that caused you to think -- much less tweet to the world -- your Second Amendment justification to "shoot at the government" a year ago almost to this day. But you are the majority party of a president who just ten months ago called upon "Second Amendment people" to silence his political rivals ... the majority party of a president who blithely, recklessly bragged last year that "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters" ... a majority party who works resolutely to dismantle and obstruct gun-control legislation that might very well have prevented what happened to you and your colleagues today. Your words to "shoot at the government" are as appalling as the quite literal shooting at the government this morning that you now describe as "a killing field — it’s really sick and very sad."

Really sick. Very sad.

I lost a friend in a violent terrorist attack. I lost a friend in a violent assault. I am haunted by the violent mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Pulse nightclub and countless other terrifying, preventable massacres. I don't wish violence and murder even on people for whom I have a visceral loathing. And I have a visceral loathing for you. For repeatedly -- proudly -- placing more importance on your party's interpretation of the Second Amendment and on the gun lobby and on allowing increasingly unrestricted access to assault weapons than on the safety and the very lives of our citizens. For recklessly inciting people through your position of influence and privilege to "shoot at the government." For having the gall to be shocked and appalled when the time bomb you helped build all but literally exploded in your hands this morning when an obviously disturbed man with obviously easy access to an assault weapon followed your charge and shot at the government. At you. At all of us.

Really sick. Very sad.

Measurably preventable. Immeasurably infuriating.

Irreparably heartbreaking.

Too soon? Too late.

53 years

In the midst of our country's paralyzing uncertainty, I want to take a moment commemorate a ray of enduring joy: My parents are celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary today. Like their parents before them, they continue to set a quiet example of unbridled altruism and unquestioning kindness, whether they're securing food, clothing and shelter for people in need; providing comfort and care for sick friends and strangers alike; prioritizing their lives around the needs and activities of their grandchildren; taking in their broken son and working fiercely to repatriate him through endless ups and downs; or simply providing a freshly baked pie for someone in need of delicious homemade goodness. They face challenges like my dad's blindness head-on, invite lonely people to join us for Christmas dinner and good-naturedly endure constant ribbing from their children. The example they set for us is so genuine and so high that I fear I can never do it justice in the way I live my life. They love us unconditionally and we gratefully love them back. I'm proud to call them my parents and I'm thrilled that I can laud them publicly so the people who are important to me can celebrate their anniversary with us.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I'm pretty sure someone you know spent the day lying by omission too

In fact, he dodged whole sessions of questions.

Attention, thieves:

If you want to steal my jumper cables or my ice scraper or my emergency hat and mittens, just hang out by my trunk for a while; my car is now apparently equipped with intermittent trunk locking and my trunk pops open at regular intervals without any effort on my part. It's quite efficient. Kinda like the intermittent air bag system I used to have that's now fully disabled or maybe fully enabled because my air bag light is on all the time. I don't know if that means my air bag is completely broken or completely working, but the two dashboard lights sure look pretty when they're on together. Oh -- and be sure to grab the box when you steal my jumper cables; it has the directions printed on the back and I'd hate to see you short-circuit something in your car and trip your dashboard lights so they never turn off. Because that's really ghetto.

"It makes me nervous."

It turns out that pretending to forget everything that ever happened to you is extra-annoying when you lie it with a Southern elf accent.