Friday, June 30, 2017

Hey, Sailor!

Here's an exuberant moment from the Billy Elliot "Expressing Yourself" dream fantasy shimmer curtain extravaganza tap explosion fest.
 Courtesy of Struttmann Photo

Opening night, wankers!

I've got my big British sneakers -- I MEAN TRAINERS -- and my big gay sailor hat and my disco-fantasy mustache, of course, and I'M READY FOR OPENING NIGHT OF MY BIG GAY BRITISH MUSICAL. Oi!

Flashback Friday: Bend and Snap Edition

Apparently five years ago right now I was dancing in colorful underpants on a float in the Chicago pride parade. Now I'm wearing tearaway pants in a musical about a boy who fights The Man to dance ballet. So apparently nothing has changed. Except now I also wear tap shoes.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Just for the record ...

When I was "bleeding badly" from my non-hyphenated facelift, I went out to dinner three nights in a row at a golf resort that was NOT owned by Donald Trump.

I have standards.

Today in Stupid: You don't even know what an I.Q. measures, dipshit

Judging from the comments on these posts, this is the epitome of tone and content that inflames the euphoric passions and defiant allegiances of your desperately subnormal base.

BUT YOU ARE UNFORTUNATELY FOR ALL OF US THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and your lack of capacity for shame, judgment, maturity, impulse control, intelligence, ability and rudimentary adult behavior has turned our country into an international laughingstock that through what's left of our influence and economy is endangering political, financial and social systems around the world. You have a congress working overtime to strip affordable, vital healthcare from millions of poor sick people simply because it was given to them by a black man. You haven't bothered to fill hundreds of essential governmental positions from your cabinet to our country's global ambassadorships, which became an embarrassing liability when seven of our sailors were recently killed in a ship collision just outside of Japan. Your press secretary has escalated from literally hiding in bushes to escape the press that HE WAS HIRED TO ADDRESS to now banning cameras at the press briefings he manages to bumble through, while your congress has now blocked the press from talking to them in hallways. You keep deflecting the catastrophic failures you precipitate every time you breathe as "I inherited a mess" and you scream FAKE NEWS! like an uncontrollably shitting toddler every time your failures are brought to light. And instead of pulling yourself away from your grueling schedule of completely ignoring your wives and kids to fix any of this to the best of your feeble abilities, you tweet insults and gossip as though doing so were mature, appropriate, relevant, true or apparently in your disease-ravaged mind presidential.

Smart people hate you. Educated people hate you. Aware people hate you. Literate people hate you. Entire international populations hate you. The only people left who love or at best tolerate you are pants-wetting cretins who see their empty, meaningless, ugly, unfathomably stupid lives reflected in you.

It's probably a toss-up

Which delusional child trying to look sexy at a carnival fake-magazine-cover photo booth looks the least desperate for validation that will never come?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Me and my mustache and my miner's hat and my millions of costumes.


My fervent wish is to one day be in a show with no button-up shirts and no lace-up shoes. But I highly doubt Theatre Cedar Rapids will ever do Naked Boys Singing. So I'll be happily booted and buttoned and bursting with pride over Billy Elliot for the next four weeks. Come see for yourself why it's so bawesome!

Don't yell

Mock and deride the goatfucking man-boy here

The worst thing about this: This pants-wetting, pussy-grabbing, integrity-devoid, bitch-whiny attention whore is somehow our president.

The best thing about this: The delusionally narcissistic, breathlessly self-laudatory "Apprentice is a television smash!" teaser copy on the not-intelligently-designed fake cover of a magazine that he whines ad nauseam is "fake news" but he clearly saw as credible enough to copy for this pathetic self-promotion is critiqued thusly in the withering Washington Post exposé: "And it has two exclamation points. Time headlines don't yell."

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

OMG

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.

Trumpigation

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

#Hannity

JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

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.