Monday, April 30, 2007

Different kinds of happy

I Found My Lost Coat happy combines feelings of relief and thankfulness with notes of newfound wealth because now you won’t have to shell out the 50+ bucks you’d mentally budgeted to replace it. I love this coat—it’s a lined black windbreaker that’s crisp and tailored enough to work with dress clothes and bomber-jackety enough to work with jeans and boots. And even if I crush it into a gym bag it pops out looking (but not necessarily smelling) like it just came from the cleaners. Apparently I’d left it at the theater during tech week for the chorus show. Now it’s safely home and I’m never letting it out of the house again.

I Bought Funky New Shoes With A Coupon happy is akin to the excitement and novelty of a new relationship—but with a touch of pre-emptive guilt because eventually your boyfriend is going to find out about it. We already have enough shoes to open a shoe store, albeit only for men with size 11 and 13 feet. And now we have another pair to squeeze into the closet. Fortunately, I have a pair in mind I’ve grown tired of, and just like with children, I’ll probably give those shoes away to make room for the new ones.

I Cooked A Meal For My Boyfriend And My Visiting Parents And We’re All Enjoying It Together In Our Cozy Little Sunroom happy is the kind of happy that’s hard to define. There are elements of nurturing from providing food and shelter for the people who are the most important to you. There are elements of pride that you have groceries and cooking skills and dishes and lovely floors and bay windows and soft jazz and you can throw them all together to create a profoundly satisfying experience. And there is a sense of accomplishment that you were smart enough to pick parents and a boyfriend who are at once kind and intelligent and polite and interesting and able to become the family they are on the very first time they meet. The four of us spent the weekend chatting and laughing and having sodas and walking around the neighborhood and visiting the lake and getting to know each other better. And it struck me somewhere along the way that everyone was there because of me. But also because they wanted to be. (And maybe a little because I make a kick-ass vegetable-beef soup. From scratch. With garlic-cheese bread on the side and berries and pudding in gay little parfait glasses for dessert.) And there is something so moving … so affirming … so profoundly, organically right about creating a family out of the people you love that I still haven’t adequately described it after 248 words.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My new best friends

We had our first AIDS Mararathon training run yesterday, where we all whipped out three miles and got ourselves assigned to our new pace groups. I was promoted from last year's 10:00 group to the 9:30 group this year. So did Fearless Leader Matthew and his trusty camera. Which means many, many, many more pix for my blog.

And here's the first of them: a study in light, shade and squinty people who will soon become best friends forever:

While you're admiring our confident faces and our full-motion, flex-action hips and knees at the dawn of this journey, you might as well whip out your credit card and sponsor me now and get it out of the way. Because I'm going to hound you until you do. Bloggers can be shameless that way.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sponsor me in the AIDS Marathon!

Last year, you all helped me raise $2,740 in donations when I ran the Chicago Marathon on behalf of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. We went a full $1,300 over my goal, which I found to be both heartwarming and humbling.

This year I’m hoping to hit $3,000. So we have some work ahead of us.

For me, running the AIDS Marathon last year meant the opportunity to train all summer with a fabulous, delightful, altogether selfless group of people; to cross the start line injury-free for the first time in my short marathon-running career; and to share in your generosity as we raised money to combat a disease that is decimating the world population. Which is why I’m doing it all over again.

Which gives you yet another opportunity to sponsor me and generate much-needed (tax-deductible!) funds for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

And for the AIDS Foundation, it means more opportunities to provide direct medical care, food, housing and other vital services for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Despite recent advances in the treatment of AIDS, the epidemic is far from over. More than one million Americans—and 40 million more around the world—are now living with HIV. It’s no longer the gay disease once gleefully dismissed by the religious right; it’s now the LEADING cause of death among adults age 15-59 worldwide—gay or straight, black or white, male or female. The LEADING cause. That’s a lot of people who are not only sick, but potentially homeless, jobless, ostracized, trying to raise children or otherwise in desperate need of what the AIDS Foundation provides.

Our first training run starts tomorrow morning at 7:00 am. And instead of getting up to run with us, it’s way easier for you to whip out your credit card, click this big red link and join me on my fourth marathon adventure from the comfort of your home or office:
Image hosting by Photobucket

Thank you for your generosity!

(It can take up to five business days for your donations to be acknowledged on my pledge page. But the AIDS Foundation of Chicago has been extremely prompt at mailing acknowledgement letters for tax deductions. Please don’t let this weird little technical problem stop you from donating. You can give any amount you want.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Signs of spring in Chicago:

1. Restaurants tear down their temporary winter doors and set up their sidewalk seating.
2. The cops set up their ticket traps on every corner.
3. The EL starts smelling like pee again.
4. Tourists in Capri pants block the sidewalks as they admire all the tall buildings.
5. I lose my coat.

Somewhere in the last week — between a brisk morning, a balmy afternoon and a late night getting home from work or rehearsal — I managed to leave my favorite black windbreaker … somewhere. It’s not at work, it’s not in my car, it’s not on the pile of crap near the kitchen where I tend to leave things I’m going to need again the next day, and it’s not in the front closet where I sometimes take the initiative to hang it. And I’m normally not one to lose things, so its absence is driving me crazy.

I also can’t find the closing documents for our condo, which I need so I can register with the county treasurer and finalize some changes to our homeowners insurance.

So my life is officially a mess.

Fortunately, I have a few things on my calendar to keep me focused. For starters, marathon training starts Saturday morning. I’m hoping to score another totally cool training group so my long runs are an adventure instead of a cruel and unusual punishment. My plan: to use my wide array of superpowers to identify the cool people as everyone mills around before the pace run and then to convince us all to run in a pack so we get assigned to the same group. Because I can’t bear the thought of spending every Saturday morning this summer with boring, whiny people.

By the time I get home from my run, my folks should be here from Iowa to see my new condo for the first time and to meet my boyfriend for the first time.

And I hope they bring their coat-finding radar equipment. I’m going to be boring and whiny until my windbreaker turns up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A show tune arrived and a show tune dispatched

So I survived the weekend. The show got three standing ovations, I didn’t break any heels and our very first houseguests didn’t run screaming when they saw the clutter. Now all that’s left to do is rinse out the pantyhose (done!) and regrow the armpit hair.

Glenn and Todd were awesome first houseguests – mostly because they’re great guys, but also because they were extremely low maintenance in a weekend where I had three shows and the boyfriend disappeared for two days to attend his grandmother’s birthday party in Ohio. We were able to achieve my three goals before the boys arrived — useable bedrooms, scrubbed bathrooms and an uncluttered living room where we could actually sit and chat — so the weekend wasn’t as tenementy (is that a word?) as it could have been. And the boys made plans to hang out with some of their other buddies while the boyfriend and I were otherwise occupied, so we didn’t feel like total ignore-the-guests hosts.

I received very audible giggles every time I stepped on stage in my Spandex dragery (is that a word?) and uttered my first smoky “Cicero.” But by the time we merry murderesses had kicked the shit out of our Cell Block Tango, the audience was screaming and cheering. Which is always nice. Especially when your feet hurt all the way up to your fake boobs.

And now I’m buried at work, with nothing to keep me company but memories and raw skin around my eyes from scrubbing off my makeup.

And itchy armpits.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Wonderful! What can I say but wonderful?

So not only did I win the Dreamgirls DVD in Joe.My.God's first-ever Swag Tuesday, but I found out I won on my birthday. Which is so awesome I could almost dress up like a girl and start singing show tunes.

And speaking of dressing up like a girl and singing show tunes, the chorus Sidetrack show opens tonight (and closes tomorrow), so if you want to see me dancing around in heels and rice-and-pantyhose boobs, this is your last chance for a very long time; all my theater stuff goes in storage (with the drag stuff at the very back) beginning Sunday so I can concentrate on more boy-type things. Like stencilng the guest bedroom.

But on the off chance you're all too cheap to buy last-minute plane tickets to come see me (and I'm acting totally against my better judgment here), I'm postintg a picture taken during last night's dress rehearsal. See if you can tell which pic is from the movie and which pic is from our show:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cake I like.

That's reportedly the first semi-coherent thought I ever produced at a typewriter. It propelled me to gold-medal victory over two male cousins when we were all toddling around in onesies, trying to learn not to poop on ourselves, and blissfully unaware that our every accomplishment was being measured and judged in the unofficial baby races unofficially held by our doting parents. As you can see, I have since learned to eschew brevity for verbosity, but my first published work continues to pop up from time to time.

And today it appeared on a massive cake my family sent to my office:

Thir. Ty. NINE.

I had a post all set to go to mark my 39th birthday. It was a wish list that included a mercifully swift end to the Dubya kakistocracy, the elimination of the Electoral College, more room in my closet for shoes, a wholly unnecessary reminder to myself to never take my wonderful boyfriend for granted … stuff like that.

But in the last few years, the days around April 18 have become a series of epically tragic anniversaries, most notably the Oklahoma City bombing and the Waco siege on April 19 and the Columbine massacre on April 20.

And now we can add the Virginia Tech shootings to the list. And as I sit here contemplating the outside world from my ivory tower of privilege, prosperity, health and almost obscene levels of happiness, my wish list seems pretty empty. Even the Dubya stuff.

I weep for the parents and brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and grandparents who are slowly coming to terms with the violent, bloody, terrifying deaths of the young students in whom they had invested so much love and pride and hope. I mourn along with the survivors of earlier tragedies who had to live their first horrifying moments of realization in a national spotlight and who now mourn alone and forgotten. And I hope, along with the nation and the world, that our culture of violence and anger and bloodshed soon evolves into one of respect and magnanimity and benevolence.

And that is my birthday wish.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I’m wearing yesterday’s underpants

And not because I spent the night at Dick Cheney’s house again. I was actually at Karl Rove’s. Because Nick Lachey stopped returning my calls.

No, seriously. I kid. Nick and I are totally cool. He’s just a little jealous of my blogging celebrity. But we’re working through it.

In any case, Day Four Without Gas is ostensibly our last day of living like medieval serfs. But I had to dress up today for work because I have a client presentation this morning, and in my early-morning fog of packing gym clothes, a monkey suit for the day and rehearsal clothes for tonight, I forgot to grab a pair of underpants. But being forced to shower at the gym every morning has also forced me to get in better workouts than I’ve been having. So my nice clean butt is like totally pumped, even though it’s spending the day in yesterday’s squalor.

Oh, dear. I fear I’m spending way too much time talking about my underpants here. Though I sure love saying underpants. Underpants! (See?)

So let’s get back to the People’s Gas story, the resolution of which I’m sure you’re all waiting breathlessly for. I called the gasholes first thing yesterday morning and got on their schedule for getting gassed sometime today before 11:30. Which the boyfriend, who is standing by at home all morning, reports has yet to happen. I hope he’s at least being productive while he waits. (Honey, the bathroom floors still need to be regrouted.)

But while I was on the 30-minute call to get this weird little we-shut-off-your-gas-just-for-fun-because-we-CAN nightmare over, I asked the guy on the phone if the gas company’s policy really is to give you one notice that they’ve decided they need more identification—when you’re in the middle of all the chaos of moving and likely to miss it, as I did—and then wait three months and just shut off your gas without checking back if they haven’t heard from you.

His response: “That’s the policy.”

And when I asked if that was the policy even in the dead of winter when it could be 80 degrees below, he responded, rather efficiently, with a “Yup.”

So it’s official: People’s Gas is the Antichrist. And just as soon as I get enough hot water to do some laundry and get my butt in some clean underwear, I intend to complain about them some more. Gasholes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Get a load of THIS

The week before we closed on our new condo, I dutifully started gas and electric service in my name. That was in January, and just last week we realized we'd never gotten a bill from the gas company or the electric company. "We should call them to see when we're getting our bill," we said. Then instead we ordered a pizza, two hookers and Karl Rove's head in a bowling-ball bag. Typical Tuesday night for us.

Then yesterday, I noticed there wasn't much hot water in my shower. But I was racing to get to work so I didn't think much of it … until the boyfriend noticed last night that the dryer wasn't producing any heat. So I tested the stove, and—sure enough—our gas had been turned off.

I called first thing this morning to get it fixed, and I learned that the gas company (comically named People's Gas) decided way back in January they'd need to see THREE forms of ID from me before they'd actually start service in my name. Even though they'd already told me they would do it on a phone call and a promise not to make fun of their own name. Apparently they made one attempt to request those documents from me, but I don't remember getting it. So though they had my email address, two phone numbers and my mailing address, they decided that instead of trying to contact me a second time about their weird little ID request that it was easier just to shut off my gas and make everyone have to go through all the trouble of starting over.

Goddamn gas fuckers.

What's more, the gas woman on the phone this morning told me I had to immediately fax all that ID to a certain number and then call a different number so they could schedule a time to come out and get it back on. Which I raced around and did—even though I had to be kind of creative with the IDs I had because Coppy McGoatfucker took my driver's license a few weeks ago and I won't get it back until Memorial Day.

BUT THEN! When I tried to call the follow-up number, it kept hanging up on me. Ditto with the regular customer-service number. After about 20 tries, I called the gas company's emergency number, where I found out that the turn-back-on department is closed on weekends. So the goddamn gas fuckers shut off my gas on a Friday knowing they wouldn't be turning it on until at least Monday because, apparently, they wanted to teach me a lesson about not wondering if my utilities want more ID after they tell me they'll start my service.

I'm trying to have a sense of humor about all this. Seriously. But right now I'm feeling no moral twinge when I entertain fantasies of holding a clumsy bomb-making seminar in the People's Gas corporate office.

On the other hand, though, I learned that the boyfriend thought we had a gas dishwasher. Which is pretty cute in a my-boyfriend-thought-we-had-a-gas-dishwasher kind of way.

And our electricity is safe. I called to double-check that we wouldn't be losing access to Internet porn cold milk AND hot showers, and the electric company assured me that they had all the ID they needed and my first bill should be arriving in the next week.

And if I don't get my gas turned on within MINUTES of the beginning of the workweek, I will DEFINITELY be causing every kind of grief I can dream up for the goddamn gas fuckers at People's Gas. IN CAPS.

UPDATE: The boyfriend seemed a little horrified that I'd announced to the world he thought we had a gas dishwasher. In fact, he simply didn't realize that the dishwasher produced its own heat instead of relying on gas-heated water from the water heater. Nofo regrets the error.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The lazy blogger

posts other people's content instead of coming up with his own:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Things I learned at the dermatologist’s yesterday:

Britney Spears is apparently in some kind of emotional trouble.

Kevin Federline is going to reveal a new look this year. The public has voted, though, and people think it will probably be just like his old look.

Cate Blanchett broke her wrist. Or maybe it was Uma Thurman.

The People magazine I was reading was from January, though, so all of this might be old news to you. Even though it was new news to me.

I have two little bumps on my scalp. They’re not scaly and gross or anything; they’re just bumps. Like rubbery Rice Krispies under my dermis. They are apparently nothing of concern, but they do have a cool, important-sounding name. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it is.

I have healed remarkably well from my last round of mole biopsies. So well, in fact, that my dermatologist declared my achievement in healing “unprecedented.”

I was also congratulated on my responsible SPF usage.

Though I really should moisturize more every morning.

I make very dark moles.

But not so dark that there’s anything to worry about.

Though I need to monitor three specific moles on my body: one on each knee and one in a location I’ve already forgotten. Maybe it was on my stomach.

And I don’t need any biopsies this year. So I won’t get to practice my healing.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I love my hometown

It’s big enough to be cosmopolitan but small enough to be neighborly. My whole family lives there, all within blocks of each other. My 32 years growing up there gave me an amazing education and showed me the value of community and exposed me to a broad spectrum of culture and gave me the opportunity to sing and dance and perform to my heart’s content in a community theater with budgets and sets and orchestras and costumes and talents you don’t find in a lot of professional theaters … and the city did it all with easy access to affordable parking.

I just spent a delightful holiday weekend there with my niece and nephew and the minor family members who were put on earth to provide them with shoes and scrambled eggs and expensive orthodontia. We had tickle fights and hugs and homemade Easter cookies shared on the sly so Mom wouldn’t see and we listened to Grandma’s favorite happy-song mix CD and we sang along at the tops of our lungs and danced around the living room like big goofy people whose only job in life is to make laughter.

We also sat for a good hour at the ophthalmologist (which is as fun to spell as it is to visit) while my dad got a holding-steady (which we choose to read as relatively good) prognosis on the macular degeneration that’s slowly robbing him of his sight. (Question: Why would an ophthalmologist decorate his office with dreadful art? If he’s working to preserve sight, shouldn’t he provide his patients with some kind of visual incentive worth looking at?)

I also accomplished in three hours the kinds of errands it would take three weekends to do in Chicago: I looked at furniture, bought stencil paint, traipsed through three Wal-Marts (the horror!) to get 33 matching T-shirts in various sizes for the upcoming chorus show, bought crap for the house, bought a little surprise for the boyfriend and even filled my tank for under $50.

And when the kids were distracted by their DVDs or their imaginations, the adults sat around and talked about Important Things over cheese and grapes and ice-cold sodas. And while I love Cedar Rapids and the people and the memories I have there, the fact remains that it is also home to people who would write the following editorial—and to a newspaper that would print it and leave me with little choice but to reprint it here without permission:

A simple surgery for massive phone books
Many phone users in Cedar Rapids have recently received new phone books. When we picked ours up from the porch, we just shook our heads. It appeared to be even larger than last year’s.

The book has become so large it’s impossible to pick it up and find a number without considerable effort. We have found a simple solution that a lot of you might appreciate. Open the book up to the division between the home numbers and the yellow pages. Spread the gap as far as you can, then using a box cutting knife carefully cut through the backing until the two are completely separated. Viola, now you have a home phone book and a yellow page book. The thickness has been reduced from 2 inches to less than 3/4 of an inch.

If you want to further downsize the home section, you can perform additional surgery by separating the coupon section. Now you’re down to about a half-inch. To further simplify things, file the yellow page section away in a drawer where you can find it for the five or 10 times a year you need it and place the traditional sized home phone book close to the phone. If enough of us perform this surgery, who knows, maybe next year we’ll pick up our books in two convenient volumes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kathleen Turner Ruined Easter*

*Not really. But that headline provides a lot more drama and efficiency than Kathleen Turner got laryngitis so we decided not to see her understudy last night in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which was supposed to be an early birthday present (April 18! Mark your calendars!) and instead we went to a fancy dinner that turned out to be pretty disappointing.

The day the boyfriend and I met, there were many, many many signs that we were Meant To Be—one of which was our mutual love of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and, quite frankly, all things Albee. So when Kathleen Turner’s acclaimed Broadway production of the show came to Chicago in the weeks before my birthday, getting tickets seemed like a slam-dunk birthday present. Except work has been so busy I have been making no weeknight plans (or even keeping the ones I tentatively make) for the last month. So I didn’t give the boyfriend the go-ahead to get the tickets until yesterday afternoon. And by the time we got to the theater to see the show last night, Kathleen was gone and we decided the hell with it and we went to a restaurant in Boystown I’d remembered being pretty good, except when we got there it smelled like mildew and the peppercorn steak (my all-time number-one better-than-kicking-Dick-Cheney-in-the-face favorite restaurant meal) I ordered was served with a plain little demi-glace instead and we got an apology for the bait-and-switch only after we brought it up, which is just bad form if you’re trying to be a fancy restaurant with cutely folded napkins.

Speaking of people who have a hard time translating the written word into reality (and stick with me here as I link these two stories with only the tiniest threads of transitional logic), I had a podiatrist appointment on Monday night (and I was actually able to get out of the office in time to keep it). After running three marathons, I’d begun to notice weird pains in the tops of my feet, and a marathon trainer had suggested I get fitted for orthotics. So I did my research and found a podiatrist who was 1) in my network, 2) near my office and 3) recommended by a runner I trust, namely my boyfriend. I had to run (HA! RUN!) through a bunch of hoops to coordinate insurance issues, but I got my appointment and I showed up at his 30 South Michigan office with plenty of time to fill out paperwork and start my appointment on time. I checked in with the doorperson, got on the elevator … and discovered that the podiatrist’s suite number didn’t exist when I got to his floor. I went back downstairs to see if he’d moved, and I discovered that instead of being at 30 South Michigan, I’d somehow entered the building labeled 80. So I trudged next door to 30 and started the going-to-the-podistrist’s-office process all over again … only to discover that his suite number didn’t exist in that building either. So I went back downstairs to see what important detail in the address I’d missed this time, and—sure enough—I was at 30 North Michigan Avenue. All of which is no I-can’t-tell-the-difference-between-peppercorn-sauce-and-demi-glace, but it is pretty immutable proof that I’ve begun the slow descent into my crazy-old-coot-who-yells-at-kids-out-the-window-in-his-pajamas dotage.

But! The podiatrist’s office was pretty interesting because I got to see my own bones! We (and by “we” I mean “the nurse”) took X-rays of my feet, and the doctor walked (HA! WALKED!) me through the X-rays in fascinating detail. It turns out I had a stress fracture in one of my feet without even knowing it (it’s all healed now, so there’s no need to send cards or flowers) and that pain in the tops of my feet has been caused by a cartilaginous (which is a fun word to say and spell) mass he kept describing as “spackle” that is preventing the bones in the tops of my inner metatarsals from squishing around each other correctly. He said some nice soft arch support would probably alleviate the pressure the spackle was causing, and he made casts of my feet that ended up looking like ballet slippers, except without the daintiness.

So in three weeks, I’ll start my marathon training in $95 shoes (paid for by me) filled with $510 orthotics (paid for by The Man since my insurance rocks and I’ve already met my deductible for the year) and maybe—just maybe—I’ll be able to cross a marathon finish line (or two!) this fall without limping like an old coot who yells at kids out the window in his pajamas.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Things I have learned

Cops can pull you over for any reason they dream up. I was driving home Sunday night from our weekly post-rehearsal IHOP gorging when a cop behind me started flashing his lights. So I pulled over to let him pass, except he pulled over behind me … and then he took his sweet fucking time to waddle his self-righteous cop ass up to my window and yell at me as though he’d just caught me shitting in the pope’s mouth. It seems he’d decided I’d rolled through a stop sign, which I was about to tell him is physically impossible in a stick shift since you can’t get into first gear unless you’re at a complete stop and I always start from first gear, but then he asked me for my proof of insurance. And I suddenly had a sinking feeling that I hadn’t put my new insurance papers in my car. My new insurance papers come every October and April, and it was now April and I know I hadn’t even opened any mail that looked insurancey or moneyey for a couple weeks. Imagine my surprise, though, when the insurance papers I did find in my glove compartment were the ones that had expired in October. And while I completely admit to breaking the driving-without-proof-of-insurance law for six whole months, in my defense, October was the beginning of my long period of unemployment and homelessness, so I was a bit preoccupied.

A clean record doesn’t count for shit when your cop is an asshole. As I was waiting for Cap’n Angerpants to huff and puff his way to my car window, I did the math and realized I hadn’t gotten a speeding ticket since I was a sophomore in college, which was 20 years ago. I’d gotten pulled over once since then—in a small-town-Iowa speed trap about three years ago—but I gave the cop a withering look when he gravely informed me I was going four miles an hour over the speed limit, and when he ran my license and realized I was not a public threat, he wisely sent me on my way with only a verbal warning and his professional dignity relatively intact. But not with his phone number, and he was cute and I was single.

The cops can make you the problem even when you’re not the problem. My driving record is squeaky clean. My car is maintained and (I promise!) insured. There are no visible body parts and hardly any blood in the trunk. I’m educated, articulate and gainfully employed. I pay my taxes. I don’t do drugs. I don’t listen to Andrew Lloyd Webber. I loathe everything about the Dubya administration. And despite all this evidence supporting my honorable, upstanding citizenship, the cop took away my license. What’s more, there is such a backlog of what I can only imagine are other upstanding, Dubya-hating citizens waiting to get their licenses back from angry cops that I have to wait two months and then show up in court to get it back. And when that happens, I’m probably going to write all about it completely in italics.

I’d never called to change the address on my insurance when I moved. While he was lashing out irrationally at me on Sunday night, the cop also helped me remember that I’d never called my insurance company to update my address—and possibly my coverage—on my home and car policies. And when I called last night to take care of it, I found out that I’ll have to cancel my old policy and get a new one. And in the mean time, I have no insurance on my house. Ack!

Even an angry cop can have a silver lining. If there’s a happy ending to this story, it’s the discovery that my forgetfulness and inertia paid off—I’m entitled to a full refund of my insurance premiums from the day I sold my old condo in October. I’m just not going to light any sparklers in the house to celebrate.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Got your tickets yet?

Broadway show tunes. Hollywood musicals. Chicago homosexuals.

It’s all about to converge on one stage in Sidetrack V: Sidetrack With a Twist.

For those of you not familiar with this Boystown institution, Sidetrack is a giant video bar that plays clips from movie musicals, Tony Awards broadcasts and every other possible source of high-kicking show tunes every Sunday and Monday night. The show tunes have a MASSIVE following—people even bring props and shout things together at the screens (“Oh my god! She’s wearing my hat!” “No Rep!” “She’s a lesbian!” I guess you have to be there to find these funny) … when they’re not singing along in 10-part harmony, that is.

Sidetrack V: Sidetrack With a Twist is the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus’ fifth tribute to the Sidetrack show-tune experience. We re-create the most popular videos live on stage as closely as possible—unless we totally rip the videos apart and interpret them our own twisted way.

Some of the numbers we’ll be tackling this year:
“And I am Telling You” from Dreamgirls
“Favorite Son” from The Will Rogers Follies
“My Body” from The Life
“Defying Gravity” from Wicked
“Brotherhood of Man” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

And the two I’m kind of featured in:
“Forget About the Boy” from Thoroughly Modern Millie (I’m a background tapper)
“Cell Block Tango” from Chicago (I’m Velma Kelly, resplendent in bustier and wicked black heels)

Though the show will be packed with inside jokes for people who have seen the original clips, it’s still great entertainment for everyone. Even if you’ve never seen a show tune in your life (a thought I find relatively disturbing), you’ll have a blast at our show. I promise.

Tickets are already on sale, so order yours now to make sure you get the best view of me in my angry-prison-chick drag. And this is the last opportunity you'll have see me in the chorus for a while; I'm taking the next show (and maybe more) off so I can spend some time with my boyfriend and work on our condo. And the heels are going deep in storage after the final curtain.

Friday, April 20, 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 21, 5:00 pm
Saturday, April 21, 8:30 pm
The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport

My birthday:
Wednesday, April 18, all day

Tickets are available here:
The Athenaeum Theater Box Office (call 773-935-6860 for hours)

Other headlines I wanted to use in this post:
Gay men. Show tunes. Repeat.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred show tunes