Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Happy 73rd birthday to Kelly Bishop, the 1976 Best Featured Actress Tony winner for her sexy, aggressive, profoundly wounded and oh-my-GOD-that-voice belty creation of Sheila Bryant in "A Chorus Line."

Though I'd yet to have seen the shows, "A Chorus Line" and "West Side Story" were probably the first two Broadway cast albums to capture my awkward-early-teen imagination; stare deep into my soul; imbue me with a reverent fascination with the production, performance and storied legend of musical theater; and open in my brain an unquenchable black hole of need to memorize every lyric, know every composer, belt every harmony, own every cast album and see every show even remotely related to the glorious, unexplored world of show tunes.

Sheila Bryant is the character in "A Chorus Line" who launches the despair-into-illusory-beauty trio "At the Ballet" with the pack-a-lifetime-of-pain-into-eight-words lyric "Daddy always thought that he married beneath him," which Kelly Bishop delivers on the cast album with a weary, matter-of-fact defeat and an old-school, over-the-orchestra belt that positively transfixed me as I made solemn vows to my early-teen self to one day captivate audiences with my acting, thrill them with my dancing and throw them against the backs of their seats with my big bold brassy Broadway belt.

I've had the distinct and unstoppably goosebumpy pleasure of playing Bobby -- Sheila's bescarfed neighbor in this picture -- in two productions of "A Chorus Line," neither of which was on Broadway but both of which still fill me with pride and awe and that one singular sensation that precious few people are lucky enough to experience in all its glittery, full-orchestra'd, grinning-elatedly-to-the-top-balcony glory.

And Kelly Bishop was one of the thousands of belty Broadway voices on the hundreds of memorized Broadway cast albums who inspired me to start the journey to get there.

Betterment? Who says betterment?

"The betterment of the country" is the reason people didn't vote for him in the first place. Maybe she meant "batterment."

In any case, I imagine our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president is meeting with the biggest crowd of people any president has ever met with in the history of the world as we speak. And tomorrow he'll proudly tweet about the huge number of people instead of the content of his conversations with them.

Have some whine and enjoy the Oscars

Read the article here

PricewaterhouseCoopers caused the Oscar blunder. Any reasonably sober third-grader instinctively knows that.

The whiny "Hollywood elites" tedium is just another desperate distraction from the fact that -- as always -- our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president still isn't "focused so hard" on anything productive.

Does this make Rush a "zerofer"?

I didn't know the Oscars offered a bundling discount for oppressed minorities. And here I am just a plain-old gay guy. I'll NEVER win my damn Oscar.

Read the article here

Ya comfy in front of all those unimportant black people? Can I get you a beverage?

Remember when Michelle Obama was called disrespectful for wearing sleeveless dresses in the White House? Good times.

Jesus was born in a barn. Kellyanne should know better.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I just. Can't. Even.

Math is HARD

Read the article here
I'm sorry. "Nobody" knew that healthcare was complicated? Or is it actually just willfully ignorant, intellectually lazy demagogues who didn't know? Because I knew. And everyone else seemed to know. Didya ever think it might be just YOU who's this stupid?

Points for documenting his sources for once.

But negative points for documenting his hypocritical, selective stupidity.

Those are clearly kicks, not punches.

Kids are stupid.

I have a preexisting condition. Rick Santorum doesn't care.

Read the article here.

I'm bipolar depressive, and I've been bipolar depressive since long before I was finally diagnosed as such seven years ago. So I definitely, unquestionably have a preexisting condition. And when I learned years ago that because of this I was de facto uninsurable if I lost my job, it terrified me.
And then I lost my job.
Scamming? Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I can get insurance despite my preexisting condition. My insurance is not subsidized through the ACA marketplace; I pay the hundreds and hundreds of dollars in monthly premiums, the thousand-plus-dollar deductible and the chokingly high co-pays entirely with my own money. I'm on four medications that cost over $1,000 a month. I see a psychiatrist once a month to regulate my meds. I see a kidney specialist every few months to monitor the potentially fatal side effects of my meds.
And YOU accuse ME of scamming the system -- without a shred of evidence to support your lies, no less. You have a staggering amount of nerve, Rick. A staggering amount of repulsive, hypocritical, selfish, hateful, lying nerve.
YOU are the one who is scamming. You're scamming the religious community with your "faith-based" campaigns to destroy the families of gay people, immigrants and now sick people with preexisting conditions. You're scamming your vast low-information base that looks to you for moral and political guidance on matters regarding public policy, the common good, witnessing for Christ and basic human decency. You're scamming Trump's all-caps FAKE NEWS with your insistence that you bring value to the public dialogue on anything beyond your self-righteous narcissism.
You are a catastrophic moral and intellectual failure as a human being. And that fact is compounded by your desperate attempt to distract the country from your ethical bankruptcy by condemning me and every other taxpaying citizen who is dutifully and faithfully and responsibly managing preexisting conditions through the financially essential and morally right Affordable Care Act, which you -- again, without even hinting that you have or are willing to supply a shred of supporting evidence -- dismiss in blanket-statement Trump style as "a failure."
There is a reason you have been publicly vilified for well over a decade, Rick. And no feigned persecution complex can exonerate you. You are beyond contempt. You are beyond pillory. You are beyond malice.
And you'd better pray you're never beyond uninsurable.

Good night

"This is dedicated to all the kids who sing in the rain, and all the moms who let them."

My Oscar takeaways

1. I don't know what my first takeaway is because the FAKE MEDIA knocked out our cable for the first hour and then we had to change venues at 10:00 so some snowflake could go to bed and the only catch-up I've been able to find online is the opening monologue where Jimmy Kimmel said black people were saving NASA and white people were saving jazz and Meryl Streep has been phoning it in for over 50 movies, all of which are clearly true because I saw it with my own eyes on screen and heard it with my own ears from my not-imbecilic president.


3. I love my Facebook friends and I constantly draw creative inspiration and pleasure from the endless parade of thoughtful, clever, witty and sometimes LOL-funny posts I find from you in my feed. But the Warren Beatty/Steve Harvey/Electoral College comparisons were ragged clichés before we even knew what had happened and I know we're all tired and it's been a long night and our eyes are all still bleeding from Halle Berry's Medusa costume and the knot of desiccated cats on Casey Affleck's head but it's 749 variations on the same theme as I scroll screen after screen after screen through Facebook so FOR THE LOVE OF BANNON please let's just get back to more productive things like making fun of our petulant, inarticulate man-boy president and trolling people online who are glad "La La Land" didn't technically win.

4. There is an exception to every self-righteous Facebook rant and it it this:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Oh, dear. That was a plot twist worthy of ... well ... Hollywood.

"La La Land" is still a gorgeous visual and musical and conceptual feature-length riff on jazz and life and chance meetings and go-everywhere story arcs and plot driving song driving plot and reverent visual quotes of classic musicals and everything that pretty much fills me with glee and makes me sit up and watch so I don't miss a single dance step or leitmotif or fleeting exterior shot or subtle emotion on a gorgeous closeup. It's filled with heart, it grabbed my heart and it will forever be my 2017 best picture winner.

911. What's your emergency?

Every fairytale comes real

OK. Pretty much all I want in life now is to have Sara Bareilles sing "Both Sides Now" all smoky and legato at my funeral.

The Bus Riders of Not Fair County

I'm sorry, but those people CHOSE TO TAKE A CHEESY HOLLYWOOD BUS TOUR instead of actually watching the Oscars. I've gushed shamelessly over every overrated Meryl Streep movie ever made. Except for Mama Mia. That movie was a Trump tweet in palazzo pants. So why did those people WHO CHOSE TO TAKE A CHEESY HOLLYWOOD BUS TOUR INSTEAD OF WATCHING THE OSCARS get to meet Meryl Streep instead of me? 

If you'll excuse me, I'll be on my farm in Africa getting a nuclear scrub after choosing between my children and getting exasperated by my mother for changing the lyrics to "I'm Still Here" as I sing a Magic Bean Bourguignon cookbook slightly shrill yet slightly flat while self-righteously watching Roy Cohn die both physically and metaphorically while THOSE PEOPLE WHO CHOSE TO TAKE A CHEESY HOLLYWOOD BUS TOUR INSTEAD OF WATCHING THE OSCARS get to meet Meryl Streep.

That is all.


THANK YOU. I've been waiting three centuries to use "farthingale" in real time in a blog post.


Mother of the bride plus sliver of the boob.


I'd be honored to be her escort on the red carpet. I'd be pissed to be sitting behind her in the audience.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


I bet you'd get a yuge crowd if you held a MAKE AMERICA REGRET VOTING FOR YOU rally.

And don't just passively suggest on Twitter that whatever's left of your base should have a rally and then state without a shred of evidence that "it would be the biggest of them all." You're the fucking president. Make your damn rally happen if you really want it and find out for sure how big it is.

Hyperbole and unquantifiabe predictions are fake news, man-boy.

You lie like the rug on your head

Friday, February 24, 2017

You're the fucking president

It's your country. This is your directive. I'm sure you think that typing orders in all caps makes you look like a decisive, authoritative leader. But in this case -- well, actually every case that involves you -- it makes you look like a desperate, stupid asshole who can't manage a country or solve a problem or delegate responsibility to someone competent enough to do the job you clearly can't even begin to figure out how to do.

Less yelling. Less golfing. More doing. You're the fucking president.


Day 31

Republican-controlled House. Republican-controlled Senate. Hand-picked (and presumably vetted) Cabinet. Obsequious surrogates. Unfettered, uncensored access to Twitter. Fake news about your fake news. So totally on top of things that you've had time for three weekend golf vacations in a month.

No explanations. No updates. No credibility. No truth. No respect. No competence. No dignity. Just empty, meaningless, desperate, uninformed, pathetic demagoguery. And daily catastrophic failure.

You disgust me.

Flashback Friday: Expectoration Edition

Hustle up the Hancock is the most excruciating triple marathon you can put your quads and lungs through in one 20-minute, 94-floor stair climb. It's a fundraiser for a lung health organization that (the race, not the organization) ironically kicks up an effluvium of long-dormant dust in a rarely used staircase and it ultimately gives the runners hacking, blood-flavored coughs. Unfortunately, "Hack up the Hancock" is already trademarked or something so the organizers are forced to use the less-accurate "Hustle" every year.

But! Every year I did the climb I organized a hacking team that I cleverly named the Social Climbers, which both mitigated our pain and elevated (ahem) our social standing by the sheer force of its Oscar-worthy cleverness.

And it always inspired us to never give up. (Ahem again.)

We're here

For all the irrational hatred and the isolationist hypocrisy and the manipulative demagoguery Trump and his party are using to tear this country apart morally, socially and intellectually ... for all the ignorance they've perpetuated and the lies they've parroted to shore up their base ... for all the ugliness and hostility and racism and sexism and phobias they've unleashed from the dungeons and the shadows and the basest instincts of humankind this week alone ... they've ironically and unintentionally and no doubt regrettably inspired something quite beautiful: a mass uprising of love and support for every person they vilify and every minority they oppress and every demographic they scapegoat in their bloodthirsty quest to dehumanize and destroy us all for their own gain.

And if you're a trans person -- especially if you're a trans kid -- we want you to know we're here.

There are legions of us who have been and who currently are and who will continue to be your friends and allies and champions with no judgments, no condemnations and no barriers. We may not have been as visible to you as we'd have liked in the past out of consideration for your privacy or lack of a forum to communicate to you or even out of concern that we might inadvertently say or do something awkward or uncomfortable or insensitive around you. But we're here. And it is now our moral and social and just simply human imperative to make sure you know who we are.

Whether you're just coming to terms with your need to transition, beginning to comprehend the emotional and physical and social journey ahead of you, taking the first tentative steps in changing your persona and your presentation and your name, or standing bravely and confidently and proudly at any point on the transition continuum ... our primary interest in your trans identity is that you are safe and healthy and happy.

We may never fully comprehend the extent of what your personal or collective journey has entailed -- and we may ask a lot of questions both out of curiosity and a sincere need to better understand where you've been and where you're going.

But we're here. And we stand with you both at the urinal and at the dawn of a new sense of community. And we want you to know we love and respect you just as you are. Or just as you need to be.

We're here.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Very much enjoyed?

You "very much enjoyed" exhibits on the horrors of slavery and the cruelties of racism and the never-ending battle for civil rights in our country? Enjoyed? ENJOYED?

Did you even go IN the museum? Or did you just stand by the doors wearing your uneducated-rich-white-male-privilege blinders and waving to the media that you obsessively accuse of being fake but whose existence you'd die without while you struggled to think of a way to reduce a photo op in a long-named museum to a dismissive, meaningless tweet?


I'm touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture this summer. And I expect to weep in sorrow and horror and shame as I witness the gut-wrenching barbarity and oppression and indifference inflicted by white people on black people starting centuries before this country was founded and now proudly emerging from the shadows in the ugly Zeitgeist of your unholy, unpresidential administration.


I expect to be left numb and aghast and overwhelmed by what I've seen and experienced and learned when I leave the museum. I expect to be overcome with the same appalled, devastated sense of hopelessness I've experienced every time I've left the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. And I expect the experience to propel me ardently forward in what I profoundly and humbly hope is my perpetual evolution toward understanding and compassion and sympathy and kindness and decency and justice and a resolute dissolution of prejudices both acknowledged and undiscovered that I harbor.


The National Museum of African American History and Culture isn't a collection of exhibits celebrating the work of their curators. Describing it as "a great job done by amazing people" is at best an admission that you've never stepped foot in a museum and at worst a thundering declaration of deliberate, dismissive racism -- media-blasted after a perfunctory, last-minute charade of solidarity near the end of Black History Month, no less. Are you really that uneducated, uncultured and callous? Did you post this tweet to convince yourself that you're not paralyzingly uneducated, uncultured and racist? Did you do it to convince your supporters that you don't know that they are?

Did you honestly think this tweet would elevate your standing as a public figure? Elevate the national discourse on race and culture? Elevate what's left of your value as a human being?

Have you very much enjoyed what you've become?

Douchebag vanguard

After a long, brutal Iowa winter that once got so bad I had to find the shovel for my dad, it's finally 174 degrees today. Which of course means one thing: digging out the tank tops for the gym! Well, actually it means two things: digging out the mid-top sneakers, which by my alt-logic are only for warm weather even they provide the additional ankle coverage that is essential to winter warmth when you're handing your 77-year-old dad a shovel so he can clear the slippery driveway.

And did you know this? When you smoosh your arms on the preacher-curl bench for a not-staged-at-all douchebag gym selfie, they look way more jacked than they actually are. So I hear. But if science (yay, science!) proves this is true, it could revolutionize the douchebag-gym-selfie industry. We're at the dawn of a new era, people. So be sure to arm (ahem) yourself for the uprising. Or the smooshing. Whatever.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Follies: Come on along and listen

"Think of musical comedy, the most glorious words in the English language! Sawyer, think of Broadway, dammit!"

This year's Follies couldn't be any gayer if I flew onstage riding a kitten-faced butterfly blowing mirrored glitter bubbles out of its decoupaged unicorn horn while I belted the gospel of Stephen Sondheim in a macramé leotard.
And I mean that in the gay way.

It's a pole new world when you're on psych meds that finally work

Oh, yes. I totally went there. And the trip was a lot of pun. Yup. Nothing but pun and games. The pole damn time.

I drink the mountains

It's the breakfast of bipolar stability and OHMYGODLETMELIFTSOMEWEIGHTSNOWNOWNOW pre-workout energy. 

I swear this new C4 formulation is made with witchcraft and cheetahs. And maybe a few chemicals. Delicious, delicious chemicals. All in an addictive -- oops, I mean refreshing ... sorry, typo -- cherry-lime flavor. It puts you in a freakishly productive turbo-workout mode in seconds. But bring a towel; it makes you flop-sweat for hours afterward.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I'd like the selfie combo platter, please. With a side of shut up.

My lovely bride here has taught me two nights in a row now how to employ the modern-marvel technology of iPhone photo filters for our mutual benefit. These miracle filters can remedy uneven lighting, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles -- as the anti-aging-moisturizer industry so clumsily phrases the issue to avoid the inconvenient commitment of making any actual promises -- assuage the heartbreak of embarrassing oily shine, eliminate telltale ethnic features and -- if you filter our picture to simple, classic black-and-white duotone as she has done here -- perpetuate my above-stated illusion that we're two crazy young newlyweds -- neither of whom is in actuality a raging gay homosexual man who photographs as such in color -- honeymooning at an unnamed (so I can gossip on my blog) restaurant with a waitress who is committed to total transparency regarding her extended family's marriages, biological children, infertility issues, adoptions, incomplete educations, pregnant high-school friends, income levels, career disillusionment and declared lack of racism. For a full hour after closing time. Impressively without breathing even once so we could maybe jump in and transform her relentless monologue into perhaps a conversation. You know: like the kind two friends intend to have when they go to a restaurant and share a two-person booth. 

On the plus side, my I'm-clearly-not-listening face didn't deter our waitress for one second from delivering her full, no-commercial-breaks monologue and I was able to compose pretty much this entire post in my head so all I had to do when I got home was just type it. And my lovely bride here is moving away in a few weeks so I hate her anyway and all I really wanted out of the evening was a photo and an engaging caption I could post on my blog. So really, everybody wins here. Except for our poor waitress, who has run out of patrons to trap with engaging tales of her family's myriad secrets. But there's always tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, good night to the rest of us who've mastered the art of shutting up so we can sleep.

I swear I didn't plan this

The double-batman thing I mean. I totally planned the flex-gratuitously-for-the-camera-after-hiding-in-the-bathroom-because-the-gym-was-too-crowded-with-hot-straight-guys-I-don't-want-to-think-I'm-weird-for-taking-a-flexy-mirror-selfie thing. 
Yeah. That one's totally on me.

Flying around

First of all, Obama shouldn't use Air Force One to "fly around" for politics? I know you have no FUCKING idea what a president does -- or even the conventional way the presidential plane's name has been written since 19 FUCKING 53 -- but politics (and diplomacy, which you slowly destroy with each private phone call and each joint press conference and each painfully awkward handshake) is the EXACT reason presidents "fly around" -- as a toddler would describe it -- on Air Force One.  

And don't get me started on "play," you three-weekends-in-a-four-week-presidency Mar-a-Lago moron. I mean hypocrite. I mean liar. I mean asshole. I also mean demagogue, but you have no idea what that is. So I'll stick with asshole.

You're an adult. You have been an adult since the dawn of the Internet and the Information Age. You know that everything you write online is permanent and searchable and that when you're a prominent social figure -- even before you somehow become president -- every intellectually grotesque tantrum you voluntarily tweet will be found and used to hold you to the standards that you publicly and willingly establish by yourself for yourself.

You are too stupid to function in the public sector. You are too puerile to maintain reciprocal relationships of any public value. You are too morally and intellectually repulsive to manifest any public integrity. And you are beneath -- BENEATH -- contempt as any public figure.


So. Yeah. Manchester by the Sea.

I liked it. A lot. I didn't love it, though. And it wasn't the wellspring of emotional devastation I'd heard it was. I like to see movies and stage shows knowing as little as possible about them beforehand so I can experience their narratives organically as they unfold. Which can lead to some unexpected revelations; I somehow thought this movie was a Merchant Ivory-inspired tragic gay love story. And I'm confident that I won't be a spoiler by saying it is absolutely not that. It is, however, tragic. Profoundly tragic. And often in ways the director trusts you to connect the dots for using sometimes just a shadow of the narrative elements you're used to getting to reach your own conclusions and understandings. The movie's compounding tragedies are constructed in an almost casually layered story arc that mixes slow burn with operatic personal and emotional devastation.

Filmed in a palette of dried grays and browns and greens, the movie's visual vocabulary intersperses short, jerky cinéma vérité scenes that feel raw and improvised with sometimes bleak, sometimes pastoral B-roll that establishes locations, provides context or at times is there just because. And then there are the long pauses. They're slightly awkward and often uncomfortable, but they deftly frame key situations, propel the plot and speak volumes about the characters. And oh, the characters. They're complicated and tormented and messy and impossible to pigeonhole. But they're all foundationally good and decent people. Casey Affleck masterfully expands and contracts emotionally over time with sometimes hairpin turns and a spectrum of velocities as he process a hundred lifetimes of extremes. Lucas Hedges plays his 16-year-old nephew who faces tragedy and grief with the lashing-out confusion of a child tempered by the sobering resolve of an adult. They play off each other with a mix of familial love, cautious animosity and cultural stoicism that work both in unison and opposition as their characters orbit the circumstances of each others' lives.

I think the music is a huge distracting jumble of noise, though, jumping inelegantly from Handel to Ella Fitzgerald to quasi-religious choruses of oooing women. I assume the director was trying to mirror the jarring jumpiness of the cinematography with the same approach to the soundtrack, but it ends up belaboring the conceptual framework and ultimately just not working.

There are very good reasons the movie enjoys such critical and popular acclaim, though, and it's truly a revelatory, forward-thinking piece of cinema.

Sunday, February 19, 2017


Not did you know the fact that I'm a big screaming show-tune queen who reflexively bursts into the entire score of "On the Twentieth Century" every time someone inadvertently says "fiery pride" or "why, you filthy slu ... and so and so and so." And you'd be surprised how alt-often people inadvertently say those things around me. Not that I'd need them to; I'm so gay that when I was in grade school, every time the kids spun me around for Pin the Tail on the Donkey I turned into Wonder Woman. But somehow I wandered off topic here. That's odd. The point to this not-really-the-point paragraph is that pretty much everything on the playlist in this screen grab is a Broadway cast album. Except for the Hoodfellas "Raise Your Glass" remix, which really doesn't do much to underscore my feral masculinity either. Anyway, the point that I managed to derail only one sentence ago is that I bought all these Broadway cast albums -- plus about 7,492 more Broadway cast albums that don't fit on my screen -- using Amazon Prime. And my niece -- who's been here most of the afternoon niecesplaining and ITing all the forlornly misunderstood and unsynched and woefully underutilized Apple devices in our home -- just casually mentioned that I should download the Amazon Prime app and see what it does after I told her I had Amazon Prime, and within seconds HOLYSHITALLMYSHOWTUNESWEREATMYFINGERTIPS.

But before I go any farther with this narrative of childlike wonder over the magical marvels of modern technology, please note that I've been repeatedly using the phrase "Broadway cast album" and not "soundtrack" in my relentless insistence that I somehow might be gay. A soundtrack, for those of you who don't know that coriander makes the gravy grander, is for movies. A Broadway cast album, should you genuinely need me to Jakesplain it to you, is for football. (Kidding! It's for Broadway! Or is it?) Please memorize this distinction so you can self-righteously complain to the manager at Best Buy that "Soundtracks" is an overgeneralized, misleading and potentially emotionally scarring label for aggregating art like "On the Twentieth Century" with horrors like "Kickboxer IV: Butts Get Kicked."
The electronic world is a glorious and still-unexplored frontier of show tunes that are shipped to your door AND streamed to your phone on a free app (though the phone costs upwards of ten billion dollars). And today has been a day of emotionally fulfilling apotheosis of kicklining revelations on this topic. And it makes me very, very happy. But explaining it all to you makes me very, very not listening to my suddenly streaming show tunes. So so long and farewell and all that gay stuff.


Follies: Stick with me, Fellas

Selfieing (to verb a noun) some "Luck be a Lady" realness at Follies rehearsal with my weekly selfie buddy. 

I do not, for the record, advocate gambling because it just leads to jazz and liquor. But I make an exception in this case because the song is so damn fun to sing. And we get to roll 'em. Whatever 'em is. I'm guessing pie crust.

Get your Follies tickets here already

Curse my new iPhone screen! CURSE IT!

Now that I can see stuff again, I've spent most of my evening downloading and entering all my personal information into apps I won't ever notice again until I have to delete them to make room on my phone for pictures and music downloads. So it's been a productive night. How was yours?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Well, shit.

I just remembered that I was named the Anytime Fitness January Member of the Month but I never filled out my profile or submitted a pic for the lobby display. In my defense, I totally forgot. I mean my trainer never followed up with a reminder. But she's awesome in the sense that she regularly kicks my ass and she lets me call her the bitchmaster so I'll let it slide. This time.
Anyway, I guess we'll have to let this selfie (me? a gym selfie?) in front of the current member of the month display suffice, with my Batman shake mixer strategically placed to protect the innocent from my shut-up-and-get-back-to-your-workout blathering.
Chest and shoulders day!

Guess who just got his iPhone screen fixed in under an hour?

And guess who used that hour to scour the Lindale Mall retail diaspora to score the very last pair of 36x34 slim-fit jeans in a color other than cheapugly? And guess who has unleashed a whole new era of selfies without shattered iPhone screen glare?

Are YOU proud of Trump?

Seriously? Whether this came from the man-boy camp or one of his last delusional followers, the subtext here is either "The whole thinking world knows I suck and is laughing at me with burning contempt" or "I'm so desperate for validation that I need you to be proud of ME and not proud of our country."

Remember "compassionate conservatism"? Same idea. Except it was acknowledging the intellectual and moral failure of a whole party and not just one man from that party." Progress!


Sorry about last night's Greek-tragedy pity party, for those of you who had the intestinal fortitude to read it. After a whopping 12 hours of sleep -- as Ratbert clearly illustrates here -- I'm back to my burst-into-song-with-no-warning-but-always-with-context-because-I'm-not-a-monster-like-Ratbert ways.

Plus I'm going to get my tires rotated today! And I'm going to try again to get my phone fixed! But not at 7:01! Because 7:01 is now and forever The Hour of Minute-Long Heartbreak. Never again. Always remember. The struggle is real. And so are my wobbly-feeling tires. And so is my shattered iPhone screen.

And so is this glorious new day.

Friday, February 17, 2017

In which I whine like an entitled first-world child

(Self-indulgent navel gazing ahead. Plus words. Lots and lots of words. With a tinge of judgey misanthropy. Plus some legitimate stuff so I don't come off as some asshole judgey misanthrope. If I've already bored you by this point, you're gonna be hating my by the time I get to the closing parenthesis. Assuming I ever get there. I'm clearly in a cranky mood though, so I can't help you. Or is it won't? Anyway, abandon hope all ye who read from here. You've been warned.)

• Everyone at Kohl's tonight was either moving too slowly, chatting in front of the extra-large clearance shirts so I couldn't get to them or stupidly looking in the wrong direction as they bumped their carts into me.
• Stupidly.
• Plus Kohl's didn't have anything I wanted. At least that I could get to.
• The cute guy who waited to hold the door for me at Barnes & Noble and circled the CD racks with me and ended up right in front of me at the checkout told the clerk that the CD he was buying was for his wife.
• Dinner at Cheddar's was accompanied by a full 30 minutes of bloody-murder baby screams to my right and a bellowing right-wing redneck hawking up gallons of phlegm and emitting an almost visible effluvium of cigarette stench in the booth behind me.
• I got a Facebook memory reminder this morning with my dismayed post about just having shattered my iPhone screen. Which means I've been using and squinting through and whining about my shattered screen for a whole year. The Verizon guy tonight told me I had to get the screen fixed before he could do anything related to my warranty, so I let out a long dramatic sigh and reluctantly decided to suck it up and give up my phone for 24+ hours to finally get it fixed and I drove over to the fully lit screen-fix-it store just as my phone clock ticked over to 7:01 pm. Guess why I'm telling you this. Just guess.
• Aside from a few blips, I've had at least three full weeks of good and engaged and productive and present and functional and relatively happy days. Which is an almost unprecedented record over the last 4-5 years. So the new bipolar med cocktail that initially made me black out and sent me lacerated and bloody to the ER seems to be actually working. But the uncomfortable and frustrating and embarrassing side effects have steadfastly dug in their heels, and I spent the morning wiping miles of spider webs off my face and loudly chomping on invisible gum. And trying everything in my power to sit the goddamn fuck still like a normal fucking adult.
• Plus I seem to have stopped peeing. Both in frequency and volume. Plus I just told you about my pee problems. Which just compounds the embarrassment. Nice going, me.
• Our lying, petulant, willfully ignorant man-boy of a horrifying national embarrassment of a president gave a morally and intellectually infuriating press conference packed with accusations and excuses and insults and tantrums and laughably implausible generalizations yesterday that continues to send shockwaves through the media and the educated class and the reasonable voices that he's well into his second year of attacking relentlessly with a conspicuous and alarming and desperately pre-emptive level of defensiveness. The last four weeks have made my family and my ex and many of my friends almost physically ill with worry and discouragement and deep, profound concern. And yesterday -- when I heard a staunch man-boy supporter sum up the press conference with a thoughtfully nuanced "he sure told 'em" -- it finally broke me too.
• I have so many shoes and shirts and shorts and pants and belts and socks and probably layers of flattened desiccated cats piled up in my bedroom that I don't even know how or where to begin sorting and inventorying and letting go of any of it. Sometimes it makes me feel all cozy when I climb into bed surrounded by jumbled mountains of all my stuff. But mostly it makes me feel paralyzed with panic and shame.
• All my real-life and Facebook crushes are pairing up and getting engaged and getting married and are mostly straight anyway. Fuck.
• When I blacked out and cracked the tile floor with my face last December, I bit most of the way through my lip. It's still swollen and hard like it's healed as scar tissue and I have a difficult time drinking through a straw or eating without getting food all over my lips.
• Hey, paired-up and engaged and married and mostly straight anyway crushes who've been bored enough to read this far! How ravishingly sexy am I right now? You should date me! It'd be fun!
• Actually, dumping all this whiny shit out of my head and posting it here after everybody's bedtime where it probably won't be seen has alleviated most of my crankiness. Thanks, Internet!
• Except I'm still furious and incredulous and devastated about the petulant, inarticulate man-boy.
• And frustrated and embarrassed by the spider webs and invisible gum and whatever fresh indignities tomorrow has in store for me.
• Plus Bitch Kitty will sleep contentedly on my clean laundry but won't exist in the same room with me unless she can draw blood or crush spirit. And sometimes it just quietly destroys a little bit of me.

Flashback Friday: F Word Edition

I celebrated my 40th birthday (Yesterday! I mean alt-yesterday!) in New York binging on Broadway shows and bodega food and big AMEX bills. Coincidentally, this lady was doing something 40-related on bus stops and sidewalk billboards all over town as well. And she was gracious enough to pose for a picture with me. (You're lucky I don't know any words that start with F because if I did I might descend into tedious alliteration here, which is the lowest form of writing imaginable. You're welcome.)

Flashback Friday: Pun Pun Pun Edition

Any bleach will do technicolor things to your dreamhair when you want to make your significantly older self struggle to devise clever and meaningful and relevant puns (But puns are tacky. I would never lower my writing to something that linguistically derivative.) to describe your questionable tonsorial (fun fact: "tonsorial" means "related to hairdressing") decisions regarding a super-awesome show you did with super awesome people 18 whopping years after the fact on technology you'd never dream (ahem) would exist.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was was was the last show I did at Theatre Cedar Rapids before I moved moved moved to Chicago, and it made made made (Stop it, Jake! Just stop it!) for a great and memorable send-off. But bleached hair is like sandpaper so it's impossible to towel-dry. Art isn't easy though, and I'd bleach it all over again if I got cast as a 30-year-old brother (Or Joseph. Or the goat. I'm not picky.) to do the show. Which is unlikely to the point of being impossible, but any dream will do.

Jesus. At LEAST have enough self-esteem to write in horizontal lines.


When I lived in Chicago, no matter how messy my house got I always prided myself in maintaining just-off-the-lot cleanliness perfection in my car. With the help of the fact that I rarely drove it. And when I left the house in the morning I carried my entire day in one gym bag: gym clothes, protein shake, Dopp kit, work clothes, lunch, reading material for the train and a backup pair of sunglasses to assuage my paralyzing fear of losing the pair I had in the current rotation.
Now I live in Cedar Rapids where admittedly I drive everywhere, but somehow my car has become an enormous cluttered purse. I've apparently found the need to pack it with enough provisions to wear a different outfit to the gym every day for a week, sabotage the diets of four competitive bodybuilders, costume an entire production of La Bohème, bring the electrical system up to code for a 12-car passenger train, host a state dinner, embalm and casket a corpse, stock an appliance store, and successfully hide Waldo. I do get credit for carrying a bottle of Windex in my front seat. But I can't find any of my damn sunglasses anywhere.

Flashback Friday: Tuxedo Junction Edition

Awkward little gay boys who took their first awkward little steps toward fashion confidence in the '80s faced an unusually cruel uphill battle. And the broken dreams they left to rot and die along the journey smelled suspiciously of bleach.
The hair: Sun-In is a friend to nobody. Least of all a dark-haired scarecrow with ghostly skin.

The shirt: I was a Manhattan Transfer freak in the '80s. And not just because I thought Alan Paul was totally dreamy. I saw them in concert only once, and I came home with a pale neon pink (because confident men wore pale neon pink in the '80s) batwing sweatshirt emblazoned with that forced-perspective tuxedo image from their eponymous 1975 album. In teal. And since there wasn't a natural fiber in it, the thing never faded! 

The jeans: Reverse tie-dye! With bleach! At wacky angles! Like what a bar mitzvah clown might wear! In prison! 

The curtains: Totally not my fault. We were poor college kids in a cheap Oklahoma motel room on our way home from being summarily rejected at a national Disney audition. What the hell do you want from us? Toile?