I have been in tech all week for a show that I am …

I have been in tech all week for a show that I am designing in Queens. For those non-theatre people out there, tech is when all the design elements of a show are introduced for the first time, rehearsed and implemented. As a lighting designer this is when most of my actual work is done. A couple of weeks earlier I designed on paper where all the lights would hang and sent the drawings off to the theatre. The theatre crew then hangs the lights above the stage where I have specified they should be hung. I go in two or three days before the “tech rehearsals” start and focus, which involves standing on the stage and having my crew point the lights where I want them.

At this point I am ready to go. Tech rehearsals begin and in a perfect world, we start at the first moment of the show and walk through it moment by moment, setting levels and recording changes in the computer. For a lighting designer this is a very stressful time. Everyone is waiting for you, so that we can move forward and yet you need time to actually make the scene look the way you envisioned it. It’s very much a hurry up, hurry up, hurry up kind of situation that’s not for the faint at heart. With any luck your ideas match what the director has pictured for the show and tech goes smoothly. Sometimes, it goes the other way and the director hates everything you do and you have to start thinking on your feet and making changes to your design. Once again all of this is done while everyone watches, waiting to move forward.

This is the game I have been playing all week. And this week has not been fun. The theatre’s crew has the combined IQ of a goldfish. I watched on Monday as the TD took 90 minutes to run power to 10 lights. The entire job should have taken 15 minutes and that would have included stopping to smoke a cigarette. I ask the crew person assigned to the show to re-circuit a set of lights this morning when I got to the theatre. As of 7:00 when I left she was still trying to figure out what I was talking about. The same crew member moved the lighting computer today to it’s show position but failed to run the cable that connected it to the lighting equipment. When we were ready to start the show, she couldn’t figure out why the lights wouldn’t come on. These are just a few of the things that have happened this week.

As for the director, he’s on my last fucking nerve. At one point today it took every ounce of control to not snap his head off his little body and shove it up his ass. I know Ur-Spo I should probably look at my issues with anger…but it’s how I felt today. Yesterday, he asked that we add a series of Christmas lights to a platform. (Yes, it’s a bit high schoolish, but what can you do.) These lights were to be used with theatre lights that were all ready in place to create an effect. When I got to the theatre this morning, the TD had installed the lights and wired them as a part of the other Christmas lights in the show. I explained to him that this was a different idea and they needed to be changed. Surprisingly, without much difficulty, he made the change and we were ready to go. Enter the director. He proceeds to tell me that in fact he has changed his mind and the lights do in fact need to be wired with the other Christmas lights to be one unified idea. Now, I agree with the change, I just wished he had told me 30 minutes earlier. But wait it doesn’t end there. I explained to him, that in fact the work was already done the way he had requested it, and although it could be changed it couldn’t happen till tomorrow. He said okay and we started rehearsal. Two minutes into the scene he stops and wants to know why the lights are not on together. I once again explain the problem and we move on. Two hours later he runs over during a musical number to explain to me that these lights are supposed to be on. Once again I explain the situation and we move on. At the end of the rehearsal, we gather for notes and the first note he gives me, is that the lights should come on together not with the other lights. Yet ONCE AGAIN, I explain the situation and we move forward. At 3:30 we start an invited dress. 20 minutes into Act 1, he scurries over to me to ask why the lights are on in this scene. I ONCE AGAIN, explain the situation. 20 minutes later he scurries over once again to find out why the lights aren’t on. I ONCE AGAIN explain the situation. At intermission, he stops me as I go to check in with the stage manager and he ONCE AGAIN questions the lights and why they aren’t working properly. It was at this point that I had had it. I grunted out the explanation yet ONCE AGAIN and swore to myself that if he asked again I would kill him. He didn’t mention it again until the end of the show during notes. I started to explain it to him and stopped myself and said, “You know, you don’t really need to know what’s going on, just trust me when I say it’ll be fixed by tomorrow.”

All day long it was if I was speaking Japanese. He didn’t seem to listen or understand a word that I was saying. I know that sometimes things get a little technical for some people but this really wasn’t that technical. And he’s the one who requested the lights, requested they be wired the way they were and then changed his mind. By the time I left I was so pissed off and angry that I could scream. Luckily the subway ride home is 90 munutes so I had plenty of time to calm down and become a normal person again.

Now I am home and my roommate and I are both on our laptops in the living room. He bought me the new Bette Midler Christmas CD today so we turned off the TV and listened to it. It’s so peaceful and nice, just sitting here listening to the music. It just ended and I searched through our combined collection and now the CD player is randomly playing Christmas music for us. Ah, it’s nice to be home.

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Sorry about the lack of posts. My ex-boyfriend C….

Sorry about the lack of posts. My ex-boyfriend C.T. was in town this weekend and I spent three days entertaining him. I think I walked about a million miles while he was here. In fact there is a blister on my right foot the size of a grapefruit. It was nice having him visit but I didn’t have a single free minute to myself to even think about a post.

He got in late on Friday evening. He dropped his things off at my apartment and we took the subway downtown to get food. He was anxious to see at least a few of the sights and the only food around me is delivery, so off to Chelsea and the world of gay boys we went. We got there around 11:15 so ended up eating at The Dish. Which is diner food in a word. But the waiters are cute for the most part and the food is cheap and it’s not too bad. So we sat in the front window and watched the world go by and had dinner.

After dinner we headed north toward Times Square. It’s never a good time to go to Times Square but going after the rush definitely beats being there in the middle of the day. So we walked over to 7th Avenue so that we could see Times Square expand before our eyes. It also allowed us to the see the Empire State Building as we walked past 34th Street. By the time we got to 42nd Street the crowds weren’t so bad. We wandered around for a little while and actually ended up going in the sheet music store. C.T. looked for the sheet music to Funny Girl while I strolled up and down aisles and wished that I could have my piano again. At 1:00 a.m. they kicked us out of the store and we walked to Columbus Circle and took the subway home.

It was almost 2:30 before we were home and close to 3:00 before we were in bed. C.T. slept with me so that it wouldn’t be as much of an imposition on C.Z. my roommate. Before you go there…we slept together. That’s it. We did talk until the wee hours of the morning. Which was rather unfortunate since C.T. was up at 7:30 ready to see the rest of the city.

By 9:00 we were out the door for Saturday’s adventure. We did the tour of midtown. We checked out 5th Avenue including FAO Schwartz, the Apple Store, and all the windows displayed going south. We went through St. Patrick’s Cathedral, then over to Rockefeller Center to see the undecorated tree, and then on to the Main Branch of the Public Library. Then it was east to Grand Central Station then back to Times Square to see Altar Boys. (Which is a lot of fun.) After the show we headed downtown to Chelsea and the Village where we looked around until dinner at 8:00. Originally we were going to eat at Tello’s. But they couldn’t decide how much longer it would be for a table. The told us 5 minutes when we arrived. 30 minutes later we were still waiting. At 45 minutes we told them, “sorry we are going elsewhere. We ended up at Lasagna, another Italian restaurant up the street. It was actually okay. The food was good, it was reasonably priced and the bartender and waiter were both very pretty. We managed to be home by 11:00.

C.T. and I decided we needed to unwind so we watched the movie Jeffrey, which is funnier than I remembered. At 2:30 we were in bed where we chatted until at least 4:00. Which was really unfortunate Saturday night because once again he was awake at 7:30 ready to explore the city. I finally woke up enough to tell him that if I didn’t get some sleep I wasn’t leaving the apartment, gave him directions to Starbucks on 181 Street and told him to come back in a couple of hours. I slept until he rang the buzzer to get back in. After a quick shower, we were on our way again.

Sunday was devoted to the Financial District. In too few hours we rode the Staten Island Ferry, saw Ground Zero, checked out both Trinity Church and St. Paul’s, had coffee at South Street Seaport, took pictures at Wall Street, walked half the Brooklyn Bridge, had coffee in Tribeca, C.T. had coffee in Soho. Walked on up to the Village where we explored what’s left of Christopher Street. Pointed out the Stonewall Bar. And at 7:30 were on the subway headed back home.

At home C.T., C.Z. and I ordered Chinese and popped in the movie Torch Song Trilogy. C.T. had never seen it and I love it. I saw it when it was first released and cried like a baby when Matthew Broderick was killed. After T.S.T. C.T. wanted to watch another movie and since his weekend had been all NYC. He wanted it to be filmed in New York. So he chose Godspell. I half watched it while I read a few blogs and started getting ready for bed. By 1:00 we were in bed. I had to be up early Monday morning because I’m doing a show in Queens. C.T. and I rode downtown together and he was on his own for the day.

Now the moral of the story. I love having visitors. I love showing people around the city who have never been here before. I love sharing the little pieces of trivia that I have and explaining how the subways work, how to hail a cab, and tons of other NYC information. What I don’t like is being responsible for the planning of the entire event. C.T. did not actively participate in the planning of his day, was not interested in any NYC history and had no opinion on where to go next, what to eat for lunch, or what he wanted to do. By 5:00 p.m. on Sunday I was miserable. I had taken him every place I could think of, and couldn’t for the life of me, get him to tell me what he wanted to do next. He didn’t want to see a movie. He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t want to…. After a couple hours of this I made the decision that home was the best place to be and that we were ordering Chinese for dinner.

After a long talk with my roommate I have decided that never again will I be responsible for planning someone’s trip to NYC. I’ll be happy to show them around and be a part of the experience. But it will be up to them to decide what they want to do. I love C.T. to death, but by the end of Sunday I was ready to scream and just wanted him to go home. Which was not his intent at all, but was where he pushed me to. I know he had a good time but before he comes to visit again, I’ll have to explain the new rules to him.

So if any of you are planning trips to NYC and want me to show you around at least offer a few ideas about what you want to see.

My stomach hurts. I think that’s the point of Tha…

My stomach hurts. I think that’s the point of Thanksgiving. It’s a license to overeat. Not that we don’t do it the rest of the year. But for one day each year, everyone participates in the occasion. And that’s what I did today. I overate. And now my tummy hurts.

I spent the afternoon and evening with my friend S.H., his boyfriend M.G. and D.B. We had a great time. We ate, we laughed, and then we ate some more. It was S.H.’s first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner, especially the turkey. It was all perfect. In fact it was one of the best turkeys I have ever had. Moist isn’t the word for how perfect it was. I contributed pumpkin pie for the occasion. I have never made pumpkin pie before but my roommate C.Z. had a recipe in Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Cookbook published in 1961. The illustrations in the book are by some guy named Andrew Warhol. It’s super simple and the pie turned out great. We each had two slices, so I think that meant they liked it. S.H. announced that this would be the first of many holiday meals that he would host.

Ur-Spo pointed out to me that I left off a very important thing to be thankful for in my list last night. One thing I am very thankful for and try to not take for granted is that I live in New York City. The greatest city in the world. I love most everything about it. The diversity, the crowds, the architecture, the shopping, the museums, the theatres. I could go on but most of you know what NYC has to offer. Another thing that I am quite grateful for this year is that I am in a place in the world where I will get to experience winter. I can’t wait for snow. The cold weather has been great so far. Now it just needs to get really cold so I can start wearing my hat and scarf.

So thank you Ur-Spo for reminding to include NYC on my list.

It’s 1:30 a.m. on the east coast. Which means tha…

It’s 1:30 a.m. on the east coast. Which means that it’s Thanksgiving Day already. I had told myself that I would write my list of what I am thankful for Thanksgiving night, but now that it’s here I feel like that’s what needs to be said.

So what am I thankful for?

For the most part I am healthy. I have a bum knee that bothers me from time to time and I deal with depression. I look around me and see the physical pain and suffering so many other poeple deal with and in the big scheme of things I am in quite healthy.

I have a great home. My new apartment isn’t in the best neighborhood but I love it. It’s probably the best NYC apartment I have had. It’s large, has great character. And it’s perfect for me.

I have a great roommate. My current roommate C.Z. is the best. We have yet to have disagreement about anything. We share things without worrying about whose spent what. He doesn’t mind that the apartment still isn’t completely put together. He’s funny. And I enjoy being home when he’s home. That has not always been true in the past.

I have money in the bank. Not a lot. And it’s disappearing fast. But right now, I have no worries about not being able to pay rent. Most of my bills are paid. And I’ll be working again before you know it.

I have great friends. My school friends will be apart of my life forever. They are wonderful people and I love them dearly. I hate that I won’t be at A.N.’s house today eating pyrogies. My friends in NYC are a different lot, but they have helped me immensely and I’ll be forever grateful. There’s also M.L. Without him I think I’d be lost. He came into my life when I needed it and he’s been there ever since. He works too much and we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like but he’s always there when I need him. And last. M.M. She’s been my best friend forever. I don’t know what I’d do without her. She knows all of my secrets and loves me anyway.

I also have my blogger friends. I have only been reading blogs for about 10 months. But I truly feel as if I know you guys better than I know my own family. I have only been writing my blog about 5 months and slowly I am telling my secrets. Letting you in what makes me tick and keeps me going. And I look forward to the relationships that I know will flourish as we continue to get to know each other.

My family. Okay so they’re white trash. And a bit racist. And probably homophobic if we discussed it. But they’re all mine. And I know that if I ever needed something they would be there for me.

There’s so much more but it’s now almost 2:00 a.m. and if I don’t get to bed soon I’ll never get up in time to make my very first pumpkin pie.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Much love,

Maddog.

I have been out of sorts lately. I don’t know if …

I have been out of sorts lately. I don’t know if I am still recovering from last weeks drinking, it’s depression, or I’m getting sick. I have been so tired at night that the last thing I want to do is sit down and type a blog entry or even read what you guys are up to. It’s been since last Tuesday that I actually read all the blogs I read and commented on them. This might speak to why I am getting so few responses this week.

It’s not like anything has changed. I am still continuing to unpack my apartment. I haven’t talked to A.L. since our fun phone conversation last Monday. I have seen him a couple of times but he refuses to acknowledge my existence. The project I had due was finished and sent off Sunday night. I was requested to make a couple of corrections on Monday. I did that in about 10 minutes and resent it. I have been attending rehearsals so that I’ll know what’s up when we get to tech. Life is progressing. So I don’t know what the deal is.

I have decided the best way to deal with it though, is to work through it. So this week I am going to make an attempt to post everyday and keep up with my reading. I would like to finish sorting through my bedroom tomorrow making sure everything is at last in it’s place. I’m having Thanksgiving with my friend S.H. and his boyfriend M. My friend C.T. is coming to visit on Friday so I get to play host and tour guide for the weekend which is always fun. So I just need to keep my chin up and pretend that I feel okay and hope for the best.

On another note this article appeared in USA Today. It’s an interesting look at religion and homosexuality written by Oliver “Buzz” Thomas a Baptist Minister. If only everyone could take his point of view, being gay might not seem so bad to those who don’t understand us.

Have a great Wednesday. Which equates to Friday this week since most of us have off Thursday and Friday.

I haven’t posted in several days. I wish I had a …

I haven’t posted in several days. I wish I had a good excuse like I won the lottery and I’ve been buying a new house. Or that I have been vacationing in the south of France. Or I was hired to design a Broadway show and have been working. But no. Nothing like that. On Wednesday my friend J.S. came to New York. She’s here working on a show and needed a place to stay so I offered her my couch. I actually gave her my bed, just so she would be more comfortable and I have been sleeping on the couch but that’s neither here nor there. On Wednesday, after she arrived, we met downtown to hang out. We grabbed a quick bite, thinking we would get a real dinner later, and then met my friend L.G. At first it was going to just be coffee but after I told them the WHOLE story of A.L. and his advances toward me, we decided a drink was in order.

We weren’t sure where to go so we headed toward the Village to see what we could find. We tried the bar Pieces but it was way too crowded. So as a last resort we ended up at The Duplex in their upstairs bar. It was practically empty and it was a nice place to continue our conversation. As we worked on our second drink the place began to fill up. Turns out there was a Drag Show at 9:00 and we were soon surrounded by drag queens. A couple of them looked good but there was nothing special. Since the bar was filling up we decided it was time to move on so we headed across the street to Marie’s Crisis. I am actually embarrassed to say that I like this bar but I think it’s great. It’s a hole in the wall in the basement of this building with about 4 tables, a small bar and a piano in the middle of the room. The piano is played while the customers belt out their favorite show tunes. So J.S. and L.G. and I sang and sang and drank and drank and drank. At some point L.G. left but J.S. and I continued to sing and drink and drink and sing. Soon we knew everyone in the bar and people we buying us drinks. It was close to four when we stumbled out of the bar to head home.

We were DRUNK. We had never gotten dinner and both of us were drinking the hard stuff. I had been enjoying Maker’s Mark and she had been drinking gin. And both of us had had a lot more than we needed. In fact, I have not been this drunk in years. J.S. was completely out of it. She cried and apologized all the way home for being such a mess. It made me laugh. She is the most polite drunk you have ever met but she continued to apologize. I finally got her home and put her to bed and I passed out on the sofa. It was after 2:00 p.m. when I finally woke from the fog. Hungover is not the word to describe how I felt. My head hurt. My stomach hurt. My body hurt. I lay on the sofa all day. I got up to go to the bathroom. Eat dinner and get more Diet Coke. Around 10 or so I went back to sleep and slept till late in the morning on Friday. I still felt like crap. I have spent the whole weekend recovering. I finally feel like a normal person.

The moral of this story. Do Not Drink This Much Again.

At least not for a couple of months or so.

It’s been a long couple of days. I guess the most…

It’s been a long couple of days. I guess the most important or rather crappy thing that happened was that A.L. and I finally had to have a talk about his feelings for me. Last Wednesday night we had dinner. At dinner I had a glass of wine and an after dinner drink and then commented on the fact the alcohol was going to my head. At this point A.L. made a comment about me drinking more so that he could take advantage of me. Without thinking I said, trying to be funny, that it would take more than a couple of drinks for that to happen. Whoops. I know it sounded kind of mean but it’s not what I meant. However, it pissed him off. So much so that he didn’t speak to me for five days.

Now the “great” part about his not speaking to me was that he didn’t bother to tell me why he was pissed at me. So I spent five days trying to figure out what I did, replaying the evening in my head, not remembering what I said. Finally yesterday he called me and we talked. He explained that what I said had been like a slap in the face and that it wasn’t nice. He then began to point out other faults of mine. At one point he was being quite mean. However, I was trying to smooth everything over so I kept apologizing trying to take the high road. We ended the conversation agreeing that he would come over today to help me hang pictures in my apartment.

Unfortunately, after we spoke I spent the afternoon cleaning, which gave me time to think. The more I thought, the more I realized that I hadn’t been the only one at fault here. As I continued to think I began to get angry. And then I got really angry. The point is I am not interested in A.L. I have never been interested in him romantically. I was not interested in him five years ago when he asked me out the first time. I was not interested in him romantically on our drive cross country when he mentioned that he still had feelings for me. I was not interested in him romantically when he mentioned his interest since the trip and I was not interested in him romantically when he made his joke on Wednesday. Don’t get me wrong he’s a nice guy. But we have nothing in common. We don’t listen to the same music. He doesn’t watch T.V. He doesn’t go the theatre. He only watches movies that are documentaries. His taste in architecture isn’t the same as mine. His taste in furniture is ugly. His apartment looks like he just moved in and he’s lived in the same apartment for 26 years. While we are at it I should mention that he’s 15 years older than me. He doesn’t work. I could go on but you get the point. We have nothing in common.

I suddenly realized that I needed to finally end this romantic obsession. I had to nip in the bud so to speak. So last night I called A.L. back and we had a little chat. I, rather firmly, explained that his interest in me had to stop. The comments had to stop. The jokes had to stop. He needed to start taking responsibility for what was going on. I explained that I no longer wanted to be held accountable for my responses when he was saying things that made me uncomfortable. I didn’t go so far as to say that we had nothing in common but I laid out the reasons why a relationship with him wouldn’t work and was a bad idea. I might have been a little heavy handed but I kept reiterating my stand. I needed for him to finally understand that I wasn’t interested.

He eventually said that he got the point and that I could stop. And so we said our good-byes. A.L. called back today. He said that he wanted to make an amends. He apologized for putting me into uncomfortable positions. He apologized for being unrelenting. He explained that he would need some time to get over this, and asked for space.

I don’t know how all of this will play out. I do know that having my conversation with him was difficult. It’s never easy to say something to a friend that you know will probably hurt their feelings. But sometimes you have to step up to the plate and do what’s uncomfortable. I hope in the end that we can salvage the friendship that we have started.

It’s late and I am too tired to try and remember w…

It’s late and I am too tired to try and remember what I was going to post about tonight. So I am shamelessly stealing a meme I saw today over at this sight. Please forgive me for being lazy.

This meme is pretty simple (hence the appeal): go to Wikipedia, type in the date and month of your birth but not the year, then find: 3 events, 2 people whose birthday you share, 1 person who died that day, and 1 holiday.

Here goes:

1606: The Union Jack is adopted as the national flag of Great Britain
1861: The Civil War starts with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter
1955: The polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk is declared safe and effective

Birthday:
David Letterman: 1947
Ann Miller: 1923

Death:
Franklin D. Roosevelt 1945

Holiday:
The Roman holiday of Cerealia begins

Who knows what it all means. Give me your thoughts.

I was more of a bum today than I was yesterday. I…

I was more of a bum today than I was yesterday. I got up at 11:30. A little later than I wanted to. Moved to the couch and slept there until 3:17. So much for getting things done. I finally dragged my lazy ass off the couch, took a shower and headed downtown. The one productive thing I did was get off the train at 59th Street and walk from there to 14th Street. It was such a beautiful day and I had already wasted most of it, I thought it might be a good idea to enjoy the warm weather while we have it.

In the good new category. My roommate has agreed to let me sublet my apartment while I am teaching out west. I’ll save me about a 1,000 bucks a month so I’m sure you can guess how happy this makes me. We still have some details to work out but it should be a go. On top of that, a friend from school needs a place to stay starting in January so I am hoping that he’ll agree to take my place and since I know him there’ll be no problem with my roommate. Keep your fingers crossed.

My friend A.L. who traveled cross country with me has officially stopped speaking to me. I saw him tonight and he barely acknowledged me. I have no idea what it’s about, but I’m guessing it has something to do with my putting off his advances on Wednesday night. He’s been asking me out for five years and I have been politely declining for five years. There are a million reasons why it would never work. The most obvious is that we have nothing in common. But that’s just me.

Have a great Sunday everyone, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

My schedule is a mess. It’s 2 a.m. and I’m wide a…

My schedule is a mess. It’s 2 a.m. and I’m wide awake and not even close to ready for bed. Tomorrow I’ll sleep until noon which means I won’t get anything done before I have to go downtown to meet friends for dinner. I have to do something about this. I have a load of crap that needs to be accomplished that’s just sitting here looking at me. There are still piles of things every where that need to be put away. I had my laundry done and now it’s in my laundry bag staring at me. I have a design due next Wednesday that I haven’t even started. My friend J.S. is coming to visit and I need to do things like clean the bathroom and kitchen and make sure that there’s at least a path to the bed, which should have clean sheets. All of this and I want to sleep all day. Ugh. So I guess I’ll go to bed now. Set the alarm and try to get up by at least 10:00 a.m. At least.

As for today, one of the highlights was seeing a guy with a mullet on the subway. You don’t see those every day here, and it looked just as out of place here as you might imagine. He had some sort of rock star hair thing going on, it just wasn’t working. And indeed the back was a mullet. I tried not to stare but it was hard. He didn’t seem to notice which was good because I’m sure he and his friends could have beat the crap out of me.