Lonely in Maine

I spent my first night alone in Maine last night.  It was very quiet and lonely.  I’m in a big frame house with about 11 rooms all to myself.  I sleep in the upstairs back bedroom which is just big enough for my twin bed, but is cool and comfortable.  But to be in this big house all by myself was a little lonely.  It wouldn’t be so bad if my friends have cable but they don’t even have TV.  There’s a large screen computer in their living room that they watch movies on.  It’s not much company when you are here alone.

I suppose I should say that I’m not afraid.  I have a big hulking dog named Max who barks at anything that comes near the house.  So I’d know the minute anyone tried to come into the yard.  Of course I don’t know that she’d be much protection if I needed it, since she’s more pussy-cat than guard dog.  I’ve actually never known a more spoiled dog in my life.  Max belongs to Michelle’s girlfriend and is 13 years old, although you would never know it.  She bounces around like a little puppy.  It was discovered several years ago that she was sensitive to most store bought dog food so now the girlfriend actually cooks Max’s dinner.  And it smells heavenly.  It’s boneless chicken with brown rice and potatoes with a mixture of vegetables in a brown gravy.  I feed it to Max twice a day and sometimes I’m tempted to stick my finger in and give it a taste.  Max gets this twice a day.  She also has the run of the house and completely rules the nest.  I say all of this kind of jokingly because she truly is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met.  She’s wonderfully behaved and would never think of doing anything bad in the house.  All that said I don’t know how protective she’d be if I needed it.

I’m sure a lot of you out there would love the peace and quiet of such a large house, near the water in the middle of Maine.  Me on the other hand…not so much.   I like companionship.  I love it when Lisa and Michelle are here.  It’s great.  But by myself, it’s a little much.  I’d love to turn on the TV to keep me company and to be able to lie on the sofa and just flip through the channels but there’s no such luck here.  Who knows by the end of August I may actually like spending time with myself.

There are several other things they do without here.  There’s no microwave.  I don’t know why.  But there isn’t.  There’s no air conditioner.  According to everyone here you don’t need one.  But as I stated last week, it’s been hot and muggy since I got here.  There’s no garbage disposal in their remodeled kitchen.  Don’t worry, I’m not complaining… far from it.  Actually I think their house is beautiful and I love spending time here…when they are here.  Starting tomorrow will be my first real time spent here alone.  Michelle is leaving tomorrow to go the Women’s Music Festival in Michigan.  It’s an interesting event and something I think would be fun to attend.  Unfortunately, it’s a womyn only thing.  If you weren’t born a woman you don’t attend.  Everything I’ve heard about it makes it sound wonderful and only makes me want to go more.

So from tomorrow 7/31 – 8/15 I’ll be  in charge.  Max is going to learn to sleep late, and take afternoon naps, and walk on the beach, and cruise cute boys, and then take another nap, then watch Netflix movies, and write on my blog, and then go to bed…and then get up and do it all over again.  For the most part it really will be great.  I have a whole list of things I want to accomplish like updating my work website, updating my resume, working on my portfolio, making some more scarves, losing 10 pounds, walking every day, actually finishing a story on my blog that I started last summer, and telling some more, seeing some movies, and I might even see if there’s a place to get into any trouble in Maine.  All that in two weeks.   More than enough to keep me busy.

Right now though I’m going to bed.  I have to get up at 5:30 to take Michelle to the airport.  I don’t mind because by 6:00 I’ll be back in bed asleep.  See you guys tomorrow.

An Old Friend Returns

In the fall of 1984 I started my sophomore year of college.  I was still undeclared and had no idea what I was going to do with my life.  In many ways I still don’t.  It was in the first couple of days in that fall semester that I met Liz.  She was funny and out going and we hit it off from the very beginning.  In many ways we became best friends for a while.  My first memory of her was with us sitting in a piano rehearsal room in the music building talking about musical theatre.  We both loved it and we were sharing our love of some show of the time.  There are many memories after that, but that’s the first.

From then on we were good friends.  She didn’t know that I was gay, but I’m sure she suspected.  I never tried to hit on her and was more like a big brother.  In fact she was one of my little sisters in my fraternity.  We performed in shows together.  We studied together.  We ate together.  I helped her get dates with my frat brothers.  She helped me sing better.  Her grandparents lived in the town where we were going to school, so I spent many nights eating dinner there, studying there and even spent the night a couple of times.  I even got my first speeding ticket driving her grandparent’s car.  One summer we spent every weekend night together.  There was a singing caberet at one of the restaurants and we went every week.  We have been drunk together too many times to count.  I flew on my first airplane with her.

I think one of the reasons we were so close is because both of our family lives were fucked up.  Her very established and well-known father denied her existance.  In fact he denied ever having been married to her mother.  In town he was known as an never been married bachelor.  Her mother was a bit of a control freak and was known to be a little difficult at times.  I was dealing with a stepfather who hated me and a mother who would do nothing about it.

The years passed and eventually I graduated.  My journeys took me to Atlanta where I would come out of the closet and realize that it was okay to be gay.   I would come into my own there and start becoming the man I was going to be.  During all this time I stayed in touch with Liz.  I even went back the following year for her graduation.  Eventually I moved back to Kentucky and began grad school at the University of Kentucky.  She started the same year with both of us pursuing theatre M.A.’s.  At the beginning of our second year together we were both looking for a place to live and so Liz, Jim (my boyfriend) and I moved into a three bedroom apartment together.

We got along great.  We had parties together.  We were in school together.  For the most part things were fine.  And then I came home one night to find that the mirror in my bathroom had been scribbled on in lipstick.  In it’s own way it was shouting at me.  It was hard to make out but there’s was something about why we didn’t take the garbage out.  I thought it was going a little over board, but okay.  I cleaned the mirror and then took the garbage out.  About an hour later Liz came home.  It took about 5 minutes to realize that something wasn’t right.

Over the course of the next several hours she had a severe mental breakdown.  She wrote on the walls in lipstick.  She began to slap herself repeatedly.  She banged her head into the wall.  She threw things.  She punched holes in the walls.  I went from being supportive to angry.  She wouldn’t stop and I didn’t know what to do.  If I had it do over again, I’d definitaly respond differently.  After several hours of this with the rage just growing.  I called her grandparents to come and get her.  They couldn’t come.  So I eventually called the police.  When they walked in they saw the state of the apartment and what was going on.  They took her away.

A few days later Jim and I had the argument of all arguments and our relationship ended.  Within a week the entire living situation had gone down the tubes and I was packed and moving.  I only saw Liz a couple of times after that.  We didn’t speak.  The last time I saw her we were driving down Richmond Road and passed each other.  Neither of us waved.

A lot of time has passed since then.  I’ve had my own emotional melt down, I moved to a million states, I’ve gone to grad school, I’ve had five boyfriends, my father died…life has moved on.  Through the years I’ve often wondered what happened to Liz.  I missed her terribly.  I wanted to apologize for not handling her breakdown as well as I could have and not being a better friend.  I wanted to find out how her life turned out.  I wanted to reconnect.

There were a couple of times that I could have done this but didn’t.  I was afraid that she wouldn’t want to talke to me and would tell me to fuck off.  And so 17 years have passed without Liz in my life.

And then yesterday, I got a MySpace greeting from someone named Liz.  It was out of the blue and the message was a little vague.  It said,  “Hey want to catch up.  Liz.”  From the word go I thought it was just like the million before I had received from Lily, Susan, and Mary.   Sexy teens who wanted to “be my friend.”  I denied Liz’s request to be my friend.  But for some reason replied to the message she had sent me.  I said, “Do I know you?”  That it was it.  And I went to bed.

When I woke up this morning I had another message from Liz.  This one said, “It’s Liz ______ from ____________ .  If you check my page you’ll see picture of my grandparents.”  I was blown away.  Never in a million years did I ever expect to hear from her again.  I instantly replied saying please contact me and gave her my email address and my phone number.  Around 1:30 this afternoon the phone rang and it was her.

We were on the phone for 90 minutes playing catch up.  She had been married and divorced but got two wonderful children out of it.  She’s now living in Clearwater, Florida (yet another reason to come to Florida and visit), she teaches public school.  There were many other facts that we talked about.  She was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder several years after the incident in my apartment and is now well medicated.  She said her life is amazing now that she’s found a doctor and a prescription that works.   I still can’t believe we talked.  It’s been 17 years.  And the conversation flowed just like it used to.  There were no long pauses.  There were no patches of not knowing what to talk about.  It was just two old friends playing catch up.

Today was a beautiful day.

A Meme for Me…

This is a meme that is supposed to be answered in one word.  I don’t think I’ll do so well but I’ll do my best.  I stole this several weeks ago from Ur-Spo.  I now collect things to post about and save them for when I am at a loss.  Today is one of those days.

1. Where is your mobile phone? Table

2. Relationship? Single

3. Your hair? Buzz Cutt

4. Work? Lacking

5. Your sister(s)? 2 Step

6. Your favourite thing? Too many to choose.

7. Your dream last night? Don’t remember

8. Your favourite drink? Diet Coke, lots and lots of Diet Coke

9. Your dream car? A Honda Hybrid

10. The room you’re in? Don’t know what it’s called, I think they refer to it as the middle room

11. Your shoes? Birkenstocks

12. Your fears? Getting fatter

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Healthy…and thin

14. With whom did you hang out with this weekend? Michelle

15. What are you not good at?  Cooking
16. Muffin? Blueberry, but I’m not allowed to have them anymore

17. Wish list item? to be thin

18. Where you grew up? Kentucky

19. The last thing you did? Talked to my friend Lexi on the phone

20. What are you wearing? Boxer shorts and a t-shirt

21. What are you not wearing? My shoes, and shorts

22. Your pet? At the moment Maxwell the dog I’m sitting.

23. Your computer? A Mac Powerbook

24. Your life? Sucks at the moment

25. Your mood? Depressed.

26. Missing? My bed in New York

27. What are you thinking about? My headache…it happens when I start to diet.

28. Your car? gone

29. Your kitchen? Is Chuck’s kitchen.  I only store Diet Coke in it.

30. Your summer? Work and play

31. Your favourite colour? Green and blue

32. Last time you laughed? I don’t recall

33. Last time you cried? I don’t remember

34. School? Finished but I miss it.

35. Love? Missing

10,000 visits and counting

Tonight at 9:06:41 p.m. I had my 10,000 visitor to my blog since I added the site counter to the site.  It was some lucky individual from Dallas, Texas.  Of course they didn’t leave a comment so I have no idea who they were.  It’s nice to know there are people out there stopping by to take a look.  Of course sometimes I wonder about what I have to offer, and then I remind myself it’s really not about them.  It’s about me.  At least I tell myself that.  I had thought it would be several more months till I hit the 10,000 mark but with my sudden spike in numbers it’s come much faster.

Here’s to 10,000 more hits in the next year and a half.

Freaky Clowns, Scrambled Eggs, and an Evil Sublettor

I’m so tired I can hardly stand it.  I had caffeine way too late last night and at 4:30 this morning I was still awake, lying in bed, waiting for sleep to come.  There’s nothing worse.  I was so tired this morning that I don’t remember my alarm going off, I don’t remember turning it off, and I don’t remember going back to sleep.  I woke up around 9:00 or so to my friend Michelle asking if I wanted breakfast.  She was making scrambled eggs and thought I might like some.  And I did.  So that’s when I got up.

My roommate called me at around 9:30 to give me the latest in the on-going saga of the sublettor.  Last month she shorted him 125 bucks on the rent when it was due.  He was pissed but covered it and she gave him the balance about a week and a half later.  He explained to her that this was unacceptable and she couldn’t do it again.  Well on Wednesday, she did it again.  He wasn’t nearly as polite this time and actually dragged her ass out of bed to bitch her out on Wednesday morning.  Then he called me to tell me that the check that I wrote for September’s rent was going to have to be used to cover her missing portion of the August’s rent.  This was fine, but it pissed me off.  I told him to tell her that if it wasn’t paid on time she would have to cover the late charges the landlord will bill us.  When he told her this he said to her to either give him a check for the late fee, or be out by the first.  What do you know she suddenly had the rent available.

I just don’t get it.  Who rents an apartment and then doesn’t pay the rent.  I’ve never paid my rent late.  Never.  I might miss a car payment.  Or a cell phone payment.  Or an electric payment.  But never the rent.  The way I see it…you HAVE to have a place to live.   Have to.  Therefore the rent always gets paid.  I also find it amazing that she does this the first month she lives there.  If she can’t afford it (and it’s VERY cheap by NYC standards) then go some place else.  I was upfront about all the expenses when we made the arrangements.  And unlike other people I know, I’m not charging her more than I pay for the rent.  I just want her to cover my portion of the expenses while I’m not there.  Needless to say, I’m more than a little pissed about how she’s treated my roommate, me and the whole situation.  Anybody want to beat her up for me.

Tonight was the drag show.  It went well for the most part.  I say for the most part because the space they were performing in didn’t have air conditioning and the temperature was about 200 degrees.  They also didn’t have any fans so the air wasn’t moving at all.  It also annoyed me that the show started 30 minutes later than it was supposed.  How hard is it to start on time.  And the lighting was awful.  You couldn’t see half the performers that were on stage.  My friends were mostly in the dark for their performance.  The show was also a little weird.  It started out with a clown juggling.  It helped that he was cute.  But he was still a clown and that’s just freaky.  The next act was another clown.  This one more European and a woman.  But still a clown.  Still freaky.  Next was a guy playing some strange guitar like contraption singing Greek music.  Not fun.  Next was a LARGE black woman who did this performance art piece to poetry she had written.  It consisted of her walking back and forth on the stage with an umbrella responding to the things being said over the speakers.  Then she sang a song…and in a word.  She SHOULD NOT sing.  Last was my friends.  They were a welcome relief to the evening.  They were upbeat, sexy and fun.  At last we were at intermission.   We promptly picked up our things and left.  I was not willing to sit around for ACT 2 and see what strange performers were there.

And that brings me to now.  I’m home getting ready for bed.  I’ll brush my teeth and hopefully be asleep in the next 15 minutes or so.  Day two on my diet went well.  No complaints.  AND I walked 5 miles today around the bay.  I’m going to try and walk at least part of it everyday while I’m here.  I figure between walking and dieting I should get the weight to go away.  I’ve add a ticker to the right on my blog that tracks how much weight I’ve lost.  It’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing.

Drag Kings and Fat Queens

And still the people flock to my blog.  170+ today.  Still don’t know what the occasion is.  It doesn’t appear to be all spam although only my regulars are leaving messages.  Today they were mostly from the U.S. with about 25 or so from the international community.  I still don’t understand it but as I said yesterday I’m not complaining.

Life in Maine continues.

Today the high was 88.  Not exactly cool, but compared to two months in Oklahoma it was nothing.  You would have thought that global warming was at it’s worst and the end was near.  Every where we went today people were complaining about the heat.  And this started at 9:30 this morning when the locksmith came to put a new lock on my friends’ front door.  My friend Michelle was convinced that she was having a heat stroke at one point today.  For the most part I was actually comfortable.  I did suggest to Michelle that all of her suffering could be relieved by a trip to Best Buy to get an air conditioner.  She didn’t quite agree with me.  Really!  What do I know?

The best part of being here is getting up early.  (Comments to yourself, Chuck!)  I have been up around 8:00 a.m. both mornings so far.  We get up early, have coffee, walk the dog and just sit and enjoy the morning.  This morning we even went down the street to the little cafe and had $3.50 omelets.  It was a wonderful way to start the day.  The reason I don’t think I mind this schedule is that every afternoon involves a nap.  I love me some nap time.  We were going to see a movie today but I slept too long.  Whoops.  We ended up watching the first episode of the TV show Dexter that’s on Showtime.  I liked it.  I think I may try and see the other episodes while they are gone on their little trip.

At 5:30 this afternoon I had drag king rehearsal.  The Kings On the Hill have a performance on Friday night at this little space downtown.  It’s one number that’s about 10 minutes long.  It’s a medley of songs from Grease and it’s quite funny and quite good.  Being the theatre artists I am, I channelled my best musical theatre director and helped clean up some of the choreography.  By the time we finished they really had it down.  Now if they can only remember it for tomorrow night.  Jazz hands everyone.  Jazz hands.

Of course you’ll get a full update.

Today I started the South Beach Diet.  Several of Michelle’s friends are on it and they’ve lost significant weight.  I figure what can it hurt.  I need to lose around 100 pounds.  I figure if I work hard I can have it gone by Labor Day…don’t you think?  I’ll try and keep you posted on my progress.  Every time I’ve ever lost weight before it’s been on a low carb diet so I’m sure this will work.  I also feel that’s it’s healthier than the Atkin’s Diet because it doesn’t include so much fat.  Anyone have any pointers, or suggestions?  At this point I’ll listen to anything.

There’s also a path around the bay near Michelle’s house that I’m going to start walking.  It’s about 4.5 miles around.  I figure that I can pop my Ipod on, and take my time to start.  There are places to sit if it’s too much at first and I can do it at my own pace.  I’m smart enough to realize that I can’t lose weight just by dieting.  If I don’t exercise at least some the weight will never go away.  I’ll look at joining a gym when I get back to NYC.

Have a great weekend all.

I’ve become an old man…

Perhaps someone can help explain the traffic I’m getting at my blog lately. Up until two weeks ago I was averaging about 35 to 40 people a day. Not great but considering that I’m not quoting the news and not changing lives I thought it was respectable. Then for two or three days it dropped to about 20 and since then it’s exploded. Today according to my Site Meter I had over 200 people stop by. I’m sure they aren’t sticking around and reading about all 49 days of my visit to Oklahoma, but they are at least clicking on the link. My question is why? Why without a gradual build do I have so many visitors. They are from all over the world. Some days mostly foreign but as today mostly withing the U.S. I’m not complaining, I’m just curious.

Today was my first full day in Maine. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time. First the twin bed. There’s not much to say about it. Second, there’s no TV. Not just no cable. But no TV at all. My friends have a large screen computer they watch movies on but there’s no television to be seen in the house at all. Third, there’s no AC. I’ve been assured that it’s not needed here in the north, but so far I’m not convinced. It’s hot. It’s humid. The answer. AC. It’s not hard to figure out. I’ve was also warned today that the car I’m being left with doesn’t have AC either. Hmm…Soon we’ll be sitting by the woodstove, whittling a new seat for the outhouse.

I realized today that I’m old. There was a band in town tonight called The Cliks. It’s sort of an all girl band although there was talk the lead singer was a Trannie. Either way she’s kind of cute in that androgynous sort of way. But I digress. I stood in the back tonight and all I heard was noise. Lots and lots of loud noise. There were moments that you could tell music was being played but from my perspective, it was just noise. I spent most of the time I was there watching the cute straight boy make out with his girlfriend as they stood next to us. Based on the music on their website, it’s not bad. Live. Yuck. And this is how I’ve realized I’m old. I’m the parent yelling for their kid to turn down that awful racket. Forgetting what it was like 20 years ago to hear live music.

I think I’ll stick to whittling by the fire from now on.

Maine: The way life oughta be…

Sorry Mr. Ur-Spo about the lack of a post today.  I went out with friends from Oklahoma last night and got a little tipsy.  Then the trains were fucked up and it took almost 90 minutes to get home.  When I got there, the sublettor was up and wanting to talk so I never got around to posting.  I’ll try and make it up to you.

As for me…

I just arrived in Maine.  I was supposed to be here hours ago, but I couldn’t get my hung over ass out of bed.  It was almost three before I finally managed to get up.  I quickly showered and headed downtown to get my rental car.  This turned into an experience all on it’s own.  I got there and was quickly waited on by the girl behind the counter.  She processed my license and my credit card and within about 10 minutes I was ready to go.  I was told to wait outside and my car would be brought down.  And so I waited, and waited, and waited and no car appeared.  Finally I went back to the counter to find a look of dismay on the girls face.  I don’t know what the problem was but I wasn’t getting that car.  She was just finishing up another customer and asked me to wait.  It’s now been almost 30 minutes and I don’t have a car.  But I wasn’t going to let this upset me, my head was hurting too much to care.  Finally, she gets back to me and tells me they have no more midsize cars.  The best she can offer is an SUV or I’ll have to wait till tomorrow.  I agree to the SUV.  She re-processes everything and finally I am on my way.

Unfortunately, it’s now almost 5:00 and NYC is in the heat of rush hour.  It took almost 60 minutes to get back to my apartment.  And driving in New York is a dangerous affair.  I lost count of the times I was cut off, forced over, and made to suddenly stop.  It really is a every man for himself sort of deal.

I got home, found parking and then finished packing.  The I went and got the car, packed it and was on my way.  I got on the road believe it or not around 6:45.  Not too bad considering.  Luckily the rush hour thing seemed to be over and I made good time.  There were a couple of times I doubted my directions but in the end is all worked out.

And now I am in Maine.  At my friend Michelle’s house.  In a twin bed.  It’s become the curse of my life.  I’m 42 and destined to sleep the rest of my life in a twin bed.  I’ll let you know how it compares to the one in Iowa and the one in Oklahoma.  I’ll be here for the next three or four weeks at least.  I’m going to spend my time looking for work, updating my work website, and walking the dog along the water.  Hopefully it will be a relaxing time.

I got hamper’s of ironing to do, and my diet pill is wearing off…

Not much to report today.  Saw the movie Hairspray.  It was toe tapping fun.  It won’t change your life, but it was definitely worth the 11.00 bucks I paid for it.  Of course I got the musical theatre gene with my gay gift bag so it’s hard for me not to like it.  I was upset that two of my favorite songs from the show were missing.  Well sort of.  Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now is played during the credits but The Big Dollhouse is missing all together.  Hmmm.  They definitely should have asked my opinion before they cut it.

The review I read today commented on John Travolta’s performance I kind of agree with.  They noted that both Divine and Harvey Fierstein did the role of Edna without the help of hours of makeup and latex and performed it with their own strength.  It’s clear that John spent hours in the make-up chair and most of his weight is padding.  His performance is good, but it would have been nice to see a “real” full size man in the role.

I also got to witness some of the things that my roommate has been bitching about with my sublettor.  I got up today at 4:30 (no comments please) and went out to the living room to find the air conditioner running and all the windows open.  She acted completely surprised when I called her on it.  How stupid do you have to be not realize something as simple as this.  I feel bad that the roommate has to deal with her for 5 more weeks.  It can’t be too soon when she decides to move out.

One last note.  I haven’t recieved a comment in four days.  Was just curious if something is wrong with my blog or have I pissed you guys off some how.  It may be that everyone’s just too busy.  Either way, someone please say something and let me know you’re out there.

Sleeping Late…

As much as I am glad to be back home and enjoy the things NYC has to offer.  I hate not having anything to do.  I have no agenda, and no list of things to do…so how do I spend my time.  Well today I woke up at 3 p.m.  That’s a good way to spend the day.  Sleep it away.  I’d love it if I had a deadline looming, or a project coming up, or something pressing.  Then I would have to get out of bed and do something.

I do have to admit that I haven’t slept really late in more than a week or so.  What with touring my shows, driving around Oklahoma, driving back to NYC, talking to my mom at 6:30 in the morning, going to the doctor, running errands.  So to give myself a break, it did feel nice to not HAVE to get up for anything.  I’ll try not to make it a habit though.

The one thing I did NOT do today was buy the new Harry Potter novel.  My roommate did.  My sublettor did.  Half the people on the train did.  I saw at least 50 or so people walking on the street with it.  I am going to have to read the first six and find out what all the fuss is about.  I read the first one several years ago after I saw the movie, but was not bitten by the bug.  A couple of people have sworn if I give them a chance I’ll love them.  So I think I’m going to try and pick them up at the library in Maine and start again.  I’ll keep you posted as to whether they are as fabulous as I’ve been told.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend.