Christmas Vacation Part 10.

Adam says I’m dragging out my Christmas story to long.  Perhaps he’s right.  Of course there is always the slightest, not likely chance that he’s not right.  It would of course be the first time he wasn’t right.  But it could be.


I’m sitting in the kitchen, Adam is next to me, Maureen is across from me.  We all turn as Kelly rounds the corner.

I wish there were something really exciting to tell you here.  There isn’t really.  We shake hands.  We talk.  He asks about our trip in.  We tell him about Southern Missouri.  He tells us we should have stayed on the Highways.  He asks about driving through the snow.  I bite my tongue.  It’s all very pleasant.

Then everyone wants to know what we are going to do for the day.

I have one item on my agenda.

I want to get my hair cut.

That’s all.

So we ask Adam’s parents where I might be able to get a hair cut.

Maureen says that it’s probably to late to get an appointment with one of the salon’s in town.  (SALON?)

Kelly tells us that he might be able to call the girl that cuts his hair to see if she could fit us in.

Adam stops them both right there.

I don’t want a salon.  Yes, I know I’m from NYC but I really want a man, with clippers, and a razor to cut my hair.  Preferably with a barber poll out front.  They seem at a loss as to what to say.  Surely their gay son’s new boyfriend wants to get his hair cut in a salon.  Surely.

This leads to a conversation about Barbers.  One guy has retired.  The other one’s…Jim.  Jim has been cutting hair since before the Great War.  He’s 110 years old and they don’t know what he’ll do to my head but he’s my best bet.  He’s actually my only bet.

I guess Jim it is then.

Adam and I shower and head out the door.

First stop.


You can’t do anything without a Diet Coke.  A Route 44 Diet Coke.

Then I’m given a quick tour.  It’s a small town.  We tour the good side of the tracks.  We’ll see the other side of the tracks tomorrow.

Then we head to Jim’s.

When we get there, he’s closed.  Of course it is lunch time to so what did we expect.

So we decide it might be time for lunch.

This is where Adam and I had a disagreement about our trip.

The town he lives in has a population of 2,200 people.  His father knows everyone and I do mean everyone that lives in the town and most of the people that live in the county.  Therefore EVERYONE knows Adam.  So to get out of the car means that he’ll have to talk to someone he knows.  Seems that it’s very typical for him to just buy lunch at Sonic and then hide at home.  I however, have decided that I didn’t drive 30 hours to eat at Sonic.  I want to go where the locals go.  And well that’s either Sonic, or Gloria’s.  I told him to put on his grown up pants and that we were going to Gloria’s.

While we are at it, here is a photo of downtown…  It’s the only one I took.  Adam didn’t want me to look like a tourist….the only tourist.

Here are some photos I pulled off Google Maps.

It’s amazing what you can see on Google Maps.

So we pull up at Gloria’s.  And we go in.  And OF COURSE…

Adam knows everyone in the restaurant.

I should point out that Adam is an extrovert in that nothing embarrasses him, and he can talk to just about anyone…but he doesn’t like to.  He’s an extrovert that likes to stay home and not talk to anyone.

I don’t remember the names of the people I was introduced to.  The first couple of people were two of his dad’s best friends in town.  What I do remember is the way men introduce themselves in Texas.

They reach out their hand.

The grab your hand in a vice like grip.

The pump your hand while saying.


“John.  Doe.”

“Glad to meet ya!”

The introduction always includes their first name twice followed by the last name.  This was not just true at Gloria’s.  This was true of his dad, his cousins, his family etc.  Everyone in Texas does this.  I just stick out my hand and say “Hi.  I’m Maddog.”

In return, Adam introduces me as “his friend.”  I don’t mind this.  But I like to bust his balls and say, “What are you embarrassed to call me your boyfriend?”  As he puts it…these people have known him his entire life, when he says “This is my friend,” they know exactly what he means.

Finally after three hours we sit down to eat.

We are brought a menu that looks like this…

Check out those selections.  And those PRICES!!!!

Diet Coke for a buck.  In a restaurant?  Who’s ever heard of such a thing?

Adam’s favorite food in the whole wide world is a cheeseburger.  Remind me to tell you about that some other time.

He orders a cheeseburger.

Me on the other hand.   All I see is CHICKEN FRIED STEAK!!!!

Is there anything else worth looking at on the menu.  And it comes with fresh cut french fries, dinner salad and Texas toast.  I can hardly wait.

In my restaurant in NYC the staff is always amazed at people who take pictures of their food.  Why the fuck would anyone want to take a picture of their food.

I still don’t know…but here’s a picture of my chicken friend steak…

Have you ever seen anything more delicious.  Steak.  Battered.  And then fried.  With french fries.  And the chopped lettuce makes it healthy.  It was awesome.  And the steak was so tender you could cut it with a fork.  It melted in my mouth.  Adam was insanely jealous.  Jealous enough to force himself to come back the next day and skip the hamburger and get the CFS.

And lunch was done.

I’d tell you about the hair cut.  But it’s 5:30.  It’s cold.  And I want to go to bed.

See you guys tomorrow night.

Christmas Vacation Part 9

The saga continues…

So we go in quietly to Adam’s Dad’s house.  Very quietly.  It’s 2:30 a.m.  We’re tired.  And want nothing more than to be in bed.

We get all of our stuff into our room, brush our teeth and get into bed.

This is the first time in 35 years Adam’s brought someone home with him.  His parents came to NYC and met Robert his partner at the time.  But he’s never taken anyone into their life before.  I have no idea what this means for me.  Are they going to hate me?  Are they going to be resentful for having our “lifestyle” slammed in their face.

And how do we navigate sleeping together?

I wasn’t privy to the conversation but I guess Adam alluded that we could either sleep in the guest room or his dad’s room which ever they preferred.  Adam likes to push his dad’s buttons.

So we sleep together.  In the guest room.

We turn off the light.  We go to sleep.

In three seconds it’s morning.  I’m still wanting to sleep.  I could sleep all day.  Adam has other plans for us.  I finally realize that I’m not going to win this battle.  So I tell him I’m getting up.  He tells me that he’s going to go see if the coffee’s brewing and to come out when I’m ready.

I really want to stay in bed to put off the meeting of his parents as long as I can.  The last time I met someone’s parents was in 1996.  It’s very stressful.  VERY STRESSFUL.

Of course I can’t put this off forever.

I get up.  Throw on some shorts.

I take a deep breath and I walk out of our room, turn left, pass through the family room and into the kitchen.

Maureen, Adam’s stepmom has her back to me.  She’s cooking something.  She turns just as I’m getting to the counter.  I don’t remember what she said, but it was with TONS of excitement.  She gave me a big hug, told me to sit down and that she’d get me some coffee.  I loved her already.

She poured us coffee and then pulled breakfast out of the oven.  If I’m not mistaken it was some sort of coffee cake.  It was definitely sweet.  And delicious.

And Adam and I sat there, next to each other on stools at the counter while Maureen stood on the other side and chatted with us.

And then the front door opened and Maureen said, “Hello there, Kelly.”

The moment of truth was at hand.


Christmas Vacation Part 8

So we leave Sonic.

And we get on 44 and we drive south.

As we drive we see the following signs.

“Adult Video”

“Precious Moments Chapel”

We immediately got excited about both.

How could you not get excited about both.

So we drive.

And drive.

And we continue to see signs for both.

And then we see the “Adult Video” next exit sign.

And well, we decide to stop and see what all the excitement is about.

So we park.

Adam is very nervous.

You’d never know that we met in a place like this.

I want to go in more than anything to see if they have a restroom.  I’ve had to pee for an hour.

So we get out and go in.

It looks just like every other store I’ve ever been in in my life.

I see the restroom sign and I run for it.

Adam is huddled by the door in fear when I come out.

I promise him I’ll be close by when he’s finished.

While he’s in there I go up and say the guy behind the counter…

“Hi.  How’s this all work?”

I’m told,

“Well.  There’s a theater in the back.  It’s ten dollars per person.”  He then whispers, “Are you guys a couple?  If you both want to go in I’ll let you in for fifteen but you only get one key.”  Hmmm.  Decisions, decisions.

I ask for change for my twenty and wait for Adam to come out of the restroom

He arrives.  He’s still nervous.

I ask him if he wants to go.

He says no.  I say okay.

So we head to the back of the store.

And we find a nice booth that is private and secluded.

And we have a little fun.

And then we zip up.

And leave.

We were there for about three minutes total.

We get into the car and we drive.

And drive.

And drive.

And drive.

And drive.

And we get to the Precious Moments Chapel to late to go in.

So we drive.

And drive.

And drive.

And we pass through Tulsa.

And we drive.

And we pass through Oklahoma City.

And we drive.

And we drive.

And we drive out of Oklahoma into Texas.

And we drive.

And drive.

And finally we get to some dark, secluded country road.

And Adam turns.

At this point he’s either on the way to his dad’s house or he’s going to kill me and dump on the side of the road.

And we drive on completely straight, no hills, no curves road for sixty minutes.  It is in complete darkness with no light anywhere.  Not in front of us, or behind us.  Just the lights from the car.  And the black void.

It’s eerily peaceful and scary all at the same time.

This is made all that much scarier by Adam telling me that his dad said to watch out for deer and wild hogs.  That if we hit one it might kill us.  He says this as he inches the car up to 85.

I grab onto the door handle and try not to be a “pussy.”

And then out of the darkness comes a light.

And then another light.

And another.

and he announces that we are in his hometown.

We pull into the drive way.

I’m terrified at this point.

He turns the car off.

I ask him if it’s too late to turn around and go back.

He says no.


I take a deep breath and step out of the car…

It’s Late…

It’s late.

As always.

I don’t know where the time goes.

I sit down at my computer and the next thing I know it’s 5:00 a.m.

I applied for the job.  I checked the no box and just went with it.  The way I see it, they wouldn’t even let me through the door if I said yes.  This way I can hope that since its been 13 years and was a misdemeanor it won’t show up.  If it turns into something then I’ll deal with it then.

Since it’s 5:00 a.m.  I’m going to cut this short.

We’ll have some one on one Christmas time tomorrow.

You’ll want to hear all about our trip from Springfield to Tulsa.

Maddog’s Dilema

So I have a problem.  A question.  A concern.  Something that scares the crap out of me.

So when in doubt take it to the public and ask them if they have an opinion of the case.

So I started filling out the online application for the teaching job that I’m applying for.

On the second page it asks this question:

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime.  The existence of a criminal record does not constitute an automatic bar to employment, with the exception of certain sex or drug offenses specifically prescribed by the California Education Code.  In the cases of drug convictions, further consideration is given to personal rehabilitation efforts, as well as a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon.

If your answer is yes, please explain.  You must provide specific civil, penal, and/or other code violation(s) and describe each offense, date, place and sentence or fine imposed.

I’m sure the question you are asking, is why does this scare me.


Let’s just suppose that I had been arrested for some unknown crime.  And let’s just suppose it had nothing to do with drug use.  And let’s just suppose that it might have been a sexual offense.  Before you go there, it did not involve anyone else, especially children.  Just me.  In public.  Doing something I shouldn’t have been doing.

Yes, Adam knows all about this…

So here’s my dilemma.

If I even begin to tell them about what happened my application won’t even get a second look.

If I lie and they find out, I won’t be hired, or I’ll be let go on that basis.

So what do I do?

A friend I talked to tonight said LIE.  If you are going to have a chance at getting your foot in the door you can’t tell them the truth.  He also said that since it was in a different state, 13 years ago that it might not even come up.

And it…

Did happen 13 years ago.  I plead guilty, I paid a fine, was told to not go there any more, I moved away and that was the end of it.  I’ve always been afraid that it would come up again, and I’ve always been lucky that it hasn’t.

Until now.

Am I honest and hope for the best?

Do I lie and hope for the best?

Do I scrap the application until I can apply for a position that doesn’t ask these kinds of personal questions.

Give me some advice people.

That’s why you are paid the big bucks.

Maddog’s Date Day…

Today was date day with my bf.  We have been doing them pretty regularly since the holidays are over and we don’t have millions of other plans.

So today we:

Saw Avatar.  We both liked it a lot.  Yes it’s heavy handed and the message isn’t subtle at all.  And some of James Cameron’s dialogue leaves something to be desired but we were both drawn in and loved it.

Then we movie hopped (paying for one movie but seeing two).  This is easy on 42nd Street in Times Square.  There are 25 theaters in the AMC complex, you show your ticket at the top of the escalator and then you are on your own.  We saw Avatar at 3:00.  We saw Nine at 7:00.

As for Nine.  It’s boring.  Boring.  Boring.  It seemed to take forever.  And it’s funny I knew most of the songs in the show but I couldn’t have told you that they were from Nine.  It’s not a memorable show.  The musical numbers were hot, but not worth two hours of my time.

So that’s movie time.

Then we walked hand in hand for almost two hours.  We strolled down through Chelsea and then into the Village.  Around 11:00 I decided we should get a drink.  However, I didn’t want to go to a “bar” and listen to loud music and people watch.  I wanted a bar where we could get a glass of wine, sit there somewhat quietly and talk.  And not have it cost forty dollars.  That’s hard to do on a Saturday night.  So, we walked and walked and finally ended up back in Chelsea at Tello. It’s the first time we’ve been at it’s new location.  It moved from a quaint, tiny restaurant to a bigger space.  It’s lost a little of it’s NYC charm but it’s still nice.  Neither of us thought about it till we were sitting at the bar, but I took Adam to Tello for our second date.  I’d picked up an extra shift the night before and I treated to a meal with wine, dessert etc.  We were three days late but it was nice to revisit the beginnings of our relationship a year ago.

After the wine we figured it might be time for dinner.  Yes, it was late, but we’d taken cookies and candy into the theater with us, and Adam had a free popcorn coupon so we’d had plenty to eat earlier.  We wanted to go someplace that wasn’t a diner and since it was so late we didn’t have a lot of options.  Adam suggested Cafeteria, and so we headed that way.  We were walking down the street and passed Elmo’s.  I didn’t even know it had a name.  The sign out front just says Restaurant.  Both of these places are a bit of a scene.  Not my place but at midnight, it was either that or a diner.  Adam told me to choose.  I chose Elmo.  We sat down and ate.

Dinner was awesome. It was just us and one other table.  They closed at 1:00 and hour later so we didn’t mind.  We had a cocktail, dinner, made out in the corner booth and chatted about love, life, our relationship, poop.  Yes it was a romantic evening.

We got home about three minutes ago to discover that Danielle had broken our coffee pot.  I was PISSED.  Not that she broke it, but that she hadn’t called.  We passed by a dozen places that we could have stopped and picked up a new one.  Now there will be no coffee in the am.


I think I’ll go have sex with my boyfriend  to cheer myself up.

Christmas Vacation Part 7

Believe it or not we made it out of “The Ozarks” as it was explained to me that we were in.  We rounded a curve, topped a hill or something like that and we were in Springfield.

There are two things of note to write about here.

First my friend Sarah from the restaurant is from Springfield and moved back last fall.  I’d emailed her and told her we would be passing through.  So through about fourteen phone calls and countless text messages and a twenty minute drive in the wrong direction we managed to meet up at a Sonic in Springfield.  I’d told her in my email that we’d have about three minutes that I’d love to see her.

So we all had ice cream and sat in the somewhat warm afternoon sun and chatted.  We learned all about her new job, her new boyfriend, her new school, her new life.  We told her about the restaurant, our trip to Texas, our lives.  And at 30 minutes I stood up and told her that although I’d loved seeing her we had to get on the road.  We hugged goodbye, both got into a cars and drove away.

We drove across the street to get gas and a Diet Coke.

And we were on our way.

The second thing to write about was the plethora of information about Branson that’s available in Springfield.  I think Adam and I are going to take a trip to Branson next year.  It looks absolutely wonderful in all it’s trashiness.

Look at all this wonderfulness.

Acrobats of China Discount Tickets 36.71
Has Video Amazing Pets 32.36
Has Video Baldknobbers Jamboree Show 33.45
Has Video Branson Country USA 16.74
Branson Gospel Music Convention Limited Engagement 22.32
Has Video Broadway The Star Spangled Celebration Discount Tickets 33.00
Has Video Buck Trent 30.00
Has Video Cassandre’ The Voice of an Angel 29.01
Cat’s Pajamas 31.97
Has Video Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express Discount Tickets 33.00
Has Video Comedy Jamboree 32.36
Dalena Ditto 28.00
Has Video Daniel O’Donnell Limited Engagement 44.00
Has Video Dixie Stampede 46.86
Has Video Doug Gabriel 30.00
Down Home Country 32.36
Has Video Duttons 33.47
Eagles Tribute 31.25
Has Video Gatlin Brothers & Debby Boone Together! 43.50
Gene Watson Limited Engagement 38.50
George Dyer 31.00
Has Video Grand Jubilee 32.36
Has Video Hamner Barber Variety Show Discount Tickets 32.92
Has Video Haygoods 33.00
His Life – The Musical 30.00
Has Video Hughes Brothers 35.71
Has Video Jim Stafford 35.47
Has Video Johnny Mathis Limited Engagement 77.00
Kenny G Limited Engagement 77.00
Has Video Legends in Concert 32.92
Has Video Liverpool Legends 32.50
Has Video Mary Duff Limited Engagement 30.00
Mel Tillis and Family Christmas 43.00
Mike Walker 31.25
Has Video Miracle of Christmas 52.45
Has Video Moe Bandy 35.47
Has Video Neal McCoy 36.00
Has Video NOAH the Musical 52.45
Has Video Oak Ridge Boys 43.50
Has Video Ozark Mountain Jubilee 32.36
Peter Pan 45.00
Has Video Pierce Arrow Discount Tickets 31.81
Has Video Red Skelton – A Tribute by Tom Mullica 25.00
Has Video Red, Hot & Blue 29.01
Restless Heart Limited Engagement 32.50
Has Video Ricky Boen & Texas Mud 29.02
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum 18.91
Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here to Stay 32.36
Has Video Spirit of the Dance Discount Tickets 33.00
Has Video Sunday Gospel Jubilee 32.36
Swingin Cajun Style 31.25
Titanic Museum 22.00
Has Video Tony Roi’s Elvis Experience 33.00
Has Video Twelve Irish Tenors 33.00
Vicki Lawrence / Mama Limited Engagement 45.00
Wissmann Family Christmas Varies
Has Video Yakov Smirnoff 35.71
Has Video Yakov’s Moscow Circus 38.87

OH MY GOD.  I wish I could scan some of the brochures Adam picked up.  The child beauty stars, the photoshopped old people, the shows that are clearly meant for a gay audience  it’s just too much for a person to take in.  We want to save up a thousand dollars, go there for the week and see everything available.

If only we could?  How much better could life be???

Check the awesomeness of the first show I’d like to see.  If I’m not mistaken this show is playing in Queen’s right now.  We might be up for a field trip.

“His Life” – The Musical

Maddog’s Statement!

It’s 5:30 a.m.  I’ve been working on my teaching philosophy and letter of application for the past three hours.  I can no longer see the computer screen.  It keeps getting blurry.

So I’m going to bed.

Here’s my philosophy statement.  It’s supposed to be kept to one page.  I’m open to suggestions.  So feel free to suggest.

I have been a designer for over 20 years.  In that time I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of talented people.  I’ve learned a great deal from all of them, but I value most, the mentoring that I received at the _____________.   My professor, Mr. Smith, provided me the guidance and confidence to realize that I was not only a capable designer but also a talented one.  He allowed me to make mistakes he could have easily corrected, and then used those mistakes as teaching moments.  He encouraged me to take my ideas farther than I thought possible and to know that I’m only limited by my imagination.

I’ve been given many opportunities to act as a teacher and mentor.  Each time I’ve tried to show the patience and care that I was shown.  A student’s talent can only be nurtured when it’s given positive support and guidance. Education is about exploration and growth as person.  I encourage my students to find their own voices.  To walk away from my classes knowing the basics but also having developed their own views about theater as an art form.

As a teacher I’ve always tried to emulate those teachers that I admire most.  They all shared very valuable characteristics:

  1. They all brought an excitement to the classroom.
  2. They all had a great respect for theater.
  3. They created safe learning environments.
  4. They all provided hands on approaches to teaching in and out of the classroom.

My teaching experience tells me that if I’m excited in my classroom my students will be in return.  I want my students to know that theater is very hard work but that it also rewarding, and sometimes, even fun.  I have seen again and again that students can develop as artists if they are given healthy environments to do so.

As a teacher I challenge my students to look at a situation from every angle forcing them to defend their choices as a way to grow as designers.   In return I expect them force me to do the same.  I give them rules and then expect them to break them.  I use this environment as a way to push their boundaries and make them question everything.

Mentoring is a huge part of my approach to teaching.  As a teacher whether working on a department show, or a design for an outside project I have always asked students to work with me. I give them the opportunity to help create the design from the beginning and see it through to its completion.  I encourage them not to be note takers but to become part of the process.

Not all of my students will be great actors or designers.  Some of them will not even pursue careers in theater.  I want those that do want to work in theater to walk away with the skills they need to either transfer to a four year program or to find professional work.   I need a sentence here about those that don’t want to work in theater.

And some sort of closing statement.  Ugh.

So someone out there finish writing this for me, and then send it back to me so that I can get it all uploaded over the weekend.

I must sleep now!!!

Christmas Vacation Part 6

I’m wiped.

I don’t have any more energy.

So I’m going to bed.

But first a post.

And we drive.

And drive.

Sissy, our GPS device (do you have one?  Does it have a name?) decided to take us the most direct route.  This was not the fastest route.  We ended up on four lane roads in the backwoods of Southern Missouri.  And when I say backwoods, I mean straight out of Deliverance.  Every time we stopped (as the day wore on, we did this less and less) every one and I mean everyone was dressed in camouflage.  Every one.  There wasn’t a foreign car to be seen.  There were no fast food places, only small gas stations along the way.  Besides the fact that it was taking so long it really was starting to get scary.  Adam who’s always comfortable in his own skin was beginning to get skiddish.  We still have no idea why, but we were ready to be back on the highway when we got to Springfield.

It couldn’t have come fast enough.

Of course it was fun to read when we got home about people who’d been stupid enough to follow their GPS’s into snow storms etc. I think I’d take a snow storm over redneck land any day of the week.

As Adam told me, Southern Missouri makes Texas look awesome.  I figured it could only get better right?

I’m a tired Maddog.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to post on a regular basis.

So here’s tonight’s post.

I don’t have time to post.  It’s 6:10, I’ve been making a first pass at a statement of teaching philosophy.  Writing on here is so easy.  Writing when it’s really important not so much.

I must go to bed now.