Celebration, Florida — June 9th 2006 — Day 24

On June 12, 2007, I wrote a post about how I’d forgotten that the anniversary of my blog was June 9, 2006. Exactly one year later, on June 12, 2008 I realized that I had once again forgotten the anniversary of my blog.

So without further ado. Let the parties begin.

And the presents.

And the fun.

And the.

And.

Okay, I’ll just celebrate by myself.

But while I’m celebrating, here’s the recap of my first post.
June 9, 2006


So I wanted my first post to be funny and witty. I wanted it to be full of insightful observations. I wanted it to be…well you get the point. So instead it’s 3:30am and since I can’t sleep I have decided what better way to start my blog than writing something at some ungodly hour in the am.

So I am Maddog. Well not really. It’s actually a nickname that was given to me years ago while I was attending the University of Kentucky. I saw a co-worker at McDonalds and she called me Maddog. I had never been called this before, and had no idea why she called me that then. But my friends heard it and it stuck. I became Maddog to everyone who knew me. This was in 1990. No one calls me that anymore. I have grown up and become Jeff. Well actually I have been called many things but most of my friends call me Jeff. But for the sake of this blog I’ll be Maddog.

And Maddog is moving to the big city. As of July 1st, I’ll be an official resident of New York City. Again. Not that this is a bad thing. I love the city. It’s home. It’s just that I have been away for three years and a lot has changed. I am no longer in a relationship. I have failed to stay in touch with most of my friends there. I have gained 70 pounds. I have finished grad school. I am poor. I have no job. And so it’s scary, in a good way.

When I get there I’ll have enough money to last me about three months. This gives me a little bit of a cushion to find work. But not much of one. It won’t allow me to be lazy until the money is gone. So the minute I get there I’ll be pounding the pavement looking for work.

What kind of work you ask? I am a lighting designer. I have just finished one of the best theatre design programs in the country and now am about to prove my professor wrong and begin making a living doing commercial theatre. At least that’s what I hope happens. Who knows? In five years I’ll be the manager of the TGI Friday’s in Time Square. You know it’s the largest TGI Fridays in the world. At least that’s what the sign says.

So you guys all get to take this journey with me. I’ll be documenting my search for work, love, happiness and fulfillment in the city. So stay tuned for all the fun that goes with moving cross country and resuming my career.

WOW. It’s really amazing to look back and see what I wrote two years ago. I had just come back from a trip to NYC where I crashed on the couch of my now roommate Chuck. Who knew then that we’d grow to be such good friends. I don’t think either of us would have guessed that we would get along so well. He hadn’t had a roommate since 1902 back when he was in college, and I hadn’t had a good roommate experience in say about 10 years. I’m thankful that worked out.

I also think it’s interesting that I’ve landed back in the restaurant world. And it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. And I make a living doing that. And for the most part things are good.

And who would have thought that I’d have spent the following two summers in FUCKING Oklahoma designing musicals for a neurotic director and a exciting host of other characters. I also wouldn’t have guessed that I’d have become such good friends with the stage manager. She is the only source of sanity in the world that I’ve been plunged into here.

And who would have known two years ago that I would create relationships with lots of people that I’ve never seen in person. There are many people that I love knowing are out there and reading my blog. There are many people whose blogs I never miss reading even if I have to go back several days to see what they were up to. I get excited still when I get comments, because I was convinced it didn’t matter what I wrote since no one would ever read it.

I’m also amazed at some of the things I wrote when I first started this thing. I was much more open then, when I didn’t know people were reading. I wrote an entire post about giving head. I know, I know. Too much information. But it’s what interested me when I did it. If you want to read it, I sure won’t make you search for it.   Just click the link.

And I guess the biggest realization is that my life for the most part is okay. I think I now have a great small group of friends that I care about and I think they care about me. I talk to them on a regular basis and I miss them when I don’t. I have a job, that’s great when my ankle isn’t broken. I get to do theatre several times a year and even though it’s stressful, it’s still a lot of fun. (I’ll explain why tomorrow). For the most part I’m healty, although I need to lose about 300 pounds. In a post a little after I started I stated that I’d come to the realization that my life wasn’t funny. It was quite ordinary. I don’t know how I felt about that then. I know how I feel about it now. I like it. I like that I sit home with Chuck on Saturday night’s watching Law & Order SVU marathons on USA. I like having the most exciting thing that happens to me in the week being that I didn’t have to wait 20 minutes for the subway a the end of the day. I like that there are people out there who think I’m good enough at my job to want to fire me to design. I have money in the bank, a great apartment, and life is good. What more could a Maddog want.

And for the record Celebration, Florida is a community created by the wonderful people at Disney. It’s current population is 3, 745. It’s a mostly rich white community because we all know that only rich white people can be the Happiest People on Earth, while living in the community that’s the Happiest Place on Earth. After reading about it, it seems more like the Scariest Place on Earth. A little Stepford Wives for me.

I was trying to find a good image of it, but I found this on the second page of my internet search and I thought it was better than a photo of a house. Wouldn’t we all like to run around pulling on things attached to boys. I’m just saying.

I also found this image on Google Image Search

Maybe it’s not such a bad place after all.

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Bitter Party Of One…

Someone actually accused me of being bitter in a comment today. Now I think this person was probably kidding but it made me realize that you guys might not know that 90% of what I say is just me being sarcastic. Of course the things I mention do annoy me, but I’d bet that it would take anyone who reads this blog about three seconds to come up with their own list of things that annoy them at work. The big difference is I get to deal with the public and it’s nothing but content for this here bloggy thing.

So really I’m not bitter…at least about work.

Now if we are talking about being 40+ and not having a boyfriend. Bitter.

If we are talking about being a million pounds overweight. Bitter.

If we are talking about not living downtown in my own brownstone bought for me by the boyfriend I don’t have. Bitter.

If you are talking about not making six figures this year. Bitter.

If you are talking about why I can’t win the lottery. Bitter.

If you are talking about having to take the subway instead of having a driver bring me home each night. Bitter.

If you are talking about not getting more than six hours of sleep tonight. Bitter.

If you are talking about owing twelve million dollars in student loans for my three degrees. Bitter.

If you are talking about not being more creative and inspiring on this blog. Bitter.

Okay so maybe I’m a little bitter. But not about work. I actually have fun most nights at work. Most nights. Including tonight. I had some of the most fun people ever tonight.

For example I had that table of four that gave me twenty bucks because I got them seated, fed, and out the door in less than thirty minutes.

There was the table of three sitting at my counter who got so pissed off at the way the two twit girls were treating me because I carded them and they didn’t have ID’s that they asked for the manager and requested the girls be moved, before they left to eat somewhere else. Not that they were going to, they were just defending me.

There was the family of four from Virginia who were just down home sweet and were not demanding at all and tipped 20%.

There was the table of four that came in at the end of the night. Two girls and two guys. The two girls were friends from Seattle and had met the two guys online. They had met in the city ten days ago and were getting to know each other. One of the girls was a hoot. And they tipped 30%.

And there were many more. But it’s hard to be sarcastic about nice people. And sarcasm is what I do best. Well maybe not what I do best but since this is a family blog I won’t get into that. But really, I do like my job.

An Email…

As I was coming home on the train tonight I was pondering what I was going to write about.  I have a couple of stories that I need to share but they’ll be longer posts and I’m tired.  And I can always complain about work, but I’m convinced that everyone is tired of hearing about that.

And then I got home and checked my email.  I had an email from a fellow blogger.  We have been chatting in emails about a posts that I made last week.  At the end of  his email he finished with the following paragraph.

Do you realize that your restaurant posts are very influential?  I’ve always tipped more than 15%, but now I tip a little more.  I tip more if I know that the server has to split the tip with the bartender, the bussers, etc.  One of my students works at a hoity toity sushi bar. He said that his clientele are demanding and don’t tip accordingly.  He said that sometimes he loses money by the time he has to split the tip.  So between the two of you, I’ve become a better customer. I just have to convince one of my friends (a big ol’ bitter queen) that he isn’t the center of the universe and don’t piss of the wait staff!  So, I do appreciate your restaurant posts.

This meant the world to me.  It’s nice to know that one person out there has heard what I have to say and has been changed because of it.  It’s also nice to know that waiters in San Diego are making more money because of my posts.

And with that I won’t bitch about work tonight.

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.

Day Thirty-Seven: Oklahoma

I had a bit of a scare this morning. I got up and checked my email and discovered that I had an email from someone who knew exactly where I was and what I was doing and even mentioned the director by name. Uh Oh!!! I quickly scanned my brain to think back to see if I had said anything that might get me fired or even worse not hired back next year. For the life of me I couldn’t remember although I know there have been one or two snippy remarks. So I quickly sent a reply email asking the person to kind of keep the blog to themselves and not tell the director about it. When I returned home there was a reply saying “Discretion totally respected.” Whew. That’s better, although I am still a little nervous about someone with the possibility of telling. I’m going to have to rethink my telling you guys what part of the country I am in.

I’ve had a great day. I woke up early. Well for me. 8:30 a.m. Don’t snicker Chuck. I didn’t get out of bed though. I decided to lie there and just enjoy not having to do anything or go any where. This lasted about 20 minutes at which point I fell back asleep and slept until noon. The part that sucked about going back to sleep was that I dreamed about work for the next three hours. So I was exhausted when the alarm finally went off and I got up.

Unfortunately, it seemed that I had slept as long as everyone else, because the bathroom was packed when I went down to shower. I had to rethink that. I wandered back to my room and got dressed (I took a shower later) and that’s when I discovered the email. I sent out a few responses and then went down to head off to a meeting with the director, conductor, technical director, stage manager, and four board members. They wanted to know what worked and didn’t work about this year. For the most part I kept my mouth closed. There is really very little that can be done about my complaints. They just are. We also discussed the season for next year. There are lots of options out there. There is discussion of doing Into the Woods by Sondheim, which I love…there would be no complaints from me.

After lunch the director drove me back to the dorm where I finally got to shower. After the shower I was playing around on line when I remembered there being talk of a site called X-Tube. It’s basically YouTube with porn. I spent about an hour looking at videos today. Hmmm. There were some very cute boys showing their wares on the sight.

Then it was back to the theatre. The light board is still broken and so we had to go in and make sure the replacement board was up and running okay. It was…so I “went out to make a phone call” and wandered up the street to see if I could see any live action videos. It’s both a blessing and a curse that the adult bookstore is up the street from the theatre. On one hand it’s nice to be able to steal away for a couple of hours…on the the other hand it’s a diversion I don’t always need and I worry about being seen by one of the company members going in or coming out. Obviously, I don’t worry enough to stay away, but I do worry. So I went and wasted a couple of hours and then got back to the theatre in time for the end of Act 2. I’m bored by the show by this time so I was glad I hadn’t had to watch.

And now I’m back home. It was a slow day in the world of blogs. Very, very few people posted today. It only took about 25 minutes to get through the blogs I read because so few people had posted since yesterday. I’m assuming everyone is either taking the rest of the week off, or they are too busy with work to post. Just know you were missed.

And that my friends was my day.

Day Fourteen: Oklahoma

It’s been a very long day.  And unfortunately things aren’t going as well as I’d like.  My ME has turned out to be few fries short of a happy meal.  The smallest, easiest tasks have to be explained to him over and over.  He has no sense of urgency, and sometimes appears to be quite lazy.  Tonight for instance we had 30 minutes to do notes at the end of rehearsal.  I looked up and he was sitting in the lighting control booth doing nothing.  Not even pretending to be busy.  Needless to say we didn’t get everything done.  We have 60 minutes tomorrow morning to get caught up or we’re fucked.  Ugh.

On to happier news.  I realized tonight that I’d missed the anniversary of my blog.  It was on June 9, of 2006 that I wrote my first entry.  At that time I thought my blog would be my personal journal of my journey back to New York.  I would share my thoughts and ideas, my excursions and adventures and share some of my life with you.  I don’t know if it’s become that or not.  I do know that I look forward to writing my entries and that I find it theraputic.  I like knowing there are people out there that are getting to know me.  I like that they like me even though I whine a little too much and don’t always have a point.  But as they say “what can you do.”

So I hope this lasts a while longer.  For the time being I’m not bored with it and am enjoying it.  So I hope this is the beginning of many, many more posts.

Pride Challenge

pride_fountain_2.jpg

Last year, just as I started blogging fellow blogger Kelly posted a picture that he had taken for gay pride. It was a picture from the front of his house with a gay flag and an American flag flying side by side. It was a very powerful image. He challenged people to post that picture on their sight. It was the 14th post I made on my blog. I thought it was a good idea then. I still do. Although I’m not one to parade around in rainbow colored clothing and I don’t fly a rainbow flag at my apartment. I’m still glad that I’m an out gay man who lives for the most part without fear of being who I really am. I’m also smart enough to know that if it weren’t for the courage of a lot of people who came before me, I would not be able to live so freely.

So in honor of gay pride and in honor of all those souls who stood up and said we won’t take it anymore and for all those people we have lost and for all those young men and women who are just discovering there sexuality I post this picture. May everyone have a fun, joyous, wonderful month of pride.

To help Kelly with his challenge. Post this photo to your blog and then let him know you’ve done it. He’s trying to get twice the number of people this year than last.