Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I said SIT, bitches!

Since I'm always off work on Wednesdays and Thursdays, I always end up camped in front of the TV for a couple of hours. But since I don't have cable, I always end up watching PBS. Over the past couple of months, I've become obsessed with Sit and Be Fit.

The host, Mary Ann Wilson, was just kicking ass today. I'm not sure what got into her, but the routine she was running didn't strike me as overly approriate for people in the later stages of their lives. I kept expecting the senior citizens she has on stage with her to clutch their chests and fall out of their supportive but comfortable chairs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

My Dad Created the Universe and All I Got Was This Lousy Holiday Celebrated in My Name

I'm having a different kind of Christmas Eve this year.

Growing up, my family went to church every Christmas Eve, where my brother and I sang in the choir (our children's choir rocked, but our bell choir left something to be desired: a bit heavy on the showtunes). I loved the ritual and pagentry of the Christmas Eve service, and everything leading up to it inflamed my holiday spirit to Osmond proportions.

In college, I worked in retail, so the Christmas holidays tended to be hectic, if not downright homicidal. I usually didn't get to go to church with my family, but that was okay. Maybe it's growing up in a capitalistic society, but I loved watching Christmas decorations going up around the mall, and I even loved Christmas music (except for Kenny G and the Beach Boys: some people were not meant to spread Christmas cheer). My favorite part, though was driving home late on Christmas Eve, then sneaking around while my family was asleep, wrapping presents and sticking them under the tree, filling stockings, and running the dishwasher (clean plates for my mom in the morning!).

The last year had really done a number on my Christmas spirit (working for a church and then getting fired tends to kill off appreciation for the religious aspects of holidays), and while I'm back in retail, the only Christmas cds we play in the store are Rupaul's "Ho Ho Ho," the Go Go Boys' "Homo for the Holidays" and some crap from Linda Eder. So as of yet, no warm fuzzy holiday feelings to speak of.

But here's my plan. I'm going to pick Jack up from work, and we're going up to Helios for the weekly Wednesday night reading. Sarah's hosting, and she's promised to bring surrealist word games. While I won't be in church or with my family, I'll have surrounded myself with an extended family of my own choosing, and celebrating this holiday season through appreciation of poetic expression.

Can't think of a better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Is He old enough to drink yet? Cuz I bought Him a brew-your-own beer kit.

Happy Yule from the Zoo.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

And now... haiku (or senryu. Whichever.)

Things I Learned at Age Eighteen

Truck drivers belong
to the open road. I am
not an open road.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Slamming and Squashing and Slamming

I won a poetry slam last night. Granted, this in itself is not headline-breaking news, but it's a small, personal victory. I've competed in a number of slams, made the finals round in some, and usually placed second or third. Which was cool. I've never touted myself as a "slam poet," and while I do admire those who are, it's just not the genre where I do my best work.

Except I won. I cut loose, held nothing back, and remembered all the words (an important element to efficient slam, I'm told). Mainly, I just had much much fun. The coach of the Houston Slam Team said encouraging things about my work, though, and later on in the evening this friend of mine named Scott (an extremely talented poet and phyisically well put together young lad) told me that a poem I wrote a while back about my grandpa's funeral was one of his favorite poems ever.

Compliments like that are even better when they come from a guy who could probably squash a grapefruit with his bicep.

Yeah, a good night all around.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Those five little words

This past Saturday, Sarah and I went up to the Laff Stop to see our friend Robin perform. He's getting wildly popular around town: people have been screaming "Moon Wars!" (one of his best bits) at him where ever he goes, and he's even managed to attract a little gaggle of groupies. He doesn't seem too thrilled about that, though. After the show, whenever one of these girls would hug him, he'd shoot me this pained, uncomfortable glance, and then he'd go hug Sarah.

The headliner that night was ex-SNL cast member Kevin Nealon, and I begged Robin to introduce me. Usually, I'm not too big on meeting famous people, but Kevin Nealon is a representative of the pop culture of my childhood. I asked Robin to help me come up with witty things to say to him, so that he'd remember me and maybe tell all his friends about me; Robin's response was, "Just don't get superdrunk." In retrospect, sage advice.

After the show, Kevin Nealon was hanging out in the bar, chatting with people and munching on Kettle Chips. Robin ushered me over and said, "Kevin, this is my friend [Evn]." "Nice to meet you," Kevin said, then "Would you like a potato chip?" I wasn't that hungry, but how often does one get offered food from Mr. Subliminal? between bites, I admitted that I wasn't very familiar with his stand-up, but had admired his work in movies for years.

"Really?" he asked, eyebrows up.

"I loved you in Jeffrey" I said, mentioning a film that came out about ten years ago, in which he played a telelvision reporter covering a gay pride parade. His part in the movie lasted about three minutes.

"Wow!" he said. This look of surprise washed over his face, and he almost dropped his bag of Kettle Chips. "I can't believe anyone remembers me from that film," he continued. "It was a great opportunity, though, and I really enjoyed it. That's so cool that you saw it. Hey, what say we go grab a couple of beers? Victoria Jackson and Jon Lovitz are in town, so let's go meet up with them..." That is, he would have said all these things had two of Robin's groupies not swept in and started trying to flirt with him.

But he really did say "Wow!" and look all shocked and surprised when I mentioned Jeffrey.

Those Kettle Chips, though. Tastee.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Hair Today, Shaved Tomorrow

I just got my hair cut, which for me is a major event: I'll get a flattop or high-and-tight, and then grow it out for four or five months, and then get it cut again. I don't know why I'm so weird about this. Everyone I know is, like, "Oh my GOD! I haven't had a haircut/been to my stylist/fixed my new growth in TWO WEEKS! Can you BELIEVE IT?!" And I'm standing there looking like an extra on That Seventies Show.

For some unknown reason, stylists don't listen to me. I'd try all these different hair salons, barbershops, even this place downtown that shaves heads for $3, but no matter where I'd go, the hair-cutting-person wouldn't do what I asked.

Hair-Cutting-Person: "And what are we doing today?"

Me: "Just a caesar cut, thanks."

HCP: "Hmmm. No."

Me: "Um, excuse me?"

HCP: "You can't wear a ceasar. Not with the shape of this head."

Me: "But the last person who cut my hair said that a caesar looked really good on me." (ed. note: I have no idea what I actually asked for when I ended up with a caesar cut. Probably a mullet or something.)

HCP: "That 'stylist' was obviously on drugs. Let's see what happens when we feather it..."

So yeah, not too keen on the haircuts. However, I've recently discovered this old-fashioned barbershop, where everyone leaves looking like Johnny Unitus. I popped in there yesterday, and got my hair chopped into a cross between marine recruit and leatherman. So now I won't have to mess with it for months. Happy, happy me...

On a vaguely homoerotic side note:
I was talking to one of the hosts at Helios last night, planning out next week's feature, and in the middle of discussing the pros and cons of slam poetry, he said, "You have a beautifully shaped head."

Take that, wouldn't-give-me-a-ceasar-cut lady.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Home for the Hellidays

I so freakin' hate the Holidays. I used to love this time of year, but for an odd reason: I worked in retail (more specifically, I worked in a mall), and I just fed off of the extended hours, the hordes of customers, 24-hour-a-day Christmas carols... loved it loved it loved it.

Things have changed dramatically, though. I spent last year's holiday season working for a church, getting thrown into a position I never really got trained for and dealing with people I didn't gel with (except for my proofreader. She was and is a diva. I'm thinking of writing her in during the next presidential election). On top of that mess, I had to try to coordinate visits between my boyfriend and my family: I was allowed to bring Jack home for Thanksgiving, but not Christmas. Therefore, I spent Christmas morning at home with Jack, and then dashed across town to spend a few hours with my parents, before zooming back home for dinner with Jack. In trying to make everyone happy, I managed to make everyone feel slightly abandonded and myself miserable.

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle things this year. Jack's and my good buddy Brook is going to be in town by himself this year, and has invited Jack over for Christmas day, in case my family isn't comfortable with him coming over. But then, I don't get to spend time with him, but I do get to spend some time with my family, who'll be pissed when I book back downtown instead of staying over, so argh. Bleh. Humbug.

Next year, I swear I am going to spend the holidays at an agrarian Celtic-style monastery in Arkansas (there really is one there, outside of Eureka Springs: "Eureka! Springs!"), and on Christmas day, I'll exchange small, tasteful presents with the monks before whiling away the afternoon with contemplative prayer and self-flagellation. Then my parents will invite Jack over, if only because my mom always makes too much food, and they'll bond and be happy.

Do monastery kitchens make dietary exceptions for vegetarians? Hmmm... perhaps I should pack some boca burgers and energy bars, just in case...

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Crazy like a Network

Despite my general loathing for all things Reality TV, I watched The Simple Life tonight, and I have to say it is so much fun laughing at rich people. I know that's what Fox wants. I know this show is nothing more than an opportunity for viewers to make fun of spoiled celebrities and redneck yokels. I know I am quickly becoming one of the slack-jawed masses. I don't care. Nicole Richie with cowshit on her face was priceless.

The way I figure it, if I've managed to go this long without getting trapped in the sticky, sticky web of reality television (I am happy to say that I have never watched "American Idol" or anything involving bachelorettes, and I have yet to understand who Trista and Ryan are or why I should care about their wedding), I can watch a couple of rich girls milk cows. Right? Right?!? Oh God, I'm caving to pop culture, aren't I?


Next week, Paris Hilton dances all sexy at a honky tonk. Nobody call me on Wednesday night.

Look Who's Talking Again

Whoah. Kind of weird to be writing in this format again. So much has happened (cliché!) since the last time I bothered to make an entry back in... when? August? That sounds about right. Guess I'll just start from the top:

I got fired from the Cathedral, which was actually a good thing, since I was miserable and hating life and cursing God every morning when the alarm went off. Overall, the Episcopal Church is a beneficial force in the world today, but I was not happy with the part I was playing in it.

Even though I hated the job, getting fired is not a fun, happy thing. What I really wanted to do was crawl into bed, watch cable and pretty much hide from everyone and everything, but that usually doesn't solve too much, so I wallowed in self pity for a week, and then went back to Lobo, this gay bookstore/coffeeshop/discount porn outlet I used to work at when I was in grad school. My job is to sell the porn. And it's odd, but working there has done wonders for my self-esteem. I'm feeling needed, and good at what I do, and so what that I'm only making retail hourly wages. It's fun, dammit, and I wasn't getting enough fun.

I am still looking for more gainful, less porn-riddled employment, and I've had a couple of interviews with communications outsourcing firms, but I'm still waiting to hear back from them. I'm not worried, though. I've got a cash flow, and I'm learning to budget, so I'm comfortable and slowly learning to relax.

Oh yeah, and I stopped eating meat. I'm not really sure what brought this on, but I just started craving soy protein and salads. Jack took this reasonably well, but was a little concerned, mainly because he's had some bad run-ins with vegetarians in the past (Wendy Wilson of Wilson Phillips once called him a murderer at a tony Austin restaurant), but once I assured him that I wasn't going to force him to stop eating pork rinds, he was happy. So now, I'm vegetarian and he's on the Atkins diet. We're just the wackiest neighbors ever.