Monday, June 30, 2003

Pride, Prejudice and Plastic

Jack and I went to the Gay Pride Parade, and it was just a banner year for beads. Usually, I end up with one or two strands of beads flung from the marchers and float-riders (I tend to avoid the large groups of lesbians who dive at and wrestle for throws, elbowing and punching until they claim the beads as their own, preferring to loiter in the background and surrepititiously pick through the leftovers, much like the wily hyena or seagull), and I take them home and put them with the beads from Gay Pride Parades past. At one point, I had them arranged in a little bowl on my coffee table, until Jack declared it as "tacky" and replaced them with potpourri. I wasn't sure where all my beads went, but felt secure in the knowledge that Jack would never get rid of my belongings without asking.

Anyhow, like I said, I got the bumper crops of beads: I was catching loads of them, and several parade-goers handed me their extras. I commented to Jack that I couldn't wait to add this year's beads to my collection, and he gave me this sickly smile and told me he loved me.

Translation: he threw out all my beads. Why, you might ask? Because he never keeps them, so he figured I wouldn't want, them either.

Under normal circumstances, I am not a very sentimental person. During break-ups, I routinely throw out pictures, presents, jewelry, etc. connected to the now-and-future ex, because why would I want all that crap around reminding me of someone who turned out to be psycho? I've heard the argument "to remember the good times," but again, why would I want to reminisce on good times I shared with someone, when it turns out that that "someone" was just a facade hiding a big, faggoty Mr. Hyde?

Here's the thing, though: Gay Pride is the one day out of the year that I don't feel like a martian. The majority of my friends are straight, and the few gay friends I have a spread out over the greater US Southwest, so I rarely get to see them or spend time with them. While most of my straight friends are cool with my orientation, I'm still the butt of a lot of jokes, stereotypical humor and ignorant comments. In that respect, it's nice to have even just one day to walk around downtown wearing rainbow accessories and holding my boyfriend's hand, and not worrying about whether all my friends are going to say, "Ewww," or "that's so gay," or "I noticed you're wearing boots; why are all gay guys into leather?" etc. Those cheap plastic beads on my coffee table represented that one day of freedom and relief. And now they're gone.

I'm sure I'll get over it in time. I mean, hell, that's what I do: I get over things. But the loss of something I was sentimentally attached to, coupled with the fact that something belonging to me was thrown out based on an assumption, without even asking me... rrrr. Insert huffy, frustrated noises here.

Assorted blehs all around.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Sensitive Guy

I went to a rally on the steps of City Hall last night, to celebrate the repeal of Texas' anti-sodomy laws. I got the chance to meet and hug the two guys who were arrested back in 1998, and ended up explaining the whole series of events and legislation to various bemused straight people, who happened upon the rally while idly strolling through downtown Houston, only to suddenly find themselves surrounded by several hundred ecstatic homosexuals. It was quite an emotional situation: the rally itself, and Mr. Texas Leather telling me how much he enjoyed the article I wrote about him for OutSmart Magazine. There's nothing like a big ol' southern leatherdaddy handing me compliments to get me all atwitter and giggly.

On a side note, I have turned into such a crybaby.

It all started when I finally saw "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." I'm not sure what exactly came over me, but I started bawling halfway through the wedding, and didn't stop until half an hour after the movie was over. Just when I got myself under control, Jack opened a jar of olives, and I started weeping uncontrollably again.

Last night, Jack and I were watching the second Harry Potter movie -- "Harry Potter and the Magical Cashcow" or whatever it was called -- and during the final scene, when Hagrid comes into the dining hall and everyone cheers for him, I started sniffling. Jack asked if I was crying. I replied, "Of course not." Right then, a single tear rolled down my cheek. Much cursing at the sorry state of my natural stoicism ensued.

The thing is, I was a big cryer when I was a child, and I got picked on a lot for it. I finally had enough of it, so right before puberty kicked in, I swore I would never cry again. And I didn't. I stayed dry-eyed for almost ten years, and since then, I've only actually cried twice (once when my dog died, and once during a mindbendingly frustrating argument with a psychotic ex-boyfriend). Sudddenly, I'm tearing up at everything: I spent my morning drive to work struggling to keep from blubbering during a broadcast of a Stonewall Riots documentary on Democracy Now.

I'm sure this is all just stress taking its toll on my psyche, and I know that in a modern progressive society, it is pefectly acceptable for a grown man to freely express his emotions, but I hate crying. Hate it hate it hate it.

Anyhow, back to work. My new boss just called and asked me how to write a press release. Good times... good times...

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Operation: New Job

The Houston Press is hiring editors. I desperately want to apply for a position, but at the same time, I'm terrified I'll get it. Do I give up my current cushy, stressful-but-decent-paying job in an attempt to forward a career in journalism, or do I stay where I am and keep doing freelance writing and monthly poetry readings on the side? Aargh. I hate grown-up decisions.

I'm sure I'd be happier in the long run if I just said "screw it," quit my job and focused on writing, but the idea of no viable income makes me queasy. If Jack gets back into radio and ends up making the kind of money he used to make, I'll think about it. He's already told me he'd be willing to pay the bills for awhile if he got a lucrative enough position, so that I could work on my writing and picking up more publishing credits, but I don't know how well I could handle that. If my job was to stay home and create while Jack earned the paychecks, would I be responsible enough to do dishes and laundry while he was at work, or would I just sit around, chatting on instant messenger and doing online crossword puzzles while the cats crapped on the furniture and strange new disease spawned in the kitchen sink?

This would so not be a big deal if I'd just gone to law school like my mom wanted me to.

The Play's the Thing

So I'm in a play right now: "You Can't Take it With You," at a local (say it ain't so) community theatre, directed by one of my former forensics students/ex-roommate. It's a wonderful script (it's like "Dharma and Greg," but set in the 30's), and Joey's a brilliant director, but some of the cast members are starting to wear on me. Rehearsals feel fairly unfocused... people are getting distracting easily, and there's been occasional "well that's not how I'd do it" grumblings. Overall, I think it's going to be a good show, but I'm not envying Joey having to deal with all of us right now.

Actually, I'm trying to be a good lil' actor this time around. Last year, Joey cast me in a play he was directing as a senior project, and I was quite the little prima donna, if I do say so myself: demanding explanations for every direction he gave me, rolling my eyes a lot, etc. He never said anything to me about it, but looking back on the series of events, I was being a terrible ass to him.

Part of the problem was simply that he was my student, and I wasn't ready to un-reign him, as it were, and let him make decisions on his own. I feel really guilty about this now, to the point where I actually said to a castmate, "Joey is the director, and it is not our place to question his decisions." Heil! Rama Rama!

I'm sure Joey is starting to suspect I'm schizophrenic, but at least I'm feeling less diva-ish. At some point, Beyoncé and I will have to sit down together and compare notes on how misaligned we are.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Omens

According to traditional folklore (Irish, I believe), if a large bird flies in front of you, heading right to left, it's a sign of bad things to come. But what if, instead of a bird, it's a beachball-sized pink flamingo balloon that drifts past your office window? According to my best buddy Sarah, it was a sign of ominously tacky things in my future.

This concerned me. I've got too much on my plate right now: a job, a play, overdue freelance articles, two literary magazines who want me to do layouts for them, a pile of chapbooks to pimp on the unsuspecting public, a 1994 Ford Aerostar Minivan that will crumble into dust if I slam its sliding door too hard... and now the impending threat of the ominously tacky.

On a related note, a friend of mine asked me to teach him how to be gay: it seems a local playwright contacted him and asked him to be in a new show, yet another one of those gay-porn-turned-comedic-romp, "fresh and edgy" theatrical events that seem to be popping up like herpes across the country. He was offered the part of Chi Chi LaRue (a popular gay porn director/drag queen, for those of you who've led cleaner lives), and now wants me to help him "get into" the role.


Could this be what the flamingo was trying to tell me?