27 December 2006

Travels and Travails Part III

Chapter III: Thanksgiving, Again?

Having survived Thanksgiving with the bio-family, I now faced the Alternate Thanksgiving with the club-family. I got up early, happy that this year I was able to have a few days off before the madness in order to get things done. My flatmates were quite accommodating, each attending to their respective messes several days before crunch time. I, of course, had nothing to worry about, except the general cleaning of our penthouse. After moving so many times over the decades, I have learned to pare my worldly goods down to the barest minimum and I simply discard items that I don't use/need/look at any longer. My day was spent fielding phone calls, coordinating the food arrivals and getting the flat clean and ready. I actually think I just throw this event to get the place "spring" cleaned, albeit in the middle of autumn. Miss Patti came with Tom turkey and cleaned and dressed the bird and threw him in the oven. She found the pop-up timers in a dollar store and put the fowl in a cooking bag, which made the meat so damn juicy. It cuts down on the cooking time as well. She left to get her new skinny ass ready and the three of us finished up. I actually was already showered this year before the first guests arrived, who were Morgan Wells and Lemon Fresh Joy, as usual. Mostly because Morgan takes care of the nibbly-bits and Joy is there for the cocktails. Wait, let me be honest, Morgan is there for the cocktails as well. We got set up and shortly thereafter, people began to arrive. I did the running up and down the steps, helping with the food trays but, I refused to play bartender this year. Most everyone at the party are bartenders, they could get their own cocktails.

The party was a success. I sat, watching the interactions of all of us. Johanna had the dining room in stitches, describing the birth of her son nine years earlier and we were going on about how I am going to be in the delivery room with her when she gives birth to the one cooking in her oven. I had to note the diversity of this "family". Spanish, Philippine, Polish, African-American, Caucasian, Arab, gay, straight, single, married, pre-op. It was a true melting pot of individuals, all here, together in my home, celebrating the true spirit of the holiday. It's amazing that none of the divisions that separate the rest of the world have ever come between us. I made a toast, thanking everyone for coming and sharing this meal together.

Then I went into my room and cried, silently and quickly. Tears of joy, to be sure. I love these people so much. We have been together for so long. Even the newest members of our little "club family" are not so new, anymore. I wiped my eyes and rejoined the party. We watched the videos, had dessert and then, sadly, the inevitable winding down of the festivities began. Slowly, surely, everyone left. La Chunk and Mommie Dearest had gone to bed and I cleaned up, under the supervision of Morgan and Joy. The bitches. First to arrive, last to leave!

I wouldn't have it any other way.

15 December 2006

Tough Questions

1. What is more difficult for you, looking into someone's eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone's eyes when they are telling you how they feel?

Looking into their eyes when they are telling me what they feel. I sometimes think that I would rather be lied to therefore, if I look into their eyes, I will know the truth. The truth can hurt. Badly.
I have been hurt. Badly.

2. Think of the last time you were REALLY angry. WHY were you angry?

Honestly, when Little Jose betrayed me at work awhile ago (which I wrote about in a past entry). It was over something stupid, I admit but, the underlying currents that it represented and affected will always resonate with me. I have forgiven him. I understand why he did it but, it still hurt. He'll never know just how much. And I don't want him to.

3. You are on a flight from Honolulu to Chicago non-stop. There is a fire in the back of the plane. You have enough time to make ONE phone call. Who would you call?

I would call Miss Patti. She has always been my soul mate and I would want her to know just how pissed off I am that I am about to die so...unfabulously! And, I would trust her to convey my wishes of love and farewell to all who know/knew me.

4. You are at the doctor's office and she has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. (1) Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? (2) What do you do with your remaining days? (3) Would you be afraid?

1) I wouldn't tell a soul.
2) I would put things in order, quietly. I would write long, heartfelt letters to my closest friends for them to have after I am gone. I would spit in the face of everyone I have ever wanted to. I would continue to enjoy the blessed life that I have until the last dying day.
3) I would be angry. Very, horribly angry. We are all given the same thing. One chance at life. And now my chance would be over.

5. You can have one of the following two things: trust/love. Which do you choose?

Trust. I have had love. Trust is better. Way better.

6. You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late even once more, you are fired. Do you save the dog?

I want to say I would save the dog but, I really don't know. It's not that I would be afraid of losing my job, I have been fired before so that's not the reason. It would depend on my mood that day, what I am wearing, what time of day it is, and...well...it's only a dog. Pets are like Kleenex, there's always one in the box waiting when you need them. That sounds cold but, unless I can get a good story out of it, I probably wouldn't save the dumb dog.

7. You are unfaithful to your spouse/significant other. Do you tell him/her? Why or Why not?

That depends. If I was just horny and I cheated because I was satisfying a need and I don't want to see that person again, then probably not. If I was cheating and began to develop feelings for the "other" person, then yes, it's best keep things honest and let my significant other know.

8. Your best friend confesses that he/she has feelings for you more then just friendship. He/she is falling in love with you. What do you do/say?

This has happened to me a few times and it's always best to be direct and TO THE POINT. If you are nice about it, you are setting them up into thinking they may have a chance with you and that makes your relationship with them into something neither of you want. I have also been on the other end and believe me, it's no picnic fawning over someone for a long time when nothing will EVER happen.

9. Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give one year of your life. Do you do it?

No. Gregory wouldn't want me to give give up a year of my life so he could suffer another hour with the pain and misery of the effects of full blown A. I. D. S.

10. Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?

I said this to Little Jose just the other day. I told him that I don't deserve someone as nice as him to be my friend. That I would NEVER want to be my friend. I think I am horrible. In so many ways. I really don't know why people put up with me. I don't think the trade off is worth it. I am not saying this to get people to tell me how fabulous I am, believe me, I have many, many, many faults and they far outnumber any positives you can say about me.

11. Does love = sex?

The best sex I have ever had was with my love. Love does not equal sex, though. Not by a long shot.

12. Your boss tells your co-worker that they have to let them go because of work shortage, and they are the newest employee. You have been there much longer. Your co-worker has a family to support and no other means of income. Do you go to your boss and offer to leave the company?

I have recently sacrificed myself by accepting a promotion that was in name only, just to help my co-workers. Believe me, I lost so dearly with that decision. So, draw your own conclusions.

13. When was the last time you told someone HONESTLY how you felt regardless of how difficult it was for you to say? What did you have to tell the person?

I do it all the time. No, I am not running around being hateful but, if you ask me for the truth, I will give it to you. Both barrels. So, be warned. I recently had to tell my friend to shut the fuck up, I was tired of hearing the complaints, either change your life or live it and to stop bitching to me about it because I can't take it anymore. It didn't go over too well.

14. What would be (or what was) harder for you to tell a friend, you love them or that you do not love them back?

I tell my friends I love them all the time. They know when I don't love them and I never have to say it. Believe me, they know. Oh...Believe me!

15. What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose?

My eyesight. Umm...Being blind.

16. Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them? Who were they to you?

I told Chunkie that I love him. He's one of my closest friends.

18. Imagine. It is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. WHO do you wish was there with you?

Two people, actually. Smith & Wesson. O. K. How about Office Joe Falcone. He's my cop friend and believe me, a good man to have by your side in just such a situation. Hell, even if there wasn't a "situation"! He's hot!

19. Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying? why wouldn't you?

No. No reason. Just no.

21. You are holding onto your grandmothers hand and the hand of a newborn that you do not know as they hang over the edge of a cliff. You have to let one go to save the other. Who do you let fall to their death?

I guess the baby. My grandmother (neither of them are still alive) would have lived a long life and the baby would just be starting. Then again, imagine the gifts you would get for Christmas for saving the old girl's life.

22. Are you old fashioned?

In a lot of ways. I am very timely, I enjoy technology and current fashions and trends but, I like hand written letters, saying "please" and "thank you" and "have a nice day". I like politeness and courtesy in both speech and action.

23. When was the last time you were nice to someone and did NOT expect anything in return for it?

I don't do things in order to get something. I do them because they should be done.

24. Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a broken heart, or never loved at all? Why?

It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all. It's true and I am glad that I have loved.

25. If you could do anything or wish anything, what would it be?

What I always say, find the cure for aging. Take the cure for aging.

13 December 2006

Martini Kisses!

1. Are you drunk now? Hell yeah!
2. Last time you drank? I am drinking now.
3. When was the first time you drank? In the womb. They didn't know back then. Lucky me!
4. More of a beer or liquor person? Liquor. I don't even know her!
5. What type of drunk are you? You should never get drunk. Drunks are alcoholics. I am a professional!
6. Favorite Mixed Drink? Ketel One Vodka and an olive.
7. Favorite Beer? Guiness!
8. Favorite Shot? Depends on the bartender.
9. Top 5 Favorite beers? Ale, lager, stout, lite, cervesa.
10. More of a Bar or Club person? If they are serving alcohol down there, I am a gutter person! It's the cocktails, darhling, not the place.
11. Alcohol you absolutely despise? There is no such thing! My gods, who are you?! That's heresy!
12. Ever bought a stranger a drink? Always. Best. Sex. Ever.
13. Been thrown out of a bar/club for fighting? No. Damn!
14. Ever make out with someone in front of a cheering crowd? Just last night!
15. Ever buy a round for random people? Yes, when I am being watched by the "secret shoppers" I always give everyone a drink and NEVER get caught.
16. Best band you've seen while drinking? Dahling, there are too many to name.
17. Ever danced on a table? Why, yes.
18. Best town/area to drink in? Whatever town you are in/by the bar.
19. Do you forget a lot of what happens during a night of hard drinking? Of course.
20. Ever been drunk around your parents? My Aunt gave me my first drink at ten. So, yes.
21. What are the most shots you have had in one night? Ask Jennifer when I barbacked for her in the V.I.P.
22. Ever drank absinthe?Alas, no.
23. What gets you into trouble when you're drunk? My indignation. 24. Ever black out while having drunk sex? Umm...no.
25. Can you drink your friends under the table? Hell yeah!
26. Who is your favorite person to be DRUNK with? Little Jose is fun. Johanna is a hoot.

07 December 2006


You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

05 December 2006

Travels and Travails Part II (R)

Chapter II: Dinner With Regret
The long road lay ahead. We sit and chat along the way down to Maryland, watching the little changing scenery outside the windows of the S. U. V. Talking about this and that. Listening to the lids clatter on the containers in back of Thanksgiving dishes my Mother brought for dinner. Making small talk, because of the small mind that sat in back, next to my sister. Yes, I am referring to Bastard. My step-Father asks if he may be a little forward and, in a whispery tone, begins to inquire about my love life. I was a bit...taken aback. It's not every day my family is wondering about whom I am bedding and it's rather strange to hear Barry asking. Unfortunately for me, I am currently alone, which is not what you really want to be reminded of during the holidays. Of course, Barry was not being mean-spirited, far from it, he was actually trying to be a "Dolly Levi", a matchmaker. But, before he could give me the goods, so to speak, the conversation in back needed to include Barry and I so, we switched gears to talk about this later.
After passing through Pennsylvania and into Maryland, we begin the trek, literally, over the river and through the woods. And farmland, and woods, and more farmland. My Aunt couldn't find a home near a city, not even near a town. I wouldn't even call it a village. It's in the middle of nowhere. You need to pass the barn, three cows and a silo in order to get to her home. Coming from a cosmopolitan/urban environment that I do, even though I live in the "garden state", I find myself humming the song from Deliverance, wondering how I would ever get home if I were left here, in the middle of nowhere. "Squeal like a pig!", is ringing in my head.
We arrived at our destination and I see my Aunt at the door. She greets us and I am a bit shocked at how much she looks like my beloved and departed Nan. I had never really seen my Nan's features in my aunt before, as I do in my Mother, and it's a bit disconcerting but, comforting at the same time. It's as if, in a strange way, my Nan is still here, through her daughters.
We go in, their overstuffed dog underfoot, and make the rounds with the family, all of which I hadn't seen in a year. Everyone is looking different, and the same. A little older, a little sadder. We all know this is the last time we'll be together in this house and it's always kind of sad when there's change in the air. We gather around the island in the kitchen, where the alcohol is. Of course. We nosh on the cheeses and pepperoni, cream cheese stuffed celery, which I have always loved. We drink and toast. We catch up with each other about our lives. We compliment each other on how great we look. It's nice and comforting, being in the bosom of your kin and feeling that closeness with people who, even though you only spend maybe one or two times a year with, you still have that immediate love and acceptance, that familiarity that you only have with your family. We move from the kitchen to the living room, my Aunt has always had a beautifully decorated living room that no one is allowed to be in, that old fashioned "show room" that people had back-in-the-day. I guess, with this being the last dinner in Maryland, we were granted this special privilege.
My Mother sat with me on one of the armchairs and we picked up the conversation that I started in the car with her husband. The man they want to set me up with is cute, around my age, great shape, well traveled and...rich! Thanks for the early Christmas gift, I am thinking to myself as we gush and giggle about this whole situation. I hear the various conversations going on around the room between my cousin, second cousins, sister, and the rest of the family. It's good to be home, in a manner of speaking. I needed to get away, I needed this. I needed to be gossiping with my Mom, and smelling the turkey cooking, and hearing the warmth of voices I haven't heard in so long.
Dinner is ready. The turkey is gigantic. My Uncle Jerry does the honors, and I am in shock. There is no seating arrangement this year. You don't understand, THERE IS ALWAYS A SEATING ARRANGEMENT and you better not change or there's hell to pay with my Aunt. She decided this year that we could sit anywhere we wanted. Well, she did tell me that she's hitting seventy next year. Dear Lord, my Auntie Mame is going to be seventy. Well, I guess she's finally mellowing with age (don't you believe it). I sat on the end, as usual because I am left-handed and next to my cousin Dawn, who I have always been partial to and we ALWAYS sit together. Actually, looking around the table, we all sat where our usual seat assignments have traditionally been. I guess my Aunt knew what she was doing all along.
Dinner was wonderful. The prayer from my Uncle was sweet. I was full of food and the comfort of home. We had dessert, too many desserts and sat at the table for hours after dinner, drinking and talking. I must confess, I had to resist the urge to become MORTIMER the stage performer. They are family, not an audience, I kept reminding myself so, I sat back and enjoyed the stories being told, some of them including the...more embarassing moments of my childhood. No, I won't recount them here, they are just family stories and they will remain just that.
Finally, inevitabily, things were coming to a close. Our lives, our other selves that we are when we aren't together, needed to be gotten back to. We all began to say good-bye and hugged, kissed, promised to ring each other. I said farewell to my Aunt Janet and Uncle Jerry and Maryland and off we went, back throught farms and woods and back over the river. To home.
But first, I had to travel back from Philadelphia.
With my beloved sister.
And Bastard!
Coming soon: Chapter III Thanksgiving, Again?

01 December 2006

I Remember You

I remember Simone.
I remember Joe Wudski.
I remember Billy Kover.
I remember Paul Handus.
I remember David Hutchinson.
I remember Billy Karpiak.
I remember Lamont.
I remember Tonya.
I remember Everette.
I remember John.
I remember Brian.
I remember Miguel.
I remember Paul.
I remember Amilia.
I remember Gregory.
I remember Louis Pratico.
I remember all of my friends who died of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (A.I.D.S.), too many friends to mention without losing it.
I remember the pain and suffering you went through.
I remember all those who are now living with A.I.D.S.
I remember to do whatever I can to stop this.
I remember you.