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December 2014

Those Darn Days of Christmas and a Happy New Year Wish

Well, the best laid plans and all that stuff.

As you might remember, I had been writing some posts about a really great celebration of the season that I'd planned - 12 days of fun things with daily reports and pictures.

And then I got really sick. I'm better now but for the past two and a half weeks I was like the walking dead.

51JH2CC3M0LThankfully, I'm better now especially after having spent a couple days with the phone(s) and teh internets turned off (it really does make a difference, I highly recommend it) and sitting down to read a good book. In this case, I sat down with a comic book series, Astro City, published since 1995. There've been four different eras over about 70 issues. I highly recommend it. You don't need to go on a marathon tear like I did, but they are definitely worth checking out. Mostly they focus on how more or less ordinary people react to a world of super heroes. Start with the collection "Life in the Big City" (collecting the first six issues) and if you like that, there are 7 more volumes after that.

In any event, I look forward to catching up with those that I missed seeing in December and best wishes to all for a fabulous and amazing 2015! 

Jumping 4 Joy on My 4th Day of Christmas (Dec 13)

As some of you know, I've been down for the count, sick this past week. Nothing more serious than a bad cough and aches and pains topped off by some dizziness and a little nausea. Thankfully, most of that has passed but now I'm sniffling/sneezing my brains out. Fun fun fun.

ArtworkBLOGI spent my 4th day of Christmas, Saturday Dec 13 with my friend Scott hanging art in my apartment. I had decided that, after I'd had various walls painted some weeks ago, that I was tired of having the artwork stacked up on the guest room bed or along the wall, so over pizza, we spent the day getting everything up on the wall. It's not 100% done but it was quite an accomplishment (I have a lot of art and a lof of framed photos of friends). And I'm resisting the urge to post a pic of Scott wearing the cheesehead that Kristen gave me.

Later, I made my way downtown to an annual Xmas party thrown by my friends Gil and his hubby Scott (not the same one as above). Drank a lot, ate a lot and ran into people I hadn't seen in a long time including one who I last saw on TV when his show got a Tony last spring. This was someone who had a bad couple career years at the same time that I did and we had commisserated then and celebrated now. Just goes to show you - that even though things look bleak now, in no time at all, things can change for the better. That's not a bad message to get at Christmas is it?

And with that, I will catch up with you over the weekend on the other days of Christmas. See you then! 



Jumping 4 Joy on My 3rd Day of Christmas (Dec 12)

In addition to 12/12 being the 2nd wedding anniversary for two couples that I married - Teresa and Dec12wedding1BLOGMaria from San Francisco and David and Timothy from North Carolina (I'll get to those stories in a minute), 12/12 was the 3rd Day of My Christmas. How did I celebrate? Well, I spent the day in my pajama top, starting what could possibly be an inevitable slide into being that guy with the 12 cats and newspapers piled up to the ceiling. OK, not really. The super had to do some work in my apartment and, not knowing what time he was coming, I bummed around the apartment for part of the morning (I took the day off) waiting for him to arrive. I got engrossed in, what else, Facebook, and suddenly he was here and I grabbed the first thing I could find to wear - which just happened to be the shirt from my PJs. Yes, I sometimes wear PJs to bed on really cold nights. I'll let that image burn itself into your brain for a minute. :)

Anyway, we got involved in getting a problem fixed and it took much longer than expected. I had to run outside a couple times to do errands and it wasn't until later on in the afternoon that I realized I was still wearing the PJ top. See? I've become that guy. This is how it starts - today a PJ top worn as a 'real' shirt and tomorrow I'm spooning beefaroni from a can. (Ok who am I kidding? That sounds delicious).

DandysXmas2014I finally pulled it together and met my pal Ro for dinner down on the Lower East Side followed by a show - Dandy Darkly's Fucking Christmas. Dandy is a storyteller and a friend of mine and I married he and his husband back in February 2013. The show featured another friend, Boylesque performer Matt Knife who runs a monthly show at Stonewall (yes THE Stonewall) and is also someone I married (with an asterisk but I'll get to that eventually)... as well as my very good pal and former Empress of the Imperial Court, Witti Repartee (whose wedding last February in Delaware was amazing).

TimDavidWedding121212BLOGSpeaking of weddings, two years ago I pulled double duty performing two weddings in about a two hour span. Here's how it happened - there were many weddings happening that day - 12/12/12 - and I booked two with plenty of travel time in between. But then one got pushed up, or pushed back, I'm not sure I remember now two years later, but it was a triumph of time management skills to give each couple the spectacular wedding they deserved. :)

Fortunately the weddings were close enough that I could make it happen - Teresa and Maria got married a venue in Chelsea and then Dave and Timothy were in 30 Rock plaza (you know, where I happened to be on my 2nd Day of Christmas). The 30 Rock wedding was a bit renegade as the families of both men gathered at a agreed upon time and place and I walked them all through the ceremony. To be honest, I worried that the police might ask us to move or that we'd get some lookie loos from the crowd... But although a crowd gathered, the grooms were only given congratulations and applause. This is of course a welcome relief to those of us who have experienced just how homophobic people can be.

It was such a quick ceremony and I was able to get back to Chelsea to make the gorgeous dinner (and cake). It was, in some ways, as though I had not left as they had spent the intervening time taking pictures.

So, happy 3rd Day of My Christmas and more tomorrow!

Jumping 4 Joy on My 2nd Day of Christmas (Dec 11)

On my 2nd Day of Christmas I had the opportunity to spend part of my afternoon playing Santa Claus for about a dozen children from Homes for the Homeless. I did this last year and it was a total blast and weeks and weeks ago I bugged the organizer to let me do it again. It so happened that it SantaHomesforHomelessBLOGoccurred just a couple hours from one of the holiday parties our department was organizing but even though it meant I ended up sprinting across the street to help finish my colleague set up.

But I'm so glad that I did. I spent many summers in the mid 90s working for the California Theater Center as an Artistic Director teaching and directing month-long conervatory sessions. The kids were aged anywhere from 8 to 14. For four summers I would trek out to Sunnyvale, CA - no matter that one summer my car died about 250 miles from Salt Lake or that another summer I had gone to work for another arts organization that proved to be really awful or that one summer I had to figure out how to cast and direct 50 kids in a shortened version of "Midsummer Night's Dream" - one that only had roles for about 30 - and the kids only had three weeks to memorize Shakespeare. But the kids did it - yes the same age group  from 8 to 14. Then, for a couple years I taught a weekly drama class for 7, 8 and 9 year olds at a now defunct theater here in New York. THAT was awesome and prompted one of the 8 year olds to declare that I was 'one of them', which I took as a compliment (I'm pretty sure that's how it was meant).

So coming into the room with a bag of toys for the kids and having them swarm and grab on to my leg was one of the best moments I've had in a long long time. I always wanted kids but being a single gay man has kind of worked against me in that department.

In any event, it's things like being Santa that kind of make up for that lack. And rousing the kids to "ho ho ho" was totally awesome. Then the kids scrambled up on my lap for presents and pictures. Mostly they were anxious - except one girl who was a little bigger (and maybe older?) than the other 4 to 6 year olds. When it was her turn, I called her over (like I had the other kids) and she came over, hesitated and said "I can't... I'm.... heavy".

I couldn't believe my ears - at what, 6 or 7 (?) she had already had someone knock into her head that "heavy" = "worthless" and a little bit of my heart broke. I encouraged her to come up anyway - and then so did the other kids. And I think my heart repaired itself a little as she climbed up. And you know what, she was just fine and btw not 'heavy' at all.

I wondered how she would fare and what road she'd have to take to get rid of that notion that she was 'heavy' and realize that she's just fine the way she is. If I were the real Santa Claus, it would be the first thing I'd do for her.

CityscapeBLOGAfter presents we sang and I left, changed, sprinted across the street to 30 Rock for an event at the Rainbow Room that we were managing. One of my colleagues thought he saw Tina Fey walking through the lobby and then we found out that the 30 Rock holiday party was happening at the same time - and we were like "yeah, that was definitely her".

And then I got to see the view from up there. The pic is a little fuzzy (iphone photo, you know) but you get the idea. So on Day 2 I Jumped for Joy for lots of reasons and looking forward to the coming days as well.


Jumping 4 Joy on My 1st Day of Christmas (Dec 10)

I'll admit it - the past six weeks or so I've been a little bit down in the dumps - it's nothing tragic, just a little "too busy with a demanding work schedule to have a personal life" slump. Nothing that's anyone's fault, just one of those things that happens to all of us once in awhile. And, frankly, it's been convenient that I haven't really been available for much as when I have gone out, my heart has not really been in it.

Now I don't think things just change, Jeannie-blink style,  I think that one has to do the little things to make the bigger changes over time.

So I've decided to organize the next couple weeks as  "The 12 Days of My Christmas" which encompasses some personal, some work, some social and some theater -  and it started this past Wednesday, December 10 as my manager at work and I took clients out to Robert, the restaurant at the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle. I have a special place for this one client as he's from Wisconsin and we had a very successful event there this past September. And as a special treat, it started to snow (first one of the season) and we got a great big show a few stories up.

CheeseheadsBLOGSpeaking of Wisconsin, when I was there managing that big event, I met up with Kristen, one of my most favorite people on Earth. She said "I'll be the one sitting there wearing the foam cheese head" which gave me a laugh - and even more so when I discovered that she totally wasn't kidding. So there we sat at a restaurant in Green Bay wearing cheese heads as if people just did that every day. And it was Green Bay so it just might. :)

Anyway, later, after work, I headed off to Industry (a popular gay bar for those who might not know) for the Open Fiance holiday party - a gay financial professionals networking group. There I ran into an old friend ("can you believe we've known each other ten years?" he asked me trying not to be reminded some days of my age) and a couple of other people I know from my days in nightlife. Free booze and fried things - I was happy. One might even say that I was Jumping for Joy. :)

Day 2 coming up later!