Journal Feed

Coronavirus: You Are Loved @mkik808 #danceparty #youareloved


It's understandable to get depressed and be emotional these days - my God, I would be worried for someone if they WEREN'T flipping out.  Between the news and the panic as well as the indifference to a certain segment of the human community, I have been beside myself for days. There will be better days ahead but right now we're staying at home. I'm now on Day 18.

But yesterday I logged on to Mark Kanemura's Instagram feed  (I'd been hearing about it for days) - he throws an amazing dance party starting at 2pm PT / 5pm ET and the positivity and joy that emanate from him is infectious (in the not lethal way, of course!) :) 

I needed this emotional injection of positivity, energy, and joy, more than I can say. This man is provided the best source of healing for the grieving I am going through (click here for a great article about the grief we're all going through). 

It's 30 minutes of aerobic fun but frankly I was having a late afternoon nap when I logged on and didn't even get up at all. It threw me back to the mid 90s gay bar/club scene here in NYC - the same fun energy that kept me going back to Splash, Paladium, Limelight and more is present here.... 

Log on. Enjoy it. Move with Mark. Or just listen. I can't promise your life will be changed, but mine was. And I thank you, Mark for this. 

And remember: You Are Loved. 

Coronavirus: How's It Goin'?

PurellHow's it going? 

These days that simple question takes on a deeper meaning - because it's really about: how's your physical health? and how's your mental health? 

So, long story short - two weeks ago I was with someone who had been with someone who tested positive. OK so that IS a few degrees away but the person I was with had a cold and I thought it not unreasonable that I could have picked something up. I didn't and after 14 days I am still feeling 100% fine physically (although I have been sneezing a LOT - I suppose it could be allergies - they flare up so infrequently that I sometimes forget year to year that I even have them). 

Like many of us, I am feeling the pinch mentally. I swing wildly from one emotion to the other. You know. The same way you're feeling. 

It's not that I'm feeling it when it comes to working from home - I've done that most of the 16 years I've lived in my NYC apartment - but from my imagination dreaming up super scary outcomes to this. 

I try to stay present but my mind keeps drifting towards possible futures. 

As you are probably also feeling, containing those emotions is a lot of work. 

Thankfully I had planned on taking this week off, and although our travel plans got called off and my partner, a medical professional, had his vacation time revoked, I decided to keep mine. I had waffled about this but my boss was insistent and perhaps that was a good call. 

So I'm at home but unable to sit still. I made a list of a dozen projects but I am struggling to muster up the energy to do much on any of them... and then I kick myself for not making better use of this time 'off'. 

Sound familiar? 

I'm doing my best to breathe, be grateful, and laugh. And there are some crazy/funny memes out there. So, in the spirit of mental health, here's one of my favorites: Girl With the Purell Earring. I hate that I didn't think of that!! :) 

What are YOU doing to take care of you  - and most importantly, how's it goin'?  

Coronavirus: Things That Go Bump In the Night

89883088_10158043396345351_8295240195578527744_nOk, like many of you, I am working from home, scrambling to simultaneously keep my work life going (and be there on the front lines of cancelling / rescheduling firm events) and my personal life (like, thinking ahead to everything that needs to be done in a different way now and having the patience to let go of the things that aren't going to happen right now - the gym, a party, the bar, etc). 

I am, at different times scared, sad, angry, and, at other times, I find myself finding the joy in everyday kindnesses.  

But, mostly, I'm just scared.

The fear ranges from the usual ("we're all going to die") to the extreme ("what if when we leave our apartments, we discover that we've been taken over by another country?"). 

The best thing I can advise any of you who are feeling the same push from their emotions as I am, is to simply breathe. Trite, I am well aware, but it does help. Stretch. Probably it wouldn't hurt you to maybe dance either by yourself, with your family, or through one of the online dance parties that have sprung up - I know there's one based out of LA and I imagine that there are others. We are spending time watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show since the boyfriend has never seen it (the things you learn about your loved ones in a crisis! lol) 

I just want to say that our ability as humans to cope with a pandemic is a true testament to what makes us pretty awesome. We figure it out. Somehow. Online concerts from people's living rooms? Fantastic! Free Opera? Sure! and you want to join me in viewing of the classic CINDERELLA on You Tube tonight March 20 at 8pm ET in conjunction with Playbill? Why not! 

There's a lot right now that we have no control over. But there is a lot that we do. Stay home as much as you can and stay away from other people when you go out is the most obvious, of course. 

But more importantly - for those who, right now at least, only hear things that go bump in the night, a wish: find things each day to be grateful for. Make a list if you have to. Tape it to the wall. I also recommend finding ways of making others feel better. For example, I'm composing hand written letters to send out over the weekend. I always find it nice to get a letter in snail mail and know that others feel the same way. 

Meanwhile, my plan for getting through this today is to breathe through my fear, focus on doing one thing at a time, and watch Mary Tyler Moore. You know, she can turn the world on with her smile and that is certainly helping us! 

Coronavirus: Working from Home

CheeseheadblogIt's been a week since I started working from home - it doesn't feel that odd to me since I spent many years working from home as a freelance event producer. But to be in a corporate job and working from the same table I produced hundreds of fundraisers from is a little strange. 

I've already learned a few things from being at home - 

  1. If you can't remember the last time you showered, it's time for you go take one. 
  2. Ditto, if you can't remember how long you've been wearing the same t shirt.

The best advice that I can give you if you've never worked from home before is this - it's tempting to treat this as a vacation and get lazy, but that's not going to help you personally or professionally - so, get up at the same time every morning, shower and dress for the day even if the 'dress for the day' is a t shirt and jeans. No one said you had to dress UP, just get dressed. 

The wonderful people I work with are, like all of us, stressed and scared, so today on a team call I wore a cheesehead hat. It was a bit of a gamble, because I was after all at work, but people thought it was funny (as I hoped they would) and someone mentioned that it was good to laugh. 

The other thing that I am forgetting is that I'm not on house arrest and that it's not like there's been a nuclear war - I CAN go outside and take a walk or rent/ride a bike. After a week, it might be time to do so. 



Monday, March 9th, 2020 #birthday #happybirthday

BirthdaygummiBLOGGood morning! Today is March 9th and I'm taking the day off my job to celebrate my birthday - no big plans, really, and it looks like it's going to be a gorgeous day! 

Being in the corporate events world, we are dealing with internal cancellations, contingency plans for  mitigating financial loss as well as providing steady support for stakeholders. Keeping a calm head while under crisis is kind of what we do. Mostly this involves a good sense of humor and distilling problems into small bite sized action items. 

In between dealing with that, I've continued to repaint the place. It's not always 100% where I want it to be, but it's already a million times better than it was. That's kind of like life, I guess. But the entire place is done except for the long hallway where I hang all of our art. It's been a deep orange for nearly a decade and I need a change but haven't yet figured out what's next. It's a process, I suppose. And let me tell you, we always say we live in a tiny place, but it's not until one has to paint the whole thing does one really understand how much space one really has. 

Speaking of process, I'm learning how to create art in Procreate on an ipad - So far, my biggest learning curve is to just get used to how it works ("why is the pen only erasing SOME of the lines?", for example). I think I'll get the hang of it especially if I take it slow. Again, it's distilling problems into small bite sized action items, like 'how do I turn this on, again?" ;) 

As with every birthday in the modern age, I love the Facebook and LinkedIn birthday cascade; it's really the primary reason I love the platforms as much as I do. So, thanks to those of you reading this have reached out; it's appreciated. 

Now, I'm off to enjoy the day, I hope you're able to do the same!

Feel the Burnsey

I don't really talk politics here too often but I have to say that watching candidates tearing each other up during the election process is a huge turn-off. I know that politics is a game of dirty pool and if one doesn't talk like that about their opponent, then another one will... and ultimately, it seems to me, the American public will become disinterested unless the whole thing plays out like some old timey wrestling show.

I would say that's a very modern thing, but history teaches us that no, that's not true; it has been like this for most of our history... and probably has been like this since time began. Maybe that's just human nature. I don't want it to be, but I'm pretty sure it is. 

Thankfully there are are a lot of things that are a lot more interesting to me that are also human nature - love, compassion, honesty, humor. I want us to focus on those, but, admittedly, to most people, those things are not that thrilling. At least not as thrilling as some old timey wrestling show. 

I made this graphic in 2016 mainly because I'm a huge (HUGE) fan of the 1972 movie, WHAT'S UP DOC and I thought it would be funny if Eunice ("I am not A Eunice Burns, I am THE Eunice Burns!") ran for President. It worked out great due to the Sanders campaign, of course. This popped up in my FB feed over the weekend and I thought I would share it with you because it makes me giggle. 

I think I need as much of a sense of humor and I can get these days and I'll bet you feel the same. Hang on! 



So as it's already mid-February and supposed to be 50 degrees today here in NYC, and the amount of snow that we've had in New York has been roughly, about zero, I think all the signs point to winter being over. Yes, I know we technically have a few weeks left, but any snow we get will just go away immediately anyway. Bummer.

I love snow especially when I'm inside with my honey and we're watching the world get snowed under from our south facing bedroom windows so this winter has been kind of a bust for me but I suppose it's nice for us city dwellers not to have to deal with subway closures and slush... still, I miss it.  

I made this graphic up a few years ago and it came up in my 'memories' on the Facebook. I also wrote that the so-called snowpocalypse had turned out to be a kind of a bust. But I thought I would post the graphic anyway because I'm pretty proud of it and besides, who doesn't love a little Godzilla first thing in the morning? 


Nothing more to say at this time..  have a great day! 

Super! Cold! Saturday! Things! @tiffanyandco


Good morning and happy Saturday - hope that you had a great Valentine's Day - I spent part of yesterday braving Tiffany for a piece of Italian glass I've had my eye on for some time. I knew the Mister would love it (I wasn't wrong) so in I went. It actually was not as zooey as I thought it would be. I did have a "moment" while getting this shot of the Empire State Building built out of Tiffany blue boxes - my crazy fear of heights rears its head again.

There was a time, years and years ago, when I was in Trump Tower and nearly lost my footing and pitched over the edge. That it, by the way, a metaphor for how I feel about the last three years, but I generally try to eschew too much political talk on this blog. I mean, if you don't already know my political affiliation by me being a middle aged gay New Yorker, then nothing else I can say will help you figure that out. As usual, I'm against anything that will kill me, my family and/or the planet. 

As for the Vday itself, we had dinner at a little seafood restaurant in our 'hood - it was amazingly good and the meal was topped off by a complimentary slide of chocolate lava cake (they certainly knew their audience). I would tell you the name of it but I've learned my lesson - don't tell people about fabulous restaurants because then they'll go and it will be too crowded for us! LOL (I should add here, that this is more or less just 'snarky' as I don't think for a moment that me telling the name of this place on this blog will cause an avalanche of patrons to descend upon this place, but hey, you never know so I'm not taking any chances). :) 

Today, Saturday, it's a super cold day here in NYC so we spent the morning lazing around the apartment in jammies, making banana bread and sipping super incredibly strong Bustelo.... I would like to have used the cold as an excuse to just not go anywhere today, ah, but errands called as did an out of town friend who requested a dinner meet up, how can I say no? :)

But there are worse ways to spend a chilly Saturday afternoon than wrapped up in a blanket on the couch watching movies and occasionally dancing around the apartment to "Staying Alive" (BeeGees rule!)

Tomorrow, it's supposed to be summer (comparatively). Welcome to the new normal for climate: if you don't like the season you're currently experiencing, wait a few minutes. (see also being against things that will kill me, my family and/or the planet). 

Amazon and the Temple of Unhelpfulness #amazon #amazonfirestick @amazon

AmazonblogHope everyone reading this had a great weekend - we got stuff done, I did some reading, I watched some TV and I cracked open my new Ipad and figured out how to start using it to draw.

Unfortunately I also spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make an Amazon Firestick work that we got from a friend at Christmas. We waited this long to use it because so often in the modern world, these electronic devices are just mass produced and thrown out into the world without any instructions. I guess they figure people will figure it out on their own. But more often than not, we don't. And then when we reach out for help, we are cross examined as though we are on a witness stand for manslaughter. 

I got on an Amazon customer service chat mainly to see if what I was seeing was an error, or the normal process... I ended up being grilled about the order number even though I stated several times that it was a gift and I didn't have the order number. After 20 minutes of that nonsense, I called Amazon customer service and got a similar go round. 

I put it out to Facebook friends, one who suggested a factory re-sent, which I tried to do following their directions and that didn't work either. 

In any event, I've plugged it in the HDMI port on the TV, I get the Amazon and Firestick logos, and then a screen that says it's "optimizing system storage and applications" and to wait for ten minutes. I've seen that screen roughly two dozen times over the past three days. It's like my TV is having a GROUNDHOG DAY  but without Bill Murray. 

As you can imagine, the joy of the gift has faded and been replaced with an undefinable rage at a culture that assumes, I guess, that we're all either 15 years old or have a degree in engineering. Neither is true, just in case you were wondering. 

You know, if someone in NYC was looking for a self-run business and even remotely tech-savvy, they could really clean up being hired to help people fed up with trying to help people figure out these devices.  Just puttin it out there (and if someone does start this business, my payment for the idea is that Im you're first customer).

So we'll continue logging on to our apps through our laptop and then hooking the laptop up by a cord to the TV. It ain't perfect, but everytime we get annoyed when we have to do that, we'll just remember this weekend and it won't seem so bad. 

Saying Thanks for the Flowers

Flowers blogSo in my mad whirl to unload, decrease, move forward, I've been taking inventory on many things in my life. Now, it's unrealistic to expect that I can do 'everything' at once, so I have been trying to give myself a bit of latitude to make forward movement every day even if it's a tiny thing; a tiny step forward is still a step forward. 

It's with this in mind that I come to two small bouquets of dried flowers that have been sitting in a vase for seven and a half years - when my mom died in September 2012, two friends sent me bouquets and they both landed in a vase where they have sat for this entire time. They've been a constant reminder of her passing and the pain of that and so I feel that now might be the time to let them go. They are brittle so I don't think that they can be pressed and after a little bit of a search online, it looks like my only options would be to make potpourri from them or put them in soap. I don't think I'll do either but those are nice thoughts. 

So today I say thanks for the flowers - the first from Dan, a guy I had started a long distance relationship with at the time and the second from a friend, Jodie, who has been there for me many times over the years in ways that were unexpected and beautiful. 

I will miss my mom til the day I die but I have other reminders of her in my life and dead flowers aren't the way to celebrate her, my friends, or myself. At least, not anymore. It's a seeming small step, but being ready to move on from the daily reminder of a painful past, might be the biggest step of them all.