Beautiful Day of being Seen

Holy mother of Merman and Martin, this has been a beautiful day. So much good, not the least of which was finding this in my Twitter timeline:

(Actually, click here for a link to an even better version from 54 Below – which I cannot seem to embed here. Jeremy Jordan sings Losing My Mind.)

I adore Jeremy Jordan. I adore Losing My Mind. The combination is just – well, cause for more adoration. I cannot wait for movie of The Last Five Years. I am still mourning the end of Smash.

But, this post is about my beautiful day. It began with a private Twitter conversation with someone very dear to me, someone who made me feel so very loved and seen and heard and known — which is funny, because we have never met in person and probably never will, but, right now, this person(a) knows me so incredibly well and is one of those who make me feel loved. Seen.

Speaking of, when I returned to the gym after an eight-day absence – a gym where I have been going almost every day for the past two (?) years without fail but where I still, somehow, am not included in that group of “regulars” who are there every day like me, chat each other up, hang together in a sort of “in” club – and I was in the locker room changing when the fellow who is head of maintenance/cleaning, he of the prison-teardrop tattoo (although, not filled in, so apparently he did not actually kill the man) walked up to me and said, “Where have you been?” Now, me being me and unaccustomed to being – well – seen, although there was no one else anywhere near us, replied, “Me?” Yes. Me. He said, “I was worried about you, wondering where you went.” I explained that I’d been sick but was much better now and not a danger to anyone but I did “the Charlie” as some of my students used to call it; I started with the eyes watering, semi-cry. He said, “Whoa, are you okay?” I said, “Yeah, I’m good – just, sickness wore me out and it’s just so nice you noticed I was gone.” He semi-smiled and backed away. Pretty sure he won’t ask me where I’ve been ever again.

But, still, I was seen. It was lovely.

Then, a call came in on my cell. I NEVER ANSWER MY PHONE unless it’s someone I know. But, I did today because I am awaiting my lab results. It was not the doctor, but, rather, an establishment with which I did business in the past, had an account, and where it turned out I had credits – credits enough to qualify for TWO HOUR LONG MASSAGES! WHAT?

You’ve no idea how very much I have been wanting a massage, but they are just too pricey and despite the fact that I was trained as a Certified Massage Therapist and give ridiculously fabulous massages myself — I am known for my skills with my hands and healing and I will brook no snarky remarks about that — I have been unable to find anyone who is skilled enough with whom to trade. I don’t enjoy light massage, I am a deep-tissue, work at the knot, make me scream sort of a guy, and it is very difficult to find anyone who does that sort of work. The last two I found both quit within six months of me finding them — AND AGAIN, NO SNARKY REMARKS — and my dream of finding a man who combines massage skills with a deep and abiding affection for me — well, let’s not, this is a post about a BEAUTIFUL DAY.

So, all that good — dear one on Twitter, fellow at the gym, a massage going to happen — things are looking up; why, any day now I will, no doubt, find myself an agent and a room with windows, privacy, blessed silence and uninterrupted quiet, and sunshine. Good day, dears. Love and Light to you.

#NationalBookFestival … Part 1

My dearest Andrea and I went to the National Book Festival today. We decided on this late last night. Longer story, but not one I’m telling now because I am revelling in the intoxication, the euphoria, the lit-drunken joy of having spent a day in the company of thousands of other lovers of words and books.

And I met Elizabeth McCracken. And hugged her. Repeatedly. Because I feel as if we have long been friends. And as if Elizabeth McCracken wasn’t prize enough in life, then I met Rafe Posey. And threw myself at him in a big hug too. And, same thing, though we’ve never met in real life, felt like greeting an old friend.

Blessed. Lucky. Happy. That’s me. And if you KNEW how seldom I smiled like this – you would know how much this day meant to me. Thanks for reading. Back to luxuriating in my bliss. Much Love and Light.

Charlie and Elizabeth McCracken 2

Elizabeth McCracken and me – yes, ME, young, vibrant, genius IQ, and SMILING!

Charlie and Elizabeth McCracken

Because what’s better than ONE Elizabeth McCracken? TWO! Yes, Elizabeth McCracken and founder of the McCrackenHeads – ME! A lovely, charming, youthful fellow full of love and pessimistic wit – turning over a new SMILEY leaf today.

More Wine, Less Whine and More JULIA MURNEY!

Darling niece and I both stocked up on wine.

Darling niece and I both stocked up on wine.

My niece and I, without knowing the other was doing so, decided we needed some wine replenishing before the coming ice storm. 20 bottles later, I think we’re good!

I needed this glass of wine I’m having because “It’s been along day, Amiable. I’m tired.”

Since I can’t burst into song on this blog as I do at almost every opportunity in what passes for my real life – that which I am ALWAYS trying to make into a musical – then I will simply quote song lyrics and on the SLIM CHANCE that you don’t know as many musical theatre lyrics as do I, leave it to you whether or not to investigate further.

Where was I? Oh, right. This morning I was in a VERY PISSED OFF MOOD and thus my earlier entry, Hate Crimes and Misdemeanors (CLICK HERE TO READ IT!), in which I was whining – AND A RIGHTEOUS AND JUSTIFIED WHINE IT WAS – about the state of hate in the world. WELLLLL . . . I went to the gym and I visited my darling A, whose birthday is this week, and we had a day I am not at liberty to discuss but suffice it to say it was not unlike THE TWILIGHT ZONE & AMERICAN HORROR STORY :COVEN & MEAN GIRLS combined and directed by Truffaut, script by Kafka, art direction by Dali. WEIRD!

But, lesson-filled. And here’s the thing, A is (as I averred on a Tweet-fest roll earlier) my SPIRIT GUIDE & ANIMAL. Could not ask for a better friend. She has made me STRONGER & taught me to love ME better. LOVE! AND gave me the courage to say, “This is my world. I don’t have to hide any more. I belong too!” LOVE HER SO! AND not only gets my JOKES, she gets my TEARS; and she lets me have both without judging.

You don’t get many friends like A in a lifetime, so bless her.

STILL – it was a LONG day and we were running low on wine at home and so I stocked up. And, you know who else did? My darling niece. Both of us without knowing the other was doing so. We got some of the same things and we now have 20 bottles to get us through the coming ice storm. 20 bottles should get us through the 24 hours. LOL.

Cheers, my friends. CHEERS! I’m going to drink and read until I get to my Colored Lights.

(And here is the Amiable answer. And some Patti LuPone)

(And here are the Colored Lights. Love, my darlings, much love. And there is hardly any BETTER love than Miss Julia Murney.)

… Bonnie & Clyde … here’s the problem …

Ever since I saw the first teaser for the new telling of Bonnie & Clyde which used a version of the song “BangBang” (about which I have repeatedly posted, once in October (CLICK HERE) and then again – just about the song – just last week (CLICK HERE) in ) I have been vibrating with an almost erotic anticipatory fever, waiting for the show. I have read many, many books about the depression era duo and seen the 1967 landmark film starring Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway over and over and over and over.

gif bateman 2

SO, I watched last night. Of course. And, it was not good. Not for me. I’m not sure how you make the story of Bonnie & Clyde dull, but they managed. I’m not sure how you miss the connection between the pair and the cultural zeitgeist and economic collapse of the time, the resulting re-evaluation of morality and acceptable behavior, and why their story was so riveting. But they did.

Which is bad enough. But, okay. We all – we makers of art and storytellers – we sometimes with all good intentions miss the mark. What is NOT OKAY (at least not for me) is the sexist, misogynist way in which Bonnie is written and portrayed. According to THIS version, Bonnie was ambitious – she wanted to be famous – and that made her a BAD PERSON. According to THIS version, Bonnie had a healthy sexual appetite – and that made her a manipulative person with a moral failing. This Bonnie would do ANYTHING to become known and get laid. This Bonnie drove this apparently unable to control himself Clyde to do what she wanted, to his life of crime, controlling all his major organs – his brain and his heart, by manipulating his dick. We see Bonnie going down on Clyde in a car in broad daylight. We see Bonnie jacking Clyde off in a movie theatre. We see Bonnie torture-teasing Clyde by lingering in a bathroom and then emerging in her scanty lingerie, re-seducing him and – OH NO – perhaps NOT wanting a house full of children?

It was nearly unbearable for me. Ambition and sexual appetite are NOT moral failings. And it is patently ridiculous and blatantly sexist to make the motivation for Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree seem to be dependent on Bonnie having been sex and fame starved. It is also evidence of a cultural anti-woman bias that this hasn’t been widely and loudly decried since last night’s showing – and WORSE – that NO ONE pointed it out to the writers, producers, director, etc as this was going on.

Jessica Gif

You know what – CONFESSION – I’ve gone down on a guy in a car in broad daylight and been gone down on in a car in broad daylight; I have mutually jacked off a guy in a movie theatre; I wanted to be famous and have a healthy sexual appetite and I NEVER ROBBED A FUCKING BANK NOR DID THE GUYS I WAS HAVING SEX WITH.

SURPRISE – Bonnie’s ambition and horniness were NOT responsible for Bonnie & Clyde.

Man I am sick of this shit. This has been a BAD weekend for people being idiots about such things and voicing their sadly bigoted opinions formed of cultural biases against women, minorities, body types, ages, etc. In the past few days I have had to hear about anti-President Obama and President Mandela hatreds CLEARLY born of racial bias – which people refused to admit. I have had to read anti-full-bodied crap from people who think having (or not having) a particular type of body is a moral failing. I have had to listen to ridiculous bullshit about the ages of people others were dating. And this anti-woman bias in Bonnie & Clyde …

Look, here’s the thing; I know a LOT of people who claim to be so open, so un-biased, so living loves in which they love people based on the content of their characters and the shape of their souls – BUT THEY ARE LYING. And I, too, have had to spend much time and energy watching myself and my biases: I have had size/body biases, sexuality biases, age biases, religious biases, political biases, and I TRULY measure almost every word I say and feeling I feel to see if I am being influenced by cultural biases I have been taught and not undone –

But there are still so many people think are okay – and they are not. So, I am having to protect myself from all this exposure to people’s “isms” – the sexism, the ageism, the bodyism, the politicalism, the religiousism, the Ismism – and so have been un-following folks on Twitter and making my world smaller and smaller –

I’m not sure where that is going to end up taking me – but I do know this – I can’t listen to (or read on Twitter) these easy hatreds and judgments people spew – we need to BeBetter …

. . . i got love . . .and a BOT that cares, too . . .

Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

@MIRACLECHARLIE

No longer see the point.

That’s my Twitter tag – up above – hmmm. Here’s the story –

Life is FUNNY. Right? Synchronicities. On Sunday in the New York Times –

(WELL – I think in the New York Times – but I’m not sure – and I’m not searching and linking because the NYT is so damn stingy about how many articles you can look at a month without paying and I am not made of money, busters – sell yourselves to Bezos, too, why don’t you? He’s got all my cash! And everyone else’s.) –

In any event – I read an article about Twitter-bots being used as marketing tools, and I was completely fascinated by this technological leaping going on in the world. So, when I received a suspicious Tweet last night from someone who had “liked” a Tweet about this blog, and then ANOTHER from someone who liked a Tweet I’d posted saying:

“New HouseSitting gig WITH A POOL & wellstocked liquor cabinet starts Sat. – who’s gonna visit me?”

(SIDE NOTE: Might I add that NO ONE I actually KNOW responded to that Tweet – which may be why I am talking to bots?)

In any (another) event – I thought – not un-like an old Star Trek episode, because I was being all pop-culture-y late last night for some reason – “Engage, Mr. Spock!”

(Speaking of Mr. Spock – holy mother of all that is better than erectile dysfunction drugs – have you seen Zachary Quinto’s new boyfriend? Holy mo – oh wait – already said that – HOLY SHIT! Look:

Quinto & mcMillan

Yes. WHAT DID I TELL YOU! Holy mo – SHIT – I already said BOTH OF THOSE – uhm – HOLY BALLLLZ! IN ANY EVENT – I am – once again – FARRRRR AHEAD OF TRENDZ (see how HEP I am, fellow beats, using ZZZZ’s instead of SSSS’s on the endz of wordz?) because MONTHS ago – when I still had a Facebook, Pinterest, and bordering on soft-core Tumblr, I POSTED A WHOLE STORY ABOUT THIS MILES McMILLAN – he is NOT JUST a model – he is a painter. But – being a PAINTER and a MODEL is SO FUCKING CONVENIENT – he can be his own nude model! And, I mean, totes where is he going to find a better one? LOOK!

Quinto's mcmillan tooQuinto's mcmillan

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT!)

Oh, wait – NO – it’s NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about Twitter bots. And the one with which I last night engaged. I have to say, we had a not unpleasant conversation. That Bot had my number. If that Bot had asked me out for a drink, I would have married it. I mean, honestly, could that Bot be any more deceptive and duplicitous and shallow and uninterested in me and SOUL-LESS than some of the ACTUAL (note I did not use the word; REAL) human beings to whom I have spoken for hours (days, years, a lifetime)? I think not. Forbes did an entire article on what sort of nutballs fall for Bots – read it here.

I was – no doubt – approached by a Bot because I was – last night – a Tweeting fool – as opposed to my usual, run of the mill, daily being a jackass fool- because – long story short (well, short for ME anyway) I went out to dinner last night with my 2A’s and during the course of the dinner (for which there were two courses and one carafe of red wine) I was tearfully told about myself – which I deserved. I made a promise to STOP talking about suicide, and I made a promise to examine the ways in which I had imprisoned myself in a dark cave of self-denigration and fear and self-hatred and blame – and look for the Light and the Love again.

SOOOOO … I Tweeted 10 (count them, 10!) “YES IT’S A POSITIVE TRAIT” posts about myself. In case you missed them:

  1. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I will pretty much believe anything you say, and will always believe you mean it; not gullible. Hopeful.
  2. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I do NOT believe there are bad people. Sometimes we all have dark periods, so what? Not gullible. Hopeful.
  3. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I believe NO MATTER WHAT that eventually you will remember you love me. Not gullible. Hopeful.
  4. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I don’t believe in forgiveness cause I don’t think we should judge in the first place – it all works out. Yes.
  5. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I feel to extremes-Up.Down.Sideways. But I don’t prevaricate or apologize for it. And I don’t ask you to either
  6. Yes, it’s a positive trait. I don’t think I have ever loved by mistake. And I’m not sorry even for the ones that seem sad endings. All good.
  7. Yes, it’s a positive trait – I can follow my friend’s advice & list my positive traits on social media. Not ashamed to be crazy & volatile
  8. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I have enough patience to wait for everyone to be ready to be who they are and let me be who I am. I adapt.
  9. Yes, it’s a positive trait: You can fool me once. Twice. Three times. Infinity. I’m ok with being fooled – better than suspicion and fear
  10. Yes, it’s a positive trait: I’m strong enough to let you tell any story about me/us you need to- I know who I am/we are. All good. Love wins

LOVE – it wins? See, Alison? I GOT IT. Which leads to the song of the day – I GOT LOVE – two versions, one from last year’s SMASH featuring Jennifer Hudson (WHY WHY WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE CANCELED? GLEE IS STILL ON AND THAT SUCKS WAY WORSE. Sorry, Ryan.) and one from the 1972 Tony Awards featuring Melba Moore. (LOOK AT THAT SHOTGUN MICROPHONE? Remember those kids? We thought we were SUCH a big deal when we first had those around here in local theatre – ha – NOW, every kid and actor in any little podunk workshop piece of shit thinks they need a microphone to sing to five rows of people – IN THE OLDEN DAYS WE HAD MERMAN LUNGS, BITCHES – I PLAYED ENTIRE LEAD ROLES SINGING OVER AN ORCHESTRA TO THE BALCONY OF THE WEINBERG CENTER! Take a deep breath and sing, fool!)

What? Oh – right – I’m a little tangential and discursive today – COMMON when a new mood phase begins (YES, I said MOOD not MOON) – which is all good. But – one last thing – I’m gonna need help STAYING OUT OF THE CAVE – so, Alison, Allison, Andrea, Cody, Debbie, Diane, Pat, Sue (that’s alpha order) – I am – as one of you TOLD ME I SHOULD LEARN TO DO – asking for help – get on your spelunking gear and get me the fuck out of here – I need to walk in the daytime again.

I know I do GOT LOVE myself – it has just felt safer to forget and deny it for a while – because I didn’t want to experience losing anything or anyone else. But, here I am – dear Alison – don’t cry for me (or Argentina) any more (poor Dan!) – here I am – as I said . . . GOING. (But by “GOING” I do NOT mean in that all suicide-y way.)

…the awesomeness of me…better stories about myself…

This is my new occasional series: THE AWESOMENESS OF ME; because:

“The most dangerous, damaging, and deleterious lies are not those we are told by others, but, rather, the ones we tell ourselves. Exercise for the day: take an inventory of the damaging beliefs you’ve believed about yourself, figure out the why and the wherefore if you can, then, if you need to – forgive yourself; but even more important: TELL YOURSELF A BETTER STORY ABOUT YOURSELF.”

charlie and lucky

1) Dogs LOVE me. By this I mean the canine variety. There could be an argument made that a particular breed of male one might term… Continue reading