Mom, Rash, and Cumming. (That sounds bad.)


The Mother Unit

Long/short and without invading her privacy — not that I haven’t Tweeted her from here to queendom come already — my Mom was to have a procedure on Friday which is normally done in the doctor’s office, but because of her age, heart, and other medical concerns, it was done at the hospital.

As is always the case, she takes these things in stride. As is also always the case, we, her children, and she, end up amusing and entertaining the medical staff,and on departure we are hugging everyone. We are a family of huggers. I am, in fact, well known for my hugs both by those who have been shocked and put off by my embrace and those who yearn for my long, tight, back rubbing, soothing caresses, being enfolded in my love and light.

The outpatient surgical waiting area, complete with grand piano that plays itself. And the EVITA balcony. I wanted to, I really did, but I didn’t.

Once Mom went under, sister and I were sent out to the GORGEOUS waiting area, handed a buzzer like one gets when waiting for a table at a restaurant, and informed that the procedure would take about an hour.

Imagine my surprise when ten minutes later it started to vibrate. Imagine my horror when I went to the volunteer desk and said, “I think you buzzed the wrong buzzer, my Mom’s operation takes an hour.” And they said, “The doctor needs to speak with you right away,” and led me to the consultation room.

Short/long. She is fine. The procedure was unnecessary because the condition is a result of her aging, there is nothing to be done about it except make a few adjustments in behavior, and it is what it is.

Thank goodness I had listened to her when she’d INSISTED on getting her hair done the day before the procedure. I am less worried about the condition killing her than I am about her head exploding if her beloved Baltimore Orioles lose one more game to the Yankees she hates so much. Her screaming at the television is likely to result in burst blood vessels or a stroke. Or, maybe not, once again the medical staff each and every one did some variation of, “You are in amazing shape and health for an 89-year-old.”

She is. And it gives me hope that despite my recent medical travails, if I keep living, I’ll be able to keep living, in the way my mom, example for us all, has thrived and gone on. But speaking of my medical issues … there’s my …


My beautiful rash. I can’t even look at myself in the mirror when I take my clothes off, shower, etcetera, and I have to hide at the gym, which has DESTROYED my sauna game.

By this time tomorrow, I should finally have had the skin biopsy which has now been postponed three times, and be on the way (I hope) to solving the mystery of this ever spreading (well, it’s stopped now as everything from the neck down is covered — PLEASE don’t move up to my face), ever morphing in shape and texture, un-diagnosable (so far) or treatable rash (that is not really a rash) which has been going on since January. I will also, no doubt, have had my vasovagal syncope reaction to the numbing needles and passed out. I’ve been told the biopsy leaves only the tiniest of scars. Look, a tiny scar after months of being covered in dots and splotches seems a little thing — as long as it leads to a cure.

I need a cure, because, of late, I am also having issues with forgetfulness, a mind stutter where I seem to go offline for a few seconds, and there is joint pain, for example, this morning I can hardly move my right thumb, and I’m having chest constriction — which feels like anxiety but I don’t feel particularly anxious. Weird. I would like some answers.

But, look, I know I’m lucky. Look at my brave, amazing Mom who delivered six children, had three miscarriages, has had heart, kidney, and endless other surgeries, gets daily shots, has seen her parents, two husbands, all of her siblings, and one of her delivered children die, and  — she’s so dear — wanted to go with me tomorrow for my two-minute skin biopsy because, “I know how you feel about needles and you take me everywhere.”

I have, maybe, the greatest mother of all time.

And finally, CUMMING, of the Alan variety

Last night my dear A treated me to a night at the Kennedy Center where we saw Alan Cumming performing his Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs, which A had already seen twice — once in its original iteration at the Cafe Carlyle and another time at Strathmore Concert Hall. A is a devoted fan of Mr. Cumming. I confess I had never seen him live, ever, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I can say with 100% sincerity, my experiencing of Alan’s one night stand was a great time.

The Carver Twins

More Carver Twins because … well, look.

I also must confess, I was a little disappointed that I did not see the Carver Twins, Charlie and Max, in the audience. I knew they were in D.C. for the climate march and I thought I’d heard they (or, at least Charlie) were going to be at the concert. If they were, they were well hidden. Alas. Although, probably fine because while I do have an undeniable appeal to young men with daddy-issues, with Alan being 52 and right there, clearly available and more than able (those pants were tight and obviously bothering him as he kept adjusting his estimable bulge), and considering my rash, why would they bother with me?

I was distracted by Mr. Cumming, though. (Aside from the bulge and its frequent adjustment.) He is a much better vocalist than I had thought and he invests each number with intense emotion, real commitment, and wraps it all up in a story, well told. And speaking of stories, his between songs patter was pretty damn glorious, near perfect. Funny, touching, interesting, shocking, moving, perfectly timed and delivered, and, too, his digs about the current state of politics and life in this country, well, they earned huge applause. His anecdotes about Stephen Sondheim, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, Kay Thompson, and a fellow named Raven, are hilarious.

And, it’s the way he delivers that really makes it. He has a smooth awareness of just how cute and gamine he can be before crossing over into calculated and arch. The sideways glance, the slow take, the rim-shot moments, the flirting, the outright seduction are some near-lethal combination of charming and erotic, so you feel surrendered and a little naughty.

That said, I don’t trust him. HA! He gives me the vibe of someone who wears his sensitivity as a defense of his cruelty, and I’ve tried to avoid those types in which I once specialized — their magnetism and sensual aura sucks you in and makes you part of their defense team, you fall for their vulnerability and use it as an excuse for all the horrible shit they do to you. So, no, I could NEVER give in to my lust for him — really, I couldn’t. Go ahead, Alan, test me. And, too, being shallow me, I could never have sex with him — really, I couldn’t, go ahead Alan, ASK ME — because he has too much underarm hair for me and I haven’t ever liaised with a man in his 50s. Unless one counts my nights with myself. Which, I don’t. So, Alan, there’s no hope for the two of us. I mean it. Don’t try. Seriously, you’d just get hurt but, well, if you don’t believe me, JUST ASK ME.

Now if we could get the Carver boys on board … maybe … okay, gotta run, the world isn’t going to hug itself, now is it? Love and light, dear ones.

“What is a week-END?” Time. Another collective hunch.

Dame Maggie Smith, Indeed.

Dame Maggie Smith, Indeed.

Monday morning. I haven’t worked a Monday through Friday job in decades. The arts-world required a mostly seven-days-a-week sort of life with an emphasis on weekend activities, performances, all day and night rehearsals. And freelancing is a “do your thing when you do your thing” kind of life, while house/pet sitting is often a Thursday to Sunday night sort of thing. Point being, I’m not schedule driven. Week. Weekend. It’s all the same to me.

So, why do Mondays STILL seem as dreadful to me as they did when I was a health-insurance-auditing-drone? Am I stuck in some brainwashed time pattern? I have, for decades,  theorized (babbled on about) time being another one of those culturally accepted assumptions into which most of us buy, to, I think, our great detriment. I’m firmly in the camp believing that linear time is an illusion, an artificial measure we’ve imposed on our reality in order to make it digestible, to break it down and label it into convenient bite-sized pieces. But, in truth, as Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin said of our reality, our idea of time is nothing more than a “collective hunch.”

So, I guess then, once again, I’m an innovator! Ahead of my (illusion of) time! And this whole techno-connecto-working outside the box- living semi-off the grid- via-grid-pseudo-matrixy – whatever the hell this life I’ve made  is of non-conformist, experimental, experiential, don’t believe anything without investigating it through to its source sort of life – proves me either a very forward-to-the-future kind of person.

OR, screw it, maybe I’m just a fogey throwback to English manor upper class sort of world, all Downton Abbey, in which the inimitable Dame Maggie Smith said as the Dowager Countess, “What is a weekEND?”

Either way, doesn’t answer why I hate Mondays.

DOWNTON ABBEY (& the damn dumb Grammy Awards)

Speaking of Dame Maggie, she was rip-roaring on last night’s episode of Downton, to which I switched after the first hour of the perfectly horrifying Grammy Awards. I’ve always been a Tony Awards boy myself, second Sunday in June. Other than that, awards shows I can pretty much take or leave with the Grammy Awards being a show I almost never watch. I wanted to see the Macklemore – Queen Latifah – Madonna performance while multiple weddings took place thing – and it was touching, although I had thought the “surprise” would be Latifah finally acknowledging her sexuality, but, whatever. The best thing about the Grammy Awards were the Tweets that people sent, especially Neil Patrick Harris (who was there) and Ronan Farrow. Click on their names to go to their Twitter pages and see their feeds from last night. Funny guys. Made funnier still by the fact that the show was SO AWFUL I was FORCED to have two glasses of wine  – which is the first alcohol I’ve had in over a week – and by “two glasses” I mean goblets large enough to drain half a bottle.

But I digress, the Dowager Countess saying to Cousin Isobel, “I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. It must be like wearing a tiara around the clock.” Was that line EXPRESSLY written to get a rise from the gay queens who fan-alize this series? And, in response to Cousin Isobel’s passionate involvement in her causes, “Wars have been waged with less fervor.” Oh my. Yes. I want to be Dame Maggie when I get old. Well, okay, older. Speaking of being a fan-alizing queen who’s older, could we please have some of that legendary English-man(or)-on-man(or) sex? I mean, when oh when is that delicious piece of ginger candy, Alfred, going to REALLY get cooking? English. Gay. Same thing. And Matt Milne who plays Alfred is – well – look –

Matt Milne as Alfred in Downton Abbey

Matt Milne as Alfred in Downton Abbey

Matt Milne and Claire Latham in in the obscure Tennessee Williams (YES! Tennessee Williams!)  short-play, Green Eyes

Matt Milne and Claire Latham in in the obscure Tennessee Williams (YES! Tennessee Williams!) short-play, Green Eyes

Let’s have some WANK, Mr. Fellowes. I had to search London papers to find a pic of Mr. Milne unclothed. REALLY? Aptly enough, unclothed as a character in an obscure Tennessee Williams short. Read about it here. Remember, Mr. Fellowes, what you did with Ryan Phillipe in your lovely Gosford Park?

Phillippephillippe, ryan cruel intentions closephillippe, ryan 54phillippe, ryan 54 2

Okay, none of those were from Gosford, but mentioning that was a great excuse to post Phillipe’s ass.

It’s Monday, a person needs a boost.

Speaking of Monday boost and naked boys – see how those two just fit together PERFECTLY – it’s Teen Wolf night and it seems we are finally getting some Keahu Kahuanui and Charlie Carver action. WHAT IS WITH THESE SHOWS AND THE LACK OF GAYSEX? If I want a lack of gaysex, I have my life, I don’t need it in my TV! Get busy boys!

Teen Wolf Jan 2014Teen Wolf Jan 2014 2

Hope your Monday has a boost or two. Time to finish my spinach shake and head to the gym.