Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hmm.

Our group at work is pretty close, moreso than other groups, we seemed to have bonded early on especially since we started as the "problem" group. Anyway today was the last day of our original assingment so we were kind of busted up. Some of us stay and some of us go to different projects. All the while we're wondering how long we'll remain as contractors before being asked to stay as a few of us might be or when we'll be told to leave as most of us will be. We had a shindig of sorts today as a finale before things change, starting Monday. A day for which, by the way, I'm back on the earliest shift which let me tell you is going to be an EFFORT on my part.

So at work in my group there is this guy, let's call him M. He is a really nice guy, married, very into his church life and fancies himself a minister.

I think he is hot. But that's besides the point.

A lot of his fellow churchees work in other groups. I get the sense (just knowing how these things work) his church is a foot stomping shout it out hallelujah 15 word long name kind of church. Sometimes he talks about church or religious belief and we have discussed as much but never anything TOO deep to where I'd have to say "we're going to have to stop talking about this before I damage your world with my own gnostic damnable heathen beliefs."

He's invited our co-worker, D, to church several times. I joke with her that she might burst into flames. Today we were talking about weekend plans and he mentioned all the men of his church are getting together at the pastor's house to hang out, play pool or cards, shoot the shit etc to bond. I didn't think anything of it but he mentioned another co-worker of ours, S, is going. (I'm also hot for S, don't communicate much with him, but all the girls want a piece lol.)

I of course am not attracted in a *nefarious* way and would never act even if they did which they would not, but we're all friendly. I just like and want to be liked. So I'm wondering...why havn't I got an invite? We're cool. We share among us. We go there so to speak. And don't get me wrong I would never in one hundred gazillion years actually go to something like that if I were invited, it's just that I've not been considered.

Is it because I'm white?
Is it because I'm obviously fruity if not confirmed homosexical?
Is it because I'm a wierdo?
Is it because I would obviously not fit in?
Is it because of the above reasons the thought has not even crossed his mind?
Is it because I might burst into flames?

I'm not jilted or anything, and despite this long blog post I haven't put toooooo much thought into it, just sitting here at 1:00 am on a Friday wondering what people think of me on the other side of gay. I know the gays find me embarrassing and get all mad when I don't wear my burqa.

Monday, November 16, 2009

How did I miss the death of Geocities?

I can't say I didn't know it was coming. I just neglected it, didn't visit with it in its final days, and now a lot of work I did in school is gone forever down the intertubes.

Some of it I did manage to save. Hopefully I can get the rest from the Way Back Machine or something.

Need a new place to stick it. I might do that here as posts to the blog. I got a surprisingly lot of traffic to my work, no doubt kids reading my papers to avoid reading the actual books they were about.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thank you thank you thank

"Thank you, thank you, thank you...thank you."

"I'm sorry...I do apologize for that...I'm sorry...Oh I do apologize for that..."

My new life, in which I must thank people endlessly for giving me a hard time and apologize for any number of things which are entirely out of my control, is damaging my all ready fragile self esteem.

My tounge also hurts from having to bite the fuck out of it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

These Times

Friday after work I went out with some of my co-workers and had a few (too many) drinks and chatted about the job and our co-workers. It was a good time. Everyone was invited but only some could come. I insisted on the “everyone is invited” policy. There are two people who work there who are annoying as all hell and quit dumb as illustrated by their participation in the training (and frankly they probably won’t last very long), but I came to their defense. Annoying, but nice people. And I know what it does not feel nice to be excluded for any reason.
Monday is the day we go “live”, after our training. It should be easy enough.

I am the oldest of the group of us who are tight, most of them being in their mid twenties. For them, this is a really good job. If you’re young and starting out, looking to move up in an organization, it could be ideal. Or even if you are married with kids and have your family as your focus rather than your career (and an additional income to help) it can be ideal. But me? I would never think of myself as “above” any kind of job. But I have to admit that coming from a place where I had ten years of experience and was relatively important by the end of the show, starting back at this level is kind of embarrassing. I haven’t mentioned much to my co-workers about what I used to do and of course not about how this hourly wage that they all seem to think I so high is frighteningly low to me and the budget I’m used to.

I miss my travels, and being successful at my job, but honestly I am glad I got out of there. It was time. I left with the pride of knowing that some of the higher ups implied that they weren’t really expecting me to take the package. I was burned out on the religious aspect and the subject matter and just the politics of the global organization. I took the opportunity to quit when it arose with an attached payout, expecting that I would get on top of my game and come out of there with something important to do.

Now I work in a call center.

I have all these great ideas, I love to read, and I have a decent grasp on the English language, which are the makings of someone who might be a successful writer. But I’m missing one thing. Today on NPR there was this author talking about his success and how you have to have talent, you have to have luck, but most importantly you have to have one thing that you can control – discipline. Discipline has never been my strong point. I don’t see the bestseller springing forth from my fingers saving me from corporate hourly wage drudgery any time soon. So in the meantime it looks like a lot of “thank you for calling”.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Faded Memories.

Last night I was out at Target in the toys section looking at Bratz dolls (don’t ask) with a friend. Suddenly I hear “MISTER [my last name]!” I look up and some woman who is instantly familiar looking is coming towards me with her shopping cart. “Do you remember me?” she asks…and I do not, but one tries to find a nice way to say “not a clue who you are.”

Turns out she was someone I worked with back in college at a call center when I was a credit analyst. She lives in Charlotte now too, and it was extremely awkward yet pleasant to see her. She was mentioning all these people from back then at the job that I have no recollection of whatsoever. She mentioned she worked in HR and I almost put in a plug for job seeking.

It was really funny, I told her, that I had just sent a message to our old boss on LinkedIn to jog her memory since I’m in the job market now and that place is no longer in existence but still on my resume.

It just concerns me sometimes how many memories have faded from my brain. A lot has happened since 1998 and had I not ran into her I would have never thought of her again.

Fallin' Out

At work I have a little window in front of me and in this window I can see the reflection of what’s behind me (which comes in handy). Yesterday I looked into the reflection and saw this woman coming down the hall and strait fall out right near my group’s little cubical farm.

I remained seated and told the woman we were on a conference call with that we were having a “disturbance” on the floor. A lot of people from all over gathered around her and my lesbian friend (who incidentally has my same last name) lept onto the scene taking pulses, feeling forheads, asking appropriate questions such as “Do you know where you are?” The company security arrived and shortly after the paramedics and the woman was whisked away to treatment.

Turns out she had had a bad case of the flu and had come back to work too soon, not feeling well, and got dizzy on her way down the hall thus collapsing.
I told my coworkers that should I ever fall out, please do not let everyone just crowd around me staring like I’m a piece of performance art. Call 911 BEFORE company security. And get me a lesbian immediately.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tempin Ain't Easy (or, It's Hard Out Here for a Temp)

After nearly ten years of being relatively important to an organization, climbing my way up and having things like an expense account, international travel destinations, and my own office, I am now back under the thumb of a temporary employment agency.

I saw the writing on the wall at The World Church of Assimilation, and when the opportunity presented itself to take a voluntary seperation package I chomped at the bit. I was burned out and figured they were gonna make me move back to New York, or eliminate the position anyway, so I took the money and ran. I stand by that decision. It is a great package.

So I figure while I'm getting that package, which includes money, of course, an outplacement services contract, and the look of despair on several faces upon my not letting the door hit me on the ass on the way out, I'll go ahead and make sure I have some additional income for when the time comes that I don't have any money to live on anymore. Always thinking ahead on The Butch stroll!

Honey, somebody get me on NPR to talk about how the economic downturn has affected me. To boot, it's not even the NYC temp cycle, which would land you in some remotely interesting places at least. This is Crown Town, baby, and I'm in call center hell.

I made the mistake of Googling the temp agency and the company, and of course it's all "get out while you have some dignity" horror stories. I can totally see all of it, having mad experience with these kinds of things, and I've only been through six days so far.

I'm sailing right through the training, of course. It is nice to work around younger people for a change, but the real young ones are a trip. The job has to do with employer benefits (ironic on a number of levels not the least of which is that there are no benefits that come with the job) and about 99% of the stuff I already know, having had full time employment before in my life.

Anyhoo, I've made some friends. And some aquaintences. One woman asked me if I wanted to get together over the weekend to study this shit. One man asked me if I would give him $20 for $40 in food stamps. This is where I work now.

Of course the temp agency blows all this smoke up your ass about how you've been chosen because you are a professional with great skills and ability. In fact, they take anybody who fills out the forms and shows up for orientation.

By the way, you know why they say the early bird gets the worm? Because getting up at 6:00 AM is for the birds. Also, I think worms are gross even when they are dehydrated in my driveway.

The agency staff all seem like goobs and the woman that interviewed me, when I saw her in the hall today, gave me the fakest "how are YOOOOOU?" Bitch don't know me from Adam.

To quote Bladezz from The Guild, "Working is soul crushing, I can't believe adults live like this!"

God help me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This working shit is for the birds.

This woman in my training group at my new temp job -- which hopefully will be very temp because it is a true fall from grace -- asked me yesterday if I wanted to get together and go over the materials this weekend. It was all I could do to keep from laughing in her face. I ain't looking over this shit on my weekend. I haven't worked a 40 hour week in fifteen years -- and it has taken something of a toll on a bitch.

Also, horror story reviews of both the temp agency and the company are all over the internet. I'm a week in. Let's see how this looks in like a month.

In the meantime I am poor and looking to soup up my resume and use the management services thing that came with my package to it's full potential. However I opened up all the materials today alongside my resume and just played WoW for two hours instead.

It's 12:36 PM and I'm gonna go to Wal Mart. Holla.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Guild: Felicia Day

I love Felicia Day and her web series The Guild. The music video "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?" puts me over the edge though:


Monday, August 24, 2009

Bill Clinton's Harlem Offices Have Bedbugs

Even former presidents/hostage negotiators get no respect from bedbugs. Bill Clinton's Harlem offices have bedbugs, so bad that they've closed for a few days while exterminators try to eliminate the resiliant indestructable plagueites.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Top Ten Ways the Country Would Be Different if Britney Spears Were President

Brit representin' with a cameo on The Tonight Show:

PS3 Slim

CNet article on the differences between the forthcoming PS3 Slim and the old PS3 "Phat". Short version of the article: not much, the Slim is, well, slimmer. And it doesn't have the backwards compatibility for PS2 games that the Phat does.

Many people who paid for a PS3 "Phat" are now pissed that both the Slim and the Phat are gonna cost $299. If you already have a PS3, though, have a little forsight...don't buy the PS3 Slim. I imagine it's only a short matter of time before they come out with the PS4 to get another $500 from you.

Disclaimer: I know nothing about PS3, slim or otherwise.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Laura Albert & The Butch Stroll

I have to say a lot has happened to me over the years writing "The Butch Stroll", irregularly and about whatever strikes my fancy. It still surprises me when amazing things happen to me as a result of this little-read blog. Every now and then they do.

You may recall that I am obsessed with the JT Leroy story that unfolded and is maybe only just now winding down a little. If you are not familiar with this topic, just Google it. The short version is: successful author JT Leroy with a back story of having been a transgendered child prostitute was really a writer named Laura Albert all along. She has her own story. She had her reasons for perpetuating the "hoax" of JT Leroy. It's the kind of stuff someone does that makes me like them more. Or become interested in in the first place.

Well guess who emailed your humble, modest blogger? Laura Albert.

I came on hard and heavy with questions -- many of which would have required rehashing and the obvious. Anywho, I am a trustworthy person. So I can't spill all the tea. Not there's any "tea" really. Just some nice emails and hopefully some encouragement for my own paralyzed writing, because the woman is a great writer, whatever else may be said.

http://www.fivechapters.com/2009/jo-jo/

http://www.psychopedia.com/dailynews/2009/08/beauty_roadtest_ko_nailpolishp.html

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Autotune the News.

"Katie Couric sounds better autotuned."

It was only a matter of time.

The release of the two Americans being "held" by North Korea is a good, wonderful thing. Two of ours are now safe at home.

But it was only a matter of time (less than 24 hours to be exact) before critics of Bill Clinton would expound upon what he "traded" for these two women. Because Bill Clinton could not possibly do anything good, like get hostages released.

Oh please. For the red-blooded right wingers who believe in "patriotism" above all other virtues, it should not matter who gets our citizens back from harm's way. Regardless of what you think of people like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and even Jesse Jackson, they get hostages back. George Bush, bless his heart, is probably not going to be a diplomat or a negotiator in his post-presidential years. He's gonna be chillin in Texas. But that's neither here nor there.

As a lover of all things philosophical

I was delighted to find in my mailbox a package from K-rock, who works for a Big Time Magzine in New York Citay, entitled "The Book of Dead Philosophers" by Simon Critchley. I had planned to purchase this during one of my international galavants, but opted for "Are you there Vodka? It's me, Chelsea" instead. (Talk about taste running a gammut.) Anyhoo, I got the book! It's actually an "uncorrected proof", the likes of which I love having in my library.

Anyway, the final words in this book are about Wikipedia. I commend the author for noting that

I cannot deny that I have dipped my toes, and sometimes both feet up to the knees, into the unruly waters of Wikipedia. This is a vast and growing resource, which is very uneven, not always to be trusted, but which is full of many fascinating articles and leads.


Indeed! Wikipedia is a friend...the kind that is tons of fun and knows a lot, but you still have to keep an eye on.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Do we all know a Deloris or two?

Kinky Friedman wrote of the title character in Sarah Schulman's Deloris that she is "someone unworthy of your love who breaks your heart".

Money as Debt

I was reading this article about Daniel Suelo, a dude who has lived for 10 years without money. Not your typical "homeless". He lives in a cave (with mice and kissing bugs), and has a real spiritual, metaphysical take on the whole thing. A big part of me admires him. I have a fascination with people who turn to a kind of hermitage and succeed at it. A bigger part of me thinks he's just a little bit nuts and quite the extremist. Mice crawling over me in my sleep would send me back to civilization post haste. I think there is something to be said for having a civilized world, with money facilitating our ability to progress...i.e., have shelter and technology and rodent killing poison. Then again, he's not worried about unemployment figures or stock market collapses or doing enough between 9 and 5...so maybe mice crawling on him in his sleep isn't the worst thing in the world. And it's not like mice can't infilatrate a house anyway, don't I know...but that's another post for another day.

Ironically, he has a blog. It's "free" for him to have a blog and a website insofar as they are povided by Google at no cost to him...so I don't know if it's breaking any of his rules about "money or conscious barter".

On his website, he links to the below YouTube videos by Paul Grignon, which were made before the current "financial crisis" was front page news everyday. These videos are very informative. A little frightening to boot. The bottom line is, banks just create money out of thin air more or less. I encourage you to watch all five (a total of 45 minutes).









Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I was in MANAGEMENT!!!

So, Job Fox is this resume posting, job search thing, and they offer a free assessment of your resume (after which of course they offer you the $399 resume writing service).

I got my assessment back and it was kind of brutal. I can see where my resume is more about "tasks" than "achievements". The most telling and depressing thing is the woman who reviewed it kept referring to my experience as an administrative assistant. As if this is the position I am in and am looking for.

I have not been an administrative assistant for three years. I of course would tkae a job as such, if it were a "good fit", but when people read my resume I would hope they see that I was at a higher level than that after 8 years.

Good lord I am never going to get another job. Frightening. Guess I have some resume work to do :-/

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No Title.

I hear today they were laying people off at work.

I have, of course, already taken the "voluntary separation" package, along with a co-worker here in Charlotte.

The other day during the department meeting the big boss just dropped the bomb on everybody, totally surprising me, because I thought the plan was at least for me to say it.

I think that it was minimally shocking to the staff, but there was nary a peep when she said it. My co-worker and co-quitter was out sick. The big boss asked me if I had anything to add. I said, not really, and then gave a standard schpiel about missing everyone and bla bla bla. The whole thing was kind of anti-climactic. I had hoped to go out with more of a bang.

Then today I hear through the grapevine they're laying off the secretaries. The four that have been there the least long, the longest of which was about five years.

I had planned to write this heartfelt departure email, meant to tug at their heartstrings and give them a little hope in these troubled times at the agency. Now in light of these layoffs, I don't know that I will.

I hardly even talked to the Big Big Boss about it, and it was an awkward little chat. But she's got a lot on her mind too, my reconnaissance shows.Meanwhile everything is changing and the organization, and the management of clergy and big wigs has no idea what they're doing or how the place actually gets run.

I'll be so glad to get out of there! However I am so nervous about the job market. I talked to this woman today at a fancy resume referral place (basically a glorified temp agency) and she asked if I was still working for "the Church" in "New York". I explained that I now work for the Church in Charlotte, and that I live in Charlotte. It made me reconsider my resume: maybe de-emphasize "Church" and "NYC" so I'm not disregarded as some damn evangelical yankee coming down here stealing jobs.

She said keep in touch about the job I was calling about, but they already have sent them some resumes. I asked if she might keep me on file for future positions and she said she would. She sounded like a major bitch.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Michael Jackson's Will

Lots of people out there talking about Michael Jackson's will (.pdf) and how he left his former wife out of it, and doesn't mention his dad, etc...but why has no one pointed out that he put his kids in the care of Diana Ross if his mother Katherine was unable or unwilling? I found that interesting.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mortality and TMI

I am already somewhat preoccupied with thoughts of death -- not necessarily my own death, but that too. To quote Anne Sexton, who was also consumed with thoughts of death (and, unlike me, suicidal thoughts), "Death's been here for a long time."

In recent days death has been at the forefront of the news with the passing of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcet, and Michael Jackson (the latter of which has already been venerated beyond that of kings and prophets...he may be buried in a pyramid). And now pitchman Billy Mays to boot!

All are sad losses, as is any death really, all those countless deaths that happen every day to people we don't know. A friend's dad died recently to boot, and his death is as important to me (and of course, my friend and her mother) as the death of any celebrity. Of course he was not an international superstar so an obituary in the Charlotte Observer was all that was warranted alongside some private grief...a luxury that the families of Ed, Farrah, and most notably Michael don't get a whole lot of.

For Ed McMahon, I felt a sense of sadness of course, but also a sense of calm at the normality of his deaath. He wasn't drug addled, or tortured by his fame and fortune, or even surprising. I don't mean to diminish what his friends and family must be feeling at all, but he was old -- and that is the way we're all "supposed" to go -- death by old age.

Farrah and Michael on the other hand, were somewhat surprising and shocking. Farrah, a victim of cancer, and Michael a victim of, for lack of a better word, "lifestyle". (I detest the word "lifestyle" as mentioned in my Adam Lambert post, but work with me here.) Then Billy Mays apparantly fell victim to a freak accident at a young age -- the same age as Michael.

I think this particular series of deaths has made me think even more about mortality and what lies beneath the thin veil of human survival is that I have a little in common with the last three. Similar to Farrah (but luckily not actual cancer), I have had "precancerous conditions" that will require monitoringg for the rest of my life (and it's just obscure enough that I will have trouble finding anyone here in Charlotte who knows what I'm talking about, which was a major consideration before I moved but I moved anyway). Like Michael, I certainly do not have the best mental, sexual or physical health. And like Billy, I'm prone to freak accidents.

This all comes up at a time, too, when I'm facing a major lifestyle change. The thought of having no income -- which will happen in the next sex or seven months -- scares me, and while I will be full-time job hunting (and trying to exploit some ideas I have for business and income generation), I will be thinking about the death of that period of my life, and how somewhere up ahead in the timeline death waits inevitably for me, and for us all.

It's freaky to be alive knowing that one day you won't be.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, 1958 - 2009

I was sincerely shocked and saddened to learn that Michael Jackson died yesterday. Some of my earliest memories are of Michael Jackson in his hey day – the era of Thriller, the sparkling glove, the steps lighting up in the “Billie Jean” video, and my brother owning the “Beat It” zipper jacket.

All of the eulogies include a bit about the inescapable fact that Michael Jackson became increasingly weird over the years. The internet is filled with a sense of profound loss over the death of Michael Jackson, many with the caveat that his scandals should not diminish the memory of his greatness.

I have read disagreement, as well, with something I believe to be simply and obviously true: Michael Jackson was a genius of the performing arts. As for his scandals, I think that he deserved the courtesy of their context. For one thing the way overblown “dangling baby” incident. Would my parents, for example, have been the subject of an international outcry for all the times I rode in the bed of a pick up truck, or for all the times I was literally flung into the air and caught on my way down?

Overshadowing his marriage to Lisa Marie Presley (who posted a very sweet blog on her MySpace about his death), his weird names for his kids, his baby-dangling, and his extreme physical transformation over the years were of course the child molestation allegations.

I am one of the few people on the Earth who still give him the benefit of the doubt over that. I of course was not there and do not know, but my perception has been that Michael was still searching for his lost childhood – he said as much on numerous occasions and even in song – hand that he was not a predator but infantile, asexual. Being a “weirdo” and unfathomably rich would make him a target for such accusations – and in many ways he set himself up for those accusation by allowing kids into his home, perhaps creepily acting as if he were one of them, and seeming to fail to grasp the concept of what made other adults uncomfortable with his interest in young boys. All that said, accusations of being a sexual abuser stick, true or not. And, true or not, it’s sad that those accusations will always be a part of his biography.

I am a little surprised by how sad I am over the death of Michael Jackson. He has been a bonafide superstar since before I was alive, well into my adulthood, with his pinnacle happening around the time I was becoming aware of my own identity. He was too young to die, yet too old to be rehearsing for his upcoming mega-shows in London. As someone else wrote (can’t find my source), he didn’t get a childhood or an old age.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Very sad.

I Love Alaska

The thought of anyone seeing my search strings for the last five days, let alone the last five years, is kind of scary. This happened to 650,000 AOL users in 2006, when AOL inadvertently published a text file containing the contents of their searches (almost as scary is the fact that there were still 650,000 AOL users in 2006). Yet, I Love Alaska, a minimovie piecing together User 711391’s search strings into a story of sorts, is strangely compelling and heartbreaking.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Buffy versus Edward Cullen



If only! Better than the actual Twilight movie.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I took the offer.

Will be made known to coworkers when I return week after next.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Should I stay or should I go?

Hello, Internet. Just taking a minute to blog. My travel schedule has been very busy this month. I had a great time in South Africa, and I will write all about it later (maybe, you know how that goes). I will say that whatever happens with my current job, I think my calling may be to go to Africa and teach the people about HIV/AIDS. The misconceptions there, even among the elite, are mind boggling. Even their PSA's are kind of backward and unhelpful as far as knowledge dissemination is concerned. How has the educational effort failed on the continent? I am not sure but I would love to be involved in solving that problem.

Right now I'm in Orlando, FL. It happens to be "Gay Days" here and I swear I didn't plan this. Anyway, I went out and saw Tiffany perform at the Parliament House last night. Can you believe it, she's still around...got new songs...and of course "I think we're alone now" which is all I remember of her the first time. I always meet people in Orlando, and after all my work was done yesterday I met a really cute sweet little guy and he called me today. Of course, I've been slutting around town a little and feeling guilty, used up and worthless over it, but that's par for the course for me...and anyone I ever meet worthwhile lives no where near me.

That's neither here nor there, but speaking of the work and potential lay off saga, we got this letter from the Supreme Commander of the organization that they are going to start asking for "voluntary seperations" and this whole explanation of how that will work, before they do "involuntary seperations" i.e. "lay offs". I emailed the HR lady to clear some things up and I'm considering doing it...I just don't know what to do though, and how in the world I'm going to manage to get all my ducks in a row considering the financial obligations I have not the least of which is a mortgage.

Well I'm thinking about a little nap here and then going out later, to see if the guy wants to hang out or what not. Oh lord, it's just another day on the Butch Stroll...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Top of the mornin' to ya.

Up so early, down so late
coffee coffee coffee makes no easy escape
for sleepy sauce pan eyes
that refuse whatever you ask.
The dishwashing machine does its single task.
The day has poured
light onto my crime.
Eight hours to do what I do:
waste all of my time.

Monday, June 01, 2009

During a solid 40 hours of flying round trip to South Africa with stops in Dakar and Atlanta,

I saw the following movies on a tiny screen in the back of someone's headrest

Yes Man (B-)*
Hotel for Dogs (LOL...cute little kids movie loaded with hyperbole)*
Changling (B+)
Doubt (B+)
Benjamin Buttons (B)
Frost/Nixon (A)
The Wrestler (B)
Milk (A-) (I had seen it already.)

Hmm...trying to think of others. I watched an episode of Dexter and Family Guy.

*these two were on a flight where there was no personal screen and therefor no choice of film to watch

P.S. Who knew the liquor on international flights is COMPLIMENTARY? This changes everything...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Searching for Mercy Street

I got to New York yesterday and got down to the hotel, and took a looong nap and then a little walk around Chelsea. I’ve really missed the big, rotten apple. I feel really tiny and anonymous here – I remember that feeling that faded over the years I was here – and it’s both thrilling and terrifying. I got up at dawn’s buttcrack and was HBIC at work, where I chaired a meeting and just generally was awesome. As the organization falls to pieces around me.

I am reading Searching for Mercy Street, My Journey Back to My Mother: Anne Sexton by Linda Gray Sexton which is fascinating. I love Anne Sexton’s poetry and I read her biography a long time ago, as well as her Self Portrait in Letters (that was edited by Linda). Writing seems like the inevitable calling for Linda, including this “confessional” writing, because, as she notes, her mother made her life into a documentary. In the wake of Sylvia Plaths’ son Nicholas Hughes’ suicide, Linda contributed an op-ed to the New York Times which further recounts her time in the home of her mother and her own battle with depression and suicidal tendencies.

Linda grew up scared of being sent away to live with abusive relatives, as she was when Anne first went into the psychiatric ward, and always afraid that something was going to set off the mania in her mother. By Linda’s account (and I believe every word she writes), Anne was not just a little depressed now and then with suicidal tendencies, she was really “crazy”, for lack of a better word. Back then they called it “hysteria”. She was inappropriately and obliviously sexual around the children, physically violent, frightened and obsessed with thoughts of killing herself (and her daughters), manic, easily overwhelmed, and extremely self absorbed. However, when she discovered poetry, and achieved a certain level of success writing it, she became obsessed with her writing. She would make time for anything that had to do with it: meeting poets and editors for lunch, attending events, working with her rock band who set her poems to music.

This confused many and infuriated her husband and mother in law, both of whom argued that if she could go hang out with Maxine Kumin, she could get out of bed to take care of the children, or at the very least pick up around the house. However in her teen years Linda does have fond memories of sharing her own poetry with her famous mother, and bonding over the craft of writing, and becoming friends…”intimate as sisters”. Still, Anne made her constantly uncomfortable with frank talk of everything, attempting to “tell it true”.

So far there are two important lessons to take from the book. One: You are not fully insane if you can bake cookies. And two: Writing can either cleanse or make things infinitely more filthy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Adam Lambert and "Lifestyles"

So I was very happy that Adam Lambert made it through to the final two on American Idol. A friend got me to watching the show and I have been totally sucked in. Adam and Kris Allen were my favorite two all along, now it's down to them!

My co-worker and I are Facebook friends, and she does a little Facebook "note" for every episode, giving her critique and analysis (for whatever that's worth). I skim them sometimes, since she and I talk about the show occasionally and casually. She is a big Adam fan and supporter.

In her most recent note, she mentiones Adam's "lifestyle" and asks "Do I approve of his lifestyle? Nah." She then goes on to say how that should have nothing to do with him winning since it's based on talent. By now I think most people have seen the photos that strongly suggest that Adam is gay (not the photos of him in androgyne-drag, but the ones of him making out with another guy). I am happy that this did not keep him from the final two. But what the fuck does my co-worker know about his "lifestyle"?

I am a gay man that leads a questionable lifestyle of debauchery and fun. However, there is no such thing as a "gay lifestyle". I am not the one to look to for evidence that the gays live wholesome lives and just want a happy monogomous marriage and a picket fence. HOWEVER, one gay lives his life one way, and another his way. My "lifestyle" is mine alone, and yours is yours.

What my co-worker means is that she does not "approve" of his being gay. Which, knowing she has this belief that someone's sexual orientation is something that needs to be approved or disapproved of, makes it difficult for me to look at her. I of course havn't mentioned her post or her "approval".

I should have figured as much about her. She is for one thing dumb as a box of rocks and every single thing that comes out of her mouth has to have some Holy Ghost mention in it. Meanwhile, I am working in this place that feels more like 12 step recovery than a professional environment, for a religious denomination who has as one of its official positions that "homosexuality is not compatible with a Christian lifestyle". There's that word again.

I'll probably get laid off soon and it will be a blessing in disguise. I just hope I can find a way to make enough money to pay my bills, take care of my house, have a little fun, and travel a bit. Please forward me all job leads. My skills are many and varied. My "lifestyle" does not interfere.

Crawlspace.

I had a guy come out to look at my crawlspace. Contrary to what the seller told me before closing, she did not have the "debris" removed from down there. Also, whoever put in the plastic cover put it over the OLD muddy plastic cover which was kind of stupid. There is groundwater as well as surface water getting in down there and I'm sure this has been happening for the last 50 years. I am a wreck over this especially since, by the end of it, having the full nine yards done to make it dry and secure down there, is going to cost me a fortune. Meanwhile I'm probably going ot lose my job in November and I applied for this big time pisition at a local foundation, after which I start doubting myself and my ability to do that job even though it's what I do everyday already and this is BEFORE I even hear anything back from them. I am a mess, my mind never rests...it's always something and between yard maintenance and making sure my house is not going to wash away every time it rains, maybe I should have just stayed a renter.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Social Media for Meanies (and Typo-Ridden)

me: i have to pee.
me: i forwent lunch cause i havd a bojanlgles breakfast and now i'm starving
Kelly: i'm your personal twitter
me: is that meant for twitter?
good lord [Name Redacted] puts shit on facebook and I had to go back through my updates to make sure I have not tossed my dignity down the facebook toilet like she has.
Kelly: what did she put?
me: i have a few facebookers like that...I'm sure your friends from 10th grade that you havn't seen in years and are really only "friends" wiht on facebooki becuase you have a mild interest in what their lives turned out like are not intrigued by such details of relatioships etc
Kelly: you should write an article about it for your local indie paper!
me: SAY I WON'T
Kelly: i read [Name Redacted] updates and think - damn, arent you too old for this?
does she have a new one?
also, her twitter is much worse
me: Ok so you would tell me if I am ever a disgusting twitterer/facebooker?
When too much is just too much?
Kelly: it's too much when you tweet "I'm going to die alone"
me: lol!
I mean, not "lol", but whatever.
I think I may have tweeted as much before.
I'm sure I've blogged it.
Kelly: she's always like that
and how so and so better stay off her man
seriously?
me: Honey I have slashed my wrists across the digital pages of The Butch Stroll many times.
it is catharsis.
And anonyous for the most part at least.
Kelly: right - it's not your status on facebook or twitter
instead of "get a room!" i want to yell "get a blog!"
me: hahah
The last one from her was along those lines of dying alone and she said her boyfrien "could care less" ... and I was tempted to comment "I think you mean count NOT care less"
"Because I mean if he COULD care less, then that means that he doesn't care the vry least possible, which is what I think you are trying to say..."
Kelly: HA! that would've been hilarious!
me: LOL! Total disregard for pained content of someone's text yet in depth explanatory comment on a frequently misunderstood expression = hilarity.
Kelly: hell yes!
because I probably thought the same thing!
i don't think she understands social media. it's not a dumping ground - either be pithy, sarcastic, or straight forward
or dont comment - no one on facebook wants to hear that you almost killed yourself last night
sorry, but it's true
you can interview me for your article
me: I'm so putting this on my blog.

Dr. Dolly

Here is a link to the University of Tennessee graudation ceremony, where Dolly Parton gave the commencement speech (you can skip through to about 3/4 of the way through, after the graduates' walk through to get their diploma for Dolly's part). Dolly recieved an honorary doctorate from the university.

She is just so great. She says that when asked what she hopes people will say about her in 100 years, she replies, "Doesn't she look great for her age?"

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Always Something

The number one reason I have to make a fortune, is because I need to be able to afford to have someone drive me around. I am Hell on Wheels.

Last night -- before I started drinking, mind you -- I was turning around on a dead end street 'cause I missed my turn. Backing up I took out somebody's mailbox and of course fled the scene. Now there is a big scratch on the back of my truck which is not cool. Slight dent on the second "O" in "Toyota".

I'm over at Booga's house

Friday, May 08, 2009

What do you know about

"the morning pages"?

Another Poem

Water in the crawlspace
is like a knife in my skull,
a small disease thrown into
the fishbowl full of minnows
that are my thoughts
poisoning them,
something new to worry about.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Poem

A Walk around the Neighborhood
reveals new things,
neighbors unknown,
landscapes unseen,
routes not yet taken,
and love for these strangers
and their yards.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Inspiration

I have been reading The Artist's Way which is a twelve week "spiritual" course in nurturing your creativity. I am very anti shi-shi shoo-shoo stuff like this, but the author, Julia Cameron, makes sense and hasn't said anything in her book yet that has made me full roll my eyes. So, creativity, here I come. Woot.

It's good I am doing this, and emersing myself in creative pursuits, reading a lot, and searching on the inside, because times is tough on The Butch Stroll. I have some homeowner issues, not the least of which is water in the crawlspace which totally freaks me out, and resolution is not simply provided by Google. It will likely require professionals which will require money. And speaking of money, the sole reason I go to work, I will likely lose my job in November if not sooner. I kind of want it to just happen anyway because I'm so burned out on that place that I can hardly muster the will to get out of bed in the morning. I've been wearing jeans while the boss was out of town and someone mentioned it. I told them that with the Boss Lady not here, they're lucky I'm not showing up in my pajamas.

So feeling really down on myself, overwhelmed with everything and rolling around in self-pity -- a feeling that is not uncommon for me -- I went into the kitchen to refill my Mountain Dew with vodka.

I noticed that my lettuce seeds have sprouted, which made me unexpectedly inspired and awestruck by these little plants rising up out of the dirt in a container in the window over my sink.

Friday, May 01, 2009

How to Get Freelance Work

me: Where do these offers come from, seriously?
Kelly: you gotta make sure everyone knows you're available for work
and i mean everyone
me: how do you do that miss thing
and please don't say twitter lol
Kelly: facebook, emails, calling people up
letting people know what you can do for them
getting involved in the community so you meet more folks who can hire you
me: sigh
Kelly: just gotta be on your game
i know!
me: not getting invovled in the community
Kelly: yes
me: I try to avoid that at ALL COSTS! j/k
I volunteered for WFAE!
Kelly: you don't have to date it - just make sure it knows you exist
me: basically just have casual sex with the community.
wait...
I've been doing that for years. Still nothing.
Kelly: you gotta show up at the places where potential employers are
and introduce yourself to people without twirling your hair
me: I'm putting this on my blog.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

There's this cemetary that I drive by a lot

and all of the tombstones are little flat stones that someone might have placed a flower arrangement on depending on the season or the pertinent holiday. All of them, except one grave, that has a huge monument erected complete with columns and a statue. And every time I drive by I think that dude is as dead as the rest of them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About My Weekend

On April 16 I turned 33 years old. My boss told me that that was how old Jesus was when he ascended into Heaven. I said, “I don’t think I’ve made quite the same impact in my 33 years.” I’m trying though, you know? Not to be the founder of a major religion and human embodiment of deity, just to be a half way decent person and pay my bills on time.

I’m sitting here in my office surrounded by stacks of paper and tons of work and I don’t know where to begin. I’m in the wrong line of work. I’m not one for starting “movements”, at least not movements like this, about this subject matter, for these constituents. I’m lost and I’m really terrified of the future, the fact that no one’s ever going to pay me what these people pay and they might not be paying me too much longer. There’s lots of flux at the headquarters in NY and change is on the horizon. We are unsure what this means for us down here. I hate uncertainty and the future is always uncertain, so do I hate the future? In the immortal words of Captain Catherine Janeway, “The past is the future, the future is the past, it all gives me a headache.” Just, just, just…what am I supposed to be doing with my life? I can’t even keep the house in order and the laundry done up, I am AMAZED that I’ve been able to earn a living all these years.

I took Thursday and Friday off for my birthday, and partied up a little bit. Last night against my better judgment I went out to ye olde gay bar with Booga knowing it was a work night, but still turned it out. It was a night of meet and greet I guess, as Boog first ran into some old friends of hers. While they were standing aside I made my way back to the bar and I ran into this little guy M that I met back in January. One of those “online” people because I apparently live in cyberspace. Anyway we had hung out at my house and had a great time, and then I just didn’t hear much more from him, and slowly my stalker/researcher instincts faded. This kid is absolutely beautiful to me. Just all around perfect and I’m easy prey, because I’m easily infatuated with such beauty. I had all but forgotten about him, until last night. Of course he probably doesn’t even know my name, but he did approach for the handshake and greeting…and then asked me to buy him a drink. The story of my life, or chapter one at least. I of course did, and told him I’d catch him later, not wanting to seem too damn thirsty for some attention and affection, and I made my rounds back up to my people in the rafters. A drag show was commencing.

The night wore on and Boog interacted with M. She wanted to know if he knew any strait people. He said he did, a DRUG DEALER and this spiraled into the potential quest to purchase extacy which was shot down and as I was leaving I saw M, and I told him he can send me a message sometime. He said he would.

Leaving, but not left yet, we re-engage the bar. I dance a little, Boog meets a man (in the sea of homosexuality she finds the one cute heterosexual, and me and his strait homegirl chit chat on the pool tables). I then had a random run in with J, with whom I go way back, another “online” person, a dancer from LA. It was serendipity maybe. I did an improve performance of “Halo” and then as quickly as we had arrived, the lights came on.

He rolled on back to the crib in my pickup truck with me and Boog, and I fell out hard. Now I’m here at work, after having called in earlier to say that I was “sick” which I hope with my late arrival is not obviously “hung over”. I think I said something about “migraines” and “vomiting”. I’m a liar.

J is cute and all but he’s not the one. It was innocent between us, he’s sweet enough, he’s just not … something. I have also been spending time with a little guy H who I really like a lot but he might be more my buddy than anything more than that, even though I could see him either way. H texted me today: “I dnt wna b single”

To which I replied, “Me either but I think I’m a lost cause.”

“Y u say that”

“Because I am neurotic, hyper-emotional, ugly, and a slut. lol”

I’d type out the rest of it but I’m boring even myself now, and that about sums up my opinion of myself lately, although I’d add “useless” to the mix. And at the same time I am self absorbed and narcissistic and preoccupied with my own contentment so much that I can’t just be content anymore. I’m 33, and like Jesus, I am the embodiment of something, only not divinity or holiness or God, just complexity and contradictions and interpersonal confusion.

More later. xoxo

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PS: Anybody want a kitten?


Two black, one orangeish, located near Winston-Salem, NC. They are almost off the tit. My mother: "We can't run a cat house!"

J BOOG IN LABOR

J BOOG is having her baby as I type! In fact she might have already popped it out. Induced labor FTW! That baby was ready to get here I tell ya. CONGRATULAIONS JEN AND TREVOR!

Monday, March 09, 2009

What's Cookin'

I have not abandoned you, The Butch Stroll dot Com!

I’m just a busy little worker bee trying to gallivant around the world, working hard, and having some fun to boot. Maybe too much fun!

I am also absorbed with a swirl of neuroses that I need to have hammered out and really good ideas that I just have to put some effort behind. Good ideas including ideas for this website.

In the meantime, as we approach global societal collapse, catch up with your Great Depression recipes from Clara Cannuciari, who I absolutely love. I’m thinking “pasta and peas” tonight!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Is the Superbowl

something you smoke?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Butch Stroll Quote of the Day

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. --Colette




(I'll be back soon.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
by Rumi

In my hallucination
I saw my beloved's flower garden
In my vertigo, in my dizziness
In my drunken haze
Whirling and dancing like a spinning wheel

I saw myself as the source of existence
I was there in the beginning
And I was the spirit of love
Now I am sober
There is only the hangover
And the memory of love
And only the sorrow

I yearn for happiness
I ask for help
I want mercy
And my love says:

Look at me and hear me
Because I am here
Just for that

I am your moon and your moonlight too
I am your flower garden and your water too
I have come all this way, eager for you
Without shoes or shawl

I want you to laugh
To kill all your worries
To love you
To nourish you

Oh sweet bitterness
I will soothe you and heal you
I will bring you roses
I, too, have been covered with thorns

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

Operation Fabulous begins today.

Happy New Year to all. Let's work it out in 2009. Get in!