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.


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!
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
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


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


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.
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.