music video – son of a preacher man – tom goss

PreacherMan

Last year, I played a churchgoer in a music video by the talented Tom Goss. Today is its worldwide release.

It’s a cover of “Son of a Preacher Man,” originally sung by Dusty Springfield. Tom puts his own spin on it and the results are haunting and gorgeous.

Please watch. And share all over the interwebs. If anything deserves to go viral, it’s this.

(P.S. Yes, I can be seen a fair amount. See if you can find me!)

wanna write, wanna write, wanna write…

…but come up short when presented with a blank screen. Gah!

Much as I love Sondheim, I can no longer agree with his sentiment of, “White. A blank page or canvas. His favorite – so many possibilities.” (The last line in my favorite musical of all time, Sunday in the Park with George.)

This is, of course, why I’ve been such a crappy blogger the last few years. And I miss looking forward to the blank page and/or screen. But what’s a permanently blocked girl to do? Seems like I’ve written about my tendencies for blocks ad nauseum, so obviously writing about it isn’t knocking anything loose. Blech.

Anywho, it’s a new year (says Mistress Pays-Attention-To-Calendars) and I’m starting it off in a pretty stellar way: living with HotScienceGuy.

I moved in at the beginning of December and, as of today, most of my stuff is still in the garage because the condo is small and we have no idea where anything is going. Some of it is going to be gotten rid of via Craigslist and some of it will be permanently stored in the garage. Thankfully it’s a two car garage, so I can park my car in there – he doesn’t have a car by choice and we live within walking distance of his workplace, so we’ll probably be a one car household for the foreseeable future.

We’re still doing the, “What’s the best way to live together without wanting to commit homicide?” dance that two stubborn people set in their ways tend to do, but for the most part it’s going well and I’m very happy I made the move and am living with my man. And it’s soooo nice to be living closer to JPL – I can be there in about fifteen minutes or less. Yay!

Christmas Day was spent with his father, step-mother and about fifteen of his extended family members at his father’s place near San Jose, with Boxing Day at his mom’s place with his mom, step-father and half-siblings (they’re about twenty years younger) about forty-five minutes away from his dad’s place. Though I was a tad bit overwhelmed at times and had to dash to the restroom for a moment alone, I really had a good time. His family all seem to pretty cool and, from what I could tell, I executed no horrific faux pas that would make them hiss at the sight of me, so I count that as a win.

Unfortunately, the schedules of my own family precluded us from heading to Fresno, so I’ll have to find a way to see them this year before the holidays roll around again.

A serious ankle sprain in November put me out of commission for awhile, right as I was starting to move things from my old East Hollywood apartment to HSG’s condo, so that delayed things a bit, but I was up and around enough by Thanksgiving to invite Sarriah and CuteFilmNerd to join HSG and me for T-Day dinner at Doomie’s Home Cookin’ and dessert/drinks back at the apartment, which was very nice.

Of course more things happened in 2012 – things I never got around to writing about – but I figure that’ll do for now. The writing joints are creaky and the muscles are stiff, so I’ll ease back into it so I don’t snap off a limb in the process.

Hope y’all have an amazing 2013!

*grumble grumble*

Still alive, still kicking, back at my WordPress.com blog because I got distracted at the end of January (someone must’ve been shining a nickle in my eyes – that or a nice fluff of pocket lint) and didn’t renew my hosting. So anything that I wrote in January is gone (it’s a good thing I wasn’t updating all that often), but I was smart enough to backup everything at the end of December, so not much is lost. I had my old host point the DNS for my domain to my WordPress.com blog, so this is where I’ll be for awhile. At least until I get off my ass and sign up with Dreamhost again. I’ve been with them before and liked them quite a bit, plus my friend Michelle is with them and will get credit if I say she referred me, so it’s win-win!

Except for losing my January entries.

Anywho, part of the reason that I let my blog lapse was my stupid depression. While things had been going pretty well, especially with HotScienceGuy (seriously, I am constantly amazed by how fantastic he is), I noticed that I was getting very easily wound up over stupid things while having difficulty giving much of a damn about anything of importance. I realized that my Prozac wasn’t working as well as it had previously, which made me nervous because the thought of having to stop using a medication that I knew didn’t give me any side effects and move on to another one which was unknown to me was not a pleasant thought. When I ran out of Prozac in March, I decided to stay off it about a month, then refill the prescription and start taking it again, just to see if I could kickstart things again. I’ve been taking it again for a little over ten days now, so I’ll see how I feel in another couple of weeks. If it doesn’t seem to be doing me any good, I’ll talk to my doctor to see what she recommends.

While getting back on Prozac, I read a blog entry by Keith Wilson, the husband of my lovely friend Kim. Keith has been battling bipolar disorder for most of his life, but didn’t realize it until last year, when he went through a major breakdown. He’s been chronicling his struggle and journey and, while I haven’t followed him every step of the way, I have been reading and catching up when I can.

Back to the blog post – he wrote a sentence which leapt out at me and slapped me in the face:

In a nutshell, I really don’t give a shit about anything. When I do, it’s forced.

A big part of my depression is my brain racing around in circles about all the things I should be doing that I’m not, which digs me further into my depression. But not being arsed to care about things that are important to me and mine – while hating myself for not being arsed to care – is another huge component. When I can rouse myself enough to let people know that I really do care on some level, it’s very difficult and takes way more effort than it should, which brings out the self-loathing and, yes, burrows me deeper into that gawd-awful hole.

The thing is, I know my depression isn’t anywhere near as bad what other people have to suffer. As in many parts of my life, I’ve been relatively lucky in the Mental Illness Lottery – if anyone with any kind of mental illness can be considered “lucky.” But, as Keith wrote in an entry on Wednesday (which happened to be my 46th birthday):

If I’ve learned one thing since this journey started it’s that there are millions of people out there suffering the same thing. Whether it’s Anxiety issues, Panic, Depression, or any of the multitude of other conditions collectively labelled under mental illness, I’m just one in a million. My friends all know someone who suffers, some in silence, some are very vocal. I tend to be one of the vocal ones. Yet I feel alone.

That’s the issue with many of us suffering from depression or any kind of mental illness. Even when I know I’m not alone, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. I feel like I suffer it in the dark and maybe that’s where I should fight it as well.

But I don’t have to.

Not only do I have friends who are going through the same thing and aren’t afraid to talk about it, I have friends who are there to support me and help me, if I would just allow them to do so. They may not suffer from mental illness themselves, but they know others who do, whether it be friends or family members. They may not know what I’m going through exactly, but they are compassionate human beings who understand that my struggle with life is just different from theirs and doesn’t make me a lesser person.

And I have HotScienceGuy.

There is this fear that, the more he sees what a mess I can sometimes be, the more he’ll realize that I’m just too much to deal with and will disappear. But that hasn’t happened. If anything, he’s shown me time and time again how much he loves me and that my issues aren’t going to scare him away.

While my past boyfriends have been good people, I have to say, I really lucked out this time.

I’m trying to think of a pithy way to wrap up this post, but nothing comes to mind (proof positive that I really need to work out my writing muscle). So just a huge shout-out to my awesome friends and to my fantastic boyfriend. In so many ways I’m a very fortunate person. Thank you to all of you.

“It’s important not to hide anymore.”

Today marks a wonderful day in American history: the official repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

After eighteen years of forcing far too many of our best, brightest and bravest to lie about who they are and who they love, our LGBT servicemen and women are legally permitted to serve openly and honestly.

It’s about damned time.

This isn’t to say that things will be magically okay overnight. Janiece writes about the difficulty of sea change. But, as time goes by, this will be less of an issue for future generations who choose to defend the United States, no matter their orientation.

Even lovelier: the marriage of Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner Dan Swezy in Vermont at the stroke of midnight, the moment the repeal went into effect. So very fantastic. As Lt. Ross said, “We feel that it’s important that as soon as we’re allowed to commit to each other that we do. It’s important not to hide anymore.

Navy Lt. Gary Ross, right, and Dan Swezy marry at midnight in Vermont as Don't Ask, Don't Tell becomes history. (Toby Talbot / Associated Press / September 19, 2011)

progress marches on…

A few days late to the party (as usual), but I just had to post this lovely photo:

After waiting 23 years, Phyllis Sifel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, were the very first couple to be wed in New York City.
After waiting 23 years, Phyllis Sifel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, were the very first couple to be wed in New York City.

As of Sunday, July 24, 2011, same-sex couples were allowed to exercise the civil right of marriage in the State of New York. And marry they did. Even a gay puppet couple from Avenue Q joined in on the celebrations.

It’s so nice to see that, in at least one avenue of life, progress is marching forward.

2011 can bite my shiny, metal ass…

It’s Day 2 of The Break-Up.

I’m at the point where spending time amongst humans is unbearable, but staying at home offers no distraction. Nothing but alternating pain and numbness. Especially since it turns out that he forgot a lot of his stuff (he had been staying with my roommate and me since the end of January, due to a foreclosure at the place that he had been renting).

I won’t go into details here. Too involved. But the upshot is that he screwed up, I found out and I kicked him out.

(Yes, there’s more to it. There’s always more to it – relationship issues and events leading to his screw-up and my fury. But it all ends with me being in pain and him being out on the streets.)

Of course, that causes even more whirling emotions and thoughts: Where did he sleep last night? Did crash on a friend’s sofa? Gawd, I hope he didn’t sleep in his car. And while a large part of me knows it would be best to not ask him back, even if it’s just to sleep on the couch, there is still a bit of me that wants to make sure he’s safe and sound and warm. Because I can be furious with him and still love him.

So I sit at home, wallowing, knowing I shouldn’t do so but finding it difficult to motivate myself out of bed to even eat, let alone get stuff done around the apartment that really needs to be done. Or to leave the apartment, where I run the risk of people seeing me break into tears.

Yeah, this is the part that really sucks.

We’ve exchanged emails so that we can get some practical items hammered out. Definitely needed, but I recognize it in part as an attempt to keep in touch with him. Yesterday he was cordial and apologetic. Today: very terse. And yes, that hurts.

But, hey, everything hurts today. It’s part of the process.

So I’m writing here, trying to help out the process. Tired of sending my friends and family texts and emails. Not up to talking on the phone. Tired of stupid little Facebook statuses and tweets on Twitter. Needing to fill this annoying, way-too-big hole somehow.

(As an aside, how the hell did we manage to get through breakups before the advent of cell phones and the internet? These wondrous machines have turned into a lifeline for me.)

At least I have the new apartment to look forward to. Someplace that’s all mine, with little residue from past relationships. (He saw the place with me and has helped me moved things, so there is some residual imprint of him.) I look forward to the time alone, but also fear it.

I know things will get better. I’ve been through this dance before, know the steps all too well.

Doesn’t mean the steps don’t bite, though.

gratitudinal december – cutefilmnerd…

I am grateful for CuteFilmNerd.

News alert: I am a mushy romantic. While I’ve never felt that I’m incomplete unless I have a man in my life (which is good, considering I went for nine years without a relationship), I do admit that I like having a companion. A lot.

I’m a very physical person. I love having someone to cuddle with, to hold hands with, to kiss and hug and have lovely, lovely sex with. But it’s not enough to have a warm male body next to me. I need the owner of that warm body to challenge me intellectually even while he shares my general outlook on life. Someone who makes me laugh by being witty and silly and who likes the fact that I’m super silly myself. Someone with compassion, who will hold me when I’m sad and understands my grief at the passing of a beloved pet. A generous man whose tastes in entertainment are fairly similar to mine, but who introduces me to fun and interesting things I’d never experienced and for whom I can do the same.

Luckily enough, I have found a man who pretty much hits all of those notes: CuteFilmNerd. We’ve been together almost three years, which is close to an eternity in my romantic life (I’ve been with only one man longer – that lasted three and a half years). A huge bonus for me? He’s mostly vegan and has helped to get me back on the vegan wagon after several years of consuming eggs and dairy. Which I had wanted to do, but couldn’t find the willpower to do so.

Is our relationship perfect? Of course not. No relationship is. But it’s so chock full of lovely, fabulous things that we’re willing to work on the things that aren’t so fabulous.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what a great relationship is about? No wonder I’m grateful.

“Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men & lesbians.”

The above quote was taken from the ruling handed down by Judge Vaughn R. Walker in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, in which two same-sex couples sued the Republic of California, challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

The ruling found that the proposition is unconstitutional, striking down the contention that relegating an entire group of people to second-class citizenship is perfectly okay.

Needless to say, this makes me very happy. One might even say it makes me…gay.

Yes, the Prop. 8 bigots will file an appeal. Had the decision gone the other way, opponents of Prop. 8 would’ve done the same thing. Last night the lawyers for Prop. 8 filed a motion for a stay on the ruling, which Judge Walker has granted for an indefinite period (though one lucky couple managed to sneak in their marriage before the stay was issued). But inevitably the tide will continue turning, washing the detritus of hate and bigotry out to sea. It’s only a matter of time.

Equality will win out.

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. — Judge Vaughn R. Walker — August 4, 2010

holy shite…

I knew I’d been gone for awhile, with only the weekly Twitter roundups as placeholders and no original content at all, but almost four months? Yowsa. I think I beat my previous “Ordinary Goddess” record by a month (though I was internet persona absentis for about eighteen months in from 2001 to 2003, when I switched from my online journal “Fleeting Imprints” to my Blogspot incarnation “All the Fun of the Fair”).

Anywho, things have been happening around Casa de Carol. Keeping myself relatively healthy, both in body and mind. Started taking Prozac in February, because my life was stalled due to a low-level depression that I just couldn’t kick-start myself out of, as well as an underlying constant anxiety that made me more than a little miserable and insecure, which didn’t help in the relationship department. This, combined with seeing a therapist whom I liked and felt comfortable with instantly, has made some difference. It’s still a bit of a struggle, but far less than it was previously. I’ll be starting a class-type thing next week – recommended by my therapist – which is supposed to help in handling depression and anxiety.

Oh, don’t worry about the previous mention of relationship issues. CuteFilmNerd and I are still very much together, having celebrated our second anniversary in March. It’s been tough for both of us, due to my depression/jealousy/insecurity and the issues that he has (which I will not write about here, as his life is not for public consumption unless he chooses to make it so), but we’re both stubborn people who love each other very much because of our many positive traits and are pretty determined to make this thing work, so we’ve got that going for us.

I will admit that a major issue that he had with me was taken care of in April, when I bought myself an early (and rather expensive) birthday present:

My early, expensive, birthday present to myself...
My early, expensive, birthday present to myself...

Yep, a new (to me) car – 2007 Suzuki Forenza. After nearly seven carless years, I’m finally experiencing flexible mobility. I have to admit, it’s pretty nice. Needless to say, right now I’m doing the majority of the driving when CuteFilmNerd and I go places. After over two years of hauling me around, it’s only fair. And yes, he seems to be enjoying my chauffeuring duties quite a bit, which I totally get. There were times in my previous car-owning life where I was the primary driver for a carless friend for a number of years that I would’ve liked to occasionally be in the passenger seat. Until she got her own car and proved to be a scary driver, that is.

It’s a good thing I started the Prozac in February, as driving was one of my anxiety triggers, especially at night. Now I’m rarely anxious when driving, which is a huge thing for me.

In addition, Matisse has been doing very well on his current prescription food and revised insulin dosage, full of energy and hardly seeming to be a fifteen year old cat. Edison and B.J. are also doing very well.

I’ve had a yen for cleaning and organizing too. Still more to do, but three of the four main areas of the apartment have seen marked improvements since April and have remained fairly neat and clean. Yay! Now I have to bust my ass on my bedroom and bathroom again, but having several spaces that feel comfortable (including the alcove I am currently typing in) is fantastic. I’m damned well going to keep it up.

Since taming the kitchen I’ve felt like cooking more often, which has given my creativity a new outlet (which is of the good, since my writing creativity has gone the way of the dodo). I’ve discovered that I make a mean vegan shepherd’s pie and that my vegan chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting are most yummy. Also? I can build a damned good vegan reuben.

So that’s the last few months in Le Vie du Carol. I have no idea how long I’ll be writing, or if I’ll write here on a regular basis. I may just opt to post writing exercises meant to tone up those muscles again. If so, I’ll post those in the Writing section of the site and mention them here.

Still, it’s good to see y’all again, even if it is only for a moment.

Take care!

musical interlude: i’m yours…

Because I’m a sappy, sappy woman, I decided that I’d put together a mix CD for CuteFilmNerd for Valentine’s Day. Songs that I felt expressed our relationship over the last (almost) two years were pondered and selected and rearranged until I felt it was as close to perfect as it was going to get. But there was one song that I knew I had to include from the moment I listened to the lyrics. One that had to be the coda of the CD:

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer.swf/track=3780605421/size=venti/bgcol=000033/linkcol=CCFFFF/
I’m Yours Lyrics (#9 – 2/3 of the way down)

Have I mentioned how much I love Marian Call’s music?. ‘Cause I do.