Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Field Day / Life

My elementary used to have Field Day once a year in the spring. Everyone always looked forward to it. I remember that there always used to be a big race on the field behind the school near the woods. Now I'm sure it doesn't come as a shock that I wasn't the most athletic kid. I always thought that I was special and that if I were determined enough, I could win the race. I envisioned my little legs powering me across the finish line. That never happened.

That memory has been playing over and over in my mind lately. I feel like it's a reoccurring scenario. I try and try and still don't feel like I get to the finish line. Maybe I'm not special, maybe I'm just average. Is that the worst thing in the world?

John Lennon once wrote, "When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life"

What are my goals? What will make me happy? I think 2013 will be the year to figure these things out.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Year, New Body

Love has made me soft. I don't mean in a sappy, sentimental way. It's much worse that that. It's made stomach and arms soft. I've been paying $183 a month for my Equinox ID card to collect dust in my gym bag.

What can I say? What would I rather be doing - sweating and killing myself at the gym or cuddling with Josh while eating Ben and Jerry's and watching a movie? It's a great feeling to have someone who accepts and loves you exactly the way you are. But it's also a curse. LOL. I've let myself go.

Tonight's workout at the Equinox in Chelsea was a wake-up call. The models aren't on billboards or in magazines, they are in the locker room. It's intimidating. But I'm ready to be one of them.

But I'm ready to strike a balance. Josh and I are holding each other accountable so we both reach our goals. It's kind of fun to be starting back at step one. I love that feeling of waking up and being sore. I'm excited to see my body transform...again. This post is the official start of my revamp.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

This Christmas was a holiday of firsts. I introduced Josh to my Dad, Steph, Aunt Honey and Aunt Kathy for the first time. It was the first year I've ever had a boyfriend join me for the holidays. It was also the first time I've ever traveled to my boyfriend's parents' house for the holidays. This holiday was so special because it felt like the first one in a long time that everything clicked. I was happy to have Josh with me at home and I was touched that his family has welcomed me with such open arms. As I grow up (still in progress), I realize more and more that the people in my life are the presents, not the pretty boxes under the tree.

I really started getting into the Christmas spirit when Josh surprised me with our first Christmas tree. We'd decided that it'd be a pain to buy and decorate a tree this year. But he knew that I liked the smell and tradition so he spent part of his vacation haggling for a good price, picking out ornaments and wrapping lights and garland around our adorable tree. The shining star of the tree was the MDNA tour VIP pass that he turned into an ornament. It was perfect!

As Christmas drew closer, we decided to spend December 23rd and 24th at my parents' house and then go to his parents' house for the 25th and 26th. It worked out really well, but it was exhausting. I have 25 years worth of memories and people that I want to share with Josh. It's a lot pack into a two day trip. But we made the most of it.

We used Josh's mom's Ford Edge to drive from Rock Tavern to Pennsylvania. Our first stop was Aunt Honey's house in Prospect Park. She is one of my favorite relatives. She calls it like she sees it, doesn't censor herself and makes my sides hurt from all the laughs.

Next we drove to Dover Downs to meet my Dad and Steph for dinner and some Christmas gambling. I'm not sure how slot machines have become part of the Godby Christmas tradition, but I like it. I think dinner went really well. I know that both sides were probably nervous and didn't know what to say, but I had a good time. My dad gave me $50 to gamble with for Christmas. I put in a penny slot, lost 50 cents, and then gained it back. That's it. Cash out. I'm done. I'm proud of my ability to walk away. Josh wasn't so lucky. He put in a $100 bill, got up to $105 and then went down to about $70. Oh well. It was such a good time. Naturally, my dad ending up winning money. I don't know how he always wins. We only gambled for a little bit before we both needed to started heading home. I think everyone made a great impression.

The big challenge would be making it through a Godby/Daemer Christmas. LOL. When we finally got to Mom and Sam's, we were greeted by 5 people and 5 dogs. I knew Bogie (crazy) and Grace (super sweet) would be with Michele and Kasey. Naturally, I know Abby (newest addition to the family) and Marty (scrappy, but cute) would be there. Morgan was a surprise. My mom was dog sitting for a friend. All the canine companions made for some funny memories.

Josh got to experience Michele's organizational skills first hand. We had the traditional gingerbread house construction. I took the lead on decorating after a few glasses of wine and I think it was our best house yet. We also made and decorated a Rice Krispie's Choo-Choo Train. It was a lot of fun and the first time that a craft of mine didn't seem like it was done by an 8-year-old. Josh also got to help decorate our tree. It was fun to show him my ornaments from years past - Power Rangers, Floppy Disk, Zac Efron. Decorating the tree this year was much more fun that I remember because I had someone special to share it with. I don't know how I keep end up putting the angel on the top of the tree, but I managed to do so flawlessly. Well. Maybe there was a minor slip that almost sent me falling into the tree. Eh. All's well that end's well.

My family always opens presents on Christmas Eve, but this year we did something different. No one really needs anything, so we decided to not do presents and use the money to plan a family vacation to Utah for the summer. I think it's a great idea. I've always wanted to go see the Grand Canyon, go hiking, etc so I'm really looking forward to it. Naturally the dogs all got presents. Marty was an expert as unwrapping presents, which was hilarious. And Abby stockpiled all the toys in her crate after the other dogs tired of playing with them. We were also lucky enough to have some snow on Christmas Eve. It was so beautiful to see the falling snow with the woods in the background. No street lights, so noise. Peace.

Michele and Kasey left early on Christmas Day to head to Ohio and we left about an hour after they did. Josh got so excited when we stopped at Wawa for breakfast. I always thought it was just a fancy gas station, but they do have really good food. It was about three and a half hours to Josh's parents' house in Rock Tavern, New York. His mom and dad are so sweet. I love when his mom calls us her boys. His dad is a lot like Sam - quiet, but really caring. He always gives me a handshake and a big hug. Their tree was gorgeous and it was so much fun opening presents with Josh's nieces, Bella and Sophia. Bella is such an adorable kid. She's so sassy! I love it. Sophia is just starting to walk, but her smile is infectious. Josh's parents got me so many presents. His mom asked for a list so I thought about what I really wanted - gym clothes. It's the one thing I can't have enough of. She went all! They also got me two prints from the country store we had visited in the fall. I can't wait to hang them up. It'll bring a little bit of the country to my NYC apartment. The best part was Big Larry's prime rib. It was unbelievable. It was the first time that I can really remember loving a first bite so much. Erin and Larry got an Xbox 360 so we all had a blast trying to use the Kinect to smash boxes, sail through rivers and fly. Erin is a riot!

This Christmas was amazing! I got to spend the season with the people that I love the most. Sitting around the kitchen table playing cards, playing an iPad game with Josh's niece, losing a game of tug-of-war with the dogs. Those are what the holidays are all about. Family. And I'm so lucky to have such loving one. And while gifts are just materials things, Tresa did get me a 64 GB iPhone 5 and Pam got me a Paul Smith dopp kit. Me likey!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Meet the Parents

I came out to my parents in 2006. That was the big bombshell. Josh is the first boyfriend that I've really wanted to introduce to my parents. I've met his family many times and I really wanted to share this wonderful guy I'd found with them. Logistically it's no walk in the park. My parents live almost three hours away and renting a Zipcar runs about $200 for the day. But it meant a lot to me and I know it meant a lot to Josh. So this past Saturday was the big introduction.

I rented an Audi Q5 so we could travel in style. It was much different than any car I'd driven before and it left me with the impression that maybe I'm not that great of a driver. I'm going to chalk it up to needing more experience with the car. I was stopping and going like crazy. How neither of us has whiplash is a miracle. Once we escaped the city, the rest of the drive was pretty uneventful.

I showed Josh the house I grew up in, the place where I went to elementary and high school and gave some tidbits about my hometown. But slowly we made the uphill turn off of 841 and onto Old School House Road. Now my palms were starting to sweat. We pulled in the driveway to see my mom waiting to greet us. My mom is the absolute best! I could tell that Josh was nervous, which was cute because he felt so confident before we left.

We walked over to the shed where Sam was fixing something and then Renee and a mystery friend popped out the mudroom door. It was introductions bombarding from all sides. I didn't even remember Renee's friend so that was an introduction for me too. I was so nervous. I was wondering if Josh would like them and if it they'd like him. It's like two really important puzzle pieces in my life and I'm hoping and praying they fit.

One of the cutest things Josh did was that he was so complacent. I was getting him water and my Mom asked if he preferred glass or plastic. Michele and I are neurotic and only like to drive from ancient Tupperware classes, but I understand that most people like glass. My mom asked what he'd like and had no opinion. I was thinking "Babe, there isn't a right or wrong answer." LOL. He was super proper and respectful, which is so not our family way. Michele and I have contests to see who can burp the loudest. And it's civilized if we can make it through a meal without a dirty joke or mentioning how Renee laughed so hard that she peed on one of the chairs.

The apple pie that we made turned out really well. I'm relieved since Josh insisted we make two so we could adjust the recipe for the second one if the first one didn't turn out right. Sure we were pulling a pie out of the oven at 1:45 in the morning, but it was worth it.

We just hung out on the couch, played with the dogs and watched tv for a while. That's how my family is - we're very relaxed. Once I told my mom that we had to return the car by 11:00, she rushed us out the door. It was really sweet how she still worries about me. We did hugs all around in the driveway before we got back in the car and headed home. I think it couldn't have gone better.

There was a moment when I thought about my wonderful family and looked over at Josh during our classic Britney sing-a-long when I realized how amazing my life is. I'm really blessed to have a fantastic family, amazing boyfriend and some colleagues who make me laugh and are really there for me when I need it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Renee's Birthday / Justin Bieber's Believe Tour

I really wanted to do something big for Renee's birthday this year. I'm so proud of her and wanted to do something that would be a huge shock and a something she'd remember for a long time. When Justin Bieber announced that he was going on tour, I realized what a perfect opportunity it would be. At first I bought tickets for the show in Brooklyn, but then realized it'd be easier and more convenient to get tickets for the show at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

I bought the front row tickets of section 5 a few weeks before the show. I knew that we'd have an amazing view of the stage. Eh, it's just money. A lot of money, but still just money. After a harrowing trip home thanks to Zipcar, the stage was set. The family sat down for dinner and cake and then began opening presents. When it was my turn, I simply told Renee to close her eyes and I put the two tickets in front of her. When she opened her eyes, she started crying and screaming. When she realized that the show was that night, she really lost it. She jumped up, hugged me and began to tweet and her text her friend. All the planning and money for the tickets was all worth it in this one moment.

I had a checklist of sorts for the night of the concert. The first thing on the list was making sure that we got to the venue safe. That one went off without a hitch. The second item on the list was making into the venue because I bought the tickets on Stubhub and I've had issues with fake tickets in the past. Check this one off. No problems with these tickets. Phew. Next on the list was making sure Renee didn't get kidnapped. Sure, she's 15. Sure, she's got a cell phone and probably could kick and scream and get away. But that still didn't really put me at ease. After we found our seats and went to go get souvenirs, we each went to the bathroom before the show started. Since it's a round rink, I couldn't see the line for the women's room while I was walking to the men's room. The men's room had no line. No surprise there. After a minute or two, I walked back to where Renee had been waiting in line. She was gone. A sane person would just think that the line moved and she was in the bathroom. Not me. I instantly think of the worst possible scenario. I text her and she doesn't respond. Now I'm spinning. Luckily she walks out of the bathroom in her new Justin Bieber t-shirt with her hair in a ponytail. I checked my phone and she was only gone for 3 or 4 minutes at the most. Oh well, better safe than sorry.

Let's start the show. Carly Rae Jepsen performed as the opening act. She did a decent job, but the crowd could not wait for Justin to take the stage. The screams and shrieks were deafening. I actually thought my ears were being damage from all the teenage hysteria.

Once Justin too the stage after a panic-inducing 10:00 countdown, it was 90 minutes of pure entertainment. He did all his big hits and most of her newer material. The dancing, lights and pyrotechnics were so impressive. His voice sounded good and mature. I give him credit for dancing and singing most of the songs. It wasn't the type of show where you could show that he could just wing it. You could tell it took hours and hours of preparation. Renee and I were having such a great time! Just took to a crane above the stage and flew over us. It was pandemonium. He even took his shirt off for one song. Wow. Renee screamed and I secretly had inappropriate thoughts. Eh, he's 18 so it's fine. The Believe Tour was must more impressive than both Britney Spears' tour that I've seen. He's a true professional and a class act to his fans.

As the show ended and the lights went up, I could tell that we both had a great time. It was nice to share something with her that was just the two of us. I can't be around that often since my life is now in New York. I'm just trying to be a good big brother.

Now I have one big, nagging question. What am I going to do when she turns 16?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election 2012

Even from the start, I figured that Obama was going to win the election. New York is a blue state so there really wasn't much need for me to vote. But I thought it'd be fun. I also thought about people in Africa who walk for miles and days to be able to cast their vote. All I have to do is stand in line for a while and press a few buttons. I woke up on Election Day. I took the train from Josh's apartment and decided to pop into my polling place and vote real quickly. I didn't shower, brush my teeth, etc. It's only going to be a few minutes, right? I walked the one block and found a relatively short line. Phew. I waited no more than ten minutes to get into the gym at the local middle school. Then I walked inside and saw a crazy series of zigzagging lines. It was utter chaos. I had never voted before so I didn't know the protocol. Apparently, I had to get in the line for my district (I live in district 38). Who knew? That line took about 30 minutes. Not bad.
They handed me my ballot, which basically looked like a scantron. I went behind the little privacy booth and cast my vote. Obviously, I voted for Obama. But then there were so many other elections - councils, representatives. Oops. I had no idea who these people were and I didn't know if I was allowed to Google them. It kinda felt like it'd be cheating on the exam. So I did what anyone would do - I picked them based on their party. If I had to pick between more than one Democrat, I went with the person with the friendliest sounding name. That's how Democracy is supposed to work, right?
After you fill out your ballot, you have to get in the line to scan it. It didn't make much sense to me, but what do I know. I start meandering through the crowd. The line is out the gym. Ugh. This is going to take longer than I thought. The look on my face when I saw that the line actually went through the hall, down some steps and outside must have been priceless. Are you kidding me?
I was standing in a tight, U-shaped line. I wasn't dressed for the weather because I expected to be inside for a few minutes, not roughing it outside. The line moved slowly. The crowd's mood went from comical to outraged. The system seemed very antiquated. I took a series of pictures as the line went from a long, U-shape to something that extended around the entire perimeter of the tennis courts. Phew. I'm glad I got there when I did. If I had waited, the line would have been much longer.
It just keeps growing...
And growing...
And growing...
(This poor lady had to hobble along to the back of the line. She claimed to have a doctor's appt and couldn't wait. Sorry lady! Nobody wants to be here. Get to steppin').

As the line moved and we made our way back inside the building, the tension started to fade. Everyone just wanted to get in and out. The volunteers, on the other hand, were very frustrated and cranky. When I was next it line, I stood there like a deer in headlights. I was afraid of making a wrong move and then being yelled at and told to go to the back of the line. I walked up, put my ballot in the machine and received a friendly pop-up saying "Your ballot has been cast". That's it? That's it? I waited in line for an hour and 45 minutes and that's all I get? Ugh. I didn't even get a sticker. Eventually I made my way to work and went about the rest of my day. After work I went to Equinox and was bombarded with election coverage. I made my way up the endless steps on the stairclimber with five huge monitors in front of me. It was a barrage of news. Fox, MSNBC, CNN were all had talking heads predicting and and debating election results. It was overwhelming. It also didn't make sense because most polling places didn't close until 7:00 or 8:00 PM. I guess they just needed to fill the time. After my workout and shower, I went home and took enough cold medicine to take down a baby elephant. I missed all the meaningful election coverage and victory parties. I briefly woke up around midnight. I turned on the TV and saw that President Obama won his second term. Great. Good. Now back to bed. Let's see where the next four years takes us...

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I have been looking forward to the MDNA Tour for over six months. After reviewing costume sketches, fan videos and reviews, my turn had finally come. I took a half-day to go to the gym and get ready for the show. I just happened to look at the ticket when I got home and noticed something weird. The date was wrong. GASP! OMG! I bought a ticket for Saturday's show instead of Thursday's show. I was dying! On the verge of tears. But I made the decision that I was going to the show that night. So I went online and bought another $730 ticket. In the end, I sold my Saturday ticket. I didn't end of seeing the show for free, but I did only pay $475. I can live with that because the show was worth every penny.

I sported my jorts, tight Boy Gone Wild tank, and stylist high tops and made my way up to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I met up with Ida and her sister-in-law before making my way down to my seat on the floor. The ticket said the show would start at 8:00. Ha! We all knew better. Avicii did an awesome opening set and then dozens of crew worked to get the stage set up for the real show.

Finally at 10:30 the lights went down and the crowd went wild. Monks skulked around the stage while contortionist gargoyles twisted their bodies into scary positions. The opening screen split and Madonna appeared knelt in a confessional while toting an AK-47. YES!! Instantly I was in love! There were plenty of guns and violence during Girl Gone Wild and Revolver, which I always felt was underrated. One of the highlights of the show was the Gang Bang. Madonna sits in a seedy motel room set while masked men sneak up on her. Good thing she has both hand and machine guns. As she kills each assailant, bloods splatters across the huge video screens. It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Transgression was the perfect to start an epic show.

I'll admit that I wasn't crazy about the Majorette theme. But when she kicked it off with drummers, batons and a marching band suspended from the ceiling, I knew that she knew exactly what she was doing. She mashed up Express Yourself with a lesser version aka Born This Way. Ooow! Burn! Then she ended with a cheeky version of She's Not Me. Can it get better? Give Me All Your Luvin' was never my favorite song on MDNA, but she took it and killed it. The dance break down in the middle of the song made my jaw hit the floor. She's 54 and still puts on a better show than either of the two Britney concerts I've seen.

The third theme begins with flashbulbs and the sound of snapping cameras. VOGUE! She used the same choreography from the Super Bowl and I'm so glad she did. It was epic and this costume change was amazing. A reinvention of her cone bra with a skeletal bodice. But she loses it quickly when she launches into a sexy version of Candy Shop mixed with Erotica. Fire! Human Nature was another highlight. I love her defiant, "fuck you" attitude and her sexy striptease was mesmerizing. Her body was harder than mine is. Whatever she's doing, I need to start doing it pronto.

The final theme was Celebration and that's exactly what it was. I'm Addicted was reworked it and added some great choreography. She made it a highlight of the night. I'm A Sinner was another song that I liked but didn't love. But she used the elaborate staging to a create the feeling of riding atop a bus in India. Magical! I didn't think that Madge could top Like A Prayer from the Sticky and Sweet tour. But she did! This time she brought a huge choir and mixed it with deep bass. It was pure bliss! The crowd loved it - we all had hands in the air. Like A Prayer was bittersweet because it was when I realized that the show was almost over. Celebration was a bright, trippy spectacle. It was an explosion finish to the best concert I've ever seen.

The experience was so surreal and magical that I want that feeling again. And I want to share it! She's doing two shows at Madison Square Garden in November. Do I have the money to see it again? No. Am I going to do everything in my power to get amazing seats? As Madonna made us shout when she asked if we'd defend our freedom, "Fuck Yeah!"

See you in a few months, Madge!