Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pride 2010

I've never been part of the gay community in the larger sense. I never really felt that it was something that I needed. But I'm beginning to see that it's a very warm and fun-loving community. On Friday, Antonio and I went to a cabaret show at the Metropolitan Room. It was very intimate and entertaining. The singer, accompanied only by a piano, bass, and drums, sang a collection of beautiful songs. Some were unexpected - The Bare Necessities and the theme from The Golden Girls. But his voice was amazing and he really had great stage presence. Since the club had a two drink minimum, I was feeling pretty good after the show. It was great start to the Pride weekend festivities.

The main event was on Sunday - the Pride March stopped traffic after countless floats rolled down 5th Avenue. I got a great spot with Antonio on 17th Street. We were able to see everyone, including Bettheny from the Real Housewives of New York and Dina Manzo from the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I pretty much died when I saw her! We also saw Lt. Choi and Mel B from the Spice Girls. Everyone was having such a great time! We saw cheerleaders, drag queens (lots of them), lesbians, bears, and dozens of people in crazy costumes. It was nice to see lots of politicians and churches and family organizations. Yes, it's great to be glittery and fabulous, but it's also good to know that there is a strong sense of social activism.

After the parade we went back to his place and counted our goodies. We had so many stickers and condoms! That's pretty much the standard thing to throw from a float - condoms! Then we went to Christopher Street for the street fair. It was a lot of fun too! We saw four black dancers were so talented. The one guy was able to use only his mouth to smoke a cigarette and then pull it into his mouth and blow out the smoke. It's hard to explain, but it was uber fun to watch. We also saw gay porn 3-D! It seems like an entirely frivolous waste of the technology, but it did have a certain novelty to it. There was a really strong sense of community and acceptance. It's sometimes hard to feel like the only gay person, but everyone was equal and treated with respect at the festivities. I could kiss Antonio without thinking that people were starring with disapproving glares.

Overall, it was such an eye-opening experience. New York is such a diverse and accepting place! I think that I am exactly who God intended me to be. So, the Pride celebration was exactly that - a huge celebration of being proud of the person you are!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Memory Lane

Last weekend I went back to Radford for the first time since I graduated. It was a bittersweet trip. It was great to see everyone and revisit the places that I'd spent four years of my life and where I really grew into the person that I am today. But it was also pretty sad because everything (and yet nothing) had changed. It was in the same places that I'd been so often and yet was in such a completely different place. It was weird to walk through Dalton with no intention of going to Freshens (oh, wait it's not Freshens anymore), or go to Heth with no intention of going to a club meeting, or cut through the Bonnie with no intention of going bowling, seeing a movie or doing any of the things I used to do on a regular basis. It's so funny how the place hasn't really changed at all, but I've changed so much.

It made me really think about what made Radford so wonderful. Yes, it's a beautiful campus, has a friendly community and a relaxed, peaceful feeling. But that's not why I have such fond memories. It's the people! The people that I met there are what made it such a great place to grow and learn. That really got me thinking about the way I treated people in the past. Shawna and I were best friends throughout sophomore and junior year and then really changed senior year. I was mad about stupid things that seem so inconsequential now. So, I texted her to apologize. I feel like it's a waste of time to be mad. And I'm so glad I did. I really forgot how great she is. She's sassy, country and really funny! We text back and forth and I can actually picture her saying all her classic lines, "Child you ain't got a lick of sense!" It's great to have her back in my life. She was always there for me when I was upset and needed a shoulder to cry on. That's more important than any petty quarrels or differences.

That also brought up other people and memories. I tried to fight it, but it made me think about Brian. Driving by his old apartment where I spent so many nights watching 24 and cuddling in bed, sitting by the river where we had a Chinese food picnic and walking through campus where we had classes together was really weird. It made me want to text him and just see how he's doing. I wondered if he ever thinks of me. It was the perfect time to have Shawna back in my life. She said that it's just being back in Radford that brought up all these memories. I wasn't convinced.

I was driving back to the Richmond airport and Antonio texted me. He wanted to know which airport I was flying into because he wanted to pick me up. I told him that it was sweet, but that it would be inconvenient and that he didn't have to. He texted me back and said, "But I WANT to, so give me your flight number when you can". It was the light instantly switched on. What was I thinking? I texted Shawna that I needed that she was right and that I needed to bitch slap myself. She said that it was just a crazy trip down memory lane. I was in Radford and missing the guy who LEFT me at the airport because he was too scared to just say what he wanted. And I'm lucky enough to have a guy who WANTS to be there just because he missed me. I got off the plane and he was sitting there waiting for me. It was such an amazing feeling! I kissed him and put my arm around him and told him about my trip as we waited for my bag. As we drove back into Manhattan and passed the glitzy buildings and people on the street, I realized that I'm exactly where I should be. I love Radford and it's slow pace and relaxing atmosphere, but it's not for me anymore. I went back to where I used to be and forgot where I am now. And I am so much happier now :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Where to Start?

Where do I begin? I went back to Radford this past weekend. It was such a wonderful, sad, funny, crazy, amazing trip! There are so many things that I want to remember. Let's just start at the beginning.

I woke up at 2:30 so that I wouldn't miss my flight at 7:00. It's a little overdramatic, I know. I left my apartment around 4:00 and got to the M60 bus stop on 125th street (that's REAL Harlem). The homeless people walk up and ask for spare change. I, sincerely, tell them that I don't have any. Then I realize that I'm dressed in nice clothes, have a suitcase, and a huge bag from Tiffany and Co. Yeah, I don't have 30 cents. The bus shows up pretty quickly and I'm expecting it to be empty. Nope. It's packed. I'm lucky enough to get a seat. There was a drunk and / or European guy who would not stop talking. I'm not trying to be a bitch, but it's 4:00. So, you know, shut the fuck up.

I get to the airport, get lost, find my way and eventually make it on the plane. Everything goes very smoothly. I land in Richmond 45 minutes later - shortest flight ever. I pick up my rental car and shocked to find out that it's $375. It was only supposed to be $150, but then they add insurance, taxes, gas, and fees. It's such a scam, but I couldn't get to Radford without it. The drive to RU was amazing!!! I was rocking out to Miley, Adam Lambert, the cast of Glee, a little Christina and Whitney and throw in a little Reba for good measure. It was so much fun!!

I didn't realize that Quest was going to be that day, so it was an extra treat. I went to the bookstore first. I was so excited to see Tania, Donna, Justin, Megan, Abigail, Linda and Megan! It was very Carrie coming back to New York after leaving Paris. There was lots of hands being thrown in the air and hugs and screaming. Then as I was walking to NSP, I saw Dr. Pappas sitting in his truck. We talked for a little. He's such a trip. I really had no idea what he was talking about, but he gave me an arĂȘte for the day. And then he started singing about dreaming of swine all day. You'd have to be in one of his classes to understand. I went to NSP and saw my other family! Debbie was so excited! Check it out! Michele and Lindsay were so excited to hear about my fabulous life in New York, Michele and I talked forever. Lastly, I went to Admissions and saw my other Debbie! I notice that love hanging out with southern, older women. I just love them.

It was perfect timing because Skeens was in Radford packing her apartment. She and I went to the Quest play. It was so surreal to see other people doing the same play that I had done 4 years earlier. They did pretty good, but they ain't got nothing on Quest '06. We hung out with her dad and sister for a bit and then sat on her patio after they went to bed. I love her so much. She's so chill and we just sat there and talked about life after college and enjoyed the warm, summer air.

Julianna and Kevin's wedding was so beautiful! Luckily I made it on time despite some directional inconsistencies. It was a very traditional ceremony. She cried while trying to repeat after the pastor. And when she cried, of course, I started crying. The reception was great too! Tonise and I sat with Jessica Lollar and her husband. I really misjudged Jessica. I always thought she was hateful and homophobic (that's the distinct impression I get from her dad). But is truly the sweetest person I've ever met. We had a great conversation! I can't believe she has a baby. I really wish her the best. I love when people surprise you for the better. Tonise and I hung out after the reception. I love people with whom you can just be. We just hung out, watched TV, and talked. She's a very comfortable person to be around. Now, I just need to convince her to go to law school at NYU. I'm up for the challenge.

Sunday morning was bittersweet. I got some fruit from Food Lion and went down to the river near Dedmon. It was relaxing and peaceful and calm. I walked in the river and along the bank. It was great to take a breath, relax and clear my head. I walked through campus one last time and saw a family sitting by the fountain. I was hoping and praying they'd ask me some questions. They did! After asking if I was there for orientation and explaing that I'd graduated in '09, the questions came - rapid fire. I loved every minute it. I could tell that some things I told them were word for word what I used to say on tours. I still got it. Then I said goodbye and drove away.

My flight back to New York was fine! Antonio picked me up from the airport. As we drove back into Manhattan. I couldn't tell if it was him, the cool leather seats or all the lights and shiny buildings, but I realized that I'm exactly where I need to be. The trip was exactly what I needed. Every once in a while I need to get away, breathe, clear my head and just be still.

That's what happened, now let's explore the crazy rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions that race through my head throughout the weekend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Manhattan Real Estate

I never thought that finding a new apartment would become a full time job. When I started working at Sinai, my first priority was finding a place to live. I wasn't really picky and didn't put too much emphasis on neighborhood or the social / nightlife aspect. I just really wanted to be done with my 90 minute commute. Now, I've been here for a year and I'm ready for something different, new and better.

We found a great place on 85th between 3rd and Lex - that's AMAZING! It's close to the 4 and 5, movie theaters, bars, restaurants, shopping. It couldn't get better. Well, there are a few drawbacks. The rooms are quite small and that could pose a problem. It's still close to the top of our list. We put in our applications and I'm working on getting my dad to sign the guarantor form. BUT, last night I found an even better apartment on 3rd and like 84th (I think). The pics make it look amazing!! We're going to see it tomorrow. If it looks like it does in the pictures, we'll take it on the spot. I'm so excited.

One thing I've found is that Manhattan real estate goes so quickly. I found one apartment that I really like. It was posted in the afternoon and by the time the realtor emailed me the next morning, it was already gone. It's like it's a race! You have to be on the ball! You can't wait. You can't hesitate.

For this apartment that we're looking at tomorrow, I saw the listing at 11:30 yesterday evening. I emailed the realtor at midnight, texted him at 7:15 and then called and left a voicemail at 7:30. Luckily, it paid off and he agreed to show it. He couldn't get the keys from the tenants so we couldn't see it tonight. It was like a knife in my chest. But, I texted him and made it VERY clear that we were very interested and that we'd probably take the apartment. I even told to bring the paperwork with him tomorrow and we'd sign. I couldn't stress my seriousness and interest (and OCD) enough.

We're looking for a home for the next three years and I don't want to settle. It's very tough to make a decision. You don't want to settle and pick something that you don't absolutely love. But, you don't also want to keep tossing back decent places in hopes that you find your dream apt because it may not happen. We're looking at the apartment at 5:45 tomorrow. I hope (and even pray in this case) that everything goes well and we LOVE this apartment!

Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Carrie and Chuck

Antonio and I went for an amazing dinner in the Meatpacking District on Friday. We went to Fig and Olive, which is a trendy Mediterranean restaurant. The food was amazing. Our dates are getting better and better each time. I guess as we continue to date, things become more comfortable and there's less pressure. Afterward we strolled through the Highline and enjoyed the view of the Hudson. As we walking back to his place, we saw four girls dressed to the nines. They looked fabulous! There was one standout girl; we decided to call her Carrie. She was stunning...from the back. Since we were walking behind them we never saw her face. But her ass was...wow! Even we could appreciate it. It was so funny because every day practically broke their neck try to get a glance. They holler, "Hey baby! Yo, you in the white. I got what you want!" Of course they girl kept right on strutting without giving anyone a second glance. It must be awesome to be so attractive that you literally stop traffic.

Then we were on a quiet, tree-lined street. We were holding hands and admiring the huge townhomes. I heard some guy from behind us ask us if we could tell him where the "gay district" was. We decided to call him Chuck. At first, I thought he was trying to be insulting. But then he told us that he was looking to go to a gay bar and meet people. He said that because we were holding hands that we'd know of a great place. Antonio gave him directions to the Village. Of course, we were in Chelsea so I don't really know how this guy couldn't find something gay to do. I felt bad for him - he was wearing baggy jeans and an over-sized Yankees t-shirt. Someone desperately needs to tell him that we wear our clothes tight. He was very Justin on his first time to Liberty Avenue on QAF. But then he walked away twisting his butt with the best of them. I wonder what happened to him. Did he find what he was looking for?

Only in New York...

Friday, June 11, 2010

And the Search Begins...

It's that time again...already. I had originally planned on staying in my current apartment for a few years. But, for a variety of reasons, it hasn't worked out that way. Spencer and I have decided to get our own place in a better neighborhood. We'd be like to be a little lower (between 80th and 90th) and a little more west (between 2nd and Lexington).

We saw one place this afternoon. It was just okay. The pre-war building looked more like it was built during the war. The floors were torn up and the walls were yellow - it was a "no" from me as soon as we walked in. But, I wanted to have an open mind. The apartment is decent. It has exposed brick and pretty big bedrooms. The only downside was that the living room was an awkward shape and the kitchen was essentially part of the living room. The bathroom was right off the kitchen - and we all know about my bathroom eccentricity. Plus, they are building the 2nd Avenue subway line nearby so there is a lot of construction equipment and noise. The neighborhood was great - near grocery stores, laundry, bars, take-out and a gym (though I'd hate to leave Bally’s). Overall, it's not a bad apartment. But, we can't see one place and make a decision. We need to see what's out there and make an informed choice.

We found another apartment (85th between 3rd and Lex), which is our ideal location. The pictures make it seem great and the bedrooms can fit a Queen-sized bed and extra furniture. I don't want to get too excited because it seems too good to be true. Luckily we have to look around and wait for the perfect apartment for us.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Christina Aguilera released her fourth album, Bionic, this past Tuesday. I had mixed feelings regarding the album. The first single, Not Myself Tonight, was just good. It didn't blow me away, but I liked listening to it. WooHoo is great, but it's a little long. I heard Christina perform Lift Me Up and You Lost Me at the Haiti telethon and American Idol, respectively and couldn't get enough. I went from lows to highs before the album was even released.

Now, I've heard the entire album. I would argue that it's a great CD with a few flaws. The problem is that Christina's voice is too good for the kind of music she wants to make. Britney does great dance music because she has to rely on autotune to make great sounding music. Christina doesn't have to do that. She can sing acapella and it sounds breathtaking. The outrageous "Not Myself Tonight" music video is another example of Christina trying too hard and doing something unnecessary. She doesn't have to rely on sex or shock value to sell records. Some of the songs, while catchy, sound beneath her. Bobblehead, a favorite of mine, feels as though it would be more appropriate on an Avril Lavigne CD. I Hate Boys is so cliché and does nothing to highlight Christina's voice.

It doesn't come as a shock to me that my favorite songs on the album are the slower tracks. Lift Me Up, You Lost Me, I Am, Stronger than Ever are among my faves. They showcase the raw power of her voice. That being said, there are some great tracks - Vanity, Desnudate, and Bobblehead to name a few. Intros, in general, are a waste of space in my opinion. I don't need and 11 second introduction to a song. I'm smart; I can figure out what the song is about.

Deejay and I were talking about the recent Christina / Gaga controversy. He argued that Christina has a much better voice, but that Gaga is a better artist. Gaga is who she is and she doesn't have to try. This new, dirtier Christina feels forced and unnatural. She's a mother and happily married. The whole lesbian, grinding, sex pot doesn't fit her anymore. I don't think she could ever create something as original and sleek and amazing as Gaga's Alejandro.

I would say - go buy it! It's a great album. There are definitely some tracks that you'll want to skip over, but there are plenty of gems. It's not as perfect as Back to Basics, but it's definitely worth repeated listenings.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

3rd Date / Uh Oh

Antonio and I had our third date on Friday. We have reservations at Havana Central, which is a great restaurant in Union Square. I noticed how much easier the conversations get each time we see each other. Of course, on our first date, it kinda feels like a job interview with cocktails. But this time it was very comfortable and fun.

After dinner we walked around a little (NYC is perfect for that). At dinner he had told me about an apartment he had seen on Selling New York on HGTV. The apartment had like three floors and a dome and was just amazing. It just so happened that we passed Core, the reality company selling the apartment, as we strolled down the street. We stopped and looked at the fancy, lighted monitors advertising other apartments. It's funny that I don't think $400,000 for a studio with only 738 square feet isn't that bad.

We kept walking and decided to go to Pinkberry for dessert. I started talking about something and I noticed that he was glued to his Blackberry screen. Normally I wouldn't say anything, but then he gave me an inattentive "uh huh." I jokingly pouted and was like, "you're not even paying attention." He joked and put his arm around me and kissed me and said he was trying to find the closet Pinkberry. It was all so comfortable and romantic. Then he held my hand as we walked down the street, which is really a non-issue compared to the lynch mob that would have appeared in Radford.

That's when I had my Uh Oh moment. I’m guarded and don’t usually let people in. I thought that our first date would be okay and then I’d never hear from him again. But now, we’ve gone out a several times. On our 3rd date, I was like whoa, I kinda really like him. He makes me smile and he's sweet and funny and I kiss him for hours. I find that every time we end a date, he always is anxious to set up the next one. I noticed that when I was tanning on the lawn in Central Park, I was thinking, "Wow, I wonder what he's doing and if he'd like to lay out here too". Who knows? Well, we're having dinner tonight at Sushi Samba in the Village. I'm looking no further than a delicious meal with a great guy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I very rarely ever see a movie at the theater more than once. But, I instantly knew that after seeing Sex and the City 2 when it opened on the 27th that I desperately needed to see it again. I was in luck! When my fellow New Yorker (well...Long Islander) and new bff, Jen Varley, was in the city I knew exactly what the two of us needed. We were just in time to catch the 3:10 at the Regal on 42nd street.

Seeing it a second time was very interesting. I didn't have to worry about trying to follow the story or predict what was going to happen because I had already seen it. I was able to just sit back and enjoy it! It was better the 2nd time around. I picked up jokes that I had missed the first time. How could I miss the "Lawrence of my labia" comment from Samantha?

The audience was much better too! I could hear the women laugh when Samantha did the Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) dance at Anthony and Stanford's wedding. I smiled when they all gasped when Carrie and Aidan kissed. It almost felt interactive - as though we were a collective group enjoying the movie together, even though we were all strangers!

Critics argue that there wasn't much of a plot. I disagree! Charlotte deals with complexities of raising two children and worrying that her husband may cheat with the nanny, Samantha braves the maze of menopause (at least they aren't shying away from her age), Miranda deals with missing working after she quits her job, and Carrie dwells on the very real fear that she and Big may become boring and lose the sparkle. Sure, it's not as dramatic as the first film, but that's good! Drama is great, but so is comedy and fun!

I can't wait to see it a 3rd time and I can't wait to be first in line for the DVD.