Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Final 25 Things About Me.

  1. As a child, I was caught on a railroad trestle with a train speeding toward me and had to run as fast as I was able to beat the train and get off the track.
  2. While in high school, my family hosted a French exchange student, a pretty blonde girl named Caroline. Before she left Paris, she shaved her legs, which scandalized her mother who thought she looked like an American floozy.
  3. My Prima Por Vida, Vickie and I started wondering how big our Hispanic Catholic family had become. We counted up the number of people on our side of the family but were unsure we had it all down. Calling on La Capitan de nuestro familia, Tía Maria Elena, she took all of 15 minutes before returning the verdict: 93 relatives, including spouses. Tía added the 1 fiancee and 2 longterm boyfriends for a total of 96. We are the stereotypical Catholic Hispanic family! Imagine what our family reunion will be like, once we get one organized.
  4. I remember buying candy at the Superette on the corner of W. Elmwood & Old Sterlington Rd. in Monroe, La. One of my favorites was the pack of bubblegum cigarettes coated with sweetened powder that blew out like real smoke when you puffed on the "cigarette". Gotta love the tobacco marketing back then.
  5. My "you're going to burn in hell" moment happened in 1988 when I made out in a confessional after a meeting of the LSU Catholic students organization.
  6. I accidentally threw my boyfriend's class ring out a car window and off the Desiard St. bridge while trying to get rid of a beer can pop top (or pull tab, whatever you call them). He was not happy about it. We broke up within days.
  7. I have braved the infamous Southern Decadence in New Orleans and lived to tell the tale, although I may still be emotionally scarred. I'd thought I'd seen it all until I went to this Labor Day festival. Let's just say I have an image of a sex act burned forever into my mind along with permanent liver damage.
  8. When I was a bartender, my signature shot was called a Blowjob. Made with creme de cacao, creme de banana, vodka and cream, it goes down super easy but you'll definitely know you've had one.
  9. I have read all of the books in the Wizard of Oz series penned by L. Frank Baum. Some were not so good.
  10. I believe in magic. I think everyone needs more magic in their lives.
  11. I think every teenager needs a part time job, even if it is only during summer break.
  12. Oreo cookies are one of my guilty pleasures.
  13. I am still dreaming of the day when I can go skydiving. I'm not worried about dying but I am concerned I may break a foot or ankle upon impact.
  14. I still wish on the first star I see at night.
  15. One year I had a Valentine's breakfast date, lunch date and dinner date. It was a very good year.
  16. I have seen/participated in the Rocky Horror Picture Show 13 times over the years. For the record, I've never worn a costume although if I ever had it would be Magenta's.
  17. Once when discussing how in the past I've dated men I met at friends' weddings, my niece (who was 8 at the time) quipped "Tía Kay will be looking for a husband at my wedding." Sadly, my family probably still believes that.
  18. If I had one hour to spend with anyone at all in the world there would be no way I'd be able to choose just one person. I love too many of ya'll.
  19. Like Madonna sings "Some girls, they like candy, and others, they like to grind, I’ll settle for the back of your hand somewhere on my behind."
  20. My favorite place to eat in St. Louis is Pho Grand at 3195 South Grand Blvd. If you're in town and need great Dau Hu Chien Don, Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio and Cafe Sua Da they are the place to hit. Mmmm!
  21. If you gave me a $50 bill and said I could spend it wherever I pleased, it would be very difficult to choose between Whole Foods, Central Market, Half Price Books or Barnes & Noble. I'd either buy an ounce of caviar and a decent but midrange priced champagne or books.
  22. My favorite summer camp experience was Camp Hacknslash, the world premiere of Freddy Vs. Jason. Hosted by Alamo Drafthouse and Ain't It Cool News, we participated in camp activities with a twist. Softball became sloshball when you had to stop and chug a beer at 2nd base. We made Freddy hands and Jason masks along with other Blair Witch Crafts. Yummy BBQ and endless beer had us ready to watch every Friday the 13th & Freddy trailer played before the big movie event and participate in a Q&A session with the actors who play the main men after. Fun times!
  23. I hate the smell of the generic pink antibiotic soap found in restrooms across the country.
  24. My favorite Starbucks beverage is a triple shot venti soy latte. I love the slightly nutty flavor of the soy milk and think this is the one coffee drink that doesn't need sugar added.
  25. The only peanut butter I like is Whole Food's all natural freshly ground PB. It rocks! Even more fun is going to the store and grinding it know there is nothing in it but peanuts and it tastes a hundred times better than Jif.

This concludes the 100 Things About Me. I hope you had a laugh or two and learned something new.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Who Is Nate Torrence?

I love this guy. I have no reason to love him, but I do. Nate Torrence has been popping up in commercials all over the television. He's the poor schmuck in the Capitol One ads, playing the fall guy opposite David Spade. He's in the HEB commercials, screaming for ice cream. I recently saw Nate in a new one, playing a guy named "Moose" who goes to his high school reunion in a rental car and ends up with a babe on each arm. Sex sells, even for a big dude. Nate is not your usual 135lb actor. He's a guy with heft, with size and charm. His sweet smile and twinkling eyes gives you the "I'm harmless" vibe. The website I surfed looking for him reports that he is married and (possibly) has a daughter. It also says he was a pre-adolescent trampoline gymnast. I bet he's a helluva good time in the bedroom. I have no idea if he is destined for a great acting career, comedic or otherwise, but for now at least Nate has my attention. He makes waiting through the commercials so much more bearable. The next time a Capitol One or HEB commercial comes on, pay attention and then let me know what you think of Nate.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Freezer Full o'Venison

My dad has had a successful hunting season. I have a freezer full of venison just begging for creative recipes. Last night I marinated part of a backstrap in a spicy brown mustard concoction. It was quite a delicious tangy marinade but I added too many diced onions to the pan while grilling the slices of backstrap. Oh well, live and learn. My favorite way to cook backstrap is to cut it in thin slices, dip it in beaten egg with milk and dredge it in a spicy flour mixture....chicken fried delight.

I have big plans for the leg portion. I'm thinking of braising it in a red wine sauce with potatoes, mushrooms, shallots and carrots. A long, sweet, slow cooking process that will leave the meat juicy and tender. I haven't decided what to do with the steaks yet, but there's a spicy strong steak seasoning blend in my pantry that might be just the ticket for grilled venison.

How do you like your venison? So many make chili or jerky that this year I am determined to be different. Let me know if you have ideas for a good meal. I have plenty of meat to cook.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ask & You Shall Receive

I didn't want to overwhelm you with a list of 50 like last time, so here goes 25 more pieces of obscure information about me. Let me know if I should press on to make it a full 100 or stop now. If you're yawning and you know it, clap your hands! And click on comments to tell me that my posting makes a great remedy for your insomnia.

  1. I was born at 5:38am. My twin sister was born at 5:33am.
  2. I will taste almost any food, no matter how unusual or exotic. It's rare that I find something I don't like.
  3. I read every day. Reading is my addiction. If I'm near the end of a book I get anxious, consumed with thinking about what my next fix will be and where I will get it. If I have nothing new to read I will either re-read books or read the ones I don't really have an interest in, just to be reading. "Hello, my name is Kaya and I'm a readaholic."
  4. As an adolescent I developed a mad crush on Mikhail Baryshnikov that never quite went away, laying the groundwork for me to be attracted to men with ambiguous sexuality. In the pic of my favorite poster of Mikhail, you'll note the strong features mixed with the oh so sensual lips and delicate high cheekbones. And that net shirt screams "club clothes"!
  5. I've watched in awe as Old Faithful erupted underneath a full moon at Yellowstone National Park.
  6. I have never made a pie crust from scratch although my mother has a wonderful recipe and her's always turn out just right.
  7. I've run my hand through a ball of bluish bright swamp gas one night on a lonely road beside a cemetary in West Monroe, Louisiana. I've forgotten the cemetary name but it's on Arkansas Road, for any of you readers familiar with the town. The swamp gas was floating about a foot off the ground and was eerily beautiful.
  8. I love fountain pens although I don't currently own any. If you need a gift idea, I prefer indigo ink and a medium nib.
  9. I was once mauled by a strange man while shopping in a book store in a different state. He grabbed me, full body hugged me and kissed my cheek. Imagine how he felt when I finally convinced him I wasn't Kim (who hadn't told him she has a twin). The really odd part was that I was in a state that neither of us have ever lived in.
  10. I have been to the top of the Arch in St. Louis. It sways, quite a bit, which was so unsettling that I stayed for less than five minutes before getting back into the funny egg-shaped tram for the ride back down.
  11. I love Big Red soda. Always have.
  12. I once went into Mike the Tiger's compound on the campus at LSU to interview the keeper for the school paper. Being inches away from a fullgrown Bengal tiger, even separated by bars, is a heartpounding situation. Watching Mike "play" with a football by shredding it to bits did not make me feel more secure.
  13. I was an extra in the stadium crowd scenes for the 1988 movie Everybody's All American starring Dennis Quaid and Jessica Lange.
  14. I have a circa 1925 family recipe for peach cobbler that I still rely on today. It's fabulous and easy.
  15. I have worked as an answering service operator using an old school telephone board where a line would ring and light up and you would plug your cord into the round jack to answer it. "One ringy dingy..."
  16. I made an A in my Performance Art class at LSU. My final was a performance involving wrapping myself in blinking, colored lights on a darkened stage while a Christmas carol in which I'd done voiceovers showing the stress of the holidays played loudly, echoing in the nearly empty theater. My teacher loved it. I can still hear "I just can't take it anymore!" in my mind whenever Winter Wonderland comes on.
  17. I used to read Tarot cards but stopped because I didn't like telling people things that may upset them.
  18. I have eaten Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant only two times in my life.
  19. I love quotations. I look them up for any occasion and have several that are meaningful to me posted around my work space.
  20. I think life would be better if I ate avocado gelato from Whole Foods every day.
  21. Frederick charts my periods so that he'll know in advance when I might be moody or agreeable to walking to Amy's at lunch for some PMS relieving Belgian Chocolate ice cream.
  22. My great grandfather was a card carrying member of the KKK. We still have his card in a box of old family stuff. I often wonder why a "secret society" would actually make membership cards? We think my grandfather was a member as well, but didn't find any evidence. To say that the family wasn't happy when my Dad brought my Mother around is an understatement. Surprise! Their marriage has lasted 39 years.
  23. I dig old school kids breakfast cereals. Life, Golden Grahams, Sugar Corn Pops (now just Corn Pops, although the amount of sugar in them remains the same), Fruity Pebbles, Post's Fortified Oat Flakes, Captain Crunch, Trix! and Lucky Charms. Mmmmm.
  24. I once ran my mother's car off a Louisiana road and through part of a soybean field before making it back onto the asphalt. Luckily my mother wasn't with me and her car had no damage. I did have to dig a soybean plant out of the tail pipe, though.
  25. My favorite food from the many Ark-La-Miss Fairs that I attended while growing up in Louisiana is the famous Natchitoches meat pie. Yummy!

So what do you think? Can you handle 25 more?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Good Golly Miss Maulie! Starting off our weekend with a bang...

I've had some good times over the last few days. Kicking it off was meeting up with Mehrdad at the Mean Eyed Cat for a few rounds of cold beer. After round 3 we decided it would be a fabulous idea to ditch the Harry Potter movie we had tickets for and go see the ladies at Expose. Those of you who know me well understand that I must’ve been quite kacheery to give up Harry Potter for hairy…well you know. Now I am not a strip bar regular, but I usually enjoy watching the dancers, especially since my dancing capabilities are anything but seductive. A train wreck would be more seductive than my dancing. We hit the big time that night with a traveling burlesque performer and pin up girl named Maulie Keebler. I have never in real life seen anyone work a pole like Maulie does. She was sensual and athletic, an aggressive dominatrix and retro sex kitten all in one curvaceous package. You’ll have to check out her website (click on the hyperlink built into her name) and view her photo gallery. Nice pinups. Her calendar isn’t up to date but you know I’ll be emailing to ask when she’ll be in Austin again. A great time (and lap dances) was had by all. And Mehrdad, come home again soon! You’ll need a break here and there from sleep deprivation during your residency…come to Austin for great Mexican food and fun times along with maybe, just maybe a little sleep. I promise to dog-sit for Corrie so she can go visit you in the great big city.

Friday night arrived, bringing with it a need to dance, dance, dance. Frank, Rocket and I hit the Warehouse District bars in high style, grooving and grinding and dancing until we dropped. Or, until I dropped, since my danceability is a very unsubstantiated claim. Rocket & Frank are blessed with natural moves and both were sexy hot on the floor. I think I need to practice at home before my next public dance floor appearance. The only attention I attracted was pitying glances. Yup, my white girl bop is sadly out of date and out of place. I need to learn to channel my Latino side. Does anyone else have a hard time hearing the beat in some house/pseudo trance music?

Saturday was low key, doing a few errands around town. I wanted Frank to have a good meal before his race the next morning, so dinner was a yummy, carb happy meal. I served him baked seasoned salmon, wilted spinach with shallots, garlic and sundried tomatoes, warm basil & garlic polenta rounds topped with goat cheese and slices of toasted ciabatta bread also smeared with goat cheese. I could eat anything if you paired it with goat cheese. We also watched "Charlie & The Chocolate Factory". I won't say it was bad or good, just that nothing can replace the original "Willy Wonka".

Frank had an excellent Motive Bison Stampede Half Marathon running 9:30 minute miles. Hang beat him once again, by 1/100th of a second. We'll see what happens in their next go 'round. I predict Frank books it into high gear a tenth of a mile from the finish just so Hang can't say she beat him three times in a row. After running 13.1 miles my boyfriend decided to take a bike ride with his friend Gwen. I don't know the exact mileage but it was between 15-20 miles from the race site to our home. Can you say overachiever? Ahh, but I can't help but admire his drive. I'm nothing but proud that he's doing so well with his running along with his newfound love of cycling. And have you seen his legs lately? Rarr!

I finished off the weekend working at The Can. It was business as usual with the boys with one exception: Jacinta was setting up inside on the dance floor. Jacinta is The Can's answer to Hedda Layne. It's a weak retort at best since Jacinta, although entertaining, can't match the strength of Hedda's voice or her mix of music. I was tired after a long morning of cheerleading for Frank & Hang and left as soon as my shift was over. Frank & I headed over to Casa de Tanner for a nightcap before retiring for the evening. It’s nice to sit around their firepit, gettin’ lazy with a rum and Diet Vanilla Coke.

How was your weekend? I'd love to hear about it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Things About Me

Okay, okay...I know every blogger does this one. But the challenging part is finding 100 things that you don't know about me or may have forgotten. After all, we know I live my life as an open book. Or at least as a mostly opened book, since there are times in life that even I need to censor from certain individuals who may not understand my diverse and unique self. How about I start with 50 in this post and finish it up in a different one?

  1. I'm a twin. Kim is now groaning and thinking how bored she'll be reading the other 99 tidbits of scintillating (yawn) info.
  2. I have lived in: San Antonio (twice), Houston, Childress and Austin (twice) in Texas. By twice I mean I've lived in the city and moved away, then back.
  3. I have lived in: Monroe, West Monroe and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  4. I have also lived in Oklahoma City, St. Charles, Missouri and Gulf Breeze, Florida.
  5. I have only moved for love twice. The other times were probably much better reasons.
  6. The two times I moved for love the relationships were over within 6 months.
  7. The only set of bed sheets I own are denim. Yes, I wash them often.
  8. My first concert was in Monroe, when John Denver came to town. I got to meet him after the show and he was really nice. I still have the picture of us and still think he's a great singer/songwriter.
  9. I can't whistle or sing well. That is a major understatement.
  10. I once tried to rescue my dog Buddy from a very hungry Louisiana black bear. I did startle the bear enough so that he dropped my dog a few yards off in the brush, but Buddy had fatal injuries. I'm still traumatized.
  11. My mother was a nun. Really. A penguin of the church. Total black & white nun drag, long rosary beads and all that jazz. She opted out when Vatican II made changes to her order. See, and you thought once in, in for life, huh? That's the mafia.
  12. My father was a wrong number. Even more surprising is that my newly ex-nun mother was calling boys in the late 1960's. Progressive minded woman for the times!
  13. I hate Veg-All, those mixed veggies in a can. I think they taste the same, all tinny blandness.
  14. I adore caviar but don't get to eat it often.
  15. If given a choice between champagne or beer, I'm going for the champagne every single time.
  16. I've lived in haunted homes, one of which I won't talk about after dark unless you hand me something strong to drink.
  17. I love Cole Porter's music.
  18. My right pinky has a short tendon. It looks like it's been broken and healed funny. My mother and sister have the same dinky pinky.
  19. I have a half sister and two half brothers from my father's previous marriage. One of the half brothers spent most of his early adult life in and out of prison. Niiiice. The other two siblings are fabulous.
  20. My nephew and nieces call me Tía Kay.
  21. I am half Anglo, half Hispanic. Hence, tía instead of aunt. Yes, I look like a white girl. Thanks, Dad. Can't even get a tan with this skin tone.
  22. I still have my baby pillow and two pillowcases.
  23. I weighed 3lbs, 13oz at birth. Damn, but I'm a healthy girl now!
  24. I adore the smell of gardenias on the bush but think it stinks as a perfume.
  25. I once had a beta fish named Jonah who had his own voice mail on my phone line. You wouldn't believe the number of people who would "press 1 if you'd like to leave a message for Jonah".
  26. When I lived in San Antonio, I hung out mostly at Tejano clubs.
  27. I have lived in Austin for over a decade but visited the capitol for the first time this year.
  28. I was in Brownies when I lived in Childress.
  29. I was in 4-H when I lived in Louisiana.
  30. My six closest friends in junior high & high school were: my sister Kim, Jamette, Kimi, Tami, Theresa and Travis.
  31. I have worn a garbage bag dress and punk rock makeup in public, more than once.
  32. I have worn a 10 carat round brilliant diamond ring on more than 1 occasion. Nope, I do not, nor have I ever owned one.
  33. My favorite comfort cold food is Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream.
  34. I know how to fish for crawfish.
  35. I have been cooking for almost 30 years. Still love it.
  36. My great-grandmother made tortillas on her wood burning stove. Even though it isn't exactly the same touch of smoky smell, I still love the aroma of tortillas cooking on a hot comal.
  37. I owe the City of Austin Public Library $50 in late dues.
  38. I have fallen in love three times in my life.
  39. I've had my heart broken twice.
  40. My present and past nicknames include: Kaya, Kiki, Pap, J. J. Jr. and Prism. Yeah, don't ask.
  41. I got caught passing a note in English class in 5th grade. Unfortunately, it was a dirty poem. Fortunately my teacher had a sense of humor and let me go with a stern lecture.
  42. I have stolen beer from the Knights of Columbus refrigerator in the St. Paschal's Parish Hall.
  43. I jimmied the door lock to the K of C room in order to steal the beer, which I shared with other youth group kids. Ahh, the joys of Catholicism!
  44. My sister spent a year as a missionary, touring the U.S. and Canada in a van and ministering to Catholic youths. During that time she learned how to spit, smoke and pick a lock.
  45. I smoked cigarettes while tending bar at The Hideout in Baton Rouge. I quit smoking after developing asthma.
  46. I own guns. I also believe in gun safety and education. And I'm a damn good shot.
  47. I have only recently become a convert to techno/house music thanks to my boyfriends relentless years of brainwashing and out & out refusal to change the c.d.
  48. I don't care much for store-bought cakes, pies and cookies. Very few taste good to me.
  49. My earliest memory is of watching the men land on the moon for the first time. It was on a black and white television.
  50. I love falling asleep to the sound of ocean waves. It was my favorite part about living in Gulf Breeze.

To be continued...unless you're totally bored. Leave me a comment and let me know if I should post another 50 scraps of Kay trivia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Happy, Happy Birthday, Frederick!

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be."
~Robert Browning~

Frederick celebrates the start of another year today. He told anyone at work who asked that he is now a speed limit. He's 35 today and in two days will cross off the last item on his Things To Do Before I'm 35 list. He's happy, content and settled down. He has a wonderful partner, a good job with a decent income, a house, a loving group of extended Reinhardt-Miller chosen family along with his blood relatives and in-laws and life is good. There are other goals he's met along the way, such as doing the Ride for the Roses and various volunteer opportunities with Meals on Wheels and In2books and other organizations. He does many, many small things for his friends just to make them smile. He also does many, many small things to his friends just to get a laugh, even if it's embarrassing. We love him anyway, even though he is worse than me at keeping secrets (outed me at a happy hour). Freddy is one of those special people that walks into a room and instantly attracts attention. He is the life of the party. He always makes me laugh. And so it's deserving that the last goal, the one that will be checked off on Thursday is a biggie. It is adoption day for his son, Adrian. What better birthday present than to finalize the paperwork to make Adie his forever child?

Freddy has been my friend for 18 years. I'm lucky enough to work with him. (It's a nifty work benefit.) We've seen each other through fun times and not so fun times. We've counseled each other on bad relationships (ditch him!) as well as good ones (keep him!). Freddy has tried to help me learn to stick to a budget, to change my oil, and to always stop for gas before it gets down to a 1/4 of a tank (to no avail). I don't know what I've taught him, but weve both learned that sometimes it's true that love is all you need.

Our relationship has survived solely on the basis of one thing: we love each other. It's not that we don't have things in common because we do. It's not that we don't enjoy each other's company, we do. It's not that we don't care enough to make time to spend together outside of work, we do. It's just that in our busy world it is so easy to lose a friendship simply because you don't commit to it. You don't give it the attention it deserves. Life gets in the way, hectic schedules become a hodge podge of everything but spending time with each other. We make time for our friendship, for our short walks outside of work when we vent about life's problems, for Family Nights (even though I don't show up often enough), for our morning chats before the work day starts and for any time we need to emotionally lean on someone. Could he survive without me? Sure. Could I survive without him? Sure. Do we want to? Hell, no! And that's why all you need is love. Our relationship gives life flavor and zest and meaning. I despair of ever getting him to stop telling people I'm older than I am, but hey, it doesn't really matter.

So, a big happy birthday hug to you, Frederick. And may the coming years bring nothing but happiness, sunshine and laughter. 1.4.3.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

I finally made it back to the trail this weekend after a two month absence. Saturday morning saw me up bright and early, stretching and feeling faintly pudgy in my running clothes. Okay, more than faintly. I flat out felt fat and jiggly. It's amazing how fast I can decondition. Frank missed his date with his running partner, Hang, and decided to walk with me, an unusual activity for him. I had chosen the 3 mile loop around Town Lake but instead we did the 4.5 mile loop. Boy, was I feeling it. I probably should've stuck with the shorter one on my first time out in so long. I think at best we walked at a 15 minute mile pace, which is turtle slow compared to his normal running pace. I was very happy to have the company, even if Frank didn't get a good workout. He did get a nice stroll around the lake, and time to enjoy the scenery.

Sunday I met my friend Darci bright and early so we could do the Race for the Cure. This race has to be the largest 5K I have ever been involved in. The crowd was huge. I guess it's a good sign when a charity has that much of a turnout. Hopefully they met their fundraising goal. I did my part, thanks to my friends and family that contributed. I appreciated your donations!

That little 5K on top of my Saturday walk was, I'm sure, too much to do in the first weekend of activity. And I think I need new shoes. My feet were sore after both outings, something that usually doesn't happen. I have a lot of work to do if I'm going to complete the Freescale Half Marathon in two months but Darci and I had a great time talking and walking. Aside from the humidity, we didn't break a sweat. The crowd for the untimed race (they divide it into timed and untimed) was so large that you simply couldn't walk fast. There were too many people in front of us. I was very impressed with the sheer number of participants.

Now that I've taken baby steps to get back into my training program I need to refine my focus. Or maybe that's "find my focus". I need to dig into my reserves and pile on the motivation so that I gain momentum. I want to be back to running. I'm okay with walking for now, but as soon as my body allows, it's back to the fast track. Or at least the faster track.

How did you spend your weekend? Did anybody else hit the trail?

Thank You, Sir. May I Have Another?

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia~

While working at Oil Can's yesterday, I enjoyed my usual small talk and chatter with the guys. There are some that I am myself with, some that I am my bar self with and some that I am simply polite but distant with, since I'm not well acquainted enough to share either side of me. For those of you who haven't been in the gay bar environment with me, my bar self is easy to explain. It's me, times five and with a heaping dose of sass. Not straight girl sass, but drag queen sass. It wasn't until I started working with Margie that the guys would order their burgers as "Swiss, American or Naked". My reasoning was, why call it a hamburger when "naked" sounds so much more delicious?

Well, I was mixing it up with the patrons, teasing the regulars and talking trash with the more flamboyant ones when two strangers approached the table to place their orders. It was chaotic and busy and the guys must've been worried that they were standing in the wrong place or blocking other customers because the older one motioned me over. He was one of those gay men that embody the old culture: well groomed, nice shirt and trousers, cultured speaking voice with well-modulated tones and gracious. Not that all the bars are filled with grungy disgruntled gay men who can't complete a sentence, but you know when you've run across an old school gay man who probably did own Judy Garland albums or hell, who even knows who she is, who her daughter is and why she's famous outside of her smash 1939 film success, a little picture known as "The Wizard of Oz". The old school gay knows that Judy went to heaven (hopefully) on the wings of barbituate bliss. The modern gay man would probably cock his head to one side and wonder aloud why she did enough at once to O.D. instead of saving some for later.

Anyway, this gentleman asked if they should wait for their order elsewhere or if they were okay standing where they were. I was surprised at his concern, since most of the clientele are more self-centered than that. I replied that where they were was fine and when he again expressed his worry, I smiled and said "Oh, honey, really, you are perfect where you are!"

Imagine my expression when he leaned in so I could hear him over the music and very sincerely, with a most genuine light in his eyes said "No, you are perfect. You're sweet and nice and absolutely gorgeous." He didn't give it the normal gay man slant, where the compliment rings false and shallow but simply let it be what it was: kind words. I laughed and thanked him and said something like oh, I strive for perfection, and again he insisted "oh, but you are." Mystified but pleased, I went about filling other orders and having much more forgettable conversations with other people.

This morning the conversation replayed itself in my head several times until I realized why it kept popping up. There are two kinds of people in this world, the complimentors and the complimentees. Sometimes you are both, but those are fleeting moments. As a complimentor, it was outside my usual realm to be receive such a lovely compliment. As a member of the gay community, it was even rarer to receive a heartfelt compliment from a stranger. In the gay world, we'd almost always rather criticize than compliment, although it's always done with humor and most parties know it's all in good fun. At any rate, this man's words stayed with me and have served their purpose in making me feel special and unique.

I do receive compliments from the ones closest to me. It's not like I'm always saying sweet things with nothing in return. But to hear something so nice from someone I don't know spurs me to grow. I want to be that stranger, saying something earnestly and in good faith, making someone else feel good with no cost to myself other than the breath it took to vocalize the words. And I want to be that sincere person, without guile or pretense, who you may happen upon in the bar, be pleasantly surprised and remember them the next day, even though you never caught their name. So...Mr. Genteel Old School Gay Man, thank you for your compliment. You made me blush and you made me think. I hope the next time you turn on Judy, you have a perfectly mixed cocktail in your hand and sit there, enjoying her strong voice washing over you and knowing that life is good.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I Dreamed I Had Paul Walker's Love Child

Last night I dreamed I was carrying Paul Walker's love child. Most unfortunately, I did not dream at all about the actual creation and conception. I don't remember much except that I was talking with Darla, telling her that I thought I was pregnant and worrying, since I knew it wasn't my boyfriend's baby. Ever helpful, Darla suggested doing an EPT to find out for certain if I was not only a cheatin' woman but a knocked up one at that.

In my dream, we were both freaked out when the test showed two pink lines. I assured her that Frank would understand why I had done it...after all, Paul Walker is nothing to kick out of bed. What was still troubling me was whether or not Frank would kick me out of his bed for being pregnant with Mr. Hotness' baby.

I woke up before any of the issues had been resolved, and before I could, in dreamland, confess to my boyfriend. So...Baby, I know it's a public venue to air my dirty laundry, but honey, this will be one gorgeous little bastard. And maybe Paul will want to play daddy a bit, hang around our house wearing only board shorts and chucking little Junior up in the air. It's all good.