Love Profusion

Pay-the-Bills Wednesday has rolled around yet again, Constant Reader, and so later on during my lunch break I’ll take some time away from my food to start paying the bills due between now and the next time we get paid. I am also looking forward to this three-day weekend we have on the horizon; I’d completely forgotten about Memorial Day. Do gays from all over still congregate in Pensacola over Memorial Day weekend, to party on the beach and get sunburnt in places that usually never see the sun? I know there aren’t nearly as many circuit parties today as there used to be, back in the heyday of the 1990’s, when it seemed like there was one every weekend somewhere; Southern Decadence still happens, of course (I’ll be in San Diego for Bouchercon this year) but I don’t know about the others. I know Hotlanta died a long time ago; does the White Party still happen at Vizcaya? In Palm Springs? The Snow Ball? The Winter Ball? The Black and Blue Ball? Cherries in Washington? I suppose the time and need for these parties has passed for the most part–they wouldn’t be dying out, otherwise–but at the same time, it’s all a part of the history of our community, and I do hope it’s been documented somewhere. The circuit parties were easy to condemn and point fingers at, but anything that helped create a sense of community as well as provided a safe space during difficult, repressive times for gay men to be themselves and be as gay as possible deserves to be, and should be, remembered.

After all, that was the world that kind of spawned Scotty.

Hmmm, perhaps a future-Greg project? Yay! Because that’s just what I need, another project.

But the revision continues to progress quite marvelously, if I do say so myself. I should probably write more Scotty books because it’s so lovely to get back into his mind-space, you know? He’s so cheerful, and always so upbeat and positive…and even when he gets down because of whatever problem he’s gotten himself into, he doesn’t moan or whine, he just rolls up his sleeves and figures it all out. That’s why I like him, and why his readers do. I wish I could have that reaction to things…I don’t. I always have to curl up into a ball for a while before I can even consider getting on with things. Maybe someday that will change and I can absorb and handle shocks and surprises with Scotty’s flair and aplomb. I’m not holding my breath until that happens, either.

I slept really well last night–yet another good night’s sleep in the books, I think I am on a record streak now of sleeping well–and feel pretty rested this morning. I was awake before the alarm went off this morning, and then hit snooze a couple of times to give my mind and body the opportunity to wake up slowly. We watched the new Ted Lasso last night, which was more of a Jamie Tartt-centered episode, and my word, seriously: how did Jamie Tartt become one of my most beloved characters on the show? Last night he made me laugh and he made me cry; and I love his friendships with Roy and Keeley, who are also slowly (hopefully) inching towards a reconciliation. There’s only one episode left–after which I may have to do a complete binge rewatch, from start to finish. It really is quite a marvelous show, and I do love that the gay storyline ruined the show for the homophobes. The mark of a truly good show is you aren’t sure how you feel at the end of the episode, despite having enjoyed it. Was it good? Did the stories make sense? Were the performances good? How was the writing? It’s one of the reasons I watch every episode twice; once to enjoy and go along for the ride, the second to appreciate the acting and the writing and connect even further with the episode. This season I’ve noticed some bashing of the show on Twitter (and not just from homophobes), which was why I started rewatching; to see if the haters were right and I’d overlooked something out of my deep affection for the show (I can also watch more critically the second time). I am pleased to report that the haters are, indeed, always wrong. I am really going to miss this show, but I get the sense that the season finale will be incredibly sad yet satisfying. They have a long way to catch Schitt’s Creek for best series finale, but I suspect they will be able to do it.

I’m curious to see what spin-offs might twirl out of the show. I’m really hoping Jamie gets his own show; I’ve really developed a huge crush on Phil Dunster, who might just pry the supporting actor Emmy out of the death grip Brett Goldstein’s had on it these last two years. The development of his character arc has just been phenomenal–all of the characters, really, but Phil Dunster has really been given the chance to shine this season (and some of last) and I do sometimes think he might not be taken as seriously as an actor because–well, because he’s damned good looking.

Since Monday was an odd day, I am having trouble this week keeping track of days. I keep thinking today is either Tuesday (which makes no sense) or Thursday (which kind of does). I’m looking forward to getting some more good work done on the book tonight–and if Paul is late getting home, I am so watching the Vanderpump Rules reunion’s first part. I need to devote an entire entry to the insanity this reality show–which I actually stopped watching years (and I do mean years) ago–has spawned. I had started writing about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after its season completed; I think I can easily do both shows in one entry since both have spawned scandals that became news (a sad commentary on the state of our news media, frankly), which brings up the question of audience enablement–if the ratings go up when people are really despicable on a reality show, aren’t we just encouraging more of the same?

Questions, questions.

And on that note I am off to the spice mines. Have a lovely middle of the week, Constant Reader, and I will be back tomorrow.

Nothing Fails

Wednesday and we’ve made it to the midpoint of the week. Huzzah? Perhaps. I didn’t sleep all that great last night–I am expected to crash really hard this afternoon–but oddly enough I feel rested and okay and alert this morning, and I am still on my first cup of coffee. Who knew? Last night when I got home from work i buckled down and worked for a bit; I am still behind on everything but I am hoping I can get this manuscript I am editing today finished and back to the author, and then I can sort of maybe get back to my own. My publisher has pushed the publication date back, which is lovely yet not something I am terribly proud of–I feel like I allowed my personal situation to interfere with work, which is something I’ve not done since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina–but while I was able to work during a pandemic, personal grief managed to derail me so fa this year; but it’s also not fair to blame it all on grief because I was already way behind on everything when Mom actually died. But I am thinking this is really a great thing. The revision, when I was able to do it, was going pretty well; but I wasn’t working the way I usually do which is partly why it was taking me so long to get it done, and I think with a new, later deadline, I can go back to the first chapter and start over again; and do it the way I always do and get it finished.

Paul had a board meeting last night so was later getting home than usual, so I wound up staying up later than I usually do so we could watch this week’s episode of Ted Lasso, which, while having sad moments, was overall a joy to watch. I hate that the season is winding down–which means the series is winding down as well–but I am hoping for at least one spin-off. I love all the characters on this show, even the minor ones; so much characterization and care has been taken with the creation and development of every character on the show, and that has always been its strength. (I still can’t believe that Jamie Tartt has become one of my favorite characters of not just the show but of all time. So many people in the cast deserve Emmys…I hope the producers are smart enough to toss some of them into the Guest Actor categories; certainly the young man playing Colin deserves some recognition for his moving and nuanced portrayal of a closeted soccer player; I also hope he finally introduces his boyfriend to the team as his boyfriend; maybe the series finale?)

I also got some potentially good news that I have to be vague about this morning; there’s no guarantee that the new opportunity that may have opened up for me will come to fruition, but it’s always nice to have something nice happen? Especially in this business, where it seems like you never know where things are going to and nothing is confirmed until the ink dries on the contract, so…yeah, have to be vague if nothing comes of it. But even if nothing does come of it, it was deeply satisfying for the potential to drop into my inbox yesterday. I am very lucky, I must admit; it’s very hard for me to ever feel bitter (or at least, never for very long) about my career because it’s always been charmed, almost from the day I sold my first short story back in 1999; opportunities keep coming my way and it’s been an absolutely lovely joyride. It’s also funny, because I was talking to someone recently about how the good things in my career have usually happened during dark personal times; so I never seem to get to enjoy the good things when they occur. Maybe it’s some kind of karmic balance I need to keep; ma’at, as the Egyptians used to call it–most of the time everything is even, but when things swing too far to the bad in the personal, the professional side of things always seems to pick up for some reason? I don’t know, and it could all turn out to be nothing, but it’s nice, nevertheless. It’s always nice when people are interested in more work for you. And being the socially awkward/insecure person that I am, it’s always a huge relief when someone you’ve worked with asks you for more work; I always worry that I’ve been a pain in the ass to work with…and I don’t want to be one of those people.

My blog post about the origin story of my The Horror photo turned out to be popular? Who knew? I didn’t think it was that interesting of a story, but everyone seemed to enjoy reading about it. It was just something I dashed off during my lunch break yesterday because I was feeling tired but had to wait for my Lean Cuisine (Swedish meatballs, for the record) to cool, and I thought why not write about how that picture came to be taken? Why not indeed?

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines. Have a lovely day, Constant Reader, and I will check in with you again tomorrow.

Human Nature


I was tired yesterday. I slept okay Monday night, but not deeply and I did keep waking up so it was a restless night at best–and I sure as hell didn’t want to get up when the alarm went off yesterday morning. I was also behind at the day job when I got there, so had to play catch up a bit between clients. It was all good, but still a bit more stressful than I would prefer; I also kept thinking it was Monday all day which drove me a bit insane.

I also discovered that my insurance actually does not cover hearing aids for adults; I must have missed the part about having to be under eighteen when I looked it up. Which kind of sucks that in order to hear I have to pay for it out of my own pocket. The good news is I’ve made it this far without them, so I guess I can start trying to save up to pay for them somehow, or maybe I can get them financed or something. I’m not entirely sure, but it’s irritating. Our health care system has been fucked up since, well, the Reagan administration (quelle surprise; what modern day horror doesn’t date back to that bastard?), but the decline of the airline industry actually can be dated to Carter; he was the one who deregulated the airlines under the guise of increasing competition so fares would be more competitively priced. We see how well that worked out, haven’t we? American, United, Delta, Southwest and Jetblue are all that are left now from the glory days of air travel–Eastern, Pan Am, TWA, Continental, Northwest and many others having either folded or been taken over by another airline. Glad we have all these choices now, right? (Sorry, I was thinking about how the airline industry has declined over the course of my lifetime while at the airport the other day, and clearly it was still in my subconscious. I love Jimmy Carter, but this was a mistake.)

I slept better last night. I still woke up a couple of times but I feel very much more rested this morning than I did yesterday. I was tired when I got home from the office so immediately put the dishes away and started another load before the fatigue overtook me. I got caught upon Vanderpump Rules–more on that later–and when Paul got home from the gym we watched this week’s Ted Lasso, which was lovely and melancholy at the same time. (My God, how I love Jamie Tartt! Phil Dunster is killing it in the role this season, too. What an incredible character arc–and now we are seeing a lovely redemption for Nate, who disappointed me but we get to see our Nate again this season, which is so nice)

I did manage to work a little on the book yesterday, and it took me a little while to get reacclimated to the story and everything. I think I’ll be back on track with it again today and thru the rest of the week before I leave for Alabama on Saturday morning; and while the drive up there and back over the weekend will probably be tiring, I think I can see the end of the book coming. It might take me awhile to get there, but the end game is there and I need to really focus at some point to get it done. I may have to take a long weekend in mid-May to get there. Heavy heaving sigh. It’s always about time management for me, isn’t it, and being tired? How did I used to do this all the time? Oh yes, I was younger and hadn’t had COVID yet. *shakes fist at universe*

I need to stay away from Twitter more. I get so angry whenever I go there, and am always tempted to say something snarky or in kind to a troll–I don’t always succeed in deleting the tweet before hitting send, either–and while I am not worried about going viral or getting cancelled (if it happens, it happens, you know, and if I fuck up, I kind of deserve it), I am trying not to be that person. I don’t want to troll trolls on-line, nor do I want to get into tweet-fights with anyone. It’s all just a waste of time and energy that can be utilized better elsewhere (I do, however, reserve the right to troll anyone trolling a friend), and does no one any good. Twitter is the worst of us, really; originally intended for people to connect and interact with each other, it basically evolved into a place for people to complain. Oh, someone cut you off in traffic? Tweet angrily about it! You watched a show you didn’t enjoy? Tweet about it! And so on and so on. Twitter can be fun; I’ve certainly had fun there with friends and of course there’s always my “Greg meme” face, which can be used for surprise, shock, or horror (I actually have the picture saved on all devices for easy access and use as “the horror”); for some reason that always makes people laugh. It is a funny photo, and I will always be grateful that Josh Fegley snapped that shot so perfectly timed to get that expression on my face when the Evil Mark said, well, something evil while we were at Drag Bingo at Oz. I’ve tried repeating that photo without success; it was something in and of the moment, I guess.

Or I’m just older and my face sags so much I can’t replicate the expression. One or the other is the most likely, or probably both.

Heavy heaving sigh.

And on that note, I am going to head into the spice mines. Have a lovely day, Constant Reader, and I will check in with you again tomorrow.

Dear Jessie

Thursday and my last day in the office for the week, with no health fair to drop in for tomorrow morning. I can just sleep late and can relax with no worries about getting to the office. Our schedule is full today, for the first time since pre-pandemic, so it’s going to be a day where I probably won’t have time to breathe much.

Paul worked late last night writing a grant, so I did go ahead and watch this week’s Ted Lasso without him, and yes, I will definitely be happy to watch it again. I usually watch each episode twice anyway, and what a delight this episode was. I know there’s some grumbling out there about this season, and I will admit so far this season hasn’t been quite up to the high standard the first two seasons set–it is still quite excellent–but this week’s episode? Chef’s kiss, perfection, no notes. (If you haven’t already seen it, stop reading right now and skip to the next paragraph.) The sequence where Jamie teaches Roy to ride a bike, set to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”? (People who’ve never seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid might miss the reference, but it made me smile.) Absolute perfection. It never ceases to astonish me that Jamie Tartt has become one of my absolute favorite characters on the show; his journey from self-absorbed narcissist to a kind, caring and considerate person has been one of the best character arcs I’ve ever seen done on television. Then add in Trent and Colin’s scenes, where Trent comes out to him and tells him he already knows about Colin? That conversation was filmed in front of the Homomonument in Amsterdam that commemorates the queer people killed in the Holocaust or those who were later prosecuted and persecuted for the crime of being themselves, which made it all the more touching and moving. Colin’s whole thing about two separate lives, wanting to just be himself, being able to kiss his fella after a win like the other guys kiss their girls, and live his life and not be a spokesperson? Oh, darling Colin, that’s really what we all want, and it broke my heart just a little as I realized, once again, that no matter how far we’ve come, we still haven’t made it to home base. It was so heartfelt and real, I got tears in my eyes. And then Higgins and Will at the jazz club; Rebecca and her boat man; and of course the vast silliness of the team trying to decide what to do for their free night in Amsterdam, while Ted shrooms? Absolute perfection, from the very first scene to the last. It warmed my soul and when the closing credits rolled, I felt satisfied and happy. I am really going to miss this show when it comes to an end. Thank you to the writers, because that scene with Trent and Colin easily could have become maudlin and melodramatic; instead, it was honest and real and a little heartbreaking. The writers of the episode deserve an Emmy for that scene alone.

I did get some work done on the book last night. I was tired when I got home–I guess I should be getting used to that by now; getting up early means flagging energy later in the day, which does make sense–but I slogged through some of it, anyway. I feel pretty good and lively this morning, though; but we have a full schedule which means I will be exhausted by the end of the day. Paul’s grant gets turned in today, so he should be home this evening, so I’ll get to revisit this magical episode of Ted Lasso before we dive in and get caught up on both Yellowjackets and The Mandalorian. I also managed to put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher and then reloaded it; so that will need to be unloaded tonight and reloaded again; we’ve gone through a lot of dishes this week for some reason. Go figure. Tomorrow is a work-at-home day, which will be lovely. I keep hoping that someday I’ll get caught up on the housework, but it never seems to happen. I really need to focus on revising the manuscript this weekend, too–it’s horrifying how far behind on it I actually am. I really wanted to be lazy this weekend, but that’s clearly not going to be an option. I need to get up every morning, do some cleaning and organizing, and then open up the manuscript and dive in headfirst. It sometimes feels like I’ve been working on this book for-fucking-ever; and I long for the day when it is finished, once and for all. It’s also supposed to rain tomorrow, which should make for a very cozy at home day.

I guess I still feel a little off-balance, more than anything else. I don’t really feel like I’ve been able to find my center in a very long time, and as such, my life has felt off-kilter for about three or four years now. I remember joking when the pandemic first shut down the world in March 2020 that “LSU had a perfect football season and broke the world,” but in a very real sense, that’s kind of what happened–they weren’t connected, simply sequential–and even that Carnival in 2020 felt wrong somehow; people got killed at the parades by falling under floats; the Hard Rock Hotel construction site had collapsed, closing down several streets around and including Canal; and of course, racism and homophobia have been running rampant during these times. It’s been a very tiring period, frankly, and getting older during it hasn’t helped matters much. So many changes, so many adjustments, so much exhaustion. I do sometimes think I am getting too old for this life. Slings and arrows, slings and arrows, slings and arrows.

However, the irony that the United Kingdom and the United States, the two countries that led the world in the war against fascism in the 1940’s, are currently sliding headfirst into fascism needs to be noted regularly. As I say to Paul all the time when the latest insanity breaking news flashing across our phones and TV screens, “I’m glad I’m old and don’t have any children to worry about.”

Anyway, I am going to bring this to a close now. Not quite as fiery as yesterday’s post, of course–I was in quite the mood when I wrote yesterday’s, but it still stands as truth–but that isn’t going to happen every day anyway. I’m so tired of being outraged and aggravated, you know?

And I do sometimes wonder how different my life would be had I not been born into a homophobic society and culture.

And on that note, I am heading into the spice mines, Will check in with you again tomorrow, Constant Reader. Have a lovely Thursday!