Thursday, February 16, 2012

On the Subject of Media and Stereotypes

I figured out this morning how incredibly incensed I become by stereotype in media. In this case, it was a Bounce fabric softener commercial and the stereotype they were propagating was gay men.

In this commercial, the OVERTLY gay man in question is heavy-set, has the stereotypical gay "lisp", and is carrying a little white purse/designer dog, and is (of course) worrying about his black shirt becoming unsightly with white dog hair, because fashion is to gay men what water is to fish-- necessary.Or so the media would like you to believe. Of course, Bounce saves the Fashion Day by keeping fur from ruining this man's otherwise pristine black shirt and now he can go about his day being overtly gay.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I stand up for LGBTQ rights. I stand for equality and fairness for everyone and that includes the way that everyone from all walks of life should be represented in the media. Yes, I acknowledge the fact that gay men out there look and act and speak like this man does. That doesn't mean that every gay man out there appreciates being represented by this particular stereotype.

In movies, in television, and music we are saturated with the stereotype of what "gay" is meant to be. If a man isn't gay and man-hungry, conscious of fashion, limp-wristed and shouting "Haaaaaaaaay!" all over the place, then they won't be put into movies or television as the "gay best friend". We are all left to assume that gay equals men clad in tiny underwear, covered in glitter, and robed in a gay pride flag because that's what the media shows us. The fact is that that is just one genre of gay person. It's not an embarrassing genre, but it's only one. I think that this stereotype is largely what puts a block in the way of Gay Acceptance. Because the media only thinks of this particular type of gay person as fit for entertainment, we are left missing out on the huge sub-culture that makes up the entire fascinating LGBTQ community and homophobes are able to use this exact stereotype to "explain" why being gay is a bad thing.

I had a talk with my fiance about why the media does this and he suggested that perhaps if gay men were shown in the media as being "normal", then straight men would have no idea who was gay or straight. He posits that that line in the sand, that stereotype, allows some people to sleep better at night; knowing that they will always be able to tell when someone is gay and when someone is not. The fact is that I have gay friends who you would never guess are gay. This isn't some badge of honor, this isn't some redeeming quality they have, that they can "hide it"-- the fact that they are gay is a small, sexual-preference part of who they are. It doesn't make them who they are.

A friend of mine recently spoke about how far the world has come along for "those of us that are different". That one piece of their statement broke my heart. That LGBTQ people still have to consider themselves "Different". The difference between gay people and straight people isn't anything more than a sexual preference and culture-- something in their bones, their body, their DNA that tells them that they desire one type of love over another. That shouldn't make you "different". That should make you the same as every other human being on the planet with the human right to pursue those things in life that make you feel safe, feel loved, and HAPPY.

I understand the humor they were trying to put forth with this commercial, and in other media. I appreciate the attempt at showing and asking for acceptance of gay people by saturating the market with this kind of stereotype. The problem for me is the focus the media puts on things, and the bias we are left believing at their hands. They focus on a show like Jersey Shore and people who don't know better assume that people from Jersey must be orange, ill-educated, and foul-mouthed. The same follows for every stereotype of every kind of person from every race, culture, sexual preference, and religion-- and the worst part? The American masses buy into it. They believe in it, and they buy merchandise and Facebook about it and they Tumblr it and they tweet about it and I am left with #embarrasment. Embarrassment that as a species, we can't just exist and allow others to do the same without buying into these stereotypes.

Every time a celebrity "comes out" by thanking their partner in an acceptance speech I feel a pang of embarrassment for that person. Not because they have come out, but because it must immediately become the talk of the internet, magazines, and television and then they must either defend a choice that is so miniscule in who a person is in the long run or be thought of as brave for "coming out" and then explain themselves. A person should not be measured by the person they love. They should be measured by the love that they share with the world. A love choice should not subjugate a person to a media firing squad. A love choice should neither help nor hinder endorsements, success, or safety. The media makes these things happen, though.

There is more to every person in this world than the skin they exist in, the person they choose to love, the religious beliefs they follow, or the niche they fit into culturally. Every person deserves love and respect and the right to exist in this world and be whoever the hell they want to be while doing it.

I implore you, the reader, to believe in equality. To DEMAND it. I also ask that you remember not to propagate hurtful stereotypes by sensationalizing small things that do not make up what an entire culture, race, gender, or religion really is. I am not saying it's not okay to laugh about life, to accept that certain stereotypes can be used as comedic as long as they aren't hurtful. We all need to laugh. But do not accept those things as truth and keep those stereotypes where they belong then move on and realize that it's a speck in the large scope of things.

I live on AVENUE Q

I know that this news is a bit late in its arrival, (being that we are into our third week of rehearsals) but some of my readers do not follow me on Facebook. I was cast as the Bad Idea Bear (girl) in Bower City Theatre Company's production of Avenue Q! For those of you not in the know about this musical, here's some information provided by the Bower City Theatre  website;

Avenue Q

Directed by Jim Tropp

Winner of the TONY® “TRIPLE CROWN” for BEST MUSICAL, BEST SCORE and BEST BOOK, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. Don't miss out on this chance to save big on this long-running Broadway hit!

AVENUE Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named PRINCETON who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets KATE (the girl next door), ROD (the Republican), TREKKIE (the internet sexpert), LUCY THE SLUT (need we say more?), and other colorful types who help PRINCETON finally discover his purpose in life!
Avenue Q, directed by Jim Tropp will be presented March 23 – 31, 2012. Performances will be held at The Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 South Main Street, Janesville, Wisconsin 53545. Tickets are available at the JPAC box office or by phone 608.758-0297 or online for further information please email:

Who is AVENUE Q appropriate for?
Adults love AVENUE Q, but they seem a little, er, fuzzy on whether it's appropriate for kids. We'll try to clear that up. AVENUE Q is great for teenagers because it's about real life. It may not be appropriate for young children because AVENUE Q addresses issues like sex, drinking, and surfing the web for porn. It's hard to say what exact age is right to see AVENUE Q - parents should use their discretion based on the maturity level of their children. But we promise you this - if you DO bring your teenagers to AVENUE Q, they'll think you're really cool.

Produced by Bower City Theatre Company at Janesville Performing Arts Center, 408 South Main Street, Janesville

Performances: March 23-31, 2012

Performance Times: March 23, 24, 30 & 31, 2012 at 7:30pm

Ticket Prices: $15 Opening Night $17 Students and $22 Adults

Call 608-758-0297 for reservations or more information.

BRIAN – Dan Houser
CHRISTMAS EVE - Nicki Dougherty
GARY COLEMAN – Deshawn Christian
KATE MONSTER – Stacy DeGolier
LUCY – Amber Dalton
MRS. T – Candace Griffin
NICKY - Caleb Wohlust
PRINCETON – Tyler Block
ROD – Bradley Cartwright
GIRL BEAR – Naomi Houser
BOY BEAR – Jon Marko
PUPPETEER - Ruel Mundth
PUPPETEER - Jason Chesnut

The character I am playing, whom I lovingly call "Bender", is so sweet that she could induce diabetic coma. Though the bears give suggestions to Princeton that could be construed as terrible ideas, when coming from soft, snuggly bears, hilarity ensues. I really look forward to being a part of this, my first "fourth-wall" production since high school *mumble mumble* years ago. For those of my readers close enough to attend, I would love to see you there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Sound of Her Feet

The sounds. The sounds of soft claps against the pavement. My feet moving forward, ever forward.

I know that about this time of year, people are starting to bring themselves to task, making resolutions-- promises for the future. They are recounting the year past and planning for the year ahead. This is where we differ. I don't plan, I just do. I have goals, but they are spoken only to me so I am the only one who can hold me accountable when I fail or succeed. So many things have come into the forefront. Fears, jitters, happiness, sadness; I am a mass of swirly, gut-wrenching emotion. Right, left, right, left, right, left.

Money is and will probably always be an issue, so I have just put the sound of it on MUTE. I can't devote energy to something that is a constant like that because it is just dragging me under this spinning and sucking eddy. It becomes a white noise in the forward momentum and I breathe and remember that it is no more serious now than it has been.

While others are planning their year down to the letter-- a pound here or there, a plan for this or that-- I have decided that 2012 should bring new and interesting and TALE back into my life.

After too many years to name, I decided that, on a whim, I was going to try out for a musical. My brother told me that he had been asked to audition for Avenue Q and that I should come up with an audition piece for it as well... IN FOUR DAYS. They wanted you to prepare 24 bars of a song (with sheet music) and be prepared to sing it at the audition. I printed mine off the morning of the audition. Yes, the morning of. I walked into that audition with a belly full of snakes and my sheet music in my hand, a genuine smile plastered on my face. Mostly, I was just thrilled for the opportunity. I let them know that I was new to the production and that I had only heard about it recently and had printed the music off that morning, so my singing piece wasn't really polished. They let me look at the words to the song while singing the song "Macavity" from the Broadway musical Cats. I faltered a bit at the start, but gained confidence with it as we went along. The director asked why I was not in musical theater, and I told him that during the summer I kind of am. I felt pretty confident walking out the stage doors that I was going to get a second audition-- and I DID!

I was asked to return for a Call Back auditioning the LEAD ROLE as Kate Monster with the song "There's a Fine, Fine Line". I feel like it might be a touch high for my range but I am going to do ME, because it's all I've got. I suppose it's gotten me into great roles before and if nothing else, I just want to be a part of the show. That doesn't make me any less nervous about it, but there you go. Left, right, left, right, left, right.

Sometimes paths take forks, and this post will too. Sometimes it's not the steps, but the footprints. My daughters make me so proud. Every time they say things like "money doesn't matter", "I want to change the world, mommy" and then my youngest (the smallest in her entire kindergarten class) gets into an argument with another girl in line while waiting to go into the school and begin her day. I was sure that this was going to end in furious, frustrated tears and was pleasantly surprised when instead I hear my daughter's voice ring out in undeniable logic-- "You can think what you think about it and I can think what I think about it." I feel like I am doing my job well.

Forward momentum... my feet are calloused with the journey, but I will walk on.

Welcome back, my dears. Be prepared to be bombarded with the amalgam that is my mind. I have a lot to say.

Welcome Back... not Kotter.

Oh, roller coaster of life... you are a strange and mystical creature.

So I am sure some of you are wondering where the hell I have been, why I dropped off the face of the Bloggersphere for a while, what's been new in my life. or maybe you haven't, and that's okay too.

The truth of the matter is that I felt harassed. I felt harassed by politics, harassed by some random "Anonymous" asshole, harassed by life in general and really I shouldn't have let it get to me the way I did. I abandoned something that I created because I worried I wasn't going to measure up and keep people interested. I feared that "Anonymous" may decide to come back and try to air my dirty laundry again. I felt nervous about posting anything at all personal anymore because someone was going to try and use it against me.

Well, fuck that.

I am not hiding anymore. I am here. I am me. Don't like it? Screw you too.

In the blog posts that follow, I am going to go back to the same old eclectic, random, oddness I have always been about. I am going to be uncensored, political, funny, daring, scared... all the things this blog used to be as an outlet for me. At this point I don't care what the comments have in store for me, but I won't be allowing comments without moderation.

Let the good times roll.

And, because my day needed a good laugh, fellow blogger Martha May over at Making Shit Happen sent me a HILARIOUS photo bomb that I appear in where she is attempting to take a nice picture with Neil Gaiman, and I am being ridiculous in the background. I have to say, this made my otherwise very lame day. (Pictured above)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On the Subject of Roller Derby, Neil Gaiman, and The Case of the Catastrophic Equipment Failure

Well, I am back home and on to my second attempt at this blog post... the first one went all Harry Houdini on me and escaped into the ether of my new tablet. One day I may find it lurking in there, but for now I have decided that a rewrite is in order...

What a weekend it was! There was a WHOLE lot of good with a sprinkling of bad (as I write this, the rain is hammering the metal roof of my porch and creating an overall roar in my ears). Some of the bad happened to be my back being lousy to me and enduring a four hour-or-so car ride didn't really help. I had to shift all around in order to get rid of general numbness, pain, and stabby sensations I was getting along the way and many stops were made just to get feeling back into my legs (Yes, yes... I am making an appointment in the morning...). I was invited along to my first ever derby bout in Eau Claire to watch the Chippewa Valley Roller Girls at their season opener and, being a fan of a hell of a good time, I said HELL to the YES. Saturday morning started out well, with plenty of scenic Wisconsin to check out on the way and because we arrived a bit too early to check in to the hotel we decided to drive around Eau Claire and take in the sights.

I'm not sure that I would call Eau Claire ugly so much as just not really making strides toward pretty. It's laid out much like my town in that it is spread all over the place, and pretends to be bigger than it actually is because of it. The downtown area was a bit strange because there's not really a main street that downtown consists of. You'd have a block of downtown on your right that would disappear and then reappear a couple of blocks ahead on the left. There were a couple of very lovely bridges in the downtown area that carried you over the Chippewa River which, unlike the bridge over the Rock River in my town, every bridge over this river seemed to be really high off the water. Maybe flooding is a big issue there? I suppose it's possible... It just seemed to me that not a lot of money has been spent on revitalizing any core part of the city, and I can definitely sympathize with that as it seems to be the same around my neck of the woods.

Sight-seeing done, we decided that it was time to check in the hotel a bit early, if possible. This is where my world got strange because things started looking painfully familiar... You know, the expression "painfully familiar" is a strange one. One is to assume that the pain is either coming from the current experience or the pain of the memory and for me it was the latter. As we are taking our left turn onto the byway I notice a familiar McDonald's. Silly right? Because almost all McDonald's look about the same when you think about it. This particular McDonald's (that sat right next to our hotel) had a Greyhound Bus Line sign out in front of it. That's where the painful memory comes in... This was the very same McDonald's that I spent stranded at for SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS. To make a long story incredibly short; I was on a bus trip to a journalism convention in winter a couple of years back when our bus' brake lines froze solid. (For those of you not familiar with Midwestern winters, first of all, you suck, and second of all, this kind of crap happens in Northernish Wisconsin all the time.) After three hours of attempted repairs, they exhausted all of their options except to call another bus in from Milwaukee. That's four and a half hours from Eau Claire, which led to the seven and a half hour strandification (I am going to go ahead and OWN that non-word). Needless to say, I flew my finger-bird high every time we passed the cursed place.

Thankfully we were able to check in early, but at the front desk I notice a sign regarding the pool (or non-pool, as was the case here). *DUE TO CATASTROPHIC EQUIPMENT FAILURE OUR POOL IS CLOSED INDEFINITELY. WE ARE SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.* Of course, I am left boggled as to what kind of catastrophic equipment event you can have in a pool (and eventually I did find out but that is for later) but didn't want to embarrass the people I was with by asking. I wanted to get a picture of the sign, but by the time I came back to do some serious investigative reporting on this supposed "catastrophic failure", the sign had been removed. Le sigh.

After checking in and dropping off our stuff, we decided that some food was in order before going to the bout location to help with setup. After a resounding NO to the McDonald's next door (I am giving them the finger right now in my head) we decided just to make a quick stop at the Taco Bell. Many of you have eaten at a Taco Bell so I don't really need to get into specifics about my food, but I did find it rather odd and strangely hilarious that this particular Taco Bell was playing hip-hop music over their PA system. I suppose I had been so used to the typical Kenny G coma I had been lulled into while eating that I never considered that there could be another way of eating in a restaurant.

We ended up at the Indoor Sports Center in Eau Claire where the bout was set to happen to help with general setup. There are a few things about setting up for roller derby that I didn't know; it requires a lot of Stuff. I would estimate that there were about 45 bins that needed carrying, 15 plastic folding banquet tables, 100 folding plastic chairs, and a 3M/ Duct tape wet dream of (and this is only a guess) about 137,632 rolls of tape. And it only took roughly 30 of us to get all the lines taped off on the floor.

The Harbor City Roller Dames practicing on our freshly taped floor.

The theme of the evening was "Will Skate For Brains" so Krix and I had fun making up Matt's face like a zombie, then she wanted only half of her face painted which of course, I shuddered the whole time I was painting for her. *shudder* Zombies. *shudder*

If you listen closely, you can almost hear a quip about to happen...

When Krix and I finished with our taping job, we went to set up our blanket in front of the announcer's table, but found that there was already a blanket there. As it turned out, Neil Gaiman was actually going to make it like he told me he was going to (which was why I brought the stained glass piece that was intended for him as a Yule gift last year that I was too darned nervous to send via post) and it was their blanket that was taking up our space so we settled with putting our blanket down next to theirs. Unfortunately it was addressed with me that there were some Rules about how to talk to Neil (or how NOT to talk to him, as the case may be) but I found out that according to Neil, those rules do not apply to me. In trying to obey the Rules, I sort of avoided contact with Neil even though he was two seats over until I felt a tug on my shirt and heard "OY! NAOMI! I have been talking to you for the last two minutes!" I explained that I was trying to respect him by not bothering him while he was here with friends and he told me to "stop being ridiculous" then shared some popcorn with me. I felt horrible for having ignored him like that, but was only trying to do as was asked of me. More on Neil later, because I want to talk about derby, which was what I was there for.

The Chippewa Valley Roller Girls were taking on the Harbor City Roller Dames at home for their season opener. This was my first ever derby bout, and even now I am extremely fuzzy on the rules. Watching the first few "jams" I started to understand how things worked a little better. There are something like five or six girls from each team out for each jam. One of each from the teams wear a stripe on their helmets and they set the pace for the "pack" (the blocker chicks), one from each team have stars on their helmets and they are known as "jammers". The jammers are the ones who score points for each team by breaking through the pack first and getting out ahead and around the pack as many times in a row as they can. I am pretty sure that when they do this five times in a row it is called a Grand Slam. The team's jammer who makes it out first is the lead jammer, and  the other team's jammer can still earn points, just not as many. Only the lead jammer can call off the jam. I know that this sounds like a really bad hair metal video but the bare shoulder blades rubbing in this show aren't so much rubbing as they are slamming into one another, knocking each other to the floor. Derby bouts are more metal than metal. I had more than a blast. CVRG's jammer, Stunt Double, was definitely one of the major stars of the evening. She was sliding in and out of the pack like a greased snake, taking being knocked to the ground like a boxing legend; She got back to her feet and kicked some asses. Some more of the skaters' names that I remember are Jenetic Defect, Devil Mama, Whoremione Granger, Hell'o Dolly, Pitbull Scarrier, and Calla Doctor (just to name a few). All in all, the first half was one of the most entertaining things I have ever watched.

Stunt Double goes so fast her feets are blurry!!

When half time rolled around, we were all ready to stretch our legs a bit so when we all stood up, Neil asked where his hug was and if he was chopped liver. How can I turn that down?! After one of the most snuggly hugs I have ever gotten, we chatted a bit more about a project that has yet to be fully announced yet and I decided to go get some air before the second half started back up.

After some SPECTACULAR moves by Stunt Double that brought the team up some fifty points, in the second to last jam, she took lead jammer and busted tail to try and get the points needed to scrape a win. With the crowd on their feet and roaring, Stunt did the best she could at scoring for the team but it was just not enough. The Chippewa Valley Roller Girls lost 115 to 202 but I have to say that it was a very well played, entertaining game by both teams and I would go and see derby again in an instant. In fact, there's a game coming up in February near my town that I will definitely be going to see.

After the game got over, I handed the stained glass over to Neil to open and he said he loved it. Then I was gifted with a three minute hug including being picked up off my feet, spun a little and a smacker on the cheek. I just friggin' love that man. Authoring amazing works and having the Midas touch aside, I feel extremely privileged to call Neil a friend. He is an extremely kind and caring man who would do just about anything within his power to help a friend.

This is the piece that now lives with Neil, which I have found out will most likely reside in The Tower. "She'd go down in my writing gazebo, but it was just winterised."

You'll never be chopped liver to me.

After a spectacular derby bout, a quick ride in Neil's car around the parking lot, and loading copious amounts of beer into vehicles for later use, we headed to the after-party. I was tired out pretty quickly on that, unfortunately, because I was having a blast talking derby with the girls. They all tried their best to convince me to join their team and move to Eau Claire (and believe me, I would love to!) and then settled on suggesting that I either try to start a team or join Beloit's girls. Before long we decided to head back to the hotel, and after our long and sad good byes we left the after-party. I had a mystery to solve that night, after all.

I had vowed that when we got back to the hotel I was going to get a picture of that sign because it had made me laugh so hard, but as I said before, it was gone... so I asked the girl behind the desk what had happened to the sign. She explained that they hadn't had a pool in over a year because of this "accident". She had taken it upon herself to tape off all the pool signs in the hotel because she said people would see the arrows to the pool, go back to their rooms and change into their swimsuits and then find out that due to some "catastrophe" there was no pool. "What constitutes as a 'catastrophic equipment failure'?" I ask. She explained that about a year ago, they found out that the thirty thousand dollar ventilation system they had installed in order to have a pool and hot tub were not up to the task of handling all the steam from the room and the ceilings in the hotel started coming down. Ummmm... yeah. I'd call that a "catastrophic equipment failure". Indeed. Well, we were feeling adventurous so Krix and I decided to go find the elusive pool room to see what we could see, but the windows had been painted over. We press our eyes to a tiny corner at the bottom of a pane and see that the pool is, in fact, still there but it is dark and empty. Our assumptions of a catastrophic zombie event happening in the pool dashed, we turn to head back to the room. Krix starts laughing hysterically and pointing as I tell her we have been spotted. The front desk girl rounded the corner to find us giggling and sneaking around looking for the pool. The sign Krix had pointed at was an arrow pointing us toward the pool... so like the smartass I am, I let the receptionist know that she missed one.

I would go into the very fun and friendly, grilling Mexicans I met that night, but the fact is that you are probably bored and this blog post is already insanely long.

Needless to say, it was a fantastical weekend, and thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who made it possible. You know who you are. You know what you did. Love to all and sweet dreams.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Balloongate 2011 or The Case of the Heart-Shaped Balloon

I think that the most ridiculous articles circulating the web and drawing the attention of Wisconsinites right now are the articles referring to knife wielding Department of Administration worker Ron Blair and heart-shaped balloon carrying citizen Leslie Amsterdam. It's a thrilling tale with knives, balloons, and mysterious blood on the stairs... or the most ridiculous thing you've read today in Wisconsin.

According to various articles and sources close to Leslie, she was enjoying a visit to the capitol while carrying a heart-shaped balloon when Ron Blair (in an attempt to pop her balloon) assaulted her and slashed her balloon with a knife he just happened to have lying around someplace. The mysterious blood on the stairs? Ron Blair insists that he injured himself on the stairs while others say he cut himself while wrestling with Leslie and her very dangerous balloon.

Why was the balloon dangerous? Not only do balloons tend to amuse small children, send sentiments of love and appreciation to people everywhere, but Ron Blair and the Department of Administration insist that balloons that are allowed to float to the capitol's dome also damage paintings by brushing up against them. I don't claim to be an art expert, but that seems a bit far-fetched. Annoying? Maybe. An eyesore? Probably. Damaging to paintings? Ummm...

According to eye witness, Jenna, "I was standing with Leslie when Ron approached out of nowhere. Ron rushed at the balloon and popped it and then darted down a back stairway. He did not say anything I could clearly hear, though he may have been mumbling. Leslie and I were on the 2nd floor of the Capitol and he ran down to the 1st floor. We followed close behind yelling at him and asking him why he popped the balloon." Jenna goes one to say, "He stopped at the 1st floor and turned. At this point we were very close, only a couple of feet away from Ron. Ron lunged at Leslie grabbing her wrists and throwing her into a bathroom door. The force of the lunge was enough to push Leslie into the bathroom and he also came in the room with her. At this point Leslie started to scream and call 'Help!'" (See the original, unabridged article here.)

So why is it my opinion that the whole thing is ridiculous when Leslie is more than likely very shaken up about the whole ordeal?

All that the media is focusing on is the balloon and the popping of the balloon. No one wants to talk about the fact that Leslie was not only assaulted by a man who popped her balloon with a knife he just so happened to have on him, but she was then physically assaulted by that same man. The media would like to focus on the silliness of it, when really it is very serious. No matter the extreme polarization of politics right now, we should not fear being assaulted when entering our capitol building. No matter which side of the issue you're on you should be able to feel safe in public facilities, and you should feel safe around public employees.

Do I understand that Ron Blair is probably stressed out due to the volume of people coming in and out of the capitol with what he probably thinks is blatant disregard for the upkeep? Sure. Does that warrant an attack on someone? No. That warrants taking a vacation before you snap and attack someone carrying a balloon... which is just what he'll be doing. According to "The state Department of Administration, which runs the Capitol and oversees the Capitol Police, issued a statement saying the worker was arrested on suspicion of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon on Thursday. District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says he has to review the case before making a charging decision."

A net has been installed just above the fourth floor in the capitol to stop balloons floating to the dome and was fully in place when the capitol opened this morning.

Here's yet another dilemma for me.... the state had to pay to install this net just to stop people from releasing balloons inside the capitol. While I understand the need for reform in our state of bills just passed, it doesn't help to act like petulant children out for a giggle on the Department of Administration. I understand that the people who have been occupying the capitol are there to make a stand. Sing songs like you have been, carry signs like you have been, but try not to be a nuisance in ways that are not core to the cause. I am sure that some of the releasing was out of respect and solidarity with Leslie, but you only damage the cause making everyone else out to be spoiled brats. Just my two cents.

My best to Leslie. I am floating my imaginary heart shaped balloon for you today.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eating Time or the Case of the Absent Blogger

I just realized that is has been a HELL OF A LONG TIME since I have posted anything here, and I figured that I should remedy that as soon as was humanly possible. I would like to say that my absence has been due to the overwhelming amount of writing I have been doing, but that would be a sad, sad lie. The truth is that the Bristol Renaissance Faire has me pretty exhausted during the week so I don't get a whole lot done except for routine house cleaning, and hanging out with my little girls. I am not saying that I don't love every tiny minute of it, but I really have been too busy to do much with writing.

The only bonus to not writing is all the planning I have been doing in my head, and all that gets done that way. I have written the book in my head, I just need to proceed with getting it out of there in a way that makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Also, Cherry has taken a bit of a turn and I am thinking that I would really like to see it as a graphic novel either first or at some point in the future. I would love to release it as both, but I am not sure that I have the funding for that. I am planning to get a Kickstarter going sometime in the future to pay an artist to work with me on the graphic portion, or on plates contained within the novel itself.

On the topic of the Ren Faire, there are a few characters I was sad to find did not return this year, and yet SO MANY more that I am glad to meet for the first time. My own character has changed this year into someone who is like how Bea Pollen was but MORE. Her name is Etcetera (Etcetera Etcetera Etcetera) LeStrange and she is the chastity belt keyholder for the Bristol Buskin Frolic. She is engaged to the Master of Mayhem (William Dudley the Undecided) and due to frequent theft of the chastity belt keys is found chasing them around Bristol all day. Some of the wondrous characters who did not return, Autumn (the Fae), the Fire Fae, Lady Tso, a few of the Badde Guys, the magnificent Bob Brinkman and half of BBF as well as others. New characters and people that are worth meeting; The Spanish Ambassador (or the SpanAm as we call him), the Vicar, the new fairies about the shire, and Kristin Mansour (the new big boss).

Though it makes me sad that so many could not or did not return to faire this year, I have come to realize that that is what a ren faire is really about. People leaving not only frees up space for fresh and talented actors and actresses, but it allows for some of those absent and wonderful people to start new ventures of their own. Autumn (the Fae) has done wonderful and magnificent things with The Suitcase Shakespeare Co , Josh Ballard has joined as an apprentice with Dirk and Guido playing Slab VanderHuge, just to name a couple. People are blossoming everywhere, and though I know it can't be easy to leave the faire behind they will always have a family there rooting them on. I know I will be.

In other news, I cried on a roller coaster earlier this week, like a wimpy little girl. But at least I stopped crying at the beginning of the ride, threw my arms into the air, and faced my fear with my eyes squeezed shut. Maybe (if there is a) next time, I'll peek once or twice.

Funny little bit of random, this is what people have been using on Google to search my blog. One of these things is not like the others.... (Also, I have written about all but one of these... can you guess which one?)
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