Oh fer cute!
Ah, the memories.
So this past weekend I did something a bit rash and a bit stupid. And unnecessary. I traded in my car and got a different one:
Yes, that’s what I’ve named him. Partly as homage to the Greek prince from the Trojan war fame, but also because of the rocketship Ajax in Flash Gordon.
Once the new hood stripes are in place, it will make more sense. The stripes have a cool “trident” look, which gives it that blessed by Poseidon vibe.
And also a cooler deco detail.
It was foolish- as I totally didn’t need another vehicle. I was quite happy with my MINI Countryman. But the dealership was hounding me for mine for their pre owned inventory, so I went to check out what they could do.
My only caveats: get me into another all wheel drive MINI and keep my car payments the same.
I bent on the payment thing– but only by $10.
Ajax is a “slightly” used MINI Paceman– the coupe version of the Countryman. But it is also the John Cooper Works edition. Meaning that it had been souped up: extra horsepower, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, different tuning, etc.
It also has a ridiculous number of bells and whistles: adaptive xenon headlights, heated leather seats, heated mirrors, full Nav package, premium stereo, etc etc etc. Plus they added the free maintenance for 6 years/100k miles and matching warranty.
I definitely never thought I’d get into a Works edition MINI. I guess I just had to wait for one to be discounted by being used (it was the regional sales manager’s car — 8k miles).
And now it’s mine.
While I don’t feel “buyer’s remorse” necessarily, I do feel a bit guilty. My other car was perfectly fine, and here I am being a wasteful consumer.
But Ajax is one helluva sexy beast, though.
This past weekend was chockers full of music for me. On Friday the gay men’s chorus sang at ACDA conference (American chorus directors). We weren’t the only act though– the St Thomas Boys Choir sang too.
And not bad to look at, either!
Last year we performed with them at a choir showcase, and that’s where I first heard them sing Wedding Qawwali. I honestly cried it was so good. There are tons of YouTube videos of other performances of this song now- and I’m sure I blogged about it.
This year they sang music from their most recent concert: The Four Loves. It was based on the Greek concept of different kinds of love: family love, brotherly love, love of god, and passionate love. Again, they were nothing short of amazing.
And while they did reprise the Wedding Qawaali, this year they introduced me to a newly commissioned work called manifesto.
And again, I cried.
The piece is my new everything- I simply can’t get it out of my head. It was written for Cantus just this year by composer David Lang. David, while researching the topic of love, did a google search for the following: I want to be with someone who…
He took the resulting search answers and used it as the text for the piece. It’s humorous and humbling and heart wrenching and heroic and…
Gaaaaaah! It’s so damn good.
I’m now on a hunt for a recording of it. Cantus promised me they are working on getting a recording, but don’t have one yet.
I thought my car had been towed!
Where I live is kind of– strict — about parking. I live in a split use building; most of the building is commercial, but part of it is condo. There’s absolutely tons of parking, but the commercial side won’t let the residents use it. At least not overnight.
Which I think is total bullshit, btw.
Anyway, after singing at a church gig on Sunday morning, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up a few things. Not wanting to make the trek all the way from the parking garage, I parked in one of the spots outside.
A spot that doesn’t allow overnight parking.
Which wouldn’t be a problem normally, as I have my very own parking space in The garage.
Which my car would have been in.
Had I remembered to move it.
Which I didn’t.
Yeah, after carting my groceries upstairs I got distracted. And then started coffee and rolls. And then got to not feeling great. Which led to a nap. And then vegging on the couch. And then bed.
This morning it suddenly dawned on me that I had never moved my car. And these fuckers TOW!
I sprinted downstairs, my heart in my throat. Luckily my baby was still there (although blocked by a van so I couldn’t see him!!). I just received a warning that my car was going to be towed unless I moved it.
Phew. Crisis averted.
Last Sunday evening I got to sing some excerpts from Two Boys Kissing. And I’m kind of excited by it!
Okay… Let me back up for a second.
Two Boys Kissing is (sort of) a young adult novel by David Levithan.
The central storyline involves two boys trying to break the Guiness record for longest kiss. But the novel chronicles the stories of several different young male couples in various stages (first date, end of relationship, friends, and one boy’s lonely downward spiral of self destruction).
The interesting conceit here is that the whole novel is being narrated by a Greek chorus of “shadow uncles”– all the gay men who have lost the battle with AIDS. They watch over these boys and comment on their lives and choices.
At first it was difficult for me to get into the book– I mean, great. Another downer story involving AIDS, right? But the novel grew on me. And there is really some lovely and poignant writing in the narration sections.
But now you’re thinking “wait– you said You got to sing the book.”
And I did.
For the Twin Cities Gay Me ‘s Chorus 35th anniversary (and also for the GALA festival next summer), we have commissioned an original work based on this book.
And on Sunday night, the chamber singers got to sight read a couple excerpts to see how the piece is going to sound. And it was exciting! And not just because being the first to sing brand new music is pretty damn cool.
The musical setting will basically follow the novel. The chorus will be the Greek chorus and sing some of that prose. Then individuals will narrate parts of the story with underlying music.
Below is a quote of one of the chunks that we sang on Sunday:
The music for this is moment is spare and simple– the word love gets repeated as we slowly ascend a simple scale. Then the painful part is a bit darker. But then the next lines…. Omg. When we reach “essential”— the chord changes unexpectedly and it’s heart wrenching and glorious and tear inducing.
I’m definitely excited to sing more of it.
And the cool thing is that we get to take this to Denver over July 4th next year for the GALA festival, where we get to perform it in its entirety.
I hope the whole piece turns out well. We’ll know in January when we start rehearsing it.
Leather daddy edition.
(Leather is my one fetish. I love it– especially guys in the leather caps aka “covers”)
Well- I lost another Facebook friend.
This one was someone who’s been a friend for 15 years or so– not always a close friend, but definitely someone in my life. He’s also someone from my past that I have blogged about before … as someone that I thought I was in love with.
To catch you all up- this was a guy I fell for back when I lived in Noeth Carolina. He was married but we had so much in common. I kinda fell for him. And we kinda fell into bed occasionally.
But then he’d “get religion” (figuratively and literally) and I would be dropped in favor of his family/wife/church/etc.
Meh– it was what it was.
But then through the magic of Facebook we reconnected. Where I found out about his divorce and his disastrous gay love affair with a psycho and his coming out the other side.
Then he disappeared from Facebook for awhile.
But then we reconnected again and talked in the phone and I learn that he’s doing well, living with a guy (they share a house), etc. he’s back posting on Facebook and everything seems hunky dory.
Until I made the fateful mistake of using the “g” word on his Facebook feed.
He made a post about making those fancy, baked apple rosettes, replete with picture of the final product. He even pointed out that one of them looked like a laughing cat.
*cough gay cough*
Now, he knows me well enough to know my humor. This is something I would post on any of my friend’s pages on FB– gay, and especially straight. I mean, apple rosettes? How fucking Betty Cocker!
His reaction? My immediate unfriending. Because (as he texted later) my posts were too negative and disrespectful and I was obviously taking pleasure in “outing” him.
Outing him? OUTING Him??
He got a divorce because he sucks dick and takes it up the ass. He lives with his boyfriend. His kids know. He has a permanent cabin at a gay, nude camp site (which he invited me to the last time we spoke).
But evidently on Facebook, he pretends to be something else entirely. Or at least he presents a controlled (if somewhat skewed) view of himself.
Now, was my comment juvenile? Yes. Inappropriate? Mildly. Disrespectful? Probably inasmuch as I didn’t post the requisite “oh my stars, how lovely! Well done you!”
But again I say, he knows me well enough to know my personality. This is exactly how I’ve always joked with him. And how HE has joked with ME!
I don’t even care that he unfriended me. People are free to do as they want on social media. What bothers me is the hypocrisy. And the inauthenticity. And the disproportionate reaction.
But it’s now obvious to me that he’s still living in fear and desperately seeking approval from everyone– and not just from those who matter. Clearly he still is not comfortable admitting to being “gay”. So he still has to keep up the lies and pretenses and double standards.
It’s sad, really.
And I feel sorry for him that he’s 50 and still can’t live freely.
But given his past behavior where I was concerned, I guess I should have anticipated the cut. It still sucks.