The Dreaded Disney Cruise

Don’t get me wrong. I love my nieces and nephews something fierce. And I am thrilled that my parents have been together for ages, and married for 40 years come this June. That being said, I am having trouble trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I will be surrounded by thousands of screaming children and grown adults dressed as creepy Disney characters. For seven days.

ImageOh sweet Lord, this scares me.

In a few short months, I will be on a cruise with my entire immediate family celebrating my parents’ anniversary. On a Disney Cruise. And if you’ve ever met me, you know that I see cruise ships as floating epidemics, huge ships teaming with the potential to spread norovirus, influenza, and food poisoning.

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It looks pretty. But don’t be fooled.

It will be awesome to spend a week with my family, even if it means avoiding the shrimp at the buffet and knowing that at any moment I can and will steal a lifeboat. I just need to stock up on hand sanitizer, face masks, and al-cha-hol. Because the only way to survive a cruise is an open bar. And Ching-a-Ling and I have already staked out our deck chairs for reading in the sun.

ImageAnd I call dibs on sitting next to my elderly friends. They’re quiet and/or hilarious.

So I won’t complain. But if some sort of “I Am Legend” business happens, I’m grabbing oars and heading south. Until next time, stay classy (and not seasick) Salt Lake.

My Nemesis: The D R O I D

Everyone who knows me, and even perfect strangers, know that I have an extensive history of problems with electronics. I kill cell phones, computers, televisions, VCR/DVD players (if those are even a thing anymore), and anything with an electromagnetic field. Talking to my Daisygal, I bit it hard on the sidewalk and… injured my iPod. It still works, but it won’t win any beauty pageants.

ImageThis makes me a Sad Panda.

But my biggest nemesis is my phone. When it’s not lost in a pile of clothes or somewhere in my bedspread, the DROID that I own (or that more likely owns me) haunts me. I miss calls frequently. I can’t figure out how to transfer calls and/or switch between calls, inadvertently hanging up on family and friends on a routine basis. And today it has been particularly a pain in my ass.

ImageLife was so much easier then. When the phone was just a phone.

So now I sit, attempting to get my phone to do what I want it to do, typing on the most recent computer that has yet to betray me with its flash storage and its webcam. I just hope that, eventually, I come to a happy place with my wacky electromagnetic field issue (twice in one post using a 10th grade word!) and can interact with the Brave New World that is modern technology.

ImageJust get me to technical support. Jebus.

So until next time, stay classy (and old school) Salt Lake.

The Life of a Teenaged Girl/Man Child

Lezzzz-be-honest. We all read the Hunger Games. While it was technically geared towards “young adults”, a somewhat nebulous term I still don’t quite understand, the series was actually pretty good for a fluffy yet violent post-apocalyptic vision of what the world will inevitably become. That is, unless we don’t get hunted down by the zombies. And they’re coming.

ImageI was a Boy Scout once. I know to always be prepared.

So when I went to see Catching Fire (love J-Law), there was a preview for a movie called “Divergent,” and it looks to be a pretty interesting movie. And then I went to Barnes and Noble and realized it was a series, in the “young adult book” section, and I bought the whole danged thing. This is what Christmas gift cards are for. Well, that and groceries in a good year. Because we all know about my grocery store problem.

ImageMy cashier actually joked with me that it was my “first trip of the day” yesterday.

So I am trying to read that while simultaneously finding a job, writing another novel, and reading another book that I have on my Kindle. Which was saved, just barely, after Luna decided to knock over another completely full glass of water adjacent to all of my electronics. Because that’s what she does when she isn’t trying to hunt birds from the inside. Yup. She’s… not the brightest, but she’s pretty.

ImageI am so buying a birdfeeder. She’ll lose her mind.

Gotta take five now to pick out my outfit for my Pride Center meeting tonight. I’ve decided to work the Festival this year to see what it seems like sober. Until next time, stay classy (and busy) Salt Lake.

Utah Spring

Don’t fall for it. It’s a trick. IT. IS. A. TRICK. This happens every year. The baby gays put on their shorts and tank tops. The crocus start to bud early. The temperatures reach into the sixties, and everyone thinks that maybe, just maybe, this year we will have a “real” spring. Fools. Don’t they know a put-on when they see one? It’s like when he says, “we’re going to lay here with our clothes on.”

ImageOr candy!

I know better. I grew up on the East Coast, and I know a false spring when I see one. The overly warm temps. The spring clearances. The people rocking their windows open, singing along with One Direction or Katy Perry or some other pop icon of the moment. It’s dangerous. It’s fatal. And it’s contagious.

ImageDo you want ANTS? Because that’s how you get ants.

So while I appreciate the lovely weather, I am wary. Last year we had a ridiculously warm spring, only to be thwarted both garden-wise and spring-wise by a late season blizzard. Like, you couldn’t see the road. Having lived here for 7 years, I know better. So to all of you sun babies who are basking in the reflected glow of the most recent sunspot, don’t get complacent. This isn’t real. This is like the Matrix. You think it’s real, but it’s not. It’s the f-ing Matrix.

ImageTake the blue pill.

More soon, I have another interview with Kids on the Move and the one yesterday at UVU was fab-tastic. Until next time, stay classy (and warm) Salt Lake.

Rehoboth Beach

My parents decided over a decade ago to buy a lot and build a house in a neighborhood that would either flourish after bankruptcy or ultimately fail, surrounding themselves with abandoned lots, pot holes, and uncollected trash. Years later, they find themselves in retirement, living at the beach in an admittedly mishmash of really beautiful homes and some that are… not so much.Image

And no, it’s not this bad. It’s actually sort of charming.

One of the perks of living the life I have led is that I had “the beach house” to live in over summers, working my ass off for minimum wages at a regional and now defunct bookstore. I would stock shelves, smile for the tourists, and then kick it on the beach and boards on Tuesdays, checking out the gays on Poodle Beach (a well known but not officially recognized section of the beach off of Queen Street, oh the irony) while trying to be less pasty and more desirable to the local gays.

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Mmmmm…. I’ll take two.

So I just finished writing my submission for the Rehoboth Beach Short Story Contest, which is a themed, annual competition that celebrates people who love the beach. Which is funny, considering I live in the damned desert 2,000 miles away from home. The community publishes the stories every year in a book that provides snapshots of people’s lives and experiences in a place that I consider a second home. And after maybe 10 seconds, I knew the story I would write, the story of when my brother-in-law proposed to my sister on the boardwalk in a box of sugar candy fruit slices.

ImageIt was epic.

So regardless of whether or not they choose my story, remembering that day on the beach with my family was totally worth writing about. Now onto job searches while watching The Chew and trying to figure out what to make with the pound of ground turkey in my fridge thawing. Until next time, stay classy (and salty) Salt Lake.

Midnight Haircut

Ok, so it wasn’t midnight. Rest assured we most definitely closed the shop, leaving just shy of 9pm, and my hair is sooooo short now. Like ridiculously short. Like it needs product. But Newbs insisted I get one for interviewing, and now that Chase (my beloved Utah hairdresser) has moved to New York with his husband, it was time for a change.

ImageI think the graphic kind of says it all, no?

In any event, taking my shower this morning in getting ready for Church (the one I’ve started going to is technically a cathedral, but who cares for such nuance) I realized I don’t need as much shampoo as I am used to. Also it takes a fraction of the time to actually wash and do my hair. I mean, I don’t have to worry about where to part it, how dry it needs to be, or whether or not it needs some gel in it.

ImageI didn’t realize that hair gel has a gender. Interesting.

So now, as 9:15am in the morning is pouring light into my living room, I plan on some reading, maybe some NPR. Oh, who am I kidding. You know that The Splendid Table is on this afternoon, and I’ll be cooking up something delish. For those of you that have read this far waiting for a picture of the final cut, I guess I will have to indulge you. I will, of course, be taming the beard tomorrow so I don’t look like a retro caveman.

ImageI know. It’s short.

So until next time, stay classy (and trimmed) Salt Lake.

PBS Cooking Show Addiction

Hi, my name is Matt. And I am an addict. Of PBS cooking shows. “HI MATT.” I swear, I have a problem. I can sit and watch the cooks on PBS for at least 3 hours and yearn for more. When they switch to Antiques Roadshow, I am crestfallen. Would I ever attempt a Martha Stewart souffle? Um, never. Will I watch her make souffles for an hour just to see how she does it? You betcha.

ImageThe original “Orange is the new Black” cast member.

I get my fill of public service announcements while finding out how to debone tilapia. I see how the Scandanavians eat while ironing or making pulled pork in the crockpot, sitting on the couch with the cat just adjacent. I swear, if there is some sort of Jedi-mind power thing going on, it’s on PBS. Something about public television is mesmerizing while being pretty dull.

ImageBwaiiiiinnnnns….

So I am going to continue on my binge. I am going to learn more about moveable feasts in the event that I move from the Land of Zion back east if employment remains elusive. All the while listening to my neighbor play the piano. The one thing that I truly love about public television, and NPR if I want to be all encompassing, is the lack of real commercials, radio jockeys shouting for me to get plastic surgery or engage a personal injury lawyer.

ImageI’d rather listen to this. It’s soothing. Like rain.

So until next time, stay classy (and listener-supported) Salt Lake.