sutton lee seymour

i have such admiration for this friend of mine!  prescott seymour is a drag queen living in new york who works under the stage name sutton lee seymour.  he is part of the seymour family, which is the most admirable family on earth because they share every holiday, sunday dinners, etc. with each other.  even the exes.  and their kids.  and stepkids.  and futures.

little shop of horrors is a movie/play/movie about audrey II, a carnivorous plant cared for by a florist assistant seymour who named the audrey II in honor of his true love audrey.  audrey is terrorized by the abusive boyfriend orin but finds the courage to leave--because there's "suddenly seymour" the most popular song from this show is "suddenly seymour" which i can't get out of my head right now.  karma alert:   audrey II ends up with a nice orin meal.

little shop of horrors is a movie/play/movie about audrey II, a carnivorous plant cared for by a florist assistant seymour who named the audrey II in honor of his true love audrey. audrey is terrorized by the abusive boyfriend orin but finds the courage to leave–because there’s “suddenly seymour” the most popular song from this show is “suddenly seymour” which i can’t get out of my head right now. karma alert: audrey II ends up with a nice orin meal.

 

meanwhile, my friend works under the name sutton lee seymour sometimes.  and he had this to write:

 

 

I have to tell this story, and please know it’s not praise I’m looking for. It’s change!

I was at my subway stop last night heading to my show, “in face” but in boy clothes. I do this for physical comfort, not from fear of being gay bashed. But last night I encountered a homeless man who decided to scream at me with hate once he saw my face (btw, I looked really pretty last night). I never really encountered this before.

I wasn’t afraid of him because he was on the Queens bound platform and I was on Manhattan bound platform. But he kept screaming, so I moved. But he wouldn’t stop.

And then something just hit me, I needed to do something. I considered going to the MTA folks in the booth but opted against that. Instead I left the subway station and went to the Dunkin Donuts and bought a cheddar, egg, sausage sandwich, a banana, a donut, and a bottle of water. Btw, nobody seemed bothered by my stunning face.

I went back up to the platforms, going to the Queens bound side this time. And I found the homeless man. And yes he did start yelling at me again. And I shut him up saying…

“This food is for you. Please eat up and remember it was a ‘faggot’ who decided to love you instead of ignore you today.”

And he didn’t do anything for a minute so I just left the food in front of him. And then he said thank you, which honestly surprised me because I was expecting more hate. And I left for my platform with no slurs coming from the man. And my train pulled up as I got back over and I saw him eating. And I headed to my show.

I realize that maybe this was risky, but there’s still so much hate out there that we can’t ignore it or fear it. And we can’t change hate with more hate. Only love. Will this change that man forever? Probably not. But I’m certain he won’t forget. At the end of the day, there are people who still need help. And hopefully, that man will think twice before he starts gay bashing. That’s my wish.

 

prescott, you are my hero!

prescott, you are my hero!


prayer chain

if you’re reading this, you’re a friend.  or my exboyfriend.  and if you’re erin carley and you’re reading this, you need to know you’re someone i’m praying for.  erin has helped me through the last year and a half which has pretty much been the worst i’ve experienced.  i only hope in some small way that i have returned the favor.  because her worst year and a half makes my crazytown stuff seem like a jennifer aniston sitcom.

erin’s son ashton has cancer.  he has had a stem cell transplant but his body is rejecting it.

ashton is really not doing well today.  he was diagnosed in march and he and his mom have spent most of their time living in dayton hospital and cincinnati.  i've been to see them at dayton.  what a smile this kid has no matter what life has been throwing him!

ashton is really not doing well today. he was diagnosed in march and he and his mom have spent most of their time living in dayton hospital and cincinnati. i’ve been to see them at dayton. what a smile this kid has no matter what life has been throwing him!

 

i don’t know where you are about prayer.  i sometimes feel like God doesn’t listen to me because the cacophony of prayers from six billion folks has got to be pretty intense.  but i suspect that God wants this boy to have health, strength, and peace.  so if you are indeed a reader/friend could you do a powerful act of prayer by asking the archangel michael to intervene?

the archangel michael is a badass saint in the islamic, jewish and christian traditions.  heck, even the jehovah's witnesses believe in him and that he is the incarnation of jesus before his birth.  so consider praying to this dude on ashton's behalf.

the archangel michael is a badass saint in the islamic, jewish and christian traditions. heck, even the jehovah’s witnesses believe in him and that he is the incarnation of jesus before his birth. so consider praying to this dude on ashton’s behalf.  if you’re an atheist maybe you could just picture this michael guy standing over his bed saying “cancer, back the hell up!”

from cincinnati children’s hospital, all the positive energy in the world.  wouldn’t it really be cool to have prayer make such a difference?


the reward of fear

If they had not told me I was ugly, I never would have sought my beauty.  If they had not told me that they would break me, I never would have learned I’m unbreakable.   If they had not told me that they were trying very hard not to be mad at me, I wouldn’t have known that they failed.  

 

 

“We live in Bozeman,” my facebook friend Lanny wrote me.  “Stop by.  Sarah and I would love to see you.”

lanny wrote "william clark and the shaping of the west" which is an incredible account of how this dude did the lewis and clark expedition and other things.  i have a william clark plush toy i take everywhere on my journeys.  william clark has a facebook page which lanny runs.  ain't that neat?

lanny wrote “william clark and the shaping of the west” which is an incredible account of how this dude did the lewis and clark expedition and other things. i have a william clark plush toy i take everywhere on my journeys. william clark has a facebook page which lanny runs. ain’t that neat?

I arrived in Bozeman expecting saloons, hitching posts, wood sidewalks and the clop-clop-clop of horses.  Instead, there had been some geographical hocus pocus because Bozeman is basically a very sweet, charming college town with soigne restaurants and trendy clothes stores. It looked to be imported from Massachusetts except for the mountains at a distance.

“I could get used to this,” I thought.

To be fair, greater Bozeman seemed to stretch a mere four blocks in every direction, but that was so much larger than any ville I have been in for the past week so I was impressed.

I followed the directions Lanny gave until I got to the part where I was to follow the switch backs.

wow, just drive up to the edge of the side of the mountain, then do a u turn and go to the other side.  yikes!

wow, just drive up to the edge of the side of the mountain, then do a u turn and go to the other side. yikes!

I am scared of heights.  Sky rise hotels I’m the one asking for the second floor.  All of the West Virginia by ways spooked me.  I have never been to the top of Willis Tower even though I lived in the Chicago area 53 years.

I cried all the way up to Lanny’s house because at every turn I thought I was going to fly over the edge of the road and tumble down the mountain.

Shortly after I arrived, Sarah returned from a grocery trip.

“How do you DO it?”  I cried.

“Oh, you get used to it,” she said.

And she’s absolutely right.

After I left the Joneses, I traveled up to Canada to Banff.

a sixties show f-troop included a cameo appearance from a character from banff.  the town was pronounced banf-f-f-f because it is a little confusing about what to do with the extra f.

a sixties show f-troop included a cameo appearance from a character from banff. the town was pronounced banf-f-f-f because it is a little confusing about what to do with the extra f.  i had such a crush on ken berry.  is he my soulmate?

 

in Banff, I visited my facebook friend Madame X.  Madame X doesn’t want me to use her name because she has a stalker ex-boyfriend.  She’s even changed her name on facebook in order to shield herself from him.  I totally sympathized.  We had a wonderful evening in town and the next morning we climbed Sulphur Mountain.  There is a series of switchbacks up the 7500 elevation mountain.  There were spots when I would look down and cry.  There were spots where I told myself that it was okay, I have lived a long, lovely life and I have two great sons to show for it.  There were spots when I counted my steps “one, two” and then stopped and started over.  This wasn’t altitude sickness, this was naked fear.

But there was a weird part of me that was proud that I was keeping up with Madame X.  After all, she’s an adorable, athletic twentysomething year old.  Here I am fifty four years old and I’m keeping up.  Then we got to the peak.

“Sorry I was pretty slow,” Madame X said.  “But I twisted my ankle a few days ago.”

Wow.

Still, I got up the mountain. I even sat on top for a bit and even looked down.  But now I had a problem.. . . how to get down.  i am a western girl used to switchbacks but not quite ready for the ride back down.  Maybe you’re afraid of something–lightning, clowns, spiders.   I believe you are not afraid that you are inadequate, but your deepest fear is that you are powerful beyond measure.  xxoo

 


big, bigger, biggest

i’m pretty much a city girl and a scaredy cat so the combination means i have had major anxiety attacks all through south dakota, wyoming and montana.  jeez, there’s so much open space.  on the other hand, some of the folks i’m meeting i wouldn’t trust taking to times square without a significant dose of ativan—for them.

everything in south dakota is bigger, including the pets.  this dinosaur on a leash is outside 1880 town in jackson county south dakota!

everything in south dakota is bigger, including the pets. this dinosaur on a leash is outside 1880 town in jackson county!

 

a few years ago my italian friend federico cenci was writing a book about my grandfather and i invited him to stay in my home in winnetka, illinois.  he stayed for a month and we traveled to the university of illinois rare books and manuscripts library for extra material. mostly, he worked in the guest room. one afternoon he asked if we could take a day trip somewhere to see the sights.

 

big shout out to winnetka, illinois which was my home for close to a quarter century!

big shout out to winnetka, illinois which was my home for close to a quarter century!

 

“where would you like to go?”  I asked federico.

“mount rushmore,” he replied.  “i’d like to see the presidents.”

“uh, you understand mount rushmore is like a three or four day road trip?”

actually, mount rushmore is a fourteen hour and twenty six minutes 930 miles road trip if traffic is perfect, you’re wearing depends, no doz is delivered through an i.v., and you trick out the back of the car with an endless tank of gas.

federico was crestfallen.

“i’m sorry,”  i said.  “name somewhere else you’d like to see.”

“niagra falls,”  he said, brightening considerably.

niagra falls is wonderful but it’s still a good nine hours and eighteen minutes under the same conditions described.

in a rough justice compromise, we drove to chester, illinois to visit the birthplace of popeye comics creator e c seger.

federico hosted a website devoted to e c seger's beloved popeye.  in chester, we took pictures of the popeye statues.

federico hosted a website devoted to e c seger’s beloved popeye. in chester, we took pictures of the popeye statues.

 

federico returned to rome and finished his book.  on any given day, he can drive from rome to milan (5 hours, 13 minutes), make arrangements for brunch in pisa (3 hours 36 minutes), or spend a weekend in naples (2 hours 11 minutes).   his idea of how large the united states is/was a bit skewed.  oddly, i have the same problem.  i just had no idea how many miles get tucked up under my tires.

 

so this morning i pulled into the parking lot of the mount rushmore national park outside keystone, south dakota.  the usual tour buses of japanese tourists and refugees from aarp.   families with kids who are more interested in the concessions stand.  a lady berating the staff because she wanted to climb either lincoln, washington, teddy or tommy.  the teenagers taking selfies.  i sat down on a bench and took it all in.  and thought to myself…..i gotta tell federico that i made it.

but of course, i have verizon phone service so i couldn’t.

 

 

 


wilson, stewart and the madoffs

darren wilson.  tony stewart.  both men have been on my mind this week and not just because i’m in the badlands.  both men are in the news and have had their lives destroyed by events that took place within just a few minutes.  i don’t think either of them are bad men but they will always be known for their bad act.

 

by all accounts, darren wilson was a perfectly ordinary suburban cop with nary a disciplinary action taken against him.  he encountered michael brown on a ferguson street and within minutes he had shot michael dead.  rioting, outrage, and possible murder and federal civil rights charges against him.

by all accounts, darren wilson was a perfectly ordinary suburban cop with nary a disciplinary action taken against him. he encountered michael brown on a ferguson street and within minutes he had shot michael dead. rioting, outrage, and possible murder and federal civil rights charges against him.

 

tony stewart ran over and killed racer kevin hart as hart walked out onto the track to confront stewart.  prior to this incident, stewart was known as an aggressive driver but offtrack was considered a teddy bear.

tony stewart ran over and killed racer kevin hart as hart walked out onto the track to confront stewart. prior to this incident, stewart was known as an aggressive driver but offtrack was considered a teddy bear.

 

i feel sorry for both men because both will always be thought of as murderers.  they played by the rules most of their lives, well, at least aside from the few minutes of crazytown.  wilson is in hiding with his family.  even if he escapes legal consequences, he’s going to have a permanent crimp in his neck from looking over his shoulder. tony hasn’t raced since the accident and lives for the moment in seclusion.  i can’t imagine him ever having the focus and courage to drive again.

let's say you are a professional in a position of trust--like, say, a lawyer or investment advisor--and let's say you use your client's money as if it were your personal checking account.  do it once, okay, that's troubling.  do it twice, whoa there!  do it three times and we get to call you bernie madoff.

let’Das say you are a professional in a position of trust–like, say, a lawyer or investment advisor–and let’s say you use your client’s money as if it were your personal checking account. do it once, okay, that’s troubling. do it twice, whoa there! do it three times and we get to call you bernie madoff!

.i don’t feel sorry for the madoffs of the world, but i feel sorry for tony and darren.  but i gotta ask–


packed to be home!

for an agoraphobic, i sure do get around!  today, i’m heading into des moines and from there i’m striking north for canada. i’ll be out of the country for close to a full month with a catch me if you can schedule–

in 2011, i made a new year's resolution  to spend facetime with every one of my then 325 facebook friend within the calendar year.  it was an adventure and in one 17 day period, i circumnavigated the globe and visited friends in 11 countries.  my passport is a mess.

in 2011, i made a new year’s resolution to spend facetime with every one of my then 325 facebook friend within the calendar year. it was an adventure and in one 17 day period, i circumnavigated the globe and visited friends in 11 countries. my passport is a mess.

 

so how do you pack for a month long trip?  i do it in two bags, one that serves as my office and one for my clothes.  i buy hanes three pack t-shirts and good news is that they are cheap enough that i consider them disposable.  i am a huge fan of reversible clothing.  i like baby wipes for everything, including the inevitable disasters. . . .

 

i always take with me my william clark doll.  william clark was a fearless adventurer, famously traveling from st. louis to the northwest coast with his friend merriweather lewis and the lahmi shashone woman sacajawea charbonneau.  i bet he was a big believer in baby wipes, especially since sacajawea had her son jean-baptiste with her!

i always take with me my william clark doll. william clark was a fearless adventurer, famously traveling from st. louis to the northwest coast with his friend merriweather lewis and the lahmi shashone woman sacajawea charbonneau. i bet he was a big believer in baby wipes, especially since sacajawea had her son jean-baptiste with her!

some of my friends are very much like me and are afraid to leave the house.  jeez, i spent most of my life with anxiety attacks that kept me trapped in my house.  in the year 2011, i learned to get out of the house.  when someone asks me how i did it, it’s very simple:  you have to make your car your home.  you have to make your seat on the plane your home.  you have to be exactly where you are and make that part of the universe yours.  you are entitled to peace and calm and a sense that you are welcomed by everyone.

 


the comedian’s club

robin williams is upstairs at the comedian’s club, hanging with chris farley, john belushi, tony hancock, doodles weaver and freddie prinze. . .

NOT the freddie prinze having a bitchfest with keiffer sutherland.  his father, freddie prinze, was the star of the popular seventies show  "chico and the man" which was canceled when freddie prinze shot himself to death.  in front of his manager dusty snyder.  who must have been in therapy for years.

NOT the freddie prinze having a bitchfest with keifer sutherland. nope, i’m talking about his father, the star of the popular seventies show “chico and the man” which was canceled when freddie prinze shot himself to death. in front of his manager dusty snyder. who must have been in therapy for years.

 

robin had family–children and a loving wife susan.  he had success–well, except for the very unfortunate movie patch adams.  and he left four movies in varying degrees of completion.  including a sequel to mrs. doubtfire and another in the night at the museum franchise.  he was a spokesman for st. judge’s children’s hospital.  family, creative success, purpose–he had it all.  and then on sunday evening, he tried to kill himself by slitting his wrists.  unsuccessful at doing anything more than inflicting superficial wounds, he used a belt and a closet door and hung himself.

i have struggled, particularly this past year.  with thoughts that i have no purpose, that i have lost some vital connections with my family, that the world would be quite a bit better without me.

in other news, this particular snake was counting on me.  i fed him, gave him water, but he died.  wow, disposing of his body was quite an enterprise.    the apartment smells to high heaven because the blowflies deposited larvae before i did.

in other news, this particular snake was counting on me. i fed him mice, gave him water, but he died. wow, disposing of his body was quite an enterprise. the apartment smells to high heaven because the blowflies deposited larvae before i got the courage to pick up mr. snake and put him in a garbage bag. 

 

 

i know what it’s like to wake up and think “i’m still here.  it’s not time to die.  God, can’t this end?”  but i have always known that i wouldn’t do anything to harm myself because i don’t want to harm my sons, my stepson, my stepdaughter, and my exhusband that way.  and sometimes, just that is enough to keep me going.

so i gotta ask. . .

we miss you, and i’m sorry that there wasn’t anything that could make you stay. . . what is it about the funniest people hiding the greatest sadness?  maybe comedy is a compensation for sadness.

i hope you're having a wonderful time hanging out at the comedian's club.

i hope you’re having a wonderful time hanging out at the comedian’s club.

 


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