Tag Archives: pride

best of 2019

4 Jan

Day of the Dead

I painted my face and wore my senorita dress and monarch butterfly wings to work.  Cool and I did an offrenda to our deceased loved ones, and I liked having a happy time to think about them and remember them.

 

work x-mas party

One of the supervisors really outdid herself and planned a fun party with catered food, nice decorations (including wine glasses with our work and the year etched on them as memento), a photo booth where we got copies of the pictures, cash bar, and a dj.  Cool wanted to go very badly, and even though parties are later than my bedtime and make me stressed out and anxious I agreed to go.

And once I got some wine in me, I loosened up and had fun.  The people that sat at our table were tipsy to drunk, but that made them really talkative and friendly, and it was nice to finally interact with people at work!  Some coworkers dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus and really put a lot of effort into the costumes, so we asked them to take a picture with us.  And it turned out really cute.  Maybe we’ll make it a future Christmas card.  And Cool and I took a picture together with a giant rose as a prop, which turned out really cute.  And it’s special because we never get pictures with both of us.  I even got up on the dance floor and did the 7 moves I know–and people were trying to keep me to come dance in the middle of the circle (I did not).  It was a success!

 

played Jenga at Social Hall

After we went to the zoo (also one of our favorite things to do) we stopped at Social Hall for lunch.  It turned out to be happy hour and our server was really nice and good too.  This never happens in Arizona.  We noticed when we first moved here that the service pretty much everywhere and every time of day, is bad.  Like abyssal.  But she was friendly and efficient so it was a special treat.

They have games inside and a big patio with a jumbo Jenga game made of 2×4-size wood.  Cool and I played and generally just had an unexpected fun time.

 

parents visit

I wanted my parents to see where we live, our cute house, our favorite spots…  So they came, but it was July when everyone is hot in AZ, and un-acclimated people want to die.  Not the optimal timing.  And I am very much conscious of utilities and we usually keep the temp no lower than 90F because in AZ you could easily spend $300+ on utilities if you let yourself be comfortable.  Anyway, so it’s not a good time of year for visitors.  But I wanted them to see and have fun, and that’s when they could come so we tried to make the best of it.

I planned a very detailed itinerary to try to accommodate everyone’s needs and desires:

zoo-because all 4 of us are animal lovers.

Sephora- to try scents and makeup and lotion.

heard museum-because it’s personal history to all of us and I knew they would all like it.  Also, it’s free the first Friday of every month.

aquarium-this was not on my itinerary, but we had time between plans so we made it happen.

movie-Cool and I are addicted to the luxiorious movie experience with the comfy seats and restaurant-food and bev brought right to your seat.  So I wanted my parents to enjoy it also.  And–it’s an AC space (AC I’ not paying for).

book store-  All 4 of us are readers and we have a local bookstore that also serves snacks, coffee, and adult beverages.

casino & buffet- to bring a little of my parent’s home to the visit.

brunch-for my birthday!  I love brunch so much!!!

WNBA-I wanted to go to a game for my birthday, and I got us 1st row tickets (closest seats of ever) to enjoy.

We really packed in the activities and they are already Cool and my favorite activities, so it was fun to share them.

 

color run

Not only was it a color run, it was unicorn-themed and that’s like my favorite ever.  Cool was a good sport and even dressed up in complementary-colored tutu with me.  They had all kinds of selfie stations, and threw color on us as we ran.  The location was beautiful, and the sunrise in AZ is always gorgeous.  So it was a fun time with tons of cute stuff!

 

tour de fat

We discovered this in 2018, and at that time I spontaneously danced in a talent show.  Which was very fun.  Except I finished the routine with crowd-pleasing splits (with zero stretching/preparation) and messed up my hamstring for the 8 following months.  But it had been a real fun time, so we went again.

This year it was much hotter, so I was drenched in sweat the whole time.  But we dressed adorable, tried new beer, and spectated some of their quirky contests and shows.  It’s always a unique and entertaining time!

 

pride wk at work

Since Phoenix summers are uncomfortable (an understatement) the city has Pride in April.  Which is really a terrible idea.  Because everyone else is doing Pride in June and nobody in the spring, so AZ is out of sync, and it ends up being lackluster as a result.  Also, it can still be 95-100F in April, so it’s not really even a nicer temperature to most people.  I could tell the people in the parade were hot and uncomfortable, fizzling, and spirited by the halfway mark.  They really need to find a stadium with a roof or somewhere cooler to hold the thing–in June.

So that’s why when work agreed to celebrate a Pride week in June it was like the best thing!  We dressed up and got to partake a little bit in what the rest of the nation was talking about so much.  Also, I’m really proud of my company for being inclusive, accepting, and going as far as celebrating the week.  Makes me feel safer and more welcome.

 

AZ fair

So in AZ, it’s less of a fair with animals and crafts and more of a carnival.  Which I guess for a city in the middle of a desert makes a lot of sense.  It was just different from what we’d experienced before.  Animals were hard to locate, and there weren’t many.  Crafts were not plentiful either.  Plant stuff was literally 12 pumpkins and the honey people–that’s it.  So that felt weird.

I found residential parking so we didn’t have to pay the $10 or fight the crowd, and that made me over-the-moon excited.  We just had to walk an extra mile, which is no problem for us.  We walk all the time.  They had all kinds of giant fair food and beverages to pick from.  There were rides, but the safety of those sketches me out so we didn’t do any of those.  But we did try our hand at a couple of the games, knowing they are rigged, but just wanting to enjoy the experience.  I did the Wack-a-Mole, and am so good at hitting those vermin that I won a prize!!!  Which never happens to me.  And it wasn’t just a little dinky thing, it was a good sized purple sparkly unicorn!  So that was super-cool.

 

brunch crawl

I saw it on social media and spontaneously (which I never am) bought tickets for the next day.  As you know I love a brunch!  All around town there were deals at the restaurants on pre-fix brunch stuff.  So we got to try a few different places all in one day.  And we found some new gems in town that we had gone to before and ended up being tasty and pleasant.

 

Halloween costume

I always think I’m going to lazy out of the costume and just wear something easy from a previous year, but then the spirit hits me.  This year I went from easy bear I already had to…fish!  I learned how to do mermaid face-paint that looks like fishnet.  Got some purple tights.  Painted my Mohawk blue.  And made a fin out of closed butterfly wings.  I looked amazing (if I do say so myself).  And I enjoy painting faces a lot, and am getting better and better at it.  And the planning phase is fun too.  Also, not gonna lie, but the accolades are fun to get as well.

 

my mohawk

My hair was long, just out of laziness and being cheap.  But I made the mistake of trying to save money by box dying it.  And Cool and I were actually getting really good at the process.  Even the lady who cut my hair said she has worked with professionals that didn’t do as nice a job of even coverage as we had–which I took as a major complement.  Anyway, box dye does horrible damage to hair.  I knew that before, but I didn’t realize just trimming it wasn’t going to fix it.  It was the kind of thing that I was going to have to trim and trim until all of it was cut off so I could start fresh.  And that sounded like a long plan.  But Cool suggested I get a mohawk.  And I’ve had short hair before, but nothing so dramatic or trend-specific.  But I am feisty and fun (and also thought it would be easier to just cut all the dye off at once) so I found some pictures.  The haircut went well and I felt cooler than I actually am.  I got a lot of genuine compliments at work–like people coming out of their way to tell me they loved it.  Not just the ‘I noticed a change and say nice hair’ stuff that you sometimes get with a fashion risk.  And not everyone liked it, but I was totally OK with that too.  Some people are old, gender-conforming, or conservative.  And I don’t care about any of those group’s opinions.  I thought I looked awesome and that’s what mattered!

 

 

#3:  Left Mck

I had been relieved to have a job after the terror of both my mate and I losing our jobs in the same week.  And for over a month.  I was really afraid.  But then, the job just wasn’t what I can accept.  I don’t want to be treated as dispensable.  Don’t want to be micromanaged and watched to the extent I feel like I’m living in a Big-Brother world.  I want to know ahead of time if I will be in my same team, position, or location–not told right as it’s happening.  I don’t want to constantly be training new people all the time all the time, without being in some leadership position or getting a raise or recognition for doing that.  And I sure as fuck don’t want to commute.  So I was ecstatic when I got a job close to the house and could leave all of that behind.  I just wish I hadn’t had to lose all the acquaintances/friends I was getting to know.

 

#2:  10 year anniversary with my mate- Nov

What a special time!  Cool and I have made it ten years and now it sounds just as substantial to others as we always felt about ourselves.  It’s really neat to be able to say ‘decade’ and also really a relief that this is it.  Love.

 

#1:  Got a permanent job

As much of a relief as it is not to be a precarious temp having to worry constantly about messing up and losing a job, and having to save every penny for just in case–this happened really late.  It was promised that in 90 days I would go perm.  Feet were dragged for additional months.  So when it did happen, it was less of a happy occasion and more of a what took so long?  But now life in Arizona can truly start and I’m really happy for stability.  I want 2020 to be the year of stability!

A Rainbows and Butterflies Obsession

21 Sep

But first, real quick: Ummm, when did WordPress become so user UNfriendly? Drafts are gone? I’m now having trouble uploading pictures. The auto-save didn’t work. I wrote this entire thing and it glitched at “publish” so irritating! It’s like the Myspace days, save your work elsewhere, lest lose it. Any tips?

 

And the topic at hand:

I am obsessed with Taylor Swift.  I have always liked her song-writing, and incorporation of personal details in lyrics (see so many blog posts that used her songs).  When I was driving almost 3 hours one way for all my IVF donor appointments, I must have listened to “Mean” and “Your Not Sorry” a billion times.  Her writing really touched my heart.  But I went away from her when Red came out–and was NOT available on Spotify.  Because how was I going to listen to the album without streaming?  That is also how I lost track of Adele also, who I think is super-talented and a wondrous singer.  But if you don’t allow streaming, I don’t have motivation to dig around.  And a lot was happening in Taylor Swift’s life and career at that time.  But once you’re out of the loop, it’s hard to get back in.  So I missed Red, 1989, and any Reputation stuff save for the music itself on the latter album.  I missed the dating, the clique, the feuds (except what was ubiquitous in pop-culture), and thus pretty much everything.

Brandi Carlile was my jam since, oh, 2010.  And I wish her music and everything still resonated with me now, as it had before.  I want to love it.  I wish I was still really into it.  I feel Brandi is an earnest person, with a good track record, and genuine concern about making the world better.  Her rock and folk albums were inspired, and even superseded some of The Indigo Girls’ work for me.  I like her (I guess her persona, because she makes you feel like you know her).  Her concerts are THE BEST.  And her actual singing is unmatched.  When she popped up on Zac Brown Band’s backing-vocals yesterday (listening to Spotify at work), I immediately knew it was her.

I am just not excited about this Americana direction she’s taking, dabbling in country, pandering to bullying, ect… to get Grammys.  I dutifully listen to the music she’s collaborating on, and really, really try to be a great fan.  But it’s not organically happening for me.  I can appreciate the work, I like it ok.  But my fandom is not what it used to be–and that’s disappointing.  It’s not over.  And I hope Brandi’s next album will feature the twins more, still have those notes she can hit like no other, and reignite the spark for me again.

And this post is not about how there can only be one female artist.  Not at all.  No trading is going on here.  I like them all and have a place in my heart for all of them.  There obviously, can (and needs to be) ALL the women in music.  They can all be successful, it’s important to support that, and help it grow.  I’m just illustrating that there was kind of a hole there (in my fandom?)… Which is when butterflies were bandied about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love color, love flowers, butterflies, tye dye, kittens, glitter, and unicorns, all of those things.  Always have.  It’s nothing to do with anything, just what aesthetic I’m naturally drawn to, and what incites passion and enthusiasm in me.  So when the “Me” video came out, it was my LIFE.  It was as if Taylor Swift made a video specifically for me.  Even better that little clues (Easter eggs) were throughout.  I also watched Pop-Up Video and loved all the trivia and facts and behind-the-scenes.  Same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So just like that I was hooked back in, trying to find the meanings and read the clues.  And when super-gay “You Need to Calm Down” came on to the scene–I was floored.  It was fun, it was bright. . .  It painted Taylor (we’re on a first name basis) as at least an advocate and at most, was a coming out party for bisexual.  And that led to Kaylor.  Which is an easy word to describe a possible love between Taylor and Karlie Kloss.

PS-I don’t know what shipper means, and I don’t really care for it (I’m not 12), but that is the language used amongst Swifties, a group I’m too old to be in.  Which needs to change.  I should not be excluded just because I’m in my 30’s and can’t get on to the cool lingo.  Taylor Swift is an artist I’ve followed for a long time, I’m interested in, and who’s music/career I’m really into right now.  So I’m taking age out of it and being a super-fan (but leaving out the parts not applicable to me).

 

A lot of things made sense to me about Taylor being with Karlie.  Especially when you see the looks, body language, and intimacy between them on YouTube.  I feel like I have insider information about the difference between what friendships look like vs more.   I also know about the coming out process.  And when the lyrics of her songs are dissected in a different way–it makes so much more sense.  I am impressed by how coded Taylor intentionally or unintentionally made her lyrics and videos and media.  Like, how detailed could such a busy person get?!  Color me impressed!  That’s my very favorite thing about Taylor’s work.  Also interesting:  The LGBT community has used codes (handkerchiefs, ear piercings, etc, etc) forever to remain secret at large but still identify each other.  Which un-ironically(?) can describe Taylor Swift’s whole thing.  And what’s it called? double entrande’ ? Karlie has a computer coding school for girls, I think?  Codes, all the codes!  So now I guess I’m obsessed with accumulating irrefutable evidence of their relationship ie, I guess “outing” Taylor.

 

 

 

 

 

Which isn’t cool, and something I, personally, hate.  But I’m not doing in a blackmail way or smarmy, or anything.  More in a–knowing the REAL inspiration behind songs lets you in on the secret and allows more authentic enjoyment of the material.  It’s a little like my obsession with Disappeared (Jaycee Lee Dugard, The McStays, Maura Murry, etc, etc…) and wondering what ever happened to that person. . .  I always think about scenarios, make theories, and comb the internet for clues.  But this is a little brighter, because it’s about a true, hidden love-not disappearance and death.  But same combing for clues, making theories.

(Another blog post about that later–it’s kinda it’s own thing)

I was super into every Lover video, lyric, and Easter egg.  And thrust back into Taylor’s world-though I have a daunting amount of research to catch up on just so I know what’s going on.  There is a lot of media attention, romance stories, break-ups, friendships, characters–it’s worse than studying Chaucer.

Even more exciting-is that Taylor Swift is known to stalk her fans, get to know them via social media, then INVITE THEM TO HER HOUSE TO MEET HER.  Instant fantasy.  You know how I always want to meet them.  Hopefully the tone of this blog, and any criticisms of Taylor’s work doesn’t preclude me from that.  I thought about erasing any trace of negativity just in case.  But the integrity of the blog comes first.  Any my authenticity is always primary.  Over time, feelings can evolve, as Taylor herself knows all about.  Those were my opinions with information I had at the time, so they stay.

What I’ve learned since I wrote (especially my Reputation review) then is that the album is OK as a stand-alone.  But what really expands the experience and gives it depth are the background stories, music videos, and especially the Easter eggs.  Which is why Reputation got kind of a mediocre review from me at first (which has changed with my Kaylor knowledge) and is waaaay better now.  That’s why the Kaylor truth is so important for Taylor Swift to share, and also why it’s important for me not to go erase the past.  That’s me and my story, and just like Taylor’s works, plays a part in future works.

So that’s what is happening with Me! (see what I did there>) and why I have been inspired to write (more, still not enough-time gets away) again.  And to especially make some songs.