poor, poor people. life must be so difficult. the world has shrunk from last year's 538 billionaires to this year's 497. what happened to the additional forty-one? are they ok? can they maintain multiple homes? what about their staff? will rodeo drive ever be the same?
maybe i am just a tad bit jealous. ok. a lot. i do not even want one billion dollars. i would be happy with twenty million. i am generous. i would share. i am loving. i really would share. i am a really good person; I PROMISE! will someone donate some of their billions to me? i'll work for it. i'll work really hard.
another week gone and i still have not made my billion. what am i going to do?
i feel like A disco party bus today. or should i say a wrecked disco party bus. i was walked on, spilt on, sat on, danced on, spat on and spun on. last night... how you say? i think we were the scene. after the bus cruise leigh's party hit the red scare, where i ran into austin. of course, that was not enough. we carried on to blu where a "dj" attempted to motivate dancers with angry, tribal music. personally, i prefer flowers and words. as we danced with dale and amy the angry music ceased to exist and fun ensued.
as the gang faded i missed you and you. what? you're going home? but it is only 4.30 we did the next best thing. we moved our party to backstreet and channeled y'all.
now, i must shower. surprise (belated) birthday party for my beau at bret's. PERFECTO.
Thursday, February 20, 2003 ::: i'm feelin' alright, uh huh
it must be the sunshine, but i feel whole. seriously. i do not know what it is, but i really feel like the wave of good karma is entering my life. i know i am on the right path. i feel it after a night at youthpride. i feel it in my career. i know good things are coming. i feel it with philip. there is just this mutual understanding of how things are, of how things should be and how things will be. there is no debate. there is no power struggle. it just is. personally. professionally. romanticaly.
volunteerism: i am so eager to get my own discussion group. i observed the 13-19 year-olds last night. basically, they rock. the 16 year-old transgender guy cracked me up. he spent thirty minutes discussing how his social worker won't let him cross-dress. the self-assured, surefooted approach these kids have is an inspiration to me. although i do not necessarily identify with some of their specific struggles, i can really tap into the positive and youthful perspective they bring. i mean... so much energy.
writing: ok, ok. i've slacked off the last ten days. it's time to get back on it. another wave of creativity hit whilst on the freeway today. i need a car with internet access or something. how about just five more hours a day? that would be nice.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003 ::: you move too fast
everything here is status quo. nothing major. nothing minor. just things moving along as they should. i finished reading the hours over the weekend. michael cunningham is one of my favorite writers. i started reading the grapes of wrath last night. i've decided to alternate between new literature and classic literature for a while. i'll keep you posted. even though i have five hundred more pages of steinbeck to complete, i've already selected the lovely bones next. other suggestions? anyone?!
here is my homework from the writing workshop. the assignment was to eavesdrop on a conversation and use it as a catalyst for a scene.
The clouds hover over Exeter, New Hampshire and promise to dump more snow on the town within the next twelve hours. The landscape outside of Ellen's childhood home is draped in white. The front entrance is buried under mounds of snow. The views stir memories of snowball fights and hours of winter play. This is winter in the Northeast. Ellen wants to share this with Sophie; she wishes for her mind to fill with anything outside of the thoughts of her husband and war.
Ellen remembers the day Richard shared his deployment papers with her. She gets the same helpless feeling five weeks after he's left. She does not want war, especially with her husband's life at stake. They have a four year-old daughter and a beautiful life together in Virginia. Ellen acknowledges there was always a risk of her husband going to war as a naval aviator, but it is too real now.
The sounds of CNN newscasters filter upstairs into Ellen's room from the family room. The sounds of home; this is what led her to her parent's while Richard was deployed. Ellen knows the comfort of family will help her and Sophie through the difficult months ahead. She also knows a good romp in the snow will help her through the heavy thoughts weighting her this morning.
"Sophie," Ellen calls into the hallway.
"I'm in heer-uh, Mommmie."
"Do you want to play in the snow, Sweetie?"
"Uh huh," Sophie calls back from her room.
"Come down here and let Mommy get you dressed then," Ellen continues.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed girl races down the hallway into her Mom's room. Her love of snow and walks with Mommy is written on her face. She cooperates without a whimper as Ellen covers her in layer upon layer. Ellen ties the final laces of Sophie's purple hood before she quickly throws on her own jacket, gloves and toboggan.
The walk to Phillips Exeter Academy is only a block from her parent's home. The open fields in front of the main entrance to the campus will be a great place to build a snowman with Sophie. The untouched snow is at least two feet deep. Sophie and Ellen round the corner and begin the short walk to campus. The wind is brisk, but they are both bundled enough to brave the weather for at least an hour.
They arrive at campus and see the remnants of a peace rally. There are three large mounds of snow, each of them at least seven or eight feet in height. Each mound is sculpted into a prop for the rally. The center is a large peace sign with a heart at the top. The sculpted portions of the mound are spray painted to stand out. The other two are dolphins and doves. Footprints of the protestors still surround each of the mounds. The voices of the activists still echo through the wind and trees near the campus.
Ellen lifts Sophie and walks to the largest mound. She climbs the side carefully and perches on top, near the heart. Sophie climbs off of her lap and plays on the mound near her. She fits perfectly inside the peace sign and is able to get pieces of snow from inside to pick and throw. Ellen watches her daughter play and laugh. She is consumed by thoughts of war. The possibility of so much bloodshed frightens her, but now is not the time. She is here to enjoy the snow with her daughter.
great, great, great, great, great, great weekend. but i swear... four days out of town and catching up is hell. i think my favorite memory of the weekend was driving along the coast of new hampshire as my brother's voice filled the car with warm sentiments to philip. there were banks of snow along the ocean. there was at least two feet of snow in my brother's yard. the sky was perfectly clear to ski. the slopes were vacant enough to enjoy. the weekend was too short. it ended with an excellent celebration of philip's 35th in boston. we poured ourselves into our seats and slept until we arrived in atlanta at 11.00 last night. tired!
Wednesday, February 12, 2003 ::: don't ask me what i want it for
well folks, i am waltie on the spot today. no, not waltie from the block. and i am certainly not getting jiggy with anything. i said i was waltie on the spot. let me see... check, check and check to each of the items on my agenda thus far. taxes done. may i have my refund NOW please? proposals completed. will you sign the contract TODAY please? phone calls are made. will you wait to return my call until MONDAY please?
what is left? i gotta run by anna nicole's to borrow her ski gear. don't forget wishing raleigh's best a happy birthday. i gotta call that chicken bone out in LA. i gotta pack. moreover, i gotta manage how much the little lady packs. sometimes she goes overboard with the travel wardrobe... if you know what i mean.
i think my brother called five times yesterday. he has a surprise birthday party planned for philip tomorrow night. he'll be 35, yes count them, on sunday. matt ordered a cake with gay flags plastered all over it that reads, "happy birthday phyllis." if you know the story of my brother, you know this is a huge thing. he did not speak to me the first two years after i came out. and now this? he's hosting a surprise party with his friends for my partner? who knew? i never woulda thunk it.
oh shit! i need to plan out the day in boston tomorrow. the rest of the weekend we're snowbound. y'all be good and have a great rest of the week...
my writing workshop began at emory last night. the room was scattered with twenty diverse people. we ranged in age from late-twenties to mid-fifties. we varied in race from black to indian. the instructor was exactly what i expected. my peers were as diverse as i anticipated. the material was as captivating as i hoped. although last night was a high level introduction of the two month course, i am excited about the process. i left with a desire to return next week.
it was strange to have homework. homework? we were asked to eavesdrop on the conversation of two complete strangers, and transcribe their conversation. she asked us to use the conversation as a catalyst for writing a scene. i cannot wait to find the most interesting two people on my flight to boston thursday morning. i cannot wait to read what i write in class next week.
i drive in the rain to the group meeting. the traffic is horrible. no one is driving nicely. no bother, i am not either. i arrive early and two young guys greet me. they are warm; both of them so unique, even at the first glance. they radiate a confidence i did not find until my late twenties. i walk past the girls group and wait to meet the other volunteer with whom i will be working. he is late. apparently, for the first time in twelve months. the traffic is obviously a problem for him. i sit, glad i planned ahead for traffic, and wait.
the turnout is small tonight. bedazzled-jeans-boy seems shy and unsure. he talks when paul asks a question, but his answers are brief and to the point. to break the ice we go around the room and each introduce ourselves. i break into the history of my coming out process. i realize, at this moment, exactly what i have to offer to these guys. i realize my struggles can potentially serve someone else productively. i remember they were so counter-productive for me. it is ok, i learned from the mistakes of some before me.
the time from 6.30 to 8.00 feels like two minutes. i, yes me, offer insight. the group makes me feel so wanted. the meeting ends and the guys ask me to return. i hear them share how much they appreciate my time. i am fulfilled. i question my motives. am i doing this for myself or them? i realize it is both; and that is ok. it is actually more than ok.
i drive home and realize i cannot return next week. i will be skiing with philip and my brother. i am disappointed. the idea of routinely returning gives me a sense of comfort.
Thursday, February 06, 2003 ::: so real, so real, so real
the last few evenings inundated me with reality television. what amused me the most was the name "reality." reality television is anything but realistic. in what realistic world do twenty-five women fly to france to be "picked" by one man. in what realistic world does a retail clerk instantly became an american idol contestant? in what realistic world do a group of men stand in line for the same woman (in hopes they will be "picked")? give me the rose. give me the diamond pendent. vote for me america.
as i neglected any efforts to better myself, i surfed the channels last night. i landed on an evening version of the price is right. i watched this show every summer as a child. i watched it whenever i was sick and missed school. last night i realized the unrealistic ideas placed in my head at such a young age.
our culture of "winning and reality" taught me that you do not have to work for anything. i looked at the people on television. it just happened to them. they won $25,000.00 on the price is right. they took amazing vacations in order to pick a spouse. they sang one time for paula abdul, america voted and they become famous. what type of message was that? the world is not like that. life is not like that, unless we're talking (un)reality TV.
the moments you spend working for what you want are LIFE. life is the smile you catch from your partner as they fold clothes. life is the smile you give to your partner as you cook breakfast. life is the phone call to a friend when you don't have a revelation, you just say hello. life is the moments between grandeur. sure, life gives you great moments; but don't live for them. you will be disappointed.
that being said... if i were the bachelorette, i would pick HIM. i watched the show for the second time last night; he's still HOT.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003 ::: times just keep on changin'
an email this afternoon sent me back twenty-five months. it was the invitation to the new year's party john, bret, my ex and i hosted. god how times have changed. god, how i have changed. let us just discuss a major mental overhaul. i look back at the person i was then. i do not even feel the same. i feel like i accomplished a madonna-style makeover.
the party's theme was "drag yourself into the real millennium." ironically, we hosts dressed as madonna over the millennium. jeremy was desperately seeking susan. bret was material girl. john was music. i was frozen... you all know exactly what i mean, right? well, i am frozen no longer. after i read the email i felt like new millennium madonna. maybe the purpose of the whole evening was to show me that i was capable of a much needed makeover. so i did it. i spent the last two years transforming myself into the mess you read everyday.
different, but the same. the same, but happy. hmmmm. i love to look back and see progress. stagnation and digression frustrate me. aren't you proud?!
finally. i get the chance to meet my mentors. who knew? it is all happening right here in atlanta, georgia. this weekend we epitomize the home of the sex-for-hire. we become the land of the entrepreneurial and, um, brave. now, i just need to go find something to wear. i pick you, you and you for fashion advice. where will i shop? i want to look my best to meet snoop and the bishop don juan.
yo! ho! i need some bitches to slap around. if you're interested just leave your name and number below...
Monday, February 03, 2003 ::: i wish it were sunday
it has been another manic monday in the world of walt. but there is something about the weather that is making me so much happier. it still feels like spring outside. i want to find the city who has weather like this year-round. and not LA... i tried that for a year after college.
the outlook for my week is great. next monday the writing class begins. this thursday evening my volunteer work with youthpride begins. in fifteen minutes my run for the evening begins. it is too pretty to be inside of a gym today. too freakin' nice!!!!
the sun shines in atlanta. the weather warms up in this town and people come pouring out of the woodwork. our phone rings and the voice of philip's sister tells us how much she enjoyed having us for dinner last night. i agree. we walk through the grocery store and everyone smiles. my phone rings and a voice not often heard greets me. we pick up debris in the yard and the neighbors happily stroll by. my phone rings again and the voice of my favorite sunday afternoon pal informs me of a gathering on his porch. i do all of the prep work for dinner, because i know this afternoon holds too many beers. my phone rings and my brother shares the story of the guy who made the moves on him this weekend. i sit in shock that he handled it so well.
it has become increasingly more difficult for us to leave home on friday nights. we did it again last night. we were too comfortable and stayed home. i love it. again, we made our trip to blockbuster and the grocery store for entertainment and grub. as usual, we selected a great film and an unusual dinner menu. last night we ate low-fat turkey dogs, popcorn and ice cream for dinner. whaaauutttt?!? gross.
the fact we fell asleep made waking early no challenge today. we lifted, ran to the liquor store (of course) and then to the park for cardio. the sky was perfectly crisp and blue. it is an afternoon that makes me taste spring. i am not quite ready for that, though. spring is followed by summer. in atlanta, that equals no good! summer brings entirely too much humidity. i enjoyed the park nonetheless. philip and i even found our way to the swings. i honestly believe it was the first time i've been on a swing in at least five years.
i forgot how free i felt as a child in a swing, swooping down near the ground and then lifting up again. from where i sat i had an excellent view. i saw the top of the trees, the soccer games and just general saturday haps. it was peaceful. it was an escape. it was a reminder of the kid who still lives in me and does not get to play often enough. i slowed the swing enough to do my old jumping trick. i landed on my feet and found my way to a high bar. i grabbed it with my hands and flipped my legs up over the bar. i used to hang upside down like that too. i would swing back and forth until i had enough momentum to flip, landing on my feet. surprisingly, i was still agile enough today. and there i was thinking i was getting old...