Saturday, July 25, 2009


All right, Universe, I'm putting the word out there. My friend Anne and I talked about starting a doggie daycare business in Norfolk when we first moved here almost 10 years ago. Forensics has worked out well for her, she enjoys it, and she has recently been promoted to a supervisory position in our section. Whereas I on the other hand am almost completely burned out. Alas, I make a pretty decent salary and know that starting over anywhere would affect that greatly. So I've been toying with some different ideas -- looking for something that would be more fulfilling mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

In the last week, the following career paths have floated to the top: firefighter/paramedic (Did anyone just hear a scream? That was my mother having a heart attack over the firefighter part); fitness trainer (yes, it makes me laugh too); or doggie daycare owner.

Briefly -- because I have an arse-load of things I should be doing right now -- my thoughts on these fields...

Firefighter/paramedic: I'm not so hot on the FF part, but have always been drawn to emergency medicine/services. My Dad was a volunteer Rescue Squad member and cardiac care unit EMT when I was growing up and I just always assumed I'd be a volunteer on a squad. I looked into it when I moved down here and finally had the time to dedicate to it, but there aren't any volunteer squads in my immediate area. I know beginning FF/paramedics don't make a lot of money, but how much would I need when I would spend the greater majority of my time working out and eating?? There are definitely some benefits to that job. Not to mention my original intention of becoming a doctor. Would be nice to get closer to my old self and my old goals....

Fitness trainer: ok, this one seems to be a stretch, but I think I could do it. And what better job? I'd get PAID to work out! Those of you who know me may find this surprising, but one of my personalities is really pretty cool about motivating people, helping them with life goals, etc. Usually can't help myself with any of that, but am pretty good with others. I know people in this field and know a couple who actually train folks to be trainers, so this is definitely do-able. Unsure of the job security -- I imagine personal trainers take a major hit when the economy is bad -- but maybe this is something I could do on the side to at least give me some satisfaction at work...

Doggie Daycare: this one has always seemed like a pipe dream. I don't know the first thing about starting a business and finding land in this area for a DD seemed daunting. But damned if I wasn't talking to someone about this last night and she pointed me in two right directions - there is a group of retired businessmen who volunteer to advise and put together business plans for newbies and she also knows a real estate agent who handles warehouse properties in this area -- which would be ideal for a DD. I also know a handful of local people who have successfully started their own businesses and I know they'd be willing to help me out along the way.

SO...I'm paying attention Universe. I'm putting it out there and I'll see what you shoot back. Is it time for me to get off my butt and do something else? What say you?

And yes, Mom, writing is still on the back burner. Most profitable idea can't be written/sold during my current employment stint. Wink, wink.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dancing with the Chicken Slacks

Some of my and my friend's misheard lyrics...

Copacabana: He's so low and dancinaire (He saw Lola standing there). This is one of my earliest misheard lyrics. I decided along the way that 'dancinaire' was a hybrid of 'dancer' and 'debonair.' And this made perfect sense to me until I heard the correct lyrics spoken on a radio station when I was in my late 20s...

Peace of Mind: All I want is to have my piece of pie. My friend Walt and I worked this into an hour-long argument. He was right, of course.

You're So Vain: You had one eye in the middle as you watched yourself go by (You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte). Additionally, my friend Don thought he was singing "clouds in my coffee" incorrectly and that it was actually "clowns in my coffee." I don't know about you, but that would freak me the hell out!

Sometimes When We Touch: At times I'd like to break you, and drive you to your knees; at times I'd like to break through and hold you in my sleeves (...hold you endlessly). This one made my friend/coworker Brian laugh so hard he fell off his lab stool and caused him to listen in and critique all future songs being sung by me at work.

Your Wildest Dreams: In your wild Irish dreams.

My Eyes Adored You: My eyes of Georgia. This one belongs to my ex-girlfriend, Wendy. She went into a record store as a teen and was highly frustrated when the store clerk couldn't find this chart topper for her. It wasn't until she sang it that he finally realized what song she wanted.

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant: Brenda Ranetti , several occurrences (Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies...) This is one of my faves and I still sing it. Wish it was mine, but it belongs to an old coworker, Jorge.

Twisting the Night Away: He's dancing with the chicken slacks (...chick in slacks).

I'd Really Love to See You Tonight: I'm not talking 'bout no linens (I'm not talking 'bout movin' in). Several coworkers and I were trying to figure out what the heck was being sung here (the preceding was my contribution) and one of them told us the right lyrics. Everything in the universe snapped into place in that moment and I still can't figure out why we couldn't hear the right words before!

You Shook Me All Night Long: You should be all my own.

Our Lips Are Sealed: Honest I See You.

Come On Eileen: You're full of silk crayons... You sing just like a boulder... I'm gonna hump this tune forever. You've grown, so grown... And we can sing just like our fathers... Eileen, I'll hum this tune forever.

I'm Not in Love: [the whispered part] Requesting quiet...requesting quiet. (Big boys don't cry, big boys don't cry).

Without going into detail, pretty much any song by Elton John or Janet Jackson falls into this category. I have no earthly idea what they're singing half the time and just make sounds that sound similar to whatever it is...

I know I have a bunch more but of course can't think of them right now. Feel free to add your own! But please try to stay away from the more obvious "Kiss This Guy," "Big Ol' Chet Had a Light On," or "Bathroom on the Right." I'm looking for some original ones...

Monday, July 20, 2009

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

Before I start in on today's topic, I'd like to provide a little public service announcement. Even when it doesn't seem like it's tremendously hot out or that the sun has been shining all day, it's always best to wear shoes when walking in the street on a summer afternoon. I'm now sporting some ginormous blisters on the balls of my feet thanks to a really bad decision on my part. And I have to wonder if this is karma because I received said blisters when I should have been helping my friends dig a little sailboat out from under several years' worth of sand on the beach. Live and learn, I suppose...

Seems that one of my fave cinematic duos is at it again. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are collaborating on a freaky-looking version of Alice in Wonderland. There's a movie from my childhood that I'm dying for the two of them to get their paws on: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. Ringing any bells with anyone? Probably not.

I saw the movie once or twice on TV at my grandparents' house when I was a kid. Then years and years went by and it had been so long since I had seen any evidence of the movie's existence that thought for a time that I had actually dreamed the movie. If you've seen some of my dreams, it's quite possible.

Then this wonderful thing called the internet was invented and I was able to track the movie down some years ago. It's actually a Dr. Seuss live action movie -- the only feature film he ever wrote. And apparently, he was so embarrassed by it that he left it off of his official biography with Random House, according to Wikipedia. And I don't blame him. I still love the movie because I first saw it as a child, but I imagine watching it for the first time as an adult would make me want to stick a fork in my eye.

The basic story is about a little boy who loathes being forced to take piano lessons by his single mother (I'm assuming she's a widow and not a divorcee since it was 1953). He complains to the plumber about his piano teacher, Mr. Terwilliger, and eventually drifts off to sleep at the piano. He's transported to Mr. Terwilliger's world in which 500 little boys are being held hostage and forced to play a huge, winding piano -- with their 5,000 fingers. Mr. Terwilliger, although quite effeminate (watch the clip below), falls in love with the little boy's mother and kidnaps her. Bart (her son) and the plumber scheme to set her free with some sort of McGyver-esque noise-sucking device that foils Mr. Terwilliger and eventually sets them all free. It really is a great movie -- if you're a kid.

Anyway, it just screams Burton/Depp remake to me. So universe, if you're listening, please get word to them for me. Thanks!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Even Educated Fleas Do It

My and Bert's exchange regarding my Swoosie Kurtz blog, with his permission...

Bert: "I don’t feel as if I am qualified to comment on whom I feel could play a good lesbian (and would likely go with hetero guy choices such as Jessica Alba or Jennifer Biel), so I opted not to comment on your recent blog. How is that for restraint?

I was tempted to comment concerning one of my favorite TV lesbian scenes. It was from If These Walls Could Talk, 2. Ellen Degeneres and Sharon Stone were a couple trying to have a baby. In one scene, during the trials and tribulations of trying to get a sperm donor and conceive in vitro, Ellen’s character breaks down sobbing saying something along the lines of “It’s just not fair! Why can’t we just conceive a child together?”

Now, I don’t mean to be insensitive, but I had to laugh. I am not close enough to the issue to fully understand their pain, but a basic understanding of biology brought out the humor for me. Perhaps Ellen was being ironic and intended to inject a bit of comedy into an otherwise tense situation?

Although this example did make me realize one thing...Sharon Stone was a pretty good choice. (I am a big fan of Diane Lane, too)."


AJ: "I've had a crush on Diane Lane FOR.EV.ER. You lost me on Jessica Alba and Jennifer Biel. Too young, too dumbish looking for me...

As for the lesbos trying to conceive......I've actually been there and it really is quite painful. Especially when two heteros can do it at the drop of a hat with no forethought, no love, no this, no that. When you're in love with another person and you want to share that love in the creation of a human being that is half of you and half of her and you -- obviously -- can't, it's really quite painful.

But what's more painful for me is trying to picture Sharon Stone and Ellen DeGeneres as a couple. Doesn't work for me. :)

I kind of like your comments though and kind of like my response -- would you mind if I posted them on my blog?"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Someone Please Hire Swoosie to Play Straight!

Goddammit, why is Swoosie Kurtz playing another lesbian??!!

I know God has a sense of humor and all, but this is getting a little ridiculous. If He wasn't willing to step in and work some Judeo-Christian voodoo to save my beloved Pushing Daisies, why in the hell is he now torturing me with this latest example of characters who in theory would be interested in me but in whom I have no interest??

New readers might need a little backstory here. Mind you, this wasn't much of a story originally and I don't foresee it getting any better today. But I'm too tired to do anything productive, so writing seemed like the best option...

Jump to last paragraph or so of this one...

And now here she is on this week's episode of Nurse Jackie. Sheesh. Although, they did just make me laugh by introducing me to the term "Vagina Mom" -- the one who gives birth and who is paired with "The Other One." LOL. That's pretty good stuff.

I wonder what Swoosie's old Sisters castmate Sela Ward is up to? She would have made a very satisfactory lesbian in my eyes. Rrrrrrrr. :) Come to think of it, I wonder if Lauren knew all those times when we were toasted and ranking on Sisters that I had quite the little crush on Sela...? Funny to look back on my life at how much was hidden for so long. And yet here I am today totally flayed open with all my sh*t hanging out. I may have been much better off in the old days. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vagina Man

As I sit here waiting for Son of Vagina Man and I've just announced this on Facebook, this seems like a good time to explain who Vagina Man is and how he aquired his unique (let's hope) nickname...

When Voldemort and I broke up eons ago, the housing market was at its absolute insane peak. I spent every single day for six weeks finding an affordable property, looking at it, placing a contract on it, and losing it by the end of the day. I had a dog and was therefore limited even more in my choices (who knew condo associations could dictate acceptable dog weight??) I had made arrangements to stay with a friend just to get me out of Slytherin, but that kind of exploded at the last minute. So I accepted the offer of some friends to move into their newly renovated house until I found a place of my own and/or until the brother of one friend moved in. During their renovation, I met a contractor friend of theirs.

Of course, two weeks after moving into their place, I finally found one of my own. It was my eighth contract and this place was (is) a doozy. It needs a ton of work. But more on that later...

I had been in my house about two weeks when I came home from work and discovered the garage door kicked in. &^%$# got my father's self-propelled lawn mower (which my mom and step-mom had brought down the week before), an edger, a weedwacker, and a generator -- as well as some crap the previous tenants left behind. I wasn't quite sure who to call about shoring up my busted garage door frame (I know, I'm gay and should be able to do this stuff myself, but I seem to be lacking in this department...) Anyway, I wound up calling the contractor guy. He came over right away and got to work. I believe I paid him in beer that night.

One week later, the bastards struck again. They got the replacement weedwacker and I think that's about it. I hadn't replaced the lawn mower or edger at that point... I called contractor guy again and once again he came right over to fix the door. I think he viewed it as a challenge at this point and all I could think about was Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam on that ship, each coming at each other with bigger weapons. Contractor Guy reinforced my door so much that his hope was my repeat offender would break his leg if he tried kicking the door in one more time.

So, this was the relationship Contractor Guy and I established: I'd call him at various hours during the day and night and he'd rush to my side and rescue me. I typically paid him in beer and/or money.

One night, we happened to be standing on my front steps and a woman who I would describe as a "breast with legs" was walking across the street. I pointed her out to Contractor Guy and then said, "I'm not really a breast woman." Contractor Guy said, "Me neither. I like vaginas."


We eventually made our way back inside and Contractor Guy says, "You know AJ, you keep offering me beer and money..."

"I'm not sleeping with you, Mark," was my response.

He said, "No, no, I'm not talking about anything like that. I'm not talking about sleeping together...I just...I was thinking we could work something out....I don't even have to touch it. I just want to look at it."


Good god, how do I get myself in these situations??!! I think he elaborated and explained further his enjoyment of the vagina, even from a distance, yada yada. I leapt to my happy place at this point and don't remember exactly what he said. And to this day I'm kicking myself because I wish I remembered EXACTLY what he said!! You can't make this crap up!

Now I do take some responsibility for pointing out Breast Woman and commenting on my preferences, but by god he knows I'm gay so I figured I was just hanging out with one of the guys. Egads.

For those of you on the edges of your seats, I told him "No."

But as I was relaying the story to my friend Dolores, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well, you DO need a lot of work done on your house..."

And he has forevermore been affectionately referred to as "Vagina Man." He doesn't know and he still helps me out on occasion and I still pay him in beer and/or money. And yes, he occasionally brings up his original proposal but I shoot him down as soon as I recognize the sales pitch.

His son was due over here about 40 minutes ago because I may be hiring him to mow my lawn.

Yes, go ahead, get it out. I can only hope he realizes what I truly want. In the meantime, as Son of Vagina Man, I'm considering the nickname of "Clitoris" for him...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Beach

Time for a quickie, my friends. Need to hop in the shower and get myself to the beach.

And I guess that's what we'll touch on today....

I get to the beach ridiculously early according to my friends. I like to shoot for 8:30 am on major beach holidays (such as today) or by 9:30ish on regular days. My two favorite times on the beach are really early when no one is around and early evening around 6 pm when it's cooled off and I'm spent from a great day. As a child that's when I would finally come out of the ocean and collapse on our blanket (usually provided without knowledge by our local hospital, thanks to Dad's EMT work...). Mom or Dad would cover me up with a towel and I would crash, hard. One of my all time favorite things is falling asleep on the beach when it has cooled off. Thanks to my doggie duty, [yeah, I said it!] if I get to the beach really early, I can't stay through early evening. So, nowadays I usually have to pick and I pick morning...

It's been over 25 years since my parents and I would vacation for two weeks every August in Lavallette, NJ. And yet I'm still in love with that time period and those memories as if they happened yesterday. I won't go into my full love affair with Lavallette right now, but I'll just touch on it for a sec.

Even though it's been so long and even though I've been to the beach hundreds of times since our last family trip down the shore, I still think about it each and every morning on the beach. It's quiet, I'm alone, and my thoughts always return to the end of President Ave. I remember what my parents looked like, our chairs, our umbrella (always home base as I drifted endlessly in the ocean), our blanket. I remember the older couple who carried their daughter with cerebral palsy out to the beach each day. They would carry her into the ocean and I know they were sustained by the look of sheer joy on her face each and every time, as if it was her first. I remember my beach house neighbor and friend Kelly Oakley and her grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Day. And that odd goiter looking thing on Grandpa Day's neck... (The things kids notice and remember!) I remember sleeping on their screened-in front porch and being washed over by the sea breeze, the smell of the ocean, and the sound of the waves.

I remember us not having a television or phone for two weeks and not really minding. I remember friends and family coming to visit and bringing us news from home -- how the Somerset Rec burned down or Rock Hudson's death (yes, these are the two "biggies" that I remember). I remember thinking it was strange that my cousins and their father would stay in the same bungalow -- my bungalow -- at a different time every summer.

And I remember that those two weeks out of the year, my father cut me some slack. He was happy, mom was happy, and as a result, I was happy. I remember getting up early in the morning and walking to Martin's Drug Store with Dad to get the daily paper. Walking on the painted lines in the street because they were cooler than the asphalt. Going into Martin's without shoes!! And that everyone was happy. The beach made people friendlier and less isolated and reserved. To me, it was a magical place.

After getting the paper, Dad and I would take long walks on the boardwalk. Unfortunately, I don't really remember much of what we discussed, but I remember being there with him. And how much I loved those times.

And so, that's what I think about on quiet mornings at the beach. It never ceases to transport me back to my past, to my family. I'm thankful I still have my mother and I miss my father desperately. But thanks to the beach, I can summon him up and spend some more time with him. The waves come and go, the sand comes and goes, but the love and peace I find at the beach is constant.

Now where the heck did I put my sunscreen? I've got to get to the beach!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Foot and Mouth Disease

Good morning, Angels...

I have soooo much to say and write and yet I can't. I may have to start a private, old skool, paper-and-pen journal for my innermost thoughts and emotions -- because seriously, who wants to read that dreck online??

So, help me distract myself. What can I bust out for you fine folks........?

I went home for my birthday the week after Memorial Day. Mom's up in Toms River, NJ (the last retiree rest stop before Florida) and I don't get up there often enough. She and the Catholic Church suffer the same outrage -- visits at Christmas only. And at least the church has a shot at Easter.

Anyhoo, I went up for my 40th birthday because after all, Mom's the one who did all the work on that day... I was looking forward to laying out at my beloved Lavallette, but the weather was crappy all week. Mom and I did our usual thing, shopping -- this is a blog unto itself -- and one afternoon she suggested we get pedicures.

She might as well have been asking her 40-year-old son.

We just never did stuff like that. Now, I'm not blaming her for my being a lesbian -- I mean, it's just half of her DNA that made me this way -- but there was a decided lack of 'girly' things going on when I was growing up. I'm pretty confident she's going to lay this on me, but don't believe her. I was just DYING to wear little frilly dresses and play with dolls and sit there all helpless while boys got to play games and sports and be loud and funny. Shyah. OK.

So off we went to the local Asian nail salon. Yes, I know that's redundant, but it made me smile. Mom's a regular there and she actually scored herself a Caucasoid. I'm not questioning the pedicure skills of the races, just that I might have had a better time understanding Mom's chick. We were side-by-side and I got the sweetest, cutest, hottest little Asian girl I've ever seen.

Stop me if this is the way you ladies normally describe your pedicure experience...

So we're sitting there going through the routine and I'm having a little difficulty understanding soft-spoken Asian girl. As is often the case, someone you know handled this situation doing what she does best -- cracking wise and looking cute. My chickie seems to be responding and I think I'm doing pretty well until I realize where I am and am disgusted with myself! Next thing I know, she starts the foot massage. And keeps on climbing. And climbing. Now, I've had pedicures before, but I don't remember the Happy Ending. And my mother's sitting to the left of me and some random woman is to the right of me, and I'm about to lunge over the foot bath and take down little Miss Kim!

And I all kept thinking was, "I'm not like all the other girls..."

I was so frazzled that when I paid for the pedicures, I doubled the amount in my head and tipped both women based on that.

There is more than one way to stimulate the economy..........

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

To Be Continued...

I'm about 100% certain that there's no way I'm going to do my friend Vicki justice with this piece. There's really no way to capture Vicki via translation -- you really have to experience her to truly appreciate her. At least, that's my take on it. Vicki and my mom became friends about 20 years ago and have been tight ever since. Somewhere along the way I was brought into the fold and we will all be family forevermore...

Vicki is one of my all-time favorite people on the planet. She has been through everything and anything you could possibly think of and then some more on top of that. And through it all, she is an innocent, curious, questioning soul. I can never get enough of her enthusiasm for life and her friends and her complete lack of inhibition. I always get the sense I'm around a 5-year-old who is just beginning to discover her surroundings and who can't learn enough, love enough, or laugh enough. She's one of a handful of people on the planet who are guaranteed to make me happy to be here.

That being said...

Two of my favorite Vicki stories collided last Thursday, and part of me thinks it can't be coincidental.

Several years ago, I was up in NJ visiting Vicki with my mom. Vicki got a phone call and started flipping out. She looked like an Arab woman keening beside her fallen son... She lets out a Jersey-esque, "I'm DYIN' here!!" and then yells, "Farrah Fawcett's dead??!!"

This was around 2002 and as we all know, Farrah Fawcett wasn't dead yet. Nope. After about 3 minutes of confused conversation, Vicki realized the caller was trying to tell her that her friend, Paul Fawcett, was dead. Only problem was, after all that carrying on over Farrah, Vicki seemed a little blase about poor Paul...

A couple years later, Vicki has moved to a house with an outdoor pond. She's got it stocked with giant goldfish (maybe?) and she goes out one morning only to discover one of the fish has been killed. She starts crying hysterically (this is one of her more endearing traits) and her neighbor (who happens to be black) asks her if she's okay. And Vicki's response?


To which her black neighbor, who you think might be mildly offended by her casual use of the word "coons," instead responds,

"WHAAAAAAAAT?????!!!!!" in sheer horror over this event.

It seems Vicki had seen raccoons around her pond and the fish who was missing? Yes, his name was Michael Jackson... And come to think of it, I think it's because he lightened over time. Ha!

So I couldn't help but think of Vicki and smile when I heard that Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson died on the same day. Vicki regularly provides so much joy to the universe that I suspect on this day the universe winked back.