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The Next Phase

16 April 2017 — Easter Sunday, some people celebrate, I don’t. 

So, today is Easter Sunday.

You know I gave up Easter years ago when I decided that my studies in Kabbalah and Judaism were to reign supreme.  Who knew that Catholicism would rear its little head into my life through my actions and memories.  Who knew that I’d still live with Catholic guilt and eat fish on Fridays on much as possible?  In any sense, I don’t celebrate the Easter that most New Testament Bible readers do.  There is also the holiday with the bunny and the eggs.  All the pagan references to eggs and fertility usher-in Spring.  Okay. I get it.  It’s warm outside, people are horny, we start to eat salads again and drink white wine in observance of Summer arriving.  I’m so bored with that.

Easter, for so many, ushers in the remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This famed story and its many inadequate adaptions to film have made people religious on days like today and Christmas Day.  Again, bored.

For some in the millennium, Easter has signified renewal and a new chapter.  Jesus rising to the occasion of Messiah for so many inspires us to go onward and concur the new world, the new life as promised and seek better hope and keep the faith for future generations.  Some even say Jesus has removed the pain of death so we will no longer agonize in its presence when we feel the Angel of Death close to us.

Death for so many means an ending… and it is.  But from Death arrives a new chapter.  If you do believe in the The Resurrection, then you believe that there is more to come.  I know I do.  Call it reincarnation, call it purgatory, call it The New Jerusalem.  I call it, the next phase.

In 2010, I began a blog called “Pretty Boy Education” and for two years, folks read it.  I left a job position as a salon manager, was infatuated with a boy I nicknamed “Panda” and grew up as a 20-something to finding independence.  I began writing my column, “Haute Mess” and caused more controversy in print media.  Awards came, another column came called “Living Fabulously”.  Then, two years later, I ended the blog.  People cried, people emailed.  I went on to sign a lease to open a salon. (For re-reads of the whole blog, visit joshcooley.blogspot.com)

In April 2012, I opened salon, a week later, I began a new blog,  the second chapter, if you will, of PBE called, “Pretty World, Fabulous Life// Inside Studio JRy”.  The sequel was deeper and I found betrayal to be the theme of each entry.  I found out about health issues in my family and showed angst sand depression and over-drinking in my blog posts.  I was sad.  I also won an award for Best Blogger and Best Local Blog twice for this particular writing project. The day after Christmas in 2014, I ended it abruptly.  I was in love.  I was free of particular exes and friends in my life and I was determined to share my love with you all. (For re-reads of the whole blog, visit studiojry.blogspot.com)

The year 2015 arrived to much sadness.  I had gotten in a verbal fight with my mom two days into the new year.  I was working on a lifestyle blog that would incorporate her input as a cooking authority.  It never happened.  I panned the idea and continued on with the webspace and created “LuxeLove by JRy”.  I hired my friend Wade to create a logo and spend time and money getting this blog up and running.

As I was up to launch this blog, I had a series of bad press, bad social media, bad behavior provoked by haters, slurs against me, slurs against my partner who was now living with me and we had started a life together.  Folks fell in love with the deep love story of me and Chris.  Some hated us so much they began to send emails saying he was sending them texts with verbal slaughter or they had slept with him or that I had done them dirty.  By August 2015, the blog was a HIT! The Pueblo Chieftain blacklisted me from The Best of Pueblo Awards and I was no longer eligible for nomination in the style or blogging categories.  In fact, the blog category was REMOVED from the ballot and there was no write-in for me or any way I could win.  So, fuck ’em.  I kept writing! (I would have won a third year in a row too, bitches!) 

The past four months I have written the blog and realized people are no longer interested in its whiny or mundane content.  I often talk about Jewish holidays and Zodiac signs and deep-thinking brain materials that pass through my psyche.  No one is interested.  The ones that are, are very sweet.  I’m not so impressed by the feedback anymore…. or even the title of the blog.  “LuxeLove” couldn’t be any more inappropriate for it’s content.

The love I shared was genuine, but very few people were actually happy for me. Luxury is a term I coin as a something special.  The words are most certainly special.  “by JRy” no longer applies to me. One of my exes gave me the name JRy (Short for Joshua Ryan).  I don’t even refer to my home as Studio JRy anymore.  The days of JRy are done. They have been for some time.  The love component is gone.  I don’t wish to share that with anyone anymore.  Wade and I haven’t spoken since he moved.  So why look at the logo on this blog? You see where I’m going here?  It’s time for a new chapter.

Just as a musical artist takes a break between albums to conceptualize their next musical masterpiece, I am now saying goodbye to to “LuxeLove by JRy”.

The death and resurrection I spoke of in the earlier paragraphs should have fore-warned you that this was coming: my next phase.  I’m moving on to new projects.  A new blog will come, a new title is on its way.  It’s time to focus less on Jewish holidays and my love life and more about my experiences and my thoughts, of course.  I am ready to move on from the salaciousness of my previous blogs and tell you in the most honest way why I live how I do and what I’ve been up to, but I don’t think luxury or love are in tune with what I am feeling anymore.

Those close to me always know I hint at things to come.  I never tell anyone full-on what’s next because life is full of copycats.  So, let’s just say, I’ve been working and it’s more appropriate for the times we’re living in together and most importantly the mental state I’m living in now.

If Jesus ever gave me anything, it wasn’t Easter Sunday or the promise of eternal life, it was that we can begin again no matter how badly people talk of us.  We may be speaking the truth and sound like a heretic, but at least we were honest, faithful and accepted everyone in the process.

More to come, I promise, my loves. xo- j.

Hint: #cooleyisthenewgarbo 

 

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The Promised Land

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 — Passover 

Well, it has been an interesting three weeks.  There’s been a fair share of frustrations, heart-to-hearts, all of it.  It’s always mind-boggling to me to see how people live their lives and what decisions they make.  The reason I bring this up is that Passover began Monday night.

There are so many significant Jewish holidays, my favorite being Rosh Hashanah because you get to start the new year and outline your goals.  Yom Kippur sweeps in a week later and you know how your year is going to go.  Theoretically, the Creator “seals” your year.  Your fortune, your luck, your blessings, your entire year and all that it encompasses is sealed on Yom Kippur.  Six months after that comes the beginning of the new Zodiac year with the month of Aries.  Aries is a charismatic sign.  It is a fire sign that demands attention and the desires of the world and the fortunes and favors of the world.  Aries like to think to themselves as #bossbitches and when push comes to shove, an Aries will set the room on fire to make a point.  They tend to be unreasonable and play people against one another in a scheme to manipulate anyone that they come into contact with: friends, family, spouses, you name it. All bets are off when an Aries’ ego is out of control.

To welcome Aries, we generally have the Holiday of Passover role in and wipe out traces of an old lifestyle or choice that binds us like shackles to the slavery of our attachments.  I think it’s pretty brilliant that Passover is designed to land in Aries particularly because Aries tend to be materialistic as fuck and can’t let a bad habit die hard… or even die for that matter.  They are the definition of “beating a dead horse”.

The old Bible story of Moses freeing the Hebrews and bringing the plagues to Pharaoh accompanies this holiday and we teach our children that slavery is bad.  The true meaning behind this story is to release attachments and habits that define us in our minds.  When something defines us and it is suddenly ripped away and we freak out, it’s not our souls dying or being sad, it’s our ego trapping us.  Aries is an ego-driven sign.  The Zodiac sign controls the energy for the month.  It doesn’t matter that I’m a Virgo born in August, my Virgo tendencies are still there, but Aries will influence my month.  For the next 28 days, Aries will pop its little head into my life (and yours) and menace things a bit.  Anger is higher, fights are a high possibility and so is getting ahead in Aries.  Aries is charismatic, remember that! So, while all the ego-fire-shit is going on, Passover swoops in and reminds us that the attachments of the world and our “naughty habits” are merely tools for failure.  If you’re using your charisma and money and talents for the greater good, that’s wonderful, but the moment you begin to feel jealousy because someone is talking about another person in your career field or your family seems to favor this family member more than you, remember: that’s ego.  The issue is INSIDE YOU.  You’re feeding it. So don’t.  Passover creates an energy in this season to surrender that ego and move forward into the Promised Land we are all so entitled to providing we have pure intentions and a good heart (not ego, not gossip, not salacious behavior).

I have been on a journey this past few weeks to have dinner and the occasional drink with friends that once wronged me.  I have given them olive branches and talked a true talk.  I pulled one friend aside and told her I was sorry for the horrible gossip and fighting and said, “if we can move forward, it can only be peace for both of us.”  Slowly, but surely moving forward.

I had one friend I took to dinner and told her that I needed to silence the friendship for a time because I was tired of hearing “the noise” of her opinions upon opinions about my relationship, her horrible love life and our businesses.  She and I talked, toasted and laughed and moved forward.

Last weekend, I was filmed (not of my knowledge) and placed on SnapChat for the world to see by an acquaintance.  The video got so many likes and messages sent to multiple people saying they’ve missed me.  They miss the comedy, they miss the appearances, they miss me talking and ranting and carrying on.  Yesterday, Chris and I went to an obscure little bar in Bessemer and the bartender told me, “I know your name and your face.  How do I know you?”

“Not sure.” I said and walked away.

The Aries in me wanted to blurt out: “I’m kinda famous.”

I sat down and continued with my day.

This past week has been nothing but folks asking where I’ve been and what I’m up to.

If you recall (just reading this very blog), I had some HORRIBLE PRESS two years go this month.  It could have been life-shattering and in many ways it was!  I lost a tremendous amount of friends and business connections and lost a ton of endorsement deals and still continued doing me.  My business came in that year second in sales OF ALL TIME and I my popularity never stopped.  In fact, the bad press created gaps for new opportunities, new clients, new friends.  It created a filter.

A year ago, I was still kind of pissed.  This past Rosh Hashanah, I accepted that 18 months later, it was alright.  I had a new gig with Label.m, new friends, new hang outs in other cities, new opportunities and sent horrible friends and naysayers packing.  If you’re not on #teamjosh, you’re not invited in my world.  This wasn’t ego, this was necessary.  It was a lesson.

Now, we fast-forward to this past Monday, Passover. I’m acceptant that things happen to good people and bad decisions are made by everyone.  I’ve said sorry to individuals who were wronged.  I have also thought about the past two years.  It’s been an emotional struggle on personal level.  My relationship is good, my relationship with my family is good, my business and my side-projects are all fairing well and I’m back at the gym, back in the social scene and focusing my energy on productive streams of interest.

I would say that the series of bad internet press in 2015 provided a way for me to begin an ego-cleaning.  Last year, I had to accept that life had changed and now, two years later, I realize that a filter was needed.  A cleansing was needed.

Fuck what people say about me! I’m doing me.  Passover reminded me that I didn’t need the ego and the salaciousness.  I will be just fine no matter what in all things I do.  I’ve said goodbye to alot of good people and a lot of family members and my dynamics in each of my relationships has changed tremendously.

I don’t want to go back to how things were.  I want to move forward into the Promised Land.  The journey is not easy and I may not always like eating Bread of Shame and backtracking.  Passover allows me to just move on. No more backtracking.

Time to move into my healed self.  If you don’t get me, you simply don’t.  Maybe I don’t understand you either.  I don’t want to really.  I want to be happy and if being happy means saying goodbye to you, then goodbye.

 

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Prison

Monday, 27 March 2017 —

So, I’m on a mission to find a new housekeeper.  It’s a full-blown mission.  Today, the perspective housekeeper let me know she was running late to the interview by thirty minutes, so I canceled it.  I’m over it already. What happened to being on fucking time?

I text her and told her that wouldn’t work and we’d reschedule.  I never had any intention of following up with her.  She doesn’t call the shots in the case, sadly.  I got in the car and drove to the tanning salon across town and looked down to find four more text messages on my phone. She apologized profusely and said she was sorry for disrupting my time.

I appreciate that humbleness.  We’re meeting on Thursday.

People think I’m wound a bit too tight when it comes to being patient and being forgiving about folks that roll in whenever the fuck the want to, but truth is, I don’t care.  I have been taught to be militant punctual and in most cases I expect it.  For social occasions, I don’t.  For professional occasions, always.

I layed in the tanning bed today and seethed with anger. Two people canceled this week with no reschedule.  These two folks have literally bothered me til I FOUND a spot for them and then cancel.  I’m so over the misuse of my time.

I took a few days off to just let my brain chill out since I’ve been so busy and it seems to me that stupidity and lateness do not take a break.  People that run late always run late and they never think of anyone else.  They’re always apologizing.  Well, one day, sweetheart, someone won’t hear you apologize and generally the day they stop listening is the day you are booked with me or have an interview or business meeting scheduled.  I’m not forgiving. Being forgiving doesn’t make you money.

Sometimes I sound like a cold-hearted bitch, but guess what? No one ever became a boss and kept it all running successfully by giving loans and always allowing someone to take advantage of their time.  I’m quite over the lack of priority from folks and as much as I’d like to lay in bed all day and watch episodes of “Grace and Frankie”, I shall hoof on.  I have a few things to do today.  No housekeeper yet, so dishes are all mine.

Maybe the hot water scalding my hands will calm me down .  Maybe I’ll find a rhythm to the ebb and flow of The Universe while I do manual labor.

Dear god, housework is like prison to me…. I hope I find a housekeeper soon.

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Half a Cigar

Sunday, 26 March 2017 —

Sunday morning.  2:30am.

I’m sitting here thinking.  Thinking keeps people up late at night.  There’s almost too many thoughts drifting throughout the Universe at night versus the day.  Think about it: day comes, you go to work, have a little brainstorm session and… nothing.  Not one shitty thought comes about except maybe, “What’s for lunch?” or where to have a quick drink after work.  “How many hours left at work?” you may even think.

So here I am, 2:32 am writing and sipping cucumber water.  I’m not really into fruits and vegetables in water.  I’m not trying to be healthy.  I generally have a lemon (literally half a lemon) kerplunked into my glass and Google-search alkalinity and why it’s so important in this acidic world of alcohol, coffee and chocolate I live in (let’s not forget the occasional piece of the most unkosher prosciutto).  When the lemons have gone for the week, maybe I’ll see lime laying around the refrigerator and off that goes into my glass.  Now, I’m out of kerplunkable fruit.  Onward to cucumbers, cucumbers are incredibly alkaline and good for you to sip on if you hate the taste of regular ol’ boring water.  God, water is boring.  It’s so boring it’s expensive boring.  We pay for the bottle, the name and right to drink what makes 3/4 of our world.  It’s so fucking stupid.  It’s like charging for air.  I know we pay big bucks for the filtration of good water and even have special pHs of water available now for unitary tract disorders and overall better organ function, but cucumbers cut into the water make for a quick alkalinity worker.  So, there you have it.  Now… back to 2:32 am…

2:37: Up.  Golden Girls on Hulu and Chris is asleep on the floor of the living room with cushions thrown under him.  My sixties-style mid century reading chair cushions are serving as an informal bed since I have decided going to bed is not in the cards for me.

I slept until 10:00 yesterday morning and met my friend for lunch at 1.  We ate copious amounts of sushi and I drank a couple of bottles of good sake, super cold and talked about kids and home-life (two things I know nothing about and cannot relate to).  After, I came home and decided that today’s day off field trip would include smoking a cigar. I’ve never smoked a cigar before.  I wanted to know what the fuss was about.  Chris came with me.

I walked into the cigar store today and the girl came to the front desk and I said, very nicely in my blazer and Kosher 90210 shirt, “hello there.  I am on an adult field-trip today and would like to see what the fuss is about.  I want to smoke a cigar.  Now, tell me, where do we start?”

She said, “Follow me.”

I followed.  Chris giggled.

We walked into a room that felt like sweaty Florida.  It reminded me of Ft. Lauderdale.  I wanted to book a plane ticket instantly and have some of that Cuban-tinged Crab Bisque I had last summer.  Oh my goodness that soup was delicious!  The room brought me back to the humidity that we so often lack in dry Colorado.  Everyone here looks like cornflakes if they don’t moisturize.  You don’t have to try to be moist in Florida, it just kinda happens.  The room felt like that.  It just kinda happened to be damp.  The air smelt like an old Dominican, maybe even Cuban man.  I made side conversation by telling her, “in 33 years, I’ve never had a proper cigar.”  She just giggled.  Chris was covering his face by now.  My dialog was like a really dressed up Lucy Ricardo.  I was ready for a Tobacco adventure.  I selected a beginner-grade cigar called Romeo y Julieta.  It is a Dominican variety.  I instantly wanted Rum, but Whisky is better.  She cut it, I paid and off we went to smoke behind the building like naughty schoolboys preparing for holiday break.

Chris helped me light it.  I puffed like a boss.  “Don’t inhale this,” he said.  I puffed like a champ instead.

We walked around the corner.  He lit a cigarette, I chewed on the end of the cigar a bit.

“Why do people chew on cigars?”, I asked.

“I don’t know, Bubs.” he said, “they think it brings out flavor.  I think its useless really.”

I stopped chewing on the end and puffed and walked some more.

“What do you want to do now?” Chris asked.

“Oh yeah.  That’s rather nice, isn’t it?” I said puffing away. Mesmerized by the glory of smoky tobacco.

“You enjoying that?”

“Oh yeah, babe.  This is fabulous.  Cheers mate.  A real past time I could get into.” I said.

He giggled some more.

“Let’s go for a little drive.” He said.  And off we went.

The window was rolled down, I was sitting in the passenger seat puffing and looking at the world.  Why do people smoke marijuana when a cigar is better, I thought.  Why do people like stinky cigarettes with dry oregano-style tobacco laced with poison when a rolled tobacco leaf does the trick.  I googled “Tobacco” and read about its many addictive qualities.  It’s a stimulant.  The Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians brought it back to Spain to grow, yada yada.

“Look bubs!  Smoking a cigar is practically my heritage!”

He slapped his forehead.

I googled opening hours for a bar I like.  4pm.  Okie dokie.  I said, “they open at 4pm according to Google.”

“I guess that’s where we’re going…” said Chris.

Onward James! Drive on.

We had a couple drinks.  Literally, a couple.  I’m not much into binge-drinking these days and besides this new grown-up cigar-smoking 33-year-old wasn’t gonna be seen getting sloppy.  I just wanted to enjoy myself with Chris.

We talked about God, the Catholic Church, my fascination with Hinduism and Greek Orthodoxy and how I almost converted to one of the two as an 18 year old rather than being Jewish and talked about Togo-Benin lineage in my ancestry.com results and the practice of Voodoo and the Loa and what pagans don’t understand about African ceremony.  I googled Loa and found that they like cigars and alcohol.

Here I was smoking a cigar, puffing.

Some spiritual folks believe smoking a cigar offers assistance in transporting prayers to God or the Universe.  The smoke serves as a vehicle.  I don’t know about that.  I think you can get the job done with incense, but I guess it’s the same concept.  I smoked my cigar and thought about the Sabbath.  I took this Saturday off to celebrate the Sabbath in my own way.  I guess I did.

On the way home, we stopped at McDonald’s and I ate an ice cream cone.  Chris was laughing at my childlike fascination licking and chewing and slurping and carrying on with this frozen treat.  We pulled up at home and he asked me where the ice cream cone had gone.

It was gone.  I ate it. I grabbed the remainder of my cigar and we went upstairs.  I made a cup of coffee and fell asleep on the couch.

Not such a bad day off.  I did nothing except eat, drink, smoke, walk and talk.  This could be such a decadence seeing as many people are observing lent.  I’m not Catholic anymore (haven’t been since I was a teenager), but I’m aware that today was a bit gluttonous.

Tomorrow we’re back to vegetarianism, healthy water, healthy get-up times and gymming and working and stressing about the week… I still have half a cigar to push me through the week though.

 

 

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Identity Crisis

Wednesday, 23 March 2017 —

I woke up this morning with an excuse that since its my day off, I should stay put til I fall back asleep.  This was at 4am.  I got up, went to the refrigerator and drank some Good Belly Probiotic and went back to bed.  5am: up again.  Repeat probiotic (I must like to poop) and this time returned to bed with headphones and iPhone to listen to guided sleep meditation.  Of course, 30 seconds in, Mary Maddox’s voice put me into a full blown sleep. I don’t think eating a corner of an edible would put me into such a relaxed trance.

9:40 am: blinking and feeling the bed for Chris.  Where has he gone?  Is he leaving me alone today?  Do I get alone time?  Do I get to fart in bed in my lovely room all by myself?  No TV going?  No smoke trailing in the air.  Where is he?  I ponder this for a second and walk into the living room seeing him playing “Grand Theft Auto” like a tween and head back to sleep.  Let’s round my sleep up to a full hour and wake up at a solid ten o’clock, I think.

10am: up, looking at iPhone.  Should I ask my mom and dad to lunch?  Perhaps they’ll decline as usual?  What’s the deal on HauteLook?  Should I order my “April book” from Amazon? Miranda Hart is funny.  So is Dawn French.  What should I order? Oh look!  I can buy the entire television series of Miranda for 24 USD and free Amazon Prime shipping.  I look up “The Vicar of Dibley” (54 USD).

10:06 am: In the kitchen making espresso in my Bialetti espresso machina.  Chris says to me, “Go back to bed”.  It’s already 10am.  I can’t go back to sleep.  That’s just laziness.  I grab a copy of Mae West plays anthology and begin to read.

My friend Lisa wants to produce a Mae West play.  There are three scripts I’m reading right now and I kind of want involvement in helping her with this project.  So, beyond owning a salon, teaching for Label.m, taking a hiatus from stand-up comedy and waiting for inspiration to write the next chapter of my book, I figure I’ll read scripts and give my creative input.

In this melting pot of ideas, I’ve also hit a standstill of what to do with my once-office.  Its has been a year its been empty with junk thrown about.  Should I make it a bachelor pad sitting room with a coffee table and 1960s furniture or a dining room?  I’m so incredibly informal.  I can’t see myself with a formal dining room.  I’m much rather flip the $200 bill at La Forchetta and entertain.  I just can’t see myself being this domestic. I think the idea of more couches is winning.

Lately, I’m having a bit of an identity crisis.  I miss performing stand-up comedy and I’ve grown inheritently bored of Pueblo.  I plan on vacationing more as I already have a routine.  I know the new places in town.  I know the faces of this town.  They know me too.  I took a long social hiatus a couple years ago after some bad publicity, played a few comedy gigs for a few months and when Wade (my comedy partner) left, so did my days at the mic.  A few months later, Label.m picked me up as an ambassador and soon after a full-blown educator on the payroll.  So I’ve been busy.  I hate explaining what I’m doing to people that think I’ve vanished.

My own aunt asked me if I go “hang out” anymore like I used to when I visited The Downtown Bar.  Yeah, I guess.  You’ll find me at the wine bar a couple of evenings a week looking at email and Instagram and puruuuuuusing Pinterest.  But no, I don’t hang out like I used to.  I don’t know if I ever will again in this town.  I make dinner dates with my close friends and see them in lump groups of 4 to 6 or 1-on-1 for dinner once a month.  Every so often Chris dashes off to the pub of choice with me for a couple of drinks where I know everyone in the tavern and rehash the past with obscenities and copious amounts of drinks.  I pay the bill and off we go to watch Hulu or Netflix and bedtime approaches – new day has arrived.  Repeat.

It’s so not what I’m about.   God did not intend for me to be stagnant.  I’m looking for books to read and searching for 1960s furniture that doesn’t smell like old men and old women.  I like old things.  I like the history of them.  Someone once got drunk on this couch and had a drunk romp with his secretary and his wife didn’t know, I think. Or a wife sat here, on this very sofa, mid-day and had a cup of coffee or a daiquiri with girlfriends.

My creative mind needs to write, it needs to perform again.

I started reading part of a Mae West script and got sucked into a biography instead to understand how her brain worked.  I love research.  I’m a bonafide nerd.  I love reading and researching.  I do the same for haircuts, color and fashion.  I wear my own hair the same and the same black shirts with Armani jeans and Ferragamo loafers.  No change. Not so fashionable, just utilitarian.

Laying in bed today, I thought to myself: what am I when I’m not in the salon?

The words entertainer, socialite, writer came to mind.  Culinary enthusiast.  Linguistic champion. Dry comedy lover.  Europhile.  Greta Garbo wet-dreamer.  House music aficionado.

Oh, this process of finding things to do in my spare time is monotonous.  One can only bake so many lasagnas or creep Tumblr pages.  That all gets very boring.  Maybe producing a play or writing more comedy is where its at.  Maybe we can incorporate the two?  Maybe I can be the opening act? An MC of sorts?

YES!! That’s brilliant.

Now, what’s for lunch and what couch am I buying?

 

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…Time For A Drink

Sunday, 19 March 2017 —

One of my clients passed me a book written by a local comedian that ran away from Pueblo to Los Angeles.  I’ve performed with her a couple times and have seen her perform at many events.  She’s alright.  When she performed with me in 2015, she was very complimentary to me.  She said I had great energy.  We have really only performed on the same bill about three times.  She talks about drinking a lot and all her horrible mistakes she made whilst drinking.  Haven’t we all made mistakes whilst drinking?  Whisky is my favorite, vodka makes me a bit loose and confessional, beer bloats me and tequila puts me into a deep slumber.  Its just what it is, ya know?  Too much red wine makes me argue, but I love the buzz (as long as you don’t argue with me, we’re good), white wine gives me heart burn from out of this world and prosecco and/or champagne makes me feel like skiing in Europe and inviting cameras into my home for a little looksy-aroundsy at my underwear and what kind of olive oil and butter I use to sauté pasta in (very Mariah, if she was European).

Anyway, this book she wrote is called, “Sober Stick Figure” and it contains memoirs of alcoholism running in her family, lamentations of her family life, why we shouldn’t drink, what an asshole she became to her self-esteem and how many times she vomited in bed and peed in public.  Okay, I think it could have been a satire. SELL THE CONCEPT as a TV show to Hulu.  Make that dark comedy!  Instead as you turn page by page and look at words and little stick figure drawings drawn in color pencil, you start to feel sad.  The humor is there, believe me, but it’s that kind of awkward humor that makes Zoe Deschanel look like Wanda Sykes.  Zoe is dry and awkward, Amber’s drawings in this book make me sad.  I don’t want to laugh at her because I feel like we’re reading the screenplay for a very sad sobriety tale.

Do you remember the movie, “Rachel Getting Married” starring Anne Hathaway in 2008 where she returns to her family to be a bridesmaid and all she talks about is her stint in rehab? It’s so uncomfortable to watch.  It’s not funny.  It’s a cry for help.  It’s insanity on a screen sliced with a mental illness knife in tiny pieces called “scenes” that make you roll your eyes, hold your head in embarrassment for the lead character and say, “no. Put that DVD away. We’re never watching this again!”

That’s what “Sober Stick Figure” is for me.  I can’t.  I just can’t.  I think the telling of this story is probably therapeutic to Amber and her family, but I think its uncomfortable.  It’s not funny at all.

This week, one of my friends announced on Facebook that she’s an alcoholic and I wanted to throw my phone across the bar where I was sitting when I read the status update.  Please shut up.  People drink.  When people drink and they do dumb shit, they take a time out and go back to drinking socially.  They don’t write books or Facebook statuses that make us feel sorry for them, but in 2017, I guess they do!  WE all get to track your progress and watch you “feel better” about yourself.  I just can’t.  I can’t support you.

If you’re doing dumb shit, hire a good lawyer! Also, stop it. We don’t need to know you’re sad.  We need YOU to get it together and stop making us feel for you.  I personally don’t like a mercy sympathy.  I don’t like people coming to me and saying, “so sorry your grandpa died” or “so sorry you overdrafted today.”  I would prefer you never knew what was going on. (My grandpa is dead and I did not overdraft, btw, but they are sad situations to use as examples, aren’t they?) 

Perhaps my issue is that people are so public and want to be held accountable by the social media jury.  Why would you do this to yourselves?  Frankly, I don’t give a fuck what people think of me.  I enjoy a good cocktail with my friends and sometimes I say silly shit like how I admire their tit size or can’t stand how they pronounce a certain word.  It breaks the ice! It’s funny and it’s all in good fun.

My friend admitting she’s a helpless drunk is no news to us that know her well.  Her Facebook status was a way of airing out her demons and looking for a kind word.  Stop that. Two days later, she announced she’s “in the church” and “working with youth” and that “God appeared to her”.  Stop that.  That’s all attention getting! Get your fucking shit together and stop screaming from the roof top that you’re sorry for being a mess. Just show us the change in character, don’t hire a publicist called Facebook to tell us.

The book is decent.  I think many rehabs and drug and alcohol centers will buy massive amount of copies and pass it on a dozen-at-a-time to their underpaid counselors and ask them to distribute them to the sad, cynical  millennial that has never read a book in all their legal-drinking years.  I think they’ll praise it and hail Amber as their funny Messiah.

I’m not inspired by this book at all.  I closed it and put it in my manbag and can’t wait to give it back to my client.  The self-deprecation of its contents have stained my brain with sadness.  My friend’s Facebook has done the same.  I deleted her.  I unfollowed Amber on Twitter. I can’t.

You’re sober attention-getting ploys do not interest me.  I wish you both well, but I can’t sit around and feel sorry for each of you.  I think you need to work on yourselves by yourselves with great therapy and great alone time and a great support system.  I sadly can’t be part of this.  I think it’s phony baloney.

…time for a drink.

 

 

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4:30 am– you bitch!

Thursday, 16 March 2017 — 4:30am

The taxing responsibility of allowing myself days off is something folks find bewildering about me.  I constantly complain about not having enough personal time and drown my sorrows in a good whisky or some vodka, maybe even a decent glass of cabernet sauvignon, but come days off, I rarely drink.  I just don’t care to be torn up on my days off. After a long day of clients, hearing their stories, talking about their brats and their over-pretentious depression about their latest look (bob or lob?), I am brain-fucked, to say the least.

It has been 14 days since my last day off.  I was last off on March 1st.  The rest of the 14 days of this month have been laced in appointments, meetings, education, sales meetings, more education, conference calls, going back to gym, drinking countless cocktails, nearly losing my fucking mind around the sixth and culminated in today: up at 8:30, banking to be done at 9, ship FedEx back to my Education Director by 9:30 for possible delivery tomorrow (FedEx said no after three phone calls to change delivery so now she’ll get it on Friday. FML), nail appointment, meet dishwasher repairman, meet landlord, find out diagnosis for old dishwasher with old dishwater still not drained on bottom, find out that I need a new one around 2:3opm.

3:00pm yesterday, Chris came home, I was answering messages and browsing Orbitz for tickets back to Plano, TX.  while I caught up on The Housewives of Beverly Hills.  

“Care to join me for lunch at Angelo’s, bubs?”

“Sure.”

It wasn’t convincing enough.

“I’m gonna go eat after I finish watching these bitches.” I said playfully.

He went to the toilet. (My reaction exactly)

3:06 we were on our way for pizza, drinks, eggplant parm, more drinks and talking about a lady wearing 1980s shorts and sipping another round of drinks.  After three cocktails, we met our friend out for another one.  Shortly after, we came home.  I set the timer for one hour.  I was determined to have a nightcap.

I don’t drink on a day off because it could easily turn into a holiday.

We went to J.Michael’s and had a beer.  Two gay men drinking beer just looks odd.  It doesn’t fit the stereotype.  I know in 2017, we’re not supposed to be happy with stereotypes, but sometimes I am!  I like being bitchy, I like holding a martini glass, I like camping it up and acting as though we’re in a British comedy.  I try to embody an episode of Absolutely Fabulous and I sip spirits and spew venom about dumb bitches I detest on Instagram and talk shit about porny-pictures of hungry bottoms waiting for a their latest sexual romp on Tumblr.  I enjoy that!  Call it a stereotype!  I like it!  I like being a bitchy gay man.  So please understand, beer just isn’t the picture I’m used to taking of myself as I pub-crawl across the City of Pueblo with my bubs.

9:04: Beers drunk.  Josh and Chris head back home to eat copious amounts of candy and play Grand Theft Auto like two young closeted gay teens before turning in like old gays with old saggy balls at 10:30pm.

Now, it’s 4:30 am and I’m up.

Yesterday I accomplished so much, I even booked my flight for Plano and scored a killer deal on a killer room at NYLO, a boutique loft-style hotel… I did, however, forget to bathe.

My apologies to anyone I hugged yesterday.

 

 

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