Wednesday, January 21, 2009

we have a new president

And I am SO excited.

I got to watch the swearing-in and most of PRESIDENT OBAMA's (I just love writing that) speech before heading off to a student matinee yesterday. I wasn't as overly emotional as I was on election night; I just felt really, really happy. I smiled a lot. It was really nice.

I'm not naive enough to think that the honeymoon will last all that long, but it's just so nice to have so many people inspired by their government. I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Old Village is like most cities in this country; if you want to go dance to some good music, you have to hit up a gay club. After the show last night, four of my castmates (two guys, who we'll call The Mayor and AC, and two ladies; all of us are black) and I went to get our groove on.

The crowd was more gay than straight, but there seemed to be a large number of straight ladies there. We walked towards the back of the bar, passing the restroom, along with a young lady who gazed hungrily at us as if we were dessert. AC and I sidle up to the bar. I'm standing there for maybe fifteen seconds when a young lady kind of brushes past me and stands leaning on the bar directly next to me. She pulls out her cell, glances at it, then checks me out. "Hi."

"Hey, how's it going?" I'm trying to be good, you know, since I'm so far away from my girlfriend right now, etc., so I try to ignore the fact that she's giving me every signal in the book. I look away. She goes back to the cell phone.

AC, who is one of the friendliest and most gorgeous men I have ever met, then greets her. She kind of steps over to the side and has a brief conversation with him, all the while leaning over my back. At some point, AC introduces me. We do a variant on the usual song-and-dance:

GIRL: So, what are you doing here?

ME: We're actors. We're doing a play in town.

GIRL: Oh my gosh! You're an actor? That's SO cool! I love plays! Can I come see it?

ME: Sure. We may be able to help you out with tickets if you want.

GIRL: I would love to come see it. I have to say that I think you guys are really cute...

She gives me her number. I've been in the club for five minutes. AC said he got two phone numbers from two different people in sixty seconds. As I was leaving the club, a girl was making eyes at me while she was hanging on to her boyfriend.

Now, I'm not going to pretend that I'm getting this attention because I'm insanely gorgeous. I mean, I clean up pretty well, but I'm not that special (unlike AC). We're getting this attention because there are not a lot of black people in Old Village, and in liberal-leaning towns like this, black men get a LOT of attention from women - mostly white women. I guess it's because we're different, or "exotic", or something. I'm not quite sure why this is, but it's been a constant in my travels.

All of which makes it extremely hard to be good. I've gone out three times since I've been in town and have been given four phone numbers.

But I'm trying, Maxine. I'm trying.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

drinking woes

Finally kicked the illness. Went out for the first time in Old Village on Saturday night, which was very low-key. I drank cranberry juice. With a twist of lime.

For some reason, I decided to go out again last night. Again, I had a drink with a twist of lime. It was a Corona. The beer wasn't settling in my stomach too well, so I switched to vodka tonics. I'm not sure how many I had, but I'm pretty sure the number starts with a one.

Needless to say, I don't feel too great today.

And I'm also re-evaluating my relationship with alcohol. Three times in the past two and a half weeks I have ended up sick or violently hung over after drinking. I've blacked out twice in the same time period - and that's something that just doesn't happen. I'm still able to have one beer or one glass of wine with dinner and stop, but lately I don't seem to have the same control at the bar.

I'm concerned.

Monday, January 05, 2009

really sick

I had intended to put up the first of what will hopefully be many powerful posts today, but a funny thing happened to me: I got sick.

Now, I usually get colds a couple of times a year, and my allergies will flare up on me in the spring, giving me red itchy eyes and a runny nose for days. I usually get a sinus infection every year, too, which is good for an uncomfortable few days, but I can usually get by with nothing more than Tylenol Sinus.

But this was different.

It was so bad that I really couldn't sleep. I could actually feel (going to get graphic here) the mucus swirling around inside my sinus cavity: tip my head one way and it would run down my throat; move it another way and it would rush out of my nose. I was coughing up phlegm with flecks of blood. My face felt like an elephant was stepping on it. I was in bad shape.

Fortunately, the theater company here in Old Village (where I am now; I finally gave the place a name) has an ER doc on call. He told me I had bronchitis, and was able to get me some antibiotics. I've been on those for 48 hours and I'm finally starting to feel ok. 75%, maybe? Thank God for drugs.

Anyway, now that I'm up and walking again, I'll hopefully be able to give you something of consequence soon.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

the goal for 2009

Last year, I decided to undertake a huge project: to blog every day for a year. I don't know what possessed me to do this. I know that I felt like I was a lousy blogger, and I wanted to try my hand at writing more.

I completed the journey yesterday, and there wasn't any real joy or sense of accomplishment, just relief that I didn't have to blog every damn day. It wasn't fun, you know? I felt like a lot of days I just cranked out crap, or decided to use a text message or e-mail rather than write down how I really felt. As December came to a close, I gave some serious thought to closing up shop all together. The whole last month was just a struggle. I would think of post ideas, but I'd just push them to the side. But writing meaningful "columns", for want of a better word, was the whole reason I wanted to do Blog 365 in the first place.

So, after careful consideration, I've decided to keep the blog going. I am planning on making a significant change, however. Instead of throwing something up here every single day, I am going to aim for one quality post a week; something of substance between 500-1000 words that I'll work on during the week and will go up every Monday. There may be weeks where I have more posts; there will probably be a couple of vacation weeks where I decide to write nothing at all. The important thing, however, is that I put things up here that are worth your time, and mine. I hope that you'll come along for the ride, and hopefully we can start up a back-and-forth in the comments again, like the old days.

One last thing. I left NYC this morning, to do a show in a new town with considerably better weather. (I haven't named it yet.) I'm staying in one of the nicest places I've ever lived in. It seems to be the perfect way to kick off a new year.

I think that, after the last 365 days, I deserve a bit of a break. I'm taking the rest of the weekend off. See you on Monday.