December: The CRAZY Month

Every December it’s the same thing, and this December is no different.

I look at my calendar and see almost every single day marked with some sort of activity or ongoing project… and I freak out.
For instance, this week I have to buy a Christmas tree, decorate it and my apartment, and get it ready for my holiday party later in the month.  (Oh, and I have to clean this shithole of an apartment before that even happens.)

I also have a few outreach gigs for CGMC this week– one tomorrow and another on Friday.  And THEN another one the night before my party!

After the tree is up and all looks perfect, I have tickets to the Windy City Holiday Show this Saturday, followed by our “Long” Sunday rehearsal for the CGMC Holiday show (Favorite Things at the Athenaeum Theatre on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9; Click here for tickets!  [Shameless plug over]).  That’s followed by technical and dress rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday, with the show itself on Friday and Saturday. (At least next Sunday’s a day of rest– HOORAY!)
Then the week after that, I kick it into high-gear for my holiday/birthday party.  I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to serve, and I haven’t gone to the grocery store yet for any supplies.  I suppose that can wait until the week of the party. But once all of that is bought, I still have to cook, bake, and prepare everything in time for the Saturday event.  (I think I may be recruiting a friend or two to help with this… they offered, so how can I refuse? 🙂 )
Oh… and of course, somehow, and somewhere, amidst all of this stuff, I have to buy Christmas Gifts; and Christmas happens at the end of the third week

Is it any wonder the Christmas season starts earlier every year?

I don’t know where to begin with all this stuff.  My apartment is atrocious.  Those two weeks with my eye problem really turned me into a slob.  It’s just a disaster area.  And yet when I get home from work at night, I am so tired that I just don’t feel like doing anything about it.  I need a burst of energy, and FAST!

Stop the insanity folks.  December is only 31 days long, and it seems that we continually try to cram as much activity into those short days as we can without losing our feeble little minds.  I’ve been running this game now for much of the last 6-7 years I’ve lived here, and it gets harder each year.

But for some reason, I still look forward to it.  Even with all that’s happened this year, I still anticipate the tree, the smells, the sounds, and the colors of the season.  Because when it’s all done and ready to go, it’s a great mission accomplished.

I just need to figure out where I can begin accomplishing this mission!!!

Commence pulling of hair… NOW!

100 New Things About Me

I just took a look at my 100 Things list. You remember those… the “getting to know you” memes that everyone did back when blogging was still in its infancy? They were an initiation rite of sorts– you had to do them in order to blog. Even though some never did. Some resisted. Some were smart.

I, however, was desperate for readers at the time. (As you can see, not much has changed!) So I did my 100 Things list and then re-did it again about a year later.

It’s been a while since I’ve revisited my list, and I decided it needed to be changed. Completely.

So, without further ado, and to make a long story short (too late!) here is my brand-new, sparkly and shiny, and ultra-fabulous 100 NEW Things About Me!

OK, it’s mostly a rehash of the old one. I’m lazy. Deal with it.

1. I am still single.
1a. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this may never change.
1b. I’m OK with that.
2. My favorite food is Italian.
3. I make a kickass meatball.
4. I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
5. I now live in Chicago, IL.
6. I am a Packer fan, but not a Brewer Fan.
7. I am a Cubs fan, but not a Bears Fan.
8. I love to sing.
8a. I used to have a Cabaret show at Gentry in Chicago.
9. I work for a major law firm’s marketing department as a graphic designer.
9a. My actual title is “Desktop Publisher.”
9b. I think “Graphic Designer” fits my job description better.
10. I grew up with dogs, but I own two cats.
11. I have one sister, and she is married.
12. I have no nieces or nephews (yet).
13. Most of my friends are in the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus or the Windy City Performing Arts.
14. I used to sing with both groups, but I now only sing with CGMC.
15. I am not related to Danny Aiello.
16. My favorite artist is Elton John.
17. The name “RcktMan” is an homage to Elton John’s song “Rocket Man”
18. My first online experience was on Prodigy back in 1992.
19. I used to consider myself an Independent voter, but I now consider myself a Democrat.
20. I was raised Catholic, but do not practice it anymore.
21. My uncle is a priest.
22. I have only one first cousin.
23. My mom had my sister because she did not want me to grow up an only child. (She was an only child.)
24. We named our second dog “Cubby” after the Chicago Cubs.
24a. His name was my idea.
25. My cat’s names are Pippin and Screech.
25a. Pippin is named after the musical, not the basketball player.
25b. Screech is so named because he’s so chatty, not after the “Saved By The Bell” character.
25c. My ex named Screech.
26. I have friends all over the country and in many areas of the world.
27. I have never been to Europe.
28 I have never been to paradise– or to me, for that matter.
28a. I don’t know what the hell that means.
29. I never knew either of my grandfathers.
30. I have relatives in Italy and across the United States that I have never met.
31. I did the layout for Carol Moseley Braun’s resume in 2001.
31a. She paid me $200 for the service. She paid with a personal check. I have a copy of the check.
32. I have never kissed a girl.
33. I take that back. I’ve kissed a girl… she was the only girl in CGMC at the time. It was actually kinda hot.
34. I’ve never HAD SEX with a woman. And that’s the truth.
34. My first kiss and my first time having sex with a man was when I was 23 years old.
35. I am now 35 years old.
36. I have a solo on the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus’s first CD, “Cool Yule.”
36a. I am also featured in CGMC’s second CD, “I Will Be Loved Tonight.”
37. My favorite drink is Vodka & Tonic.
38. I have never done drugs of any kind.
39. I have never smoked a cigarette.
40. I have smoked cigars but only puffed on them.
41. I am a top.
42. I love to kiss.
43. I love to cuddle.
44. I am extremely affectionate.
45. I can be a bit of a loner at times.
46. I have been called “introspective”
47. In college I was heavily involved in DECA, a student marketing organization.
47a. I was elected Wisconsin State SE Region Vice President in 1992 and State President in 1993.
47b. I was elected State Alumni President in 1998 (after having moved to Chicago).
48. I served on the board of CGMC for 2 years.
49. I will not serve on any boards again for a long time.
50. My last ex and I were together for a year.
50a. It was my longest relationship.
51. One of my fondest memories is going to the Wisconsin State Fair with my family and going down the huge slide.
52. Another fond memory is going to see my Grandma in Antioch, Illinois. It always seemed so far away.
53. I had my tonsils removed in July of 2003.
54. I am a prime candidate for high blood pressure and asthma.
55. They both run in my family.
56. My latest guilty pleasure is that I hunt for Sesame Street bits on YouTube and post them on my blog on Mondays.
56a. Judging by the response, I seem to have bewildered my readership by this.
57. I am surrounded by a network of wonderful, loving and supportive friends.
58. My father was Diabetic and my mother suffers from Emphysema.
58a. My dad died in July of 2006.
58b. It was the most painful experience in my entire life, and I miss him very much.
59. While growing up, I wanted to be a teacher.
60. I graduated with an Associate Degree in Marketing in 1994.
61. I still want to complete my Bachelor’s and Masters degree someday.
62. I live way beyond my means.
63. I have poor credit, but it’s improving… slowly.
64. I own a car, but still rent my apartment.
65. I would like to buy my own condo within the next 3 years.
66. I cry at sappy movies and songs.
67. I love comedies.
68. I love gardening
69. I grow my own herbs.
70. I hate housecleaning and laundry.
71. But I love when my home is clean.
72. I do not have a gym membership currently, but am looking at options for a new one.
73. I finally bought a new bike this year and enjoyed riding it during the spring and summer.
74. I thoroughly believe that if I worked out, I’d be “Hot”.
75. I am too lazy to make that happen.
76. I listen to music when I fall asleep.
77. Since I got a DVR, I have been watching WAY more TV than I have watched in many years.
78. I hate seeing movies by myself, so I rarely see movies.
79. I love to cook for myself, and for others.
80. I like going out, but don’t go out alone, ever.
81. I STILL cut my own hair.
81a. I think I’m pretty good at it by now.
82. My favorite breakfast food is Eggs Benedict.
83. I love Tombstone Pizzas.
84. I would fail miserably at the Atkins Diet.
85. McDonald’s McChicken Sandwiches are my nemesis.
85a. They are only $1 each.
85b. Yes, I am that cheap sometimes.
86. I have very few enemies.
87. I believe there is a direct correlation between one’s relationship with his or her family and the type of person he or she is socially.
88. I have a very good relationship with my family.
89. I am not a morning person.
90. I am a definite night owl.
91. I spend a lot of time online but rarely ever “hook up” anymore.
92. I’m ready to “settle down”.
93. I like to write poetry to clear my mind.
94. My favorite author is John Irving.
95. I think Dolly Parton is one of the most underrated artists alive today.
96. I think The Beatles were geniuses.
97. I think George W. Bush is the biggest failure of all of the US Presidents, ever.
98. I have no idea who could possibly be our President in 2008.
99. I have voted in every Presidential election since I became eligible.
100. I’m feeling more hopeful about the future of our country.

Sesame Monday (Tuesday): Springtime!

I’m a day behind, and a few seasons behind, but that won’t stop me from sharing one of my favorite animated shorts from Sesame Street.

This one is especially poignant considering the changing seasons that we’re witnessing as I type this. A little boy observes the change of seasons as he plays in his favorite playground, and a sweet little song plays in the background. I guarantee you’ll be humming this for DAYS after you see this; and if you remember it from your childhood, you’ll instantly recall the tune.


First, thank you to everyone who sent well-wishes recently.  Your thoughts have helped me very much.  I’m so touched that there are such great people out there. 

My Eye Problem

They still look a little red, but they are steadily improving every day.  I did a LOT of driving around Thanksgiving– probably too much– but at least I was able to do everything I wanted to do with my family. 

To answer a few questions:  Michael asked what I was looking at to catch this icky problem?  The answer– Ya got me!  I just woke up one day and bam! There it was.  The doctors say that it can just happen suddenly (like me).  In most cases, however, it is an effect of another disease or symptom.  I guess I just got lucky.

Glenn asked why I didn’t post a picture of the grossness of my eye… I almost did!  But then I thought it might gross people out TOO much.  Now in hindsight, I wish I’d done it.  It could have been worth a few laughs (and comments, I’m sure!)

Karen hasn’t been back to comment since I thought it was Pink Eye.  I think I scared her away.  It’s OK Karen, I’m not contagious anymore.  I never was! 🙂

Hustle Up The Hancock

Things are progressing slowly with my training… mainly because I’ve been sick with either a cold or the aforementioned eye problems.  Tomorrow I think I will get back into it.  In my first practice climb, I did 15 flights.  In the second climb, I did 30. So hopefully in my next climb I will reach 40… or maybe even 50.  Considering that I have to reach 94 flights by next February, I think that’s pretty good.  The more I train, the easier it will get.  I just have to get back to training! 

As far as the fundraising goes, I already hit my $300 goal– and exceeded it by $200!  So I am increasing my goal to $1,000!  Hey I’m halfway there already, and I have a few more months to go.  Why not? 🙂

If you’re interested in helping me out, you can click here, or on the little graphic in the sidebar.

The PadCast

I haven’t done a PadCast in quite a while.  I think I’ve pretty much realized that I am a better blogger than I am a podcaster.  And that’s fine.  I’m perfectly comfortable with that realization.  Besides, it’s sometimes hard enough to write something in my blog– putting up a podcast takes at least 10x the work every single time.  Maybe someday I’ll take what I now know and produce a podcast that actually means something.  Until then, I’m just gonna stick to blogging.  Thanks to everyone who listed, though.  You haven’t really heard the last of me yet. 🙂

Sesame Mondays…

Will become Sesame Tuesday this week.  Because I felt like writing something today.  It’s my blog, I can do what I want.  Nyah. 🙂


I can see!

I went to the eye clinic yesterday, and it was determined that I did not have Pink Eye.  In fact, I never HAD Pink Eye. I have a condition called Scleritis, an inflammation of the sclera of the eye, that is commonly mis-diagnosed as Pink Eye because it looks so much like Pink Eye.  Scleritis afflicts the conjunctive tissue like Pink Eye, but it also attacks the actual sclera, or white, of the eye.  That is what was causing my pain, and that’s what has been affecting my vision.

Speaking of my vision, it’s not back at 100%, but it is a LOT better. I was given some anti-inflammatory medication that has already made a huge difference.  It’s so nice to be able to see again!!!

It’s amazing how much we take for granted.  Things like our sight, our hearing, our ability to taste, smell, and feel.  When those things are compromised, we suddenly realize how much we rely on them and how much being without them will change our lives. 

I look at my mother, and how hard it is for her to breathe.  I know how much she wishes she was able to breathe freely again, without any constrictions or problems.  I can certainly relate to how she feels. 

I felt imprisioned by my own eyes for the past week.  And if it wasn’t the pain that was affecting me, it was the inability to focus or view things in stereo.  I felt as if I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything because I simply didn’t feel safe to even walk. Now that this ability is returning to me, I realize just how much I appreciate the gift of sight.

So another Thanksgiving is approaching and it looks like our family– what’s left of it– is going to be together after all.  And for that, we are all very thankful indeed.

I hope that your families are all safe, healthy, and together as well.  And that you enjoy the beginning of the “holiday season” together. 

Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂