Thursday, June 30, 2011

Violet! You're turning Violet Violet!

The flavor 'berry' is a cop out. I truly believe that. There's nothing authentic or definitive about the flavor 'berry.' I think it was just something that candy makers and fruit Roll-up flavor creators settled for because they couldn't land on a real flavor. Is it strawberry? Is it blueberry? How about raspberry? No? It's non of those? I've got it. How about we just name it 'berry.' Then it can be the every-flavor.
This purposeful lack of definition irritates me which is surprising because I don't really care for definitions all that much. I mean, do we really need a word to define us? Yes, I've moved on to talking about people and not artificial flavors. I believe that people should be themselves, no matter what that may be. Because listen, not everyone is going to be a fan of you. Trust me, not everyone is a fan of me. I'm loud, I don't self-censor and I've been told on more than one occasion that I can be intimidating. This will come in handy one day when I have nieces and nephews that I don't want to throw up on me. (Though I should mention here that when I'm on a date or something, I try not to be loud, I do self-censor and I try not to be intimidating. Just thought it should be mentioned)
Being inauthentic isn't fun for anyone. It's not fun for you because you know you're hiding your more authentic self behind the veil of whatever it is you're appearing to be and it's not fun for other people because they are missing out on who you really are. (that and they're gonna be pissed when they realize you were full of wickedness and lies the entire time you were pretending to be someone you aren't)
Speaking of artificial flavors, I do really love the vanilla flavor in Tootsie Rolls. You know the packs that have multicolored rolls in them? The vanilla ones are great. As are the orange ones. But I think that's as authentic as a Tootsie Roll can get right? No one is really looking at them to be actual chocolate morsels. We've got Cadbury for that (that's right gang. I like Cadbury better than Hersheys. This is a moment of honesty).
Moral of the story? Truth is truth and 'berry' is a sham. Be your authentic self. And yes, I really do like Cadbury better than Hersheys.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1 UP

There are times in your life when you sit back and realize that somewhere in your youth or childhood, you must have done something good. Not just pretty song lyrics people. Real life here. I've already written about the fact that I'm 28 now but it stands to be mentioned that the three weeks surrounding the anniversary of my birth were full of reminder after reminder that I am loved, that I  am blessed and that I have the best support system a guy can ask for.

First, my oldest friend in the world came in town and while our lives have taken two very different turns over the past couple years, we are still able to pick up right where we left off and keep going like we just saw each other yesterday. It's an incredible blessing to have people who can be, for lack of a better term, sporadically constant.

Then, my dad and my aunt were in town for a week and I got to show them "my New York." There's such a difference between what the tourists see here and what locals actually experience. There is so much life to be experienced in this city and by just sticking with touristy places, you miss so much of that. It's like only watching the big episodes of TV shows. Right? The people who just watch the episodes with guest stars on them or series finales. You are missing the real meat of the show. Having them here was really wonderful.

Then, my best bud from Nashville came and we had, what can only be termed "Best Weekend Ever Part Two." You know, the Hangover guys think they have wild weekends but really, we kinda have them beat. And the best part is, we can actually remember what happens in our weekends. We certainly know how to pack a weekend full of food and ridiculous amounts of fun...and Zone bars.

Last night, I was talking to a friend of mine about New York and I said it's the best city in the world. He said "You think so?" Yes. The answer is a very clear, very pronounced yes. Where else can you have food from literally any country in the world all in one city? Where can you see any matter of live music or performance any day of the week? And not only that, but the Broadway community expands much further than just those theaters. From going to Broadway Bares to support raising money for people who are living with HIV and AIDS to the Broadway Inspirational Voices singing the most amazing black gospel music you've ever heard, this city is full of amazing opportunities to experience life.

The moral of the story is simple. I have never felt so full of life. I've never felt so driven. I've never felt so determined. I've never felt so loved. I've never felt more on the right track. I've never felt more myself than I do now after these spectacular three weeks of nouns. Not to mention I feel so creatively refueled after seeing the above shows, Billy Elliot and Priscilla. I've felt kinda depleted in the creativity department as of late so this was really an amazing 1 UP for me. And let's be honest. Who doesn't love reading through all the birthday well-wishes on their Facebook page and getting texts all day from your friends. Who doesn't love that?

Please tell me you got the nouns reference. People, places and things? It works.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Which is okay because you're....28!

My birthday was Tuesday and I am officially 28. That's weird.
Not that I feel like it's so old or that I'm dreading the big 3-0 in two years. Nah. I embrace 30. Bring it on. My thirties are going to be really spectacular and if I have anything to say about it, they will top my twenties. Yes. They will.

No, being 28 is weird because I am just now feeling like I'm coming into my own. I feel like it's taken a long time for things in my life to settle down and fall into place but it finally is. I suppose that's just how my life has warranted until now. I've been in school, I've been in grad school, I moved, I did a great many things and finally, things are at a semi-steady pace and I feel like I'm able to finally grow where I'm planted.
People say that you become who you're supposed to be as you are in college and going through that period of your life but I don't know that I agree with that completely. I think there's a foundation that's laid there but it's not until you are planted where you need to be that any of those things take effect.
So I think back on these 28 years and while I'm such a fan of what's happened until now, I'm really looking forward to the next 28 because I think they will be exponentially greater. Perhaps that's optimism to a foolish singer-songwriter level, but that's what I truly believe.
So I'm 28 now and I'm confident in saying that I am older and wiser now than I was a year ago. Since my last birthday, I lived just blocks from Westminster Abbey for five weeks, saw Hair and Oliver in London, drank wine in the rain in Paris, saw the Moulin Rouge, moved to New York, learned how to photograph a wedding, saw the Macys Parade in person, went to a choir concert that changed my life, had the perfect Christmas in New York moment, got my Masters, saw the Rockettes in person finally, was named Designer of the Year by TIPA, started my own digital magazine and got a "real job." That's a lot.
So bring it on 28. Bring it on. It's gonna be even better than 27. And really, being 28 just means that there's only two years until my 30th birthday extravaganza in Vegas.
It also stands to mention that as I am typing this, I Will Always Love You just came on my internet radio, making this a moment. And now I'm singing. I guess that hasn't changed from when I was 27. I will probably always sing loudly with the radio at any time, however inappropriate.

Monday, June 6, 2011

My unexpected Jason Bourne lunch

New York is a great place, it's the greatest place in the world actually, but there are days when it can really just piss you off.
I'm walking to get lunch today and I felt that feeling you get when you know that someone is in your personal space. You know what I'm talking about. It's like your personal bubble has been unwantingly invaded. Well, I'm walking and someone kicks my heels. I don't think anything of it, after all, this is Manhattan, but then it happened again...and again...and again. So I turn around and this short blonde woman is all up on me. And I mean it. I could feel her saggy boobs against my back and let me tell you, I was not a fan. But, being a benefit-of-the-doubt type of person, I figure maybe she's just a speedier walker than I and so I step out of the way.
She proceeds to speed up, get in front of me and then stop, ensuring that I would physically run into her. Okay. So she's crazy. I say, nicely, "excuse me" and I step out of the way. Then she's on my heels again. Then she's in front of me again. So when she stopped and I ran into her the second time (this time was a little more forced on my part if I'm being bluntly honest, I was pissed) I looked her in the eyes and said, loudly and forcibly "QUIT IT IMMEDIATELY." I then went around her and kept walking. She followed.

Yes. She was certifiably crazy, but that does not mean that I won't push her into oncoming traffic. I was shaking I was so mad. Oh and she was mumbling the entire time so that we really nice. I head into the train station, she's following me still, and I had just had it. I got through that subway turnstile and it was like I became Jason Bourne. Get outta my way, I've got to disappear. And I did. That's where it got exciting. I was weaving in and out among pillars, I was taking ramps and stairs that led to all kinds of places, and I could see her trying to follow me but eventually, I lost her. Had she followed me down to the train that I was getting on, this story might have had a tragic ending because the seething anger that was rising up within me would have had to get out somehow and she might have ended up being pushed off the platform. Either that, or I would have played like she hit me, ran to the cops and had her arrested. Or maybe I would have out-crazied her crazy and shouted back at her in pig-latin. Or maybe...eh, you get the point. Something would have happened.

Moral of the story: Do not mess with me on the most beautiful day there ever was. My mother never taught me not to hit girls and I will take you out without hesitation.
There's a sad undercurrent to this story obviously. She really was crazy and I suppose that in some way, it's a good thing that she decided to unleash her crazy on me, Ryan Bourne, as opposed to someone with a gun. Right? Be that as it may - it made me so angry and wasn't the way I expected my walk to lunch would go. But really, that's what's so great about New York. It exceeds your expectations...in some way or another.