October Recap

Wow! What a month it has been!

Connections 2014
This year as part of my new duties at work, I was lucky enough to go to the ExactTarget Connections conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I had never been to Indiana before, so it was a nice treat to explore a new city a bit. The conference itself was great – I learned many new things that I can put to use at work, I had a great travel companion, and the speakers and entertainment were awesome too! The one thing that did suck was I was in a full blown sinus infection the whole trip. Flying with a sinus infection is not fun FYI – it feels like your head is a coke can that someone is crushing.

The keynote speakers were Mindy Kailing, Jon Green, and will.i.am. Let’s start with will.i.am: First off he took the stage with Mark Benihoff and we were all pumped, then the conversation began… At times it seemed a little awkward, but then will.i.am would get on a good talking streak (think lightbulbs starting to go off) and then bam! A truly insightful response.

Later that night was the Connections 2014 conference at Lucas Oil Stadium which was awesome. There was DJ Little Betty, The Script (my favorite part), and will.i.am who DJ’d from his wrist with his new wearable. There was a couple of hiccups with that, but alas it was cool to see.

The last day of our conference we saw Jon Green and Mindy Kailing speak. Mindy was good, but she read from a speech the whole time, and to me the talk just lost a little bit of its luster because of that. Jon Green was amazing on the other hand. Funny, interactive and one hell of an inspiration.

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Face Jugs
One of my newest and dearest friends, Mary, invited me out to Shelby for a fun Saturday learning how to make face jugs and some barbecue. It was a blast to learn how to make these tiny little jugs I can not wait to see mine when it is done. (The firing of the pottery is being done today.) So in a week, I will see mine! Here are some pictures I took of the process.

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Queer Knitter in the Queen City
Now this new dear friend of mine, is also the person who is making the documentary about me. After a successful month of Kickstarter fundraising, we are fully funded and in production! I will have to admit, it was a little nerve racking to not knowing if we were going to make the fundraising deadline, but we did and I could not be more excited to see the entire movie! I will be doing a photo shoot later this month for photo that Lana will autograph, so I am looking forward to that as well.

Mom is doing well, and in this continual journey of our decent in to cancerous hell, we have been fighting with CMC. One of these battles is of course over paying the medical bills that Medicaid did not cover. (perhaps I should rant about this in a separate blog post). The good news out of all this is that a reporter from The Observer is doing an article on Mom and how area hospitals use shady practices to collect big ticket medical bills. The article will come out late this month, and is a follow-up piece to their original series last year.

Atlanta Pride 2014
This year I attended Atlanta Pride for the very first time and could not have asked for a better experience than to go with my true best friend in life and his husband. Chris worked security this year which left Jay and I to explore pride on our own. Now I love our own Charlotte Pride and am very proud of how it has grown year after year, but Atlanta’s festival blew ours out of the water. It is held in Piedmont Park and takes up most of the park, so there is plenty of room and it does not feel so crowded most of the time. The entertainment was awesome – Meghan Trainor, Colbie Callet and Lea Delaria were the headlines, and the closing drag show with some of the area’s best talent was absolutely amazing. I also met some of these awesome ladies too! This is definitely a festival that I would want to volunteer for.

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“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

Hello all five of my dear faithful readers!

Well several things have happened since my last post, but the most important ones were the death of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers.  I have not weighed in on their deaths like so many have on social media and blog posts, but now that I have had time to reflect, and after watching the Emmy Awards where Billy Crystal gave a truly touching tribute to Robin, I think now is the best time for me to write about it.

Growing up, I loved Robin Williams.   I was a huge fan of Mrs. Doubtfire, even naming my older drag character after her, and The Birdcage.   There are many more of his movies that I love in addition to these two – Awakenings, Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society – the list goes on.  With each role he played, he could strike the balance of pure comedic genius with heart felt compassion and concern. This past week, I paid tribute to Robin with a video round of some of my favorite movies he starred in. One of these movies was Toys. It was largely considered a box office bust when it first came out back in 1992, but it is one of those movies that strangely lifts me up when I may be a little down. The movie also includes great actors and actresses like Joan Cusak, Michael Gamobn, Robin Wright (yes Claire Underwood from House of Cards) and LL Cool J just to name a few.

This movie introduced me to one of my all time favorite non-traditional Christmas songs, The Closing of the Year by Wendy & Lisa, a little known duo at the time. This song represents many ideals that I hope I embody and portray in my daily life. Take a look:


The death of Joan Rivers was also a sad event this past month. This woman was a true comedic genius! Unafraid to speak her mind publicly, yet when at home she was quiet and reserved. This little known fact about Joan did not surprise me at all. One thing I have learned on my journey of self-discovery and self-worth is that I too, along with many others who are entertainers, tend to be quiet and reserved when I am not “on stage”. It is turkey an introverted trait, and I find that I gain much of my strength and energy when I can just be by myself for a while and rejuvenate and reflect on life experiences. (Including writing blog posts.)

Now a big event happened this month and just went public yesterday! A few months ago, I met a wonderful lady by the name of Mary Dalton who made a documentary about two ladies in High Point, NC called Living in the Overlap. We had a common interest, knitting, and befriended each other. Mary came down one weekend and we chatted about my life, my blog, and my alternate ego. She asked if she could make a short film about me and I said yes! Queer Knitter in the Queen City will be out in the spring of 2015 and we have just launched the Facebook Page along with the teaser of the film.  Like the page at www.facebook.com/qkitqc!

So I leave you with the words of Robin William in Dead Poets Society – Carpe Diem!  

Look up… and see the world around you.

I ran across this video while doing a little bit of research on personal growth, and it struck a chord with me.


What does personal growth look like?   What does it mean when we step away from our technological lives and start interacting with each other again.  Are we less human in today’s word because of social applications like Facebook, Scruff, Grindr, etc… ?

I frequently admit to my circle of friends that I long for the days of cocktail parties at the house (think 1950’s), social events of the year where you put on your “best” dresses and suits, filling out a dance card and dancing the night away.   Our State Magazine recently published an article about a tradition that has faded with the times, but during it’s hey day, they were the social events not to be missed.   June Germans were the 1950’s version of Facebook.


These elaborate dances were held in nothing more than dressed up (at best) tobacco barns and had famous bands such as Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey just to name a few.  The parties would go on often until the break of dawn.

The video linked above reminded me of just how much I love to interact with people face-to-face instead of hiding behind a small rectangular device that too often becomes a distraction.  While on my trip to Washington, D.C. I was walking to meet a friend who had moved up there from Charlotte for dinner.  On my 10 block journey, I met a lady who works for the U.S. Forest Service who was there for a training conference.  We had a lovely chat while walking and talking about D.C., our respective jobs and the weather for the July 4th holiday.  These are the types of interactions that I live for.   Just like in the video, if I had kept an eye on my phone instead of looking up, I would never had met this person or had the chat on our little walk through Downtown D.C.

Do you know who you are? Do you understand what has happened to you? Do you want to live this way?

These are the three questions that the character Christina Yang asked on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  Leave it to the brilliant writers to tie in important life questions into the show.  I chose these three questions as this posts headline for a few reasons, the biggest one being that I ask these three questions of my self daily.   So much has happened this month that I barely have had the time to stop and reflect.  My birthday, a loss, getting back into the dating scene, concerts, a cruise, a visit to my best friend in Washington, D.C. for the July 4th holiday.

Another year older in my mid-thirties. Hard to believe in some respects and yet not so hard to believe.  I had my usual birthday dinner at Mama Ricotta’s surrounded by great friends.  I also was lucky enough to meet another one of my new favorite bands from Brooklyn – Oh Honey!  I met them before the show and had a blast chatting with them for a few.  Mitchy and Danielle were even so kind to let me take a selfie with them!

After years of on and off dating, I’m trying to give it a go again and put myself out there to find a soulmate. I have never been stellar at dating, and I have had a few great relationships on my life. This time I want to find the person who wants a lifetime of experiences together. Is that person out there? I sure do hope so.

Over the many years I have struggled with depression. A while back, I put a post on Facebook asking for people to lift me up. Here is why I asked for that request. Even though Mom is done with the major rounds of chemotherapy, she still is on a chemo drug for five years. This is not a drug that is a fix all. It is a nasty drug that still gives many of the same effects that IV chemo gives. Although any people have said they can tolerate the drug while working, many others have said that it is just as bad as being on IV chemo. My Mom seems to be in the latter grouping.

There are many days that I have spent wondering why the hell this has happened to our family.  Where did we go wrong in life?  Is this a punishment for things past?  Or is this another test of character and strength?   These are just a few of the questions that race through my head when I actually have a little time to stop and reflect.

This past week I spent the week with my dearest friend Topher and his husband Jay.  More and more I have come to rely on the relationship I have forged with Topher.  We balance each other in so many ways.  I come to depend on his advice, his wisdom and his uncanny ability to just ‘keep it real’.  I also have come to depend on the advice from my friends here in Charlotte as well, especially in my knitting circle.  It was also great to experience the Independence Day holiday in our nation’s capital.  From where we were, we had an up-close view of the fireworks and they were nothing less than spectacular!  I also had another first in my life – I traveled with drag to D.C. and took some photos of Lana in front of The White House.  It was an amazing experience and has truly allowed me to become more comfortable stepping out as Lana.  She can bring out the best in me and when I turn her on, I can live a temporarily UN-complicated life. Seeing the general public’s reaction to a drag queen walking around downtown D.C. was also a little humorous.  From photo bombing to flirting with the secret service police – Lana did it all!

At the beginning of June I went on another cruise with Mom.  It was so great to back on a cruise ship for 8 days!  We were on the Carnival Sunshine and had an absolute blast.   Our itinerary was Aruba, Curacao and Grand Turk.  We were in an aft balcony room on the starboard side of the ship right under the Lido deck.  All-in-all the room was good, and we couldn’t have been happier with our service and wait staff.   We made some new friends again while we were on the cruise and I can not wait for the next one that I book.

So getting back to the questions at the top of the post, here are my answers so far on my life journey…

Do you know who you are?  - I know who I am in pieces.  I find that it is a constant journey of self discovery to truly discover who I am.  I am a helper, a healer, a listener, an entertainer. 

Do you understand what has happened to you?  - Not all of the time.   From day to day struggles, to longer periods of struggles, I know for the most part what has happened.  I am a very forward and direct person, so when others are not as direct it really can confuse me.  When this happens, I find it hard to just move on not really know what did happen.

Do you want to live this way? - Yes & No.   I want to continue to surround myself in new experiences and the joy they can bring, but I do not want the drama that continues to plague my family and social relationships.

So there you have it, my post to catch up on the past six months.   I really need to get better about blogging more…  maybe I should make this a mid-year resolution?

And we’re off!

Hello all of my readers!

I have been meaning to write a blog post and keep forgetting so there is a lot to tell in this update.

In my knitting world, things are coming along slowly but surely.   I am almost done with my Leafy Fingered Gloves and I am very happy with them so far. This is my first attempt at producing gloves with fingers, and I must say, I am pretty happy with the way the first one turned out.

I love the way the leaves pop out on this design
I love the way the leaves pop out on this design

Once the gloves are done, I will be starting on two major projects – my Celestarium shawl (represents the night sky) and my Entrelac blanket made out of Noro Spring Garden.  I have definitely come to the point I have to be on a no more yarn purchasing diet, since everywhere I turn around there seems to be yarn!   The trials and tribulations of a knitter I suppose.

So much has happened since I last wrote, so lets start with the best news – I was promoted into a new position!  I started my position on Feb 28th and I am absolutely loving it!

Then night before the promotion was awesome too.  Lake Street Dive came to Charlotte again and it was a packed theatre.  I was determined to get some good photos, and was able to score a better group photo this time.  If you do not know who this band is, head on over to www.lakestreetdive.com and check them out – I promise you may just fall in love with them and their music!

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My sister also was married back in February.  That day is extra special due to the fact I also performed in a dear friend’s jazz show at Petra’s as Lana.  That classy lady just knows how to put on a good show!

IMG_0987IMG_0928  IMG_0921

IMG_0916 IMG_1074In addition to all of the happenings, I also was able to meet the fabulous Ann Walker who played LaVonda on Sordid Lives!  It was such a great surprise to meet her at the annual HRC Takeover Friday event.  IMG_1263

All in all it has been a pretty good start to the new year!

More to come later.




Random ramblings of a queer knitter living in the "Queen City".

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