Celebrating Life

This week has seen several opportunities to celebrate life.

This past week, one of my co-workers passed away from a disease that you all know hs touched my family – cancer.  He was diagnosed back in January with a very rare and aggressive form of this awful disease.  In just 10 short weeks, he was gone.  This was someone I very much admired and drew strength from, and in a lot of ways we are very much alike.  We both love helping people, and very rarely will the phrase “I can’t help.” be said.  The funeral was Thursday and it was one of the more beautiful celebrations of life I have ever been to.  The hardest part was watching the video that he made right before he passed saying his final goodbyes.

This week also saw a more positive side as my documentary, “Queer Knitter in the Queen City”, was screened at the Gay Charlotte Film Festival!  It was shown three times, and everyone has been so gracious with their comments.  It always tickles me what parts of the film that people respond to, or what they identify with.  There are certain parts that always get a laugh, but what means the most to me is when people share their stories of either taking care of family, to finding a creative outlet such as knitting or other hobby.  One movie that I was thrilled to see was “To Be Takai”, – the story of George Takai.  If you have not seen this little gem, find a copy and watch.  It is truly a terriffic story.  Lana even made it out to the flim festival yesterday!  Here she is with the wonderful Richard Grimstad from Charlotte Pride.


The last movie that I saw was “Boy Meets Girl” – a film by Eric Schaeffer.  This movie was awesome!  It stars transgender actress Michelle Hendley (http://www.michellehendley.com/), Michael Welch (http://www.michaelwelchact.com/) and Alexandra Turshen (http://www.alexandraturshen.com/).  These three were brilliantly cast for this film, and truly makes me want to find a love like the one depicted in this story.  This film stays true to its main story – the importance of living a courageous life and do not let fear stand in the way of going after your dreams.

Earlier in the week, I had the wonderful honor of hosting an event for the Charlotte LGBT Archive Project.  Talk about a trip down memory lane!  I was skinny and had hair!  It was wonderful to recall when I first started getting active in the LGBT community with OutCharlotte and the Community Center Project.  Some people I am very much still in touch with, and as friendships sometimes do, some have faded away.

Until next time…

 

March Musings & Other Fun Stuff

As I mentioned in my last post, I have had a lot going on!  So let’s start where I last left off.   

The new year started of with the 20th Anniversary HRC Dinner in which I volunteered for.  This was my first dinner and it was a blast!   I was able to go to the VIP reception that was held in the Executive Dining Room located at the Bank of America Corporate Center.  It has been many years since I was in the dining room and was a beautiful sight to see.   (I used to make reservations and attend dinners there when I worked as an Executive Admin for the bank.)  I was even able to snap a quick photo before the guards caught me. 

  

The dinner was phenomenal.  I chose to go to the dinner as Lana and I am so glad that I did.  Mary also came to the dinner, and we were able to spread a little knowledge of QKITQC.  Samira Wiley was a great speaker and I truly enjoyed being a part of such a speical night for so many.  I was also able to take my niece to see The Phantom of the Opera in Feb.  It was her first Broadway theatre experience and it was neat to see her reactions to the show.   We were in the balcony section (not my favorite for the record), which gave us an impressive view of the new chandelier as the show opened.   The new set was impressive, and I loved the addition of the pyrotechnics to the chandelier.  

   

  

 

My documentary premiered in a special sneak peak for the Kickstarter backers at our March Trivia Tuesday.  It was so very special having some very close friends and family there to see the film and to see their recations to my story.  Now being this week was also my birthday week, it made the premiere even more special.  I also had my fair share of Cupcake Delirium since we not only had them at the preimere, but my birthday party as well.   

   

 

Right after the premiere, I headed up to Washington, D.C. for a special screening of Living In The Overlap and my documentary at HRC!  We had a little over 100 people come to the screenings and again I was so surprised to see the joyful reactions to the film.  I stayed the weekend and enjoyed some time with my rock of a best friend and his dear husband.  Lana also made an appearance at the Imperial Court of D.C. fundraiser being held at Cobalt that weekend.  

   

 

I find myself being a little reflective due to the documentary coming out and also because my legal name change also happend this month.  I have reflected on both the high and low points of my life and realize that I am a pretty amazing person.  Filming the documentary has truly taught me how to love myself a little better and to not dwell on the fact that I am 37 and single.  I do hope there is a mister right out there that is willing to put up with me and all that comes with, but for now I am going to continue my personal growth through my life experiences.  

March also brought the Charlotte Knitting Guild retreat at Camp Caswell in Caswell Beach, N.C.  Oak Island holds a very special place in my heart as it was the primary beach we went to growing up, and in my young adult life I continued to visit as much as I could.  Our instructor was the fabulous Patty Lyons whom I met on one of my first trips to NYC as a new knitter.  It was great to catch up with Patty and to see just how far we both have come in our journey as knitters.  Patty is an exceptional instructor and Camp Caswell was the perfect setting for a retreat. I must make a priority to get back down to Oak Island this summer for a little rest and relaxation.  

The next few months will be just as busy with more screenings of QKITC, the Wells Fargo Championship, a trip to Boston to meet and see Bette Midler and a work trip to NYC with an extended weekend for fun.   

       

Holidays 2015 Recap

Wowza!

So I have actually intended on writing a couple of blog posts by now, but the new year has been in full swing with knitting, retreats, awards dinners and my little movie premiere!   So this will be post 1 of 2.

Holidays 2015

Thanksgiving and Christmas were good this year.  It was a quiet one around here, but still very much enjoyable.   I made it a point to “find some holiday spirit this year” so off to the Southern Christmas Show Mom, Sharon and I went!   This is one of my favorite times of year, and there is just something magical about the show and its vendors.

I also was lucky enough to go spend some time with my bestie up in Washington, D.C. for New Years.  I love those two boys so much, and jump at every change I get to go see them.

I made a week long vacation out of it, took in some shopping, and of course found plenty of time to knit!

Check out the pictures below.

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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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Davey

“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:

http://youtu.be/R9geCS0v7w8

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!  

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

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