Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Here I am, living in the Coachella Valley, a full-time student carrying seventeen credits and getting straight A's, six days before this momentous election, dating a wonderful man, and I'm turning Forty-Four. Although I'm hard-pressed to imagine how things could be better, there is bitter in with the sweet. This is the first birthday of my life when I'm not going to get a birthday card from my Dad. First time ever. He was a fanatic about birthday cards. Although he didn't have a clear idea just when my birthday was, he knew it was a few days before Hallowe'en and he'd mail accordingly.

The celebration, such as it is, began last weekend. That Cowboy and I went to see the first performance of the season by Palm Springs' Gay Men's Chorus, the Caballeros. It was fabulous, held at the newly re-opened Riviera Resort, which sure looks nice. The theme of the evening was "Way Out West," and we were treated to a nice program. Half the of the songs I knew all the words to, but I was able to restrain myself from singing along. Mostly.

I've seen the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, and a while ago I stumbled across the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus doing a rendition of the Anvil Chorus on YouTube. Both of these groups are totally Pro. Fesh. Yun. Al. Every note is perfect, and the production values would make many broadway shows envious. The Caballeros, to my delight, was a lot more buncha-guys-up-there-on-stage-singin'. And thus, it had the same effect on me that watching the Olympics usually has: I was sobbing quietly through most of it, all choked up. I love amateurs. I get so caught up in it all when somebody is up there living their dream and giving it all they've got to give. And the Caballeros offered plenty of that.

Afterwards, That Cowboy and I were both feelin' that catharsis thing. We headed over to Bongo Johnny's, our default restaurant. As next weekend is Pride here in Palm Springs, Hallowe'en was celebrated this weekend, and as Bongo Johnny's is right there on Arenas, we had front row seats to the festivities, although they were pretty much over by the time we got there. Best costume I saw by far were two of the waiters who were done up as Sonny and Cher, circa 1971. I couldn't begin to recall all of the drag queens I've seen done up as Cher, but a winning Sonny is a rarity, and this guy had it down. Particularly apt as Sonny was formerly the mayor of Palm Springs, and then represented us in Congress, and then ran into a tree while skiing. His wife, Mary Bono Mack, now represents us in Congress, although her Democratic challenger is suddenly putting up quite the spirited fight. So we'll see.

And finally this. The Heavens Above gave me a great birthday present on the eve of said day. That Cowboy and I were sprawling in jalabas, as we are oft wont to do, watching the local news.

My hat is off to the hardest working men and women in broadcast journalism. Night after night, they are faced with the challenge of coming up with a twenty-three minutes of content concerning a place where nothing much seems to happen. Their sign-off could be, "No earthquake again today." This is particularly apparent when attention turns to the weather. The seven-day forecast spills across the screen--sunny, sunny, sunny, partly sunny, sunny, sunny, partly sunny. Once in a while, you can see them get all excited because they get to report on "cloud cover," which they seem to view as a Bad Thing, but which I've learned means that there will be these beautiful white puffy clouds hanging over Mount San Jacinto and if I think about it, I should take some picures.

Anyway, they wrapped up the weather report ("sunny, partly sunny, partly sunny, sunny...") by reporting that the Northeast was slammed by a snowstorm four days before Hallowe'en. As in, back in Bucks County, they're shoveling snow and cleaning off their cars.

Could I be happier with where and how I'm spending my forty-fourths birthday?

Clearly I could not be.


John M. said...

Happy Birthday. BTW, the NYC Gay men's Chorus S.U.C.K.S! I never want to hear them again! Who wants to pay money to hear a bunch of queens sing show tunes badly?

Shayla Kersten said...

Happy birthday! Sounds like it was fantastic!

kiturgy said...

Birthday Blessings! Glad things are going well for you. It's about time! We'll remember your father at All Saints' tomorrow morning, as I'm sure they will at St. Paul's, Doylestown.

'bastian said...

Happy Birthday, SIR!!!!