Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Ellen DeGeneres hosted the amazing Ellen's Really Big Show tonight on TBS. For those who grew up watching Ed Sullivan, Sonny & Cher, Carol Burnett, The Smothers Brothers or Donny & Marie, you will find this to be a refreshing welcome home. I just find it so interesting that Ellen is the one who brought this family friendly television into our living rooms. How can anyone say that gays and lesbians are against family values?
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Most of us love or have loved someone affected by HIV/AIDS. Many of us have lost people we care about to the disease. Although I have always been petrified to raise funds, and although participation in group activities gives me cult flashbacks, I'm going to suck it up for a good cause.
I will be walking with the CC Slaughters team this year at AIDS Walk Portland. Your support is welcomed and appreciated.
Please click here to donate
(Was that too much of a hard sell?)
Friday, August 22, 2008
The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until the other is ready.
- Henry David Thoreau
At first it wasn't my choice to be single. My last boyfriend vanished into thin air leaving behind only a tangle of secrets and lies. Being somewhat of a serial monogamist, I knew it would be a mistake to rush into another relationship. So I gave myself time to heal. For me, healing involved becoming aware of myself and moving into a place of my own with no roommates and no distractions.
Six months of being single turned into a year. One year turned into two. To my surprise, I am still single three years later and am preparing to renew the lease on my place for a third time. All in all, this experience has been surprisingly satisfactory.
There have been a few lonely times (usually when I am feeling under the weather and wish I had someone to run to the drug store to pick me up some cough syrup or something). During these 36 months, I've also seen some of my best friends marry their partners, and that has made me wonder if I'll experience something like that someday. Weddings can make a single person feel sort of melancholy in spite of the joyful nature of the day.
Several months ago, I found the Thoreau quote at the top of this post and fell in love with it. After many years of obsessively pursuing relationships, I've finally learned how NOT scary it is to be alone. I've discovered the surprising bliss of not having someone else to wait on or wait for. I've learned to set my own schedule free from the obligation to check in with a partner. Losing that guy three years ago seemed like such a tragedy - but if it hadn't happened, I wonder if I ever would have found myself.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
This summer has been unbelievable so far. We had Portland Pride a couple weeks ago. Last week I was in Denver for PrideFest. And now I'm heading to Seattle for the True Colors tour! Pony and I are attending Tuesday evening, so I will let you know all about it.
I guess July and August will be focused on paying for all this fun! I like to live like a rock star, but I am lacking the financial resources to keep it up for too much longer.
The latest Todd & Pony Show was recorded in our Denver hotel room. Court Clark was our special guest, so be sure to give it a listen.
It is extremely hot in Portland. I am sitting by the window panting as I type this entry. For me, anything over 80 is too hot. Help me, I'm melting!!!!
I've been pretty busy with Facebook too. A fan in Canada started the Todd & Pony Show group (thanks, Todd!) and I have caught up with bunches of old friends - even friends from high school. That's over 20 years ago! Time flies when you're having drinks.
So besides maintaining a My Space page for the Todd & Pony Show, I'm also going to be working on a YouTube channel. I have some video of our trip to Denver, but I need to learn how to edit before I can post it. Stay tuned!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Pony and I had a great time in Denver. We got to meet some blogger/podcast friends (Hi David!)
We also recorded a podcast with Court Clark. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the James Roy video posted before we left town, but it seems to be working today. James recreated this song on stage at Pridefest in Denver, and it was fantastic. I hope you enjoy it.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This weekend Pony and I are heading to Denver to celebrate Pride with our friends Court Clark, James Roy, and some of our other Todd & Pony Show friends/listeners.
James and Court are performing on the mainstage this Sunday. If you listen to the show, you may also recognize Court as the genius behind our "How Gay are You?" theme song.
I'm posting Court's video today. Tomorrow I will post James Roy's video, but if you can't wait, check him out here or visit jamesroymusic.com.
Monday, June 02, 2008
No spoilers, don't worry.
The Toddtender and I saw Sex and the City on Saturday night. He cried twice, and I cried once. Unless you count my crying in the parking lot as I tried to tell him about the scene in the movie that made me cry (New Year's Eve).
I fall into the camp of people who loved the show and were just so happy to see the ladies together again. There were some wonderful Charlotte moments, and since she's the character I'm most like, I appreciated seeing her shine.
I was not disappointed at all. When I first heard about the movie, I was so worried it would spoil the nearly perfect ending to the original series. But this movie only built upon the wonderful stories of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha.
By the way, the music playing in the background of this review is by Portland's own Pink Martini. They're a wonderful band and so much fun to see in person. The song is "Donde estas, Yolanda?" from Sympathique
Friday, May 23, 2008
Have you seen Once?
It's a beautiful movie. Somehow the film reawakens the part of my heart that wants to fall in love, even though it does not have a Hollywood love story ending. Probably because it isn't a Hollywood movie!
If you are looking for a great rental, I suggest you watch this film. Let the music and the realistic characters and story move you to a deeply emotional place.
No matter how I try to change, I'm still such a hopeless romantic!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Recently there was a flurry of activity in an area of my apartment that sees very little action. I am speaking, of course, of my kitchen.
It is not easy for me to get excited about cooking, since I generally explode or burn food when I attempt to heat it in any fashion. But when my cute and sweet friend, The Golden Boy, came over to make me dinner, I realized I had quite an appetite.
I pretended to pay attention as he showed me how to create a special stir fry/pasta concoction, but I have little confidence that I'll ever successfully duplicate the dish. Still, it was heavenly to have a hot man make me a hot meal.
My friendship with him has been growing ever since he returned to Portland from living in Honolulu and New York City last year. Last weekend we were up half the night as we sat by a swimming pool talking about life and love under a full moon.
Those are the moments I live for.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Proof that you can find ANYTHING on YouTube. Here is a "tribute video" to Annika, Pippi Longstocking's little friend.
I remember watching the Swedish movie, Pippi Longstocking, when I was a kid, and I did not even realize it was dubbed into English!
That Annika. What a survivor.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
There was a time, not so long ago, known as The Great Depression. This was an awful time to be alive*. In fact, I don't understand why it's not called The Awful Depression since there were not many great things about it. For example, we did not have access to fully-stocked grocery stores. We had to eat at Taco Bell or Wendy's, and this made everyone depressed. Also, this was before America's Next Top Model or Lost were on television, so there really wasn't much reason to be alive anyway.
It was AN horrible time to be alive. Sometimes you would see a beggar on the street playing AN harmonica and feel so badly that you did not have two pennies to rub together, because nothing is more fun than rubbing change in front of a beggar.
I remember well the conversations during The Fabulous Depression.
"How are you today, kind madame?"
"I'm very depressed."
"Me too, kind madame."
"Also, I'm a dude, so stop calling me 'kind madame'."
"Very sorry, Miss."
And so it went. I'm proud to be a survivor of The Spectacular Depression. It helps me appreciate the little things like Lean Cuisine Flatbread sandwiches, which you can find in the frozen foods aisle at your local market.
*I was not alive during The Great Depression, but I have nothing of interest to blog about and am forced to resort to the invention of fantasy lives in other eras in order to keep the interest of my 7 remaining readers.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I saw Jann Arden in concert tonight. She was fabulous. Just Jann and two band members. It was intimate and wonderful.
Jann Arden's music was played a big part in my getting together with CT back in 1995. One night we talked about her song 'Insensitive' and suddenly found ourselves revealing our true feelings about each other. Seven years later, we broke up and Jann's music brought me solace and comfort in the midst of the biggest break-up of my life.
It was great to hear her singing live tonight. If you don't know her music, I urge you to check her out. As an added bonus, she is absolutely hilarious in concert. Her stories are so funny. I love this woman!
Monday, April 07, 2008
You need only click through previous entries of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven (2003-2005) to fully understand my sordid dating history. Sure, there were some bright spots (Pony!), but I also dated some black holes. But I don't mean black. Another word goes there.
But that is all behind me now. After years of bad decisions and "desperation dating", I took a couple years off from dating. I didn't even think it was possible for me to restrain myself from my driving desire to hook up, get crushed out, fall in love, and be swept off my feet.
Elizabeth Gilbert, in her book Eat, Pray, Love, describes her series of dating missteps this way.
"... let's be honest -- it might be a generous public service for me to leave intimacy alone for a while. When I scan back on my romantic record, it doesn't look so good. It's been one catastrophe after another. How many more different types of men can I keep trying to love, and continue to fail? Think of it this way -- if you'd had ten serious traffic accidents in a row, wouldn't they eventually take your driver's license away? Would you kind of want them to?"
I revoked my own dating license in the summer of 2005, and I have taken some remedial classes (self-study) on relationships. So here is where I am now. At 41, I'm so happy with my life. I enjoy my days and nights in my own apartment without a roommate or live-in boyfriend or partner. I love my own company. I make myself laugh. I like burning food in the oven on purpose because I think things taste good when they're crunchy. I use a lint brush as my vacuum cleaner on the rugs. I have a framed picture of Nellie Oleson on my wall, and a marionette hangs from the ceiling of my kitchen. Sometimes I play music on my computer while the radio is on in my bedroom, and then I flip on the tv and mute it just for visual stimulus. I keep crazy hours. Sometimes I like to go to bed at 9 p.m., and the next night I might feel like staying up till 4 a.m. just to drink wine and stare out my kitchen window at the spinning loaf of bread on top of the bread factory a couple blocks away.
Pippi Longstocking used to walk on the furniture and never let her feet touch the floor. She'd jump from the kitchen counter to the kitchen table. She kept a horse and a monkey in her house. She did whatever she wanted. Pippi had the right idea. (And if you say my name fast, it's funny too.)
But I also have a heart that wants to connect with a man in an amazing way. I want to love again. I want to turn my light back on and say that I'm open for business. But I don't ever want to give it all away until there is nothing left of me. I did that too many times for too many people.
So, it is back to the drawing board. I'm starting over with the dating thing, and this time I know what I'm doing. My intention is to enjoy the company of many different men. I will respect them all, and I will make every attempt to show them a good time. But I do not need anything to "work out". There is no end goal in all of this. I'm not secretly hoping to get someone to fall for me, and I am not plotting to get laid or even get a goodnight kiss out of the deal. I just want to open myself up to new experiences with new people.
I recently took a guy I like to see a show. We had appetizers and cocktails and then saw this really great play. And last night I asked out someone else. I also have tentative plans with two other guys in the coming weeks. I have no expectations and do not feel particularly attached to the outcome of these dates. My only hope is that we enjoy shared experiences and have a good time together.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Last night at CC's a dance mix of Imogen Heap's Hide and Seek was playing. My friend Kurt told me that he created a dance routine to the song and directed me to this video. I posted a music video of the song recently and wanted to share this cool dance routine with you too. This is a very creative interpretation of the song.
Towards the end of the video, you'll notice all the colors of the panels changing at what seems to be an impossible rate of speed. I just don't know how they did it. I've never seen a routine with panels. In my day, the girls just waved flags and threw wooden rifles in the air. And the routine was always performed to a Lionel Richie song.
Kurt has a lot of talent. Way to go, my friend!
Kurt Jull Designs
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Have you seen How's Your News?
It is one of the most compelling and beautiful documentary films I've ever seen.
A group of disabled reporters travel across the country interviewing people on the street. The cast members are so pure at heart and endearing. I fell in love with them, and many times during the movie I had tears streaming down my face. I have never been so moved by a movie, and I just want everyone to see it. Watching the cast experience The Grand Canyon, the Fort Worth Stockyards, Vegas showgirls, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame was beautiful and deeply touching.
I found out about this film when I heard the Special Ed episode (#207) of This American Life.
I purchased the DVD and loved it so much. I just want to tell everyone I know to check out this movie!
There are awkward moments in the film. At times I cringed and almost felt like I wanted to turn away from the interviews. But these reporters seem to have no fear about talking to strangers. They don't worry about the way others perceive them and their disabilities. As Ronnie, one of the reporters, says to a lady who laughs at him, "It's okay to laugh, ma'am. I laugh at myself all the time."
I did not enjoy the drink when it was green. I chose to have only 2 green vodkas with club soda. The other 14 were crystal clear, just the way I like them. See, I am one of those people who firmly believes food coloring is not tasteless. I'm not talking about taste in the sense of class. Because it would be very hard to argue that food coloring is classy. What I'm saying is that I believe things taste different with food coloring. I think it has a flavor. Yes, ma'am or sir, I know that you don't think food coloring has a taste. Several people at the bar challenged me on this as well. My own father spent many years explaining to me that you can't taste food coloring. He said I taste it psychologically or something.
Many have argued this subject with me in the past. People feel very passionately about food coloring. Please, if you are going to comment today on this hot button issue, do not flame others or use harsh language. Keep it civil, people.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I was so happy tonight when The Toddtender came into the theatre and sat down to watch the final performance of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. He is an amazing person, and I still can't believe we are friends. The Toddtender is the best friend anyone could ever ask for. His hotness is a bonus, but his heart is why I love him. Thank you Tim, for being there tonight.
Tonya & Nancy was an unbelievable experience. I am sad it is over, but I am also so happy to have my life back. Theatre demands your entire heart and soul, and it is exhausting. The rewards are great, but the cost is great too.
I will never forget the people I worked with. I will always remember meeting Tonya Harding and having drinks with her. I will always be grateful for the chance to play Shawn Eckhardt. I'm thankful for the opportunities and joys that being an actor have brought to my life.
Performing for the people I love is one of the best parts of acting. Thank you to all the friends who came to see the show. I loved making you smile!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Those who have followed Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven for years know that I am , first and foremost, a clown. I like to make people laugh. I don't take myself too seriously.
But readers of this blog also know that I've been heartbroken and melancholy.
A couple of years ago, I fell in love with Thor. It was the most amazing and most devastating relationship of my life. But I will always be thankful for the chance to experience such an amazing passion.
I have moved on from that relationship. But recently I found a song by Imogen Heap that brought me right back to that passionate desperate place. I want to share it with you, because you've been with me for years and don't judge me for my romantic soul. You get me. And that is why I'm so grateful to have loyal readers like you who are kindred spirits.
Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven is for those who feel deeply and love without reservation. Thank you to all who have stood by me through the ups and the downs.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
So here is the link to my current favorite song.
If you have followed this blog for a while and are familiar with the story of Toddy & Thor (circa 2005), I feel this video really sums up our story.
If you don't care, I don't blame you. There are lots of bloggers who will tell you about the new cell phone they bought yesterday or the hot guy they hooked up with at the gym. Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven is where romantic souls come to laugh and cry. I'm glad you're here. Thanks for getting me. I get you too.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
If you're interested, here is Monday's show in which the sisters briefly discuss Tonya & Nancy! (Segment begins at 15:50)
You can also hear it at iTunes (February 25, 2008 episode)
I've straightened the sisters out on some of the facts of this confusing story. They now understand that Shawn was not, as they say, "the whacker". (I didn't want to steal "Shane Stant's" thunder)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Yes, folks. This little Portland show was covered by CNN.
I'm still trying to let it all sink in. We sold out last night. I'll be surprised if we don't extend the show.
Today is the first day off I've had in weeks. I'm going to take a nap, watch television, probably catch the Oscars, and eat lots of food since I finally got to the freakin' grocery store!
Most importantly, I'm NOT singing today! Life is good.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Have you ever received a standing ovation from Tonya Harding? I have.
I'm trying to post a video here, but until I manage to do so, here's a sampling of news coverage Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera has received.
Stories with video
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tonight at 8:00 p.m. the cast of Tonya & Nancy will be rocking the World Trade Center. Our band is awesome. I just hope the audience will be able to hear us singing! I also hope that I don't do anything stupid. Last night at our final dress rehearsal, I accidentally brought a nightie on stage. What happened was.... the actress playing Tonya asked me to bring the wrap-around skirt part of her costume on stage because she didn't have time to put it on backstage. I accidentally scooped up some of the lingerie she wore in a previous scene and carried it out with me. The scene on stage was the 1993 National Figure Skating Championships, and there I was, Tonya Harding's bodyguard, holding a slinky negligee. I threw it on the floor and tried to kick it behind me.
Here is a link to story about the show. Included in the online article is a link to "When You Wake Up Sleeping in Your Car in Estacada", one of the songs in the show.
My cell phone rang at 7 a.m. this morning waking me from a sound sleep. It was Auburn Pisces calling to let me know she had seen me on the news. (A news crew had filmed one of our rehearsals a couple weeks ago so I think that's the footage she saw).
We've had lots of press for this show, and the fact that Tonya is coming to see it tonight is probably a big reason for the hullabaloo.
I am looking forward to meeting Ms. Harding, but to be honest I am more looking forward to this weekend when I can sleep in, do some laundry and go to the grocery store!
Monday, February 18, 2008
I need to feel like a clown today because I have been rehearsing for the show and am recording a podcast today. I have not done laundry or gone to the grocery store for 2 weeks, and I doubt I will accomplish either task today either. I seriously need to spend some time reviewing a few of the songs in the show because everything sounds completely different with the band. Rehearsing with a piano sounds nothing like rehearsing with electric guitars and drums. Tomorrow I am back at the office and then rehearsal, and that will continue for the rest of the week. Tylenol PM helps me shut off my brain at night, but I still fall asleep with songs from the rock opera running through my head.
When I have lots of obligations, I start to feel pent up. I want to be free of all commitments. But that isn't a realistic way to live. So I am just going to wear orange and purple together.
Tonya told our director that she would like to have drinks with the cast after the show. We open Thursday!
That is the update for those of you who cared enough to ask. It touches me that people are still out there reading even though I rarely update lately! Thank you!
Monday, February 04, 2008
Tonya Harding is planning on attending Tonya & Nancy on opening night.
As the cast rehearses the show, I feel confident that Tonya would approve. There are some very heartfelt moments that will help the audience to see Tonya as the human being that she is.
She made some mistakes. Personally, I wouldn't want my life to be played out in the media the way hers was. I'm sure most of us wouldn't come off smelling like a rose if publicizing our faults made for a good news story.
I'm interested to meet her and am looking forward to performing the show for Tonya Harding. Nancy Kerrigan, I've heard, has said she does not want to be involved in the show in any way.
The next couple weeks before opening night are sure to be a wild ride.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
I'm working with an amazing singer/songwriter in Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera. Beth Willis has a beautiful voice and writes incredible songs. Please check her out at her website or her MySpace page. Beth is playing Tonya Harding in the show, and she is doing a great job. Audiences are going to fall in love with her.
I'm playing Tonya's bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, so I get to spend some time with Beth waiting in the wings. Today she taught me the Star Trek "Live Long and Prosper" sign. She's so cool, and so genuine and kind.
What I love most about theatre is the opportunity to meet and work with talented and inspirational artists. It is good to be back on stage.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
My ex is in the show. That was a shocker, let me tell you! I am still sort of trying to figure out how to work with him professionally without letting our past become an issue. He was my first love, and although I don't have those feelings for him any longer, I have to admit it is hard to work with him professionally. It is just so hard to separate personal feelings from my professional responsibilities!
Actually, he was a big reason I started this blog. I needed an outlet for all I was feeling. I have had several significant relationships since him, but, as Sheryl Crow would say, "the first cut is the deepest..."
Friday, January 11, 2008
Hot Damn, Patter Pam. I had so much fun with you and The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz tonight. Celebrating Torrey's birthday and supporting her in the loss of a family member as she prepares for tomorrow's funeral.
Wine and vodka and a fire pit and barbecued hamburgers and laughter and admissions of dorky boy-stalking.
Life is good. My friends make it all worthwhile.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I haven't done a show in a couple years. I took time off to explore other interests, including softball. But how could I say no to this opportunity? It will be so great to be back on stage again!
I'm very excited about the cast too. I'll get to work with some great people.
Portland Musicians to Star in Harding/Kerrigan Musical
I'll keep you posted!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Who knows what awaits me upon my return? The anticipation I feel regarding my e-mail inbox is a mixture of bliss and thankfulness. With orgasmic pleasure, I will return phone calls and meet with my Internal Customers. Oh, how I have missed my Internal Customers.
It's all in the attitude, right?