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Monday, Chris and I celebrate one year of marriage. The optimist in me wants to say “one year of wedded bliss,” but anyone who’s a regular human knows that that’s…a bit of a stretch. Honestly, going into this, I thought, “I’ve got this marriage thing in the bag. No problem.” We had been together for four years when we got married (and had lived together for three of those years), and I assumed that we would just continue on, business as usual.

I was wrong. Marriage is wonderful and amazing and glorious. It’s also hard, frustrating, and aggravating. I cannot imagine being married to anyone else, nor do I want to be. I have never loved anyone like I do my wife, but on the flip side of that coin, no one frustrates me anywhere near as much. (I just read her this, by the way, and she laughed — because she agrees with me, I assume.)

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The Eve of the Big Day

I know, I know. I’m moving in reverse. I know I live-blogged about the day before our wedding, but I left out a lot of stuff, like about the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner.

Oh, and — as Chris just reminded me — how our sink exploded that morning.

Okay, I’m being dramatic. There was a leak and a bit of a mess, right before we were leaving to begin our prep day. We looked at each other and realized there really wasn’t much of anything we could do at that point other than clean it up, have minimal use of the sink, ask our friends who were checking on Graham to make sure nothing fell apart, and hope for the best.

(Nothing fell apart, and all is well.)

We got our nails done, did a bunch of prep with some friends and family, and then went upstairs to get ready for our rehearsal and also some cookie dropoff.

(Guys, our cookie table was epic, and that isn’t an exaggeration, but you’ll have to wait to see that for yourselves in a post or two).

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Sister-in-Law Amy demonstrating how to sit down or something, I guess.

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The Big Day, part 1

I don’t know if I mentioned this or not, but I did get married last October.

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This is how I felt about it.

It was the best day of my life. Not an exaggeration. I wish I could have bottled up the feeling and sipped on it slowly when stress and doubt and other generic badness entered my life in the weeks and months after.

I live-blogged the day before the wedding, and it the room and person prep we did on our wedding eve. It’s fun to go back and read about the day that I didn’t know what Oxford heels were.

Like I said, our wedding was amazing. It was beautiful, touching, meaningful, amazing, and all sorts of other positive adjectives. The road leading up to it had a few bumps in it, though. I’ll mention a few of them briefly, and then I’ll get to the good stuff.

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Anthrocon

No, blog. I did not mean “anthrax on.”

Last Saturday, our friend Erin invited us to the parade at Anthrocon, AKA the furry parade. And by “invited us,” I mean that Erin said they were going and I maybe invited ourselves along. 


Thanks for getting that no left-hand turn sign in, Henry. 

It was such a great day. We had fun with Erin and family, even though her son was being an asshole (more about that here), and I’m super happy we went, even though it was a rough start. Unfortunately, we had to drive through Kenny Chesney concert traffic to get there. American flag shirts/hats/shorts, Bud Light, and day drinking led to a vague sense of discomfort as we drove through the usually somewhat progressive North Side. 

We finally got through that, though, and made it downtown to what I affectionately refer to as the Pegasus garage because it’s next to what used to be a gay bar (named Pegasus) I went to in my youth. 

As we parked and walked towards the convention center, my sense of doom started to leave. I don’t know what kind of crowd I expected, but it was so…familiar. I told Erin it felt like Pride. I saw other gays, mostly younger soft butches in fun t-shirts. 


Maybe something like this?

It was a good feeling to be in a crowd that was there to support people being themselves. Like, I may not feel a compulsion to go full Anthrocon myself, but I fully support anyone who needs to be a little “different” to be their true selves. 

It was a great, welcoming, wonderful experience. Thanks for sort of inviting us, Erin, and sorry I called your kid an asshole?





It was a great day. 

Tell That Devil

I’m up a little early on a Sunday morning (thanks to an early bedtime last night), I have my coffee and my Graham, and the wife is sleeping soundly downstairs. A lot of tasks await us today (most importantly, making a birthday cake), but for now, I’ve settled down to write this damn Wynonna Earp post I’ve been threatening to do for a week. Obviously, minor spoilers are ahead. So if you don’t want to know what happens without seeing it yourself, well, stop reading this and come back in a day after you’ve watched all 13 episodes. I can wait.

When I sat down to write this several days ago, I realized it was a much bigger story than I thought. I needed not one but two prelim posts about a movie and a show that moved me, and those were hard to write. I told Chris yesterday over delicious, delicious hot dogs at Franktuary that the Buffy post really brought up a lot of stuff I hadn’t thought about in a while (or ever). Who needs therapy when you have a blog, am I right?

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Sausages Wieners for life!

I had been wanting to watch Wynonna Earp ever since I saw it advertised on Lost Girl, another SyFy/Canadian show that happened to be about a bisexual succubus. You know, the usual. Its finale aired, and, much to my surprise, it didn’t fill me with angst, mostly because [spoiler alert!]…the ladies ended up together. That never happens. Like, ever. And they did. It’s obviously more complicated than that, what with the difference between human and fae lifespans, but I don’t need to tell you that, right? Right.

So, I had been meaning to watch Wynonna Earp for weeks, but I hadn’t had any free time. Work was busy, I was trying to stay active, etc. You know, life happened. So one day, a free hour on my hands, I decided to watch the first episode. And I was hooked.

I watched eight episodes in the next 24 hours. In addition to work and laundry and also probably Zumba, because I am a suburban soccer mom with no kids.

I hadn’t seen a show with so much of…everything since Buffy. The writing and the humor were on point, more than any show I have seen in years. (And trust me — I see a lot of shows. I watch TV for a living, after all.) The relationships between all of the characters were just…brilliant, especially between Wynonna and her younger sister, Waverly. It’s filled with strong women everywhere — heroes and villains. And the heroes are flawed and the villains are sometimes good. It’s wonderfully, richly, perfectly complex. Once again, a show set in a supernatural setting is more real than anything else on TV.

Then…I got a little more invested.

I’m no stranger to podcasts (I generally prefer listening to them over the radio in my car, at least when I’m alone). I listened to a Buffy rewatch one for years, then one about Lost Girl, then the Nerdist podcast because Chris Hardwick is all of us and it’s so great to hear him geek out. But this WE one is special. Bonnie and Kevin are clearly such HUGE fans and discuss things in intricate detail about the episodes, and they have interviews with all of the cast. The podcast got me even more hooked — I started rewatching the episodes, looking for the things they talked about.

Then…my 39-year-old self fell into the Twitter hole, which has been interesting. New social media are hard, guys. But I try. I think I’m pretty funny and sometimes insightful. And if you’re a fan of the show, you should follow me, because that’s mostly what I tweet about (sorry, everyone else, but not really). It’s honestly been so fun and amazing. I don’t think I’ve been this invested in watching a show in real time in, well, ever. This fandom is amazing, and the cast/crew is ridiculously interactive and generous with their time.

Once again, I found people onscreen (and online) that I wanted to surround myself with. And I couldn’t have picked a better bunch.

[Okay, the real, legit spoilers start now. Stop reading this part and come back to it if you don’t want to know stuff! Scroll down and pick this post back up after the picture of the Unicorn at Anthrocon.]

So, I am a fan of strong women (I did marry one, after all), but let me talk for a minute about the men in the main cast. Both are absolutely amazing as their characters, and (and I’m secure enough in my homosexuality to say this) both are incredibly sexy. In a video hangout after the penultimate episode, when they were talking about Doc’s (Tim Rozon) “sex swagger,” I may have mentioned that I’m a lesbian and his sex swagger affected me. No big deal. And Dolls’ interactions with Nicole and how he totally knows what’s going on before Wynonna (and almost everyone else) does — priceless. Perfect. Incredible. It’s totally my favorite thing his eyes do.

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Photo of these two handsome fellas courtesy of SyFy.

The supporting characters are so well-cast, too. They’re all three-dimensional, from mother-figure Gus to Sheriff Nedley (and his daughter) to all of the revenants. One of my favorite scenes features Chrissy Nedley, so proud of herself that she chloroformed Waverly to draw out Wynonna. That phone call is priceless and reminds me so much of vampire Harmony on Buffy. Also, where did she get chloroform? So many unanswered questions. And her character is also responsible for the “[Waverly] scissored a stripper” line.

I can even (grudgingly) appreciate Champ and what he represents. Tattooed arms so people think he’s a badass and one tiny tattoo where no one can see because he’s really probably secretly a wuss (a tattoo I have always referred to in my head as a Champ Stamp). He’s responsible for one of the most powerful scenes to me, too — where he calls Nicole and Waverly’s relationship disgusting. It hit me. Right in the feels. Because I’ve been there, and I know a lot of the fandom has, too. Hearing there’s something wrong with you, having it hit you in the face like an actual slap. Having to keep your cool and remain calm because you’re in public (which Nicole did) as opposed to losing it and feeling hot tears spill down your face at a restaurant (what I did).

Refusing to let it ruin your fancy party with your ladyfriend (Nicole) as opposed to having it ruin your Christmas Day (me).

Representation onscreen comes in many forms, and all of them are important. It means just as much to see a strong, powerful, sweet, (somewhat) butch ginger cop owning it and being true to herself as it does to see her reading the room and quietly dealing with some homophobic asshole. Well, trying to, until he threatens your lady and then you have to knock him down with one punch and cuff him, because you’re amazing. It gives me something to point to. “See? I’m not overreacting. People still think I’m disgusting, and that’s why, just because I can get married, the fight isn’t over. Stop trying to minimize me and my life. No one is trying to flaunt anything. We are just trying to live.”

Ahem.

And that brings me to the sweet, sweet pairing of Waverly Earp and Nicole Haught. A large part of my connection with this show. It’s a queer relationship that feels…real. On both of their sides. And one I can see myself in. I’ve been Waverly — approached and hit on by an intriguing woman, unsure what to do, how to react, what it made me feel; falling for this amazing lady but being afraid to show it; breaking down and making the first move because my heart will explode from my chest if I don’t. And I’ve been Nicole — confidently approaching this girl that I’ve been noticing and asking her out; sneaking glances at her and noticing her noticing you; being patient while she works out how she feels; looking super hot while doing it all. And their relationship is real to me, too — I’ve been the one hiding, and I’ve been the one hidden. Both are awful and exciting at the same time. And I’ve been them in the last episode — confident, out, happy, in love. Well, minus the possession, of course. So far.

wayhaughtPhoto courtesy of SyFy. Swoon.

One of my favorite things about these characters, though, is the fact that they don’t just exist for each other, especially Nicole. That was a pattern that Buffy fell into with Tara — at least until after she and Willow broke up. None of Willow’s friends knew her girlfriend (or wanted to, really). All they knew was that she liked Willow. Granted, that was enough for them, but as viewers, it really cheapened the character for us and made her less real. Well, not so much for Officer Haught. Her bonding and fighting with Wynonna while Waverly and her friends had girly “fun” time was so great and really added dimension to both characters. And her interactions with Doc and Dolls in the finale (and when she pulled Doc over for speeding) fleshed her character out even more.

It’s almost like a lesbian can exist on a TV show as a character in and of herself, not just to further a main character’s storyline. Like, maybe I am a fully functioning human with my own purpose and am not just on this earth to make the straight people’s lives more interesting. A novel concept.

Even though I connect so strongly with these two ladies, Wynonna Earp would be nothing without Wynonna herself. And Melanie Scrofano kills it. She’s so amazing. The entire cast is perfect, like I said, and and if you take one piece of this intricate structure away, it would all fall apart, but Wynonna is the cornerstone. She’s just so…real. Her reactions, her interactions, how she feels, what she does, who she starts as and who she becomes — all of it. And it’s so expertly played. She’s so flawed and also so perfect. She’s all of us. And Melanie makes us feel it all.

Let me just finish up with a few words about the creators of this masterpiece. Wynonna Earp is based on a comic book by Beau Smith, a fellow West Virginian. I haven’t read any of the comics yet, but the old ones (that the show is loosely based on) are on my wish list. And Friday, I came home to my wife greeting me at the door with “Hi. I got you a surprise,” and this was on the table.

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Best wife ever.

They didn’t have issue 1 (and she liked two of the covers for issue 3, so she bought them both), so I have to wait a few weeks for the first one to come in before I read them. Well, I should wait. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t torn through them yet.

And finally, the show runner, majestic unicorn Emily Andras. I was a fan of her work from Lost Girl, so I had high hopes. I could blather on and on and on about how awesome she seems, from (obviously) this amazing show she helped create to her interesting, engaging interviews to her weird obsession with cheese, but I won’t. I’ll only say this. The lesbians of the fandom got very, very nervous because we were worried that our precious queer characters were in danger of death because they were, well, queer.

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No reason.

Well, Emily took to AfterEllen to calm us the hell down and say that she had no plans of killing either of our beautiful non-unicorns this season. And we collectively breathed a gay sigh of relief and fell a little harder for this show. We’ve been burned before, Emily (see above), but you made us feel like we could commit without fear of it breaking our hearts. I packed up my metaphorical U-haul after I read that interview, and I haven’t looked back since.

And the finale aired, and it make our hearts soar! Love wins! This is amazing. And — oh, shit. WHAT HAPPENS NOW?!

Literal fandom train of thought.

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Unicorn, not a lesbian. Maybe. I don’t know their life.

[Okay, we are back to just mild spoilers now. Safe to pick it back up. Welcome back!]

So, thank you, Wynonna Earp, for all of the above. For being that show that the LGBTQ community didn’t know we wanted but now absolutely know that we needed; for so completely filling every 44 minutes with perfection; for giving us honest, true, flawed heroes and villains that captivate us. Thank you for giving us this show, these characters, these storylines. The writing. The jokes! And even stupid Carl.

On a personal level, thank you for stoking a wave of creativity I haven’t felt in years. I’m writing more than I have in ages (blogging, tweeting, interacting online, and everything else), and it’s so appreciated. It’s making the rest of my life better — making me better.

I hope that there’s a season 2 (and a season 3-10), but nothing will touch this special first season. From what it did for a fandom, a community, and for all of us individually, that’s lightning in a bottle that won’t ever be replicated. But I can’t wait to see how season 2 will make it better.

Puddles

Tonight, Chris and I and our friend Erin went to see Puddles, a 6’8″ clown who sings. And it was amazing.

This guy has an amazing voice and sings super-fun (yet sad) covers of songs like “Royals,” “Dancin’ Queen,” and “Chandelier.” Also, he did an amazing version of “My Heart Will Go On” that included a picture montage that really has to be seen to be appreciated.

  Puddles meets world-famous blogger Oh Honestly Erin.
We knew beforehand that there would be audience participation, and while all three of us were terrified that we would get chosen for something, I was the only one who kind of still wanted to be chosen. Alas, I was not. 

  We did get some Puddles Cuddles afterwards, so it all worked out in the end.
It was a great show bookended by some delicious food — The Library for dinner and a surprise stop for a cookie at Le Petit Chocolat.

I feel like we hardly ever see Erin anymore — at least, not enough — and this makes twice in 8 days. Let’s try to keep this up!

Then Chris and I got home and had some internet time, and this happened.

  This is even more exciting than when Frank’s Red Hot followed me!

Great show, Puddles. Can’t wait till next time!

  

Dominoes

When I was a kid, I didn’t know Dominoes was an actual game. I thought you just lined them up and flicked the first one over, setting yourself up for a super-cool 5-10 seconds of payoff. I guess I thought they just had random dots on them for decoration or something. I remember watching a segment on “That’s Incredible!” involving some elaborate course that someone had set up just to be knocked down. All that prep work and everything destroyed in seconds. And then you’re left to clean up the mess.

I mailed in our deposit and contract to the George Washington on Tuesday. Like most things in my life, it was equal parts exciting and terrifying. Also like most things in my life, each thought sets off another like a chain of thought dominoes.

Exciting:

  • Weddings are fun!
  • We agreed on a place, it’s awesome, and our families love it.
  • The food is spectacular.
  • I get to marry my favoritest person in the whole world.

Terrifying:

  • That deposit is just a small portion of — wait, how much? Do I have time to get a second job?
  • What if [insert ridiculous thing that will never, ever happen] happens before/during our wedding?
  • Should we invite so-and-so? What if we do and they’re awful? What if we don’t and they’re mad?
  • What if…the same thing happens that did the last time I tried this?

That last one is the loudest.

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I know. We’re adorable. Let’s enjoy this moment for a bit before we move to the next, which will be less pleasant.

For those of you who don’t know, this is not my first engagement rodeo. I was in a six-year relationship, and we were engaged to be married in…2010. Wow. I really had to think about that. Anyway, things ended up going south a few months before our wedding.  It was…pretty crappy. It was one of those life events that truly shapes who you are as a person but that you have zero interest in revisiting on a regular basis.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful the relationship ended. I don’t mean this to sound cruel to Ex, but that breakup is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I grew as a person, I got out of a relationship that wasn’t the best for either of us, and I proved to myself (again) that I’m stronger than I thought I could be.

Also, I met (both just online and in person) some lovely people because of that engagement. I blogged for a currently nonfunctioning website, So You’re EnGAYged. I’m Facebook friends with a handful of other SYE people, and it makes me so happy to see the events in their lives — weddings, babies, new houses, new jobs, and everything else. Every time Chris and I talk about wedding photographers, I lament the fact that we probably can’t afford to bring in one of the website’s founders, Kelly Prizel, all the way from Connecticut. (I love her photos — check out her site: www.kellyprizel.com. If you’re in her area and need a photographer, you should hire her.) I recently made a sports bet with another former fellow blogger, Raven, about a possible Pirates/Giants Wild Card series. And I’m so excited every time I see my Pittsburgh buddy Alyia post about her upcoming wedding.

Ahem. Tangent.

Anyway, this past weekend, we were talking to my friend about her long-ago divorce, and it (of course) brought up a lot of memories of mine. Well, break-up, technically, since we were never married, which brought with it a whole host of other issues because we had no legal protections. Long story short, for multiple reasons, she told me three months before our wedding that she couldn’t marry me. And I told her that I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t able to get married after six years together. And…it was over. But we still had three cats, a house, and a houseful of stuff to figure out. It was not the best six months of my life.

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I still miss these other two guys sometimes. But certainly not the chubby one’s hair. He shed more than the other two combined. And he pooped so much!

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Another warm-fuzzy break. Us at our engagement party. Photo credit to Chris’ cousin Mindy. Hope you don’t mind that I stole this!

After a night of thought dominoes, I ended up re-rereading the e-mail Ex sent me about why it ended (in which she took zero responsibility, but whatever), and it started a whole other round. What if this happens again?  What if we get closer and closer to the big day next year, and she tells me she can’t go through with it? What if, what if, what if…

I’ve talked to Chris about this. Of course. We talk about everything. (Everything. Seriously.) She assures me that I’m being ridiculous, which I know I am. Chris isn’t Ex. And I’m not 2010 Monica, either.

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Pictured — 2010 Monica and 2010 Abigia. We were such kids!

I have been stressed a lot lately, and I think that’s a lot of it. I know in my head I’m worrying about something that won’t happen, and I trust Chris. She’s not leaving. Neither am I. I just need to remind myself of that sometimes and think about more important things. Like…I hope we can pick different appetizers for cocktail hour. I hope we can be at cocktail hour. Will people think it’s weird if they see us beforehand? Should we walk down the aisle? Should we have a flower girl?

Can we finance our wedding through Kickstarter?

Dominoes.