Sunday, August 31, 2008

Family names

Worried, disturbed, unsettled, and wary of a possible Vice President who named her kids Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig, we pack up some "Sprite" and the frisbee, and we head for the hills, which is to say, we cross the street into Central Park and seek the consolation of wisdom from the cult of disco-crazed bloggers on Bear Hill.

I am sitting next to Dr. Jeff who has brought with him a gift for me that necessitates an on-the-spot scientific demonstration illustrating the meaning of meniscus. The gift is a sealed-for-sterility calibrated pipet (Pipette is the name of our first daughter.) Dr. Jeff sucks up some "Sprite" into the pipet and I learn to read the amount from the lowest point of the concave surface (meniscus) of the Sprite. Adjacent lessons about capillary action and the dreaded parallax error are had. (Parallax is the name of our first son.) When taking measurements, the parallax error may be avoided by the bobbling of one's head as if you were one of those dashboard hula girl figurines. I think the idea is to take an average or to never attempt to read a calibrated pipet unless you are in a taxi moving over the distempered pavement of Lexington Avenue.

There are dogs among us, one of which appears to be possessed by a demon and fixated on Little David. I could not bear to photograph the ensuing recreation of the demonic conception in Rosemary's Baby in which Paul and Tom chant while Little David is mounted as Mia Farrow. (You have to click on this one.)

The other dog is interested in a bag of chicken jerky tenders the consumption of which by humans is considered. Briefly. (Jerky is the name of our second son.)

Later on, someone learns a lesson about not trying to play Frisbee after having enjoyed too much "Sprite".

The Frisbee game, coupled with an earlier visit to the gym, does me in. I'm sure I have hyponatremia but I am clueless as to how one ought to calculate the correct amount of sodium needed to replenish the body after exercise and perspiration. I am reduced to seatbound inertia for the rest of our time on the hill (Eyenursha is the name of our second daughter.)

Plans are made for a reconvening of the group late in the evening at Nowhere (bar on 14th Street that hosts a regularly scheduled retroish event called "Double headed disco". Tonight is their offshoot called "Double headed disco sucks" meaning we will hear non-disco music from the same era.) At the bar, we meet BJ and discuss our plans for the upcoming trip to Ptown. We also discuss the fact that many gay men prefer to watch straight porn because the men seem more "natural". BJ and C deride this, saying that they simply cannot ignore the presence of elongated and red-lacquered fingernails wrapped around a straight man's dick and the visual framework of thick lipstick, foundation, mascara, eye shadow and streaked blonde hair servicing the same appendage. They marvel at the fact that straight men can actually endure this let alone enjoy it. I suggest that straight men prefer the cosmetically overwrought ministrations because it allows them to further objectify the source of their stimulation. That is not a woman. It's just some sort of painted appliance. This would certainly explain kabuki. (Our fifth child, adopted in Thailand, is named Porn.)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Four years

For exactly four years, I have said herein anything I have wished to say.

With no specific direction, goal or purpose, I started doing Perge Modo not as a service to others but as a service to myself.

I have learned that through the activity of writing in this format, a person can learn an awful lot about himself. It's like applying finger paint to a mirrored image of one's face and wiping it off the glass knowing you'll sit down and do it again tomorrow with slightly different results. Some colors get caught in the crevices of the frame. I don't notice this build-up, but you, the reader, see it, and begin to make an assessment about my character based on the accumulation of what I have not cleaned up. What I have unintentionally left behind. You find the coins in the sofa. The hair in the brush. The sock in the dryer. And you begin to know me despite the veil or the soft lighting.

I've enjoyed the truth and fiction and mystery and fun of it all. Most of all, I have enjoyed meeting all of you.

I can't think of any good reason to stop doing this.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Stuff for sale

A gas stove by LOPI (the Berkshire model) never used and never unpacked. It comes with all the fixtures and pipes and flanges for through-wall installation. It's the cadillac of the "looks like burning wood" gas stoves and is also heat -rated. Why did we never install it? Eh. Life speeds faster than the plans and purchases of men. I always envisioned sitting on our leather sofa and gazing at the flames. I think I've sat on that sofa maybe five times. Most of those not in winter.

Next up is a set of TEN theater chairs from Provincetown. Oak and metal. The bottom two slats are stained black. Some of the arms have the brass oval with the seat number in it. We have used these as dining chairs. They are comfortable with a little bounce in the metal. I never refinished these as planned. Life changes. Plans change. These are easy to ship because they come apart by unfastening the nuts and bolts.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Selling stuff

Out it all goes. Beginning today, the great downsizing. If you see something you like, let me know. Make an offer. Let's haggle like Neopolitan putanas. Otherwise most of it will go to auction.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thursday on Bilerico: The Beef of the Bedless Beach Boy

You will have to go to my advice column at Bilerico sometime after 2PM Thursday if you'd like to read my response to the following letter.

Father T,

Early in July my friend Chip invited me out to Fire Island for the weekend. He has part of a share in a house in the Pines. As it turns out, I was already acquainted with one of his housemates, Fernando. We had such a great time that weekend, Fernando extended me an invitation to come back again a few weeks later. I ran into him the weekend before we were headed to the beach and he confirmed again that we were on. Then, Monday morning I get an email saying that he's not going to be able to go to the beach because he's got to help his mother paint her living room. I'm bummed, but accept that family comes first and make other plans.

Well, Friday rolls around and I hear from Chip. He asks me why I'm not at the beach with Fernando, and I explain about the house painting. Then Chip says, "oh really, because his Facebook page says he's enjoying the beach." Now I don't know how to feel! I'm hurt because if his plans changed, shouldn't I be invited out again? How do I respond?!


I'm watching the democratic convention with horror

They are now doing the roll call vote of states.

Who are these people? What is it about American politics that draws these idiotic loud-mouthed blockheads to it?

The convention itself is a deplorably missed opportunity that demonstrates just how deeply out-of-touch these people are, and how moribund is the two-party system.

It's just a silly party to them. A chance to wear a funny hat. Even their selection of music is thirty years old. On the previous nights, hour after hour went by while the world watched these people do nothing but chat among themselves. They had the attention of the whole world and they squandered it. I am amazed at the stupidity of those responsible for the organization of this convention. I am thinking about how China organized its recently completed Summer Olympics. The world is eating our lunch and we are being represented by flag-waving fools who say that they are the builders of the future. Be worried.

And the Republicans are twenty times worse.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Catholic stupidity

This makes me mad.

We can only guess about the nature of the lifelong friendship between John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) and Father Ambrose St. John. Maybe it was sexual. Maybe it was not. Maybe it was sexual in its earliest years and chaste after their conversions and ordinations. That is not important. The fact is that the Cardinal specifically requested that he be buried next to his friend. His request was honored. When Ambrose died, the Cardinal wrote

"I have ever thought no bereavement was equal to that of a husband's or a wife's, but I feel it difficult to believe that any can be greater, or any one's sorrow greater, than mine."

The cardinal is currently classified by the Roman Catholic Church as "venerable". This means that he has at least one miracle to his credit, and that there is a "postulator" assigned to advancing his case for sainthood. He needs another miracle to get that process into a higher gear.

That brings us to the current sad situation. The order of priests championing his cause has received permission to have his body moved to another location, supposedly in anticipation of his canonization. That is absolutely ridiculous, and it is disgustingly obvious that the translation of his remains is an effort to obscure the inconvenient fact that he loved Ambrose St. John.

The left half of my head (the faithless half that calculates and demands evidence) says that this is not important. That the two men no longer exist and that this nonsense will be unknown to them. The right half of my brain (the rhyming and singing half that yearns for wings in another dimension where I'll meet Lady Di and Mother Theresa and Fabian who is not yet dead but who is not returning my phone calls in this world) says that splitting up these men is worse than just bad karma. It is cruel. As cruel as would be the splitting up of Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein who are together forever in Pere Lachaise.

What is to be done with these fools who are running this Church onto rocks? I wish I didn't care.

I recommend you read a bit of the Cardinal's The Dream of Gerontius. Elgar set it to music, as did I while I was in Rome. I hear my version is still occasionally performed there. I selected these verses by Newman and wrote it for four unaccompanied voices.

Sanctus fortis sanctus deus
de profundis oro te,
miserere iudex meus,
parce mihi domine.

Newman had close ties to The Tablet a London periodical that accepted and printed the first piece I ever wrote and submitted for publication. I've always wondered if Newman would have approved of what has become of me.

Here's the Cardinal and his boyfriend.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fleurs d'août

Another bike trip during which we speculate about the quality and frequency of sex in the Olympic Village. David says that both are rampant and that the Chinese have distributed bushels of condoms. We wonder if the condoms are ringed with the Olympic rings or at least packaged with that logo to insure their eBay value.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Jason Kidd

This is why I adore him.

I would have this man's baby, but it seems that Hope Dworaczyk has taken care of that. Hmph.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

From the 1980 diary

Priest #1 (me) into the telephone: Hey Candi Darlin, how’d your “Dead-in-Bed” go?

Priest #2 (at his parish in another town): You would not believe. Black hairnet, wig on the floor, leopard print bikini underwear, red open-toed sling-backs, and a bottle of poppers in his fist.

Priest #1: Get outta town!

Priest #2: I kid you not. And he was definitely doorknocker city but I oiled his head anyway cuz ya neva know, and then the cop goes into the kitchen to make a phone call, so it’s just me and Miss Thing, soooo, I pried the poppers out of his hand which was not easy, lemme tellya. Not like he’s gonna need ‘em where he’s goin’.

Priest #1: You did not!

Priest#2: Jesus said “Waste not want not”.

Priest#1: Just surprised you didn't go for the shoes.

Priest#2: Too small.

Problem with comments @ Bilerico

I'm getting reports that those who have tried to leave a comment on my recent column at Bilerico are having what seem to be technical difficulties. I've alerted the editors. Meanwhile, if you leave them here, I'll get to see and appreciate them.

UPDATE: Problem solved, but your comments were not saved. The editor tells me that the problem was only for those who do not have a Bilerico account, so if you intend to make future comments, you might want to take a moment and set one up. Hope you will!

Walk This Way

C called my attention to this article in the Times.

I'm on my feet and cheering for David Rakoff's rules! I have actually said "Lady, the day that dog starts paying taxes is the day I'll step around it. Move it."

I would add a sixth rule:

BEN HURLING: Just because you are pushing a ridiculously expensive doublewide Maclaren (containing a five year old "infant" who could and should be walking), does not give you the right to bloody my ankles with your spiked hubcaps.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My own confession

I want to come clean about something that I've felt guilty about for the past few months.

I've been buying wine in boxes rather than bottles.

There. I feel so much better having admitted that.

I tried it and I liked it. I liked it a lot.

This very recent article in the Times bolstered my conviction that this is good thing and not something shameful.

Switching to wine in a box for the 97 percent of wines that are made to be consumed within a year would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about two million tons, or the equivalent of retiring 400,000 cars.

I have not yet decanted boxed wine and served it to guests in a bottle bearing a prestigious label, but I swear I will do it in order to convert those who look down on boxed wine.

It's cheap, easy, efficient, practical and so "green". And it tastes good.

This is not to say that I will never spring for the occasional St Emilion or perhaps my favorite Shiraz Mourvedre, but I mostly drink red wine for my health, as did my grandfather who lived to be 109.

So there. What do think of that?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thursday on Bilerico: British Orgy-Daddies and the Island Boys Who Love Them.

(Dear M, I am publishing your letter in its entirety here on Perge Modo because it is so entertaining, and because I will have to shorten it severely for Bilerico. Also, you will have to go to Bilerico on Thursday after 2PM to see my response.)

Dear Father Tony,

I am writing to you from Manila. That's in the Philippines. I am taking a break from the work I'm supposed to be doing (I write music programming for karaoke machines, barely a week into this new, home-based job) because I thought it would be wise to introduce myself to you.

Wise! As though you were a silver-bearded sage and not a Roman Catholic priest. (There is a rather big difference.) Will you pardon my choice of adjective? It is still as unclear to me as it might be to you why I am making this discombobulated introduction, this breathlessly written letter from Manila to America.

I used to have poise, you know. And tact. I used to be snobbish and Catholic. I used to dream of New York and of watching Rufus Wainwright concerts and shopping at The Strand and I used to smell the pages of a Granta before reading it. I used to be happy -well, not happy, but at peace- writing essays, and letters, in the frail light of my bedroom study, writing away, writing the days into nights and on notebook after notebook. The intense solitude of the craft.

Until I settled for love. I met this British man, an expatriate living in Cebu City, a southern island hundreds of kilometres away from the city; let us call him Evelyn. He's forty-nine, turning golden; I turn twenty-three this September. We met here in Manila last January. He was on vacation, and he was staying at the downtown Cherry Blossoms Hotel. It was like a fairy tale: dinners at Indian restaurants; karaoke; looking for Advil in 7-Eleven; sex; contemptuous stares from scapular-wearing pedestrians; watching the sun set on Manila Bay. On his second night Evelyn asked me to go to Chiang Mai with him. We hit it off right away. Or we so hit off so right away, to be swaggeringly Yankee about it.

Falling in love with a soon-to-be-quinquagenarian with an English accent does not come without serious consequences. I think that holds true for everyone, and particularly for a Filipino man who only used to crush on his spiritual director and clinical psychologist and go on one-night stands with backpacking American daddies. Yes, the relationship between me and Evelyn has grown; I have flown to Cebu City five times this year for extended periods of stay, and my sixth is scheduled this September; there were times when he had paid for my fare; the two of us have talked about my possibly moving in; that was such a big deal; things are moving so fast and, in general, going so well.

But I pine away. Whenever we are away from each other, usually two to three weeks, sometimes four, I pine away, as though I wouldn't be a complete person without Evelyn, as though literature was no longer enough consolation, as though the twenty-three years which I have lived more or less unattached did nothing to prepare me for surviving a relatively short period of time by myself, temporarily separated from a man I had not even known until this year.

And my pining, I confess to you, Father Tony, has something to do with the one remaining kink which Evelyn and I haven't yet ironed out. (Isn't "kink" such a beautiful word?)

Anyway, it's four in the morning here in Manila, and it's raining softly, and I can hear the pitter-pat of raindrops. Uncanny, isn't it, how the weather can make one feel so unhappy - and yet it's very rarely responsible for even our littlest joys.

Here is why I am so unsettled whenever I am in Manila, and away from Evelyn. He often engages in group sex with other men. Just sex. Nothing that involves love and feelings and emotions; only a seemingly unquenchable thirst for variety. He knows that I know, although of course he does not throw it to my face; while he's monogamous when I am around, our relationship is still best described as open, in a one-sided sort of way; and quite frankly this issue has been the thumb on a fist that does not fit. If not for that thumb, well - everything would be wee and happy and perfect.

Father Tony, his "extramarital" affairs hurt me. The knowledge is so painful. It is destroying me. Miles and miles away, I feel red hot jealous and insecure, desperate to hold on to a piece of him, to a tangible expression of his love for me. Although I have reason to be confident that he sees me as different from the rest, my ego is being told by visions of these orgies that I may not be good enough. That one me may not be good enough.

I know that this Open Relationship thing is not uncommon, Father Tony, and I am certainly not one of those who find it highly objectionable. (Besides, I can't go around trying to change fifty-year old men with habits, no matter how many times I have confronted Evelyn about it. Just because I can abstain here in Manila doesn't mean I should expect the same from him in Cebu City.) I am also aware that -if I move in with him- he won't be able to go cold turkey (though he says he'll try).

But god, I am still a kid, primitively romantic; I studied in a Catholic school that stood beside a church where I witnessed many couples get married, to the soundtrack of an organ played by a virginal old maid; the kind of love that I grew up believing in is so not the kind of love that I have now, because the kind of love that I have now can be horribly disenchanting. Not that I would want to walk away; as I've said, everything except the kink, the thumb, has gone well - is beautiful. I'm an avid fan of beauty. We're growing. We're even planning for the holidays.

Father Tony, am I simply being a damned fool? Should I walk away before I hate myself beyond forgiveness? Or am I just being too orthodox and puritanical? (Don't judge me by New York standards.) And if I am being too orthodox and puritanical, will I ever outgrow that?

I love you just for reading my letter.

My best,

P.S.: When I wrote to you last Friday, he was in the act. Ew. I have access to his E-mail and curiosity killed the cat.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Who needs TV with friends like this?

Yesterday, on a blanket in Central Park, strewn with red grapes and fresh figs, a friend said "I just don't get musicals. Never liked any of them. My neighbor is like 'You can't be gay. Let me play this one for you.' and then he puts on some cast album with his favorite diva in it,and he starts raving about Patti-Lou this and Patti-Lou that, and I'm like just not feeling anything."

"What did you say is the name of the diva he likes?"

"Someone named Patti-Lou Pone."

When I enlighten him, he says "Oh my God. I can so never make fun of my mother again when she talks about Gore V. Dahl."

Later in the afternoon, he informs me that, relieved to find them available, he has secured two website names: and

He also describes his Friday night as having been a long one, at the Eagle, and with significant beer. He says "Apparently, I made guacamole when I got home."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Shocking and disgusting public display of bear/biker love.

I am still recovering from yesterday's bike trip.

Joe covered the details accurately.

I am supplying another perspective of our happy band (C, Chris, Dr. Jeff, Craig, Joe and Little David), with one of those numbing waterfalls in the background, followed by some photos of shocking and disgusting bear/biker action witnessed in a public park.*

*(All models 18 yrs old or over. Proof on file. No animals were harmed in the making of these images, but some parts of the models were tarnished, including their reputations.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Messy Lives of Men in Love

I hope you'll take a moment to look at the latest installment on my advice column at Bilerico.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Oh dear, did something I say offend the clergy?

Here is a comment I received from “Thomas Tucker” on my “A Simple parable for you in church”. I like this guy. He’s not afraid to mix it up, and I think our dialogue, when we are not mud-wrestling, is worthwhile. His comment is followed by my expanded response.

It is rather presumptuous to be predicting the decline and fall of the Catholic Church. People having been doing so for centuries, yet it endures. And it will endure long after you are gone Father Tony.
But if it makes you feel empowered and grand to make such predictions, I guess you should do so.
Of course, it was relatively easy for you to leave- you weren't a true believer in the first place. And judging from your past writings, you were there for the wrong reasons anyway.
I think the parable is sophomoric and rather narcissistic.

Dear Thomas Tucker,

I am so happy to hear from you! Where have you been? If this post hadn't have "plucked your nerve", I'd have been worried that it was toothless. Let me address the "delectables" in your comment.

a) The Church will in fact be around long after I'm gone, but it won't be run by you and your kind. You guys have squandered the franchise. You guys have pissed out all the grace that ever entered you.

b) Empowerment, narcissism and grandiosity are not my drugs. If they were, I'd have never left behind what I left behind. I've been humble in ways that no ground-kissing pope-on-the-tarmac could ever be humble. Give me a break here; you know that's a cheap, ad hominem shot.

c) About whether or not I am or ever was a believer, do not be so quick to say there's no gold in those hills. You only get to see the parts of me that I give you - and many of those parts are the stuff of the performer in me. Understand the premise here.

d) A sophomoric parable? Jeez T.T., all parables are like that. They're supposed to be like that. Something tells me that if you had been standing in the crowd when Jesus delivered the parable of the Prodigal Son, you'd have sniffed dismissively and said something condescending to your brother pharisees about how childish Jesus was. Oops, there I go again, comparing myself to Jesus. Damn, this narcissism thing is sooo hard to deal with.

You know what I think really scares you, T.T.? The fact that I am not afraid to talk, and that you know in your heart that I'm right. The day I realized that I had nothing to gain and nothing to lose by speaking the truth was a very liberating day for me. At that moment, I finally understood why I had been ordained and what my little prophetic voice in the Church ought to have been saying all along. Now I speak from just outside the walls, but I firmly believe that if there is any intent on the part of our God, this is the vocation he intended for me. You, more than many others, validate this. It doesn’t matter to me if no one else ever hears me. I will know that you have heard me, and that I have finally discharged my responsibility. Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Thomas Tucker.

OK. Your move. Have at.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A simple parable for you in church

(The following is actually an addendum to this post at Bilerico, the link at the very end of which will get you back here.)

Picture yourself ringing the doorbell of a posh address. You've been invited to a fancy dinner party. Your host, whom you have known forever, graciously receives you. You mingle with the other guests until dinner is announced and everyone is ushered into the dining room where they find their place cards at table. Everyone except you. You are seated at a card table in an adjoining room where you can watch the dinner on closed circuit TV. You see the extravagant fare served to the other guests. On your plate is plain hamburger. You slip out the door unnoticed, but word gets back to your host that you were unhappy with the evening. He wants to make amends, and you accept another invitation. This time, you are ushered into the banquet with the other guests and are seated at the table. Something is still not quite right. You notice that the chair you've been given is a few inches shorter than all the others. You get up and leave. You complain to your friends about what happened, and again, word of this gets back to your host who proclaims his love and respect for you, inviting you back for another dinner. You give him another chance and when you are again seated at the table, you find that your chair is as high as all the rest, but when dinner is served, it becomes painfully obvious that the portions placed on your plate are deliberately smaller than those of the other guests. You begin to wonder why you wanted to come to this banquet in the first place. You consider the progress you've made and wonder if you ought to just sit back and enjoy the party. Why quibble? It's not your dining room. Not your house. Not your party. But it's comfortable here. These people are your friends. You feel connected with them on so many levels. Isn't it unreasonable to expect everyone to behave according to your own standards? So you stay, and everyone at table, including your beaming host, breathes a little easier knowing that you can see how much they all really really love you. you decide to keep complaining about your treatment but to do so politely.

One evening, you find yourself again a guest at that same home. You stand up with glass in hand and propose a toast to your host seated far away at the head of the opposite end of the long table. Before you proclaim your toast, you ask your host a question. "Why is it that you never invite my partner? I see many couples at this table who receive joint invitations. Why not me?" There is no answer. You consider grabbing the corner of the tablecloth and giving it a good yank but you don’t bother. You know you aren't coming back.

Years later, you walk by that house and find that it is for sale. It's owner is bankrupt and alone. Your life has been a great success full of happiness and prosperity and better banquets with better friends. But something inescapable hounds you, and draws you back to your earliest days, and so you buy the place. You renovate. You invite all your old friends and family as well as your new ones. One blank invitation left. Your pen in hand. Do you invite him, that man who meant well and kept inviting you back to his table?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Now On Bilerico

C, who feels we are already over-exposed, is rolling his pretty blue eyes, but I'm delighted to say that I have been offered a place on the Bilerico team where I'll be doing an advice column called Father Tony's Confessional.

Won't this be great fun!

I hope you'll consider visiting me there, and writing to me. I've never known you folks to be shy, but many of you have some fascinating secrets and dilemmae that might be shared surreptitiously and anonymously through this new route.

Standing with the Bilerico team, I feel a little bit "Belle Whatley", but I'll be on my best behavior....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Let it show.

In the wealthy private community called Forest Hills Gardens, you find restrained Tudor-style homes like this.

In just plain Forest Hills, you will find residential concoctions like this. (It's the sort of thing many of my relatives would have been proud to have built. The picnic table in the back was covered with clear plastic. I bet the living room furniture was also sealed that way.)

Have you ever known anyone who did not have a personal style? Hard to imagine, but when I see someone with extra verve and audacity of appearance, I like to let them hear my admiration, so when Joe and C and I passed this lady on our way into Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, I gave her props for color coordination right down to her husband's hat, and the bit of matching color in the plastic bag. She was happy to receive our praise.

Not many people can carry off the color orange. I know I can't. I stick to blues and purples. C can handle orange, red and all the greens. He can do bronze where I can do silver. I harbor opinions about the "color" key of people I have met, and I speculate about what your "color" might be if I haven't yet met you. (Joe looks great in maroon.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Let this blog be the Rice Krispie Treat

Yesterday I strolled down to Columbus Circle where the cast of [title of show] was due to appear at Borders in the Time Warner Center. (And if that simple phrase alone does not make you want to live in Manhattan, well I don’t know what would. We’ve talked about moving to Brooklyn or Queens or Jersey where we’d have more space, but this is what we’d be giving up, the fact that we are in the middle of it all, and that it all happens right here. I never cease to appreciate the fact that we don’t have to go there because we are there already.)

If you have never been to this type of event, the ritual is simple. After the performance, the cast moves to the signing table and a line forms. Fans bring stuff to be signed and say gushy things to the stars. When you get to the head of the line, the Borders guy wearing the lanyard cruises you a little preps your stuff for signing and asks you what name you’d like on the inscription. I had been thinking about food and the question caught me by surprise. “Um, Father Tony, I guess.” When the cast saw the name on the stickie attached to the CD slid onto the table before them, they recognized it and talked about having seen my Youtube review of [title of show] on the blog. Hunter said he had sent me an email, but I must have missed it. Anyway, they are just as delightful in person as they are on stage, and they are radiant with happiness over the success of their show.

I have changed my mind about the ending. In my review, I had speculated about the merits of a “big” finish. It’s really better the way it is.

While I watched these four entirely lovable actors interact with the “tossers” (as their legions of obsessive fans are known), I wondered about the strength of the show with replacement actors. There are plenty of other fresh-faced hopefuls who could deliver this story, but it wouldn’t be quite as powerful as it is coming from the four people who lived it from the beginning and whose eyes filled with tears during the applause at the end of the performance I had attended. I’m glad I saw it when I did.

Here’s a clip from their performance at Borders of one of my favorite moments in the show. The ultrafantastic Susan Blackwell has the lead.

Welcome, ST.

Dear Scottish Toodler,

Happy to have you as a new reader, but I notice that in your "Blogs & Links" bar, you seem to have made a Siamese twin of me and JoeMyGod. Since the link goes to my blog, I assume I am the twin with the internal organs, so when you surgically separate us, I am afraid it must be Joey who needs to be sacrificed (eventhough he is the bigger one). I'll miss him.

Father Tony