Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Difference it Made Was Great

It may be hard to fathom that a woman approaching fifty would undertake something like a half marathon. But believe it!!

I HAVE been swimming for over a year just to get in some exercise and then I contemplated how awesome it would be if I could actually run further than a few miles without running out of breath and nearly passing out.

In June, I received an email asking if I wanted to join the PETA team for a half marathan. I carefully considered the challenge and decided to go through with it.

I began training for the Long Beach International on July 13 and have been consistently running and swimming (cross training) on a schedule as part of the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Team. The name PETA should raise a red flag for any Morrissey fan as he is a staunch supporter of this organization.

Okay, so its possible that I run slower than your grandmother walks but the point is that I'm undertaking a challenge and helping our furry (and not so furry) friends in the process.

So obviously, I am soliciting for financial support in my endeavor. This is where you come in!
Just click on the link to my personal page and make a donation. No amount is too small-although slightly awkward if its under a dollar!

If you can't donate now, do it later. If you can't donate, that's okay too. But you will feel better about yourself if you help animals (and I think I can safely say, Morrissey would approve).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The Idea
I suppose there is something you should know about me: my oldest son, Jovanny, is an aspiring drag queen.

Now, Jovanny really does have talent. He is eager to share that talent. In fact,  he's been asking for some time if he could do my make up like a drag queen and kind of be a stylist and send me out dressed "to kill."

Since there was a David Bowie Night coming up, we thought it might be a good time to actually do this. Why? We just thought that it might be okay to be a little more daring with clothing and make up since David Bowie is rather experimental himself. 

When kids are in preschool, parents often wear their children's artistic creations-I know I often wore Oliver's macaroni jewelry to work or out to the supermarket, with pride. Well, dressing up like a drag queen was kind of like that for me regarding Jovanny. 

The Preparations
Luckily we had good opprotunity to do any shopping and other necessary preparations since Roland took Oliver and Miguel camping for the week. We also needed time to spend together. Relationships with teens can be tumultuous at times and this was a great way to bridge some understanding.

We first needed to find an outfit that would be daring enough. I told Jovanny that I was willing to look "slutty"- I mean, what the hell, if you are going to do it, why not do it all the way? Well, Jovanny did not disappoint.

However, shopping for revealing clothing requires a different mind set. Instead of looking for cute and comfortable and items that go together, you are forced to look for clothing that simply shows the most skin or is tight enough. Or you might choose a fabric that says "wild" like cheetah print-which is what we chose.

Next, you must have high heels. Now, I am already 5'10" so an extra 4-5 inches makes me a "towering" woman. I NEVER wear high heels so balance (ha ha) is important. I, therefore, needed to practice walking around in these heels. I did so, but I think I needed a bit more practice time.
The finished "product"

Bowie Night
The evening of Bowie night, we spent an hour or so getting the entire outfit together. I was in the bathroom putting on the final touches. When I emerged from the restroom wearing a very tight, lacy cheetah print dress, Roland burst out laughing. No, don't worry. My pride was not damaged. He said he could NOT think of anything less me than cheetah print. He said, "Its very sexy, but wow."

I understand why he said this. In one's mind, one is perpetually between 20-30 years old. Then you look in the mirror and there before you stands the desperate middle- aged woman you would see hanging out at the bar, reeking of desperation.

I was that woman!

Yet, the show must go on so once in the car I tried to input the address into the car's navigational system. Now, you have to understand that we just recently bought a new Prius. I used the system once before and it was a little confusing but I still managed it. This time, I was impatient and just thought I'd use my phone. Yes, a little risky but at least using it is a lot easier.

It took maybe 30-40 minutes to get from the Orange Curtain to Echo Park. Now, I was at the Echoplex months ago for the Smiths/Morrissey Night and I thought it was the same place so I parked my car near where I thought it was. I slipped on my heels and walked down to where I thought it was.

Okay, let me just say that although being a drag queen was my model, I looked like a street hooker-straight out! So, when a man driving a truck pulled up as I was walking and revved his engine while starring at me, I was thinking, "Thank God the club is right here. Get me in!"

Something seemed quite strange though. There was no Bowie music blaring, no lines, no kids hanging about. I found the club door and opened it not hearing a sound-like the ghost of a former popular club. Not seeing anyone at the moment, I thought I might find someone who could tell me where I was supposed to be. The door closed behind me.

Seeing how absolutely emtpy it was and knowing that there was a dumpster right next door, I thought it might be a better idea to just get out. So I opened the door after a bit of a struggle-otherwise I thought I might be trapped in there dressed like a street hooker.

I decided that it would probably wise to get back to the car and reassess the situation. So when I got to the street, my "John" was back again revving his engine. My heels got stuck when I was walking and part of the heel folded into the shoe making it rather difficult to walk. My potential customer seemed to be getting angry as he revved the engine again and peeled away.

I got so scared I took my heels off, tucked them under my arm like a running back clutching the winning Super bowl football and ran in my short dress to the car. I'm sure I was a humorous sight to behold.

I wasn't laughing.

Once safely in my car, I drove around a bit and saw a club with the correct street address and feeling like a complete lunatic idiot I made it to the Echo. I was still shaking as I emerged from the car and laughed to myself when a group of people chatting in the street stopped talking when I walked by. Obviously thinking they'd just seen a real Los Angeles street walker.

It made me want to yell from the rooftops, "I'm a teacher. I'm a respectable citizen , I swear! Don't hate me or be disgusted with me!"

Once I was safely in the club, the rest of the evening was fantastic! Not much to tell except that I danced a lot and made a complete ass of myself. The shot of tequila was a bad idea. But I had a really great time. And you know what? I don't regret it.

Now, if only Morrissey had been there . . .