Menagerie – Rachel Vincent

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A compelling, awesome, unique and imaginative story…so different it’s hard to explain, fantastically good!

“There there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, griffins and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.”

“Welcome to the menagerie, where beauty and grace shine from every cage and peek from every shadow. You’ve never seen anything like the exotic wonders within, so keep your eyes open, ladies and gentlemen, because in our world of spectacle and illusion, what you see isn’t always what you get.”

“But if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?”

“Drea, why don’t you turn a circle and give us a good look?” the talker said, his chest all puffed out, as if he’d had something to do with making me perform.

“Fuck you,” I said, nice and clear, in spite of my fuller voice, so everyone could hear.

A couple of teens near the back of the crowd laughed, but the mothers scowled and covered their children’s ears.

“Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen,” the talker called with an amiable chuckle. “Most of our exhibits were born and raised in the carnival, and they hear a lot of rough language.”

“Most of our handlers are full of shit,” I added, drawing more laughter from the back of the crowd. “I learned to cuss the same place all of your kids did. In middle school.”

“A wolf will growl to warn you that it’s angry and a bull will paw the ground before charging. Rattlesnakes rattle, cats moan and hiss, and hyenas grunt and cackle. But a man will smile right in your face as he drives a knife into your heart.”

“If you cut off my hands, I’ll write with my feet, and if you cut off my feet, I’ll write with my nose, and if you cut that off, you may as well cut my whole head off, because no matter how you slice and dice me, you can’t control what I think, or what I feel. You can keep me locked up for the rest of my life, however brief that may be. But you will never, ever own me.”

“She won’t serve her dish cold,” the oracle mumbled, almost with giddy joy as chill bumps rose all over her skin. “And two graves won’t be near enough…”

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The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

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Maybe my favorite all-time documentary #upintheholler

The Bird Box – Josh Malerman

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I finished this fantastic book last night, and like great books often do, I was wound-up tight and then in tears as the final scene unfolded. So good, different, unique! The Bird Box movie is coming out in late 2018, with Sarah Paulsen, John Malkovich, and Machine Gun Kelly, starring Sandra Bullock as Malorie, but read the book first! Josh Malerman’s descriptive writing style shakes the reader’s visual imagination by introducing us to a  dangerous and challenging new world.

“How can she expect her children to dream as big as the stars if they can’t lift their heads to gaze upon them?”

“You can smell it, too. Death. Dying. Decay. The sky is falling, the sky is dying, the sky is dead.”

“Robin was a great kid. Smarter than her father at eight years old. She liked the oddest things. Like the instructions for a toy more than the toy itself. The credits of a movie instead of the movie. The way something was written. An expression on my face. Once she told me I looked like the sun to her, because of my hair. I asked her if I shined like the sun, and she told me, ‘No, Daddy, you shine more like the moon, when it’s dark outside.”

“You are saving their lives for a life not living.”

“It’s better to face madness with a plan than to sit still and let it take you in pieces.”

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Pose

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I love, love, love this show! Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) introduces us to “An LGBTQ community that expressed glamorous creativity by staging elaborate and defiant spectacles of fashion, dancing, and exquisitely pointed wit, where like-minded people found each other, built communities as distinctive “houses,” and, more powerfully still, choose each other as family.” House Jernigan, serving fishy realness, hunty!

 

 

Dog Food Diet?

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From my memoir “The Gay Road Less Traveled” Please go buy a copy on Amazon!

“I texted him to tell him I didn’t really eat dog food, but that’s a crazy sentence to send to somebody. The worst part is that he was popular and had lots of friends in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, now they all think I eat dog food.”

New Orleans 1997

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an excerpt from my memoir “The Gay Road Less Traveled”

New Orleans 1997
Dear Diary, we lost Princess Diana this year. At Halloween, lots of the drag queens in New Orleans honored her by dressing up as the beloved princess, that’s what I initially thought, but as I looked closer at their outfits, all of them had blood and tire tracks on their dresses, and one queen had a steering wheel around her neck!

 

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Johnny’s Favorite Songs of 2017

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  1. EVERYTHING NOW – ARCADE FIRE (Scroll to 46 seconds on this video to start of song) My fav song of the year, a mashup that sounds like the Hustle from the 70’s, gayest Erasure, OMD, add a dash of hipster irony…You’ve Got Everything Now!!!

2. RUNNIN’ -NAUGHTY BOY featuring BEYONCE A super catchy and addictive little song that I played over and over again this year. It first caught my ear in a Chanel commercial with Kirsten Stewart (Runnin’)

3. WALK ON WATER – EMINEM featuring BEYONCE Although she’s featured in two of my three favorite songs of the year, I’m not a big Beyonce fan, her vocal talent is unquestioned, she’s just not very smart and lacks personality.

4. BAD & BOUJEE – MIGOS featuring LIL UZI VERT Ahh, Migos, you were the bright shining stars of 2017, although nobody could understand what you were saying! I fear that like a falling star, Migos’ hotness will soon cool, and they will fade away

5. FEEL IT STILL – PORTUGAL THE MAN

6. BODAK YELLOW – CARDI B Since being introduced to Cardi on Love & Hip Hop NY , I have loved Cardi’s ratchetness and ghetto fabulous sense of humor (when she started making money she wanted to get her teeth fixed, but she was scared, because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to suck dick as good)

7. HOW FAR I’LL GO/MOANA – ALESSIA CARA A lovely little song for little girls and gay men everywhere

8. BLACK BEATLES – RAE SRUMMOND

9. DOWN – MARIAN HILL

 

10. BAD AT LOVE – HALSEY I knew Halsey before she blew up and kinda sold out, she is a unique and talented singer who I predict will have a long and successful career (unlike Migos or Cardi B). Check out her guest appearance on Roadies, when Machine Gun Kelly kind of falls in love with her

11. MASK OFF – FUTURE “Percocets, Molly, Percocets” “Chase a Bitch, Never Chase a Bitch”

12. SIGN OF THE TIMES -HARRY STYLES

13. THUNDER -IMAGINE DRAGONS

14. HAVANA -CAMILLA CABELLO featuring YOUNG THUG Like Beyonce did with Destiny’s Child, Camilla done told the rest of Fifth Harmony Good Day!

15. CASTLE ON THE HILL – ED SHEERAN

16. LEMON – NERD featuring RIHANNA

17. MAGNOLIA – PLAYBOY CARTI

18. (NO ONE KNOWS) LIKE THE PIANO – SAMPHA

19. NO LIMIT – G-EAZY featuring ASAP ROCKY & CARDI B

20. COLD LITTLE HEART – MICHAEL KIWANUKA Theme song of Big Little Lies, a great show on HBO

21. NEW YORK – ST VINCENT

22. THIRD OF MAY/ODAIGAHARA – FLEET FOXES

23. PA’LANTE – HURRAY FOR THE RIFFRAFF

24. I GET THE BAG -GUCCI MANE featuring MIGOS

25. ROCKSTAR – POST MALONE featuring 21 SAVAGE

TESTIFY – HIFI SEAN featuring CRYSTAL WATERS My most loved dance track this year, Crystal Waters has performed at least six or seven times at circuit party events I’ve attended over the years, and I have floated high as a kite countless times on the dance floor to this diva of the gay community’s songs!

“Now take me to your river
And lay me in your water
And preach to me
Tell me why I need your love
Why I got to have your love
Justify your love”

Lowered Expectations

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I have half-way fallen in love with someone I met online, the idea of him anyway…a guy I can’t even convince to come to Massachusetts. I always thought I was someone to be cherished, that one day my knight in shining armor would find me, like Richard Gere came for Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (without the prostitution). My Texan/Virginian/Arizonian hoped-for savior has gone silent, and I’ve cried through Thanksgiving, with only a cold and miserable New England winter to look forward to.

 

Chronic Childhood Trauma

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My class curriculum includes considerable time spent on trauma-informed care and helping my prospective adoptive families succeed in parenting children who have suffered abuse or neglect. I use the example of a Bear in the Woods (at the 8-minute mark in this Ted Talk video on Childhood Trauma by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris).

Significant damage to the emotional and physical health of children who are exposed to high levels of adversity/trauma occurs over time (chronic trauma). They are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior, and to develop heart disease or cancer. Our brains have a stress response system, in the hypothalamic and adrenal glands, that governs our fight or flight response in a situation. Imagine you’re walking in the forest and you see a bear. Immediately, your brain sends a response to your adrenal glands: Release stress hormones! Adrenal! Cortisol! Your heart starts to pound, your pupils dilate, your airways open up, and you are ready to either fight that bear or run from that bear! And that is wonderful, if you are in the forest, with a bear. The problem is what happens when the bear comes home every night, in the form of domestic violence, or physical abuse, or molestation. This system is activated over and over and over again, and it goes from being life-saving to health damaging. Children are especially sensitive to this repeated stress-activation, because their brains and bodies are just developing. High doses of adversity affect their brain structure and function, their developing immune systems and hormonal systems.

Okja

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This movie wore me out tonight, definitely Not a kid’s movie. Lots of fun times shared early on, but it gets super dark and stressful toward the end. Described as “Blending heavy violence with clownish satire, the movie takes shots at factory farming, capitalist exploitation and PR-friendly mindful consumerism.” There is a horrible slaughterhouse scene toward the end. A review I read said it is making people become vegan (not me though). Super great performances by Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal and the cute little Korean girl and Okja the Super Pig…but I know I am going to have stress dreams tonight. This movie is deepasf

Canal Street Antiques – Lawrence, MA

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IMG_1196 A really cool place I found when I was attending a Adoption Coalition meeting, a huge 2-story brick building that used to be a factory. Lots of the vendors had 25 or even 50 % off of everything in their booths.

Books Books Books

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$5 for a Bag of Books at the Worcester Habitat for Humanity yo, inching Less Than Zero, Doctors and a childhood favorite Island of the Blue Dolphins. 8 years old I was Marana on that island, struggling to find food and trying to avoid being killed by the wild dogs (while doing everything I could to steal one of their puppies).IMG_1212

Brimfield Flea Market

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Yesterday I went to the Brimfield Flea Market (by myself). Dozens if not hundreds of gay couples there, lookin’ all domestic and happy and slightly overweight because they have found someone who loves them just the way they are. Bastards. It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I am sad and super lonely…also have a small belly that I cultivated this winter (in preparation for domesticity) that won’t go away. The flea market is huge, I spent most of the day there, although my only purchase was a $1 lazy eyed panda? figurine…oh and $5 for a latte, $6 for kettle corn, $6 for hot fried cinnamon sugar donut holes, and $7 for a smoked sausage dog.

I hope my Anderson Cooper finds me soon…would settle for Bill Nye or John Oliver though. The pics I took are kind of my personality: uniquely different, a bit weird, definitely not some boring and vanilla bullshit. There are also a couple of pics of this super cute dad I was following around, and some disturbingly racist pics that I felt needed to be seen because Black Lives Matter. Dear Mr. Right, hurry the fuck up and find me!

Cranes in the Sky – Solange

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I tried to drink it away, I tried to put one in the air

I tried to work it away, but that made me even sadder

I tried to keep myself busy, I ran around in circles

I slept it away, I sexed it away, I read it away

I tried to run it away, thought then my head would be clearer

I traveled 70 states, thought moving would make me feel better

 

Bebe’s Kids

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These kids are are out of control! Why are they so bad? I said “Where is they parent, what is they doing?” and they said “You, you is the parent!” Oh sorry ok then 😳😬

Rascal – Sterling North

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imageRascal found for 25 cents at the thrift store! My endearing love of raccoons started with this favorite book from my childhood, in fact I named my 5th child Rascal (jostling with my Frenchie for camera time in the pics below)