Allies & Equality

11 Jun

Image“I’m limited.
Just look at me.
I’m limited.
And just look at you.
You can do all I couldn’t do.
So now it’s up to you,
For both of us.
Now it’s up to you.”

If you’re familiar with Wicked, then you’ll know why these lines are my favorite part of the play. And for the rest of you, let me explain…

If you’re the green girl, you can’t be the one who successfully convinces everyone that it’s okay to be different. You’re limited to what you can do and whose minds and hearts you can change. But if you can find a perky blonde who’s already popular and accepted – that’s the girl who can really make a difference.

That’s how it is with me too. I’m already the different one, the weird one. So, why would the haters listen to me? Those are the people who need someone of their own kind to tell them it’s okay.

And that’s where you come into the picture.

I sincerely ask you – from my heart – to stand up for what’s right. I’m your neighbor, your friend, your employee, your boss, your family. Tell me that you value me, not in spite of my differences, but because of them. Show me you think I’m your equal with your words and actions. For the love of God, stop saying “that’s gay”. No excuses. Stop hiding in your subdivision and turning a blind eye to the Pride parade. I come to your weddings, your baby showers, your church ceremonies, and a bunch of other events where I’m uncomfortable. So it’s okay if you’re the one who’s uncomfortable for a little bit. And when your friends say something derogatory about gay people, stand up for me. I know you might lose a few friends, but I guarantee I’ve lost more.

So, what’s in this for you? Why should you rock the boat and be my ally? Because I’m fiercely loyal and will jump through hoops for you. Because I’ll work my ass off for you even more than I already do. Because I’ll give you my undying love and friendship. But I hope it’s simply because it’s the right thing to do.

I have a couple of amazing (straight) friends who are helping organize a float in this year’s Columbus Pride Parade. In years past when my friends weren’t involved, the float had about 10 people. And this year? It’s about 200.

And I know many of you love and support the gays every single day in your own special ways.

“Just look at you – you can do all I couldn’t do.”

And from the six year-old boy – who battles anxiety because he already knows he’s different – I thank you.

Bmac’s Rules of Flying

2 Apr

ImageI just got home after three weeks of traveling all over the country, and I’m feeling pretty snarky about the whole flying process. So, I decided to make a few rules – in traditional Bmac fashion. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them! 

Here’s Bmac’s Rules of Flying

  1. Get to the airport early. Yes, an hour early. Really. If you don’t, be prepared to run your ass off. And don’t get mad at anybody else at the airport– it’s your own damn fault.
  2. Just go to the freaking kiosk already. I’m still amazed by the number of people who act a fool and try to bypass the system. If my two year-old niece can use an iPad, you can use the kiosk.
  3. Do not try to take a liquid through security. Have you heard of 9/11, moron? Yeah, the TSA means business, and they’re not going to let you through with that bottle of water, snow globe, shampoo, or anything else resembling a liquid. But you can bring Jeni’s ice cream with dry ice – it’s a solid.
  4. Speaking of security, get your shit together for this dreaded task. First, pick the right line. Don’t know which line to choose? Here’s a hint – if you’re with your small children, you probably don’t want to go in the “Expert Traveler” line. Next, mentally prepare yourself with this checklist: shoes off, pockets empty, metal off, computers in separate bins, boarding pass in hand. Finally, sling all your shit on the conveyer belt at lightning speed because, lord knows, you and your toddler chose the “Expert” line and you’re holding me up.
  5. Now that you’re through that mess, go get yourself a snacky-snack. Please don’t be one of those old farts who gets on a five-hour flight and then bitches because you didn’t know the airlines stopped feeding people. Get out from underneath your rock, jackass. The airlines are broke, and only the most successful ones can offer you a small glass of Coke and a sad pack of peanuts.
  6. Go take a pee or poo break. Because if you get on that plane and take a shit, you’re going make the entire plane smell like ass. And then I’m going to have to give you my stank eye. Believe me, that ain’t pretty.
  7. Get to your gate. And for the love of Gaga, don’t stop in the middle of the walkway for anything. If you must stop, get your ass over to the side because I’m right behind you, and if you get in my way, I’ll give you my stank eye.
  8. There is no need to stand in that long line of people waiting to get on the plane. You already have a ticket, so relax and sit your ass down until the line dies down.
  9. When you’re boarding the plane, do not take weird, bulky shit with you. If you do, then be prepared for an uncomfortable ride. And don’t expect the flight attendant to have to help you. This is your problem – deal with it. Trust me, I’ve flown internationally with a rice basket, a hammock, a king cake, artwork, and drums – that shit sucks.
  10. Be a good neighbor. Get in your correct seat. No, I don’t want the middle seat. I purposefully chose the aisle seat because I know how bad the middle seat sucks. And don’t talk to me. This isn’t my first rodeo, so there’s not much of anything you can say that’ll be interesting to me. Just sit there quietly and eat your damn peanuts.
  11. Do not bring a baby onboard. And if you do, you better Google that shit. You better be prepared and have every trick up your sleeve for getting it to stop crying. Even if you can’t get the baby to stop crying, you better at least pretend to do something to help. Because if you just sit there, I’ll give you my stank eye.
  12. Turn off your freaking electronic device already. Here’s the deal, when the cabin door closes, shut that shit down. And if you don’t, be prepared to face the wrath of the flight attendants. Believe me, they can be some mean bitches, and they’ll call your ass out. I know that my iPad isn’t going to blow up the plane or make it crash, but you’re fighting a losing battle with the FAA. Lord knows they haven’t updated their rules and regs since the Wright Brothers.
  13. The flight is going to suck. I’m not sure when people started thinking that flying should be like staying in a five-star hotel, but trust me, it’s not. You’ve been on a bus before, right? Well, it’s like that. It sucks ass.

Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You

12 Feb

I distinctly remember the moment I fell in love with her. I was ten years old, sitting in our living room floor, watching The Bodyguard late one night with my daddy. I remember begging him to stay and watch it with me because I’d heard it was a little scary. (In hindsight I realize what an amazing father he was. But I digress.)

I was instantly mesmerized, and I obsessed over that movie (like I tend to do with everything) until I knew every word, every note, every move. No, I didn’t want to marry Whitney – I wanted to be Whitney. I was my own Queen of the Night, dammit.

But none of the other little boys in Winnfield seemed as connected to her as I was. Nobody else talked incessantly about her outfits, her hair, or how sexy she made the “f word” sound. Growing up in that little town, I often felt isolated and that nobody else was like me. But then I’d go home at night and re-watch my new favorite movie, and I’d just get lost – and forget about not fitting in. I knew Whitney was different, too. I’d never before seen a black girl as the main character. I’d never heard a voice like that before. I’d never seen a white man kiss a black woman. And I loved it.

My love affair continued throughout high school, and I jammed to her Greatest Hits on a daily basis. I’m still kicking myself for leaving one of those CDs in my Physics book. When everybody else was discovering love and all the feelings that teenagers experience, I had Whitney. She was my escape from the sadness that haunted me every hour of every day.

And then there were the rough years – for me and Whitney. The cracks began to shatter the perfect images that we both tried so hard to show. We both faced some pretty bad demons, and neither of us fought them in healthy ways.

Well, yesterday, Whitney stopped fighting her demons. And I don’t care what her cause of death was – that doesn’t matter. What matters is the legacy she left behind. What matters is how many lives she changed. What matters is that she made a little boy feel okay with being different.

This morning I begged another man to watch The Bodyguard with me. No, I wasn’t scared of the movie anymore. I was scared of facing the fact that Whitney was dead. I was scared of seeing her back in her prime – before things got bad. I was scared to recognize that not everybody gets the happy ending.

I know what it’s like to live life with a storm brewing inside you – a storm that never goes away and is only briefly dulled with destructive vices. And I know that Whitney’s sea has finally been calmed, and her eventual peace gives me comfort.

I will always love you, Whitney Houston.

Image

Happy Holidays!

18 Dec

Happy Holidays!

Bmac’s Favorite Things

14 Dec

One of these days I’ll muster up the nerve to do a video post instead of always writing. And this would have been the perfect topic too – I could just see myself doing my very best Oprah impression.

Picture it.

“It’s Bmac’s favorite things!!!”

Screaming and jumping ensues.

Okay, back to reality. Ever since I was a little boy, I love, love loved watching Oprah’s Favorite Things. I can even remember where I was most years – lying on the edge of my Momma’s bed with eyes full of excitement. And then last year was her last time to do the show, and I bawled like a little baby when it was over. Sure, she did a favorite things-esque magazine this year, but let’s be honest – it kinda sucked.

So, as an homage to Oprah, I’d like to present Bmac’s Favorite Things:

1.  Any Apple Product

I don’t think it’s any secret that I adore Apple. But I’m not just a kool-aid drinker or a follower, I truly believe in these products. I’ve seen them make magic in people’s lives. From my two year-old niece bopping along to her pink iPod Shuffle to my near-sixty year-old mother’s iPad obsession. I’ve never given an Apple product that didn’t generate a smile a mile wide.

I think the key is to put thought into choosing the right product for the person. And part of the gift should be helping the person have a great experience with their new iDevice. Make a list of your favorite apps. Load your favorite songs. Spend an hour (with a smile on your face) explaining repeatedly to your mother how to use Facebook on her new iPad.

2.  The Big Apple

Clever little segue there, eh? But I do seriously heart New York. I even blogged about it. If you or your special boo have never been, then you just have to go. As a teenager from the sticks of Louisiana, it was life-changing. And it helped shape who I am today.

I can’t think of a better gift than the experience of this amazing city. If you need help planning your trip, gimme a shout.

3.  A Pretty Notebook

For a self-professed tech junkie, I’m still pretty old school when it comes to writing. I make paper to-do lists. I always keep an idea notebook where I can draw, scribble, and jot down every crazy-ass thought that wanders into my mind. And when I have to write something – anything – I still do it by hand first before typing it. There’s just something about a beautiful notebook that sparks my creativity like nothing else.

(If you’re in Columbus, I recommend checking out On Paper)

4.  A Beautiful Scarf

I’m not sure why a simple piece of fabric can make you feel so special, but it does. And it’s an insanely versatile gift for just about anybody! But please don’t go buy one at the Gap or J. Crew. Don’t get me wrong, I love those stores, but when you give a scarf, it should be unique!

So, go to a local boutique or even have someone make a special scarf. I have a new hand-woven kelly green one that’s just waiting for a frigid day.

(If you want some cool ways to tie a scarf, check out this video. And if you’re in Columbus, I would shop at Substance.)

5.  Personal Recipes
If you’re known for your cooking or baking, then share your famous recipes! Print them on some beautiful paper, and be sure to add all your notes that make it, well, yours.

 

 

 

 

6.  Spices & Seasonings

You know what would go great with those recipes? Your favorite spices and seasonings! But don’t go to the grocery store and get the jarred kind – go to a local spice store or shop online for the good stuff. Here are some ideas:

  • Peppercorns – Make your own blend of peppercorns! The ratio I prefer is:  50% black, 25% green, 15% white, and 10% pink.
  • Salts – There are all kinds of beautiful and delicious salts out there, so just pick out a few of your favs.
  • Vietnamese Cinnamon – This is the most delicious cinnamon I’ve ever had, and I won’t use anything else.
  • Nutmegs – Be sure to give whole nutmegs and not that grated shiz. You won’t believe the difference!
  • Vanilla extract/beans – I prefer Madagascar. I think it works best in everything!
(If you’re in Columbus, check out Clintonville Community Market.)

7.  Anything homemade

Think of something you are good at, and give it to your friends! Homemade goodies are my one of my absolute favorite gifts to give and receive, and I bet your loved ones will feel the same way. Maybe you’re great at sewing or crafting – the sky’s the limit!

I love making food and drinks. How about some infused vodkas or oils? Or maybe homemade vanilla extract? I’ve done them all, and they make wonderful gifts! Oh, and they’re super easy for those of you who aren’t too handy in the cocina. They just take a little time and a pretty container!

8.  Experiences

I love “experience” gifts. “Experience” gifts are when you fully map-out an experience for another person. Maybe it’s a trip, a picnic, a shopping date, a day of crafting, a bar crawl, a movie night, or a romantic dinner. Whatever you choose, remember, it’s all about the experience. So, make it special, and put thought into all the little details.

9.  Massage

One of my favorite things to do is get a massage. Now, before you get all weird and uncomfortable, hear me out. There’s a myriad of health benefits from a massage – from stress relief to managing anxiety and depression – and it just feels good!

If you’ve never been a massage person, then you definitely owe it to yourself to try one. Oh, and they make fantastic gifts. (If you happen to be in Columbus, I highly recommend Urban Village Massage.)

10.  Music

My life revolves around music. It’s in my soul, and I’d rather die than live a life without a melody. I truly believe that music can fix anything. So, this year, give the gift of music.

Here are some ideas:

  • Buy tickets to a theatre show or a concert. Even concerts at a local college or university are fun and inexpensive.
  • Make an iTunes playlist and then gift it to someone special. Think of this as the mix tape of the times.
  • If you play an instrument, put on a mini concert for somebody you love!
  • No matter their age, buy someone an instrument. From the drums to an upright piano, playing an instrument can relieve stress and actually make you smarter!

So, there you have it. I’d love to hear what you think about my favorite things list! I hope this sparks a little creativity with your gift giving this season.

Happy Holidays!

Bmac

xoxo

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