So, I've recently joined Netflix - and have been watching movies that I've always wanted to see - particularly those of the gay & lesbian genre. Most people are familiar with gay themed movies like Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert, and Brokeback Mountain or Beautiful Thing. However, there are a LOT of them out there that aren't readily available to see in a theater. So thank God for Netflix. They're a great company. I've seen some that are good, some that are really bad, and some that are amazing. One of the movies I loved is called Were the World Mine. It's taken a gay theme (small town boy, picked on for being gay - hey, that could be MY story), and mixed in musical numbers. Now I don't often think of myself as the gayest of gays, but I will admit that I love musicals - especially the older movies with the huge production numbers like Singing in the Rain, A Star is Born, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Sound of Music - stuff like that. Well, Were the World Mine had music that just made my heart melt. The movie takes place at an all-boys private school, and they are putting on a musical production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The star (Tanner Cohen - an "out" actor) has the most beautiful singing voice. (I urge you to listen to the songs "Were the World Mine" and "Be As Thou Wast Wont") I watched the movie and was immediately thrown back into my own school days, when I too was in love with the school jock. The difference here is that the handsome jock loves him back. It's sweet, it's romantic, and it gives one hope for love. I love music. Love it! And when you can combine great music with amazing visuals - it makes for the perfect pairing. I am sure everyone remembers the songs from The Sound of Music. You can't help it. Even if it's been a long time since you've seen the movie, once you hear the songs, you immediately start singing along. It's escapism at it's finest. Everytime I see hideous fabric somewhere, my head immediately goes to the Von Trapp family children - and I immediately start singing Do Re Me in my head. And whenever it's thundering and lightning outside, I start to hear My Favorite Things in my head. ("Raindrops on Roses, and Whiskers on kittens...") Last summer, when I was riding my bike, I just started singing Sixteen going on Seventeen. I couldn't help it! There are certain musicals that stay in my head for days afterwards - like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I was introduced to it by an old high school friend - and my friend Martin and I used to sing "Just 2 Little Girls from Little Rock" all the time. It's an iconic film! Marilyn Monroe AND Jane Russell? How can you go wrong? The best number (well, besides "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend" - which Madonna famously copied, errrr, I mean was inspired by) is "Ain't there Anyone Here for Love?". Jane Russell sings, along with about 50 muscle men who are wearing only tan speedos! You certainly can't beat that for it's kitsch value. It's so homoerotic! Another of my favorite musicals which I watch way too much is an often overlooked movie called Funny Face. It stars Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn - but the real star is a woman who was only in 2 movies. Her name is Kay Thompson. She's amazing! She's an overbearing magazine editor - and she sings some great songs. "Think Pink" is her first number - and you can tell she was a cabaret singer in NYC. I love the movie's theme - taking the unknown ingenue (Audrey) and turning her into a successful model in Paris, who falls in love with a man old enough to be her grandfather. lol. But Audrey looks amazing in all of the Givenchy fashion that she wears in her fashion shoots. And I love when Fred gives her direction "You're Anna Karenina" and she replies "Shall I throw myself under the train?" Cheesey? yes. But it's fun, and the musical numbers are outstanding. There's a big number called Bonjour, Paris! that has the 3 leads singing the same song in different areas of Paris, but they all end up together singing the climax at the Eiffel Tower. Musicals offer escapism for me. They remind of better times. They make me happy. I have some of these songs on my iPod, and when I hear them, it immediately brings a smile to my face.
Thanksgiving is in 16 days! 16 days!! That makes me happy - mostly because it's a great time with my family. My Mom really is an amazing cook at Thanksgiving. She makes THE best stuffing I've ever had. Anywhere! How can you not love comfort food like you get at Thanksgiving? You can also get the tryptophan high! It's probably a good thing we don't drink wine with our turkey, or we'd all be passed out at the table. What is the deal with everyone eating so much? I mean, I pile the food high on my plate. It's almost like I'll never be eating again!! And then there's the desserts! Oh my god! My Mom makes amazing pumpkin pie, and my sister Cindy usually makes Pineapple UpsideDown Cake. Donna makes Pecan Pie, and Ben usually makes something chocolate-y. It's almost like we don't know where to draw the line. A few years ago, we started a tradition where we sit together (after dinner) and everyone has to say something about each other - in order of our ages. So, we'd start with my Mom, and everyone would have to say "Mom, I'm thankful for you because...." and everyone would have a turn. Then, after Kleenex is passed around, we go to my sister Cindy. And it goes on, and on until we get through everyone. It's our gift to each other - and we express our love. It really opens your eyes. I had no idea what my relatives would say about me - but some very nice things were said. My neice Michelle said she was proud of me, because she thought I was the bravest person she's ever known. (for having to go through the hardships of being gay) I loved her before, but afterwards, I had to give her the biggest hug. The ones who made me cry the most were my Mom, my sisters Geri and Ellen, and my neice Michelle.
So, I wanted to say that I am thankful for many things. I am thankful that I have a job in this economy, and that I have a wonderful roof over my head. There are many things that I want, but I don't really need anything! I am thankful that I have a wonderful Mom, who loves me unconditionally. She's the most important person in the world to me. I have an amazing family - and we are very close. I don't see them as often as I'd like, but when we're together, we share a bond that is unbreakable. I have amazing friends - both near and far - and their support and friendship are something I treasure, and definitely couldn't do without.