Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ghosts of Halloween Costumes Past, Part 2

My favorite Halloween costume was Edward Scissorhands, in 1991.

Click here to read why.

No matter how old I get, no matter how much I may grow up (reluctantly), I will always be Edward Scissorhands, inside my Inner Child, and in my heart.

Happy Halloween, 2008! Stay safe and sane.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Twelve Year Itch

Domestic Partner and I have been together twelve years, now, this month.
I am very happy about that, but we didn't do anything special to celebrate.
I can be too sentimental for my own good. DP is not. He is a good counterbalance for me.

I remember the exact date we met. DP does not. Recently, he asked if we had been together - what? Six years? Nine years? It doesn't bother me. I'm used to it. And he almost never remembers which month my birthday occurs in, although he does acknowledge it every year. He never wants any fuss or big fanfare for his birthday, either. He is practical, pragmatic, and introverted. He is a big ole fuddy-duddy, sometimes. A lot of times. Most of the time.

And he is my stability.

We are so different, and people always wonder why we are still together.

For one, the emotional drama between us is extremely minimal. DP was surprised to hear me say this. He doesn't agree. I told him that it is minimal compared to what I grew up with in my family. I do not take for granted the peaceful home life I have with him. I don't have to walk around on eggshells with my Domestic Partner.

And we adore our pets. It may be about the only thing we truly have in common, but we are ridiculous when it comes to spoiling our pets. We both get the same delight and daily joy out of our animals. He gets a bit more impatient with our dogs than I do, and he'll yell an exasperated "Stop it!" when they get too rambunctious. But that's as bad as his temper gets.

I realized last week that I am lucky to be with someone who is kind to animals. Even if we have nothing else in common, that one fact alone speaks volumes about a person.

And I feel lucky that he still wants me around. It is easy for others to get the impression that he is too needy because he feels neglected if I am out too much at night and on the weekends. He hated being the "Performer's Widower."
A divorced friend recently commented on how nice it was that I have someone who still wants me to be home, especially after more than a decade together.

Maybe I need someone who needs me around.

Domestic Partner and I have no plans to marry each other. In the current controversial climate of Proposition 8, in California, we support same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue. But for us, all is fine and peaceful the way things are between us. What we have certainly isn't perfect, but neither is it broken to the point to need that kind of fixing.

If I continue to be lucky, we'll be together for another twelve years and beyond.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Scariest Halloween

BFF Kathy's daughter is Little Miss Intelligent. I know almost every parent and proud aunt or uncle probably thinks this about their own children, but it's scary how much LMI is able to comprehend as a six-year-old.

Little Miss Intelligent was asking her mother about the signs on some of the front lawns in their California neighborhood, signs displaying the number 8. Kathy decided it was the right time to explain to LMI about Uncle Peter and Domestic Partner, and how they are "more than just friends" who live together.

LMI understood, Kathy told me. Little Miss Intelligent wasn't surprised or shocked. She was accepting of it. When her mother asked, LMI said the new information didn't make her feel any differently about Uncle Peter. Kathy went on to explain how the 'Yes on 8' signs meant that some people wanted to stop two boys from getting married, boys who were like Uncle Peter and Domestic Partner.

The house right across the street from Kathy's has a 'Vote Yes on 8' sign on their lawn. It is right in the middle of the house's Halloween decorations, perfectly centered among the tombstones on the lawn. It is featured in the lead role of a ghastly musical number, backed by a chorus of skeletons hanging from the front porch.

Little Miss Intelligent commented on the tombstones and skulls and ghouls she was able to see through her front window.

"You know what scariest part is?" she asked. "The scariest part is the 'yes on 8' sign."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ghosts of Halloween Costumes Past, Part 1

I usually plan months ahead for an extravagant costume for Halloween. This full-time working thang has really gotten in the way of that, though, in recent years.
In lieu of a sadly lacking costume for this year (so far!), here is the first of a few costumes from previous years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Starved for Affection

Cheryl has had me thinking about my days as a Disney Character (well, that, and getting back in touch with so many of my Disney friends on facebook). Her responses and kind comments show that she really understands what that job was all about, and what it meant to me.

She should have been a Disney Character.

"Don't you get hot in those things," people used to ask me, "especially during the summer?"

Well, yeah, of course it was hot. But the work was so enjoyable and interesting, that it almost didn't matter. I loved being mobbed as Pluto and feeling like a celebrity, trying to accommodate as many photos and autograph requests as possible.

And the hugs. I got so many hugs, from children and adults. One of the things I first became aware of while working in costume was how much children were able to communicate in a single hug. This particular body language became painfully obvious in quite a few clingy children. Even through all of the costume's thick padding and fur, I could feel the desperation in their little bodies, how starved they were for reassurance and physical affection.

I was that child, even at 19-years-old, still. I was sad for the children I met who were probably not getting enough hugs at home. I was sad for them because I was still sad for the boy-I-used-to-be that never got enough hugs, either.

When do we outgrow our Inner Children? Maybe never. And I am okay with that. I hope I can cherish my Inner Child for as long as I live, and continue to actively love him and reassure him.

I feel lucky to have spent as much time as I did in the Character Department.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poor Bunny

Miss Drama, The Constantly Dramatic One, has met Glenn Close. I haven't, but Miss Drama reminded me of one of my favorite stories from Disneyland, when Miss Close was visiting the park. Unfortunately, I wasn't working at the time.

Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit were out greeting guests in the park when Miss Close arrived. The Mad Hatter spotted her first, and walked right up to her.

"You!" he screamed at Miss Close. "You stay away from Mr. White Rabbit! I've seen what you do to poor, helpless, little bunnies."

Glenn Close laughed her head off, I'm told.

Monday, October 13, 2008

15 Random Facts

I was tagged by The Constantly Dramatic One. I almost never respond to tags, and I've been feeling a little guilty over not responding to the first coupla' times she tagged me.

Plus, this tag really appeals to the narcissist in me.

15 random facts about me that you may or may not know.

1. I prefer to pee sitting down. Yes, I can aim if I'm standing up, but not perfectly every time. There are too many unpredictable angles in the stream of pee, with mine anyway. And what doesn't end up on the toilet rim - or beyond - ends up spotting my boxers when I pee standing up. Comedienne Margaret Smith says that if women had wieners, "you know we would daub 'em." That's me.

2. I was Purple Peter for over two decades. At first it was just a ploy for attention, an easy way to be different. But I genuinely liked the color purple. I wore something purple every single day from 1981 to 2001. Sometimes it was just purple socks, or only my purple watch. On other days it was just purple underwear or purple shoelaces. I had an entire purple suit with a double-breasted blazer.

3. I was enrolled at UCLA right after high school. I started out as a biology major, which was a big mistake. I dropped out after a year, and started working at Disneyland. My parents were really mad at me.

4. I am a former band geek. I played trumpet for eight years, from the fifth grade to my senior year in high school.

5. I am estranged from my father. He has stated that he cannot accept my homosexuality. The estrangement is mutual. He was a great parent, and he has the ability to be a great human being, but I do not miss him.

6. I was a contestant on two T.V. game shows - "Win, Lose, or Draw" (kind of like Pictionary) and "The Grudge Match." Richard Simmons was my celebrity team mate on the first one.

7. I was born in California but I lived in Japan and Saudi Arabia while growing up. My father teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) so we moved around a lot. People thought I was an army brat.

8. I don't mind if my dogs lick me in the mouth. I have never died or gotten sick from letting them do that, even though it grosses out everyone around me.

9. In addition to being a band geek I was a drama dork in high school. Musicals were my favorite. My first musicals in high school were The Fantasticks, Grease, and Godspell.

10. I won my first trophy in the fifth grade. I was one of the winners in the school district's safety poster contest. My poster's slogan was, "Don't be a litter bug - feed the trash cans (I stole it from McDonald's - I was ten). My dad framed the poster and displayed it in the living room.

11. I cried when I brought my school pictures home and my dad said, "Oh, Peter, this is terrible," because I had a closed-mouth smile. Neither of us knew, then, that you were allowed to retake your school picture if you didn't like the first one. I made damn sure to show teeth in the following year's photo.

12. I first had sex when I was 15, and only once. I didn't have sex again until I was 19 (and working at Disneyland).

13. I believe that being angry is better than feeling sorry for yourself. Anger can move you to action, at least. I wasted too many years in self-pity.

14. When I was involved in ex-gay ministry, I tried being celibate throughout most of my twenties. I wasn't very successful.

15. I saved over ten years' worth of fingernail clippings and then gave them as a wedding gift to BFF Kathy when she got married. True story.

Consider yourself tagged, if you are so inclined.

This One's for Louise on the Left

Dear Louise,

Thank you for indulging my constant-need-for-attention (you must be an experienced parent!), and for stroking my ego.

I adore being stroked.

I would ride proudly as your Curly-passenger to your Laurie driver,if you were to drive a sparkly, metallic purple golf cart with the white "fringe on the top."

I was Purple Peter for well over two decades, so the former me - the Artist Formerly Known as Purple Peter - cheered triumphantly when I saw a metallic dark purple smart fortwo car on the freeway last month! (it's not a standard color choice; those are custom made).

Also, I have been meaning to post a rather lengthy blog entry during this past busy & hectic week (after being tagged by The Constantly Dramatic One). So, I also thank you for giving me a time-efficient entry to post.


And to my Iowanian cohort, Sunshine, here are the poses with 'the guns,' just for you! Thank you for stroking me, too.

Who else wants to stroke me?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lookit Me! Lookit Me!

It's here! It's finally here!

Less than nine months after putting my name on the reservation list, I received my brand new smart fortwo car.


It has been great driving around the southern California freeways, already! It is very satisfying to simply see this big little car parked in the garage.


First impressions: the automatic option is slightly jerky in the first two or three gear shifts, but using the manual option - which is clutch-less, by the way - makes for a much smoother ride.

The smart fortwo has three cylinders. Is it lacking in power? Not as much as you might think. I live near a huge hill of a freeway. When making my way up the incline, downshifting one gear from 5 to 4 gave me enough power to pick up speed and pass a few other motorists. I was weaving in and out among cars, going up that hill in my tiny little space egg, until I remembered that I forgot to put the new insurance policy in the glove compartment.


And the attention it brings . . . YEAH, BABY!

As anticipated, my candy-yellow micro car turns heads. I have enjoyed the looks I'm getting, everywhere I drive. People point from their cars and smile. Pedestrians try to look as if they're not staring, with little success.

The gas mileage is great for a non-hybrid car. I'm getting well over forty miles per gallon on the freeway.

I'm still driving my scooter into work five days a week. As small as the car is, it would still take an hour and a half in traffic to get to work, versus thirty-five minutes or so on my putt-putt. Maybe I'll leave an hour earlier for work on rainy days.

For now, the sun continues to shine. "Lookout, Weekend, cuz here I come!"

Friday, October 3, 2008

Milkin' Honey

I heard this riddle at work today:

Q: What kind of bee makes milk?

A: A boo-bee.

LMAO! No matter how old I get, there is a small but permanent part of me that will always be 8-years-old and get a kick out of those kind of jokes.

How did I go more than 40 years without ever hearing that one before?

Your turn. Tell me one of your favorite childhood jokes or riddles.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Favorite Peter

Orchids and gratitude go out to published author and blogger, Cheryl Klein, for sparking the idea for this post.

Cheryl had suggested, in response to the previous post, that one of my childhood nicknames - Peter Underpants - should be the name of a new clothing line, or at least, the title of a second blog.

She is automatically entitled to residuals when the profits start pouring in.

Can you imagine? Firstly, what the name 'Peter' insinuates, alone. Secondly, pair that with the word 'underpants' (get it?) and you instantly get a mental image. Or I do, anyway.

To me, 'underpants' is one of those words with specific gender representation, like 'panties,' or 'tighty-whiteys,' or 'thong,' although that last one has enjoyed increasing gender equality in the last decade or so.

Oh, and 'manties.'


Cheryl's comment reminded me of a clothing label I happened to stumble upon years ago while in Japan - "Favorite Peter." The tags on the inside of their sweatshirts said "Favorite Peter." The label tags also featured a little cartoon logo of a boy sporting spiky bangs and a backwards baseball cap. It was cute, it was youthful, and it was sooo Japanese. It was me! (back then, a dozen years ago, I was still able to pull off "cute and youthful." Now I'm just Japanese)

I must have bought a half dozen of those shirts, some that had "Favorite Peter" blazoned across the front, and some that merely had "Peter" above the cartoon-boy-logo. People thought I had them custom made.

And I found a souvenir sweatshirt in Japan for my brother, Danny. It also had a cutesy cartoon boy, which was more of a stick-figure drawing. Below the smiling stick boy was "Danny First" in large letters.

"We can't both wear our shirts," he said to me, once I was back home and as we were preparing to leave for a family get-together. "One narcissistic brother is amusing. Two is just obnoxious."

When people commented on my sweatshirt, I would usually respond with, "Everyone has a favorite peter, whether their own or someone else's."

Okay, so maybe that's being a little phallo-centric. It's likely that Cheryl doesn't have one, a favorite peter, that is. Unless she wants to count me.