I’m on a photographer’s e-mailing list, and in the message they sent out this week they told the story of a recent gathering with friends playing with their children. Since this person is a photographer, it was natural that they had their camera at the ready to capture the children’s fun frolic for posterity. But they noticed that their friends had their phones out as well, recording or taking photos almost non-stop.
So, guess who’s starting a brand new job? As in, an actual, “You’re hired! Welcome aboard!” job rather than just temporary, “We’ll assign you to this company for a little while” work. Yep! [*points thumbs upward toward beaming face*] This gal!
I want to recognize the significance of this particular day, June 19, especially during this time of passion in the African-American community. This day is Juneteenth. Perhaps you’ve heard of this unofficial American holiday and its significance, which I’ll touch on in a moment.
Perhaps you’ve become hep to Juneteenth only recently. Perhaps it’s because, unfortunately, You Know Who would have held a campaign rally on this date (and in a city that was home to a tragic, and under-taught, race-related massacre). Unfortunately, it may also be because You Know Who has taken “credit” (note the air quotes) for popularizing a holiday that’s been around for 155 years (and has been acknowledged by federal administrations, including his own, for years). And unfortunately, perhaps the reason you’re now aware of at least this Juneteenth is because it’s coming on the heels of recent tragedies where African Americans lost their lives at the hands of police and the resulting protests.
This past week has been a long week of wonder and worry. For me, it was spent fretting over the eventual end of my current work assignment (March, in all likelihood) and pondering where my professional road will wind next. For many in our country, the week was spent fretting over how scary politics is right now, and whether we’re going to go darker. (Don’t worry, that’s all the politics I’m going to talk about in this post.)
Let’s cheer things up, then, with some fashion talk. Well, first actually… we’re going to need to talk about not-so-cheery stuff, namely stores closing here in Madison.
Gap is now no longer part of the immediate Madison shopping landscape. I admit I only went to Gap a few times, and mostly just to window shop. Still, it was a bummer to learn last spring that Gap would close its State Street location. And it was a real bummer seeing Gap have a store-closing sale at its West Towne Mall location.
On several occasions in the past, you’ve seen me talk up a certain business located at 924 Williamson Street here in Madison. From 2009 until early 2019, it was known as the LGBT+ nightclub Plan B. One year ago, however, Plan B faced the brunt of deserved criticism, starting from restricting drag performers’ needed access to backstage dressing areas, and exploding to reports of serving underage patrons, sexual misconduct by ownership, and staff treatment of customers, including patrons of color. It led to a change in not only ownership but in name, with the club becoming Prism after a 2-week remodeling.
Unfortunately, the club’s identity as Prism would be short-lived: Last fall, its principal owner decided to close up shop, citing Madison’s competitive nightlife landscape, the increased acceptance of LGBT+ people by other establishments, and issues with building ownership. After Prism had its big closing bash last November 9, the employees, clientele, and performers went their separate ways, moving to other spots where they can drink, dine, dance, perform, and be themselves without judgement.
A bit of a milestone marker to start off: This week is my 13th week at my current work assignment. Yeah, I did apply that term to my previous work assignment when it got to that point over a year ago. But it needs to be applied for this point in time for where I’m at right now. The bad news is that I do have a feeling that it’ll end sometime in the first quarter of the new year. I knew that going in, really. But the good news is that I’m truly enjoying the role. The tasks are right in my wheelhouse, and I’m not afraid to ask questions since my supervisor and teammates are friendly, understanding, and quite approachable.
A long time ago on this blog — on this post, in fact — I talked about what kind of a superpower I would like to have. That was an easy choice for me: Ahead of flying or being invisible or altering space and time, the power I would like to have would be to easily change from male to female in a snap. A natural for me, what with my being a crossdresser and all.
I’ve been busy the past couple weeks due to my current work assignment, my blog posts about the OutReach Awards Banquet (which you can read here and here), personal errands, and dealing with very loud neighbors who like to turn up their stereos’ volume to 22 (ugh!). That’s not to say I haven’t kept up on other things going on. This includes a significant news item that came about a week ago.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may recall my posts earlier this year about an LGBT+ nightclub on Williamson Street that had been known for most of its history as Plan B. Late in 2018, some drag performers raised a ruckus about being prevented from prepping for their show in a dressing room that was already less than ideal. The subsequent reaction to that incident revealed lingering issues from Plan B’s customer base, concerns about not only the club’s direction but how its then-owners and staff (mis)treated the bar’s performers and clientele, especially female and black patrons.
As I’ve mentioned more than once on here, I’m one who loves to actually shop for clothes in person. That is, I actually like getting out of the house, going to the mall, perusing through the racks, and tell the clerk to [da-da-da duh da-daaah] “CHARGE IT!” when I find something that will have the right look and fit on me.
And for the longest time (well, at least the last decade), one of my favorite go-to stores has been here:
That is the West Towne Mall location of Forever 21. Founded as Fashion 21 in 1984, the chain has become in recent years one of the biggest names in the world of “fast fashion.” For those unfamiliar with that term, it applies to articles of clothing that are eye catching, perhaps resembling outfits seen only on the Paris catwalks, that a retailer will not only be priced reasonably but also be available for a limited time. In other words, create the product and generate the demand. Continue reading
The second week of my new current work assignment is in the books, and it got rather busy late in the week. Thankfully, the weekend is here, and I can relax, gather my thoughts, and rest up for the work week that’s to come.
Speaking of rest and work, I had a dream last night that at one point (from what I can recall) had me getting up from the cubicle where I’m spending my work assignment. But while I thought I was walking into the break room, instead I found myself on what appeared to be some sort a theater stage.