While I’m spending part of my Saturday morning bathing in the euphoria from and thinking up a post documenting my poetry performance Friday night (an awesome evening all around), I want to make a quick addition to “Allison’s Jukebox.” Have a listen to “Diamonds and Pearls,” the 1991 hit by Prince and The New Power Generation.
It’s Friday as I write this, and I have the entire day off. A good thing, yes, since it gives me a three-day weekend. But it’s an even better thing for me since it’s been a major bummer of a week, thanks to taking my (supposedly) sweet little car into the shop not once but twice. The first, unplanned visit was because of a flat tire. On my drive into work on Monday, I had to dodge a little yet quite noticeable something that the construction site across from my place of employment did not sweep up. However, I heard a little “pop” in the back of my car. While I had dodged what I had to dodge, I wasn’t expecting something else in the road — a nail, which I didn’t realize I had run over until my work day ended and I came back to my car. The good news is that there was a tire place literally two doors down from my place of employment, and they were able to replace my tires and get me back on the road that night. (I say “tires” because they got me with the up-sell thing and replaced both of my rear tires, since they didn’t have a single tire in stock that matched the size of the good rear tire.)
Before I let it drift back into the farthest reaches of my memory, I should tell you about a little get-together I had with my family at the end of September. And not just any run-of-the-mill get-together, mind you. Yeah, as if you couldn’t tell from the title of this post, it was the occasion of my little sister’s wedding. Little Sis and her fiance, after being boyfriend and girlfriend for several years, then becoming an engaged couple, and eventually buying a house together (and, wow, what a house), formally tied the knot in a ceremony three weeks ago this weekend.
Just a brief post to contemplate something important for me: This entire month of September has been and will be quite a busy one, both in my professional and familial matters. So it was only this week that I reflected on a very important step in my life: Fifteen years ago on Labor Day weekend, I made the big move from Green Bay to the Madison area. And 15 years ago this week, I joined my place of employment.
During this busy schedule of mine, and that of my supervisor who is based in another office away from Madison, we took the time to commemorate my 15-year work anniversary this week. It was a very modest celebration, really: Just me (since I’m the only one on my team actually working in Madison); my current supervisor, who made a quick midday drive up to Madison (and brought balloons!); and, as my personally chosen guest, the person who was my first supervisor 15 years ago and who I remain close with professionally, all enjoying lunch and conversation at the Panera Bread next door from my office.
Before I go any further, a couple of things: First, this is a story I originally posted on a previous journal site, and I wanted to tell it again here with a few embellishments. Also, this may seem to you that I’ll be going off in multiple directions in this post, but they all tie in to this story. Anyway here goes:
As I’ve hinted/mentioned/downright owned up to on here, I am indeed a child of the 1980s. And if you recall the 1980s, that decade had a number of clothing styles to remember. Leather outfits were one such style; in my opinion, leather skirts are an ubiquitous classic that, when tastefully styled, will never go out of style.
But, let’s admit it, the ’80s also produced several fashion styles that did not withstand the test of time, among them:
- Leg warmers (“Just coming back from dance class, I see?”)
- Noticeably wide shoulder pads (“So, you trying out for the football team in those?”)
- Members Only jackets (something I didn’t see a lot of in my small town; it must’ve been a big city-only thing).
Times have changed for sure (oh, sorry, “like, fer SURRE!”), and you’ll likely find these old outfits in a vintage/retro shop. If you’re like me and you come across them, you’ll think one of three things:
- “This is still a classic”
- “Oh, boy, this look did not age well”
- “I think I may snap this up for some real or imagined retro dress-up party I may or may not attend at an indeterminate time in the future.”
Last weekend, I finally had the opportunity — and more importantly, the courage — to do what I had long hoped to do: March as Allison in a LGBT pride parade.
Sunday was the day of the OutReach Pride Parade & Rally (the above logo is from the event website). As you may recall my telling you in this post about last year’s parade, the event has been put on since 2014 by OutReach, which is the LGBT community resource and support center here in Madison. As it has since 2015, the parade and rally was held downtown, with the parade going up State Street and circling Capitol Square before ending at a rally point where State Street meets the square. The OutReach Pride Parade & Rally has grown each year since its establishment. In fact, this year organizers had to cut off the number of registered parade entrants at 77, since there was just no room for any more.
Happy weekend, peoples! I’m writing this post on a “tape-delay” Friday evening; hopefully, if the WordPress settings are accurate, this will be delivered to you first thing Saturday morning. Why am I writing this on Friday night and posting it on Saturday morning? Well, I’m going to be very busy not just Saturday morning but all weekend; I’ll talk my to-do list in a moment.
First, though, I want to tell you about a celebration occurring southeast of Madison, in a place called Walworth County. It’s just over 102,000 in population; it’s mostly though not entirely rural; it’s generally conservative in culture; and it’s home to the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater, the Alpine Valley resort and music theater, and the vacation spot Lake Geneva. And on Saturday, it will hold its first ever LGBT “pride fair,” conducted from 10AM to 3PM on the Chamber of Commerce grounds in the county seat of Elkhorn.
In this post from late last month, I detailed the topic of my general presence online. That post and the one you’re about to read were inspired by one of the “June Jour” topics my WordPress peep, The Finicky Cynic, posted on her site in June: Thoughts about social media use. As I noted in that post, I tend to think of my online and social media presences as intertwined with each other. After that lengthy post about the online life, I will center this post on how I got to the “You Are Here” point on social media, as well as whether there’s too much of it and if I tend to rely on it too much (spoiler alert: There is, and I do).
I will start off by alluding to some relatively personal social media news: I had mentioned once or twice on this blog that I was never keen to establishing an account on Facebook. I gave reasons such as the controversy over Facebook requiring users to use their real names and not their stage name or preferred private alias, to the image of Mark Zuckerberg being a big prick (yeah, I got that from The Social Network). And I still feel a lot of trepidation and hesitance over establishing a Facebook account.
And yet, out of necessity, I’ve established a Facebook account.
Now, you will certainly brand me a hypocrite for joining Facebook after expressing for so long how nice it was to not have done so. But I have two key reasons for doing so, which I’ll get to later in this post. First, I want to start off with my first venture into social media, Twitter. As I mentioned in this post, I had never thought about answering the siren song of social media until a couple of months after getting my first full-fledged smart phone. Before then, I had one of those basic flip phones for a few years, but with the rapid advancement of personal technology, that phone became oh so archaic by the time I bought my first smart phone in 2010.
I wanted to make note of a couple of things I discovered during last weekend’s trip to and from my class reunion, which I highlighted in my previous post. Both of these have to do with two old apartments I had lived in during my 12 years in the Green Bay area. (Yes, you non-Wisconsinites, that Green Bay.) The first tidbit concerns the last apartment I lived in up there. Actually, I take that back somewhat: This isn’t about that apartment itself so much as it is about the plot of land kitty-corner from it. On that 1-acre plot was a little red farm house along with matching garage and small barn, all closely situated within each other.
Today, after 5 days away from work, I headed back to the 8-hour grind. Strange as it may sound to you, I’m so very glad that I’m back to work. That’s because the past couple of days were really, really rotten for me. Oh, it wasn’t due to a familial or personal situation, though it was something related to my writing talents and to my status as a… uh, well, if you read my bio to the right of your screen, you’ll notice that there’s something different to it. I won’t get into the details about why that’s the case on this blog just yet, at least until I’m all cheered up and willing to broach the topic.
Instead, I want to share some thoughts about something much, much nicer that happened to me during the three days prior to the past two. Last Friday, I drove up to my old home town in… let’s just say Northern Wisconsin for a 30-year reunion of my high school graduating class. How was it, you’re asking? Well, it was a rather modest affair. No, I don’t mean it was staid and sedated. Try more like a quickly-assembled affair. From how I understand it, were some classmates who would’ve loved to assemble a grand (or somewhat grand) to-do for our Class of ’87, including those who’ve organized our previous reunions. Unfortunately, it appears that they were unable to do so this year for whatever reason.