Tag Archives: youth

i have drawn a conclusion…

25 Aug

This summer I have read The Little Prince, watched countless hours of Sesame Street songs and segments, seen films like Young Adult and Moonrise Kingdom, discovered Matilda: the Musical, rewatched the film Matilda, and have just now placed a request for Matilda with my local library.

The conclusion I have drawn from this?

Being an adult fucking sucks.

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When I Grow Up…

22 Aug

Today I discovered Matilda: the Musical. I had heard word a while back that this was going to be a thing, but I had no idea that it had already hit the west end and Broadway. Upon hearing about it, I was feeling pretty indifferent. It’s not that I didn’t like Matilda as a kid, and it’s not that I don’t think it’s good musical material. On the contrary, I’m very particular about what film/book material does or does not make a good musical. Shrek? Not musical material. Billy Elliot? Definite musical material. Once? Hella musical material. Legally Blonde? Hell no.

I knew right away Matilda would make for a good musical, I just wasn’t feeling up to tracking the soundtrack down. Then my friend Jon went and posted the song When I Grow Up on tumblr, and, well… here are the lyrics, and you might see why I’ve changed my mind:

When I grow up,
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb the trees
You get to climb when you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to before you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work, and I will
Go to bed late every night.
And I will wake up
When the sun comes up, and I
Will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,
And I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up
I will be strong enough to carry all
The heavy things you have to haul
Around with you when you’re a grown up.

And when I grow up…
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will have treats every day,
And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
That mums don’t think are fun.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up and I
Will spend all day just lying in the sun.
And I won’t burn ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up,
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

When I grow up…

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.
Just because I find myself in this story,
It doesn’t mean that everything is written for me.
If I think the ending is fixed already,
I might as well be saying I think that it’s okay,
And that’s not right.

Looking at the lyrics typed out, I can now easily see how the lyrics/music are written by Tim Minchin, which I didn’t know until only a while ago. And, dear me, I fucking love Tim Minchin.

I’ve felt so nostalgic as I’ve replayed this song on constant repeat all day. This song achieves it’s purpose: to make us remember what it’s like to be a kid and to have such fantastic aspirations. I remember going around as a kid swearing, when I was adult, that I’d eat candy all the time, lie around in the sun, climb trees, and essentially still be a child. This makes me sad, because I feel like I’ve lost so much of what made me such a wonderful child. Of course I couldn’t hold onto some of the things, but there’s so much of my childhood I wish I had held onto. My immense imagination. My optimism. My hyper-ness. My energy.

And yet, most of the time I feel like I’ve managed to hold onto more of my childlike wonder than the majority of people I know my age. Everyone takes everything so fucking seriously. People don’t take joy in the little things anymore. I feel like I’m much better at rolling with the punches than everyone. Maybe it’s because of everything I’ve gone through in my life, but I’ve learned to differentiate the little things and the important things. Speaking of which, I’ve always tried to enjoy the little things. Always.

I went and watched Matilda, the movie, today, which was a lovely experience. I think the quintessential difference in being an adult vs. being a child is that when I was a kid I fantasized about being Matilda. Now that I’m an adult I fantasize about being Ms. Honey.

I find the last stanza to be incredibly inspirational, especially the beginning part that goes: “Just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.” It’s just something nice I’m going to have to remember when things get me down.

I’m tremendously excited to listen to the rest of this musical. I know it’ll be a great one.

Things I Miss From Childhood

15 Aug
  • Watching Sesame Street on a daily basis
  • Chess club
  • Getting away with wearing overalls
  • Mom braiding my hair
  • Field trips
  • Girl Scout arts and crafts
  • Sleepovers
  • 5am Saturday morning cartoons
  • Trick or treating
  • Naming every stuffed animal
  • Grandma’s cooking
  • Collecting Pokemon cards
  • Recess
  • Drawing with sidewalk chalk
  • Circus games with Anthony
  • Play labs
  • Board games
  • Horseback riding lessons
  • Where’s Waldo
  • Tea parties
  • Ballet recitals
  • Dad’s bedtime stories
  • Make believe

Roger Waters is Gay.

18 Jun

First and foremost, this has absolutely nothing to do with the lead member of Pink Floyd. Sorry to disappoint, but I know nothing about that dude. (Plus I’m fairly certain he’s not gay.)

This entry has been something I’ve wanted to write about for a while now. I’ve never really had much motivation to start it, but sometimes something in your life happens and you are given that push you’ve been looking for. Suddenly you have to write a piece or you will just die inside; the words choking at the edges of your fingertips, aching to be written. That’s one of the things I love most about writing. You can go from zero to a hundred in a matter of seconds when it comes to motivation, simply because of a single image that you see or a single sentence that was spoken to you.

I called up my dad this morning, what with it being Father’s Day and all. I can’t remember the last father’s day I spent with my old man, so every year I see it as my civic duty to make up for my lack of presence in Portland by having a nice, lengthy chat with my him over the phone. We talked about the normal things: grades, moving into my new apartment, my brother taking him out for a Father’s Day dinner, my cat, OSF, my upcoming camping trip, etc. Then, somehow, we got onto a certain topic. I’m not really sure how it came about, seeing as my memory is incredibly short-term for things of this nature. I think it started when my father began talking about someone I went to elementary/middle school with wanting to host a class reunion. I went to the same Kindergarten through 8th grade school for nine years, where my entire class consisted of thirty students. Not thirty students per class in the grade, I’m talking thirty students in the entire class. Sure, a student or two would transfer out/in almost every year, but for the most part there were always thirty students there (I was part of the core twenty students who were there for all nine years). A reunion would be easy to accomplish, seeing as there are so few of us. Then, as my father and I talked about whether or not I might be in Portland for said reunion, if it were to happen, a name popped up. The name of the guy who I was insanely in love with from second grade until I graduated from eighth grade. We’re good friends with this guy’s family, so it didn’t strike me as odd that we were talking of him. Then my dad said gravely:

“I don’t know if you’ve heard the news…”

I, of course, instantly thought he was going to tell me that this guy’s dad died in a forest fire. Or his mom was bludgeoned to death by a toaster. Or his younger sister was trampled by a rhino. Or his even younger sister was killed in midst of a freak bungee jumping accident. I’m sorry, but when someone says “I don’t know if you’ve heard the news…” in a fucking grave voice, my brain instantly jumps to death. I should know better by now with my dad, seeing as he once called me while I was in a movie theater three times and then left me a voicemail saying “Hey, we need to talk…” in the most serious voice ever, and when I returned the call I learned that he only wanted to ask how I felt about being flown up to Portland to see a national touring production of Les Miserables. I had thought he was going to tell me our house had burned down. My father. The Michael Scott of my life through and through.

Anyway, I replied with the expected, “Um, I don’t think so. What news are you talking about?” and here is what my father then revealed to me:

“I don’t know if you’ve heard… it’s fairly recent news… I’ve only known a couple of months… but Roger Waters is gay.”

First of all, no. The great love of my youth is not really named Roger Waters. Just a pseudonym. A really awesome pseudonym. (Which I’ve now just learned is the name of the main member of Pink Floyd, which was probably tucked in the back of my subconscious when I choose this name, but fuck it, I’m sticking with it.)

Second of all, I freaked the fuck out.

I was flabbergasted; shocked out of my mind. Gay? The boy I spent a third of my life mooning over was gay? What followed was a repetition of the phrases “What?!” and “You’re joking me!”, while also throwing in a couple “Not that there’s anything wrong with being gay!” phrases, to let me dad know that I wasn’t trying to be judgmental of his orientation. My dad went on to explain a bit how the news had come out and it was still a new development, which I listened to… But… Roger Waters… gay? I’ve been in contact with him for a while now and I see him at least once a year. Had the signs been in front of me all along? Had they been in front of me as a child too? I’ve always known I have ridiculously poor gaydar, but man, I’ve known Roger Waters for fifteen years now. I just really did not see it coming. At all.

This photo makes me want to jump into a TARDIS and warn the younger version of myself of this news. It also makes me want to commend my brother for being consistently more adorable than I was throughout our childhood.

You’ve got to understand what I went through with this guy. No, Roger Waters and I were never involved, although sometime in high school he once said he had a crush on me in the fifth grade (which I now somewhat call into question). I spent seven years being unconditionally in love with this kid. I wrote poetry for him in the sixth grade; beautifully awful poetry – which I still have – while I should’ve been listening to Mrs. Robinson’s final period geography lesson. I wrote up diary entries in the fourth grade that generally were along the lines of “I wish Roger Waters would be my boyfriend” or “Roger hugged me today! I’m happy!” I even made him my boyfriend in some of the (awful) fanfictions I wrote in my youth, but only for the fandoms that had no male present that I wanted my OC to be with (here’s looking at you, Star Wars). There have been many a summer spent with this kid and many vacations gone on together with our families (spring breaks in Palm Beach or Bend, summers in Mexico or Seaside, you name it). The first time I ever danced with Roger Waters at one of our many school dances was in the sixth grade to Kelly Clarkson’s ‘A Moment Like This’, which you might think is weird that I can still recall after all these years, but that’s how momentous it was for me at the time. The first sex dream I ever had? Roger Waters and me. Of course, it was the most incorrect sex dream that’s ever taken place, as my fifth grade mind didn’t fully comprehend what else happens once two people were naked and in bed together. Then for months and months, in the sixth grade, I listened to the Les Miserables 10th anniversary edition of Lea Salonga’s ‘One My Own’ and sobbed, all because Roger Waters was dating Angelica  Putcelli (fake name as well) and not me. My little sixth grade heart could not take the idea of Roger Waters holding hands and sharing Baskin Robins ice cream with some other girl after school who was not me. And maybe, even after all these years, Roger Waters would still sporadically cross my mind and I would think to myself with a smile, “Wouldn’t it be the kicks if he and I ended up together someday? After all this time?” I hope you now don’t think I’m over exaggerating when I say that this guy, from age seven to age fourteen, was my world.

All of this equals out to why, after finding out from my dad, I went to Roger Water’s Facebook page and started yelled, “WHY COULDN’T YOU HAVE JUST TOLD ME WHEN I WAS TEN?” And of course he couldn’t have told me when I was ten, because he was also only ten. It’s not fair for me to jump to conclusions about his knowledge of his own orientation at the time of elementary/middle school, but it’s just… it’s just frustrating.

And up to this point you’ve probably thinking, “Chill the fuck out, Julia! You haven’t liked this guy for eight years. What’s wrong with him being gay?” There’s nothing wrong with him being gay and while I haven’t liked him in years… well… you see, lovely readers…

This is not a first time experience.

I have fallen for many a gay male, which was something I often joked about throughout high school, but you see, in the last year it has gone from a hilarious coincidence to something that is just plain fact: I am attracted to gay men. Not all gay men, mind you, and the attraction tends to end once I learn that they are gay, but it has happened far too many times for it to be just a comical coincidence. Maybe my mistake is unsuspectingly falling for guys who are involved with theatre because, as much of a stereotype as it may be, you can’t deny that there aren’t a lot of really attractive, funny, amazing gay men who do theatre. Not counting Roger Waters, in the past I have fallen for nine gay males, all of which are involved with theatre. Roger Waters is the first crush to ever turn out to be gay that is not actively involved in theater, so I guess that’s…. new?

Roger Waters was also the first guy I was ever in love with. Legitimately. A crush that lasts for seven whole years? Even to this day the longest crush I’ve ever had has been only a couple years. Let’s just say there were a lot of deep emotions when it came to my feelings for Roger Waters, or at least as deep as an eighth grader can get. Looking back on every crush and infatuation I’ve ever had, I really think only four crushes have been actual love, and Roger Waters was clearly the first one.

The thing about that though is, the third crush I ever fell in love with? Yeah. He came out to me a little over a year ago. When he did I made it very clear that I supported him and still wanted to be his friend, but the guy had taken me out on couple dates several months back when I had asked him out initially. As happy as I was for him finally coming out of the closet, it still felt a bit like a slap in the face to have been led on in the first place.

But let’s not stop there. Know what else? My first two celebrity crushes that I ever had when I was in the second/third grade? Nathan Lane and Lance Bass. How many eight year old girls do you know of that have crushes on Nathan Lane? None, that’s how many. I’ve had an abundance of other crushes over the years on gay celebrities, from David Hyde Pierce to Neil Patrick Harris, from Alan Cumming to B.D. Wong. The best crush I ever had on a gay celebrity was John Tartaglia, who I ran around sophomore year of high school telling everyone I was going to someday marry after I discovered Avenue Q, until Maddie Standish finally had enough and wrote on my Myspace wall, “You do know that he’s gay, right?” which incoherently broke my heart, because I guess I really thought I had a chance with him… which is dumb on very many levels. Also, John Tartaglia is a very obviously gay man. Oh silly, dumb, fifteen year old Julia. You make me cry laugh.

“Screw you all! You can keep Justin Timberlake and Jack Dawson!” eight year old Julia yelled from the tire swing set on the Holy Family playground. “I’m way too busy crushing on the middle-aged gay man who was in Mousehunt and makes for one sexy meerkat!”

Needless to say, I find it a bit unsettling that I’m initially so attracted to men that, in every way, are unattainable. I will repeat, I have nothing against gay men and I’m not saying that they’re using some form of gay magic to trick me into falling for them (although…), this is really something that makes me worried about, well, me. That I am so consistently falling for men who have no desire to be with me in the way I want to be with them. It’s happened so many times that it can’t be coincidence anymore.

So, that being said, let’s examine my relationship with the homosexual male.

Looking back on my life, I’m not exactly sure when the term “homosexuality” or “gay” entered my vocabulary. I’m pretty sure slash fanfiction was my introduction to gay culture, which is sort of a terrible way to be introduced (especially since the majority of slash I read in middle school was for Newsies and involved the guys having lots of really hot sex and… yeah, okay, that was really it). Actually, y’know, I think the episode of The Simpsons – I think there was a Santa Robot in it? –  where Homer has a gay friend might’ve introduced me to the idea of same sex relationships… which actually, y’know, isn’t the worst introduction ever. Think about it. Homer freaks out when he realizes his friend is gay, but in the end comes to terms with it and is totally fine with his friend’s orientation. For all I know, Simpsons could be the very reason I’ve never been homophobic. Thanks, Matt Groening, for making me a well rounded person! (I guess my parents, who are/were the most tolerant people I’ve ever known probably had a hand in it as well… but screw it. I’m just gonna chalk it up to Matt Groening.)

What I do know is that by the time I reached high school I thought gay men were the bee’s knees. This probably came from all my hours of watching Will and Grace after school, which then led me to believe that every gay man was exactly like Will or Jack. (I actually remember my brother going on a long spiel about how I was going to grow up and live with David Hyde Pierce, which resulted in him saying “He’ll be the Will to your Grace!” a lot.)  I became obsessed with the idea of having a gay best friend someday when I was in high school, and I talked about it nonstop. Needless to say, I was a strange teenager, and when I grasped an idea I would not shut up about it, so if you knew me in high school chances are my perception of gay males was a bit… terrifying.

I mellowed out in college and, while I never did gain a gay best friend (unless there’s something you’re not telling me, Nick!), I have gained plenty of gay friends. I do not, as I would have in high school, obsess over their orientation and drag them to go shopping with me, because I understand now that they are people and I cannot mold them to fit an idea, or, rather, a stereotype. Not every gay man is a Will, and not every gay man is a Jack. I even know some gay men that I find positively unpleasant, which probably would’ve blown fourteen year old me’s mind. I also learned that one of my cousin’s was gay about two years ago, which then resulted in me being grumpy as all get out with my family for leaving me to figure it out on my own. I am, as always, the last person who knows anything in the Allegretto family.

That being said, why is it whenever a guy in a TV show is introduced as gay he becomes my favorite character? Why do I always go on about wanting a gay son someday? And why am I so attracted to gay men?

Firstly, I think the reason gay characters in TV shows tend to be my favorites are because of how they’re written. Or at least how they were written in the shows I watched throughout high school. They’re usually sassy, funny, and have interesting plot lines, and more often then not they’re made into the comedic relief of the show, which I tend to have a soft spot for. Before I had ever met, or been aware that I’d met, a gay male back in high school, I tended to think that every gay guy in life was like Marc from Ugly Betty, Jack Harkness from Doctor Who, or, again, Will or Jack.

As for wanting a gay son, well, I’ve also planned out wanting to have twin boys, a geeky daughter, and an adopted daughter. It’s more just me wanting to have a diverse, large, happy family.

And why am I so attracted to gay men? Well, I do have a type of guy that I like. I like guys that: can make me laugh, can hold intelligent conversations, are clean, have a great personality, and are more talented than myself. Every guy I’ve liked in the past, I don’t know, ten years or so has fallen into all of those categories. All other things I like in a guy (can sing, arm muscles, geeky, etc.) are perks, but not exactly something I’m specifically looking for.

I’d like to think the reason I keep falling for gay men is because of these qualifications and not because I’m subconsciously terrified of commitment, which I don’t think I am. All the gay males I’ve fallen for generally fit into these categories of what I look for in a guy (except one, who is the messiest motherfucker I’ve ever met). They just simply happen to be, in my mind, the makings for the perfect boyfriend, which sucks for me, but at least they’re going to make some other guys really happy someday.

And I just shouldn’t be angry at Roger Waters. I’m sure he spent a lot of times debating his sexuality, and it’s not like I didn’t struggle with my own throughout the second half of high school, only to get to college to realize I’m very much into guys. But those two years of high school were scary. I remember being terrified as to how people would react if they found out. Nowadays Emma Stone is the only Lady Love for me… well, drunk me would probably disagree, seeing as she tends to have a thing for making out with girls at parties.

Nothing says “good theatre” like watching two girls mack on stage.

The thing is, while I’ve fallen for many a gay male and had my dreams dashed many a time, I don’t regret any of it. Lots of great friendships have come out of these crushes. I’m good friends with over half of the gay guys I’ve liked in the past, and consider many of them very important figures in my life. The friend that came out to me a year ago, the one who I was in love with, is now one of my closest friends in the world. I’m really happy and content with how my relationships turned out with all of them, in the end, even if I was pretty miserable at the start.

And you know what? Roger Waters most likely did not know he was gay in elementary school, or even in middle school. Or maybe he did. We went to a Catholic school, where coming out probably was never an option for anyone that’s ever attended that school. But even so, holding any angry feelings towards Roger Waters is just not fair to him. And maybe being in love with Roger Waters for seven years of my life wasn’t a waste of time. Maybe just the expression of the love I had for him helped me grow as a person; helped me understand heartbreak, as well as understand what it’s like to love with your whole heart. Maybe that feeling of flying as I got to stand on the spokes of his bike and put my arms around his shoulders, which was the happiest moment of my life for the longest time, was a gift that I still cherish to this day. And maybe if thirteen year old me were present she’d want to slap the shit out of Roger Waters, but luckily twenty-one year old me (going on twenty-two in 2.5 weeks) is a little more mature than that. I’d very much like Roger Waters to be happy, for him to find love, and for him to be able to feel comfortable coming out to everyone that he knows. We shouldn’t have to live in a day and age where people still fear the repercussions of expressing who they do and do not love. Love is love. It’s the twenty-first century. We should know this by now.

So good luck, Roger Waters. You deserve every ounce of happiness in the world, and I sincerely hope you find it.

Now let’s just hope Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul isn’t gay and would like to marry me.

nineteen months in counting.

9 Jun

We were playing with rakes. It wasn’t my idea, but my job is, after all, to serve his every whim, so when he handed me that giant green rake I took hold of it from him. Both our rakes were plastic, so I figured no harm would come from letting him play with one. Besides, I had my eye trained on the little bugger. Nothing was gonna happen to him. Not on my watch.

I went about attempting to show him how to rake, which I think he began to get the hang of. We then raked a corner of the yard… and we raked… and we raked… and we raked. How long can this kid rake the fucking grass? I thought to myself, sneakily checking the facebook app on my phone for the millionth time. I took a break, leaning on my rake and watching him go at it. The shape of his rake, the same as mine, gave me an idea. The next time he lifted his big eyes up towards me I shifted the rake so that its body leaned against my abdomen. Holding it with my left hand, I began to fake-strum the plastic fingers while scatting the Sanford & Son theme song.

“Bow Bow BWA NAH! Bow Bow BWA NAH BWA NAH Bwow!”

After a good ten or twelve seconds of this, I glanced back down at him. His naive eyes held so much confusion in them. What was I doing? I heaved a sigh.

“Right. You’re a baby. You don’t know what a guitar is. Sorry.”

I do that all the time; apologize to him when I say something or do something that he doesn’t understand. The irony is that he doesn’t comprehend why I’m saying “sorry” in the first place, and yet I find I can’t stop for the life of me.

I then went back to raking, hoping that no one staying at the B&B noticed my foolish attempt to seem cool to a nineteen month old. Hoping maybe by now he had tired of this raking business, I looked back down at him to ask if he wanted to go back in the tent to drink the strawberry-blueberry-raspberry-every kind of berry smoothie has mom had made for him. And what did I see?

He was strumming his rake; a big smile stretched across his pudgy face.

I was stunned.

I wish I could remember what it’s like to be his age. The age where you think that you water the leaves of plants because you can’t comprehend the concept of roots. The age where the simple task of someone picking you up by the hands and spinning you around and around in circles solves every skinned knee and fall down. The age where bugs are mysterious and dogs are ginormous. The age where someone playing peek-a-book with you is the most enjoyable past time in your entire life.

The age where you see your twenty-one year old babysitter being goofy by using a rake as a faux guitar and, even though you have no idea what she’s doing, you mimic her every move.

Seeing that he was copying me, a similar grin to his crossed my face and I began to play along with him. “You go! You’re gonna be a rock star someday! The next Mic Jagger!” I told him as we continued playing. He continued smiling at me, never having any clue what a Mic Jagger is/was.

Oh to be a child again.

Spring Awakening :: How a Musical Changed a Sixteen Year Old’s Life

27 May

Earlier this month, about two weeks ago, I saw a community theatre production of Spring Awakening up in Portland. It was very good for community theatre. The actors were great, the singing was phenomenal, and all the costumes, set, and lighting were superb (not the mention the kid playing Hanschen was sexy as all get out). I had seen Spring Awakening three years prior when it toured nationally, and I had forgotten since then just how enamored I was with the musical.

Spring Awakening is a musical about teenagers awakening to their sexual desires in 1892 Germany. The musical, written by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, is based on the play of the same name, written by Frank Wedekind. It was a very taboo subject for Wedekind to be writing about in 1906, since the play involves such themes as: abortion, rape, homosexuality, incest, suicide, child abuse, and intercourse amongst teenagers. The musical kept the same themes in it, but updated the dialogue to sound more modern and weaved in a gorgeous pop-rock score.

Continue reading

Start of a new poem

22 Apr

This is what I have for a new slam poem I’m writing. It will, eventually, be the end of the poem (no clue what the beginning of it will entail just yet) and it does need to be revamped a bit. Anyway, enjoy what I have thus far!

——-

When it comes to the choice between living and staying still,
Always choose the prior.
Skip classes on occasion.
Stay up late laughing with the ones you love.
Dazzle the sky.
Enchant the night.
Get lost in a sea of possibility.
Beshrew the Heaven’s with your omnipresent will.
Your ever growing lust for life that cannot stay you still,
Because
You are young,
And you are free,
But this will not last,
So let me impress on you to take each opportunity.
Run before the creaks and groans of aging claim your mortal body
And dance while you still remember how to dance to just the simplest tune,
And hug
And joke
And thought provoke
And fall in love in June.
Kiss who you want for.
Befriend who you need for.
Do what makes your wild heart swoon,
And do not let them break you
Because they will try to shake you
And make you play their trepidatious game.
Just say “no”
And fly through fields of fancy where they will never find you.
Forever flying
Forever highing,
Forever trying to define this life that we will never understand.
We are the generation that will change the world,
So fuck their reprimand.