Enjoying My Nachos with Pride

This (nachos) love of mine seems to be mutual. In its first day, my latest CharlotteFive article on the best ranked nachos in Charlotte soared to over 43,000 views.  That’s 10 times more than the original nachos article I wrote over a year ago. Hopefully this means I’ll be writing about nachos until I’m old and (still) gay.

Speaking of gay, I also wrapped up a weekend of hosting the Charlotte Pride Festival for the third year in a row. I had the honor of introducing Mayor Jennifer Roberts during the opening ceremony, all while wearing a vintage light blue sailor suit and cap’ain’s hat.

Charlotte has the coolest Mayor on Earth. #cltpride

A photo posted by Lara Americo (@laraamerico) on

To further drag out my nachos and gay angle here, I had my favorite chips pile and cheese combo with my fairy drag mother, Delighted Tobehere. She gave me words of wisdom as she always does, always the right words at the right time. “Don’t go where you’re tolerated,” she said while we ate tortilla chips, “Go where you’re celebrated.”

Everyone knows it's windy…or @queendelighted and me. #cltpride

A photo posted by @lookitsjoanne on

And I always feel celebrated when my girlfriend Lara Americo and I spend time together. During the opening ceremony, she spoke about equality with the Queer and Trans People of Color Collective, plus she performed her original songs at Petra’s during Genderfusion, a variety show hosted by the trans and gender non-conforming group Transcend. I also stole a kiss from her onstage before the show during my sloppy yet satisfying karaoke version of Dionne Warwick’s hit, “I Say a Little Prayer.”

So happy to know them 💞

A photo posted by Marsha Tegard (@marshategard) on

I’m thinking I should combine nachos and Pride more seamlessly next year and come up with a catchy tag line: “When is Pride not Pride? When it’s Nacho Pride!”

Yeah, I’ll show myself out for that last one. See you at Tipsy Burro for the pork nachos with pineapple slaw (#3 on my best nachos list, natch) and see if I can get inspired again.

 

I Was a Lady Rockstar for Six Weeks

My relationship with instruments has had its ups and downs. Big up was at age fifteen. I played piano at Queens University while wearing a shiny blue suit I called my Tom Jones outfit. Mostly because the pants were so tight and flamboyant. I re-purposed the suit for a recital, where I performed, “Reaching for a Rainbow.” The combination was so aggressively “I’m a closeted gay teen” that I should have burst into glitter onstage.

The down was learning how to play guitar. My younger sister, who played classical guitar, did her best to show me how to play an Aerosmith song on one of her acoustics. I did for only one hour and quit. Her teaching didn’t dissuade me. It was the thought of forming of callouses on my tender fingers. I was a Liberace, not a Joni Mitchell.

Then about two months ago, my sweetheart Lara asked if I would learn to play bass in the music lesson series Lady Rockstars. I was already moonlighting as a so-so drummer with fabulous costumes for our glitter/punk band, JoRa. Why not add another instrument? The reason guitar didn’t work, I started to reason, is that I didn’t have the right costume.

Classes were at the Playroom every Wednesday evening for one hour. Krystle Baller, founder and instructor at Lady Rockstars, passed around glasses of Winking Owl moscato and red wine to keep us students from thinking too hard about what we were about to undertake: To learn two songs and perform them at Hattie’s Tap & Tavern in six weeks.

Last winter rehearsal before the big show on Friday!

A photo posted by Lady Rockstars (@lady_rockstars) on

My fellow students were Laura Highfill, Shayna Cashner, Margarita Sheelor, Christine Lukowitsch, and Margot Parrott. We were each put into “bands,” or groups. Laura unfortunately had to perform with me. She and the other women, who all had demanding day jobs, were practicing hard every week, each time getting better, each time becoming more confident, even posting their practices on social media.

Our kick ass Wednesday group. #qcrockinwomen

A photo posted by Lady Rockstars (@lady_rockstars) on

“How’s your practicing going?” Shayna asked in one class. While swigging my moscato, I said oh, I’m building up some callouses. Truth was, I was still scared of roughing up my fingers, so I was either gingerly plucking the bass string or writing fan fiction about Morris Jenkins, a local heating and air conditioning company to regale my fellow students.

“You need to practice and stop writing your erotic fan fiction,” Lara finally said. Someone had to, and that’s when I got serious: I told Laura in class our band name would be Starfruit and we needed to wear wax fruit at our performance. We had a glue gun and a dream, and one day before the concert to practice.

It was in that time crunch I realized the bass was a good fit for me. I enjoyed the deep, throaty sound. I liked backing up a guitar instead of being the guitar. I side-stepped the whole “bass bitch” moniker that was going around, so I simply said, “I’m moonlighting on bass, and here are the grapes I’m going to wear in my gold-sequined crown.”

What a show! The Lady Rockstars definitely melted some faces. Still on cloud nine. What a night! #qcrockinwomen

A photo posted by Lady Rockstars (@lady_rockstars) on

Laura, with her wide-brimmed hat filled with fake bees, lemons and a red feather, and me with my skin tight galaxy suit, were the perfect distraction against my ability to sing and play bass at the same time. We killed with our fruit puns. You might say, “Orange you glad you were in Lady Rockstars?” And I’d say yes, smart ass, definitely. Scroll down to watch us in action at the performance.

Registration is open for Spring. I hear that you should sign up this week since space is limited. Go get semi-calloused fingers and a little tipsy.

Details about the Lady Rockstars Spring Session 2016:

Practice Times:
Mondays March 7 – April 11 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Wednesdays March 9 – April 13 7:30pm – 8:30pm
All at The Playroom

Spring Concert:
Spring 2016 Concert April 15 8:00pm at Hattie’s Tap & Tavern

 

 

My LGBT Friends and I came ready with signs, sass and facts against fear.

It seemed like a bad omen.

As I stood outside of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in the rain, the rainbow beads of my bracelet popped off its fatigued string with no provocation. Each bead sling-shot into opposing directions, some landing in the grass, others on the wet sidewalk. I sighed as I picked each one up, determined not to leave even one of them behind. Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Purple.

Charlotte City Council wanted to protect every color of the LGBT rainbow too, even if it was a painstaking process. Part eloquent discussion, part WWE smackdown, the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance meeting Monday night had it all.

Read the rest of my latest piece on the non-discrimination ordinance today on CharlotteFive.

I also reacted to the ordinance only 30 minutes after the decision on WCCB Edge.

edge nondiscrimination ordinance.png

I Spent 365 Days as a Human Woman

I did it. I completed 365 days of being a human woman, which meant I had to post one status a day on Facebook/Instagram about an experience, no matter how big or small.

Many people asked what being a human woman meant. Was I an alien right now? A kumquat, perhaps? I didn’t know what I was at the time; on the outside, I was a writer with a day job in legal sales. My nearly four-months-old relationship would sour on Day 32. Life trucked along for me as a toxic bachelor from Day 55 on, where I consumed all manner of delivery pizza of the Domino’s or Mario’s variety.

Then, I met Lara. We spent days 149-151 kayaking at the Whitewater Center. Our first trip together was to New York City from Days 163-165. We kissed under the Bow Bridge while row boating in Central Park on Day 163. I lost these and other days in the experiment to the woman who would become my great love. Yet neglecting a project about being human because I was falling in love seemed like the ultimate human thing to do.

Day 187 was the first day of my new career as a copywriter. I wrote the rough draft of my first book from Days 241-149 at Wildacres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A full-time writer at last.

Not everything was perfect; there are spaces in time towards the end of the year where I couldn’t write anything because it was too painful. It’s human to deflect sadness with humor about passing out in your own filth.

Being a human woman means having rich experiences connected to gloriously mundane ones. Day 343, when I turned 30, was as vital to my year as Day 48 when I reveled in the sensual beauty of the Domino’s Pizza Tracker. And in the broader picture, you might not even care about my specific story. You’d rather find yourself in my story. There’s nothing more human than that — so here’s my 2015.

Days Status
1 and 2 My only goal for 2015 is to be a human woman. Day 1 didn’t count since I fell asleep in my own filth while watching Back to the Future. Day 2: Bought new kitchen sponges and made food store list.
3 Day 3 of being a human woman: Emailed financial advisor to set a meeting about my 2015 monetary goals. Stopped self from buying nineteen of my favorite, almost-out-of-stock tea tree masks on Amazon.com. Only bought two.
4 Day 4 of being a human woman: I ate more vegetables than dessert. Full Disclosure: Late yesterday, I got frustrated while opening a new jar of Almond Butter and instead dipped into an almost empty jar of Nutella.
5 Day 5 of being a human woman: Set automatic payment schedule for my new, what should be gold-plated heat pump. Five point deduction for snapping at bank representative Shantel when she told me to do this ONLINE and wouldn’t do it ON THE PHONE after I had been on hold for seven minutes. Infinity deductions for apologizing as if we were breaking up by saying, “This is not about you; it’s about the system.”
6 Day 6 of being a human woman: I have a human job as a post-paralegal in eDiscovery. Here’s my latest blog about one of my greatest horror stories from law firm life — and how to learn from my past. Includes nod to arson.
7 Day 7 of being a human woman: Consulted a dermatologist about my adult acne. Showed him every face wash, cream and moisturizer I own. Was told to stop using all of them. Not told that the cause of my adult acne is biscuits. Went to Bojangles. Ate egg and cheese biscuit in Ben Church‘s honor.
8 Day 8 of being a human woman: Had special help with today’s human-shaped hairdo and makeup. Deserved impromptu photo sesh. Looking like Mrs. Andy Warhol.
9 Day 9 of being a human woman: Put on pants at 9:30 a.m. to see people outside of my home office. Demerit: By 2:00 p.m., no longer wearing pants but still wearing faux fur gorilla coat while working in my home office.
10 Day 10 of being a human woman: Had small gathering of friends for proper dinner party. I had more friends than table space. Is that a demerit or‪#‎blessed?
11 Day 11 of being a human woman: Demerit for eating my Golden Globes’ snacks before the Golden Globes start at 8 p.m. Liz Lemon would approve.

OMG Tina Fey just said, “It took me three hours to prepare for my role as a human woman” on the Golden Globes! I’m on Day 11, Tina, Day 11.

12 Day 12 of being a human woman: Survived Denise Austin’s Cardio Blast workout. Would never blabber about my exercise habits on Facebook, but this isn’t about getting swole as the kids say. I’m doing it to stop my acne. I will continue to wear a burlap sack instead of a bikini on the beach.
13 Day 13 of being a human woman: Asked both of my pimples-turned-boils-turned-mountain range to start chipping in for my mortgage since it’s taking up so much real estate on my face. Used indoor voice. No answer yet.
14 Day 14 of being a human woman: Ate lentils and rice for lunch. Celebrated good health by eating Nutella out of the jar for dessert.
15 Day 15 of being a human woman: Assessed wardrobe of exercise clothes. Determined all items make me look like I’m working out as opposed to actually working out. Or doing a photo shoot as someone who pretends to work out, like this ‪#‎tbt pic on top of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, SC in 2007.
16 Day 16 of being a human woman: Put organic, farm-raised, can-do-my-taxes-for-me kale into my morning fruit smoothie. Felt energized. Ate “guilt-free” pita chips and chunky guacamole for lunch. Fell asleep for an hour.
17 Day 17 of being a human woman: Made Frida Kahlo my spiritual life guide. Realized I am doing all of the talking. Wrote this off as her giving me a profound message about existence.
18 Day 18 of being a human woman: Only ate beige food. Decided the whole “colorful plate” thing is a weekday activity.
19 Day 19 of being a human woman: Ate nachos at the park as a means of enjoying my day off. Demerit: Licked beans off of hand. Double demerit: Accidental littering.
20 Day 20 of being a human woman: Made mac and cheese out of a real block of cheddar cheese. Deemed the peas in my Star of David pasta a suitable vegetable serving. Asked for my opinion “as a woman.” Demerit:
Told by my sister that bald, middle-aged men remind her of me.
21 Day 21 of being a human woman: Called a human woman in this week’sCreative Loafing Charlotte! I’ve been named one of the 15 to watch in 2015. Read about my obscene lust for nachos and Javier Bardem as a potential Pillow Talk guest. Thanks for a fabulous interview, Melissa Oyler!

http://clclt.com/charlo…/joanne-spataro-human-woman/Content…

22 Day 22 of being a human woman: Worked as hard as I played. Demerit: Did not have a real lunch because I have no food. Kitchen currently looks like Godzilla tore through my cabinets and fried an egg in a pan as “brunch.”
23 Day 23 of being a human woman: Had intellectual conversation over lunch about politics. Demerit: Fell into the crevasse that is Dance Moms. The Candy Apples *really* thought they could beat the Abby Lee Dance Company in Hollywood?
24 Day 24 of being a human woman: Grieved sudden closing of favorite nail salon. Forced to move on in ten minutes. Got French pedicure and learned to love again.
25 Day 25 of being a human woman: Wanted to tell you how I feel about my skin starting to clear up in a meaningful way. Decided Venus Xtravaganza at 0:27 of this clip expressed it for me better than I could.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsnq1IzJD9I

26 Day 26 of being a human woman: Fell asleep for an hour during the workday. Made up time by kvetching with a co-worker on the phone about the upcoming blizzard.

UPDATE: Demerit — Picked up a leftover lentil on my living room floor (I eat dinner in my living room, so double demerit). It was actually a piece of Bunch a Crunch. Thought about eating it. Realized I was a monster.

27 Day 27 of being a human woman: Achieved work goals without the crutch of a nap. Was rewarded with beautiful Love Boat souvenir from Myrtle Beach. I LOVE it, Kel!
28 Day 28 of being a human woman: Realized life is too short. Decided to dance like no one is watching. ‪#‎telecommvamping
29 Day 29 of being a human woman: Went to Target in search of warm clothes in the Women’s Department. Was bombarded with pictures of teenagers pretending to be women. Touched fabric of sweaters. Determined the thickness was akin to crumpled tissue paper. Defied gender stereotypes — mostly because I was cold — and bought two men’s sweaters in small sizes. Demerit: That’s on Target.
30 Day 30 of being a human woman: Wore pink snakeskin boots to fantastic show. Could not walk in them to my car at 2am. Got piggy back ride thanks to the incredible Justin William Crego. Sang “Climb Every Mountain” until we reached our destination.
31 Day 31 of being a human woman: Not great. Bought vintage St. John skirt suit and new Nine West boots in effort to at least look great.
32 Day 32 of being a human woman: Fell asleep by a hot tub. Woken up by attendant in bright green suit and told my poached shrimp were ready. Ate said poached shrimp next to said hot tub. Fell asleep again. Demerit: All of it.
33 Day 33 of being a human woman: Got diverted to Philly en route to NYC due to snowy weather. Only local Philly Cheese Steak option was Jersey Mike’s. Got Wendy’s chocolate frosty in protest. Finally, made friends with a delightful man named Yoni who shined my boots in the train station.
34 Day 34 of being a human woman: Went to Times Square. Saw two Elmos too many. Ate meatballs at Carmine’s to dull my confusion.
35 Day 35 of being a human woman, part two of two ta-day: Ate brunch at Carnegie Deli, which consisted of a corned beef/pastrami mammoth sandwich called The Woody Allen. Watched my server Muriel recommend and serve The Woody Allen to two young Asian women. Fought urge to cry laugh or simply cry.

Day 35 of being a human woman, part one of two ta-day: Made top 10 list of everything I have eaten in the last 24 hours in a fruitless yet timeless exercise in keeping a food journal to “stay on track,” whatever that means:

1) One chocolate-covered cannoli
2) Two half sour pickles
3) One “mini” black and white cookie
4) One and a half servings of matzo ball soup
5) One latka
6) Carmine’s. It’s all a blur, Deb Bailey. All a blur. There was marinara and carbonara sauce everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
7) Bagel with cream cheese
8) Red velvet cupcake
9) A conversation with a young man named Henry in which we became best friends in under five minutes where we screamed SO TRUE and EXACTLY, THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE. Yes, you can devour a conversation.
10) Two Cosmos and half a Margarita. I drunkenly sang “New York, New York” in the shower when I got home from the drag show. So I burned calories.

36 Day 36 of being a human woman: Bought super gay books at Strand bookstore, and when I say super gay, I mean Gertrude Stein writing a biography about her girlfriend Alice Toklas. Bought vintage Valentino dress from consignment shop for $150. Asked salesperson to take photo of me in vintage Chanel because $1,100, just browsing, pal. Asked to give presidential face in return.
37 Day 37 of being a human woman: Was seated next to fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi at a cafe in the Village. Couldn’t act cool and gushed about how the clothes in his Target line were my first “glamour clothes.” Sensed he wanted to keep reading his New York Times. Pretended I was letting him read his New York Times. Ordered the same oatmeal as him so I could at least pretend we were, in some other time, dining together.
38 Day 38 of being a human woman: Reintroduced myself to my long forgotten love interest: Vegetable. Told her my dalliance with Pastrami in NYC meant nothing to me to preserve relationship. Knew deep in my heart Pastrami would always be the first thing I thought of in the morning and the last thing I thought of at night.
39 Day 39 of being a human woman: Went to food store for fruits and vegetables. Lured towards cheese and sopressata sample lady. Ate this dry Italian salami. Bought said dry Italian salami, Gouda, and TWO apples. Made personal cheese platter. Demerit: Passed out in own filth afterwards.
40 Day 40 of being a human woman: Put together a sensible outfit with black leggings, black boots and a patterned dress, like Marie Claire magazine might suggest. Demerit: Carried handful of Gouda up the stairs while singing, “I need my cheese!”
41 Day 41 of being a human woman: Had soul-affirming dinner with my former work mom. Talked with our hands and reveled in how we look like the mafia when we go places together in black sunglasses. Solved all of the world’s problems over a roasted chicken.
42 Day 42 of being a human woman: Gave a solid yes to playing in a kickball league. Momentarily thought it was dodgeball. Panicked. Looked up official kickball rules. Calmed down. Let self feel delightfully sporty and spontaneous.
43 Day 43 of being a human woman: Forgot to write about Day 43 of being a human woman. Demerit, demerit, demerit.
44 Day 44 of being a human woman: Had some much needed cawfee tawk with the delightful Lisa Rubenson. Too brief a treat! Her mime smoking a cigarette and then smashing it with her foot is more invigorating than espresso.
45 Day 45 of being a human woman: Celebrated ‪#‎PalentinesDay with my Pretend Husband Fitz Bailey. Stuffed self with nachos. Got giggles. Made out with Andy Warhol finger puppet to cap off evening.
46 Day 46 of being a human woman: Had dress fitting for the upcoming Condom Couture Charlotte show. Decided latex is quite slimming.
47 Day 47 of being a human woman: Fell asleep while watching inspirational series on how to start your own business. Woke up expecting to see snow covering my windows. Saw instead this thing called rain.
48 Day 48 of being a human woman: SOAP OPERA EDITION. Succumbed to online pizza ordering due to snow-induced hermiting. Obsessed over Domino’s Pizza Tracker. Picked romance theme from six choices, including one with a parrot on the beach. Was given updates by said Pizza Tracker in a Javier Bardem voice. Swooned. Shared sweet/salty nothings:

Preparation stage: “You will want for nothing when we are through.”

Baking Stage: “We are baking your order with the fires of passion, with the fires of my heart.”

Quality Check: “There is only one thing that compares to the beauty of this order: You.”

Delivery: “We are on our way, my love, and we will stop at nothing until you can taste this passionate pizza with your own lips.”

I’m going to need Domino’s Thickest Crust to sop me up.

UPDATE: Betrayal. Ryan has been making my pizza all this time, as the tracker told me. Now someone named Jackson is delivering it. I’m not a faucet. I can’t turn my feelings on and off like that!

49 Day 49 of being a human woman: Read 80 self-help articles while watching reruns of “30 Rock.” Fell asleep while eating steamed cauliflower.
50 Day 50 of being a human woman: Celebrated my fifty day anniversary with an Oreo milkshake from Showmars. Dared 19 degree weather to judge me for putting on a coat only to go buy a beverage that freezes my insides. Thanked winter dryness for sopping up my Italian/Cuban/Greek/Puerto Rican pores and leaving smooth, acne-free skin.
51 See Day 51.
52 Day 52 of being a human woman: Woke up realizing there was no Day 51 of being a human woman. Wondered if day had existed at all. Recalled being fitted with a dress made out of purple condoms and blue condom earrings. Decided I must have slept through Day 51 because that was a dream.
53 See Day 54.
54 Day 54 of being a human woman: In demerit debt. Lost Day 53 after intermittently passing out on the couch and reading a gossipy book about how Jackie and Jack Kennedy had the best year of their marriage before he was assassinated. Gave in to pizza craving for dinner. Will not give into breakfast pizza craving today.

Day 54 of being a human woman — Addendum: Read how I can probably make my own biological babies in only TWO YEARS. Made to-do list: a) find special woman b) marry special woman and c) get enough money to make babies with said special woman. Hang on, eggs!

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/babies-same-sex-couples-now-possib…

55 Day 55 of being a human woman: Saw Josie Karout made a human woman post for me this morning that said, “Made everyone proud by refusing to allow garbage into her life.” Realized that said it all. Clawed out of depression about said garbage and felt like king of the hill, top of the heap. Busted out into “New York, New York” and couldn’t stop doing jazz hands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u1zK8AaHic

56 Day 56 of being a human woman: Prepared for snowstorm by buying a Sara Lee cookie dough cheesecake. Read packaging that said it needed 4-5 hours to thaw. Decided eating frozen cheesecake is my new thing.
57 Day 57 of being a human woman: Vowed to not go outside after getting the mail this morning. Woke up from an afternoon nap under two blankets. Went outside without hesitation to retrieve Thin Mints from my car.
58 Day 58 of being a human woman: Wore vintage St. John suit to business meeting. Had great success. Got day drunk with co-worker at hotel bar. Am currently day drunk on an adult beverage called the Champagne Cobbler. (Plus a tequila shot. Don’t tell Sue Bassetmom.) Sent drunk work messages to colleague that ended in an emoticon I made up that looked like this: ;o
59 Day 59 of being a human woman: Bought new smart phone at Costco. Drove there with my dad in his new electric car. Am part of the future.
60 Day 60 of being a human woman: Stayed up until 3 a.m. watching and finishing House of Cards Season 3. Passed out until 12:30 p.m. Started watching it again while eating a sandwich to be sure I caught all the intrigue.
61 Day 61 of being a human woman: Met with accountant whose last name is Clooney. Gave mostly organized documents to Mr. Clooney. Didn’t call him by his first name to keep illusion that George Clooney is doing my taxes.
62 See Day 63
63 Day 63 of being a human woman: Felt sub-human on Day 62. Remembered my friends and I are still human even if city policies make us feel otherwise. Heard people not in the LGBT community say they want to befriend transgender women to “do more.” Decided that’s fine as long as befriending involves crab nachos, bottomless frozen margaritas and ACTUALLY getting involved in the local political process and is NOT a Q&A on transitioning.
64 Day 64 of being a human woman: Remembered a time before my human woman goals for ‪#‎tbt.

https://instagram.com/p/z3yD4qwUfc/?taken-by=lookitsjoanne

65 Day 65 of being a human woman: Had to wear pants today. Decided not to wear pants tonight while at home. Triggered item on to-do list. Reminded people that tomorrow is ‪#‎CLTNoPants at 3pm at at Scaleybark Station. Founded by Richard Purcell.
66 Day 66 of being a human woman: Ate raw cookie dough for two snacks and a dessert today. It would be a demerit, but I played Chicks are for Kicks, Stonewall Kickball Charlotte this morning! I burned (two) calories!
67 Day 67 of being a human woman: Got to third base, but I got to keep my clothes on this time. Celebrated by eating hot dogs at The Bar at 316 with my Chicks are for Kicks, Stonewall Kickball Charlotte teammates. Reveled in shared new sports-related experiences.
68 Day 68 of being a human woman: Accepted decision I made similar to thisHumans of New York vignette. Affirmed if someone tells you it’s now or never and that’s it forever if you temporarily leave for reasons they can’t accept, tell them to pound sand.

Humans of New York

69 Day 69 of being a human woman: Did office filing as my own secretary. Sassed myself when I asked myself to get me lunch. Put tax documents into manila folder. Noticed orange dust on said folder. Remembered the two bags of Doritos I ate while handling said folder. Scolded self.
70 Day 70 of being a human woman: Wore colorful, parrot-printed scarf over my hair en route to business lunch. Intended to enjoy open car window while driving to said business lunch. Asked by parking attendant while leaving parking garage afterwards, “Do you wear that scarf because of your religion?” Replied, “No, I’m trying to keep the hair out of my face.”
71 Day 71 of being a human woman: Indulged in saying something mainstream “is my jam” today, although I know “I’m all about that life” is the modern thing to say. Declared “Living for Love” is my jam right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9h7Teiyvc8

72 Day 72 of being a human woman: Felt more like a balding middle-aged man. Added filter to express la douleur exquise. Fin.

 

73 Day 73 of being a human woman: Glad people are enjoying St. Patrick’s Day pub crawls. Even more glad to be watching “Out of Sight” while in my pizza onesie. Fantasized about having romance with bank robber. Or being a bank robber that has a sizzling affair with a U.S. Marshall. Confused yet aroused.
74 Day 74 of being a human woman: Took self to brunch at Italian restaurant. Ate outside. Watched slim older man intermittently stare at me for 20 minutes while leaning against his car. Wondered if he was watching me eat Eggplant Parmesan as some kind of sick sex game. On a Sunday! Decided not to let him objectify me without me objectifying him first. Cycled between eating sloppily and neatly and normally because perhaps regular eating was his fetish. Watched him go into Tinder Box Cigars at 1 p.m. Realized he was killing time before the store opened. Got to-go box.
75 Day 75 of being a human woman: Used online “ejuror” system to request deferment on jury duty for my associate Evamarie‘s destination wedding. Failed miserably. Called Padre (Joe Spataro) who said I should have no problem because the online system “is designed for idiots.” Called juror coordinators multiple times. Out to lunch for five hours. Wished I had submitted the previous summons I had received, which was addressed to the previous owner of my house — who has been dead for five years. Would have appreciated iron-clad excuse for deferment.
76 See Day 77.
77 Day 77 of being a human woman: Too many demerits on Day 76. Moved on to new day free of gorging self on Hershey’s candy-coated eggs while binge-watching Broad City. Discovered my jury duty is for FEDERAL court, not STATE court. Realized Mecklenburg Court juror system is indeed “designed for idiots,” as my dad foretold on Day 75. Idiots who do not realize their summons is for FEDERAL and not STATE court.
78 Day 78 of being a human woman: Had to forgo discoing the night away because my house appraiser is visiting me at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Cleaned house a la Albert in The Birdcage — don’t add, subtract. Bought pistachios and soda earlier today in order to butter up said house appraiser. Realized that’s not what human people eat at 9 a.m.
79 Day 79 of being a human woman: Received deferral letter from FEDERAL COURT granting my jury duty postponement until the month I asked for! Celebrated by watching an old yet dearly loved video of Ricky Martin because I DO WHAT I WANT.
80 Day 80 of being a human woman: Went to Charlotte Business Guild Giving Gala. Learned in the VIP area that Dan Mauney gives good back. Had matching green cupcakes with Barbara Green. Delighted to see Re-Elect Council-Member LaWana Mayfield and I both wore white pantsuits. Who wore it best? WE wore it best.

— at Label Charlotte.

81 See Day 82
82 Day 82 of being a human woman: Spent Day 81 being sporty. Got dirt on knees. Felt rush of adrenaline when I got on a kickball base. Spent today laying on the couch, deeply congested yet deeply content. Demerit: Ate entire box of Annie’s instant macaroni and cheese. Sorry, Madre (Sue Bassetmom).
83 N/A
84 N/A
85 Day 85 of being a human woman: Needed a moment on Days 83 and 84. Dreamed about drag queens putting on a show, including the lovelyDelighted Tobehere. Felt feathers and wigs flying around in my head.
86 Day 86 of being a human woman: Enjoyed Trans Pride LGBT Mixer with delightful host Paige Dula. Wore little black dress. Didn’t get memo about jeans.
87 Day 87 of being a human woman: Had major breakthrough — instead of ordering takeout from the usual suspects (I’m looking at you, Mario’s Pizza), I went GROCERY SHOPPING. Bought kale, spinach and cauliflower/broccoli mix. Demerit: Celebrated by buying seven layer bean dip and corn chips.
88 Day 88 of being a human woman: Played cornhole and ate potato salad atStonewall Kickball Charlotte’s 1st Annual Family Fun Day (with after party at Petra’s). Babysat a couple of kids at said fun day. Had sand dumped on my head. Had baby giggle at me. Giggled back at baby. Made friend.
89 Day 89 of being a human woman: Denise Austin-ed my way to health and wellness. Determined I must not look fat at my sister’s beach wedding, mostly because wearing Spanx in the summertime sounds horrifying.
90 Day 90 of being a human woman: Had the best phone greeting from my mom.

Me: Hello, do you remember this voice?
Madre: I would know that voice anywhere. *increasingly dramatic tone* I would know that voice even if I didn’t hear it. I would see you before you even came into a room!

91 Day 91 of being a human woman: Felt thankful for my fellow April fool every month of the year, @shadynachos. He’s nacho average guy.

https://www.instagram.com/p/08hIk2wUTI/

92 Day 93 of being a human woman: Wanted to impart my daily “wisdom” on Day 92, but fell asleep. Decided today’s thought was all I really had for the populace. ‪#‎tgif
93 N/A
94 Day 94 of being a human woman: Decided I may be low on funds, but high on fun. Took joyride to destination unknown, which became Marble Slab Creamery. Ate dark chocolate ice cream with cookie dough bits and hot fudge for $4.08. Stared into Apricot Lane clothing store window at $26 half shirt for free. Judged pack of snotty tweens, also for free.
95 Day 95 of being a human woman: Celebrated Easter with my family. Delighted in my mom saying, “Your hair looks really nice!” Achieved self-actualization goals for the week.
96 Day 96 of being a human woman: Read newspaper at my desk before starting work, a caprious activity only reserved for old partners at my former law firm. Rocked back in chair with legs on desk. Had a cold one (smoothie) before 10am. Felt like Don Draper Season 3.

https://www.instagram.com/p/1IqL7tQUUe/

97 Day 97 of being a human woman: Struggled to find suitable container to hold mini cans of soda and ice with friend and fellow bridesmaid Kelly McBryde. After 10 minutes of said struggling, Kel gasps and says, “Oh, I have a cooler.” –_______–
98 Day 98 of being a human woman: Dressed as one of the Village People and did a dance for the people. Packed. Made Shannon Dawn Rauch blush. Would feel that was a sufficient crescendo to the week, but no. Day 100 is coming THIS FRIDAY.
99 Day 99 of being a human woman: Attended farewell drag show. Took many photos of said drag show. Realized I brought home two friends.

https://www.instagram.com/p/1R251_wUab/

100 Day 100 of being a human woman: Said I was human. Never said I was good. ‪#‎telecommvamping ‪#‎evilwoman

https://www.instagram.com/p/1S9cK5QUaz/

101 (Eva’s bridal shower but didn’t do an entry.)
102 Day 102 of being a human woman: Went to kickball in non-team shirt because of late night on Day 101. Made critical error in fashion judgment. Disqualified from playing in today’s game. Drank delicious margarita made by teammate Vivian Villa and laid in a hammock put up by teammate Katy Haney. Decided to play my mistake to great advantage.
103 Day 103 of being a human woman: Had dad over to help me clean up remnants of sister’s bridal shower. Said he could be the new Mr. Clean. Listened with rapt attention as my dad replied, “No, I would be Mr. Filth.”
104 Day 104 of being a human woman: Worked on dance moves with Chicks are for Kicks, Stonewall Kickball Charlotte league for the upcoming Stonewall Kickball Drag Show – Benefiting Time Out Youth. Ate pizza.
105 Day 105 of being a human woman: Never imagined telling people I am working on a look that is a mixture of Dame Edna and Billie Jean King. Hoped to intrigue people. Enticed people to attend Stonewall Kickball Drag Show – Benefiting Time Out Youth and see my new ‘do.

 

106 N/A
107 Day 107 of being a human woman: Had rollicking good time with my Chicks at the Stonewall Kickball Drag Show – Benefiting Time Out Youth on Day 106. Celebrated that my kickball team — Chicks are for Kicks — came in THIRD for most money raised! Spent this morning editing behind-the-scenes pictures for the upcoming article.
108 Day 108 of being a human woman: Dried flowers. Was Martha Stewart for the day. Well, more like fifteen minutes.
109 Day 109 of being a human woman: Got lost in my own natural habitat. Made vegetable chili. ‪#‎thethinkingroom

https://www.instagram.com/p/1rJhr-QUZa/

 

110 Day 110 of being a human woman: Realized I only had three minutes left in the day to write about my triumphs. Could only think about the meatloaf I had at the The Peculiar Rabbit – A Jackalopes Restaurant. Demerit.
111 N/A
112 Day 112 of being a human woman: Had too much to do on Day 111. Got assistant today. Named her Celeste. While she may took like a vintage face pin from @stashpad in a bowl of dried flowers, she is an excellent typist.

https://www.instagram.com/p/1yqYI8QUW4/

113 Day 113 of being a human woman: Flew to Phoenix, Arizona for work and a new experience. Ate nachos for dinner. Found change to be slow coming.
114/115 Day 114/115 of being a human woman: Took red eye back to Charlotte, which meant donning a red Delta blanket during the flight. Wore said red Delta blanket off plane like a pashmina. Despite looking slovenly, got hit on and told, “You seem like a nice person.” Seem.
116 Day 116 of being a human woman: Practiced for Pecha Kucha Night Charlotte, Vol. 13 with my co-presenter Ahmer Inam. Watched as he met my dad, who was over to fix my Internet. Delighted in their intense Star Trek discussion.
117 Day 117 of being a human woman: Masqueraded as executive by dining at The Capital Grille for lunch: 1 Grapefruit Buck adult beverage, 1 lobster bisque, 1 filet mignon salad, and 1 secret slice of chocolate hazelnut cake. Secret because my colleague left our table to make a phone call and I ordered it without him looking.
118 N/A
119 N/A
120 Day 120 of being a human woman: Was Governor Pat McCrory on Day 119, not a human woman. Went to Post Office to submit passport paperwork. Asked what would happen if they lost my birth certificate in the mail. Told it was “no big deal” to order another one. Replied that if I don’t have a birth certificate, then I was never born, and therefore will never die.
121 Day 121 of being a human woman: Had chicken flautas and flan with the lovely Lux Cuellar. Realized our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Took second flan to go.

https://www.instagram.com/p/2Ml24ywUei/

122 N/A
123 Day 123 of being a human woman: Booked a trip to NYC to see Helen Mirren on Broadway. Decided to bring her roses since I’ll be in the front row. Realized I forgot to write something for Day 122. Panicked about my memory. Will put BRING HELEN MIRREN FLOWERS on all of my calendars so I don’t forget that.
124 Day 124 of being a human woman: Went to lunch. Decided that was all the energy I had for the day. Secluded self a la Howard Hughes, but with a pedicure.
125
5/06/15
N/A
126
5/07/15
Day 126 of being a human woman a day late: Found mermaid @shannondrauch on Folly Beach. Drank Frozen Screwdrivers and ate @tacoboychs twice in one day. Talked mostly about butts.

https://www.instagram.com/p/2a0Un1wUZW/

127

5/08/15

N/A
128 5/09/15 Day 128 of being a human woman: Drank too many tequila sunrises on Day 127. Bride @thebestsuperevie (Evamarie) got ready. ‪#‎telecommvamping

https://www.instagram.com/p/2d_4gZwUfo/

Continuing Day 128 of being a human woman: Got down. @thebestsuperevie has the supermodel-est maids of dishonor.‪#‎telecommvamping

https://www.instagram.com/p/2eph6JQUZL/

129 Day 129 of being a human woman: Couldn’t have been a human woman at all without my Madre (Sue Bassetmom). Happy Mother’s Day. I love you!
130 N/A
131 Day 131 of being a human woman: Got overwhelmed by my sister’s gorgeous wedding photos on Day 130. Got overwhelmed today by my sister’s glamour guinea pig photos via Messenger. What will tomorrow bring?
132 N/A
133 N/A
134 Day 134 of being a human woman: Went off the grid for Days 132 and 133. Spent considerable time in my pizza onesie. Started watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix. Realized I would continue to lose days of my life. Goodbye, all.
135 N/A
136 Day 136 of being a human woman: Prepared mentally for kickball on Day 135. Played last two kickball games. Summed up experience thanks to fellow teammate Katy Haney.
137 N/A
138 N/A
139 Day 139 of being a human woman: Have been stalked by a bird on Days 137, 138 and today. Continue to watch said bird peck on my window like I owe it money or forgot its wallet after a party. Named it La Femme de la Bird, a term Fitz Bailey coined after he meant to say La Cage Aux Folles.

Day 139 of being a human woman addendum: Current mood. Thanks for noticing, Evamarie.

140 Day 140 of being a human woman: Watched dear friends get married. Collapsed at home afterwards from all the excitement. Dreamed about a mean old man yelling at me, and not in the fun way. Woke up and got an idea for my next article.
141 N/A
142 N/A
143 N/A
144 Day 144 of being a human woman: A succession of demerits. Ate pasta. Fell asleep. Woke up. Ate more pasta. Designated Days 141, 142, and 143 as holidays from being a human woman.
145 Day 145 of being a human woman: Ever thankful for my Pretend Husband,Fitz Bailey. Was going to post a disgusting video of us dancing on each other to a karaoke version of “Last Dance” by Donna Summer at a daytime family festival. Discovered my first Facebook has been hacked by someone named Mo Treet, a person who must not have wanted you to see this joyous yet inappropriate video. Will let all of you use your imaginations.
146 N/A
147 Day 147 of being a human woman: Became blanket burrito. Disappeared.
148 Day 148 of being a human woman: Was human burrito yesterday, so ate burrito today. Achieved circle of life.
149 N/A
150 N/A
151 Day 151 of being a human woman: Took Days 149 and 150 as PTO days from being a human woman. Regrouped. Had delightful lunch with Michael J. Solender. Solved all of world’s problems. Ate baklava.
152 N/A
153 Day 153 of being a human woman: Blanket burrito’d through most of Day 152. Cleaned fridge. Found intelligent life.
154 Day 154 of being a human woman: Heard Valley Girl-esque voices outside of my house. Peered out window of home office. Grumbled at their frivolous conversation while I stomped back to my desk. Turned into Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched.
155 N/A
156 Day 156 of being a human woman: Had beautiful bananas and coffee/tea with Keia Mastrianni, then tacos with Lisa Rubenson and a phone call withMichael J. Solender. Considered it an all-star day.
157 Day 157 of being a human woman: Judged fancy Canine Couture fashion show. Befriended doggie named Gidget. Admired her tiny straw hat. Danced in vintage gold disco pants to Copacabana at the Barry Manilow concert.
158 Day 158 of being a human woman: Watched movies until almost 2 a.m. Was somehow surprised when I felt like crap the next morning.
159 Day 159 of being a human woman: Committed grave driving infraction — operating a motor vehicle while eating nachos slathered in chorizo and cheese. Had finalized end-of-life documents beforehand. Indulged in being reckless.
160 N/A
161 Day 161 of being a human woman: Watched self on TV on Day 160. Shook head at reaction to how gossiping can extend your life. “I’m going to live forever. I’m immortal now,” I said at minute 10:30.
162 N/A
163 Day 163 of being a human woman: Sat in airport. Overheard woman next to me say she can’t eat bananas. Made inquiry. Discovered people can be allergic to bananas. Asked if her allergy was airborne since I was about to eat a Chiquita that should have expired on Day 162. Not airborne. Did not need to alert TSA to banana outbreak.
164 N/A
165 N/A
166 Day 166 of being a human woman: Gave Helen Mirren red roses at the end of her Broadway show “The Audience” on Day 164. Got day drunk on one frozen mango margarita at Rosa Mexicano on Columbus Circle. Was not prepared to learn about Vacation Sex Yogurt from this Chobani commercial today. Considered my three-day weekend a four-day weekend.
167 N/A
168 Day 168 of being a human woman: Basked in glow of Day 167 on WCCB News Edge. Got to say the Chobani ad, “Is a triumph for lonely yogurt-eating women” in commercials over the years. Got to ask co-panelist Q if the ad was as good for him as it was for me.
169 Day 169 of being a human woman: Remembered to keep the people I love and who love all of me close to my heart. Especially when horrific things happen in the world. Looked at picture of Aunt Crissy and me in front of the Met, taken this weekend. Fell in love with my donut shirt all over again.
170 N/A
171 N/A
172 N/A
173 N/A
174 Day 174 of being a human woman: Ate Marble Slab creamery ice cream for second day in a row due to 100 degree weather. Hate watched “Grace of Monaco” and wondered if real-life actress friends Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts flipped a coin to see who would play Grace Kelly and the one who got tails had to play Princess Diana in “Diana.”
175 Day 175 of being a human woman: Ordered Eggplant Sicilian for dinner via delivery. Recognized delivery young man from a previous order. Asked him how his job hunt was going in the field of environmentalism. Was told I was inspiring him to do better in his career search. Realized while this was nice, I was seeing too much of said delivery young man. Ate and passed out while watching “Frances Ha.”
176 N/A
177 Day 177 of being a human woman: Celebrated national marriage equality win by sitting in a kiddie pool drinking apple juice. Prepared to debate Pastor Mark Harris tonight about said marriage equality on WCCB Edge. Needed more juice.

https://www.instagram.com/p/4aTQ6EQUdU/

178 Day 177 of being a human woman. Continued celebrating marriage equality by waking up late and eating baked ziti for linner. Yes, lunch and dinner. Hugged Alba-Justina Secrist at Italian restaurant where I ate said baked ziti.
179 N/A
180 Day 180 of being a human woman: Had a sore throat on the afternoon of Day 179. Fell into Summertime Sickness today. Took self out for Zicam and juice. Collapsed on couch and said, “C’mere, Orange Pineapple.”
181 Day 181 of being a human woman: Went to Folly Beach for the day. Ate @tacoboychs. Frolicked.

https://www.instagram.com/p/4kxcUDQURm/

182 Day 182 of being a human woman: Scream sang, “Once Before I Go” as I packed my computer into a FedEx box. Provided demonstration at 3 minutes 55 seconds on this attached video of Hugh Jackman in “The Boy from Oz.”
183 N/A
184 N/A
185 Day 185 of being a human woman: Jumped into a pool. Decided it was not truly Independence Day without listening to Carol Channing sing “America the Beautiful.” Spent Days 183 and 184 on this thrilling hand choreography.‪#‎happy4th

https://www.instagram.com/p/4vARycwUVK/

186 N/A
187 Day 187 of being a human woman: Slept most of Day 186. Ruffled Ladies Who Brunch with my ‪#‎workflow look and my raunchy car music, courtesy of Peaches.

https://www.instagram.com/p/40QDTdwUTI/

188 Day 188 of being a human woman: Saw that shelf I installed in The Thinking Room still hasn’t fallen down. Bought stamps from a machine, but still asked a beleaguered postal worker if I got the right stamps. Continued absorbing new job like a sponge left in my lime green kiddie pool.
189 N/A
190 N/A
191 N/A
192 Day 192 of being a human woman: Was corporate tiger a la Diane Keaton in Baby Boom for days 189, 190 and 191. Indulged in movie theater popcorn and a little film about gyrating male dancers.
193 Day 193 of being a human woman: Bought two new pairs of jeans, high-waisted and otherwise. Only had to try on five pairs to get right ones. Success thanks to Nordstrom’s.
194 Day 194 of being a human woman: Provided pro tip — move your cup of water around the house so you have to get up from your desk, hide the water, then get up again to go drink it. Great for glutes. Improves memory.
195 N/A
196 Day 196 of being a human woman: Not today, Satan, not today.

https://www.instagram.com/p/5KM4ONQUX3/

197 Day 197 of being a human woman: Finally received passport I applied for on Day 120 of being a human woman. Got so excited I chomped on said passport. Must reapply for one without teeth marks.

https://www.instagram.com/p/5NXvEsQUQK/

198 N/A
199 N/A
200 N/A
201 Day 201 of being a human woman: Apparently was having too much fun on days 198, 199 and 200 to record any human activities. Didn’t even write about 194. Celebrated today’s 200th day milestone by making a to-do list. Felt instantly soothed.
202 N/A
203 N/A
204 N/A
205 Day 205 of being a human woman: Worked like animal — or at least a flamingo wearing a veiled hat — on Days 202, 203 and 204. Just finished eating key lime pie while waiting for Lara Americo to return to my “home office.” Ready for lunch.
206 Day 206 of being a human woman: Went shopping @vtgclt and got this sweet Egyptian lady from @the.love.bird. Accidentally made @laraamerico jealous. Ate tacos and grilled pineapples as a distraction at Tacos El Nevado. ‪#‎vtgclt

https://www.instagram.com/p/5kufO7wURd/

207 Day 207 of being a human: Sang “I Say A Little Prayer” to Carol the Cat. Turned said cat into a Dionne Warwick fan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kafVkPxjLYg

208 Day 208 of being a human woman: Set up new vintage Rolodex I bought from @the.love.bird at @vtgclt this weekend. Found card from exotic dancer I met when I was business drunk in DC. Went in as a souvenir card, possibly vintage someday. Will only increase in value. ‪#‎vtgclt

https://www.instagram.com/p/5pT2nNwUUg/

209 Day 209 of being a human woman: Wrote on chalk board in South End that asks people what they want to do before they die. @shadynachos and I wrote, “Live long enough to eat our weight in chips.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/5s37NzQUbS/

210 Day 210 of being a human woman: Filed article about Italian food. Lathered self into NEED GNOCCHI NOW rage as I wrote about a light tomato basil sauce. Calmed down with only pasta I had in the house — Vegetable Radiatore — and smothered in a mess ton of garlic. No smooching for me.
211 N/A
212 N/A
213 N/A
214 Day 214 of being a human woman: Recovered from rocking too hard at Girls Rock Charlotte on 212. Watched girlfriend get covered in blue and pink paint.
215 N/A
216 N/A
217 N/A
218 N/A
219 N/A
220 Day 220 of being a human woman: Ate pizza. Rode a parked Vespa.

https://instagram.com/p/6I4eplQUd5/

221 N/A
222 N/A
223 Day 223 of being a human woman: Welcomed new virtual co-worker — Javier Bardem. Assumed he was new since he wasn’t here on Days 221 and 222. Will not bring him a sheet cake as a welcome to the office because he is not here all the time.
224 N/A
225 Day 225 of being a human woman: Named Pride Power Couple on Day 224. Still Pride Power Couple today. Will be Pride Power Couple tomorrow and beyond.
226 Day 226 of being a human woman: Achieved Lesbian Life Goal — a mention on AfterEllen.com. Thanks to Maureen Carlomagno for finding this bucket list item.

http://www.afterellen.com/tv/447483-morning-brew-zoie-palmer-shell-ever-play-gay

227 N/A
228 N/A
229 N/A
230 N/A
231 Day 231 of being a human woman: Spent Days 227, 228, 229 and 330 either laughing, crying or eating chips. Must thank my beautiful co-emcees for an incredible ‪#‎cltpride hosting experience. Thanks to the backstage crew that kept me hydrated and motivated. Would be remiss if I didn’t thank my Pretend Husband for everything he did and does for a mess like me.

https://www.instagram.com/p/6kesx6wUaA/

232 N/A
233 N/A
234 N/A
235 N/A
236 N/A
237 Day 237 of being a human woman: Resolved to drink my kale since I spent Days 231-236 eating non-kale items. Ate chorizo on Day 234 while watching a chef scrape cured meat off a cow leg at Cúrate. My face looked like this.
238 Day 238 of being a human woman: Started planning book list for Wildacres Retreat next week. Confirmed shapeless clothing wardrobe for same. Felt heartened I am not the only one to have entered the search phrase, “sweatpants with elastic ankles” into popular online shopping website.
239 Day 239 of being a human woman: Packed research material for my‪#‎Wildacres writing residency next week. Was told by @laraamerico I am taking “be prepared for anything” too far.

https://www.instagram.com/p/65J6yhQURr/

240 Day 240 of being a human woman: Yes, I needed more corn chips to take to Wildacres. Yes, I started eating bag #1 already.
241 N/A
242 Wildacres
243 Wildacres
244 Wildacres
245 Wildacres
246 Wildacres
247 Wildacres
248 Wildacres
249 Wildacres
250 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
251 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
252 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
253 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
254 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
255 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
256 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
257 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
258 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
259 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
260 10 days of returning to civilization and having to remember my purse again.
261 N/A
262 N/A
263 N/A
264 Day 264 of being a human woman: Watched people play drums on Day 261. Played drums on Day 262. Missed playing drums on Day 263. Current mood.
265 N/A
266 N/A
267 Day 266 of being a human woman: Current mood. Also Day 274’s mood.
268 Day 268 of being a human woman: Current mood. Doanne is…restless.

269 Day 269 of being a human woman: Frowned. OMG this show is 15-years-old. Felt longing for simpler time when there wasn’t social media anything.
270 N/A
271 Day 271 of being a human woman: Redlined over half of my book. Felt eyeballs (almost) fall out.
272 N/A
273 N/A
274 Day 274 of being a human woman: On a conference call like a professional. Cradling a flamingo while on said conference call. No one has to know.
275 N/A
276 Day 276 of being a human woman: Spent the afternoon in Plaza Midwood. Saw Scott WeaverJustin Crego, and Joshua Cannon around the neighborhood. Day made.
277 Day 277 of being a human woman: Compared and contrasted mayoral candidates for Tuesday’s run-off vote. Wondered what Tina Belcher would do. Got as far as writing, “Joanne stepped into the voting booth and closed the curtain” before deciding writing Erotic Friend Fiction was not the most effective research method.
278 Day 278 of being a human woman: Past mood. Current mood. Future mood. Fine, today’s mood. And that’s one butt in that thought bubble.
279 N/A
280 Day 280 of being a human woman: Ate nachos for lunch at Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe​. Wore poncho and hat to hide my bad hair even though it was 72 degrees outside. Looked crazy, felt wonderful.
281 N/A
282 Day 282 of being a human woman: Looked up “Carol Channing dancing.” Became tempted to make her a “Google Alert” since that’s what Google suggested. Resisted. Current mood.
283 Day 283 of being a human woman: Went to library with Lara Americo. Helped her with video project by walking around said library. In the quiet, all I wanted to do was shout Arron Malachi‘s signature phrase: Throw that ass in a circle!
284 N/A
285 Day 285 of being a human woman: Had discussion with Lara​ today best summarized by this picture.
286 Day 286 of being a human woman: Posted “actual” footage of Fitz​ and me on a road trip in a plane. Current mood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5byy_7uBvLQ

287 N/A
288 Day 288 of being a human woman: ‪#‎tbt to April 2009 when I thought this was a NSFW headshot. I was 24. You’re welcome.
289 N/A
290 Day 290 of being a human woman: Taught the girls of Girls Rock how to write a song. Led them astray through overuse of puns and general humor.
291 N/A
292 Day 292 of being a human woman: Reflected on how I have changed my entire life for the better over the last 292 days. I fell in love. I got a job as a full-time writer. I am genuinely, consistently happy for the first time in my life. Here’s to the last 73 days of the year.
293 Day 293 of being a human woman: Planned on working out. Ate chocolate cake instead. To health.
294 N/A
295 N/A
296 N/A
297 N/A
298 N/A
299 Day 299 of being a human woman: Made new acronym to soothe self during tough times. WWCD: What Would Carol Do? Began shrieking RASPBERRIES! and singing “Hello Dolly.”
300 N/A
301 N/A
302 Day 302 of being a human woman: Spent Days 308 and 309 writing profound — or was that profane? — legal literature. Scream sang Barry Manilow today while editing a legal white paper.
303 N/A
304 N/A
305 N/A
306 N/A
307 N/A
308 Day 308 of being a human woman: Can finally say I’ve been in bed with the Mayor of Charlotte. Congratulations, Jennifer Watson Roberts​!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wap5hR_Wgtw

309 Day 309 of being a human woman: Got new security system installed. Lara had encouraging words regarding the new security camera.

“The future is now and it’s horrifying.”
“The camera is going to talk to us.”
“The camera is going to say, ‘I’m afraid I can’t do that, Lara,’ and we’ll run out of oxygen’ and it’ll say, ‘I’m afraid I can’t give you any oxygen, Lara.'”

310 N/A
311 N/A
312 Day 312 of being a human woman: Spent Day 310-311 either eating or writing or watching people dance. Looked through my new NY Times Virtual Reality Googles while spinning in my Thinking Room.
313 Day 313 of being a human woman: Ran out of time to properly telecomvamp today. Let a one Tina Belcher do it for me.
314 Day 314 of being a human woman: Made Mexican Lasagna. No other accomplishment of the day needed.
315 N/A
316 N/A
317 Day 317 of being a human woman: Spent days 315 and 316 writing. Spent most of today writing. Living the dream.
318 N/A
319 Day 319 of being a human woman: Watched Robert Redford fight the high seas in “All is Lost.” Made dinner using Paul Newman salsa. Named dish (and evening) “Hunky Salsa.”
320 Day 320 of being a human woman: Planned to listen to my meta gay Dinah Shore vinyl until the world learns how to behave itself.
321 N/A
322 N/A
323 N/A
324 N/A
325 N/A
326 Day 326 of being a human woman: Shouted at a documentary while Larawas voice-to-texting to a friend. “IS HE WEARING A NAVY SHIRT WITH BROWN PANTS” was picked up by her phone.
327 Day 327 of being a human woman: Successfully cast movie about my life for my own entertainment. That’s me on the left.
328 N/A
329 N/A
330 N/A
331 N/A
332 Day 332 of being a human woman: Went to REI, which sells items for outdoor recreation and exercise. Bought Moon Cheese.
333 N/A
334 Day 334 of being a human woman: Stared into existence from 2:30-3:30 p.m. as if it was a lunch break. Felt like Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally” but didn’t have a Bruno Kirby to talk me down. Got most of to-do list done despite said Billy Crystaling, proving that suffering from weather-induced malaise can be surprisingly productive.
335 Day 335 of being a human woman: Overwhelmed by a desire to stay inside all night and gaze at my Christmas tree while eating fine cheeses. Actual photo of me overwhelmed by said desire.
336 N/A
337 N/A
338 N/A
339 N/A
340 N/A
341 N/A
342 N/A
343 Day 343 of being a human woman: Got Christmas tree. Treated self.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-sa7QawUa-/?taken-by=lookitsjoanne

344 N/A
345 N/A
346 Day 346 of being a human woman: Wore flamingo scarf as a “coat” to protest warm wintry weather.
347 Day 347 of being a human woman: Tried to forget my fling in Key West. Failed. Shivered, remembering the touch of her bronze(d) cheek. Should have known my advances would go unreturned; the name of this seasoned statue-esque goddess holding a Talbots bag is “Holding Out.”
348 N/A
349 N/A
350 N/A
351 N/A
352 N/A
353 Day 353 of being a human woman: Learned being free can be difficult, there are some tears, but it’s worth it. Ate personal pizza.
354 Day 354 of being a human woman: Scream sang “Me and Mrs. Jones” with Lara Americo in the car.
355 N/A
356 N/A
357 N/A
358 N/A
359 N/A
360 Day 360 of being a human woman: Played Twister with @laraamerico. Became pretzel.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_xfd00wUXH/

361 Day 361 of being a human woman: Wore a half shirt with a poncho over it.
362 N/A
363 Day 363 of being a human woman: Sat at the same table where I had my first date at the Dish with @laraamerico back in May. We had the same server too. Thanks, Yolanda! ♡♡♡

https://www.instagram.com/p/_5u3fUwURR/

364 Day 364 of being a human woman: Realized I only have one more day of my human woman 365-day series for 2015. Then what?!
365 This post.

Skateboarding with a Republican mayoral candidate

It’s not every day that I skateboard. Well, I’ve never skateboarded before, and I would never have thought a Republican candidate for mayor would end up being my teacher.

Edwin Peacock III is running for mayor of Charlotte, and he took a moment out of his campaigning schedule to take me out to the half pipe in his backyard. While he showed me how to drop-in, we talked about gentrification, what’s best for the city, and being a “spicy mayor.”

What housesitting is really like in Charlotte plus Carol the Cat

My latest story in CharlotteFive is about housesitting in Charlotte — and it has a love story. An east meets west, Romeo and Juliet encounter with Carol.

Carol is a cat.

I never thought I’d love cats again since my beloved childhood one, Dolly, passed away several years ago. But Carol taught me you can be feline (I’m sorry) the love again even when you think it’s all gone.

Hope you enjoy the torrid love story that is Carol and Joanne. Caranne. Jarol. Whatever. I’ll think of something.

I Went to Wildacres and Came Back with (Most of) a Book

Being one with nature is not on my list of top skills, but I applied for the Wildacres Writing Residency Program in January anyway. Desperate for a quiet space to finish my book, the concept of sitting in a cabin with no wifi sounded adventurous, a mini Wild meets Eat Pray Love except with a swarthy protagonist. There I’d be in an oversized gown and a nutty necklace and I’d write this genius piece of work.

I got the yes in mid-March. I bought that oversized gown. I got the necklace with the stone meant to inspire creativity from a street merchant in Asheville. I was ready. At least I thought I was ready.

This is my tale from August 31-September 6, including talks around the lunch/dinner table with my two fellow residents, encaustic artist Bridget Benton and herbalist Maria Narf.  

Day 1: Drove around and up the mountain like it was a vanilla swirl ice cream cone. Sat in a rocking chair at the lodge. It was supposed to be a tranquil moment. The four cleaning ladies of Wildacres rambling in and out of the lodge with paper towels and Windex and cigarettes had other plans. I was treated to an hour-long reimagining of Steel Magnolias if the cast had a graphic yet juvenile level of sexual knowledge punctuated by passing gas:

“Where is your picture going?”

“On a sex site.”

(Other woman looks puzzled.)

“It’s on this Skype site where guys are touching themselves.”

(Other woman still looks puzzled.)

Then one woman burped, knowing I was sitting on the balcony. She waved me off to the other ladies and said, “Oh she heard it, but she just laughed.” This liberated another woman to audibly fart. Twice.  “I like her in more of a grab-your-boobs way instead of a lesbian way,” one explained over cigarettes. Not about me, I hope.

Meals were served in the main dining hall, and there was always a fresh salad bar. Dinner was baked chicken, chopped potatoes in a cream sauce and broccoli in a mustard sauce I didn’t understand but utterly enjoyed.

Day 2: COMPLETE AND UTTER MENTAL BREAKDOWN. I’d get sporadic texts but wouldn’t be able to answer them in the cabin, forced to wait to be in the lodge or dining hall. That’s when I trudged the 1/3 of a mile to the mountain view I had so enjoyed yesterday. The mountain was giving me side eye. “Hey there, you’re an imposter. You don’t deserve to be here.”

"Nature is beautiful, but also disgusting." #wildacres

A video posted by @lookitsjoanne on

I sobbed until my face look like a tropical blowfish, a term in Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed that would calm me down over the week. Back after an hour of wailing, I called Fitz on the cabin’s hard phone, my only reliable connection to the world. “Everything is hard work,” I grunted. “Getting to meals here is work, relationships are work.” And that’s when it happened. That’s when I started typing the main theme of the book and couldn’t stop.

Oh yes, and more mental breakdown:

"My shoes are full of nature." #wildacres

A video posted by @lookitsjoanne on

Day 3: The dizziness I’d felt since I got to the mountains disappeared. Did my 20-minute mountain sitting exercise and my first thought was, “I really want to go to the beach.” Two trumpeters in one of the music rooms on the grounds played The Way You Look Tonight,” which made me miss Lara. Made Bridget and Maria laugh with bits from a delightfully violent essay I’d written last night. Lunch was a lush chicken and rice casserole.

Watching shadows on the mountains. #wildacres

A photo posted by @lookitsjoanne on

Day 4: My 20-minute sitting meditation became a standing meditation with fidgeting. I felt too fat to sit still. But I still got my mountain thoughts as I stood there doing leg lifts: patches of shade climbed and fell over select parts on mountain trees that were green except for a few orange specs cutting out early for fall. I wondered if someone on the shaded side of the mountain thought it was a cloudy day while the other person on the bright side thought it was a sunny day.

Maria was not at lunch today, which was fried fish and potato cheese casserole. We don’t know where she was. No one was worried about it whereas my family would have sent out the Mossad if I didn’t show up for a lunch in the woods. Dinner will be Thanksgiving, and I need to save Bridget a slice of pumpkin pie because she has to go to an art opening in Asheville. She said, “Thanks for covering my sweet tooth,” as someone might say, “Thanks for covering my ass.”

Day 5: I’ve written and taken out so many words in my book they have become floaters in my eyes. Ate Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch and had a Shabbat dinner presented by Temple Beth El. Brisket with rice and mixed dried fruits and asparagus. Dessert was peach cobbler. Bridget was ecstatic to get her pumpkin pie and she ate it like someone might eat a slice of pizza.

Maria taught me about herbs. She said some people see marijuana as making them freer of inhibition, when in essence it is limiting them by turning off external distractions. She sees in eight dimensions and only two with pot, so she doesn’t like it, wigs her out. Apparently peyote can kill you and it’s 24 hours of hallucinations and 24 hour recovery time. Yeah, I’m not trying that shit.

Day 6: Wrote over 2,000 words this morning in an essay titled, Dr. Spataro. The Temple Beth El crew was there at lunch and they sang songs, one of them named “Ding a ling.” “We’re the real ding-a-lings,” I joked to Maria and Bridget. Lunch was cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, salad and onion rings.

I went to my usual mountain spot and accidentally attended a morning service for Temple Beth El. The rabbi asked everyone to pray for someone who was in need of healing. One woman said her husband got laid off from his job in March, and he was then diagnosed with shingles in his ear. “They say it’s temporary,” she said. “But we don’t know how long temporary is.” She said he did a phone interview while having the shingles, which impairs his speech. It made my complaints about not getting Facebook on a mountain seem pretty damn stupid.

There was another lady who said, “I pray for my husband who has inoperable lung cancer, and he’s exercising and eating right. He wants to watch his grandkids grow up, but there is nothing more that the doctors can do for him.”

The rabbi stood up and then we all sang songs. As the mountain had absorbed my suffering on Day 1 of this retreat, I felt it absorb all of theirs.

That night, I shaved my legs. I shaved other places. I was ready to come home.

Day 7: Today I have to start thinking about my wallet again. Came back a better person. A person others feel comfortable to fart and burp in front of. A person who wrote about 50,000 words. A person who wrote a book that reflects her soul, and, well, still needs a little editing.

Live performance is a drag

joanne pk

This past Saturday afternoon brought me to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall in Charlotte. Not only did I have a bloodlust for vintage 40s hats, but a legitimate reason to be shopping there at all: local environmental activist Ahmer Inam and I are are going to be presenting at Pecha Kucha Night Charlotte, Vol. 13 — and I needed a suit.

Do not ask me why. That part is a secret.

Pecha Kucha is a presentation style with 20 slides clocking in at 6 minutes and 40 seconds total. Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture invented the method as a way to keep otherwise lengthy presentations concise and fast-moving. The first Pecha Kucha night was held in Tokyo in February 2003.

I will be spending the next week and a half working on my ensemble, the script, and eating guacamole with corn chips to keep me fueled. Hopefully I’ll get to see your fabulous face on April 30 — or just your face. Either way, I’d be happy to see you there.

Until then, keep looking out windows. You might see something you like.

Nacho, Nacho Man

Yesterday, I told you the top three places to get nachos in Charlotte. The only ingredients I had for nachos this morning were an unopened bag of blue corn Tostitos, which I must save for a party this weekend, and a small block of Parmigiano Reggiano.

What I had ready to go were wigs and costumes. So I danced with that bag of chips to the tune of “Macho Man.” I called it “Nacho, Nacho Man.” It’s part of my weekly #telecommvamping series on Instagram.

Tell me what you think about this series or today’s video in the comments section.

Hope you’re having a swell Wednesday!

Nacho, nacho man. No, really.

A video posted by @lookitsjoanne on

Search for the Best Nachos in the Queen City

Finally, I get to write about my first true love: nachos. CharlotteFive is featuring my take the three best places to get your queso fix. There’s even a recipe at the end of it, which my bestie/nachos-partner-in-crime Fitz created when we were stuck inside on a rainy day.

Did I pick your favorite place for nachos? Comment below and tell me your pick!