Aw, Ragan! Sniff! At work!
Ragan has no idea how much of an influence he was on me in high school, even though we only had a short time together. First of all, I remember him in Noises Off, and I remember seeing him and thinking, “That boy and I; we are gonna be friends.” His Houston high school theatre scene was completely different than mine. They all seemed so grown-up, with how they dated each other and had big, giant drama. It was like they were already in college! And when I went to see Ragan’s show at his school, he was in drag. (“Little girls! I am in the process of putting old heads on young bodies!”) The first time I ever saw a boy in drag, and I was just smitten.
I don’t know if he remembers this, but one night we drove up and down Westheimer in his Jeep, being the most obnoxious teens in Texas, ruining the ending of “The Crying Game” for the poor souls waiting at the red light next to us. (Ragan, I put that in my high school’s yearbook, by the way! I never got to tell you that!)
It’s amazing to me that Ragan and I were living parallel lives all these years, so close to each other without knowing it. He’s always been in my heart, and I’m so proud of him for all he’s done over the years. And I’m not just talking about how he’s a published poet, accomplished performance artist and a teacher. It’s that he’s still brave, bold, fiercely independent and intelligent, with compassion that reaches right across the table and holds you tight.
Song: “Dream (All I Have To Do)”
The Internet has killed the art of searching for a copy of a song.
I have blown my voice out a number of times singing this song at the top of my lungs. It was in a sketch we did for about a year, where I was pleading through song to stop a break-up in the front seat of a car. It was the only sketch I wrote that my troupe did for a length of time.
(photo: stee learns how you listen to sports in the south)
It took a billion hours to get home last night because every airport in this country is stuffed with Longhorns. It’s hard to get pissy when everyone’s in burnt orange, all trying hard to get to your hood.
Welcome back to the East side, Horns. Hook ’em. Read more
If you had walked into my bedroom any night of my high school years, there was a 85% chance you were going to hear this album playing. I would often turn it on to mask the fact that I was on the phone, hiding under the covers, in the dark. The opening notes of this song still remind me of staring at the ceiling of my bedroom, tears in my eyes, my fingers tangled in phone cord, as I yearned to be wherever it was the person holding the other end of the line was standing.
Song: “I Feel the Earth Move”
When: While walking through MoMA, specifically this exhibit, on objects and products designed to keep us safer from crime, disease, accidents or natural disasters. I was reading about a temporary shelter made almost entirely out of cardboard tubing, when the opening notes started.
Song: “I Remember You”
I’m cheating, just a little, because this song isn’t on my iPod right now. It was playing as I drove home from work last night around 10:30.
“Due to the hurricane in the area you are calling, your call cannot be completed as dialed.”
This is the message I hear when I try to reach my friends in Houston or Austin or any part of Southern Texas. This is all I can do now, post a stupid entry to say, “I love you. Be safe.”
Song: “So Whatcha Want”
We were recapping the VMA’s for TWoP last night, at a certain point, probably in the middle of hearing a Ying Yang Twin shout “Haaaang” or when I’d heard the millionth whistle as a way to keep a beat, I just… I just lost it. I got so sad for music, and how hard it is to find something good for free. For free, you know what I mean? Turn on the radio, and the sound coming out doesn’t suck. This is a very difficult thing to do. Read more
Song: “Love Song”
The sound of The Cure reminds me of my first year I moved to Houston. I went to two different schools in that time, and it was a huge switch from living in Jackson, Mississsippi. The music changed completely. Back in Jackson, I was pretty much on my own in terms of finding music to listen to. I read Rolling Stone like it was a handbook to getting out of that town. I was already the weird one back then, earning the nickname “Satanic” because I liked Guns n’ Roses and Metallica much more than anything Top 40 had to offer. But once I moved to Texas, that’s when I first heard The Cure. Boy, did everything change after that. Read more