Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mandy Schultz 10 years later

I was going to wait until later this week to post this short blog, but I'm feeling a little sentimental today. Mandy Schultz and I were very close. We worked together on many projects, had the same employer a couple of times, we were always scheming on something. Even if that scheme was just how to get our drinks for free that night.

On October 29, 2001 Mandy's body was discovered in her car down the edge of a cliff in Ramona near her parents house, she had been missing for 6 weeks (if I remember right) Mandy left us 10 years ago but her spirit will always live on in San Diego.
Mandy worked her way up the ranks to become the executive director of San Diego Pride, she was co-owner of a hamburger place called Out Burger (Mandy was a vegetarian) and Mandy also worked at AIDS Walk San Diego.

Mandy was my biggest fan, and I was hers.. She used to tell me I looked like John Travolta (when I was MUCH younger) She would make me recite lines from Saturday Night Fever and Grease. When I started doing drag she INSISTED I dress up like Dana Scully from The X-Files, Mandy was a HUGE fan of Gillian Anderson.. Somewhere I have a photo of us dressed up like the characters from X-Files that was in Buzz Magazine.

Believe it or not I wasnt a cat person back then and Mandy had this annoying long haired cat that would climb all over me, while Mandy was sitting next to me chain smoking and eating ice.. I thought I was gonna have some sort of respiratory failure. What I wouldn't give for one more night like that with Mandy.

Years ago when Mandy died I never understood how someone so talented, so outgoing, so loved could get to the place she did emotionally. In the past couple of years I think I have come to understand EXACTLY what Mandy was going through 10 years ago. Just one more way we were connected I guess.

It saddens me to know that so many of out LGBT youth will never know Mandy or who how many great things she did for us. So this was my little tribute.

This week Ill have to make sure to go to Mo's and have Mandy's signature cocktail... The Mandori up.. neither one of us really knew what was in it.. we didnt care as long as it was free we let all the bartenders think they invented it for us.

We have not forgotten you Mandy, I see this picture of you everyday.

Well, that's cool, baby. You know how it is, rockin' and rollin' and what not.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


At the beginning of the year my therapist gave me a questionnaire.. One of the questions was. "what would you like people to know about you?" My reply was "I would like for people to know I'm a lot closer to normal then they think"

I dont even know what the hell that means now.I compare myself to what everyone else has and what everyone else is doing and I wonder what the hell is wrong with me?

Today was not my favorite day at therapy.

1) You cannot control what other people chose to think.

2) You cannot control what other people chose to feel

3) You cannot control what other people chose to do

4) If you attempt to do any of the first three or any combination of the first
three you will feel inadequate, frustrated, angry and depressed

5) What you do have control over is

a) what you think
b) what you feel
c) what you do
d) how you chose to respond to what others directly express and do

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The warmth in Hillcrest that is no more

If you live in San Diego chances are you have seen one of the great historical signs "welcoming" you to certain neighborhoods; University Heights, Normal Heights, Kensington, The Boulevard (El Cajon Blvd) and of course Hillcrest.

Recently the Hillcrest sign was replaced except the nice warm pink neon was replaced with white LED lights. My first thought was, wow it's so cold looking, too bright, not welcoming like the pink neon. I wondered who decided on that? I'm a pretty connected person in this community, and I cant recall seeing any public notice for input on the sign or the announcement changes were going to happen, people asking us to join a committee or anything like that. So here's what the sign looks like now.

Our City Councilman Todd Gloria posted a photo on Facebook of the Normal Heights sign getting a touch up for the Adams Avenue Street Fair this weekend, well that (maybe I) started a conversation about the Hillcrest sign and peoples dislike for the way it now looks and how the refurbishment was handled.

First of all here is a link to some history of the Hillcrest sign HERE

Dan Soderberg, of the Save Our Heritage Organisation stated "The fact the Hillcrest sign didn't go before HRB was a big mistake. I understand about the installation date of 1985. But the fact that it was a historic reproduction of the original. Therefore that creates a historic continuum that should have been respected. I have a huge problem when decisions are made without following due process of public input and review by all concerned parties when it involves a potentially historic resource. I'm not sure where the ball was dropped. Maybe City staff of the HRB signed off on this project, I don't know. But if they did, that's wrong. The Board and Design assistance should have weighed in. Secretary of the Interior Standards should have been adhered to."

Members of the Save Our Heritage Organisation
will be attending The Historic Resources Board meeting this Thursday August 25th at 1pm, City Hall, 12th floor in the City Council committee room. To ask questions whether or not the sign refurbishment went through proper procedures.

So I already know 90% of the comments I am going to get on this post are going to argue that LED lights are more energy efficient, "green", etc etc. I realize that, Ive done plenty of research on the subject in the last 2 days. I see arguments for both, and since LED lighting is still relatively new compared to neon, I think the jury is still out on its long term effectiveness. Something I read on a sign company website summed up my feelings about neon vs LED "Lastly, its all about preference. In our opinion, neon is more vibrant, warm, inviting and attractive. Its more like art than just a sign. LED signs tend to be more industrial and straight forward. This may sound corny but Neon seems to be more "romantic" and "elegant" and LED's are more "medical" and "cold" if that makes any sense."

San Diego Historic Neon is a great Facebook page to see some of the wonderful neon in San Diego both past and present.

and as always this is just my humble opinion.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Like a father to me

I have honored my father here and on Facebook each year on his Birthday and the anniversary of his death. My father died when I was 16 years old so I didn't get to have that adult relationship with him, getting advice, sharing laughs, and confiding in each other.

I found this person in the very unlikely Nicole Ramirez Murray, that's how he was known when we met in 1992. Nicole is someone you either love or have a very strong dislike for, I find that most people that say they don't like Nicole have never met Nicole. Im not here to nor have I ever been one to fight his battles, Nicole has always been a good friend to me, and that is something nobody can take away with a catty comment or argue with me about.

We have traveled all over the country together, staying in everything from nice hotels to college dorms for organizations we both were working on. We have laughed, argued, cried, learned from each other, and "not talked to each other" because we were mad. All the normal things friends, or a father and son would do.

The first time I told Nicole that he was really like a father to me was a few years ago, we were at brunch, I gave him a card and he got teary eyed, and said "ok good you can treat your father to brunch" Just the way I like it, a little emotional but with lots of humor.

The best times are when we are just out shopping or eating and he finds something silly to take a picture of.. we laugh a lot.. We both know JUST what to say to make the other one crack up

Happy Fathers Day Nicole...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just a random thought I had today

I think hoping that everyone gets out of life what they put into life is a great wish. If you don't agree, maybe you oughta change up things in your life a little bit.

I know I ain't perfect, but I also have paid in and continue to pay into the Karma bank, so on occasion if I get off my rocker i know karma is gonna take care of me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some nice thoughts.

We never get what we want,
We never want what we get,
We never have what we like,
We never like what we have.
And still we live & love.
That's life...

The best kind of friends,
Is the kind you can sit on a porch and swing with,
Never say a word,
And then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

It's true that we don't know
What we've got until it's gone,
But it's also true that we don't know
What we've been missing until it arrives..

Giving someone all your love is never an assurance
that they'll love you back!
Don't expect love in return;
Just wait for it to grow in their heart,
But if it doesn't, be content it grew in yours.

It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone,
An hour to like someone,
And a day to love someone,
But it takes a lifetime to forget someone.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile,
Because it takes only a smile to
Make a dark day seems bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile!

May you have
Enough happiness to make you sweet,
Enough trials to make you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
And enough hope to make you happy.

Always put yourself in others' shoes.
If you feel that it hurts you,
It probably hurts the other person, too.

The happiest of people
Don't necessarily have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Happiness lies for
Those who cry,
Those who hurt,
Those who have searched,
And those who have tried,
For only they can appreciate the importance of people
Who have touched their lives.

When you were born, you were crying
And everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die,
You're the one who is smiling
And everyone around you is crying.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dame Elizabeth

I cant remember when I first heard of Elizabeth Taylor, but I know I was VERY young, and completely infatuated right away. I think it was because when my mother was young, people used to compare her looks to Elizabeth Taylor and I thought it was so cool that my Mom was as beautiful as a famous movie star! (thats Mom on the left just below here)

I read every book I could get my hands on about Elizabeth, I saw every movie available on VHS tape. When she was on General Hospital Mom let me stay home from school (I actually stayed at Grandmas that day) to watch it. Mom surprised me for my birthday with tickets to see Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the play Private Lives

Elizabeth Taylor has always been a friend to the gay community, and life long friends with many gay men in Hollywood Roddy McDowalll, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, just to name a few. At her acceptance speech at the 11th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in 2000, Elizabeth Taylor said, ”There is no gay agenda, it’s a human agenda,” and added, ”Why shouldn’t gay people be able to live as open and freely as everybody else? What it comes down to, ultimately, is love. How can anything bad come out of love? The bad stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate and from ignorance.”

Elizabeth has had her ups and downs both in her personal life and her career. Although she was knighted a Dame by The Queen of England (Elizabeth's birth country) she really was a regular ol gal with a big heart. Watching her triumphs and failures throughout her life was a reminder this beautiful woman, wasn't too different than the rest of us.

Elizabeth believed her best moments weren't in front of the camera or on stage, but it was her work in the very beginning stages of the AIDS epidemic. Elizabeth organized the first fund raising dinner in Hollywood, at a time when the President of the US wouldn't even say the word AIDS, Elizabeth Taylor was out there asking people for money. Where would we be today if it weren't for Elizabeth Taylor?

This is a great site that details all of the work Elizabeth did both in her professional life and personal life, this link will take you to the page detailing all of her work with AIDS organizations Dame Elizabeth Taylor

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your top 10

Remember back in the MySpace days you could pick your top 8 friends, and if someone didn't put you in their top 8 you'd be pissed?

About a month ago my therapist and I were discussing Facebook and she was shocked at the number of friends I had (at that time less then 1,000) She couldnt believe that I interacted with that many people on a regular basis so Just for fun we did a little "exercise". She had me list the first 10 Facebook friends (no particular order) that came to mind, then we went down the list and I had to tell her what they meant to me. Not who they are, but why they were important to me. It was surprising to me the people that I listed. I honestly dont remember the names of everyone but I could tell you 5 of them.. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.

1. My Mom
2. Cheri
3. Carl Mason
4 Sheridan Parsons
5 My Niece

2 of these people I have never even met, but they make me laugh and smile everyday.

You should try this.. Without looking at Facebook, list 10 people off the top of your head, then think of why they are important to you. Then tell them!!