The Same Big Sky

This may be sacrilege, but Mickey isn’t the only mouse I loved as a kid.

It was totally innocent, though, I swear.  And, to be honest, though I loved Fievel Mousekewitz—still love him, in fact—I’m not sure it was so much him specifically that I cared for, as much as what he represented to me.

Now, that all seems like eons ago, and weeks or months will go by and I won’t have any cause to think about the little Russian-American mouse, but every so often, something will jog my memory, an involuntary, triggered reaction.

While Lance was away, frolicking down the Strip drinking an adult slushie from an Eiffel Tower-shaped plastic cup, and I had my hands full with the Ripley Dog and Kitty Boo Variety Hour, my iTunes DJ was playing in the background, and eventually Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram’s rendition of An American Tail’s “Somewhere Out There” started playing.

There are a few, a handful of songs, maybe, that have had any sort of lasting impact on me; the vast majority of music I enjoy calls me, maybe, and then burns out or fades away, not to be considered again except for the occasional, “Remember when…? Oy, how did I ever like that…?”

“Somewhere Out There,” like Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” and, of course, Dashboard Confessional’s “Screaming Infidelities” (hold your tomatoes! Just kidding, folks), have that little unique tie to memory that only grows stronger, more binding and meaningful, over time.

For “The Story,” it was iTunes’ Free Song of the Week during my senior year of college, and ended up being the song to which Lance and I walked down the aisle.

“Somewhere Out There” has roots much further back. When I was a kid, my parents and I moved around a lot, usually far from my extended family, who I’d only get to see a few times a year (and, as we know, a year is really freaking long time for a five-year-old).  An inhibiting shyness didn’t help in filling this void with, you know, actual human friendship, but I found solace in my collection of animated films like “The Little Mermaid” and “An American Tail.”

This song, which Fievel and his sister sing as a duet as they’re separated by a city as vast to them as a continent, was my little kid lullaby, the song my mom would sing to me as I yearned for my family, who seemed at times, insurmountably, far away.  Whenever I hear it, even today, the first image that pops into my mind is my maternal grandmother (who I affectionately called—and sometimes still refer to as–“Grandma Sugarplum”) stepping off a jetway at the airport, coming to visit me.

Even though it’s a little sad, and a little hokey by today’s standards (I mean, what the heck is an electric guitar doing in this song??), it’s hopeful too, and lends me some comfort when, even today, my family is too far away, or my partner and I are divided by time zones and mountain ranges.

Even though I know how very far apart we are, it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star.

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby, it helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky.

 The irony here, of course, is that my Fievel stuffed animal (currently going for $40 on Ebay! WHAT?!), is back at home in Michigan.

What To Do When Your Partner Leaves You Alone With A Neutered Dog

Friends, it’s true: Lance is leaving me.

…for a long-weekend of giggling, falling asleep at early hours, and the Tournament of Kings dinner show in Las Vegas with his BFF of 20 years (OMG so old!), Romina.

Should I feel jealous that he’s travelling without me?  Or worried about suspicious activity? (Like, will Lance pass out from a protein-overdose at the MGM Grand Buffet after eating too many ribs??)

Well, I’m not.  If I know my boy, he’ll be more disgusted by the vast majority of other gays and their sleeveless, too-snug tees to find anybody attractive.  He’ll probably make this face if anybody comes on to him:

Or, he and Romina won’t make it out of the hotel room after ordering room service and turning on a TLC reality show marathon.

But still, that leaves me (and really, isn’t it all about me?) alone with two furry friends, one of whom is about to go through reverse-puberty, for four days.  How could I possibly force myself to get out of bed, separated from my love as I’ll be, and find things to occupy my time for that long??

Here’s a little secret, folks: while I will undoubtedly miss my Boo Berry, there is a certain air of freedom that comes with having the house to yourself for a little while, and I plan to bathe myself in that sweet, glorious freedom.

“How does this manifest itself?” you may ask.

I’m not going to be throwing any parties or procuring any illicit drugs or any such thing.  What I will be doing is enjoying a few of my favorite things without Lance making this face over my shoulder:


See, there are some things I love that Lance just cannot stand, and I, highly sensitive to judgment, would rather leave my beloved hobbies and favorite pieces of entertainment away from his critical stink eye.  That way, not only does he not have to be subjected to my things, but I can enjoy them in peace, without fear of negative comment or quiet distain (or, at least, my perception that these are happening.  Nope, not an important qualifier there at all.)

The last time Lance was away for the weekend, I watched all of The West Wing Season 4 in 36 hours! Go me!

Here are some of the things I may be partaking in this weekend while Lance is away:

  • The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Blu-rays (I’ve owned these for a year and have never watched them! For shame!)
  • Perusing my local Barnes & Noble with no particular plan or intention of buying anything. I love the simply, calming act of just broswing in a bookstore. It’s very cathartic!
  • Making myself a pizza that does not include chicken, bacon, and barbecue sauce. Not that this isn’t great, but Lance’s preferences for pizza toppings is limited.  Maybe I’ll even fry my crust! Additionally, I will not eat chicken fingers for any meal.
  • I’ll be able to listen to a podcast of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour without Lance doing an irritating imitation of Trey Graham’s voice.
  • Watching Back to the Future Parts II and III. Lance inexplicably didn’t care for the first one, so he’s not going back to that well any time soon.
  • Watching my season sets of Rome (I’ve owned these since 2007 and have never watched them!)
  • Watching some of my fave movies, like The Squid and the WhaleKill Bill, and Before Sunrise/Before Sunset
  • Watching…

…hrm.  I guess my list is mostly things that have my sitting around on my butt, in the dark, while I stuff my face with Chex Mix.

…This isn’t pathetic at all. Nope, no way, nosirree.  While, sure, I may be cutting myself off from the world to enjoy these things…and yes,  my skin tone is already the color of a pane of glass…and sure, I may just eat Hot Pockets instead of being ambitious enough to roll out some pizza dough…but, but…

OH GOD, HONEY, DON’T GO!  Who is going to drive me to the grocery store? (I hate driving!) Who’s going to wash the towels? (I hate doing laundry!) Who’s going to light the candles to make our apartment smell nice? (I hate candles but appreciate the ambience they provide!)