Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
by: Baz Luhrmann

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99,
wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists,
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself

and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
how much possibility lay before you
and how fabulous you really looked.
You are NOT as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know
that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation
by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind;

the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
 Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy;
sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults;
if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know
didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives;
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t.
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t.
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40,
maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do,
don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either –
your choices are half are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can.
Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it;
it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Dance - even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions - even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings.
They are the best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go,
but, with a precious few, you should hold on
and work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle.
Whereas the older you get,
the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths;
prices will rise, politicians will philander,
you too will get old,
and when you do,
you’ll fantasize that when you were young,
prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you;
maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse;
but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair,
or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy;
but, be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me, on the sunscreen.

The online rumors regarding the origin of this song was that it was a commencement speech given by Kurt Vonnegut to a graduating class at MIT. It is actually a column that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997 entitled "ADVICE, LIKE YOUTH, PROBABLY JUST WASTED ON THE YOUNG" by staff writer Mary Schmich. The rights to the words were eventually purchased by director/producer, Baz Luhrmann (director of MOULIN ROUGEStricly Ballroom, and Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet) who saw to the creation of the song and dedicated it to the graduating classes of 1999.

Love, love, LOVE this song. Though I am at a loss on how to describe it, I love the feeling I get when I listen to it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw.
He put colors all over the paper
'cause colors was what he saw.
And the teacher said, "What you doin' young man?"
"I'm paintin' flowers," he said
"Well, it's not the time for art young man,
And anyway flowers are green and red.
There's a time for every thing young man
And a way it should be done
You've got to show concern for everyone else
For you're not the only one."

And she said...
"Flowers are red young man.
Green leaves are green.
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen."

But the little boy said...
"There are so many colors in the rainbow,
So many colors in the morning sun,
So many colors in the flowers
and I see every one."

Well the teacher said,  "You're sassy!
There's ways that things should be,
And you'll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me."

And she said...
"Flowers are red young man.
Green leaves are green.
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen."
The teacher put him in a corner
She said, "It's for your own good.
And you won't come out 'til you get it right
And are responding like you should."
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said., and he said,

"Flowers are red, green leaves are green.
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen."

Well, time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town.
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smilin'
She said, "Painting should be fun!
And there are so many colors in a flowers,
And we'll use every one."

But the little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said, and he said,

"Flowers are red, green leaves are green.
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen."

But there still must be a way to have our children say . . .

There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flowers
and I see every one.

I first heard this song when I was a teenager. It's a children's song, but it is something that everyone should hear. It speaks to me about conforming to society and their veiws rather than being yourself and having your own ideas. I was fortunate to go to a high school where diversity and individuality were celebrated and encouraged. However those sentiments weren't always shared in other circles of my life. Its ups and downs notwithstanding, high school was an incredible experience for me. I learned so much about who I am, though it has be an exercise over the years to apply those things. One of the things I love most about getting older is the less and less I care about what other people think. It is such a wonderful feeling.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance
and conscientious stupidity."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.                                 

This is another one of my favorite quotes. It is perfectly accurate and absolutely timeless. I can think of so many ways that this quote can be applied in our world today. I almost always relate this quote to the quip "Never underestimate the power of stupidity in large groups." The two pretty much go hand-in-hand, in my opinion...and that is what REALLY scares me. Can you say "The Tea Party?" I shiver at the thought.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Defying Gravity

Something has changed within me.
Something is not the same.
I'm through with playing by the rules
of someone else's game.
Too late for second-guessing.
Too late to go back to sleep.
Its time to trust my instincts, close my eyes
and leap.

Its time to try defying gravity.
I think I'll try defying gravity.
Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity
and you won't bring me down.

I'm through accepting limits,
cause someone says they're so.
Some things I cannot change,
but 'til I try I'll never know.
Too long I've been afraid of
losing love I guess I've lost.
Well, if that's love,
it comes at much too high a cost.

So, if you care to find me,
look to the western sky.
As someone told me lately,
everyone deserves the chance to fly.
And if I'm flying solo,
at least I'm flying free.
To those who'd ground me,
take a message back from me.
Tell them how I am defying gravity.
I'm flying high defying gravity,
and soon I'll match them in renown.
And nobody in all of Oz,
no wizard that there is or was
is ever gonna bring me down.

Closely tied to my post from yesterday, are my feelings about this song. I was a little later than most in falling in love with this musical. I discovered it in 2009 when I finally wanted to see what all the buzz was about. I got the soundtrack from the library and took it for a spin. I didn't know very much about the plot (until I wiki'd it after my first listen) so most of the songs didn't make much sense to me. But this one, jumped right out at me. As intended, it is a turning point for the musical placed at the end of Act 1, when Elphaba (a.k.a. The Wicked Witch of the West) is officially labeled "wicked." 

I IMMEDIATELY related to the words of the song. They spoke to me about so many different emotions I felt when I was coming out -- the fear of losing love, the sense of "I'll be damned if you're gonna tell me what I can and can't do," and the overwhelming sense of taking command of your life and, pretty much, a "screw you" to anyone that has a problem with it. LOVE. IT.

I listen to the song a lot and, admittedly, have a few different versions of it on my iPod and I love how it makes me feel every single time I listen to it -- a feeling of liberation, inner-power, independence and bravery that I need to remind myself of every now and then. Listen to it below if you've never heard it, or listen to it again if you have. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

- Anais Nin                                     

This is a quote that found its way to me, again, just when I needed. I love how the universe works that way.

I first came out when I was 21 and came out in stages as I became more comfortable with the process. By the time I was 23, I was out to everyone except for my parents. Fear doesn't begin to describe what I was feeling. I knew that it was going to change their world and, most likely, devastate them to a large degree. The environment in which I was raised and information I possessed were mutually exclusive. I knew that it was going to change our relationship forever and may very well destroy it all together. So I wore a mask and pretended.

I have no idea how I pulled it off successfully for almost 2 years. All I know is that by the time July 2003 came around, I had had about all that I could handle. It was killing me. I kept the mask for so long because I was afraid of losing my parents and the relationship that we had. But I came to realize that the relationship wasn't "real" because of that very mask. It killed me to lie to them for so long. I think that is what hurt me the most. I was raised to be an honest person, but also raised to believe that homosexuality is wrong. I finally decided that our beliefs may be different, but that in telling them I would be both truthful to them AND myself. I would be honest and put my integrity first. It was too hard to pretend anymore. It was, at the same time, the hardest thing that I have ever had to do and the most liberating.

That quote spoke to me and told me exactly what I needed to do....and I've not regretted it a single moment since.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Be Yourself

"It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are."

- e.e. cummings                                        

Not really too much to say about this is just a particularly good quote, in my opinion. Not to mention, that its an incredibly true one.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Twenty years from now,
you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bow lines.
Sail away from the harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.

- Mark Twain                                              

You, no doubt, can tell by now that I am a big fan of things that inspire one to live the greatest life possible. I love the thought of taking as many chances as possible and seeing where the cards fall, because you never know what may happen as a result. I am very good at playing it safe, so I keep things like this around to give me a little push now and then.