Thursday, May 17, 2012

The World's Greatest Chest Model

No one, and I mean no one, has tried harder to get his picture in any publication more than I have, yet, I never appear anywhere. I am tempted to get a billboard that says, “Appearing Nightly in a Trailer Park in Jessup, the One, the Only …”

I am beginning to feel like Jeannie. She could not be photographed, so a mannequin stood in for her when she married Major Anthony Nelson.

There are those people whose pictures appear all the time in the newspaper, magazines, local flyers, etc. No matter where they go, a photographer is always present. We have a local rag called MW (Metropolitan Weekly). Every week, they have a spread of pictures showing who was at this A-list event and that A-list event – with everyone dressed in tuxes and holding cocktails. Every week, I see the same goddamn faces. I can actually document how people have aged since I moved to the area fifteen years ago. Some, not so well. There is one person who has had a sex change, and I have watched the transformation totally in the pages of MW.

Since I don’t go to or get invited to A-list events, I have no chance in hell of appearing in MW’s weekly spread.

Every year after Capital Pride, they have spreads in MW’s print and online versions of every picture they took during the parade and at the festival. Since moving here, I have participated in the Pride Parade on a float six times, and I walked between two antique cars handing out beads two years ago. I participated in the festival in one way or another for the first twelve years I lived here. Photographers would come around and take my picture, but get this. Whatever pictures were taken of me were never posted or published!

No pictures of our entire Straight Eights Car Club contingent were published! I take full responsibility. Had I not participated in the parade …

When I was in my twenties, I was constantly told I should be a model. I never pursued modeling because my portfolio would have been all blank pages. Maybe I could have been a ghost model?

My brother appears in the newspaper all the time in ads and in spreads about his business.

I must confess that I did appear in the newspaper a long, long time ago in a land far, far away. The summer of 1969, a reporter and photographer from The Daily Press, both of whom were friends of my mother’s, came to our house to take pictures of me and interview my mother about my beginning first grade that fall. I appeared in a two-page spread with a girl who was also in my class. The first day of school, Mrs. Diggs (the greatest first grade teacher of all time) put the newspaper spreads on the bulletin board for everyone to see. I was so proud.

But, my mother must have made a deal with the devil because that would be the last time anyone would publish my picture.

Once when appearing in a musical review, a photographer and reporter were sent to cover the rehearsals. The director decided that the three of us who were performing “Money” from Cabaret should be the subject of the photo spread. There I stood with these two women on either side of me. All of us were in long sleeve black tops with gold coins sewn onto our costumes. I was finally going to appear in the newspaper.

I was so excited when someone called to tell me that the article and picture were published the following day. I immediately opened my paper, and what did I see? The two women who were in the number with me; their faces were in front of a black backdrop with coins sewn onto the fabric. That backdrop was my chest. My head was cropped from the picture. Seriously!

I was so mad because those two women were the most annoying prima donnas I had ever met.

Whom does a Jew have to blow around here to get one goddamn picture in the newspaper?

A few years after I moved to Washington, DC, I was on the board of Bet Mishpachah, and with my good friend, Ellen, we planned the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the synagogue. A reporter and photographer from the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper, came to the event to interview us. They took quite a few pictures. The following week, the article was published with one picture of everyone doing the “Electric Slide.” I was completely cropped out from the left side of the picture. Seriously!

As I have mentioned ad nauseam over the last few weeks, I participated in the Hero Rush obstacle course benefitting fallen firefighters. Before the race, I bought a picture package from a professional sports photography company. I figured that since the pictures were for personal use and not publication, I would have a chance to have some photographs to share after the event. Five days after I took first place in Men 45+ (I cannot stop mentioning that), I was supposed to get an email telling me my package was ready for download.

On the Hero Rush Facebook page, I managed to find three pictures of me that their staff had taken. I immediately downloaded them even though I look terrible in all of them.

Five days went by, and I heard nothing. Two weeks later, I received the following email:

“Hi, what is your full name and bib number? We cannot seem to locate any pictures of you?”

My response:

“Look for the two snotty women running in front of a sweaty dark green backdrop. That backdrop would be my chest.”

I clearly should have been a chest model.

If you would like my picture, follow me, join me, get on my mailing list.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Cannot Run in Flats

Have you ever watched a baby learning how to walk? They run first. Actually, they run, then fall, then get up, then run. It is easier to balance yourself when you are moving quickly, which babies figure out immediately.

Have you ever watched a man try to walk in heels for the first time? They go slowly. The take a step, they whine, take another step, they whine. Why does it take them so long to realize running in heels is much easier than walking in them? They call them high heel races for a reason! A race is a blast. A high heel walk would be annoying with all that whining – like watching a bunch of very slow cats.

You heard it here first. Walk quickly in your heels, and you will be ever so graceful, which brings me to this:

In my ongoing quest to do crazy shit before I turn fifty, I decided to do one of those extreme obstacle courses that have become popular in the last few years. As a matter of fact, they are so popular that you need to sign up for one at least six months in advance.

A few of my gay friends in other parts of the country have completed these, and they said they were a blast. Everyone was muddy and shirtless and looking all smoky and hot. However, I couldn’t get one gay friend around here to do one with me; they wouldn’t even come and watch.

As I searched for an extreme obstacle course with any open slots, I came across a new one called Hero Rush, benefitting fallen firefighters. They had openings, so I signed up as a VIP (you get better parking), competing in the Men45+ category. The race was to take place on April 28, so I figured the temperature would be hot enough for good eye candy while I lay flat on my back after falling off a wall or something.

The day was approaching, and the weather was not looking too good. At the beginning of the week, they were calling for temperatures in the sixties, by the end, in the fifties, and the day of, cloudy and in the forties. Well, that discourage me from falling on my back and watching the hotties fly by.

With this being the first of the first for this particular event, I figured they would have some kinks to work out, but I decided to go with the flow. I arrived an hour early as instructed, and they had postponed the first wave as only ten people showed up, so they combined it with our wave (they call each group a wave), and at 9:00 am, the bell rang and we were off. It was actually a 911 call since this course was designed by insane firefighters, who moonlighted as serial killers.

The first obstacle was a flight of stairs with no railing then you grabbed onto and slid down a pole. I have done a lot of things with poles over the years, but I never slid down one. Once you did that and crossed a black rubber strip, your time began. All of us wore chips like runaway dogs, so our owners could find us, but for the record, even Esmeralda is not crazy enough to try something like this.

There were obstacles that involved hopping over walls, crawling through smoky mazes in the dark, dragging dummies through tunnels and pulling hoses over walls. Photographers were supposed to be stationed at each of the nineteen obstacles, but I found out later there were only six photographers. A girl needs her photo op.

What I did not realize was the amount of running involved – and not on pavement, but through woods and fields and on rutted pathways. A third of the way in, I twisted my ankle.

Honey, I just can’t run in flats!

Being the Neanderthal that I am, I just put some dirt on it and walked it off. The only problem I had was the zip line. Apparently, they had a weight limit and did not tell anyone. You can bet that whenever there is a weight limit, I am over it. I grabbed onto the zip line, and down I went – straight down! I didn’t even zip! I thought, “That can’t be good.”

Then I twisted my ankle again. I put more dirt on it and walked it off.

Toward the end, you first wade waist-deep in a pool of green muck that is supposed to be like hazardous waste. Since when do firefighters wade through waist-deep green muck?

The last stunt was wading through ice cold water (did I tell you it was forty degrees outside) while a bunch of kids spray fire hoses on you. Do you know how much pressure comes out of a fire hose? I went under, and when I came up, my hair was a mess. I didn’t even want to know how my face looked. I did take a mental picture of every one of those brats (a Sephardic curse would be in their futures).

Once extricated from the pool, you run some more then hop over three lines of fire – real fire, but you are soaking wet and freezing, so catching on fire would have been the least of my problems.

I finally saw a photographer at the end.

I actually enjoyed it, and believe it or not, would do another one, but next time in July!

After changing in the men's tent alongside a rather attractive Jewish straight man in his thirties who was behind me the whole time and who was a delightful conversationalist – so my demographic, I walked the grounds and went to the food pavilion. I ordered two hot dogs. I figured no one knew me here, so who was going to look down on my plate. It was 10:30 am.

While scarfing down my post-obstacle treat with a root beer, I heard the following from two guys at another table who had just finished the race:

“After Cobalt, we went to Nellie’s for a drink, but no one was there.”

“Were you able to get the Lady Ga Ga tickets?”

I found my gays!

I walked over and introduced myself and noted that we may be the only three members of the family there.

Now that I had found my gays and one straight Jewish man, all I needed was a middle-aged yeanta, and my audience would have been complete!

Later that day, I found out the first place finisher in the race was a nice Jewish boy in his twenties.

In case you were wondering, or if you weren’t, I am going to tell you anyway. My score was #1 in the men45+ at Hero Rush (I think I was the only one over 45, but that is just between us girls). Official Finish: 00:48:03.4; Overall: 17; Men: 16; M45+: 1.

Not bad for an alta cocker Gay Jew living in a trailer park.

And yes, I did sprain my ankle. Battle scars are hot.

If you like watching hotties while you lie on the ground follow me, join me, tell Andy Cohen I need my own reality show!