Friday, May 30, 2014

Love is the ultimate renewable resource

There are many courses of action that have been proposed in the wake of the California shootings and most of them have merit. Gun control, anti-misogyny measures, better mental health care, setting good examples for our sons, men speaking out to support women – the list goes on.

However, in the words of Albert Einstein, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” By the same token, if patriarchal attitudes are the root of the problem, we can’t expect a patriarchal society to solve it.

Many people see the core issue of Elliot Rodgers’ manifesto, and the reason he decided to act as he did, as being male entitlement to women’s bodies or attentions, which is just one of the more extreme attitudes that can arise with male privilege in our patriarchal society. And therein lies the root of the problem with trying to change prevailing attitudes – we live in a society where men hold the power. And no, not all men are actively subordinating women, but consciously and unconsciously enough do that makes any direct change glacially slow, if not impossible.

To me, however, there is another fundamental issue this tragedy highlights: the idea that love between individuals is a commodity, like gold or pork bellies; something to be gained, held and jealously protected from others who seek to “steal” it from us. That is the basic premise of traditional monogamy – that all our romantic and sexual love must reside within our relationship with one and only one other person. To share that love outside the relationship by definition invalidates it, and all other romantic attachments are viewed as either leading to monogamy or viewed as suspect, if not forbidden entirely. This is the model that most of us grew up with and it works fine for a lot of people. But newer generations of people are starting to see the concept of love as a lifelong, exclusive commitment to one other person for what it is – a choice instead of the rule.

We live in an increasingly resource-constrained world, and in fact, my day job is helping to promote renewable energy, something that I’m paid for and proud to do. I view love as the ultimate renewable resource, as abundant as the sun that powers millions of my company’s solar panels each day. We as human beings are capable of loving more than one person, just the way we can love more than one parent, child or friend. It is only our society that tells us that falling in love with someone means we must not love, nor be able to love, another.

So what if we approached our relationships with the attitude that love is not a scarce commodity, but rather an abundant renewable resource? What if, like ancient Persian and Sanskrit, we had 80 different words to describe the different qualities and valences of communal and erotic feeling, instead of just the single four-letter word available to us now? What if we had titles for people who make up our intentional family besides husband, wife and spouse?

I've spent the last six years of my life figuring out the different dimensions of this idea, and the last four actively crusading for awareness of polyamory and open relationship styles. I truly believe that if we can foster more ways to love each other, this world will be a better place for everybody.

Do I think polyamory is the answer to preventing shooting rampages? Certainly not in the short term. In fact, it may cause women more problems by making the “I have a boyfriend” excuse for deflecting attention a little less effective. But as many people have said, the whole reason that excuse is effective – that men respect each other’s “territory” more than they respect a woman’s own agency to decide for herself – is itself objectionable and a symptom of the greater problem.

My advocacy for polyamory is playing the long game, imagining how the world might be different generations from now. Also, I’m thinking about how we can change things by subverting, rather than directly challenging the patriarchy. Relationship choice is something that every individual has total control over without the need to pass laws or change how others behave outside of their direct interactions with you. You can decide for yourself if you want to change your own concept of love from one of scarcity to one of abundance.

Polyamorous relationships are subversive to the status quo because they force you to examine your own feelings and the motivations behind your behavior toward your partner. They also require constant, honest communication and are based on continually obtaining consent from all parties. So instead of relationships being goal-oriented, poly relationships continuously grow and evolve over time, possibly including a legal marriage, but also possibly including new partners and negotiating relationships that are custom-tailored to each individual situation. In short, polyamory shifts responsibility for personal happiness and fulfillment away from the relationship itself and puts it on each individual, giving everyone their own agency to create whatever relationships they desire.

There’s a reason why many of the leaders in the modern polyamory movement are women. While the idea of polygamy (one man, many women) has been around for a long time and is still practiced in some cultures, the idea of polyandry (one woman, many men) is much less prevalent. So the idea of polyamory (any number of partners of any gender) is the ultimate expression of sexual equality, completing the sexual revolution that started with the advent of birth control by giving women more control over how to satisfy their romantic and sexual desires in an ethical way.

That’s also why it’s easier to sell an idea like polyamory on an individual level – people who struggle with monogamy find the idea appealing, and the divorce rate in this country suggests that it’s a large population. It’s something that’s actionable today, as opposed to, say, changing how you raise your sons or fighting misogyny in general. That’s not to say those things aren’t necessary or important – we need people fighting on all fronts, for short and long term goals, to fully address this problem.

As I often say at the beginning of meetings for Open Love NY, the group I helped to establish in 2009, we are not looking to “turn the world poly,” just as the gay rights movement isn’t trying to turn the world gay (despite what opponents might say). But simply by making open relationships a visible and viable option for everyone, we’re striking a blow against the idea that anyone can “own” another person, or that anyone can “expect” love from another person, whether they are in a relationship or not.

Today, we are still working on making it safe for same-sex couples to love one another, but at least we can see that day approaching. The next step in our society’s diversity evolution is to make it safe for all forms of love between consenting adults. Anyone new to the idea of polyamory will probably question how successful it can be for the general population, and they would be right to do so.

Poly isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work, but at least there is the promise of a more honest and joyful life as an incentive for people to learn about it. And ultimately, I believe that positivity will be a more effective catalyst for change than browbeating and shaming people. If we create more ways for people to find and experience love, then we will be one step closer to a world where we will never again have to witness senseless acts of violence fueled by hatred and disrespect.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Graduation days

It doesn't feel much like it, but I'm at the end of a six-day vacation weekend tonight - I took the last three days of last week off to attend the graduations of Natalia and Puck.

Tuesday night I brought a birthday cake to Katie M's apartment for our women's group meeting - it's the first time I've been there, and it will be the last since she's moving out of there this week. We had a nice group turnout, including two new members. I actually had a full 27 candles on her tiny cake, plus two more for the big 2 and 7 candles - it took about four tries for her to blow them all out.

Wednesday I worked a little in the morning, getting people used to the idea that I wasn't actually working (I don't take many vacation days, so there's an adjustment period) and then headed up to the Beacon Theater with a bouquet of flowers for Natalia's graduation from Columbia University's School of Social Work, where she received her MSW degree.

Afterwards, Kat, Natalia, Melissa, Matt and I went to have an early dinner at Sarabeth's West, a lovely little seafood place near Papacookie on the Upper West Side. I had the prix fixe lobster special, which was a spicy spaghetti served with shrimp and lobster, a Caesar salad and a chocolate tart for dessert.

Thursday I took the train out to Nearing and worked for about an hour before driving Yoshi out to Stony Brook University for possibly the last time (unless Puck wants to take me to a homecoming, but somehow I doubt that will happen). We had lunch at a charming cafe in Port Jefferson, then went back to Cat Mansion to pack some boxes for Puck's move to Boston, where they will be spending the summer at an internship.

In the evening Puck dressed in the cap and gown of a college graduate, adding Phi Beta Kappa cords to signify their membership in that august honor society, and a plastic Dalek adorning their mortarboard for the honors convocation. They received their gold academic stole to signify their summa cum laude status for highest academic honors.

After the ceremony we went to Carrabba's for a late dinner, where we enjoyed the traditional Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream they fly in from Texas every day on a hot apple tart and also with candied pecans.

The next morning we woke up early to attend the Linguistics ceremony with Puck's parents, grandmother, sister Ella and niece Maya. After that, we went to the football stadium for the full graduating class of over 5,000 students. As I sat in the stands, I recalled the exciting finish of one of the first SBU football games I attended versus Brown University ("SBU football, Thriller and Rosh Hashanah" - September 22, 2009). Luckily, the rain held off until after the ceremonies were done, but then it came down like cats and dogs!

We ended up going to a seafood joint called The Steam Room for lunch, a casual place with a view of Long Island Sound at the ferry terminal. I rode that ferry when I visited for Humans vs. Zombies on SBU campus back in 2010 ("HvZ at SBU" - October 18, 2010), one of our more memorable college visits that are now a thing of the past. 

I left after lunch to make my way back to Princeton to drop off Yoshi and take the train home, but since it was early rush hour on a holiday Friday, it took five hours to get there, and then I had to walk a half-hour from Nearing to the train station, so I didn't actually get home until after 11 pm. That was a really long day, but it was nice to be a part of Puck's important rite of passage in a place that has been the scene for a lot of our ups and downs, including our transition into frubbles ("Fourth anniversary" - October 7, 2012).

Saturday I spent the whole day recovering from all the traveling, then met up with Beth to see Kacey and Joan's play, "The Tragedy of Dandelion" that included an talkback afterward. I didn't realize I had met the playwright, Duncan, at the PIT once - he's a good friend of Liz's. Joan's husband Bruce was there doing tech and lighting, and Chelsea showed up too, so we sat together in the front row, and my OLNY competition director/friend Melissa appeared late and sat next to Beth. Revay, a musician I met at the Whimsy party, opened the play, which was very good - the first half was excellent, while the second half was a little less so. But it was a very accomplished play and enjoyable overall, and in fact I'm going to try and see it again with other people before it closes on June 8.

Sunday was Katie M's birthday brunch where I got to meet many of her friends whom she talks about but I've never met - Jasmine, Kiersten, Gabe, and her new roommate Amy. We had brunch at Gracie's Corner and then we went up to the rooftop of Katie's old apartment building, Post Toscano, which boasts sweeping views of Queens and the Upper East Side.

Sunday evening I met up with my friend Angel to attend a queer women's "Meet Your First Kiss" party at the Delancey. We had dinner at Yunnan Kitchen around the corner from the bar, and one of Angel's friends Ronni joined us late. We met up with two more friends, Monica and Elisha at the party. Even though it was great catching up with Angel and her friends are nice, this was so not my thing so I didn't stay very long. It was fun watching Angel make out on camera with a woman she met on the dance floor at the party. There was also a kissing contest and a kissing booth ($3 a kiss) which obviously I didn't partake in.

Anyhoo, I had another quiet day today of laundry and cleaning before going out in the late afternoon to Battery Park City to meet up with Kacey and Becker for dinner at Shake Shack and to watch the next X-Men movie. I was a little disappointed in the movie, but it was lovely to see my friends and stroll outside in the park (I saw Kacey briefly at the Saturday night play, but she was working of course). 

You know what's interesting about this week? I think I've met more people and added more Facebook friends than I can ever remember before in a six-day period. Sometimes I should stretch myself, but I'll always snap back to my introverted form eventually.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The most beautiful thing in the world

I had a beautiful 24 hours with Puck, the closest to a perfect day I've had in several years. Our friends Diana and Ed were celebrating their life commitment Saturday night so I volunteered to make some canapes. Puck was coming into the city with Adele to see Cabaret, starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams. Puck and I were also preparing for Sunday’s day-long date they gifted me as a New Year’s present.

Saturday I went down to Chinatown to buy ingredients for Diana's event and Sunday’s dinner. I had decided to make Lincoln Logs for the party, a recipe I’d created for my Oscar Party 2013 (a pun on Spielberg’s Best Picture nominated presidential biopic), which are Chinese sausages and green onions on toothpicks, dipped in hoisin sauce, a plum-based savory Chinese sauce.

Diana and Ed’s party was at the Gemini & Scorpio loft in Brooklyn, a large room with a stage, an outdoor rooftop patio and a playpen about the size of two queen-size beds for cuddling. The program started with some ecstatic dance and then the couple was brought to the center of the room in a tantric position and many of us took turns saying blessings over them and sprinkling them with rose petals. Puck had the honor of the first words; I delivered the penultimate blessing. Mine went something like this:

"Ed and Diana, you both inspire all of us, and your love is an inspiration to the world. And whether you are a scientist, a mystic, or a poet, love is the most important and beautiful thing in the world. Thank you for sharing your love with this community."

There were about 100 people at the celebration, and I really admire what Diana and Ed have done with their community of polys, burners, kinksters, queers, artists, activists and many other groups. Their family and community is so much larger than mine, but I'm happy to be a part of it. I build my community on a much smaller scale, but then I haven't been at it for very long.

After all the blessings there was a series of performance art with storytelling, rapping, singing and poetry reading (including Puck’s performance of their love poem, “They Set Fires”). After that it was DJs and dancing until 4 am, but we left shortly after the performances since we had a big day planned for Sunday.

Sunday we woke up and headed down Broadway to try our luck at the ticket lotteries. We had a plan to try for three different lotteries back to back to back - Kinky Boots, Matilda and If/Then - but we ended up winning at Kinky Boots right off the bat! In fact, they drew every name entered because they had so many lottery tickets ($37 each) available, which is a far cry from the last time we tried the lottery with Perri and Katie B. I guess the show has dwindled in popularity, and it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, so people probably wanted to be outside. So we didn't need to spend very much time at all drawing lotteries, meaning we could take the rest of the day at a leisurely pace.

While we waited for the show to start, we walked down to 34th Street so I could shop for some white sneakers for summer. After visiting three stores without success, we were headed back up to the Ninth Avenue Food Festival to grab a bite when we found the right pair at a Payless Shoes along the way. It's rather funny thinking back on it, because Kinky Boots is about the underserved niche market of drag queens needing footwear. Finding size 12 and 13 women's shoes in most shoe stores is a quixotic task.

Our seats were partially obstructed view, but they were in the boxes, so they were really good - better than the ones I got for rush tickets when Liz and I went last year. Here's the view we had: 

I think because of the better view, I was much more emotionally engaged this time than the first time I saw the play with Liz. The climactic scenes brought me to tears and I enjoyed everything about the play more, with the exception of the recasting of the role of Lauren, which was played by Annaleigh Ashford to great comedic effect in the original cast.

After the play, we went to the grocery store to get some more ingredients for dinner and we ran into our friend Dave on the street - he's recently moved from Roosevelt Island into his own place in Hell's Kitchen. He says it's hard being an adult, but I guess we all have to get there someday. What are the odds of us running into someone we both know?

After dropping off our groceries, we picked up a few things for a picnic in Central Park. We entered at 92nd Street and found a nice patch of grass near the reservoir, spread out a blanket, had a bite and started taking turns reading Roald Dahl's "Matilda." As the sun started to go down, we walked through the park and got on the subway at 86th Street to head back to TSMC.

Puck made a dinner of lamb and sweet potato curry stew and couscous, and we took turns giving each other massages with lavender oil as the stew simmered on the stove. We had dinner and watched Matthew Bourne's reimagination of Tchaikovsky's ballet Sleeping Beauty (with vampires!) on PBS Great Performances that I've been saving on my DVR. Puck has been taking ballet this semester so it was an opportune time to watch it together.

All in all, this was about the most fun-filled weekend I've had in a long time. Puck had even more excitement than I did, seeing two musical shows in two days with two of their favorite people (I'm presuming). Now I have a quick two-day work week before I take off Wednesday through Tuesday for graduation ceremonies and the Memorial Day holiday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Staying connected

It's been an up and down week since my last post. Work has been more manageable and I've had good energy to do more things with my friends.

Last Saturday I worked for a few hours editing a bylined article before going out in the evening. Victoria invited me to her birthday party at Brother Jimmy's barbecue for dinner and some skeeball. I gave her a bouquet of flowers with a splash of blue that reminded me of her hair (she's a platinum blonde with an electric blue streak in her bangs). I met two of Victoria's closest friends, (Ashley and Emily) whom I'd seen at Liz's holiday party last year, plus the Michelle who gave Liz and me the backstage tour of Matilda. Liz and Josh were also there, and I enjoyed watching the two of them go at it head-to-head at skeeball. I love seeing my friends in love - it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Sunday I went out to Williamsburg for Classic Album Sundays, which featured Neil Young's album Harvest, which I've never heard, although I know the song "Heart of Gold" (surprisingly, his only number one hit). I really wanted to get away from the computer to avoid seeing all the Mother's Day reminders, which I find annoying since that's not a thing for me. Also, CAS has moved to a new location and they have different equipment, so I was interested to see how it sounds. It didn't blow me away because I'm not a fan of horn speakers (the setup was Klipsch speakers and subwoofers, powered by McIntosh amplification) but it was still impressive.

Monday night was Poly Cocktails. It was also a treat to see Jennifer again, who has been back and forth from the UK. She made a point to say she appreciates my Facebook posts, even though she doesn't comment on them. I also reconnected with a same-sex couple who are raising a 3-year-old in New Jersey and talked with my favorite tattoo artist, Jessie.

As I was making my way out, I bumped into Chelsea so we left together and started walking to the subway. Since she was walking home (she lives about a 10-minute walk away on St. Mark's), I walked with her to catch up on her life. When we got to her door we were still talking so we went across the street to the Pinkberry for a drink and ended up talking for about an hour about all kinds of things.

Tuesday night Amanda was throwing a going-away party on the eve of leaving for Los Angeles for the summer. She was one of the photographers at Kacey's wedding, which is how we met. She was making vegan tacos, which I found intriguing. Although we haven't seen each other since the wedding, I like a lot of Amanda's Facebook posts and I had an extra bottle of wine in the fridge, so I went to say goodbye for the summer. Chelsea was there early helping out, and Lourdes was working on a paper while enjoying the party, but nearly everyone else was new to me.

One guy came up to me and said he thought I was either a doctor or a novelist. I wondered what was it about me that conjured such disparate professions. He said I had an air of authority about me. It's not the first time that's been said about me. Sometimes I feel like I have an imperious nature, but other times I feel like a goofball. I think when I have my shields up around new people, it comes across as my being aloof or dignified.

I had a recovery day on Wednesday before having a friend date with Katie M on Thursday. We had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant (her first) on the west side and then walked through Riverside Park South from 47th to 68th Street, stopping several times along the way to look at the water, the lone star visible in the sky, the lights on the Jersey shore across the Hudson and the soft glow of Manhattan in the misty fog that night. We went out to the end of a long pier into the middle of the Hudson and talked about our friends and growing up, and our various relationship pitfalls - all the things we normally talk about. I'm really grateful for our friendship and I look forward to celebrating her birthday with our poly women's group next week, and possibly helping her move to a new apartment next Saturday.

During the day on Thursday I did an interview with the New York Post and the story ran today, causing an avalanche of interviews for Leon with 1010 WINS news radio, CBS, Channel 7 News, and the New York Daily News. It's been a windfall of coverage for Open Love NY, but it's also put an extra level of stress and activity on me to help coordinate these interview. Plus, all the chatter on Facebook and the flood of new people joining the group has required my attention as well. But it's all pretty positive stuff, so I'm not complaining.

The most amusing and annoying thing to come out of having my name in the New York Post was that I was propositioned by email:

Hi Mischa, how are you? I really like your photo in the Post. Would you be open to meeting a nice Asian guy for hooking up one-on-one, possibly?

oops I think you are a lesbian and not into guys...

.. but if I am wrong, please get back! thanks

I'm not interested in hook-ups, but I am interested in seeing where my photo appeared in the Post. Can you send me a link to it? I would be most grateful!

uh.. oops!  I guess I triangulated to find your picture (which I liked).  Could you possibly refer me to any female friends of yours who are seeking hookup?  Thanks and good article

While I'm flattered that you like my photo, you should know that polyamory and Open Love NY is not about hooking up or easy sex. It's about engaging in honest, open and loving relationships, sometimes with multiple partners, but always with full disclosure. The Post was very sensational and misleading in its coverage, so I don't blame you for the confusion :)

Best of luck to you!

Yes, i know OPLV is not a hookup club, but that is definitely what I seek...  If you happen to know anybody, I would really appreciate it!  Seriously, please send them my way.  Thanks again, and nice picture

oops.  I meant OLNY

So there you have it. If you're looking for a hook-up, I got you covered.

Tonight Liz and Josh came over to watch Her with me for TSMC. I made some steamed pork buns and Liz brought some extra wine from her event at the Park Avenue Armory and we had a wonderful time together. I feel so blessed to have people in my life who care about me and want to spend time with me. I haven't always had such people in my life, so I never want to take it for granted.

Friday, May 09, 2014

A different kind of Blue

Last night I finally found enough time to sit down and watch the three-hour film of Blue is the Warmest Color, based on the graphic novel I finished reading recently. I’d heard some mixed reviews about it from friends, but I’d consciously avoided reading any reviews about it, as I normally do for movies I know I’m going to see eventually. That was probably a very good decision in this case.

First of all, I really liked the film. It followed the book very closely, which I’d heard was not the case. The ending is different, but not in a way that I find objectionable. It’s a typically ambiguous French ending, recognizing that even after great upheavals happen life goes on.

I think a lot of people focus on the sex in this movie and try to dissect its authenticity or the director’s agency. There is certainly a role for that kind of critical analysis in film but for me, it typically comes after repeated viewings. On a first viewing, especially for a love story, I want to watch with an open heart. To me, film is an art form that deserves to be considered as a personal statement by the director, although I recognize that is naive when you consider how many people are involved in financing and creating a studio film (including the original author, in this case).

Anyway, the purpose of this blog is not film studies, but rather to filter through my personal lens of life experience. Watching the early part of the movie when Adele is in high school, it made me wonder how differently I would have turned out if I’d grown up a girl. I wonder what kind of people would have been my friends, and how we would have influenced each other. The role of Adele’s parents was greatly diminished from the book, but I think in my alternate reality, they would have been a much bigger part of my life.

The movie focused on the great love between Adele and Emma, and of course I related it to the one between me and Tara. The love itself may not last, but the impact it has on our lives almost always does. Maybe that’s why love can be so scary sometimes. People often fear change – when things are going well, we fear losing the good things we have; when things are bad, we fear them getting worse.

For myself, I hope for change. Without change, I feel stagnant and what’s worse, I feel myself getting more and more comfortable with stagnation. I’m always hopeful that each day will bring an opportunity to discover something new (part of the reason why I blog about such minutiae, so I can recognize when important things happen, even if they don't seem that important at the time). Last month, Puck and I were walking in Brooklyn late at night after visiting Hancock Street (Rijard and Miriam’s place) and we spontaneously burst into singing “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. I love that feeling that Tony sings about, the feeling that something is just around the corner, waiting for me.

As a love story, Blue hit it out of the park for me. I strongly identified with the moments of connection, the crazy passion of not being able to keep hands off each other, and the suffering post-breakup. The scene where Adele goes back to their park bench was heartbreaking.

I didn't really care about the sex scenes very much. I thought they were tastefully done, and they were in balance the other scenes of dinners, work and life in general. Unduly focusing on them for criticism probably says more about the critic than the filmmaker. For me, sex and love are two very different things. I can live without the first but not the second.

I know this is probably a point where a lot of people disagree, but I really liked all the business with Adele’s hair. I enjoyed seeing how she changed the way she wore it and cared for it as she grew older. It was like a whole separate character in the movie. Again, this has more to do with how my own life experience is different than most people’s.

I think most of all I liked the way the movie captured the feeling of longing, of passion and of connectedness that people feel when they are in love, especially in a first real love. What a powerful yet ephemeral feeling it is! Movies like this remind me that such feelings are possible, something I never want to forget. Even if I’m never again in the position to experience them firsthand, just that reminder is important to sustain my view of the world.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Working weekend

Echoing the trend lately, work has been unrelenting lately. Tonight is earnings night, a quarterly occurrence at all publicly traded companies where we inform Wall Street on how we did for the previous three-month period. It's not particularly difficult work; it just requires me to be on call to make any necessary changes to the press release up until the time it goes on the wire in the morning. Unfortunately, that means I had to miss Shotz tonight for the first time in almost a year. To make matters worse, Kristina said it was a good show too, celebrating Shotzo de Mayo.

I also had to work for a few hours last night from about 9:30 pm until finally going to bed at 12:30 am, writing talking points for my CEO's appearance at a big conference next week. I got a rough draft together and then polished it this morning.

Obviously I wish I didn't have to work such long hours, but at the same time, I feel lucky that I have a job that not only supports my New York City lifestyle (although I'm hardly a spendthrift) but also gives me the personal satisfaction of helping to spread my CEO's message to inspire a clean energy revolution. It's an important mission that deserves my best work. So if that means a few late nights and missed shows, I don't feel as badly as maybe I would if I were working for a company solely focused on profits.

And that's not to say I didn't have some fun this weekend. Saturday I work up relatively early for Free Comic Book Day. I picked up a couple bags of comics from Midtown Comics and breakfast from McDonald's before returning home. In the evening I went out with Kacey, Becker, Illona and her husband Tom to see Tracks at Dixon Place, a show of acrobatic dancers by a group called Lava that Illona takes classes with in Brooklyn. It was an interesting and fun show with aerial work, tumbling and modern dance elements. I especially liked a performance with two dancers who sang a duet while hanging from a trapeze, accompanied by an electric guitar and two backup vocalists. It was a beautiful song - I wish I had a recording of it.

After the show, we all walked over to the Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery for a snack - that's where Kacey and Becker got their wedding cupcakes - and chatted for while before walking Illona and Tom to their subway station. The three of us took a short detour to do some grocery shopping before I walked with them back to their West Village apartment and took the subway home.

Sunday I went out to the music store and bought a couple CDs and the movie Shopgirl on DVD. Josh texted me and we met up to see Captain America: Winter Soldier, which I enjoyed very much. Now I can continue watching episodes of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD because those plotlines cross each other and I've been keeping episodes on my DVR until I could get to see the movie. So even though I had to come back from the movie and work, it was a pretty nice, relaxing weekend, and after tonight, it should slow down a bit at work after earnings is done.