via chris geidner

"I wish for nothing more than to be only what I am." - Nathan Fain

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So grateful for this, something I never could have imagined five years ago when blogging from my couch in Columbus.

So grateful for this, something I never could have imagined five years ago when blogging from my couch in Columbus.

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2,834 Plays
Elaine Stritch
Something Good

aliveandfullofjoy:

This usually isn’t the first thing people think of when they think of Elaine Stritch, but one of my very favorite performances of hers will always be the finale to her brilliant one-woman show Elaine Stritch At Liberty, a heartfelt performance of the song "Something Good." The song, with music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers, was of course written for the 1965 film adaptation of The Sound of Music; where it’s boring and out of place there, here it is used with alarming and devastating poignancy. This is Elaine Stritch to me: a performer with a knack of selling any song, if it was the best of Sondheim or if she had to elevate the material, and making a deeply personal connection to it. Brava. 

(via thirdheat)

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Acceptance Itself

Go see Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert’s loves — writing, movies, his wife and family and friends, and life itself. It’s a loving documentary made by a filmmaker, Steve James, who clearly felt strongly about his subject.

Although the movie tracks much of Ebert’s life, it is framed around and is ultimately about the last months of that life.

For me, the key moment in the film comes when Ebert’s wife, Chaz Ebert, describes the point when she accepted that his death had arrived. It is a powerful moment that speaks to the life that they led, as individuals and as a couple.

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I remember, very clearly, the moment when I learned of Ebert’s death. I did not accept it. I was not ready.

I remember exactly where I was when I learned that he had died. I remember who I texted and that I left the office and stopped on that early April afternoon to sit in Dupont Circle. Staring blankly at the fountain that usually gives me such comfort, I was at a loss.

I didn’t know Ebert; he was a voice on a screen, words on a page, and, at that point, tweets in my stream. Why was I so upset by this news?

It was a lot of things. But I think what struck me most that day was that he was a sober journalist — and that, now, I would never get to meet him or talk with him.

When Ebert died, more than 15 months ago, I had been sober for a little while. Unlike he and Chaz, though, I was still learning about acceptance and how it could bring me peace. Hell, I still am learning.

Sitting in that theater tonight and watching Chaz — who also mentions her own sobriety in the film — talk about the calm feeling that washed over her when she accepted the death of her husband, I, too, felt that calm.

Seeing Life Itself helped give me a better understanding of Roger Ebert’s life. It also helped me to understand why I was so upset by his death. Most importantly, though, it helped remind me why acceptance helps make life, and all the ups and downs that come with it, easier.

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Creepiest thing I saw all weekend, by far. (Avert children’s eyes!) #NYC

Creepiest thing I saw all weekend, by far. (Avert children’s eyes!) #NYC

Filed under nyc

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Father’s Day, Nine Years Later

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It was nine years ago that I had the last Father’s Day in which, my father, Robert Martin Geidner, was still alive. A month earlier, I had graduated from law school and Dad was there, in Columbus, Ohio, to join me in celebrating my success. By June, I was studying for the bar exam and lost off in my own world.

Less than a year later, on Memorial Day 2006, he would die. In the last year of his life, though, I learned more about him — and what our relationship might have grown into — than I had in all my earlier years. As I would drive in the mornings to the law firm where I worked, I’d call him some days. More and more often, the calls became such that I’d pull over around the corner from the parking deck where I’d lose my cell phone signal to extend our chat. 

We talked about simple things, but he also got a better glimpse into my life than I’d ever provided before. We talked about the law firm, but also about the new LGBT group that I’d helped found and the political scene in Ohio as the 2006 campaign got underway.

Then, he got sick. As I traveled to Baltimore during the spring of 2006, we knew my dad would be dying. I ignored that fact, hoping that it would not be so if I didn’t think about it. But, when he was weak enough that he wasn’t leaving his bed, he and I had our last real conversation. He knew, thanks to our earlier conversations, that the law firm life was not for me — even though I’d not yet even admitted that to myself. He told me to do something that I cared about with my life, something that was inspired by my passion, something that drove me to do better.

When he died, I still ignored reality, leading to more problems than I needed in my life — but I did start listening to his advice. I left the law firm after the election to work in state government, to make a difference. As it is with life, things didn’t go exactly as planned, and two years later I found myself living in a world turned upside down. My boss — a mentor and friend — had resigned from office, and, by the end of the year, I left the office as well.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, that moment of feeling like I’d lost everything was also the moment in which the opportunity of my creating a new life was born. I went back to writing, and by the end of the year, I had moved to DC and was getting paid to write about LGBT politics. My family and close friends helped make the move possible, but it wasn’t until mid-2010 that I decided I had to take more steps to help me live the life my father, and many others, wanted me to live. I stopped drinking. I’d been using alcohol as a crutch and more for years, and it had long outlived its utility in my life.

With a new job in a new career in a different city, and newfound sobriety, I began the path of my past four years. I spent my time at Metro Weekly learning on the job, with patient, fantastic editors and co-workers who put up with me figuring out my new career and new life on the job. Over the past two years, I’ve done more of that “figuring out” at BuzzFeed with incredibly talented editors and co-workers, and it has been an amazing ride unlike anything I could have ever imagined.

That, I’ve since realized, was my dad’s aim. I care deeply about my job because my work is inspired by my passion. Because of that, it drives me to do better each day. And, of course, his advice applies outside of work, too — something I continue to work on daily.

Although my dad isn’t here to see the wonder that has been this past year — or four, or eight — I know that he would be proud. I am blessed with such incredible opportunities every single day, and it’s because I took my dad’s advice and because all of those still around — from my mom to my nephew and from my oldest friends to folks I’m just getting to know now through Twitter — have helped to encourage the best in me.

Thanks, Dad, for everything.