In My Humble Opinion

Written in the stars

By JONATHAN CHARLES FOX
Posted 2/26/20

“If you believe that something is written in the stars, you believe that it will be made to happen by a force that controls the future.” This is, of course, according to my source for the …

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In My Humble Opinion

Written in the stars

Posted

“If you believe that something is written in the stars, you believe that it will be made to happen by a force that controls the future.” This is, of course, according to my source for the answer to everything: the almighty internet. I’m unsure how I feel about fate, destiny and the like, but my week was fraught with poor communication, altered plans and a sneaking suspicion that the universe was conspiring against me, so I’d love to blame it on something other than my own stupidity. 

I’m not sure who to accuse for my blunder last Friday, when I arrived at The Narrowsburg Union promptly at 5 p.m. for the opening night reception of “About Drawing: Exploration & Contemplation” featuring the artwork of 33 SUNY Sullivan students, all of whom I was looking forward to schmoozing with while admiring their drawings. “Something’s not right,” I said to the dog upon arrival, who looked at me quizzically, and then at the empty hallway, where no students were to be seen, schmoozing or otherwise. 

Glancing at my phone, I re-read the press release which indicated that there was indeed a reception scheduled and that I could see the artwork through February 29. It did not actually state that the party happened last month when the exhibition apparently debuted. Disappointed, dejected and feeling a little dumb, I turned on my heels and drove back home, determined to find fault with whoever wrote the press release to begin with.

“Dude, Mercury is in retrograde until March 10,” said gal-pal Wendy Stuart Kaplan when I called her to whine (I mean discuss) the miscommunication that had taken place. “But our event (the ninth annual “Share Your Heart” fundraiser) is really happening tomorrow night, so you have no excuses. Can’t wait to see you and Dharma at the talent show,” she exclaimed, before brushing me off to get back to rehearsal. “Of course it is,” I mumbled sarcastically to the dog while typing “Mercury in retrograde” into my Google search online. 

“Mercury” it began, “is named after the Roman deity who served as a messenger to the gods; the quick-moving planet that governs communication, travel and technology. It helps us transmit messages by controlling both what we say and how we process what we hear from others.”

 “Sure it does,” I sneered at the computer screen. “Cool, we’ll just say that it’s Mercury’s fault then. I can live with that.”

“During a Mercury retrograde period,” the online article (www.allure.com) continued, “we need to triple-check every event, text, email and message. When it comes to technology, Mercury retrograde is to blame for massive electronic meltdowns, so it’s advisable to not buy any new gadgets for the next three weeks, and if you do, make sure they come with a warranty.” 

As if in tribute to synchronicity, my sister Vicki recently announced on social media that she and her husband had just bought a new car. “We have purchased a fair number of things over our lives together,” Vicki’s post read in part, “and we [have] never bought an extended warranty—not on a computer, not even when he bought his Charger. He bought one this time.” She wrote of my brother-in-law’s action. “I was speechless.” 

Is it possible that my sister (or her very down-to-earth husband) believes in astrology, planetary alignment and hoo-doo type stuff? I wonder. 

As for Mercury being in retrograde, and sage advice from the all-seeing, all-knowing internet? My smart TV has been on the fritz, my cell phone keeps shutting itself off with no warning and my fancy-schmancy electronic egg timer just gave up the ghost altogether and died, so I’m going with yeah, it’s a thing.

Fortunately for hostess-with-the-mostess Wendy Stuart Kaplan and co-hosts Steven C. Teague-Bloomer and drag queen diva Belle Pepper, the planets were properly aligned for their “TriVersity’s Got Talent” fundraiser. The event, held in honor of Linda Troise and benefitting the Ecumenical Food Pantry of Pike County, went off without a hitch. 

The mission of TriVersity is “to provide a safe space and programs that welcome, support and empower the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community living in and visiting the tri-state region.” The organization’s vision statement includes the goal of “seeing all LGBTQ individuals leading full and rewarding lives, reaching their highest potential without limits,” and being able to “experience America’s promise of liberty and justice for all” (www.triversity

center.org).

This year’s talent show featured musicians and singers (the very talented Robynn Summer, Joe Ferry and Marc Von Em,) a magician (Matt Stevens) and even a belly dancer (Sherri Pavone VanHouten) alongside equally gifted vocalists (Queen Pashmeen and Joana Duffy Dutcher) a “Phantom of the Opera” duet from co-host Teague-Bloomer and soprano Sue Keller, and a killer comedic set from award-winning cosplayer (look it up) “Beardonna” who performs musical parodies while outlandishly dressed (think Madonna with a hairy chest) and bewigged. As if that wasn’t enough, the talent show was liberally sprinkled with fairy dust by drag performers Anita Lay, Cookie Doe (can’t make this stuff up) and the aforementioned Belle Pepper, all of whom slayed. 

With a $500 first prize at stake, the performances were all (IMHO) amazing, but singer/songwriter/guitarist Erik Krieg and keyboardist Patrick Worster (aka “The Other Erik”) ultimately won the night after making it to top three, with the grand prize being decided by the sold-out crowd, who hooted and hollered for everyone involved. 

TriVersity: the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity is based in Milford, PA and serves the Upper Delaware LGBTQ community. The organization’s next event is a “Speakeasy Roaring 20’s Ball,” to be held on Wednesday, April 18 at the Best Western at Hunt’s Landing in Matamoras, PA. Since Mercury will no longer be foiling my plans, I’m guessing that my attendance is already written in the stars. 

For additional photos from the ninth annual “Share Your Heart” TriVersity’s Got Talent Show, go to www.facebook.com/theriverreporter. For more information regarding TriVersity, like them on Facebook, visit their website or call 570/832-4995.

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