As they say, ‘In the blink of an eye…’
Today – January 28, 2021 – marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of The Randy Report.
That means that ten years and 27,324 posts later, I’m still here.
Who’d have ever thought when my hubby Michael said, “You should start a blog…” I would find myself in an entirely new career as a writer, journalist, podcaster and more?
By the way, when Michael first suggested the idea, my first thought was, “Great, so I’ll have two readers – Michael and me.”
At the end of my first week, I think I had something like 300 views of the blog (mainly from me promoting it on my Facebook).
Today, I get hundreds of thousands of views each month – which still blows me away.
The journey from ‘there’ to ‘here’ has been amazing and filled with surprises.
I remember I made this little video with Bruno the wonder dog celebrating my 1,000th blog post. Who knew there were more than 26K to come?
As I think about the 10th anniversary rolling around, I’m aware of how The Randy Report has changed shape a few times since the beginning.
At the launch, I was – like most bloggers back in the Stone Age – writing about my gay married life on what I then dubbed “My sassy American soapbox.” Back then, my posts were about a song I’d just listened to, civil unions for gays and lesbians coming to fruition, and a quick critique on the plastic containers of grocery store cold cuts.
Soon, though, my focus on politics and same sex marriage began to make their way here more frequently. And I began to follow the daily news cycle more closely.
Somewhere in there, ‘breaking news’ became a thing for me. God bless my friends who coped with me at parties when I’d duck into a quiet bedroom to post a piece on marriage equality coming to a particular state due to a court ruling.
Even so, I’ve still chronicled episodes from my life – my wedding anniversaries; my furry family members; losing 20 pounds quickly to get back onstage in Chicago the Musical as I turned 50; and my likes and dislikes of any and everything.
Oh, and how that cancer thing changed my life…
Because of my blog, freelance writing gigs came my way and the next thing I knew I was writing for ETonline and VEGAS Magazine and Las Vegas Pride Magazine.
I really do still have pride and enthusiasm for what I write. I especially want to thank all the awesome artists (and their publicists) who have helped make so many great interviews happen.
Most of all, though, thanks to all of you for reading The Randy Report. It would not be nearly as much fun without you all joining me each day. So, thank you muchly.
I thought I’d share my very first post from ten years ago. I remember writing this and thinking, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
And some days, I still feel the same way. And that’s ok. #Life
Thanks for being here for my 10th anniversary, and here’s to the next chapter of The Randy Report.
The Randy Report is my new avenue to get my point of view out to the world about politics, music, theater and anything that tickles me.
I’m inviting everyone to tune in, shout out and don’t be afraid to have an opinion.
Growing up in Texas, I was a pretty afraid of a lot of the world. Afraid to express myself, afraid I wouldn’t be liked, afraid I wouldn’t get where I wanted to go.
I went to Syracuse University for college – blinding change of temperature, tone and scenery. Opened up my world a bit as I got through four freezing cold years, spent over $40K and walked away with a piece of paper saying that I had done something.
I moved to NYC with my best friend Carlye to pursue dreams of being on Broadway, and eventually got there after serving time in many National touring companies of those Broadway shows I dreamed of being a part of.
In those years I came to deal with the fact that I was gay, fell out of the closet, fell in love with my husband Michael, moved out west, got married and began a new chapter. You’ll be hearing much more about Carlye and Michael in future posts on The Randy Report.
Somewhere along the way I realized life had taught me a lot about fear and it’s uselessness. I once heard the phrase “I’m not afraid of anything” and I really liked how that sounded. I really try to honor that.
Even if a little fear creeps into a life moment, I chalk it up to reminding me I’m alive. But most of the time, I try to keep heading forward.
I’m not so worried about what people think of me anymore, or what people will think of how I express my thoughts. I think it’s the American Way to live and let live, to honor our differences and realize that all our flavors create the best country in the world.
I have no time for people who have issues with anyone who is “different.” Different is good. And if you believe that, you have to take it to the bank. Live it. So skin color, hair color, religion or lack thereof, sexual orientation, age, blah blah blah…. it all makes life interesting. At least to me.
Short story: My father loved to travel and loved adventure. Before he died at the age of 91, he had traveled everywhere in the world several times over. Sometimes by himself, meeting new friends along the way.
My mother had passed away when I was five, so my father was THE grown up figure in my life. He was very confident, and throughout childhood I always knew I wanted his approval. I wanted him to be proud of me. To not only love me, but see me attempt something and hear him say “good job.”
When I was very young my father took my brother and me to Mexico for a vacation. For me as a 7-year-old, Mexico was a very different world. Other than a swimming pool at a hotel, I was scared of a lot.
At one point, we were on a beach and my father signed up my 9-year-old brother Gary to go para-sailing. They strapped Gary into the harness, and up and away he went. It didn’t seem like adventure to me so much as just plain frightening.
When the time came for the ride to end, my brother was so small and light in weight and the wind was so strong, it was difficult to get him down to the ground. It took ten minutes for the ‘technicians’ to get him down. My father turned to me and said “you’re next” and I went running away, crying. Scared to death. That was Mexico to me for a long, long time.
Fast forward to two years ago.
I was on vacation with friends of mine and we all decided to go zip lining through the jungle near Puerto Vallarta. I couldn’t wait. Loved it.
Taking a zip line hundreds of feet above the jungle floor was beyond exhilarating. The guides asked my name at the start of the day and I gave myself a nickname “Bruno” (my dog’s name) just to be funny and make my friends laugh.
All day long the guides cheered “Bruno” on. It was a great day. No fear in sight.
The next morning, while still in Mexico, I got the call my 91-year-old dad had passed away in his sleep of natural causes.
I flew from PV to Texas to handle the funeral and burial details. In getting ready to speak at my father’s funeral – a daunting and important “one shot moment” at expressing something that needed to be profound. I searched to find the best and most “right” thing to say about this world & life traveler who never showed fear.
And suddenly it came to me: the memory of that 7-year-old boy who was so afraid of everything in life. And now – having just been in Mexico for the first time since the frightening age of 7, and without thinking twice – I was the one zooming through the canopy of the jungle thrilled at the adventure of it all.
I suddenly sensed an amazing closing of a circle and passing of a torch. I think one of our parent’s greatest responsibilities is to prepare us, consciously and subconsciously, to face life. To not be afraid.
Standing next to my father’s casket, I took a second, turned and said to my father and his memory – “good job.”
That story probably says something about me and my life. Tons of friends got me here along the way.
I hope people find The Randy Report, and read and react.
Feel free. No fear.