My thoughts during Evening vespers at St. Stephansdom on Stephen’s Day. 

December 26, 2015

Vienna, Austria
-How many of these people are looking at me?
-A terrorist could be about to take us all down. 

-Love your drag, but your pocketbook is on fire. If I use this joke, I can’t take credit for it. But I think of it every time I’m in a Catholic Church. 

-what if one of those dudes swinging the smokey pot thingie lost control of it and swung it out into the audience?

-can’t really call myself an audience since I’m not paying attention. 

-what would Julia Murney think about this?

-what if there were a religious super hero who swung that smokey pot thingie as his weapon. VILLAINS BETTER PRAY BECAUSE HE’S ARMED WITH THE LORD. HE’S LITURGICAL MAN

-OMG his alter ego would be a woman. No one would ever suspect in the Catholic Church that she’s correcting ALL THE WRONGS. 

-carl has got to tell me what he was thinking this entire service. 

-maybe this is in Latin. 

-nope. It’s German. 

-but I recognize ‘Kyrie Eleison’ and ‘Christe Eleison.’

-wonder if I could study these voices and use them somewhere. 

-all these people think they’re going to heaven before me. Hilarious. 

-The German I spoke in Paul Beaty’s Slumberland didn’t sound this beautiful. Embarrassing. 

-that woman in the blue could totally be a terrorist.


My Dream about Reba McEntire

Vienna, Austria, 12-29-2015

Had a dream that I got a message on my old-time answering machine from Reba McEntire. She said she needed my advice. 

Then she showed up at my big house that looked like a Swiss chalet with green moss and vines all over it, and manicured hedges out front and a green hill that descended to the tree-lined street. At the bottom of the hill, right now, looking all forlorn, was Reba. She told me she was on tour with her new protégé, a guy named Tommy Thomas (in my dream I knew exactly who this was, as he was one of my Facebook friends). She said that Seth Rudetsky was their musical director, to which I replied that I wasn’t sure about him as a radio host, but that I heard he was an excellent musical director and that he certainly has the gift of gab, but that didn’t make me any less jealous of his career, and then she stopped me and said that he is wonderful; that at every tour stop he met her and Tommy and took their bags and took care of everything. And that that was the problem. Seth took care of everything. And she felt obsolete. And before I could feel jealous again, she asked me If I could help her feel needed again. I didn’t answer because suddenly Tommy Thomas was there saying hello. 

Tommy was there and he wanted me to hear the new music he and Reba made. I wasn’t jealous of him. I wanted to hear it. 

And then we were listening to it on his iPhone and I was in bed with my partner. And the music was loud and I removed the nose pillows of my CPAP machine and I said, “maybe we should listen to this in another room.” And my partner, whom I thought was sleeping, said, “yes, maybe you should.” 

The next thing I knew, we were sitting at bar stools in front of a cut-out at my large kitchen counter, happily listening to Tommy’s album. My partner came in and asked how we were. He was wearing his hair in a bun, a white frilly blouse, and white pearl earrings. Seeing him like this, so agreeable and fashionably-1950s-lady-like, woke me up. 

I’ll probably never be able to give Reba what she needs. 

But I’ll always love this song.



Here it is. All the toasts. All the love.

Here are the people we thought of or whose names we whispered; the ones who left us at the right time or too soon; the ones whose passing gives our lives meaning and definition. The ones we love always, even if we don’t know them or remember them.


Chris Meyer


Papa Bennett



Tanya’s Mom

Sol’s friend’s mom

Louise Eliza Lee

Joey Conz

Pablo Barillas

Angela Cuadra

Janet Liang

Howard Touhey

Myrna Greenberg

Bob Mayer

Nell Widner

Michael Lange

John Richard Furr

Ryan Williamson







Richard Cohn

The Grandparents of Kelia


Stephen Athineos

Lara Brier St. Peter

Joan Duddy

Eileen Byrne

Betty Daly

Drew McNeil

The Father for Shannon Powell, Gerald

The Mother and Father of Timothy Nolan

Uncle Bill from Sooz



Larry Ronald Burks

Julianne Siller

Carl Howell

Tyler McPerson


Clayton Garland

Willam Robinson, Jr.

The Mother of Elizabeth Bell

The Mother and Father of Erin O’Brien

John Dale

Jonathan Anthony “Tony” Mckee, Jr

The Mother and Father of Kathy Fink


Mary Semanisin

The Grandmother of Megan Condit-Knauf

Myla and Mompe

Louvenia Lunnerman (Gee)

The Mother and Father of Stacee Mandeville

The Mother and Father of Matt Scott





Veronica Davis

Teresa Koska




The Grandfather of Morgan Clark

Rich Santos

The Grandfather of Rob Neill 

Francisco Reyes, Sr.

Kesel Ebanks

Lloyd Phillips


And to Doris M. Free . . . And all of you.

Kev and Carl


PS – Special thanks to my friend and social media guru, Clara Reyes, for helping me put this all together while I’m on vacation!


#ToastsforDoris: Let’s do it again!


Last Christmas, we created a quilt. An “Internetwork of Souls” to honor those we love who have passed on. And I want to do it again this year. 

Every year (for the past 11 years)  on December 25, I drink a toast. I do it in memory of my Mother, Doris Morse Free, who died 40 years ago on Christmas Day, 1975. It is my way of reminding you and me and everyone else who may miss someone on Christmas that our grief is shared by so many, that we and our loved ones are safe (or will be soon), and – most importantly – that we are not alone. I’d like you to join me in honoring her and all of our departed by drinking a toast and sharing a photo of it on Christmas.

So here are the rules:

-However you celebrate on December 25, please raise a glass of water or wine or whatever to Doris M. Free and to your lost friends, family or pets.

-Snap a photo of your toast (a selfie or whatevah)

-Send that photo to or post it on Facebook or Twitter and tag it with #ToastsforDoris .

-Include the name(s) of the person you want to remember and I will add the name(s) to my blog post on December 28.

-Please forward or share this plan with all of your friends. 

That’s it. As always, I appreciate your support in this and all my artistic endeavors and whatnot. Let’s continue to use the Internet for good. 



PS – If you’d like, you may watch my story about my mom here: