Pride in the Park 2011

Yesterday was the 22nd Pride in the Park for Roanoke.  It was overcast, which is wonderful considering how usually it’s the hottest day ever, but it didn’t rain. We decided to take Firefly with us. The original plan was to take Izzy, but we took her to Petsmart to pick up a birthday present (squeaky toy) and she was nervous and scared. It was really sad and we realized that even though she’s come quite a long way from when we had fostered and adopted her, she still needs a bit of work. And, it had also been a while since she’d been in Petsmart, so she wasn’t expecting a small quite hopping up and down screaming about the cute doggie that just walked in the door (Izzy butt was the dog).

We also agreed that this year, the dog should have a shirt. Everyone loves a pit bull in clothes! We ended up not purchasing a dog-shirt but made one from shirts we were ok with cutting up. I ended up making 2, the first was when we thought we were taking Izzy and the second one was for Miss Fly since we decided to take her instead. I had originally intended to get a photo of Fly wearing the shirt before I put the words on it, but I didn’t because I’d ended up not being able to finish the shirt until late and the fabric paint needs 24 hours to dry. Since I was pushing it and right at the deadline to have this done, there are no photos of a plain shirt.

I was also going back and forth on if I wanted to show off the photo because of the shirt. But, I thought about it and decided, y’know, fuck it. It’s part of our life, it’s true, and it’s not a big deal. If anyone has a problem with it, that’ll just be one more person to either have a level-headed, eye-opening conversation with or it’ll just be one more person I don’t associate with.

The shirt says “I *heart* my FTM dad” and it is a very true comment. We wanted to do something a little special for Pride and Fly loves her dad. A lot of people thought it was absolutely adorable, one person told their girlfriend that she had to make one for her dog as well, and a number of people just thought Fly was absolutely adorable in a shirt in general.

We parked downtown at about 10:30 am and headed down to the coffee shop where we were meeting Ray. I went into the shop*, found Ray, and waited in line because Jamie wanted coffee. The line was to the door so I could barely squeeze in and then promptly a gentleman got in front of me. He spoke with a girl for a few and promptly walked out of the shop. I looked over at their drink thingy and someone else got in front of me. Really, dude?

I went back and forth on whether or not I should just leave, but I thought Jamie really wanted coffee, so I waited for coffee. The girl cashiering asked the dumbass coworker to get her something, he immediately stopped meticulously rinsing out a pot/pitcher and said in a very snotty tone “Do it yourself.” and went right back to whatever he was doing. The girl played it off as it was nothing. I got our drinks, walked out with Ray, and found that Fly was getting antsy. Yay.

We walked through the downtown/Farmer’s Market and across the street where I had to stop at the NS building and put the gallon jug of water in the backpack (we came prepared this year. We had Jamie’s food, had snacks for me, water bottles, treats for Fly, a bowl, a toy, my camera, stuff to wipe the camera off) and headed off to Pride.

We walked into Elmwood Park and immediately, a guy asked “Is that a Pit?” Why yes, yes she is. He asked what she was mixed with (we have no idea, she has not been DNA tested, we simply assume “Pit and Hound” as that is how she looks). Firefly was happy to get rubs and decided to be a bad dog and jumped on the guy. A guy from behind us jumped up and ran over to Fly asking if she was mixed with “red nosed pit” (oh yeah, Fly does have a red nose, doesn’t she. I’ve never noticed). Fly was ecstatic to get all this attention and was in heaven. Eventually we got to walk off.

We found Emily and said hi to her. Emily asked Jamie to fill out a survey, but I ended up having to fill it out for him because Firefly was being wiggly, and Carl (one of the guys Emily works with) said that since we filled out the survey we could choose between: two different notebooks, a lunchbox, a little mini backpack, a totebag, or! a jump drive. I chose the jump drive since this will come in handy and I take a ton of photos.

We put Firefly’s shirt on her and everyone gushed about how cute it was. It turned out pretty good and I’m glad people liked it. (ok, it turned out pretty good for being hand-sewn and would probably look better if I had a sewing machine, but I figure when I get my hands on a sewing machine, I’ll make lots of dog clothes and tons of costumes). We ran into Leland, so he and Jamie talked about some stuff for a bit. Firefly was really cute.

We found Robert, who was working on some paperwork, which I guess is much better than it was previous years when he was trying to do a million things at once.

Pride was a larger event this year, they had more vendors. The Frit-O-Lay guys were there again (this year they just handed people bags and went “Take the chips!” it was hilarious), Food Lion was there again, but Wells Fargo and Barefoot were able to have a tent. I bet Robert was very excited to be able to get Barefoot Wines to come to Pride this year. (and their Sweet Red is fucking phenomenal.)

Angels of Assisi was there and had a number of cats and dogs. They brought Pugsley, a little Boster Terrier/American Bulldog mix, and he was loving it. He is a cutie and I really hope he finds his forever home soon.

We walked around quite a lot and were surprised to hear that Pride had more than just hamburgers and hot dogs available this year (I was shocked), and Ray was excited to get pizza.

One of my former co-workers passed us while we were sitting on a bench and taking a small break, but she didn’t notice us until we were walking past her while she was sitting on a bench and taking a break.  A young kid came running up to us and asked if he could pet the dog, Jamie said yes and he squeed. He started loving on Fly, who handled it very well, and asked if sh was a pit. Jamie said yes and he started yelling for his sister, who ran over and started loving on Fly.

Everybody loves a pit bull in clothes.

At one point, a boxer got in Fly’s face and Fly snapped at him. Jamie had Fly at a decent distance and the boxer was basically pulling itself away from its owner, who had it on a flexi lead.

Really? A fucking flexi-lead. I hate these things. I hate seeing little dogs on flexi leads because it shows that the owners are too lazy to teach it to not pull (this includes my dad because my mom’s dogs are on flexi leads). And then seeing these larger breeds on flexi leads astounds me. I don’t care if it’s “a real leash” with a windy mechanism, that just means it’ll  hurt more when the damn thing snaps.

Other than that, there were a number of dogs. Min-pins, a mastiff, lots of pits, and more. Someone brought a rabbit and there was also a partial suit (eeee, I squeed. It was a really well done partial suit).

The entertainment was a bit more varied than previous years. I made horrible remarks about the “hardcore punk” band that was playing. Sorry dude, but screaming unintelligible words into a microphone for 30-seconds is not punk and is not a song. That’s like listening to “Married with Children” when Kelly (Christina Applegate) got her own show and had a “band” play every so often on it. The mosh pit was also sad, it was just the band’s friends beating the hell out of each other.

Watching this made me really miss The Factory and made me really want to try to find a Hypodermix cd.

Jamie pointed out that watching the drag preformers was like watching someone with turrets or someone having some sort of attack. There was also synchronized dancing and we were a bit disturbed. (there’s something really creepy about synchronized dancing).

After a while, we gave up trying to wait patiently for Sierra to do her set. The shows were running a few minutes behind, but thankfully not the 45 minutes behind like last year. But we headed out and it was a good thing too because Firefly accidentally peed on Jamie’s pants and she was trying so hard to hold it. We came home and enjoyed the evening, got Jamie’s foodstuff together for today, and worked on a list of places to apply

* – The shop in question was Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea. I do not like Mill Mountain. The shop is always really hot (not comfortable or a tad warm, but stuffy like you’ve locked yourself in a closet with a space heater and cut it on for a while), you walk in and get the feeling that you’re judged by people who fully believe that they are better than you (by either not wearing the latest fashion or not wearing a 3-piece suit and have a young child strapped to your chest), and people fully believe that if you are in line and you do not look straight ahead of you the whole time they are entitled to get in front of you.

They also have very poor lighting to give off some sort of bizarre ambiance of an art gallery. I have never found these shops to be of the “warm, comforting, come hang out with us” types. Yes, I have blasphemed towards the obsessive people of Roanoke who believe this is the best coffee ever.

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