17 December 2010

Bicycle

a woman draped in black,
only her eyes exposed
cutting a gash in her modesty.
we are sitting on your front steps
in the sun, smoking cigarettes;
you drop your eyes.
likewise veiling your femaleness,
but no modesty in your gender.
i watch but try not to stare.
she rides past, every eye a threat.
a rule followed by instinct, not habit.
she stops and
turns, one foot on the ground,
expressionless,
her eyes all for us.

07 December 2010

irritations:

maybe it's the cold, maybe it's the grey, maybe it's hormones, but for whatever reason, i've just wanted to bitch about silly things for the last couple of days. here are a few of them, because that's what a blog is for:

-college students who ride the bus one stop during rush hour because it's "free" and they're cold.
-professors who say "we'll probably get out early today" and then keep talking until 5 minutes (or less) are left in class.
-the starbucks barista does not need to be wearing a bump-it behind her visor.
-crazy chicks should not steal windows. because it should not snow inside the car. (i would use stronger language, but will refrain out of respect for a better man than i.)
-why the hell would you sit down on in a spot that's clearly between two people's stuff, promptly change the channel (i don't care if it's to the same thing in HD, you should still ask before you pick up the remote), and then make comments about how "slow" Hines Ward is to the dude wearing the 86 jersey?!

best self-observation of the last 2 days: "what i lack i patience, i make up for in sarcasm."

19 November 2010

touching base

i haven't even thought about posting here in so long that just before i clicked on the button, i was convinced this window would look unfamiliar. it doesn't.

i haven't been writing much lately. scattered words here and there. i've made a few pictures. i've listened to a bunch of music. but mostly i've been coping with my life and living it. not that it's anything extraordinary to have to cope with: the second year of a master's program, etc. new boyfriend. ex-boyfriend. job. clinic (which is actually the least-stressful part: who would imagine that special education students are the best part of my week?) (that's an exaggeration. the best part of my week is saturday morning. but placing that aside in a special category, i love what i do during the week.)

i'm thinking about getting out of pittsburgh. i wonder if it will trap me again. i wonder what i will do and where i will end up. and i wonder why i'm writing this.

hello november. this will be the first time in a few years, i think, that a month will have gone by with no posts. interesting.

i'm ready to graduate. i'm ready to leave. i'm ready to move on.

in other news, that journal i posted about a while back worked out exactly as i hoped it would. that doesn't mean i'm writing any more. i'm going to go make myself into a person who goes out now, because his face did something i've never seen when i said i might not come to this show.

28 September 2010

thought

i wonder how many times i'll have to say "I'm done" before i mean it.

16 September 2010

note on time:

the weeks keep flying by. it's so unusual to notice this while it's happening, instead of afterward.

03 September 2010

Credo

I believe in Science,

in learning about the world through direct experience. I believe in the value of experimentation, of trying new things and seeing what happens. I recognize the importance of learning that your hypothesis can fail.

I believe this is the [best/only] way to live [fully], because I believe all human life is an experiment. If you are not running your own experiments . . . are you really content to blindly accept whatever someone else tells you?

We are experimental machines, a finely calibrated apparatus for testing the principles of the universe.

30 August 2010

requiem

goodbye, August. i hardly knew you.
it was nice to meet you, albeit briefly. i'm sorry we didn't get to spend more time together.

24 August 2010

Ablution

the world washed away, refreshed
reborn
amphibious life springs anew
from ancient puddles,
relegated to dirt
and reminded at long last of their nature.

we empty the lint from our pockets,
a whole new life
with no past and no expectations.

8/22/10

19 August 2010

notes on writing in its apparent absence

i've been writing a lot on paper lately. strangely enough, some of it wants to be read out loud. this is new to me. maybe some of it will make it here someday.

i invested in a new journal. i decided that maybe if i treat my words like they are worth something, i will begin to believe it again. it is small and red and has a growing tree on the front cover. it was made by BlueToad on Etsy, so i get to feel good for supporting an independent artist as well. yay artistry! i'll write more about that, i'm sure. whether it reaches the web is another story.

i'm so excited to want to write all the time again. real life is worth the parsing.

13 August 2010

fun question of the day:

walking into the city county building to get forms for a legal change of name:

"what about you two? are you here for a marriage license too?"

10 August 2010

mix tape viii

haven't posted one of these in a while.
this pretty accurately describes my recent musical situation.

driving, vol. 3

1) "Joy to the World" - Three Dog Night
2) "Don't Stay Home" - 311
3) "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
4) "Baba O'Riley" - the Who
5) "Feel Good Inc." - the Gorillaz
6) "I'm Gay" - Bowling for Soup
7) "When I Grow Up" - Garbage
8) "Magical World" - Bassnectar ft. Nelly Furtado
9) "Under the Bridge" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
10) "Dayvan Cowboy" - Boards of Canada
11) "Missing (Todd Terry Club Mix)" - Everything But The Girl
12) "You Can Have It All" - Yo La Tengo
13) "Dirty Little Secret" - All-American Rejects
14) "Alejandro" - Lady Gaga
15) "Sweet Dreams Are Made of These" - Eurythmics
16) "No Rain" - Blind Melon
17) "All Mixed Up" - 311
18) "Sweet Child o' Mine" - Guns N' Roses

05 August 2010

Lessons from the first 8 months of car ownership

1. People in Pennsylvania can't drive more than 60 mph. (They also like to use their brakes on the highway. Who DOES that?!)
2. People in Maryland don't know how to get the hell out of the left lane when they don't belong there.
3. Pennsylvania smells like cows.
4. Ohio smells like skunks.
5. Avoid for as long as possible letting your friends without vehicles remember that you have a car.
6. Windows down.
7. The drive may be easier during the day, but the music is better at night.
8. Factory speakers only go so far.

01 August 2010

time changes everything

it's finally August.

isn't this what i've been waiting all summer for?

23 July 2010

moment:

i let the new gps run for the whole length of the trip for the first time, and as i was pulling into my driveway it said to me, "you have arrived home."

how about that, pittsburgh?

20 July 2010

(continuing) realization:

words will happen when they are ready to happen, and no sooner.

17 July 2010

walk

oakland summer feet

black-tarred and blistered
flip-flops aren't real

step in, mud puddles on the shower floor
as soon as your feet hit wet

soap stains, all over

clean and worth dirtying again.

15 July 2010

lesson:

you cannot speak Truth to those who won't hear it.

10 July 2010

correspondence

letters i never meant to send

their pages never torn from spiral-bound notebooks,
protected by cardboard covers
more durable than paper envelopes

never graced by a stamp
self-sticking or otherwise

never read by eyes other than mine

words without direction,
messages without meaning.

cloudy-eyed epistles
waiting for the day someone finally decides
they are fit to burn.

07 July 2010

question:

do you ever think about just how lucky you are that all of your sphincters open and close appropriately?

05 July 2010

realizations:

high school never ends.

it takes a certain kind of friendship to redefine days of the week.

02 July 2010

to Molly

so today is the birthday of a friend of mine, or, more accurately, someone who used to be a very close friend but who isn't anymore. a lot of shit went down for me after high school, and i don't really talk to anyone from there anymore. it's too much to handle most of the time because i am so far away from my past now that being dragged back into it makes me feel like i'm suffocating. i wish it wasn't this way, but it is.

this was the first group of people in which i learned that i could say anything, but it wasn't learned enough to put into practice at that time. i do remember a few of the first moments of believing it, and saying anything, saying the one thing you thought no one would ever accept hearing. the first time staying up on the phone until 2am when you had school the next day and you just needed to say everything, so that it would stop being nothing, that thick nothing which craves words and can't have them--tension like the humidity in the air before the rain, the drops just needing to get heavy enough to fall.

it makes me feel guilty when i think of people from my past who i didn't treat as well as i now know i should have, because i feel like i was not giving them my best self.

i never appreciated those lessons at the time, but i now see that there are much bigger ones, that these were only a step. and i love that time for what it was--a step--and i'm glad to know that there is no going backwards, that we can only do what comes next.

or, as i was reminded rather starkly last night when a book was closed in my hands, "Now is happening now."

so to you, and all of you, who i used to know but don't anymore, i love you, i miss you, i wish you well. i finally, finally wish you well.

25 June 2010

note:

it's time for a long weekend.

21 June 2010

[untitled 6/5/10]

hideous scabs
shaved knees bumping
stubble threatening the image


perilous to keep distance
so close


i tread the line of what i am

and what i want to be with


i explore the depths of the cavern

that no one else seems to probe


i am a sure-footed wanderer
but we all know that bravery

is not admitting when you're scared.

[untitled 6/4/10] - excerpts

in the blink of an eye
before i even realized you were looking
wink
and you're gone

butch-femme
dyke-lesbian
pants-dress
it's all a set of continua
and i want to be the ends of the middle

you my polar endocentric opposite

within a system
within a system

like attracts like but
like and unlike like each other
quantum physics is always
contradictory

too small particles
miss the bigger picture
swirling in an electron cloud
the sea drowns you
as it speaks to the sky.

living in the underground
a system within a system
we travel downstairs
through solid doors
with nondescript signs
before finding the people we know

i love the way
ladies come first
and you took my hand
even if you should have already met

we're trapped in this stupid powerplay
where we live out roles scripted for us
there is comfort in the rhythm
but also dissonance
i wait for the resolution
i crave synchrony
denouement
means only the next movement

a pause to recoup
but the conductor never lowers his hands
white-gloved and hesitant
Maestro
we call you many names.

07 June 2010

realization:

if all the cells in your body regenerate every 7 years,
we are none of us
the same people we were in high school.

02 June 2010

Re:

To: my .edu email address
From: someone @usarec.army.mil


Hello,

My name is Staff Sergeant _____. I am the local Army recruiter here at the University. I am writing to ask if you have ever thought about the Army or Army Reserves as a career or a way to help pay for college. If you are interested in hearing more about it feel free to send me an email or give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you.


From: my .edu email address
To: the Staff Sergeant


I'm gay. Have a nice day.


K


From: the Staff Sergeant

K,


Thank you for emailing me back. I will remove you from my list so you shouldn't be getting anymore bothersome emails. Best of luck to you in everything that you do.

SSG _____

more on family

according to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (blog), yesterday was "LGBT Families Day," and i spent the whole afternoon going, "...do i have to write about that?"

then this morning i found out somebody's wife is pregnant with their second child, and i got really annoyed and resentful about it all day.

here's the thing.

aside from how much it bothers me that in the vast majority of states i can't get married or even have my relationship legally recognized, that there are several states restricting my ability to adopt, that having children will never be simple for me, and that my partner is basically fucked when it comes to legal protection from discrimination, it bothers me even more that so many people take their ability to raise a family for granted.

you're straight and you want to have a kid? good for you, you get to have a lot of sex. then everybody congratulates you and your spouse, coos over you for 9 months, and offers you all the support you need to raise your eventual child.

if i ever want to have a kid, there are a few options open to me. i could turkey-baster some sperm from a cup somebody jerked off in to my vag, or i could do some really complicated and invasive in vitro stuff, or probably a handful of other things i am nowhere near old enough to care to think about yet. or i could adopt, in some states and from some places. each of these options is likely to cost me tens of thousands of dollars, in addition to the subsequent costs of raising a child for 18 years. on top of all that, there are a ton of people out there who will vilify my relationship, my decision to have a child, the child hirself, and the system that allowed me to build my own family--even though it allows them to do just the same, with many fewer challenges.

so forgive me if i'm less than congratulatory. having an orgasm must have been so hard on you.

31 May 2010

lesson:

from an elderly woman who tried to pinch my bottom to find out if it met her standards, after i told her, "excuse me, that's mine!":

"you ain't been in this game long enough to tell me how it goes!"

26 May 2010

thought:

i find very interesting
the relationship between
the person we want to be
& the person we want to be with.

17 May 2010

lesson

she's been ventilator-dependent for months. she relies on others for everything. we can barely rouse her when we come into the room. and yet you are clinging to some fictional time when she will be "just like she was before," insisting that "she's a fighter" and she'll get through this.

i wish i could tell you that the best fighters know when they're beaten.

15 May 2010

irritations:

i got an email today from someone at the Human Rights Campaign with the subject line "Catholic Schools Expelling Children of Gay Parents." well, duh. they're Catholic schools and they can expel whomever they want. this is nothing to "take action" about. particularly while the Pope is a Nazi.

many people who have children don't want them, and many people who want children can't have them.

if you weren't sending me into the room to feed your elderly mother, who looks like she's in constant pain, can't move any of her limbs, and can barely even breathe on her own, she would have died peacefully already. if you care enough about keeping her alive, come visit and feed her yourself--but if you really care about her, let her go.

neither my partner's outwardly apparent gender nor their genitals define my sexual orientation. each is misleading, and only the combination of the two will tell you anything at all, but you're still missing a crucial part of the picture.

12 May 2010

morning

mother is
the sound of a spoon in a teacup
when you don't want to admit being awake
but are glad to know someone else is.

03 May 2010

brief note

finals are over. now it's may. going out of town for the week.
trying to write more on paper, but like all of my self-imposed goals, that one's hard to meet.
also starting a few sketches in word docs--some of those are turning up interesting.

17 April 2010

scattered thoughts

i need to find a dvd copy of the movie The Point.
i want to drive for hours but i don't want to pay any tolls and i want to end up somewhere. i want a moon roof. and good music.
i am learning about and understanding Trust in ways i never have before, and in ways i didn't know i could.
i want to have a long conversation with my father, over drinks and vinyl records and other things.
my therapist suggested to me that maybe procrastination and time-management aren't mutually exclusive, and that maybe the fact that i've done well so far is in fact a sign that i know exactly how much time i have to procrastinate. i don't want to agree, but it kind of makes sense.
i need a cleansing period.
i need to see the ocean.
i like that there have been so many earthquakes lately and i'm excited to see what happens with this icelandic volcano.
i want to go to the grocery store and the exchange.
i'm not scared of parallel parking anymore.
i need to find the job that will make getting up at 6:00 on a Saturday easy, like my brother apparently has.
i am proud of my brother. never doubt that.
i want to see her again this weekend, but if i don't get the chance, sitting on her lap for a couple hours at the bar and talking to other people will have been enough.
i want to travel.
i want to travel.
i want to travel.
i am looking for a new place to live after pittsburgh. i love it here, but there is too much time left and too much left to see.
Pittsburgh will always feel like home, in all the most important ways. that conversation was too important to transcribe.
i want to be somewhere i can walk across bridges at 1AM with no concern for my safety, and have my breath taken away by a beautiful, familiar view.

the lesson for this week:
i deserve to have what i want, as long as i know how to ask for it.

10 April 2010

on [paternalistic misogynistic] censorship

*sigh* i'm reluctant to admit i'm a feminist because if i did it full-time it would be exhausting and terribly, terribly frustrating.

guess what! i have a vagina and it bleeds monthly! and i get cramps and migraines and they make me pretty miserable for a couple days. i purchase and use pads and i don't particularly like tampons but i use them anyway sometimes.

VAGINA!

so there.


p.s.: the clitoris trumps any part of the male anatomy. always.

07 April 2010

sonnet 76

you close your eyes and lose your sense of self;
your thought of who you are is what you see.
you fade into the background, slowly melt,
'til "you" could just as easily be "me."
your eyes spring open--did you grow afraid?
discomforted by what you could not sense?
could individuality not fade?
you must stay conscious of your existence?
it's such a shame that vision still needs sight,
that sense is needed for you to perceive.
you'll never learn to learn the way that's right
unless you cease to panic when sight leaves.
the secret is, the body cannot know
how far beyond the mind could truly go.

4/1/2010

05 April 2010

biting my tongue

1) the healthcare reform bill is not going to prevent you from getting your knees fixed, or make you wait an extra 10 years for it to happen. you can still keep whatever insurance you already have and still follow whatever rules it makes up for you.

2) while i agree with you that a gluten-free diet serves little purpose (except for those who have a gluten allergy) and especially that it does not cure autism, that's not a good enough reason to feed your grandson whatever he wants when he's at your house just because he asks for it.

3) the "dumbing down" of American education has quite a bit to do with No Child Left Behind, which is a piece of legislation that was put into place under President Bush. if you want to talk about how stupid THAT made a generation of American kids, feel free. President Obama's education legislation is attempting to FIX all the stuff NCLB fucked up.

4) maybe--just maybe--student loan forgiveness is a good thing because it will encourage those few smart kids who weren't utterly fucked over by NCLB but who couldn't afford college otherwise to actually get a meaningful education, beyond where public schools abandoned them.

5) HIS name is DYLAN.

03 April 2010

things i need to write about:

-a severe lack of motivation.
-tabling next to the Muslim Students Association:
"it's nice to see a sister from your group standing up for us like that."
-drag show.
-eye contact, pronouns, and arcade games

i'm sure there's more.

31 March 2010

question:

why don't sex discrimination laws automatically cover gender identity & expression? i.e., why doesn't a person with a penis have just as much right to wear a dress as a person with a vagina does? to tell them otherwise is still discrimination based on sex...

29 March 2010

realization?

distracted. can't concentrate. don't know why.


understanding gendered spaces in a way i never have before:
"men's space" isn't a place where
men want to keep women out,
it's a place where
no women want to go.


specifically:
i am never going to be comfortable around free weights.
especially when they get their own room.

28 March 2010

why i hate straight men

scene: at a party, dancing under a strobe light, dressed like a kandi kid for an 80s theme. everyone is drunk, except me.

drunk guy: are you gay?
me: oh, yeah. [laughing as his girlfriend (?) starts to grind on me, with him behind her.]
guy: i'm not gay. i'm straight. this is my girlfriend. actually we're engaged. she's pregnant.
[hot] blonde girl: no i'm not! that's not true! [storms off]
[guy starts dancing on me in a way that is not entirely inappropriate, but with which i am completely uncomfortable]
me: um, i have a boyfriend, and i really don't want to be dancing with you like that.
him: you don't have a boyfriend.
me: uh, yes, i do.
him: you can't have a boyfriend. you're gay.

....

25 March 2010

thoughts from this evening:

i'm probably going to fail this assignment. i'm well past caring.

i wish i'd lightened up in high school. then maybe i could [have blown off more of undergrad and] have my shit back together by now.

one should probably not drink beer and do dishes at the same time, but i can't think of a good reason why. except for all the sharp knives in my sink. and all the glass involved. and bubbles.

23 March 2010

thought

it's been a week so i have to post something, right?

human beings are afraid of difference because they are scared of evolution. nature loves diversity, because nature knows the way of things is to evolve. but humans have reached a point where they [believe they] control everything, so they are afraid something could evolve that would take that control. this is why humans try to beat difference into submission, to force as much into conformity as possible: they are genetically afraid of change.

16 March 2010

thought:

despite periodic awkwardness, there are definite perks to living on-campus as a grad student. naps between classes are one of them. trouble-free access to library databases in my place of residence is another.

14 March 2010

March 10, 2010

way too much has happened that i haven't even sorted through on paper yet, but i feel bad leaving this for so long. as a microcosm of the ridiculousness that is my life, i present to you: Wednesday.

1. wake up too early, walk across campus, hypercaffeinate, and drive to clinic. (weird because i usually take the bus.)
2. do clinic stuff, including a session with a kid who smelled like he hadn't bathed since i saw him the week before.
3. get & respond to a handful of text messages. call my mother.
4. freak out for several hours, while packing for a long weekend.
5. take the car to briefly visit friends i won't see for a longer than usual.
6. park on campus, track down Dylan, listen to a brief and unexpectedly undramatic phone conversation.
7. spend longer than expected in Student Health, with mercifully open and accepting professionals, for The First T Shot (yay!!)
8. NOT get a parking ticket!
9. immediately get in the car, drive to Dylan's apartment so he can pick up his stuff, and set out for--
10.--Boston Market because it took too long to not eat before leaving.
11. drive for over 4 hours to my parents' house.
12. go to sleep on an underinflated air mattress.

details (presumably) to follow.

09 March 2010

found - good news/bad news for Beltway gays

and Virginia makes #3:

Va. colleges told to strike LGBT anti-discrimination policies

IT IS 2010! GET WITH IT! this makes me so angry I want to write in all-caps!

what, exactly, constitutes "
insufficient authority" to decide that sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are NOT good reasons to discriminate against people? and how can treating all of your citizens as equal be "invalid policy"? more to the point, why is this so?

in happier news, just across the river, same-sex couples start getting married in D.C. today.

what an interesting juxtaposition.

07 March 2010

realization:

i can exert control over my environment.
i can be the responsible one; i can refuse to do it.
i can do for others, and i can get others to do for me.
i know there are 'right' and 'wrong' ways of doing these things.

04 March 2010

thought:

i like to think that most people wouldn't share their favorite books unless they were pretty sure the other person already got whatever the book was trying to say.

i mean, i don't think i'd want my favorite book wasted on somebody who didn't get it.

01 March 2010

in like a lion

february's over

this was always supposed to mean
that things get better

the surest quick fix
was changing the calendar

but now i find
that time is a myth
time is arbitrary
march is just another word

every lesson i've learned for the last year is still true

but then why
does it
all
end
the same?

i still find the smell of you on my clothes
and pause

i still know that when i can write every day
i'm okay

i still wonder if the boy whose birthday is tomorrow
is alive
and if he ever thought of me again

even when i live in an apartment that has windows
i still need to see the sun

27 February 2010

reaffirmation

i turned out looking delightfully butch this morning. i'm pleased. on the flipside of this, i'm wearing a beater and it's making me want to do some upper-body work :\

i had a series of moments earlier this week where i realized i'm sick of living in drag. i've spent entirely too much time this academic year looking like a girl because i feel like i have to. [note: I LIKE MY VAGINA.] so thursday night i rocked the flannel and ratty jeans because y'know what? i can pull it off, and i felt better that way, especially after so many days/weeks of skinny jeans and "conservative hair." i basically dressed as myself from four years ago, with better hair and an awareness of makeup.

don't get me wrong. i know i can pull off skinny jeans too, and i frequently enjoy doing it. we've all just been seeing way too much of my femme side recently. although she's interesting/pretty/fun for a little while, i landed firmly in the realm of genderqueer somewhere along this journey. it's the first concept of my own gender that's ever really made me feel comfortable. everyone who identifies as genderqueer has their own understanding of what it means, and for me, it means the freedom to express any gender in/on/with my person. i love the fluidity, the possibility of being anywhere along the gender spectrum at any given moment. i guess i just hate stagnation everywhere, and it's time to move again.

in closing, to quote the esteemed gender theorist RuPaul: "you're born naked. everything else is drag."

24 February 2010

Let's add masturbation, menstruation, & SIDS

this may be the stupidest thing i've ever heard.

Measure on illegal abortions heads to governor

Utah just secured its spot at #2 on my list of Places Never to Go. (#1, for those of you keeping track, is still Texas.) They're outlawing miscarriage.

The Salt Lake Tribune article linked above makes a good effort to including both the language of the bill and some of its (unintended?) implications in a limited number of inches. I think the blogosphere (see Jezebel, Feministe, RH Reality Check, and even Dan Savage) has done a better job of exposing the actual meaning of this legislation.

Utah wants to prosecute women who "intentionally, knowingly, [or] recklessly" cause the death of their unborn children. It started with the case of a 17-year-old woman who paid a man $150 to beat her up when she was seven months pregnant in the hopes that she would lose her baby. Ok--that was probably a stupid decision on her part. I tend to think it would do more good to examine the societal structures that made this poor girl feel it was better to pay someone to injure her than to carry a baby to term, which I suspect are the same structures that led an unmarried 17-year-old to become pregnant in the first place (abstinence-only sex education, limited access to contraception, the devaluation of everything about a women except her sexuality....you get the idea).

Even if you're not going to examine the underlying structures (and work to fix them), you at least have to admit the fact that miscarriage is a natural phenomenon. As many as 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, for any number of reasons. To criminalize "reckless" behavior that results in a miscarriage could be to criminalize drinking alcohol, playing contact sports, walking down stairs without holding onto a railing, and staying in a domestic violence situation with an abusive partner because you are unable to leave. To criminalize "reckless" behavior that results in a miscarriage could also be to criminalize any of these actions, and others, in which a woman engages when she doesn't even know she's pregnant. The majority of miscarriages take place in the first trimester, and the majority of women are well into that period before they find out they are pregnant.

How will Utah determine whether a woman engaged in criminal behavior without investigating every miscarriage in the state? Any woman who loses her baby could potentially become the target of a criminal investigation, and that while she is going through what is already an emotionally devastating experience.

I get that the main intention of the bill is to punish women for procuring illegal abortions, which are an outrageous enough attack on the autonomy of women in themselves. (If legal abortions were more readily available and less violently contested--and if the underlying societal structures that make so many women feel the need to obtain them were not in place--this wouldn't even be an issue.) But inherent to that sentence, and as Jill from Feministe points out, the main intention of the bill is really to punish women.

My favorite part might be how the bill's sponsor, Margaret Dayton, actually said while arguing against lifting the "reckless" specification from the bill, "
I don't think we want to go down the road of carefully defining the behavior of a woman."

22 February 2010

not remotely interested in my textbooks.

Real Life has this way of catching up with you
at the most inconvenient moments
and when you least expect it.
all at once,
midterms
and relationships
and chest colds.

relief
means
(not being content
but)
knowing that everyone else
is also weighing the benefits of dropping out of school.

at least i have my independence.
at least i have my life.

i am still so spoiled
that these are the worst things
i can complain about.

19 February 2010

will

you watch the hours tick by on a clock you're not sure is keeping time any longer. the sound is enough to drive you crazy: tick. tick. tick. tick. you wait for something you're not sure is coming. you wait for something you're not sure you're waiting for.

eventually, the little hand is somewhere between the four and the five, and you've all but given up. you have given up, on sleep at least, but not on the idea that whatever it is will arrive. maybe it will come by the front door. so you rise, put on your coat and hat--maybe it will recognize you by your hat; maybe it will pass you by if it doesn't see your face--and take the notebook from beside your bed.

the streetlight doesn't know what it permits. it doesn't ask. it doesn't care. it casts its cold white light indiscriminately. it can't read. it can't pick up the pages you leave scattered on the sidewalk. it realized this long ago, so it stopped being bothered. now it does all it can do, and it shines. a poor substitute for the sun, it knows, but it also knows it's the only one you've got.

it doesn't much matter what marks you make on the paper in front of you. some are words, some are sentences, some are childlike scribbles that not even your parents could decipher. maybe you are writing the treasure map for it. telling it where to find you. maybe you are lamenting the departure of sleep, in a language only it would understand. maybe you are telling your own story, or maybe you are realizing that you no longer believe you have one to tell. the sidewalk dutifully collects all the pages of your sometime-memoir, binding them loosely with concrete. the streetlight, your studious librarian, knows every page of every book she has seen but never read.

at least the ticking has stopped.

image:
Will Eisner, Frontispiece from
A Contract with God, © 1978 Will Eisner. accessed from the Library of Congress at http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/swann/images/eisner1s.jpg on 19 Feb 2010.

16 February 2010

it's been a week

and i hate going a whole week without posting anything. february is a short enough month.

time is a myth. it's something humans made up a story about in the hopes it would make more sense. unfortunately, it's not one of those convenient myths that actually helps anyone. now it's one of those residual undying myths that's so entrenched in the culture it won't go away even though it does more harm than good in most cases.

(subtext: i'm supposed to be way busier than i have been. somehow it's almost midterm already.)

09 February 2010

Dove changes packaging color

Dove certainly has an interesting take on what it means to be a man:

while i appreciate the sentiment that men, too need to grow to be "comfortable in their own skin," this is an incredibly heterosexist, heteronormative interpretation of what that requires. which is apparently what viewers of the Superbowl want, judging by the preponderance of such commercials during the game. way to go, CBS, for running a pro-life ad without its counterpart (sponsored by Focus on the Family, no less), and such heterosexist, misogynistic ads as the above and the Dodge Charger ad that posits nice cars as rewards for obeying the annoying demands of the weaker sex. (although i will hang my head and thank you, as did the other queer woman in the room with me, for those Danica Patrick godaddy.com spots.)

07 February 2010

Snow day

everything here is lovely. i want to post pictures, but they're all on someone else's camera.

i'm not sure how many inches we got, but it doesn't seem important--everything is blanketed with snow; the world is monochrome.

people walking in the streets
where cars could not tread,
bags full of groceries
(you know you're in a college town
when last-minute means
afterwards).
buses cease to run,
the gods of transportation call
Stay Home,

Go Out and Play!

sleds and skis and snowboards
make their way out of closets and into the streets,
relay races up and down a hill,
come back soaking wet
and change into pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt;

this
is what we've forgotten how to do.

it doesn't matter that there were no classes anyway;
this
is the true meaning of a snow day.

and sometimes
the most beautiful and important thing to do
is watch someone push snow off a roof.

03 February 2010

ekphrasis


she sat, locked in a tower room from which she could easily free herself, pondering whether the nearness of things made them less interesting. the ploughman with his horse--as familiar as a brother, and as distasteful. the lonely shepherd with his sheep--each conversation seemed longer. only the ships in the bay began to seem attractive, with their freedom of movement and unfamiliar culture.

and the sun--the sun on the horizon, tempting the mountains to fall into the sea. she wondered: how many ships have followed it over? how many men have dropped to the depths, all in search of the sun? the sun and the stars in a constant game of chase, one continuously trying to find the other, both always escaping. she was locked beneath a cosmic battle whose participants cared none for collateral damage.

---
whoever suggested this one thought you were quite clever, didn't you? ;)


31 January 2010

the words i can't speak

what if the more boy you become, the less i have of myself?

i don't want to become just the partner who sees somebody through a transition. i don't want my identity to be secondary to somebody else's. i am queer, and i am proud of it and comfortable in it. i'm not interested in being read as straight.

i never wanted this to be easy, but i wasn't expecting it to be this kind of hard.

1/28/10


i need a haircut. and a reinterpretation of my whole identity.
have i written about my hair before? because i really should. it's more important than it ought to be. there's just so much wrapped up in it. oh well. fodder for later, i suppose.

28 January 2010

project idea:

i'm tired and meandering around the internet, and i landed on etsy.com at the shop of Sophie Blackall. having no attention span, i didn't bother to read in any detail about her Missed Connections project, but it appears she took craigslist missed connections posts and illustrated them.

and i thought, gee, i wish you could do that with writing.

illustrators can take a word or a phrase or a story and turn it into visual art. why can't i take an image and turn it into a story? a picture is worth a thousand words, after all.

and then the idea struck: go to google images, find any random picture, and write a sketch on it.

by "sketch" i mean "a short piece," mostly because i'm in that part of winter where my creative energy is, well, gone, and i'm looking for things to jumpstart it and make me write something. anything. also, the aforementioned short/absent attention span.

so here's what i need from you:
post a comment containing any word (or words, if you're feeling spicy) that you want to see me image search and subsequently sketch. the more abstract, the better.

no promises, just good (?) intentions.

22 January 2010

post-appointment

this is not My Thing to blog about. (not to be confused with My Thing to Blog About.) it doesn't belong to me, and i kinda feel bad writing about it as if my perspective and my experience and my frustrations are important. but then, part of this does belong to me, and the fact that it's different and arguably secondary doesn't make it less real.

i guess that was the disclaimer.

fridays are counterproductive. i think it might be that they immediately follow thursdays, and by the time thursday is over, i definitely need a break. so it makes sense that i've done nothing today except sit in front of the computer, chat on IM, play first person tetris, and run shuttle service to persad. (i did make a flier for something...but i have yet to put them up.)

i don't know what i'm supposed to do at this point. a lot of it on my end is waiting. and we all know by now that i am not the most patient person on the planet. amendment: i have a lot of patience for people who need it. and honestly, i think this is the sort of thing i'd rather happen slowly, so as not to thoroughly shock the system. [but i just can't do anything. i just can't do anything.]

my current pet distraction: http://symphonyofscience.com

i have questions, too. i don't even know what they all are yet, or where to begin asking them, or who to ask who can draw out the ones that are still forming.

i'm not complaining. i am so excited for this, and i'm so glad that things are moving. but as i worded it earlier, "i just want to be involved through every step of this process, but i know i can't be." the answer to "why not?": "because ultimately, it's not me."

furthermore, if you don't have to go through this alone (and instead have to not go through it alone), why should i?

this is disorganized, but it's a fair representation.

18 January 2010

27 december 2009

i am sitting in the backseat of my parents' new car, covered in stuff, with my computer presently functioning as a very large ipod, headphones in, driving past/through/around new york city.

my fondest memory of the city is almost certainly from the summer i turned 21. not the night of our fancy dinner--that was nice, but it was a different kind of nice. it was like we got all dressed up and played the parts of other people.

the memory comes as a flash: times square, or very close to it. i am drunk. all the lights are one big blur because i am moving. a big black man tries to hand us tickets to a free comedy show: "yo, you better take a ticket. you look like you 'bouta kill a muthafucker." my first and only cab ride in the city. all i remember is yellow and a tv screen and the driver who didn't care enough to think less of me. it is july and it is the sweet sticky city hot of midsummer. i spent all day on the train crossing pennsylvania, and alex is wearing the toe shoes. i still think of him every time i see c* in them.

my cousins are all growing up and going to college and getting married. i could stay 21 forever, taking weekend trips to new york and obsessing over this girl and having summer jobs that mean nothing but which i may pretend do. at least i know i will marry young this way.

the planes fly everywhere, even though there is talk of terrorism on the radio. you cannot stop us from moving.

manhattan to my right. lovely for a visit, but if i were to live there i would shrivel from lack of sun.

for a moment, i forgot it was december. [even the first time i type that sentence, the freudian typo says "summer."] i flip back to this document and the date greets me at the top of the screen. it is almost a new year--but we all know the new year starts in september.

the lirr crosses overhead. i almost threw up in the train station. "are you sure you're ok to drive home?" "oh yeah." and what you really meant was, i've driven this road drunk so many times it doesn't matter.

i will bring mine here someday, and we will wander manhattan, drunk on whatever seems appropriate, and the lights will be a blur because we will be moving, and the memories will occur as flashes, and we will look back and say, what a summer.

12 January 2010

self-realization in progress

i'm describing this as a "semi-existential process." it's not a crisis, just a reorganization of thought. and it's not really existential at all.

it started with a comment the professor made in my afternoon class: "don't tell my colleagues...but i'm a speech therapist."

there is some controversy in my profession over how important it is to correct/adjust the perception of ourselves as "speech therapists" among the general public. this is how we've been known for decades, but in recent years many have come to assert that we should encourage others to know us as we know ourselves. in our graduate programs and professional organizations, we are speech-language pathologists (or SLPs, because even those of us who live for speech still like to abbreviate). the idea is that we do a lot more than therapy--and a lot more than speech, for that matter. we evaluate, diagnose, and treat all sorts of communication disorders, both speech- and language-based, and we also evaluate and treat swallowing disorders. for this reason, many SLPs, believe that "speech-language pathologist" is a more accurate and less stereotyped description of the members of our profession.

i don't really care. i believe that my goal is to help people communicate more effectively, so if i can use fewer syllables to more easily convey what i'm going to do for a living, that shouldn't be a problem. you speak to people in the language they understand.

my professor this afternoon spent a lot of time talking about how the disruptions to speech are not foremost for people who stutter--the experience of stuttering is. there is no cure for stuttering: a person who stutters will always be a person who stutters, more or less often. our role as SLPs, then, is not [only] to treat the dysfluency, but to act as a coach, a counselor, a therapist, who helps the person cope with their stuttering. this kind of treatment is not medical so much as it is psychological, and it is very, very human.

it was about this time i started thinking about what i really want to do with my life. i still haven't decided exactly what kind of SLP i want to be when i grow up, but i've got a pretty good idea. i got into the field because i wanted to work with youth who have autism. i'm also very interested in aphasia. in the first half-hour of my fluency class, i knew it was something i was going to care deeply about and want to get more involved in. i've never been terribly interested in traditional articulation therapy, where you meet a kid who can't say /s/ or /r/ and help them learn the sound. i've said for a few years that i want to experience a hospice setting, where i know all my clients are going to die. then my diagnostic brain kicked in: what's the pattern here?

i am interested in treating the people you can't cure. i am interested in treating the people you help to cope.

i'm curious to see where this line of thinking leads me. learning what you want to do is way more fun than learning what you don't want to do.

06 January 2010

and acceptance

this has been bothering me a lot since a few days after Christmas.

in November 2008, a very close friend of mine killed himself. i never wrote about it--at least not here. my hard drive is home to any number of angry letters to him; i'm sure my paper journals have their say as well.

the thing about most suicides--and i would go so far as to say, most stories in which a person does nothing to prevent their own death--is that nobody wants to talk about it. nobody has ever said out loud to me, "he killed himself." i got left at, "we're waiting for the results" of whatever they do when someone dies. many of the people who were close to this person believe his death was an accident. that was how my mother framed it to me the night she called. i am certain that my mother still believes this, and that's probably better for her. the most i got in the days following his death was a, "you know he was really depressed, right?" from a person who was closer to him than i was.

i'm having the kind of day where i question how close to him i really was to begin with. actually, that's been happening for over a year.
i'd had no idea.

how can we possibly come to grips with suicide if we won't even acknowledge that it's suicide? how can we properly grieve?

the friend with whom i shared him most--the same one who told me about his depression--essentially stopped talking to me for several months. we'd been calling each other weekly for months before that. and i know we associate each other with him, and i won't fault him for it. but i still can't help thinking that we should have been helping each other instead of avoiding each other, whether we were doing it consciously or not.

the fact of the matter is, suicide is something that affects real people. it's something real people do, and it's something that causes real people to suffer. i'm never going to stop missing him. i still get pissed off sometimes that he never saw me graduate from college, never even heard where i got accepted for grad school, never met Dylan, and is never going to see me get excited about a real job, or meet my children. there is shit i'm going through now that i would love his advice on more than anyone else's. i am still hurt that although he knew more of me than almost anyone, he didn't feel he could tell me about such an important part of himself. and i am both sad and fortunate that i don't even have a voicemail from him.

suicide is not taking your life into your own hands. i've heard arguments that it is the greatest act of agency. but what could be more literally self-effacing? giving up your life is not a way to assert control over it--it is surrendering all control.

maybe i only feel this way because i believe that life is the greatest and most precious opportunity we are given. you can make literally anything of a human life. it displays far more courage and agency to make something from nothing than nothing from something.

if you or anyone you know is considering suicide, please be aware that there is a 24-hour helpline at 1-800-SUICIDE and resources available at www.hopeline.com. depression is real, and just like any other disease, it is treatable. there are tons of people out there who want to help you....please let us in.

i'm not trying to be an after-school special. i'm trying to be a real person who is honest about my hurt.

found - Huffington Post on Amanda Simpson

Religious Right Goes Nots Over Transgender Appointee Amanda Simpson

....i'm speechless.
the response of these conservatives is...priceless. just read it yourself.

05 January 2010

new beginnings

new semester starts tomorrow! time to re-start a big to-do list, the kind that's so big you don't even write it down because you don't have the time because you always have something to do.

yessss.

i am the nerdiest kid you will ever meet, and i love school because i love being busy. (and, y'know, that whole learning-new-stuff thing is pretty cool too.) i recognize the need for a break now and then and appreciate them fully when i take them, but i work best when i'm put under pressure. i like not having the time to think about what i need to do, and being able to just do it.

especially in the winter when it's all grey and efficient. it's so much easier [and more enjoyable] to be lazy in the summer.

02 January 2010

2009

a year in review is not required, and looking at the archives it isn't even a tradition for this blog, but i feel like writing at least a semblance of one anyway.

2009 was one of those years that pretty much fucked everyone over.

i should probably amend that. the last part of 2009 really sucked. the first part, for me at least, wasn't too damn bad. i enjoyed the hell out of my last semester of college. i was accepted to multiple graduate schools, and despite serious consideration of my options, i knew where i was going as soon as i opened that envelope. by year's end, i am only more convinced that i made the right choice. i defended a thesis that i'd put two years of hard work into.
i organized [and performed in] a freaking drag show that drew hundreds of people and raised over a thousand dollars for our charity. i studied, i slept very little, i had adventures, at more and less appropriate times. i solidified the best friendships i've ever had in my life. and then i graduated--yay!

the summer was amazing. i don't necessarily remember very much of it. it was a much-needed break for me, and i took it, for all it was worth.

then the fall happened. between school and jobs and G20 and the swine flu and new coming-out processes, i think it sucked for most of the people i know. grad school is hard, and that excites me, but there have already been times when i seriously questioned the benefit of completing this program on a full-time basis, if at all. my thoughts on the G20 and its effect on pittsburgh are already recorded elsewhere. i'm still pissed off that nobody has bothered to pay any real attention to the abuses of power that occurred here. i did get H1N1 in october--i never got tested, but i have no reason to suspect it was anything else--and it knocked me out of commission for a full week, which is a LONG TIME for me. and then there's the ongoing saga of "my boyfriend's a tranny" and all associated drama (mostly tangential, for me). i think the best thing that happened to me this fall was realizing just how awesome my family really is, even if it had to happen by comparison to some others that definitely aren't, at least in the ways i would need/expect them to be.

so on thursday night i was all too happy to watch the ball drop, toast the new year with ginger ale, and kiss someone i am still desperately in love with. here's to 2010: may i be less sad to see you go than your predecessor.

also, here's to living in the future, where we have both wireless internet AND pirates on the high seas!