Monthly Archives: September 2008

throw those tomatoes in the blender & make some soup.

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hi, i’ve got a very expensive heart monitor around my neck & i’m under medical orders to drink coffee again. hurray! my journey back to caffeine-land is not as glorious as i’d expected, but i am a much better typist now. my synapses are connected! or something. my heart isn’t racing or hurting at all now that it’s being monitored, of course. maybe all the herbs i’ve been taking have actually gotten my problem under control? or maybe my heart is like that damn frog in that old warner brothers’ cartoon, dancing and singing when that one guy is in the room and sitting there and saying “ribbit” with everyone else. anyway, it’s nice to be feeling better.

this weekend saw nearly all of my fave pittsburgh people at my house, watching “my so-called life” and cooking and (platonically) spooning in the hammock and reading wacky prisoner letters out loud and laughing our gay asses off. super! duper! and me & branden & aaryn & pino all went for a late-night bike ride, and everyone knows those are the best kind. i took them to this spot an ex-friend showed me, down by the water, where you can stand close enough to the river to touch it. we looked at the lights of downtown & had one of those moments that you remember later on, when you look back at a certain period of yr life.

i am so stressed out about money! yesterday i interviewed for a job that would net me about $60 per week after taxes. i’m up against tremendous competition, they’re interviewing at least 20 other people, and i don’t think i’m gonna get it. $60 a week, people! the competition is that stiff for sixty fucking dollars per week! but that would make a huge diff in my life, so keep yr fingers crossed for me, and for everyone. this desperate looking middle-aged woman wearing cheap gaudy jewelery just came into my job. “are yinz hiring?” she asked. “I’m just going up and down, asking in every single shop on butler street.” i apologized and wished her good luck. what else can ya do.

hi internet, i’d just like to tell you…

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…that the other day i was riding in oakland (which is a neighborhood in pittsburgh, not oakland ca) and i saw what may be the funniest bumper sticker i’ve ever seen in my life! it said, “jesus would have used his turn signals.” ha! i nearly fell off my damn bike. okay, not really, but i appreciated this bumper sticker thoroughly and laughed out loud, etc.

yesterday was really good too, even though i couldn’t get my learner’s permit because pennDOT is fulla classist jerks. (did you know that “classist”, according to spell check, is not a word?) but me & branden & aaryn managed to cobble together a fun day anyway. we went to a bizarre taco bell where everyone was totally silent and sad. “why is nobody eating anything?” asked branden, and i turned to see a whole crowd of sad, silent people just waiting for food. like, a whole ton of them! we were all loud & giggly & i think it was freaking people out. i felt like i’d stepped into a creepy parallel universe. i’m not really explaining it right. and then we went to target and i successfully kidnapped a sad, lonely cowboy hat. it was a misfit hat, hanging out amongst golf-y hats and baseball hats. i put it on my head and it became a part of me. together we casually sauntered out the door, to a new beginning.

there is something so nice about laying in bed, listening to the radio and the rain on the roof, and having the DJ play multiple songs about rain, and you know they’re somewhere in pittsburgh listening to the rain too. i can’t even explain it.

on voluntary singlehood.

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“When I realized I was into girls, it was scary to let go of all the things I was supposed to be and all the things I was supposed to want. It’s like you’re a character in this book that everyone around you is writing, and suddenly you have to say I’m sorry, but this role isn’t right for me.

And you have to start writing your own life and doing your own thing. That was hard enough. But that was nothing–nothing, I tell you–compared to the idea that I could let go of the desire to have a girlfriend. Maybe not forever. Maybe forever. Certainly for now. I wasn’t letting go of love or sex or the idea of companionship. I was just rejecting the package in which it was being sold to me. I was going to say it was okay to be alone, when it felt like everyone in the world was saying that it wasn’t okay to be alone, that I had to always want someone else, that the desire had to fuel me…Some people find happily ever after in being part of a couple, and to them I say, good for you. But that’s no reason we should all have to do it. That’s no reason that every goddamn song and story has to say we should.” -david levithan (writing from a queer teen girl perspective in the short story “miss lucy has a steamboat”)

recently i’ve had the revelation that dating people has never made me happy. it’s made me happy in the short-term moment, but never happy all around, the kind you can feel in yr bones. at this time two, three, four, and five years ago, i was madly in love with someone who was madly in love with me. we had good conversations, good sex, we hardly ever fought. she said so many things to me that i’d dreamed of for years. and i was fucking miserable. everything i did was laced with the undercurrent of her. why isn’t she calling me back? what if she’s dead? where is she? why won’t she ever come to new york? blah, blah, blah.

we lived far away from each other and didn’t really have anything in common besides the fact that we were both radical queers who loved each other (and i guess we both like books, bikes and booze, but to very different degrees & for very different reasons.) and i gave up my life. just threw it away for the first three years we were together. the last year and a half, i tried getting it back. i faked like i could be independent and do my own shit. and no matter how much fun i was having back in ny, it was completely ruined by this undercurrent of longing. i could never focus on anything but her.

and it’s not just with this girl. it’s with every girl. it’s with everyone. because nobody is ever enough. nobody ever can be. and perhaps this feeling could be summed up by another literary quote, this one from robert pinsky: “I woke up feeling so sad this morning/because I realized that you could not,/as much as I love you, dear heart,/cure my loneliness”

and, by letting this notion go, i feel so free. so much better than when i was trying to make something work that isn’t working. i don’t feel remarkably lonely or sexually frustrated. i feel calm, productive, fulfilled, and maybe even happy.

the main thing that makes me unhappy about this new situation is other people acting like i’m so crazy for not wanting to date anyone, like i am some kind of frigid depressing cat lady, sitting in front of the home shopping network and crying every night. when my life isn’t like that at all.
i still laugh the loudest even though i’m sober now, i ride hard, i love hard (platonically), i write my goddamn book (and i’ve written ninety usable pages–about 120 pages total, if you include stuff i’ve edited out–this year. i couldn’t have done that if my time & energy were wasted in the pursuit of someone else). i live my fucking life. & it’s mine now, all mine.

oh, the humanity.

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i’ve decided it’s fall because i am tired of waiting. my goals for the fall are:
1. figure out what is going on with my heart (literally, my heart, not a metaphor for how i feel about relationships.)
2. get back into therapy
3. learn how to drive.
4. eat more s’mores.

i am doing well on #1 and #4. i have not even started #2 or #3. oh well. a beating heart is way more important than a driver’s license. i did not accomplish either of my goals for the summer, which were “get rid of backne” and “stop being embarrassing.” i think i am a lot less embarrassing, but that’s just because i quit drinking, not because i fundamentally changed. quitting drinking, incidentally, is great. it’s changed my life for the better for sure. quitting coffee has been atrocious, but i have no choice. i didn’t accomplish much of anything this summer. i hardly made out at all, i didn’t do a lot of fun stuff. i had a few good days & nights, i read a lot of good books & hopefully wrote a good book. mostly i was just aimless and depressed and/or despondent.
on a lighter note, i would like to share some highlights from my favorite police blotter of all time:
6:07 p.m., Columbia — A woman on the 21800 block of Sawmill Flat Road
was angry because her 2-year-old daughter returned home from a weekend with her father and had a “mullet” haircut.

1:46 p.m., Valley Springs — Nearby residents were “unappreciative” of a
male sitting on the hood of a vehicle and playing a guitar at Messing Road and Highway 12.

7:21 a.m., Lake Don Pedro — A man said he was kidnapped from Fremont and
brought to Fleming Meadows on Bonds Flat Road. He then said he voluntarily came up but he felt lured there under false pretenses.

Midnight, Columbia — A woman on the 10900 block of Green Street said she
swallowed gum and was very nervous about the situation.

11:55 a.m., Tuolumne area — A woman on the 15100 block of Mountain Lily
Road said she was selling her couch online and received eight $100 bills from “Bruse Willis.” The money was determined to be counterfeit.

6:20 p.m., Big Oak Flat area — A woman said her ex-girlfriend’s mother
threatened to have her killed following an argument on the 17500 block of Highway 120 over exercise equipment.

1:39 p.m., information report — A caller left a voicemail saying she received a piece of metal that looked like a quarter sometime over the past two weeks and did not know where, or when, she received the piece of metal.

i love this. i’ve been to this region before (rural tuloumne county, ca) and it is every bit as wacky as the police reports make it out to be.

for those who still don’t get it

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yesterday i came home after a hot, sweaty, truly exhausting 12-hour day. i’d been wearing work-approved corduroy pants in the 85 degree humid heat, and when i got home, i wanted nothing more than to sit around in my underwear for a few minutes before toiling some more on the house. i thought i was allowed to do what i want in the privacy of my own home. silly, silly me.

i hurled my pants to the floor in my living room, which has curtains. after laying around for a few minutes, i was like, “god damnit, i want a blueberry-hazelnut smoothie.” so i went to my kitchen to make it. my kitchen has two windows that look out on a narrow pathway to my neighbor’s house. in the two minutes it took to wash out my blender and assemble a smoothie, a dude walked by. he looked in the window and saw me wearing underwear & a clingy tank top. he stopped. he stared. i made eye contact & glared at him. he walked away. and then he came back again.

i retreated to the living room & put on a skirt, enraged that i can’t even do what i want in my own fucking house without dudes making me feel uncomfortable. enraged that i can’t have even just one thing that is safe.

i made my smoothie, it was great, and i kinda forgot about that incident. i painted my bedroom, watched half of “jeffrey,” read a zine and went to sleep. i was woken up at 3am by two dudes loudly shouting outside of my window. it was mostly just loud drunken bullshit, but as they walked by my house, one of them started talking in a lower voice. “nuh-uh,” said his friend. “i’m tellin’, you, man!” he yelled. “it got my dick all wet and shit!” “you could get your dick wet in your own home, fool. no need to come over here.” and they laughed meanly and went inside their house.

i couldn’t get back to sleep. pittsburgh is safe, probably the safest place i’ve ever lived, and i’d forgotten for a minute there that i am nothing but prey in the eyes of so many people. because i can walk around in a skirt and guys don’t yell about how they want to rape me, because people don’t really go out of their way to try & start shit like they do in other places. i had let my guard down; i had forgotten. but once i heard that voice jarring me from my exhausted slumber, i sprang into action like a hunted animal. i jumped up. immediately awake & on guard. how do i get out if they come in. what do i do; where do i hide. immediate escape plan, attack plan. everyone i know who is, or who is percieved as, a woman knows what i’m talking about. i get way less shit than most ladies do because i’m tall, because i am not femme, because i am not conventionally attractive, because i look tough. none of this matters at three a.m.

none of this matters when their voice is bouncing off the walls. they closed their door & probably forgot the whole thing. it was just a little offhand comment to them. it wasn’t that way for me. i lay awake in the roast-y guestroom, trying to calm myself down. luckily, sheer exhaustion won out and i fell asleep pretty quickly. i didn’t have to lay awake thinking about every invasion. the dude who wanted to rape me & my housemate because it was his birthday and he hadn’t gotten a birthday present. my ex-best friend, raped in a cab at age 14 and i didn’t take cabs for years because i didn’t want to accidentally tip her rapist. the dude who threatened to kill me because i talked back to him. the new jersey four, in prison because they fought back to a guy who called them dykes & yanked their hair out. that guy was portrayed in the press as some kind of hero. i could go on and on, but i won’t.

i used to always feel like this. this past year in pittsburgh has been a vacation, mostly. and a year without that constant strain has done amazing things in my heart and mind. but i knew in the back of my mind that i was just deluding myself. and yeah, nothing actually happened. most of the time, nothing does. but i still can’t shake this feeling that i am always at war, that i will never be safe anywhere, & that this will never go away. nearly every woman i know understands this feeling perfectly. nearly every guy i know dismisses it, or pretends to sympathize. there is no way to let them know how it feels–even dudes who are persecuted for being queer or weird or whatever; it’s not the same thing. it’s not as pervasive. dudes aren’t forced to watch dudes being gaybashed in nearly every mainstream movie & primetime crime drama, & have that be treated as though it were just a normal part of the culture. dudes aren’t told, and shown, in hundreds of ways throughout their lives what happens when you go out by yourself, when you take walks, when you live alone, when you live your life the way you fucking want to.

i have a whole lot more to say about this. but my time at the library is running out & honestly, i don’t want to write about this any more. i’m exhausted.

hilarity @ work

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my boss, speaking rhetorically to this young new lawyer: now, let’s say that you’re a merchant and you have thousands of cans of soup that nobody wants….
new lawyer:so, you’re saying that there’s no market for soup anymore? you’re saying that nobody buys soup at all?
my boss:not this soup! it’s, uh…..rat soup!
me: [chuckles] [mainly at the complete and utter randomness that is my boss]
my boss:you see! this soup is so bad, even [ocean] isn’t interested!

so fuck the rules that make me yrs

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ugh, i think i just got bike grease in my itchy old eye. anyway, i don’t really feel like updating right now but i just wanted to write down some of the least-true-ness that has happened as of late.

last weekend (which was a very long weekend, but you know) i found out two old friends of mine are having a baby together at the end of november, i had an extremely drunk trans lady say to me and ali, “the three of us should get naked and cuddle sometime!”, i had that same extremely drunk trans lady tell me, “on my home planet, you’d be the queen!”, i discussed the most unintentionally hilarious website ever in a hot tub with two queers, i slid down many a water slide with those same two queers, i met one of my old riot grrrl penpals from when i was fourteen and danced to her band, i ate delicious thai food and drank milkshakes (not at the same time! siiick), i thought i would have a heart attack but didn’t, and i finished cleaning out cotton way. i left my key on the counter. good-bye, old house. now that i’m done with that place i feel so free. i feel like new year’s eve is finally fucking over, because i don’t have to deal with repercussions from that night on a daily basis anymore. this house is mine, it’s only been mine, and it will only be mine until i move out. that’s a really good feeling. up the spinsters!