Monthly Archives: October 2008

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in case anyone cares, i have a flickr page now.

i have a lot to say, but i have the option of leaving work early. an extra hour riding around pittsburgh dressed as the pigeon lady from “home alone 2”? possibly squeezing in a burrito before critical mass? being in the moderate temperatures and fleeting sunshine instead of this office? see ya!

i seriously always hated old people before i took this job

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i’m at work right now & i just overheard the following charming conversation between one of my favorite clients (a wingnutty 78-year-old black woman with an enormous blonde bouffant) and an equally old guy who drove her here today, who can only be described as a “chap”. he’s even wearing one of those hats, what the hell is it called, that newsies wore in the victorian era.

chap: you’re drinking coffee? this late in the day??!?

wingnutty woman: ‘course i am! i’ll drink coffee any old time i can get it!

chap: why is that?

wingnutty woman: [indignantly] i’m a sleepyhead! that’s why!

the future frightens me.

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i finally got sick from the endless cold in my house, so i guess it’s time to bite the bullet & turn the fucking heat on. i’m nervous about gas bills, but what the fuck ever, i guess. lately everyone who comes over has commented on how it’s weird that i’m one of the coldest people they know & one of the last to turn on the heat. i like to say, in response to that comment, that it’s because i’m tough. it’s all fake bravado, though–i don’t think i’m tough at all. i am a pretty cold person; i need a hoodie when it’s 70 degrees out; and my current 51-degree house is just killing me. really i don’t turn my heat on because a) i spent my formative years living with punks, who are perhaps the most anti-central-heating group of peeps on the planet and b) i still cling to the belief that got instilled in me that i don’t deserve nice things. but my body is rebelling; my body is saying, “no, you’re being fucking stupid, turn the goddamn heat on so we can both finally relax,” my body always knows somehow.

the cold crept in, underneath the piles of blankets, in through my sinus cavities, waking me up an hour before i even had to. laying in bed, listening to the horrible dogs bark & watching the gray light break through my window. still cold, even underneath four blankets, even though it’s theoretically not even really cold out, yet.

yeah, a tunnel from my window to yours

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last weekend a super cute boy from my past drove all the way from baltimore to hang out with me. and we had adventures–looking for the haunted stacks at the library with amanda, making out on the pool table at the blue moon, driving around listening to bruce springsteen in the sunshine. sweet times, and just what i needed. queer boys are so much better than straight boys in every imaginable way; and queer boys who genuinely like the ladiez are rare jewels (although i guess queer tranny boys who also like ladies aren’t so uncommon, but still–hooray!!)

my tomato plants are going to be dead soon & the thought of going back to gross supermarket tomatoes saddens me. but oh well. and my hammock has a gigantic canyon-esque hole in it so i can only lay on it sideways. winter’s a-comin’, and i’ve got a squash on my kitchen table the size (and shape, kinda) of a cute infant. it’s cute because it’s quiet, and because it’s a vegetable, and because it came straight to my doorstep from a farm in the maryland boonies. i’m not really sure what to do with this squash besides wrap it in a blanket and coo at it inanely. pies? casseroles? i don’t know, dude, i don’t know!!

i have a fancy computer for the first time in my life (a cast-off from my lil’ bro) and it has seriously warped my mind. and i don’t even have the internet! just itunes! just uploading all of my muzak & listening to the surprisingly good shit my brother left on there has warped my little mind! wipe my fevered brow, please!

i’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints

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it was good having my sister here for lots of reasons, like going on graffiti-laden walks and giggling about shit, but it was also nice to be able to talk about my family with someone who really gets it. because everyone’s family is fucked-up in its own unique way and it’s hard to understand. we were talking about my stepdad over coffee & sandwiches on my lunch break from work. she said, “i wrote a story about him for my creative non-fiction class, but i didn’t put in the part where he lost the car, because i was like, nobody will believe that! and when you write stuff down, it has to be believable…”

one day, after a long night of drug use, my stepdad came home without my mom’s car. i’m a little fuzzy on the details, as i was in college & lived an hour away & tried to avoid my familial drama as much as possible back then. nobody knows how he got home, and he’s dead now, so i can’t ask him how he got home from where the (perfectly functional) car was abandoned on the belt parkway in brooklyn, all the way back to my mom’s house on long island. i can’t ask him why he did it in the first place.

that sounds ludicrous, right? who does that? who loses a car? who drives a car onto the grassy median of a parkway and then travels thirty miles back home without it? maybe you, sitting there reading my blog, don’t believe me. it’s so ludicrous.

but it really happened. my mom really did call my dad, who hates her (and vice versa), and pleaded with him, as the mother of his children, to drive her to look for her car. and he did, and they found it, untowed, un-stolen, unmolested, just hanging out on the median as though nothing were wrong at all.

i don’t know; it’s just nice to be able to share these little weird pieces of me with someone who doesn’t look at me skeptically when i tell them. lately i have started missing my stepdad, whose demise i have yet to shed a tear about, mainly because i’ve been hanging out with ex-cons who remind me of him, remind me that he wasn’t all bad. that he was funny and interesting, even if he was a homophobic drug-addicted manipulative liar. a lot of the cons are ex-drug-addicts, and probably manipulative too, and maybe are still liars. who knows. but we have good conversations about how america is going to hell, we sing along with the radio, they tell me crazy stories about their lives and laugh at me when i spill water all over the table. and it made me realize how long it’s been since i’ve had that particular brand of crazy in my life, and made me realize that, i don’t know, i kinda missed it.

zima-induced violence! story at 11!

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this friday, not long after i wrote that blog entry about being called a faggot by some lawrenceville teens, i took the bus downtown to meet my sister at the 28x stop! cuz she flew in from ro-cha-cha and i didn’t wanna leave her stranded at the liberty & wood bus stop. anyway, i was riding the bus, which is unusual for my bike-riding ass. listening to music and sewing a pad wearing fingerless gloves, feeling comfortably wacky.

three teens got on. they were of the alterna-variety that i find charming: a girl with scraggly pink hair, another girl wearing a poufy skirt, and a super-hot punk boy wearing a ripped t-shirt and bracelets made out of bullets who sat next to me. (!) some madman started talking to hot bus punk boy (he was 15, i feel bad for crushing on him so hard) about his bullets and i decided that this conversation was more interesting than my headphones so i took it off. and i heard this gem:

poufy skirt: like, zima is really good, once you get the taste out of your mouth…

hot punk: oh gross, i only drink whiskey.

pink hair: yeah, like, i hung out with boys all summer, so all we drank was beer. and i got to like beer that way. and they taught me that if i ever met any boy who liked zima or hard lemonade i should punch him in the face!

ocean [wordlessly cringes at the implied homophobia]

pink hair: but then, like, i met alex, and alex drinks mike’s hard, but i didn’t punch him in the face because he’s gay! so he’s allowed to like mike’s hard. any straight boy, though, i’d punch them.

ocean [smiles]

[curtain]

man, what a marked difference from when i was fifteen. or, probably, from when you were fifteen. not that teenz aren’t still homophobic, but even liberal alternateens were still like “fag this” and “gay that” and the idea of any out gay kids–let alone out gay kids whose sexuality was treated as a non-issue–was kinda unthinkable. and i was only 15 a decade ago! wow.

in other gay news, my dad & sister came up and we had a bbq with some friends and my dad hung out with obvious gay couples and did not seem too upset about it, or upset at all. this may just be because he didn’t figure out that they were gay couples. my dad claims to not like gay people, but he has absolutely loved every faggot i’ve dragged home over the years, and most of the dykes too. but, even when it’s unbearably obvious that they’re gay, my dad chooses to not acknowledge this fact.

i was kinda dreading my dad’s visit, because i was like, “what the hell are we going to do?” but it actually turned out really fun. we bbq’ed, we told stories, we laughed, we went up the inclines, we dropped off my mom’s old bike at free ride, we watched football (or rather, my dad watched football & my sister & i read & we all talked during commercials). my hammock split completely, but other than that it was fun fun fun. my colon is full of cheap marshmallows and my recycling is full of beer cans. it was good hanging with my dad as two adults, as him being a guest in my home rather than the other way around, etc. my lil’ sister came to work with me and we went out to lunch and now she is wandering around oakland, probably pretending to be a student at pitt, and i’m sitting in this office doing pretty much nothing. oh fuggin’ well, right?

stupid human tricks

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i’m at work and currently protesting the fact that my boss’ daughter is a pain in my ass by wasting company time. hah! that’ll show her! i made hummus in my blender yesterday and it was a total disaster, maybe because my blender is on its way out. it’s about as old as i am. but what i could scrape from it was delish!

today i was sitting in a park at lunch, eating curry-lentil soup i made last night, having a very zen moment watching all the leaves fall off the trees. a bunch of teen boys started yelling about “the motherfucker in the hoodie”, who i can assume is me, as i didn’t see any other motherfuckers in hoodies that weren’t in their friend group. as they got closer to me, the tallest one exclaimed, “aw! he ain’t nothin’ but a FAGGOT!”, also, presumably about me.

being called the wrong slur is a weird experience. there’s an element of inside-joke-iness to it. like, “ha, you’re stupid and i’m smart because i know i’m not a faggot and you don’t!” i am a lover not a fighter so i didn’t do anything. i continued to read the paper (which i’d already finished & tossed aside, but i picked it up for some reason), which today included an article about a dude in butler county who is suing the factory he used to work for cuz they harrassed him all the time for being effeminate and gay; and how it was struck down because that’s not against the law.

they wandered away & i stopped caring. a little while later, a gaggle of middle schoolers wandered by. “hey baby! you’re ugly!” one of them screamed at me. this irked me more, because while i’m only a faggot in my wildest dreams, i am “ugly” by mainstream standards & i am reminded of this transgression daily. although, all in all, i don’t really care about either. i was an obnoxious middle schooler too once, i remember how it is. all that hostility has to be directed somewhere. why not at the ugly faggot sitting on a hill in the sunshine?

admit! admit! your shit!

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…or is that song lyric “admit YOU’RE shit”? who knows, it could be read both ways. it’s gorgeous out and i just got back from a job interview in the strip district for some shitty corporate job. the interview wasn’t a total bomb, but i’m pretty sure i didn’t get it, which is weird, because this job is mad shitty & you’d think they’d be desperate for peeps. oh well. it woulda been my ship coming in money-wise but it would have ruined my whole life time-wise, and even though i’m edging towards broke and perhaps should be a lil’ more of a groan-up, i really don’t want to give up any of my free time.

in other news, i would like to announce that i have, on FOUR separate occasions in the last three weeks, ridden my bike through dog shit! FOUR TIMES! i have been a commuter biker for 8 years and this has never happened to me. it’s even more frustrating because i loathe dogs so much. and what’s even more frustrating than THAT is the endless stream of people who judge me because i hate dogs. like, i spend a lot of my time trying to make the world a better place and i am generally a nice person, but no! wait! all of a sudden i am a horrible cruel heartless asshole; because i don’t enjoy being woken up by the most annoying noise on the planet, because i don’t like getting shit all over my shoes and bike tires, because i don’t like animals i don’t know shoving their noses in my crotch. seriously, people! i can not like dogs and still be a good person! really, i can. really, what companion animal i prefer says absolutely nothing about who i am as a person, despite what anyone may think.

that said, i do genuinely like this dog and think she is very nice and well-behaved. also, monica’s puppy (really, jessie’s puppy) was cute too. that said, i only have six minutes left on the library computer and it’s gorgeous out. GORGEOUS. so i am off to do better things! i wish i had someone to play in the leaves at arsenal park with. but my mp3 playa (thanks branden!) & the long slow walk down butler street ain’t too shabby, either

seems we lose the game before we even start to play

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friday i spent all day getting outraged at injustice. learning about torture that goes on in my very own state, paid for by my tax dollars (or that would be paid for with my tax dollars if i made enough $$ to be taxed–you know what i mean). reading a book put out by these amazing people while working a booksale for my prison book program. we made seventy bucks and we were jubilant. seventy bucks for the work we do changing peoples’ lives, for the work we do reminding the dehumanized that they are human, that there is some kind of hope. that same day, as i’m sure most of you know, wall street got $700 billion dollars for the fucked-up shit they do. this imbalance of power left me shaking with rage & speechless & choking. i am angry and scared and scared of my anger.
luckily, someone who gets it called unexpectedly as i was sitting in my house raging. we both spoke angrily & i think we both cried but tried not to show it. we’re tough girls, we don’t like crying, even when black prisoners are forced to sleep in a kkk-member-guard’s piss; even when black prisoners stay in prison fourteen fucking years after the dna tests prove they were innocent. i felt better and worse all at once after we hung up the phone. and went on to have a sunny happy weekend, which i guess is good. lots of bikes & pigeons & laughs & friends. still, though. still.