Monthly Archives: May 2010

all kinds of nervous, all kinds of strange.

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today i was riding my bike wearing a skirt because it was hella hot out and if i put a skirt over my work pants, under the bridge where my bike is usually parked, i can shimmy out of my work pants without looking too crazy or pervy or naked in public, and i can ride my bike the 4.5 miles home without my crotch being a total swampy disaster about halfway through; i don’t have to arrive home bathed in sweat and feeling like i’m gonna collapse. you’ll note that i say this like i do it every day, when today was the first time actually. and i was riding, feeling kinda exposed because i’m riding in a skirt, and even though i do it in a way that no one can see my undies i’m worried that they can see my inner thighs & i don’t want to give the men of the world a cheap vicarious thrill when i’m just trying to commute on home after another week in office-land.
so i saw these three late-teen boys on the sidewalk of the bridge i need to ride over, i was gonna have to pass right by them on the narrow little pathway, they were gonna see me, they were gonna say something, or so i thought, so before i got anywhere near them i thought of what to do if they said or looked or did anything. i thought i would get off my bike, glare at them and say, “i just put a curse on you! if you ever say anything like that to a woman, EVER AGAIN, your balls will shrivel up and fall off!” i was feeling just deranged enough to be able to say that to them. of course, they didn’t say anything or look at me, and really i was glad.
there was a sudden thunderstorm on the way home, and i went from being sweaty and sunny to soaked to the bone in literally three minutes, i mean i was as wet as i would be if i have just jumped into a pool with all my clothes on, but i don’t want to talk about that now. i want to talk about how i was having a casual conversation with a co-worker, a hilarious 50-something working-class white lady, and she was telling me about how her daughter’s friend snuck up behind her as a joke and she punched him so hard she knocked him out, just on instinct. and then she said, almost casually, i was raped by two men, that’s why i’m like that, and the weird part is that it wasn’t a surprise at all, in fact i was thinking that she had probably been raped or attacked, because people don’t just have that gut-crushing fear out of nowhere, for no reason. i didn’t know how to respond to that, and then someone interrupted us & we didn’t bring it up again.
i was just at a bar for less than five minutes, karaoke night at my local gay dive bar, i had to leave. it was too crowded and too full of people, and even though almost all of the people there were either strangers or friends of mine, and i knew that it was unlikely that anything truly bad would happen, i was feeling so insecure, so unattractive and so gross, and it was too loud to talk and i feel like the only reason anyone likes me is because they like what i have to say, which is a good reason and i’m happy for it; but once nobody can hear what i have to say then what’s the point of my even being there. and my sweetheart looked sad when i said i had to go, and i felt bad for him, i really did, but there was no way i could stay there another second and not completely die inside. he doesn’t get the self-hatred, the fear, and the deep deep sadness, because the world has treated him very, very differently than it has me; he doesn’t see the minefields in a crowded bar. and currently i have 40 hours a week of social interactions that make me absolutely hate myself, and even just one more was too much. so i left, and here i am, and i feel like such a loser but there was absolutely nothing else to be done.

public transit can be so emotional sometimes.

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okay, so, my job made me go to this weird bogus software training downtown (for some software that i not only do not use, but will actually eventually replace my job! but whatevs, if allegayny cunty wants to pay me to go i’ll go). i took an hour of personal time so i wouldn’t have to schlep all the way back to the office again, and headed home on the bus. it’s been a while since i’ve ridden the bus in the middle of the afternoon, and it was nice to be amongst a crew of oddballs instead of the usual commuters i am cheek-to-jowl with.
anyway, a hetero couple got on the bus, and you could tell by looking at their faces that their lives were just terrible. the guy was wearing a tank top and pressing a paper towel to his upper arm. i naively assumed that he’d just gotten a tattoo. but he sat down and took the paper towel off, and there was what looked like a fairly fresh stabwound on his arm. actually, it looked exactly like my arm did when i cut it very deeply when i was on wellbutrin in 1999 (you know, years before they disapproved using it on teenagers because it makes teenagers suddenly commit suicide for no reason? slicing my arm, and seeing a little bit of the inside, was enough to shock me out of the scary numb disassociative state i was in, and made me stop taking that fucking drug. my psychiatrist screamed at me and said i didn’t know what was best for myself. i kind of wonder if i would still be alive if i were a more obedient person….aaanyway…).
so, the entire bus saw this oozing, large-ish wound on this guy’s arm and semi-quietly freaked out. i just couldn’t stop staring at him, my newspaper sitting on my lap, unread. his female companion had to take a different seat than him because the bus was so damn crowded, and when he sat down he put his head on the seat in front of him, and when he leaned over you could see the deep, bloody scratches in his back. everyone was just watching this guy. teens next to me loudly speculated on the origin of the stabwound, an older woman spoke passionately to another older woman in american sign language, gesturing towards the man. the lady sipped a pepsi, looking forlorn, and the man would occasionally reach a desperate hand across the aisle, take a sip, and then hand it back. at one point, she caressed his forearm in a gesture so full of love that it nearly made me weep, that tiny thimbleful of sweetness in the giant sea of agony. when it was time for him to get off he struggled to his feet and then leaned down, with great effort, and kissed her, then stumbled off the bus. his shirt was covered in sweat and blood, and i could hear the lady saying to her seat-mate, “i’m a wreck now. just a wreck.” his seat stayed empty, still empty when i clambered off a few blocks later.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
okay, i probably had something else to say, but i forgot, so i will share some things i’ve found on the internet lately. first, mushycat has the dubious distinction of making some of the only 1″ buttons that i actually want to wear. i would have DIED if this had existed when i was 15!

and i just downloaded a whole bunch of riot grrrl/queercore rarities here we’re talking, like, huggy bear’s first 7″! be still my damn heart!

here is a moving, heartwrenching, well-written and devastating blog entry about aiyana jones, the 7 year old girl who was murdered by detroit cops in her sleep.

and finally, mattilda bernstein sycamore’s blog is so damn good. i read it during my 2-hour phone shift at work, and often when i’m not at work i’m like, “where is that really good book i was reading….oh, it’s not a book” (yet, anyway). heartstopping writing, critical & radical and just so damn good.

you tell them tough guys we tougher than tough times.

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so, i co-opted my boyfriend’s camera (because i foolishly, foolishly sat on mine months ago and have been unable to take any pictures) and i have some pictures of some fun things that have happened. because there have been some really fucking cool things mixed in with the angsty.

like the freakin’ mayday parade! this picture is of a beautiful mermaid float/puppet that somebody made. really, the parade was so damn good, a bunch of freaks marching through polish hill, which is already a magical neighborhood. i don’t know, the energy was just so damn good that i took my shirt off.

my good friend alyssa joined me in shirtlessness. i fucking love public spaces that feel safe enough to take my damn shirt off. of course, it wasn’t really safe, several dudes looked at my rack in a gross way, so i put my shirt back on. hmph. but all in all it was fucking amazing.

and last weekend was so good too. ray & amanda & i roadtripped to buffalo, which is a charming city and so close to canada that it inspired me to get my passport! (as a sidenote, on my passport application i wrote “allegheny cunty” under my employer (my employer’s true name is allegheny cOunty), and giggled to myself forever. i really hope that whatever hapless government employee types my passport info [girlfriend, i hear ya] either doesn’t catch the “error” or else chuckles and doesn’t care and puts it on there.)
whilst in buffalo, amanda & i rode the world’s best bike. here i am embedding this blog’s first ever video because ray took a video of us instead of a picture and, well, it must be seen to be believed! it’s sideways, sorry, but still pretty fucking amazing.

oh, i swore i’d never embed a video on this blog. anyway, this bike is officially called the “sociable” and apparently was popular on victorian dates. it’s also a great conversation starter in 2010; people just can’t help but talk to you when you clamber along, giggling hysterically, on a bike like that.

on the way home we stopped in meadville, pa, at amanda’s “favorite tourist attraction”:

the art program at a local college somehow got ahold of a lot of spare PENNDOT signs and this is the result. fucking amazing.



ray & i seriously never get tired of taking pictures of him in front of things that say “trans”. this is right next to the meadville thing.

on that note, look at this totally crazy graffiti we found on a boxcar in maryland a few months ago! neither one of us wrote this, we just found it!!

also here are all four heart shaped ‘za tattoos together 4 ever! okay, i’m done.

i haven’t danced in so long.

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hello friends. lately i’ve been doing stuff i swore i’d never do, like yesterday. we actually got the interweb at home! i usually avoid such things, because i have very addictive behavior towards the internet and every time i have easy access to it, i don’t really do much else with my life. however, since, a) my job blocks my email and i do need to check that on occasion, b) i’m no longer on any social networking websites (well, active ones, anyway–my myspace profile is still alive & well, as is my friendster) and c) i’m really not doing much with my life anyway at the moment, we decided to bite the damn bullet and get it. it came with a landline, which i’m ridiculously excited about. i’ve seriously wanted a landline for years and years, but it never worked out. hooray!
anyway, now i’m writing a blog entry from my living room, for the first time (for this particular blog, anyway). i have the day off work because it’s primary election day & it’s my first weekday off since february where i’m in town & feeling well, so i’m gonna apply for a passport & get tattooed at o’ryan’s house and maybe chop all of my hair off again. i don’t know who am kidding, trying to be a longhair.
work is pretty draining. the situation i’m in isn’t super terrible, per se, it’s just alienating & boring & everything i don’t want to be doing. i feel so, so much like i’m in high school again! except i get paid, and i am drowning out my classmates/co-workers voices with an ipod instead of a cassette walkman. it still feels just as good to blast “white boy” by bikini kill after listening to stupid white men drone on & on all fucking day. it’s frustrating for me because i get labeled as “shy” and “boring” just because i don’t feel the need to share the most mundane details of my life at top volume, like everybody else at work. whenever i have something to say, i take a minute to think if the person i’m talking to will be interested, and if the answer is no, i’ll keep it to myself. (that rule doesn’t apply on this blog, because you’re making the choice to read it!) i really don’t think that this is a really radical concept, but you’d think i were getting fellated on a cross by my co-workers reactions. people seriously tell me the details of their pets’ and kids’ bathroom habits, their conversations with their plumbers, plot synopses of TV shows i have never expressed an interest in….and yet i am considered the socially uncouth one because i try and limit what i have to say. in the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively minor prob, i know, but it still drives me fucking crazy.
last weekend was fucking awesome, though. i went to buffalo with ray & amanda, and then ray & i continued on to geneseo, ny for my sister’s graduation. the student speaker was really radical and awesome, delivering a rousing speech about how things in this country are really fucked up, and people were on their feet and screaming and cheering and crying, it was so fucking good. and i camped by one of the finger lakes and hung out with my sister and my whole family, all five of us, ate dinner together–something that probably hasn’t happened in a decade, and we all got along, which was nice.
oh, and i was using a bathroom at a straight-college-kid environment, and i heard a man and a woman talking shit outside the door:
woman: “i have to wait because there’s a *guy* in the woman’s room!”
man: “ugh, some people.”
woman [giggles nervously]: “well, i THINK it’s a guy.”
man: “Yeah, you never know. sometimes i’m so sure it’s a guy, and then it’s not. ugh!”

so, i’d been reading lynnee breedlove’s book “one freak show” all afternoon, which talks extensively about funny/creative ways to deal with the gender police in public bathrooms, and i couldn’t let this one slide. so, after i exited the bathroom, i went up to the motherfuckers & said, in the most fake-cheerful voice i could muster, “hi, i just wanted to let you know that i heard everything you said about me. and just so you know, i know how to read, and i know what bathroom to use.” then i turned on my heel and walked back to the table, where my dad, his wife, my sister & my boyfriend were nonchalantly eating. my boyfriend said i was “white as a sheet” and i was shaking and upset. i couldn’t talk about it in front of my dad, of course, and even less so in front of his wife, but when ray & jill & i were driving to the campsite i told them & they were super supportive and it made me feel a lot better.
i have more to say, but i need to go.

here are a few good things that i found on the internet.

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because friday at work is better known as “a day to get paid to have inane conversations & read things on the internet.”

this totally warmed my heart! it’s a gallery of lesbian prom pictures, posted in response to the whole gay mississippi prom controversy. sooo cute!

did you know that archie comics now has a gay character?!? did you know that archie comics was even still being published? i certainly didn’t.

and finally, this post says everything i want to say about frustrating hipsters (white college-educated people who live in bed-stuy and think it’s funny to throw gang signs in your fucking facebook pictures, i’m talking to you) and their incredibly fucked up racial politics, but it says it about 20 times better than i could.

i’ll actually write something soon, promise.