Monthly Archives: November 2010

dead phones, highways, new pathways, new cities


hello. my thanksgiving weekend began with some vietnamese food with good people, and then i went home and used the bathroom afterwards and my phone came tumbling out of my too-tight skinny jeans into the unflushed toilet. wamp wamp. i reached in and picked it out anyway, because obviously i still need my phone and also i’m not gonna flush it down the toilet and clog our plumbing. so. i let it dry out and then i put the battery back in. worked for 20 minutes and then it turned off and wouldn’t turn back on again.

the end of an era! the end of this crappy phone. BUT. later it turned on again. it was possessed, it kept typing the same numbers over and over again on the screen, without me doing anything, going into my contacts and fucking them up with the same numbers. at one point it typed, “F 850580580580580580580 Y.” and then stopped, and i, being the person that i am, was like, “OMG! is my phone trying to tell me ‘fuck you’?” i mean, it wouldn’t be unjustified. how many times have i said that to my phone, how many times have i used it to call someone and say, “sorry i missed your call, my phone didn’t ring or vibrate, it really sucks…” revenge!

i think i’m gonna go phoneless for a little bit. i have a landline, i’ll be fine, and it’s not like i really have much of a social life these days. it’s nice to detox from texting, not have a radioactive box in my hip pocket all the time.

thanksgiving was strange this year, fun but not fun, after all the festivities i read issues of “doris” aloud to the empty house, not the whole thing just the parts that said the things i couldn’t say, or didn’t think to say, and i cried a lot. i was a little drunk but mostly just weird. it made me feel better than any kind of self-care thing i’ve done in a long time.

ray & i went to cleveland for a little bit, not for any real reason, just that it’s the closest major city to pgh and we wanted to get away but didn’t have time to go anywhere further away. i used to be really good friends with a girl who lived there, and she didn’t answer my email but i still had a good time without her (although not AS good a time). we ate yummy food and watched a ridiculous drag show and met a boy that we both thought was really cute but seemed too gay to take home with us and went to the big beautiful library, read zines and graphic novels while looking out on the huge, gray, expansive great lake (superior? i forget. don’t feel like looking it up). we waited for two hours at melt bar and grilled, the all-grilled-cheese restaurant (an hour and a half wait for a table and then a half-hour wait for our food) and still felt like it was worth it. omg, that place rulez, and it’s long been a secret dream of ray’s to open an all-grilled-cheese cafe. (tragically, he recently learned that he’s allergic to wheat gluten! although he broke edge for melt because how could he not).

it was really good for me to go to another city, think about how life could be somewhere else, just be in a place with a different vibe. cleveland and pittsburgh aren’t THAT different, they’re both depressed rust belt cities “making a comeback”, both have lots of abandoned industrial buildings, cheap rent, cheap drinks, amazing libraries. but cleveland has a real subway (!) and more of a big city vibe, lots of punnily-named businesses and hundreds of thousands of people we don’t know. it was nice, even though i’m sick now, and work looms large & scary tomorrow, i feel so much better.

to be honest, i’m mostly posting to move those pictures of myself down the screen a little.


this weekend was really bad, in terms of mental health. i haven’t felt this crazy in a long time. things got really awful and then they got better, like a thunderstorm and then it’s over.

ray thinks that it’s “post-partum depression” from my book, and also that maybe editing my book, which is very, very loosely based on my younger, crazier years (everyone who reads it assumes it’s an autobiography, but there are maybe 5 pages worth of events in the whole 200+ page manuscript that actually happened to me; the rest is fiction! fiction! fiction! and if it “sounds like me,” well duh, that’s because i wrote it!), is reminding me of all the fun parts of those times, and not how fucking hard it was. and it’s making me kind of sad that that part of my life is over & i’m in this easier-but-duller stretch.

i think i’m sad because i struggle every day in a world that hates me and because i spend 35 hours a week sitting in a room with people who very, very obviously don’t like me, even though they don’t know a damn thing about me, because i don’t look like them and i don’t share their fucked up opinions and, no matter how much i try to clean up there is always something that’s a little, little off….and it is hard to be in that environment without internalizing it in some way. without feeling like maybe there is something wrong with you, maybe you are all the bad things that people have been calling you for literally your entire fucking life, maybe that sweet voice inside of you, that fire burning steadily, maybe that was wrong and they’re all right. and oh, doesn’t that just make you wish you were dead? of course it does.

but i’ve been taking care. calling friends, reading inspiring zines, screaming when i’ve gotta scream, mending bridges, reminding myself that they haven’t gotten me yet. and that’s all i can do. i don’t know anything else.




203 pages (in 12-pt font. the version i’m holding is in 8pt font, and printed double-sided, so it’s deceptively slim!)

72,954 words

July 2006-November 2010 (about two and a half years of actually working in that time period, the rest hemming and hawing. Maybe it wasn’t even two and a half years of  work, i don’t know!)

i just wrote the ending about an hour ago! or, rather, i came to realize that i’d known the ending, and i transcribed it.

who’s a cute little baby?!? okay, i kind of hate it when women compare the writing process to giving birth, but it’s kinda similar, in a way. (i’ve heard more than one man compare the writing process to taking a shit. any way you look at it, it’s a mess.) holding this squirmy baby novel in my arms though, i definitely feel fuckin’ elated.

oh hello, it’s been a while


i’ve been working on my new zine, processing a lot of heating assistance applications, embarking on a few stupid mis-adventures that i can’t complain about on this public forum but would really really like to, reading a lot, spending quality time with my sweetheart & a few friends, and trying to get enough sleep.
also, i haven’t really had a lot to talk about. but i do have a good story from yesterday.
i was hanging out at kelsey’s house, watching queer movies and talking, and her cat was whining for food, so she fed him some treats out of this bag:

(trust me, this visual is important to the story). i looked at the brand name, in the orange box in the center, which is very similar to my given last name (capewell), and declared, “i’m gonna change my name to ocean catswell!” we giggled.
a little while later, my boyfriend ray came over, after driving all the way from maryland, to pick me up so we could go to a friend’s going-away party. he came in and was in cat-petting bliss, and he went to feed the cat some treats too. i handed him the bag, and said, “this is what i’m changing my last name to!”, tapping my finger on the orange box.
ray got a confused look on his face, and said, in a befuddled voice, “happy hips?” kelsey & i cracked the fuck up, ray eventually realized his error and joined us in hysteria land. i am still giggling thinking about it.