Category Archives: wingnuts

leaving the house. it’s a good idea!

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so, yesterday i went out to get beer. i’d actually been out of the house all day. i was calm during two situations that shoulda been stressful (job interview, old ladiez throwing shade at the PLP) and stressed out during something that wasn’t a big deal (hanging out with punx! aaaah!!). feeling shaky. hyperventilating a little bit on BART, which i normally don’t do. needed something to take the edge off and sometimes beer is the least self-harming.

so! i drank my friend’s last beer and then headed to the corner store by myself, to get more. on the way, a boy-girl couple with an acoustic guitar sang a song about me. just about my outfit and how we were all walking down the street together. i turned around and sang, “ohmigod, i thought i was just stepping out for a beer…” and the girl interrupted and said, “follow us!” in a way that matched the tone and music perfectly. “but now you’re singing a song about me,” i sang, “and i’m so glad to be here…” we all smiled at each other and then walked in the store, like old friends. the girl kept singing that i am beautiful, but i think she was just trying to manipulate me into buying them a beer. i don’t know. it’s hard to tell.

inside the corner store they got weird. it was clear they were huge drunks and getting kinda rowdy and a little offensive. they told the corner store guy to fuck off because they thought he was charging too much and i just felt embarrassed. especially because he isn’t! i felt the need to apologize for them when it was my turn. he smiled sheepishly and said, “oh, i don’t care. i don’t know them. and you get all kinds of people in here…good, bad…” i could tell that my apologizing made him feel better, and that made me happy.

i walked home with a totebag of beer and into another sweet adventure. the night air felt great and full of possibility. it’s not too cold yet.

super moon & mayday & love & living.

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whoa, this weekend was off the CHAIN! i don’t think i’ve ever had a day like the one i had on friday. or saturday.

friday was the mayday variety show in bloomfield. i had one of those moments, sitting in a sweaty clump surrounded by friends, watching etta and suzy on stage–suzy dressed like a beautiful & strange & ethereal tree, etta draped in christmas lights. i tried to take a picture with my phone, but of course it doesn’t capture the moment at all–suzy is a mass of blinding white light (aura?). but it was one of those moments, so safe and cozy, where i realized how desperately i will miss all this, that weird magic that i’ve only found in pittsburgh. how will i live without it, & what will happen to my heart? i don’t know. but i guess i’ll find out. i guess i’ll manage.

i read marge piercy’s poem “for two women shot to death in brookline, massachusetts” which got a good response. it was the first time i’ve read that poem aloud and not cried at the last stanza, which was good because i hate crying in public, but also a little strange. i blame the anti-depressants. & it’s a relief to take a vay-cay from being over-emotional but it’s a little strange too! anyway. the guy who went after me gave marshmallows to the audience & we all threw them at him & he tried to catch them in his mouth while jumping rope. i love that these two acts can co-exist side-by-side & i love that people cheered for us both.

afterwards there was a punk show under the bridge & people got arrested. don’t want to say anything besides that here. walking back to larryville to get my bike, i ran into j. who was fleeing a hipster bar and we drunkenly played on the playground.

the next day was the mayday parade! no time for 8 hours of sleep, just go go go! oatmeal, coffee, sunscreen. sequinned gold booty shorts. bike up that damn hill, fast, that hill that used to seem so imposing and impossible. herron ave, you ain’t no thing anymore, my thighs are practically machines now, you don’t fuckin’ scare me. made it there in time, lots of good people and fabulous costumes, gorgeously decorated umbrellas, amazing vibes. i passed this along the way:

& it was so appropriate. i felt like i was living up to the urgings of this little metal doodad chained to a random polish hill fence. & then a bbq full of delicious free food. jail solidarity meeting, we decided to head down there. i went home to change out of my booty shorts, shower, and frantically cook and bake. released prisoners need food, jail solidarity people also need food. lentils and peanutbutter oatmeal cookies.

the tone was serious at the jail but the vibes were good. we commandeered a corner, set up our food and umbrellas, making each other laugh throughout this shitty circumstance. don’t forget to bring beautiful things to ugly places.

i can’t even describe how jail solidarity was, so i won’t. all you need to know is that i accidentally brought a lady bug into the jail and felt terrible. a wild bunny visited us. we all had each others’ backs. i made so many new pals! i was there for 7 hours, some people were there for 12+. waiting until everyone gets out. nobody left behind. the day felt like it had months of activity crammed into it. like we lived and laughed and cried and raged enough for it to count for at least a month.

i crapped out before everyone got out, but i was there for the first 3, and it was so good, marching towards them twirling the umbrellas, their huge smiles at seeing us. M and P and some boy i don’t know & i were all watching the supermoon from the upper corner of the parking lot. the jail almost obscured it, but it couldn’t. it couldn’t reach that high. the eerie light made the glass-y weed-y parking lot gorgeous. M said, “i’m always going to remember this,” in a way that makes you notice. makes you look around at what’s going on, makes you aware that you’re really living it.

this little poem was propped up against the light pole when i got there. i like to think that it wasn’t one of our crew who placed it there, i like to think it was a random person who believed in words and synchronicity and strangeness. who believed in the power of little, tiny things like this. because we all know it’s the little things, right?

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that i had a really good birthday party! comprised of my dad & sister, housecleaning stress, over 90 cans of beer (cuz that’s how we roll in my family, i guess), all my favorite people in pgh, this amazing cake:

(sorry, i can’t flip this photo. i feel like a dumbass for admitting it, but it’s true) (but isn’t that cake amazing?!?!?) (even more amazing: it’s gluten free. even MORE amazing, it was partially inspired by my okcupid username, which is “bravelittlonion”).

there were lots of stories and laughing hysterically and too many things to write about. like all good parties, it ended with me drunkenly drilling a xylophone onto a utility pole. i don’t have any pics of the event, but here’s a picture of my sister playing the xylophone this morning, with my dad in the background:

30, here i come. thanks to everyone who helped me get this far. ❤

talkin’ shit about a pretty sunset. blanket & opinions that i’ll probably regret soon.

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this is what the view out my kitchen window occasionally looks like.

yesterday i was bikin’ up the hill and some teen boys were like, “damn, look at her go! how does she do that?” i sincerely regret not turning around and saying, “cuz i’m a toughass motherfucker, that’s how!” but i couldn’t figure out if they were making fun of me or not. i think this will be one of the major pitfalls of my life. not knowing when peeps are makin’ fun & when they’re serious.

weekend knuckle tattoos, part 6?

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hello from the lower east side! i am sitting in my sister’s purple bedroom, waiting for her to get back from the doctor’s. i’m here for the feminist zine fest in brooklyn and sorta-my-dads-birthday-even-though-he-doesn’t-celebrate-it-because-he-is-depressed-about-getting-older and general why-not-ness. so many good people to see and so little time to do it! but it’s ok, i can try.

i drew these knuckle tats on the megabus yesterday. surrounded by a bunch of whiny, healthy, well-groomed college kids. i got two seats to myself because i look weird. hooray. the tats are an unconscious reference to an awesome drawing by my friend o’ryan, and also, of course, because i was headed “home”. but is new york my home? no, i don’t think it is anymore. i miss the people i know but not the city so much. i kind of wish i was at my actual home, but i’m glad to be away. i know getting away is important. trying hard not to forget that.

since i deleted my facebook, i have nowhere else to put this useless-yet-compelling info…

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my little sister is on a fashion blog! so proud of you jill!!! thanks for the tip, arth (and commenter #4, you are boring. plz find something better to do than writing paragraph-long critiques of strangers’ outfits. thanks).

i am SO HAPPY i deleted facebook! i hate facebook, what was i thinking? less internet time is always better. and i don’t need social networking, i have the phone #s of most of the people in this city who care about me. all i need is a little heat, a pot of chili, a few gossip girl dvds and a stack of library books and a few good friends. and i can make it through the winter. that’s more than most people have. i can stay in my apartment and heal my brain and face and heart. i can get sober. i can be strong all by myself, i know i can.

the first sentence of my horoscope this week says, “you are almost free.” it resonated with me.

i had a really fun hour-long interaction with two francophone clients and google translate. they weren’t even my clients, but i wasn’t doing anything so i tried to step in. they were really sweet. i said, “je suis desolee, mon francais es mauvais!” and the lady said, “tres bien, mon soeur!” hahaha. (translation: me: i am sorry, my french is bad!” her: very good, my sister!) it was odd and sweet in a way i can’t even explain here.

are you sitting in a room that is heated or cooled to a comfortable temperature right now? if you are, please appreciate it. please.

things people have given me today: a soft pretzel, a beautiful CD, backhanded compliments about my hat, and hugs (1, from jessie).

i have to go now!

now the cities we live in, they could be distant stars

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feeling better today. woke up early and walked 2 miles to my old job to say hey to the ladies there, because i promised i would when i got a chance. now’s the chance. walking there i tiptoed down the crumbling city steps, through the trash filled woods. i thought of _________ and how much she’d like these steps, because i know her well enough to know that she likes old things, fucked up things, she likes being surrounded by woods in the city. but i don’t think she’ll ever visit me here and so i’ll never get to show her. i also thought about ******, about clambering down these steps with him at night, hand-in-hand, climbing up other steps, whispering tired secrets in the night air, getting completely lost but not caring. that was less than a month ago & now things are so different. what the fuck? how was that only a month? it was years & years & years. that self doesn’t exist anymore. how? i don’t know.

i’ve decided some force larger than myself is keeping me here. last monday i found out my job was getting cut back, but i was like, “oh, i can still do a drug study!” and…less than 72 hours later i had a concussion. no drug studies for me. fate is trying to tell me something & it’s my job to listen. so no running away. not yet.

i went to my old job, the one i hated, and got such a warm welcome. sat around for an hour or so shootin’ the shit with middle aged secretaries. it was nice. who knew. i walked back to the library the long, scenic route. i remembered the first time i walked it, after my interview, where i played “let it be” by the beatles on my ipod and felt very much on the right path, very connected, very sure. this time was nothing like that. i can’t listen to headphones because they are too much for my scrambled brain (really) so i sang to myself, which was nice in a different way. “tainted love” by soft cell and “suburban war” by arcade fire, if you’re wondering. it’s kind of nice being a daytime weirdo. library-lurker. walk-taker. everyone else in the library at mid-day is a little bit off, too. i like it.

a few other things.

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i would also like to say HOW FUCKING DISTURBING it is how many random men have gone out of their way to say that i’m pretty now that i have BRUISES ALL OVER MY FUCKING FACE. SO DISTURBING. and so upsetting. and so….yeah, it’s only been like 3 people, but it’s also only been like 3 days.  pgh really doesn’t have a holla-at-you-on-the street kind of culture going on. and i’m not most guys’ cup of tea–which i’m fine with–so i often don’t get told that i’m pretty on the street. but now that i look like someone punched me in the face, i’m pretty…..

SO. FUCKED. UP.

anyway. i am a little scared about my brain. i am so happy that nothing worse happened. so happy that i just lost my phone, my water bottle, and my weekend–not my tooth, bone, or life. and now i have a new phone.

the last time i hit my head really hard i was depressed for months afterwards. i am so scared it’ll happen again. what will i do. who will look out for me. how will i survive. i don’t know, i mean, i know there is always some way. but i’m scared. scared of a lot of things.

i have a lot more i want to say here. i’m almost done with my new zine. i thought the bay area was closed to me but i JUST got an amazing opportunity RIGHT NOW as i am typing this. so who knows. who knows. saaaaaaaaaaturn motherfuckin’ return! oh what a cruel teacher you are, but what a sweet tour guide as well.

road full of promise, head full of doubt.

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on thursday, i had a really fucking good day, light-hearted at work, sweet people left & right, and a really meaningful convo with a young trans client that i think changed both of our lives a little bit. and after that, i ran home and packed and headed out to philly in a car full of queers. i was wearing my super fun adventure hat that i liberated from target last weekend. it’s a tiny cowboy hat that sits on a headband, cocked at an unlikely angle. every day that i’ve worn it has been fun! and this was no exception. at a rest stop in nowheresville PA a suuuuper gay employee chirped, “well aren’t you cute! i love that hat!” and it made my night.

friday i rode bikes around philly with steph & danny. we ate the most delicious sweet potato fries and read in the warm comfort of giovanni’s room, my fave queer bookstore in america, i think. maybe the only one i’ve ever been to that’s still standing? i love that fucking place. and it was so cozy, reading books with two good friends, so far away from home. the day was bright and sunny and i was kinda sad because philly brings up sad things for me, but we laughed and rode around the schuykill river, on the trail, and it was super good. that night i got real drunk and ate some delicious mexican food at carey’s mom’s house, i told stories and worked shit out with someone i love. and then stayed up until 5am dancing and talking with rob & carey. i love my philly friends, we’ve been through so much together and they really feel like my family.

saturday i puked. all day. i forget i can’t drink like i used to. i felt better around 7pm and we all went out again around 10. i didn’t drink, but i did have a random man pet my red fake fur jacket and yell, “man, i want to cover my whole house with this shit! it’s like the 70’s all over again!” he also lifted his shirt to reveal his stomach tattoo that said, “BEST FUCK EVER.” i was like, “ooo….kay.” i just didn’t even know what to do, because he wasn’t even being creepy up until that point.

on sunday we went home, but not before making a brief appearance at the philly zine fest. steph, danny & i pranced from the car to the rotunda singing “party in the USA” by miley cyrus at the top of our lungs. while we were doing this, i found a checkbook smeared with blood, with a cryptic phrase written on the back (which i’ve already forgotten.) i hugged j.bee and sari and talked to them for like 5 minutes each before i hustled myself back into the car for the long drive home. i came home to peace & quiet & it was so nice. i realized that this is the first time i’ve left town in nearly 2 years where i haven’t been worrying the whole time that my partner is cheating on me & i’m gonna come home to a shitshow. it is SO NICE to just come home to exactly what i expected. it is SO NICE to not have to worry about that.

yesterday i woke up to a text from my mother saying my dad’s dead best friend had come to her in a dream and said, “someone is trying to kill you.” it startled her awake. my mom, like me, is slightly psychic–not enough to predict things with any regularity, but enough to feel kinda crazed. yesterday i shared a meaningful handshake with a heartbroken stranger and got interviewed by a canadian journalist about riot grrrl (!!).

today is still young. something happened at work that had me crying in the bathroom at 9am about the unfairness of the fucking world. and now it’s my lunch break. the urge to write is stronger than the urge to eat, sometimes.

how i live now.

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i brew nettle tea to help with exhaustion & fatigue. i’m doing too much & feeling both weary and exhilarated. i haven’t turned my heat on yet because even though i am fully aware that i have the money to pay a gas bill i still have a scarcity mentality going on. still this little voice in my head that says, “no! you have to hold out until thanksgiving! we can’t pay this, we can’t pay this!” i usually draw the line at when i can see my breath inside, but i crossed that line weeks ago and i still refuse to hit that switch. playing a demented game of chicken with myself. at night i tunnel into my mummy sleeping bag and squirm around my bed like a happy little larva. i sleep in the middle of my queensized bed. it seems inconceivable that i ever shared it with anyone.

all day i see people whose heat is off, not by choice. when they say it’s not possible to stay in a house without heat i don’t want to contradict them. i get to look them in the eyes and tell them that they make too much money for our program because our funding’s been cut, and the funding of everyone who is trying to help anyone has been cut. that’s my job. explain. sugar coat. smile. apologize. who the fuck am i helping? anyone?

they cry at my desk a lot. i try not to.

i got a shot of real love on friday, a beautiful hug across my desk  from a client, after a good conversation. about asking for help & how it’s hard, especially when you’re strong. but you gotta do it sometimes. you can’t do it alone. after i had all her forms filled out and we were done speaking she asked for a hug. i hesitated but then said ok, and she swept me into her arms and held me. and, oh, it was real love. REAL LOVE. i understood so much within the confines of that hug. it changed my fucking life.

i can’t remember her name.

the house is cold but i’m writing a little bit. it’s a mess but who cares. not me. so big. so much space. i oscillate between ferocious happiness leaking out of every pore & an unspeakable sadness. trying to remember that it’s better to feel things than not. better to push yourself. on september 28th i wrote something on this blog about how i knew every day that i struggled up the hill that was taking me to my neighborhood, my legs were getting stronger. november 7th and i can make it up the hill, unless i’m drunk or really tired. i fixed my bike, that helped. but some of it came from me too. don’t forget that. don’t.