Category Archives: work

workin’ all day in my daddy’s garage, drivin’ all night just to some mirage


probably the best thing that happened all week was this: driving with 3 of my co-workers to this truly bizarre mandatory event, everybody was talking about men, or the lack therof, in their lives. one of my co-workers–a sweet 60-something grandma–declared, “one of my friends says i ain’t ever gonna have another boyfriend. she says, ‘all you want a man for is fucking!’ and i said to her, ‘i don’t need no man for fucking! i can do that all by myself!!!!'” i was so happy, you have no idea.
i think i’m gonna come out with another zine soon-ish. i don’t know if anyone will want to read it, it’s going to be really intense and scary, i think. i am one of those people who is popular when they’re feeling good, but nobody can deal with the flip side.
i need a new life plan. this current one isn’t really working.
here are the best search terms that have found this blog in the past 30 days:
1. “rtypester”
2. “love to be wet inside deep and deep inner”
3. “why is the 44 bus so crowded lately?”
4. “keep moving hold me down house”
5. “mom’s going to be mad at tattoo”
6. “lost glasses, feel stupid”


what happened at work today.


i got up to make copies and when i came back some co-workers were clustering around my desk (my desk is right by the main door, so people often stop there to chat, which is sometimes okay and sometimes awful.) one of my co-workers (i work for chil*d protectiv*e s*ervices) (asterisks so it won’t come up on google) was in the middle of some lengthy story about how she was helping a client escape her abusive boyfriend, who’d done some horrible thing or other to her, helping her go to a women’s shelter, and right as they were leaving she turned around to him and said, “i’ll call you later!”
as if this wasn’t bad enough, one of my least favorite co-workers was there, and of course he had to open his big fucking mouth. this guy is an early-30’s white guy who thinks he’s really funny, in an offensive-standup-comedian way (which is my least fave kinda humor). he’s pretty popular around the office, but i think he’s an asshole (i, in case you hadn’t already guessed, am pretty damn unpopular around the office).
his response? i am not kidding, this is a pretty much verbatim quote: “these fucking women always go back to their man that hits ’em. you know what i fuckin’ wish? i wish that all these moms who are in these abusive relationships–i think the best case scenario would be if her boyfriend just fuckin’ killed her. then she’d be dead, no more babies for us to take, he’d be in prison for life, and the kids would get adopted into a nice happy family and just forget all this shit.” I AM NOT KIDDING, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID.
and do you know what my co-workers did? the motherfuckers LAUGHED. they thought it was FUNNY.
i sat at my desk poker-faced, stuffing envelopes like nothing was wrong. i thought about a lot of things. i thought, “fuck you, motherfucker, what do you know about being a woman? what do you know about all the millions of things that tell us you ain’t shit if you don’t have a man?” i seriously thought about just screaming, “FUCK ALL OF YOU ASSHOLES, that isn’t fucking funny!” and gathering up my things and running out and leaving them with all my work to do. never coming back, ever.
i didn’t do that. why? because i didn’t want the opinion that women’s lives are worth saving to be forever tied to “that crazy girl that ran the fuck out one day.” because i had just had a very expensive medical procedure done the day before & feared my insurance wouldn’t cover it. because i was so angry i knew once i opened my mouth i’d just be able to say FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. because i know they don’t give a shit about anything, because compassion has no place in their worlds, and anything i say or do doesn’t matter. because i didn’t trust myself to not break anything and i didn’t want the cops called. because i am afraid, of my own voice, of my own power. and, last but not least, because i didn’t want them to see me cry.
so i sat there, i fucking sat there, as emotionless as a glass of water, i turned my ipod up to drown out his voice (because of course he didn’t stop there.) tried to remember that they’re the crazy ones. tried to remember that compassion is a good thing, even if it is woefully unpopular. mostly i just struggled not to cry. that’s all work is, these days, one lengthy struggle to not fucking cry. i held off until my lunch break, wept under the mulberry tree at the bus stop while listening to bruce springsteen. after work i got the cutest tattoo ever at my friend o’ryan’s house (pictures to follow once it’s healed) and then ate thai food and had a good time and then came home and cried in my lover’s arms. he was sympathetic and i felt better. only a little more than a month to get through, until i save my money, until i quit.

what are you, changing? who do you think you’re changing? you can’t change things, we’re all stuck in our ways.


hello! i changed the appearance of this blog because i decided the font was too small & it looked uninviting. this new theme is a little bit weird too. but, oh, who cares.
i am so excited about quitting my job in august/september! really i’m hoping they’ll just fire me, because i’m on probation until august 16. but until then i am saving frantically and trying to make it through. suuuuper excited about the potential of riding to DC with my sweetheart! it’ll be really hard, but hopefully worth it. i’ve never really liked DC that much as a city, but i think it’ll be cool to hang out there for a little while (we have a free place to stay for as long as we want) and just be somewhere that isn’t pittsburgh. i haven’t left pittsburgh for longer than five days since i moved here three years ago! and that’s just nutty.
this has been a rough week, but now that it’s the weekend i feel eons better. on thursday my co-workers were being lighthearted about that guy in utah who’s about to be executed by firing squad, and someone said something like, “he’s been living large off OUR [yeah, because we really live in fucking utah!] tax dollars for 25 years! that’s so unfair!” etc.
i couldn’t take it anymore and yelled, “when you’re on death row, nobody is allowed to touch you, talk to you, or look at you! and you get fed like, 40 cents worth of food a day!” everyone looked at me as if i had just said, “gumdrops! my shoe is eating my foot!! lollygag!” or some other such nonsense.
my boss broke the awkward silence by saying, “speaking of money, let’s count the snack money for the day,” and everyone laughed hysterically as i struggled not to cry. god i just wanted to storm out right then & there. what kept me sitting in my seat, typing as though nothing was wrong, was: a) health insurance b) the fact that i’m taking a paid vacation next week! c) the fact that i wanna quit my job and i need money money money. i have never had a job with benefits before, and never realized how much they trap you. i could easily go find another job to pay my billz, but there’s no way i could find a job that would give me paid dayz off.
anyway, after that i came home and got into a fight with my lover about something else, and then i sat by the river with amanda and watched the sun sink over the mountains, and we had lots of good talks. we visited jude and then i went home.
yesterday everything got way better, it was a whirlwind of all-lady bike rides, good conversations, hot sex and fun friends. hoorah! tonight we are going to roller derby, which i have mixed feelings about. i think it’s really unfeminist and i wonder why so many feminists seem to love it. but i’ve never been, and i want to have more new experiences. that’s a valid reason for doing anything, right?
i hope i am not getting more boring as i age. last night i was reading the archives of a blog i used to love, from like 6 years ago, and it was so good then! and it’s so boring now, but i keep reading, out of a strange demented hope.

i haven’t danced in so long.


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.

a few random things…


first & foremost. a lot of you know that i was buying a house with my boyfriend. we were under contract & about to get a huge chunk of change to purchase this kinda-boring house that neither one of us felt passionately about, because it seemed like a good deal & our last chance to buy a dirt-cheap house in our rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood. well, this house has hella electrical problems & a possible softening foundation problem, & last night we decided–fuck it. we’re not gonna go into debt forever for a house that we don’t really love. we already have a house that we really love, and it’s my house that i live in now, so we’re gonna stay there. the knuckle tat for this weekend says RENT LIFE cuz i’m going to be living the rent life for a long, long time. maybe forever. i feel a little bad for wasting even more money on rent, but my rent is really cheap (& may soon be getting 50% cheaper) & i love my house so, so much. the idea of leaving it was tearing me up.
& honestly i’m getting really tired of pittsburgh. i don’t want to buy a house & make a commitment to HAVE to be here for 4-6 more years. the idea of being here for at least 4 more years is mildly horrifying to me. that said, i don’t have any immediate plans to move anywhere else. i don’t really know where i would go. i just wanna do something different.
i miss little things. i miss the amazing lemon-blueberry sorbet i had last summer in columbus, OH. i miss being a NYC lesbian with a shitty office job that was in the middle of an amazing neighborhood, & i could run out every afternoon to the post office and see a hundred amazing things. i hated it then, was miserable then, but now i work a shitty office job in a drab rotting neighborhood with nothing going on & no post office. there are some nice trees & some nice decaying victorian mansions. good views. but it isn’t what i need. it isn’t what feeds me.
yesterday at work, the highlight of my day was teaching a 60-something woman how to make a smiley face on her keyboard, you know, like this : ) [with a space so it won’t automatically turn into an obnoxious yellow smiley!]. it took her several tries. first she did this ; ) and then she did this :0 and then she finally got it and was so, so happy.
for some reason, it warms my heart that angsty teens still wear giant pants in this day & age. like, some things never change.

on money, love & closets (in a mostly random way)


i had a strange experience at work on friday, in which i talked at length with four middle-aged female co-workers about queerness, without disclosing myself as a queer person. these ladies know that i have a boyfriend who i’m buying a house with. they don’t know that my boyfriend spent nearly two decades living as a woman, or that i spent five years of my life in love with a woman in particular and the previous five years of my life in love with women in general. there was actually a moment when i could have come out very easily, when a co-worker asked me jokingly, “oh, do you know all of this stuff from personal experince?” and i kinda froze and then another co-worker jumped in and said, “she’s young! she knows a lot of gay people, because it’s okay to be gay now. it’s not like when we were young.” and i didn’t really feel safe saying, “no, actually…”
so i felt like a giant sell-out assimilationist loser all day afterwards. but then i started wondering, is it really so important for me to come out? right now, i am not super actively queer. my relationship is fairly queer in many ways, from how our bodies are to how we have sex to how we relate to each other, to all the genders we embody and emulate and are. but are the intimate details of my relationship really anyone’s business, especially the business of co-workers who are all straight, married, middle-aged, whom i never see outside of the office? i am not currently attracted to any women, i don’t want to have sex with any women i know, i don’t really dream of any ladies, don’t check out cute girls on the street. back when i had a girlfriend, i was always out about it, even on the construction site and within my family, two fairly unsafe environments. i never called her “my friend” or “my boyfriend” when telling stories about her. but now everything’s so much more complicated.
my co-workers, to my surprise, were very open-minded about gayz (after that initial comment). two of my co-workers commented on how a lot of the gay people they knew were nicer and kinder and more worldly than the straight people they knew, because they’d been through so much, which kind of warmed my heart. also, the tough security guard (who i totally read as queer at first) said, “what i don’t understand is why females want…[miming the shape of a dildo on her crotch] the apparatus!” i have so much to say on this subject, but i wasn’t really in the mood to discuss it with a bunch of straight women who i have to work with every day, so i said, “uh….why do you think they want it?” this woman seriously would not drop the subject of dildos, just going on and on and on, until someone said, “do YOU want a dildo?” and she got a real sassy look on her face and said, “no, i got the real thing at home, honey!” life certainly takes you places. if you’d told me six months ago that i’d be sitting in an office discussing sex toys with a bunch of straight ladies who are my mom’s age, i’d have thought you were crazy.

p.s. so, i kind of like “o” magazine & was pleased to learn that they published a very good, sweet article on falling in love with a transgendered man. it was one of the sweetest articles i’ve read in a while anyway, and the fact that it was semi-relevant to my life made it all better. despite the huge boom in people identifying as transgender in the past few years, there’s pretty much nothing out there for partners of transpeeps. incidentally, an article i wrote for partners of transpeople should be in the spring 2010 as-of-yet-unreleased issue of original plumbing, so look out for that!



so. i started my new job and it’s already all kinds of fucked up. there are upsides, like finally fucking earning a living wage & getting benefits (the benefits don’t kick in till june 1, though) for the first time in my adult life. (incidentally, today is the 9 year anniversary of moving out of my mom’s house & thereby beginning my adult life. hurray!)
for those who don’t know, i work for a local version of c*hild pr0tective $ervices [it’s very important that this not come up on google, hence the stupid spelling]. the actual work i do is very easy and low-stress, filling out forms, mailing things, etc., for more money than i’ve ever gotten. super, right? i mostly work directly with a bunch of very nice (if very normal) middle aged women who’ve been super sweet to me.
but the social workers. oh my god, the social workers. mostly a bunch of really privileged young white kids who don’t fucking know anything about the people they’re “trying” to “help”. who have never been in a desperate situation before. don’t even get me started on them.
yesterday i was having an okay day until this social worker came back with a 2-day-old baby that she’d taken from her mom while breastfeeding. the baby came back to the office because there was nowhere else to put her, i guess. everyone in the office, social workers & clerical staff alike, crowded around, making a big fuss about the baby (who, incidentally, was very cute). they were laughing about this woman. “ha, i guess she thought she could keep this one! she thought wrong!” “why did she think she could keep her own kid. she’s stupid” etc. etc. apparently, this baby was taken from this woman because she had a history of being a drunk–not because she had actually done anything to this particular baby.
and yeah, i don’t know the whole story, what she’s done to “deserve” this. maybe it is deserved, i don’t know. but seeing all these people talk about this woman, as her baby woke up and screamed for its mom who isn’t there, and was rocked by a social worker with terrible hair who thinks this baby’s mom is a completely subhuman piece of shit–well. i couldn’t react, but when i got home i cried and cried and cried, my boyfriend asking what was wrong & rubbing my back & i couldn’t get the words out, couldn’t breathe right, it took so many minutes of snot and tears before i could talk. and even then, i couldn’t really talk. couldn’t really convey what actually happened.
now i am at the warm safe library feeling totally crazy. reminding myself not to cry. don’t fucking cry anymore. don’t. i don’t particularly like children & i wasn’t expecting to be affected this deeply by what goes on there. thought my last job was as morally bankrupt as i’d ever have to deal with. guess i thought wrong.
so. i’m gonna wait six months to get off probationary period & after that i can bid out to just about any office in the county that has an opening. go work for the department of health or something. thinking about my friends who spend years in solitary confinement cells, surely i can make it six months. surely, i can make it out. right?

two amazing things i didn’t mention in last post.


partially because one of them hadn’t happened yet.
1. on saturday night i had the privilege of seeing a man dressed as sarah palin pull an american flag out of his ass. after an amazing drag performance, he put a folded up tarp on the floor, bent over a little (facing the audience sideways) and pulled a rolled-up american flag (stuffed in a condom) from his butt. the audience went wild, and honestly i don’t think i’ll ever be the same (in a good way).

2. so, today i am at my employment orientation, and i had to go into the county courthouse because the payroll office is located there. i had to get my backpack x-rayed to enter the courthouse. i had totally forgotten that i had a vibrator in my backpack (whatever, it comes in handy, especially when you & yr lover don’t live in the same house!). two tough lady security guards were watching the x-ray machine.
one of them, with a big smile on her face, asked a co-worker, “now, what do you think THIS item is?”
the other security guard said, jokingly, “it’s a shank!”
the first security guard said, “that ain’t no shank!” and they both burst into giggles. and i KNOW they were talking about my vibe.
even more hilariously, this is like the third or fourth time this has happened to me! i just can’t stop bringing vibrators to courthouses and airports. oh fucking well.

don’t have time, something quick before i forget–


at lunch i was telling my boss about an experience i had at a thai restaurant, where i was with four other people and we ordered food at different spice levels, from mild to extra-hot, but when we tasted each others’ food it was all at the same spice level.
my boss thought about it for a second, and said, “imagine how much that cook must have been…chortling! in the kitchen! thinking about how badly he was treating all of you!”

news & work & death.


so. last night i was watching channel 11 news, mostly cuz it’s hilarious & shit, and while watching it i learned that a client at work had died. she was 80. she was hit by a truck while carrying some beer to her house. she was a very decrepit, frail old woman, who would hobble in on the third of every month to pay us $200 on her son’s legal bills.
her son is in prison. he got into a fight with someone over a parking space, called him “the n-word,” and then the guy came in his house to kick his ass & he shot him. just in the leg, the guy didn’t die, but police held him at a standoff as he hid in the house & huffed glue. i wasn’t working here when his case was active, but i heard he was a real dumbass. my boss discharged him due to non-cooperation & he lost his trial & now he’s in prison. i had to write him a letter telling him that his mother is dead. that’s the first time i’ve ever done that; it’s also the first time i found out that someone i know died via the evening news.
it’s just sad. the whole situation. all the shitty lives in this neighborhood. working here has given me this strange insight into my neighbors’ lives that i wouldn’t have any other way. if i didn’t work here i might think that this place was something else, something else entirely.