Saturday, June 30, 2007

you can have anything if you put your mind to it

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

fucking (15x)
whore (12x)
sex (5x)
dyke (2x)
bitch (1x)

I guess that did it. But where'd that "bitch" from?? I don't remember adding that one since last time... Oh well. I'm gonna go bask in my naughtiness now. See you later, you fucking whore.

just so you know

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Just R? Not NC-17? Not XXX? I'm surprised. Here's the explanation, from the website:

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

fucking (5x)
sex (4x)
whore (2x)
dyke (1x)

How many more times would I have to say "fucking" and "whore" to get myself bumped up to NC-17? Maybe I'll give it a try: fucking whore, fucking whore, fucking whore, fucking whore, fucking whore, fucking whore, fucking whore, fucking whore.

Ok, I'll post this then do the rating again and see what happens... Wish me luck!

Friday, June 29, 2007

chickens come home to roost

First, the good news. The Supreme Court, in a shocking reversal, has decided it WILL hear habeas claims from Guantanamo Bay detainees. When I heard that on NPR this morning I thought "Wow, is it April Fools?" And then I thought, "Well, if it was, that wouldn't be funny." And that's how I knew it must be true.

In less globally important news, the post-graduation grace period has ended on my student loans. Holy fucking shit. Not that I didn't see it coming... I mean... they give you plenty of warning. But it's still quite a shock. Six-digit debt? And there's no home-ownership involved? I never thought I'd see the day. So, to quell my panic, I talked to the nice student loan people about a consolidation loan and deferrment application. Then I threw up. Now I feel better.

If I thought it would help, I'd have a first-born child and just give it to them. However... I don't think they would care...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

i remember when summer was warm

Waking up on this cool, overcast "summer" morning in Portland, I can't help but think back fondly to a time in my life when summer mornings were... actually... warm. When it was warm, in fact, ALL DAY during summer. Even into the night.

SK will mock me, and I have no defense. Every summer I start to whine b/c it's not hot enough. I grew up in the South where summer unofficially starts around the end of April and lasts at least through October. I spent around 25 years getting myself acclimated to at least 5 months of hot, steamy summer and, you know, pardon me if my body starts to convulse when July is breathing down my neck and I still need a sweater to go outside.

I will not pound my chest and scream that it isn't fair. I won't even say another word about this Portland dreariness that's happening right now. I will, instead, tell you a little story about a lovely summer morning in Raleigh, NC a few years ago.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Technically, it was late spring, not even summer yet, in 1998, but the temps and humidity were already kicking in. I was living out in the boonies with my mom, commuting a loooooooooong way to my job in Chapel Hill, and generally behaving like a hermit.

However, on this particular occasion I'd managed to hook back up with my very good, old friend Jodi who lived in Raleigh and we'd gone out the night before for drinks with her sister and some friends. Jodi, you probably won't remember, was the woman from my high school rock band, the woman I had such a huge crush on, the woman I finally had a sweet little fling with during the summer of '94. Jodi and I had remained really close through all those years and she was, at the time of this story, still one of my absolute favorite people.

Well, as I said, we'd gone out the night before and I'd had way too much to drink. It was one of those nights when the alcohol lifted me up and gave me false hope that I had prospects of making a connection with an actual, real-live woman after so many months alone. Poor me. On those nights, the alcohol is like a little demon masquerading as my best friend, sitting on my shoulder and whispering to me things like "See the way she just looked at you? She would *never* have looked at you that way if she didn't think you were cute. Look! She did it again!" Oh that demon!

So I kept drinking in order to keep hearing the instructions of that wicked little demon and I ended up passing out in Jodi's bed around 2am. I woke insanely early the next morning, somewhere between 6 and 7. I woke slowly, I was dreamy... I was probably still a little bit drunk actually. My eyes opened and I felt immediately that I was in heaven.

Jodi was a painter and, at that time, she was living on the second floor of this very old building just off Hillsborough St, with a few of her friends. She had decided to use as her bedroom a rickety old sun room with splintery wood floors and walls made entirely of windows. She wanted the light for painting.

When I woke, the room was full of that ethereal, diffuse morning light, bright and gauzy at the same time. The windows were all open and the air in the room was warm and sweet, carrying on it the sounds of birds and people and the fainter sounds of cars over on Hillsborough. There were trees around the windows, and the morning sunlight shone through their green leaves and lit the leaves up like lamps, those leaves that moved and rustled in the breeze. It was like waking up in a treehouse on a gorgeous morning where everything you saw was perfect.

It was a sound, actually, that had dragged me out of sleep. A rhythmic, brushing sound that had been nagging my mind and I swam up out of sleep trying to figure out what that strange sound could be. I looked over, finally, and saw Jodi standing up on a stool, scrubbing a soapy brush rythmically up and down one of the window screens. Short, plump little Jodi, with cut-off jean shorts and a tiny t-shirt lifting up off her soft little belly as she stretched her arms up to reach the top of the screen.

"What are you doing?" I finally asked.

She beamed at me. "I'm cleaning the screens!" She was so happy for some reason and even though I couldn't understand how or why she'd want to be up so early after drinking so much, there was something strangely comforting about the scratching of the brush on the screens, and her presence there engaged in that monotonous task. I knew she wasn't going anywhere and I knew I could lay there as long as I wanted, watching her, in that gorgeous room, with that gorgeous warm, sweet, summer air all around me, and the green tree leaves and the birds and the sounds of the people down below. I was so happy. I think it was the happiest morning I have ever had.

(Post-script -- unfortunately, as it turns out, I was really hungover, a fact I did not fully realize until I got up to go to the bathroom. What was paradise horizontally became a sickly vertigo once I was vertical. Oh well. I came back to bed after that first excursion out and lay there enjoying the scene for several hours before I finally had to drag myself out and go to work. Even though my job started at noon, I was still an hour late and obviously hungover when I got there. I had to leave after an hour to "go get some food" -- but I ended up falling asleep in my car and sleeping for an hour with my hand on my forehead, so I not only came back late to the office, but I came back with the hair above my forehead standing straight up like Ed Grimly. So, what started out as my best morning ever, ripened into my most irresponsible day at work ever. The end.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

tuesday fantasy girlfriend gets... weird...

Ok, bear with me, but today's fantasy girlfriend is a cartoon. And no, it's not Jessica Rabbit. Or Betty Rubble (although it was plainly obvious that she and Wilma were gettin it on). No, today's fantasy girlfriend is Lizzy the Lezzie!

As it turns out, Lizzy exists on a Myspace page and she's really, really funny. However, it's not so easy to capture images from people's Myspace pages and post them on your blog, so you'll just have to follow that link there and check her out yourself. Watch some of the videos, they're hilarious. Especially the L Word Specials. And even the one about exes.

Irreverent but with a voice like a munchkin, Lizzy the Lezzie is this week's FANTASY GIRLFRIEND! Enjoy.

you cheeky monkey!

The illustrious SK has moved her blog (Stumptown Dreaming) over to Wordpress and given it a whole new name: Dreaming With The Pachamama. She's cheeky because she worked in secret on it all weekend and waited till yesterday to tell me about it as a surprise. It looks all slick over there and you should go check it out and read all about why she decided to switch over and what a "pachamama" is. For now, I'll leave the Stumptown Dreaming link up too, since there's still some good content to be found over there. But Dreaming With The Pachamama is really where it's at. Enjoy.

Monday, June 25, 2007

kicking and screaming

One time, when I was about 11, a family trip to visit my stepfather's parents was arranged. We took those trips about once a year, all piled into the car for the eight hour drive to James' creepy parents' house in Lincolnton, Georgia. I hated those trips because they were BORING and James' parents were creepy. The only thing that made these trips bearable was my mom, who also hated the trips, and who was very good company for me. She'd often even sleep in my bed with me in the dark, creepy room on the far end of the house where I was always stationed. Yuck.

Anyway, for reasons that are still mysterious to me, this particular trip I'm talking about was not going to include my mom. For whatever reason, she was planning to stay home while James drove me and my brother down to visit his parents. Ok. Now. I've already told you that his parents were creepy and that mom was the only good thing about those trips. Now I will tell you that I HATED my stepfather. As far as I can remember, he never layed a hand on me, but he was a cold, aloof bastard and I couldn't stand to be anywhere near him. I refused to do anything with him that mom wasn't involved in and that most certainly should have included taking a five-day trip to see his family.

At first, when the idea was proposed to me, I couldn't believe it. I literally could not fathom the potential reality of this arrangment. As the trip got closer and closer, I got more and more anxious, and then finally, on the day we were supposed to leave, I freaked out. My stuff was packed, the car was loaded, James was getting my brother in the car and my mom was standing in the front hall by the door waiting to shoo me out and wave us off. I remember it like it was yesterday. I got as far as the door frame. I looked out at the car, at my brother, at James. And I just couldn't do it. I couldn't take one step in the direction of that particular fate.

I don't remember exactly what happened next, but I know there was suddenly a lot of sobbing coming from me and a lot of "suck it up" coming from mom, but when the dust finally cleared, James and my brother were gone and I was still safely at home with mom. As I sat sniffling in my room right after, she said something like "Are you happy now? You got your way with your little tantrum?" And, you know, YES. I was happy. Wild fucking horses couldn't have dragged me out to that car and I absolutely did not care at all whose plans I fucked up by freaking out and staying home. I just couldn't go.

Perhaps you're asking yourself "hmmm, interesting story, but why's she telling it right now?" Good question. I'm telling this story now so that I can better explain to you exactly how I'm feeling lately about the practice of law. I am standing in the door frame looking out at my "career" and I'm about to start freaking out. I feel exactly that same panic, that same terror that if I step out the door I will lose everything that is good and familiar, I will lose myself and my autonomy, I will lose all happiness and all the things that matter to me.

Basically, right now I feel like wild fucking horses couldn't drag me into the practice of law.

And nothing in my recent environment has done anything to change this fact: 1.) I bumped into a lawschool friend at Pride who hates practicing so much, she's planning to quit and go be an apprentice carpenter, 2.) I watched Waspy fret over her billable hours requirement yesterday (150 hours a month?? That's, like, 38 hours a week! Which means you're in the office for like 50 hours every week, struggling to keep up! Yuck!), 3.) I met a young lawyer at the Lesbian Breakfast Club yesterday who *also* hates it but is giving herself one more year just to see before she starts looking elsewhere.

It looks like nothing but soulless misery from here and I want no part in it. Needless to say, I'm looking into alternatives...


You all know that I am usually a proud meme whore, however, I may have met my meme match. Melinda over at Cult of Melinda has tagged me to do a "things that don't annoy me" meme and, frankly, I'm finding it too vague to even tackle.

I mean... lots of things don't annoy me. Most things I encounter every day *don't* annoy me. I understand that I'm probably supposed to list things that are surprising, things that annoy other people but don't annoy me, but I'm having a hard time coming up with many.

However, b/c I'm a self-proclaimed meme whore, I will at least give it a shot. Here are some things that don't annoy me:

1.) Humidity.
2.) Second hand cigarette smoke, most of the time (but not always), especially in the summer. I have positive associations, though I'm not sure to what...
3.) Some television commercials -- unlike radio commercials, which all drive me insane (which is why I don't listen to commercial radio), lots of tv commercials amuse and fascinate me.
4.) Being slow.
5.) Taking tests! I love taking tests!

Ok, that's all I can think of. Anything more and I'd just be grasping, which would be boring. I will not tag anyone on this one cuz it's just too amorphous, but if you're dying to share the things that *don't* annoy you, please feel free. I won't be annoyed if you do. :-)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

the transformation is finally complete...

Today I realized that I now prefer to take the bus instead of driving. Even on a Sunday! When parking downtown is free! It's a miracle (a true blue spectacle, as SK would say). I was scheduled to meet up w/ my friends from law school, Waspy and Rose, at Hobo's downtown -- and any other time I would've preferred driving because parking is free, etc, etc. But not today! Today I thought the bus sounded better. So I took it! I took the bus on a Sunday when I didn't have to! I can hardly believe it! I'm like... totally urban now!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

me and my big ideas

I always have big ideas about everything -- elaborate theories to explain all manner of experience and phenomena, complete with illustrative metaphors and anecdotal evidence. Anyway, my latest big idea is to do with relationship. I have decided that I want to *live* more of the radical relationship styles that have always appealed to me.

So I should back up and say that radical relationship styles have always appealed to me. Yeah. They really have. Like, for one thing, I've always been skeptical of monogamy. Even though I have been a diehard practitioner of serial monogamy for YEARS, I have still had my doubts. So I'm always curious about relational structures that allow for a variation on the serial monogamy theme: open relationships, polyamory, "don't-ask-don't-tell" cheating arrangments, friends-with-benefits, stuff like that. I've also been interested in (and explored a little) sex as recreation, power dynamics in sex, bdsm, pornography, etc. I have studied sex almost academically, and I've definitely studied it more than I've had it.

My first exposure to what I would call a radical relationship came when I was in the tenth grade and I did a project for my art class about Georgia O'Keeffe. I was fascinated by the relationship she had with Alfred Stieglitz. First of all, he was dramatically older than she was, and that right there was interesting to me. Intergenerational relationships are radical. (This I know from experience now.) But I was also deeply affected by the structure of their relationship. He was older and settled in New York, but she was still young and loved to travel, so they spent half the year together in New York and then she spent the other half of the year travelling all over. I remember being so fascinated by that, it seemed like the perfect arrangement: all the stability and comfort of a long-term, committed relationship, with all the freedom of being single.

Then, several years later (in college), I ran across Anais Nin's 'Henry and June.' Wow. What an eye-opener that was. She wrote so freely about having several lovers in addition to her husband, about juggling the relationships which all had different meanings and played different roles for her. She also wrote about her affair with Henry Miller's wife June, during the same time she was fucking Henry himself. Jesus, what drama! But it all seemed so INTERESTING to me. So COMPELLING.

Not compelling enough, however, for me to successfully try to bring any of those things into any of my actual relationships. When it came right down to it, I was always too afraid of being alone to risk putting someone off by trying to live that more radical kind of experience. As soon as I got the first whiff of disapproval from a new girlfriend, I pushed all those big ideas aside and settled down.

With one major exception: CB, my alcoholic ex-wife. In fact, one of the first things that piqued my interest in her was a conversation we had one night at work about relationships. We found ourselves agreeing one-hundred-percent on the subject of open relationships. At the time, my theory went something like this: your primary relationship should not interfere with other relationships that you might have. If your primary relationship doesn't interfere with (and isn't threatened by) your *friendships* then why should it interfere with and be threatened by friendships that also involve make-outs or sex? Where's the line between hugging your friend and fucking your friend, and isn't that line naturally arbitrary and if the line is arbitrary then why does there have to be a line at all?

Anyway, CB and I agreed on all those points and, next thing I know, I'm hitched up with this woman in a self-proclaimed open relationship. I was so excited! Unfortunately, I did not much benefit from our open relationship. She was so crazy, so out-there with her own radicalness, I was polarized into a much more conservative role. I was constantly trying to get her to come home, calm down, settle in a little and all the while she was just chomping at the bit to get back out into the world. Oh well.

So now, after all these years, I'm going to try once again to live my radicalness. I will start by learning how to be alone, how to make new friends and trust more people, how to cultivate friends-with-benefits, how *not* to put all my eggs in one basket. Sometimes that will leave me feeling lonely. So I'll have to make friends with lonliness so it won't be so frightening. And then we'll see what happens.

far be it from me to complain, but...

Ok, it does not be far from me to complain. I admit. And, in keeping, I will now complain briefly about my morning coffee date with my friend Leo.

Leo has a great backyard with trees and flowers and a bricked "patio" and uncomfortable chairs and bird feeders and all things good. Awhile back, she had me over in the morning for coffee and chatting and it was soooooooo lovely. I have been longing to recreate that experience ever since.

So I made it a point to track her down and force her to invite me back for morning coffee this weekend. I called her and texted her and emailed her, I stalked and harrassed the hell out of her for several days, and FINALLY this morning at 10:15 she actually answered her phone and said I could come over.

She asked me on the phone if it was ok if her girlfriend Ember hung out with us too. I like Ember, she's cool, so I said "sure, it's fine if Ember hangs out with us. The more the merrier."

You know what? Not so. It turns out, morning coffee in Leo's backyard is a lot more fun one-on-one. Why? B/c then Leo is free to bitch about Ember or obssess over the latest drama in their relationship. Now, I don't necessarilly have any personal interest in the minutae of their relationship, but Leo gets excited talking about it and that makes me enjoy the chatting more.

However, with Ember in the picture, the conversation was strikingly flat. I had some stories I wanted to tell about my adventures at pride and crashing the rugby party and all that, but as I started to tell them, they just sort of... I don't know... stopped seeming interesting. Something about the stark difference between how well I know Leo contrasted against how little I know Ember... it just wasn't as intimate as I wanted it to be.

The moral of this story? Hanging out with a couple is weird. I know that. I guess I just forgot. Oh well.

Friday, June 22, 2007

my multicultural workplace

As you are all probably well aware, I work in a transitional housing facility for the homeless mentally ill. Lately, there's lots of staff shifting, with a couple folks leaving, folks moving into new positions, and vacancies that must be filled. For the past two days, I've been involved in group interviews for two different positions.

Wow, watching people being interviewed is interesting. So far, I've been to four interviews and all four women were so completely different. The first woman we interviewed yesterday was so nervous, the whole half-hour was like watching a terrible train wreck. She couldn't actually answer any of our questions, she rambled and babbled and mostly made *no* sense.

At first, we were all giving her the benefit of the doubt, recognizing that she was nervous and perhaps not articulating herself very well. But somewhere near the end she started talking about "riff-raff" and it all went downhill from there. (Riff-raff?? We work with homeless people. We don't usually refer to them as riff-raff.) She also rambled on about being an antiestablishment, feminist, conspiracy theorist. And... you know... that's fine if you're interviewing to be the editor of the next addition of the Anarchist's Cookbook, but for pretty much any other job, you don't want to highlight what a contrarian whack-job you are. At least wait till you're hired and we're all hanging out drinking beer after work to start spouting off your weird left of left political views. Don't do it at the interview. Jeez.

The last woman we interviewed today, however, was the absolute polar opposite of the first. She was articulate, extremely professional, comfortable, and really, really well-informed. Her answers were so thorough and so perfect, she kept leaving us all speechless. Barring something unforseeable, she's got the job. And that's a good thing.

But I noticed one thing as we did the interviews today, and I wondered if the interviewees noticed too. Of the 7 people conducting the interview, only three of us were American. The other four were from: Australia, New Zealand, England and Russia. In addition to these four, we've also got a woman on staff from China and another woman from Nigeria. That's six different countries, all represented by our relatively small staff. It's pretty interesting, really, to work in such a multicultural workplace. I wonder if that fact (and all the different accents) struck the interviewees as interesting or unusual.

Anyway... I guess that was kind of boring. Sorry. It's just something I was thinking about. I'll come up with something more interesting in a bit... I promise.

let's try this again

Hi interwebs, remember me? I used to write little things nearly every day and post them here on this blog for people to read. Looks like I've been a little bit slack lately. I usually hate it when bloggers take this tack, but it's true: there were some things happening that I wasn't quite ready to blog about.

I know, I know. Who cares if I'm ready? Well, I do. So I waited. One thing I wasn't ready to tell you is that I started taking my antidepressant Wellbutrin again. I took it from 2002 to 2004 and then I decided to stop. I did pretty well for a long time, but last summer I hit a major slump and, in retrospect, I wish I'd started taking it again then. I snapped out of my slump when school started back again in the fall, but once school and the bar was over and SK left for England, I found myself beginning to flounder again. I didn't want a repeat of last summer, so I got out my stash of meds and started taking a low dose at the beginning of last week. And boy has it helped! Wow. Has it ever. I might write more about that later, but for now I'll just say that I'm feeling a lot better and that's a good thing.

Another thing I wasn't ready to share was the changing status of my relationship with SK. SK and I have shared a rough road this past year and a half, in addition to the incredible connection and all the sweetness and love, it has never been an easy path for either of us. We finally decided to lift the pressure off the girlfriend relationship so that we can love and appreciate each other as the two really awesome (yet not always perfectly compatible) people we are. She wrote a lovely post about it over on her blog which does a sweeter job explaining it. You should check it out. I'll probably write more about it later too, but I'll leave it here for now.

As for me, I've got lots of stuff to do today, but I have a whole list of things to blog about that have been jogged loose in the past couple days, and when I get home from my errands and projects today, expect a deluge of blogtastic content to appear! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Ok, sorry, I couldn't think of anything so here's a picture of Shane from The L Word.

Yes, yes, shane is a super-hot hottie, so androgynous and lanky and slouchy and just... wow. Yum. But I there's no confirmation that she's actually a lesbian in real life which, in my opinion, is a damn shame. I mean, what a waste of a perfect, sexy, grown-up tomboy. Oh well.

Now I'm going to the park to enjoy the sun before I have to go to work. I promise to write something more interesting this weekend.

ho hum

I guess my readership is growing restless with all this quiet. Sorry, after pride there just wasn't much to say. Not much that seemed interesting. My work weeks have been super-busy the past few weeks, more hours and more to do. But it's tricky to blog about work, and all the things that seem so dramatic about work to me wouldn't seem so dramatic to you guys.

How 'bout this: I'll go take a shower and try to think of something interesting to write about. And if I can't think of anything interesting, I'll just post some more pictures of some cute girl and maybe that will tide everybody over until my creative brain starts to kick back in. Ok? Ok.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

all gayed out

I'm EXHAUSTED! I have socialized more (and slept less) in the past 72 hours than I ever thought possible.

When last I visited the blogosphere, yesterday afternoon, I'd been laying in bed all day after waking (after only five hours of sleep) at 6am and not being able to fall back asleep. I spent most of the day like Jabba the Hut, laying in the bed and grunting, only I didn't have any minions around to bring me food and entertain me.

Then, out of the clear blue sky, my friend Dr. Dutch called me up and invited me to hang out. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to drag my lazy ass out of the bed, but I managed ok and by 5:30pm I was on her doorstep (showered and everything) and ready to walk off to Sushi Mio. Good food, good conversation and a great walk through the hood after, just chatting away. She's one of my oldest Portland friends and I love our connection. No matter how long we go between hang-outs, there's always a real love and appreciation between us when we get together. And I like that in a friend.

After we parted company at 7:30, I realized I was no longer totally lethargic but I was, in fact, totally INVIGORATED! Which felt great. So I drove home and checked the Lesbian Breakfast Club itinerary to see what was up for Saturday night. Turned out there was a lesbian dance at a venue right here in my neighborhood. How could I pass that up?

I got myself ready and just before I left, I called one of the Breakfasters (Claire) for an idea what the plan among them was. I was fully ready to go alone, but if they were going, I wanted to check it out and hook up with them. She told me they were meeting at this "pre-party" and then heading over to the dance. I was a little hesitant to go to a pre-party I hadn't been officially invited to, but I trusted my second-hand invite and knew it would be much easier to find these virtual strangers at a pre-party than at the venue itself, so I told her I'd be there.

It turned out to be less of a "pre-party" and more of a "rugby party" for all these rugby playing dykes. The woman from the Breakfast Club who had freely doled out the invitations wasn't even there yet and all the rugby dykes, nice as they were, looked at us a little askance as we were very obviously crashing their party.

Fortunately, that didn't last long. There were rumors that the dance was sold out, so Claire and I volunteered to pop over to the venue (The Wonder Ballroom) to get in line for the group. Turned out there wasn't much of a line and it wasn't sold out. In line, I ran into my friend Kristin from school, in whose lovely attic many of my early blogposts were written right after I left CB and wound up crashing with people for awhile.

It was great to see her, and especially weird since her girlfriend is a rugby player, and as soon as the rugby party showed up, we all ended up lumped into one big group. Small world. The dance was so fun. It was a huge ballroom, dark and totally packed with women. WALL TO WALL. The play by play details are boring, just know that I had SO MUCH FUN and danced for almost two hours straight w/o a break. Unreal. I haven't danced in so long, I can't even remember the last time. It was great. And the best part of all, I only drank one beer all night! I didn't even *want* more, I was just so naturally happy, I didn't need a buzz to loosen up and dance. It was a moment of personal achievement for me, I assure you.

The main attraction last night was a white-dyke hip-hop duo called God-dess and She. If you watch The L Word, they're the chicks who peformed as Shane's "surprise" at the bachelor party before her debacle of a wedding. They were ok, that style of music doesn't much appeal to me, but everybody enjoyed it and it didn't stop me from dancing.

Finally, around 12:30 my friend Kristin tapped me on the shoulder and said they were heading out. I decided to go too 'cause I had an early morning scheduled. I got home at 1am, drenched with sweat and wrecked from all the dancing. But fortunately, not drunk and with no danger of a hangover next morning. Yay!

I slept ok and got up bright and early this morning, hopped in the shower, blah blah, and headed off to Mother's Bistro to meet the Breakfast Club for the pre-pride breakfast. That was fun too. New women in addition to those at the Hobo's dinner, all just as friendly and welcoming as before. Lots and lots of good chit chat and lots of laughter again. Then we all trecked over to the parade route and scouted out a good spot to watch.

That's where the weekend starts to peter out. The parade itself is always sort of interesting, but never all that spectacular, and then you walk down to the festival on the waterfront and that's just a total anticlimax. Oh well. I still had fun with the Breakfast Club chicks and all that, but pretty soon I started feeling soooooooo tired from days of sleep deprivation and a long night of dancing like a crazy-person, so I left the crew and headed home around 3. Then I took a nap. And that was awesome.

Now I'm cooking dinner and preparing to watch some more dvds to round out my weekend. Gay time is over now and tomorrow I'll go back into the regular world 'till gay time rolls around again next year. Yay for gay time!

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Hi people! I've been in the bed all day! But not sleeping! No! Just laying! And watching the last several episodes of The L Word season three! And crying! B/c it was sad! B/c Dana died!

Ok, enough of that. But really, every thought I have feels like that. It's kind of unreal. I am so tired but can't fall asleep no matter how bad I want to. Just a nap, that's all I want. But no, no. Not for me.

The sleep loss makes this like a sick day. So does the dark sky and the rain. It has been verrrrrrry easy to lay in bed all day. I haven't felt the slightest twinkling that I should be doing anything else. I haven't even been able to bother myself with eating. One boiled egg at 7:30 and now I'm drinking a smoothie. Food is for people who have the energy to procure it. I am not one of those people.

So, in honor of my L Word festival and gay pride and my sick day, I'm having a random installment of fantasy girlfriend. I will tell you right now that this is my (right now, current) uber fantasy girlfriend. The fantasiest of all the fantasy girlfriends. Why? I don't know. Could be b/c she's an actual lesbian. Could be b/c she's so cute and goofy. Could be b/c I just watched her in about four episodes of The L Word and she's on my mind. Either way, I am very happy to present to you, my fantasy girlfriend: Leisha Haley.

Leisha plays Alice on The L Word, my favorite character of all. Here's her with the other super hot hottie on the show, Shane.

Unfortunately, my Google Image search for her didn't give me as many good pictures as the one I did on her a couple months ago when I posted that pic of her and k.d. lang together. That was yummy and now it's not even on there anymore. Oh well. Here are a couple of other shots of her, but I'll leave them small b/c I'm afraid they'll get all pixelated:

Sorry if the formatting on those comes out weird. I'm not very good at this and especially today I'm experiencing some serious cognitive delays. So. Yeah.

But seriously, isn't she so cute? Yeah. She is.

just in time for pride!

I have insomnia! Or something very similar! But that's boring, all you need to know is that it's 7:50am right now and I've been awake since 6. And I went to bed at one. So... you do the math.

Anyway, so I'm delerious! And I'm here to write about gay pride! And I will be using a lot of exclamation points! Because I'm delerious! I said that already!

It's gay pride week here in Stumptown and, just in time for pride, some dvds came in from the library that I've been waiting for: L Word, third season, and Oz, first season. I've never seen Oz, but it takes place in a men's prison and... well... there may not be much gay pride in there, but there's bound to be some hot guy-on-guy action...

(Remember: I'm delerious.)

But don't worry, I won't spend this whole, fun-packed pride weekend sitting in my bed watching soft-core gay porn on dvd (thanks Multnomah County Library!) -- I'll be getting out and about. Just last night I made my first foray into the world of hanging out with a group of strange lesbians from Craigslist.

What's that you say? Lesbians from Craigslist? Yeah, well, there's this lesbian breakfast club that meets every Sunday at a different location and they post invitations on Craigslist. You answer the ad and they email you the week's location. A few weeks ago, I answered the ad, which got me on their mailing list, but I never showed up for a breakfast.

As pride approached, messages from the Breakfast Club starting rolling in. They were making big pride plans and the itinerary kept snowballing. The first stop on the agenda was a pride week, kick-off dinner at Hobo's downtown. I love Hobo's. It's three blocks from my workplace and, over the six years I've been in town, I've spent a LOT of time in Hobo's. So I decided this time to go.

I expected a less than appealing array of desperate, lonely lesbians to be gathered there at Hobo's, but as one after another of the Craigslist Lesbians showed up, my fears diminished. They were all reasonably interesting, my age-ish, non-disfigured, cool people. Amazing!

I ended up having a *lot* of fun, which I did not expect. And which is also a miracle because we had the WORST SERVICE ON THE PLANET. Hobo's, a gay piano bar/restaurant, was SWAMPED with unexpected Pride-related traffic *and* it was our server's last night. So...

I will spare you the details (like all the wrong orders or the spanish coffee served with a SALTED rim instead of a SUGARED rim... TWICE) and I will sum it all up like this: we got there at 8. We got our food at 10:20. Enough said.

But it was ok b/c we really managed to entertain ourselves pretty well. I was the only newbie to the group, but everyone was really sweet and friendly and nobody ever tried to edge me out or neglect me from conversations in the way that already formed groups sometimes get cliquey and treat newcomers with disdain. And there was a LOT of laughter, so much laughter that my face was hurting, and I hardly even knew what I was laughing at, I was just laughing because everybody was laughing and it was contagious. It was pretty awesome.

It was also awesome to find myself sitting at a table full of lesbians for a change. When I lived in Columbus, I socialized exclusively with lesbians. It wasn't intentional, it just worked out that my circle of friends (almost ready-made out of my friend Rebecca's friends) were all dykes. Except one bi-chick, but she still qualified. Ever since then, however, I've had a much more mixed group of friends, which is good too, but I realized last night at that table full of dykes that it feels NICE to be with dykes. Familiar and fun and comfortable and good. I imagine it's like traveling overseas... you like all the new, different people you meet, but after awhile it might feel really good to suddenly find yourself around a table in a hostel with five people from your own country. Something shared and familiar (almost familial) that you can enjoy, even though you're strangers.

So it was good, even though the service was terrible. Which is a shame, because Hobo's has always been really awesome and wonderful. I think it was a fluke 'cause they were so busy. Unfortunately, because dinner took THREE HOURS, nobody was up for the gay dancing at Halocene afterwards. Oh well. Maybe next time.

I don't know if I'll be hooking up with them for any of today's events, but I came home last night and *finally* RSVP'ed for breakfast on Sunday. I was on the fence, but after last night, I think it'll be fun. And then we'll all go to the march and festival together, and that'll be cool b/c, otherwise, nobody else wants to go.

Maybe pride parades are dorky, but I still like them. And now I get to go and I don't have to go alone! Yay Craigslist!

Friday, June 15, 2007

tedious rundown of my week

I have to admit that I tend to roll my eyes when I encounter blogs that contain nothing more than a tedious rundown of all the recent mundane events in a blogger's life. Maybe I'm interested in a detailed play-by-play of my good friend's life. And maybe I'm interested in a detailed play-by-play of someone's INTERESTING life. But just the general "and then I had to rush across town to pick up the kids, and then we almost missed a dentist's appointment, and later I had to brush the dog." I mean... ok. Good for you. But why do I care? And since I don't care, I stop reading.

However, just for you and because I'm a hypocrite and because I am foolish enough to think that my life is kind of interesting, I will write for you the kind of post that makes me roll my eyes and stop reading. Ready? Here we go!

Oh my god! I am so exhausted! I have had SUCH a tedious week. First of all, I'm doing this interim case management at my work, which means that I work five extra hours a week, during which time I am supposed to be case managing about fifteen people. Hello! In five hours?? I don't think so! Which means I have to pick up all the stuff I can't finish during my case management hours during my regular shifts as a residential counselor. Which is frustrating.

Then, because I am really foolish, I agreed to come in today and work a day shift so my coworker could have a mental health day. She'd arranged coverage far in advance, but the on-caller who had agreed to take her shift got CANNED and was, therefore, no longer available to work. So I volunteered (because the overtime is nice) and boy do I regret it! What a stupid day I had. First of all, I hardly got any sleep because I got off at midnight and didn't get into bed until 1:00am, and then I had to get up at 7 because I desperately needed a shower. And I had a hard time falling asleep, so I got five hours, max.

Then there were all these stupid things going on and I spent the whole day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, dealing with one mini-crisis after another, and on top of all that also dealing with an inefficient and ridiculous bureaucracy. Social Services You Suck! And, finally, it took me one whole extra hour to finally get myself out of there.

Ok, that was really boring. Sorry. But I saved the best for last. These are the two top highlights of my week.

1.) Tuesday night I found myself sitting in the smoke room at work (the last place a non-smoker wants to be, trust me) holding a plastic bowl for someone to vomit into. That was fun.

2.) And then, Thursday night, I found myself helping that same person put on a Depends undergarment. That was also fun.

There you. I will never write a blog post like that again, I swear to god. I just had to get it all off my chest. Now I feel much better. Thank you.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I very foolishly drank half a cup of caffeinated coffee at work tonight (b/c I was soooooooooo sleeeeeeeeeepy and I'd been working soooooooooooo many hoooooooooooouuuuuuurs) and now I'm home at nearly 1am, vibrating with awakeness. So I thought I'd pass the time until that wears off by posting a little something.

I was looking through this old notebook the other day and I found something I wrote in 2002. It's just a fragment of an idea I was trying to work out in my mind, and when I read it I thought it was pretty cool. I realized, flipping through this notebook, that law school sort of stomped and squashed the passion for art and words and poetry and philosophy out of me. There was a time when those things were more fluid and present in my life. I'll have to grow back into it, I guess.

Anyway, here's the thing I wrote. Maybe you'll find it interesting too.

"The idea that it's not the events *themselves* that are meaningful -- but the impact of the events -- later -- hours or years -- the way events warp you, change your direction -- the way your path curves around the events -- the way you grow crooked bark over the old wounds -- and the slivers, flashes of memory which are the only remains of the event itself -- for the event itself is like an explosion, a non-thing, the only part of any event that lives is the *memory* of that event. The burn mark it makes against the wall of your mind."

(I guess I was in a double-dash phase...)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the blogger formerly known as...

If you've ever surfed over to Andygrrl's website from my Busy Nothings link, let me introduce you to her new and completely differnet looking blog called Strange Fire, which can be located in my links list. Out with the old and in with the new.

tuesday fantasy girlfriend arrives on the right day!

I watched Being John Malkovitch for the first time this weekend. Wow. That's one weird movie. And really, bravo to any movie that can show me an even LESS attractive version of Cameron Diaz. Jesus. The one thing I really enjoyed about the movie was the way it questioned the boundaries of identity. Am I really "me?" What does it mean to be me? And what does it mean to fall in love with someone, but only when she's looking out at you through somebody else's eyes?

But what I *really* liked about this movie was the fact that (spoiler alert) in the end, the girl gets the girl. All movies should end like that. The movie also reminded me how much I like Katherine Keener. She's a tricky one. Sometimes, as in Being John Malkovitch, she seems like the scary, slightly trashy neighbor who smokes too many cigarettes and yells at her kids then flirts with your husband at the block party. Something like that. But in other movies, like Forty Year Old Virgin (what a shockingly awesome movie), she's so sweet and warm and real feeling, she makes me feel all gooey inside. Here's a shot of her from that last one.
See what I mean? So super cute.

Now how 'bout this one? Does she or does she not appear to be modeling cable knit sweaters for a JC Penny's catalogue? She does. But I don't care, because she's cute. I understand she also plays Harper Lee in Capote. Harper Lee, in case you were not aware, wrote my favorite book of all time "To Kill a Mockingbird." So... I think it will be very cool to watch my fantasy girlfriend pretending to be the mysterious and reclusive author of my favorite book. I wonder if her Southern accent is up to snuff, b/c that's a deal breaker for me. A poorly rendered Southern accent will pretty much kill my buzz immediately.

Ok, so anyway, that's my somewhat lackluster Tuesday Fantasy Girlfriend for you: KATHERINE KEENER. Yay.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

how i ended up with a (kickass) abba cd

At work a couple of weeks ago, a particularly squirrelly sort of client came down to the Drop In Center with an Abba cd. He's a nice guy, just kinda anxious. He loves Abba and played a couple of his (crappier) Abba cds for us before -- but this time he brought down Abba Gold, the one with all the good stuff on it, like "Take a Chance on Me" and "Dancing Queen" and, of course, "Fernando."

Not only does this client love Abba, but he also loves making everybody happy with his music, so when he put the cd on (in the staff cd player, which is located behind the staff desk) and everybody in the whole Drop In Center perked up and started singing along, this guy was ecstatic. You couldn't wash the smile off his face with a gallon of Simple Green.

Anyway, it only got better when Fat Tony resurfaced from his break and, finding the Abba not to his taste, said "Hey, you guys. I can't take this. I'm changing the music." You have to understand that Fat Tony frequently subjects the whole Drop In Center to HIS music which often sounds like mating cats, and when people complain, he tells them they're broadening their cultural horizons. And of course he does not change the music.

When Fat Tony threatened to pull the plug on Abba, the whole Drop In Center erupted in protests. "We've had to listen to *your* shitty music for years, now you have to listen to OURS!" (I might have been the one to say that... but believe me, I was speaking for the people.) "YAY!!" Everybody cheered and enjoyed the music all the more knowing that Fat Tony was suffering. Ah sweet musical revenge.

So, a good time was had by all except Fat Tony. At the end of the night, right before our shift was over, Fat Tony noticed that the client hadn't picked up his cd. I watched as Fat Tony took the cd out of the player, put it back in its case, put a sticky-note on it with the client's name, and then put it in the top drawer of the staff desk. To his credit, he didn't try to smash the Abba cd or throw it in the garbage. This happened at 11:30pm.

The next day, I happened to be at work at 2pm when the client, anxious as ever, came down to the desk and asked for his cd back. "No problem," I said and opened the desk drawer where it had JUST BEEN a mere THIRTEEN HOURS BEFORE. And it was gone. I looked everywhere while the anxious client stood back and watched. It had been right there in the staff desk and it was gone -- no matter what happened to it, it was our fault. Did one of us steal it?? Did someone else steal it while we weren't paying attention. Either way, we fucked up.

I felt bad and the client felt anxious, so I reassured him that we'd replace the cd if we couldn't find it. Replacing a client's lost property isn't something we typically do. Otherwise, we'd be buying a lot of people a lot of shit. We have a "keep an eye on your own shit" policy and I shouldn't have offered to get this guy a new cd, but christ, just this once it was ACTUALLY OUR FAULT that something went missing and I just felt like it was the right thing to do.

I asked the client to give me a few days to investigate and see if the cd turned up. It didn't. Every single day that I worked, the client came up and anxiously asked me about his cd. Finally, I resolved to just go up to Everyday Music and buy him a copy myself, but I got busy, so that took a few more days, (a few more days for this client to harrass me about his fucking cd).

I saw the client Wednesday night and I said, "Look, dude. I swear, I will bring you a replacement cd tomorrow. I promise." (Now leave me alone, for christ's sake.) Even though I had to be at work super early on Thursday, I caught the even earlier bus downtown and walked up to Everyday Music and right there, in the first rack at the front of the store, was Abba Gold. Eight bucks used. Awesome.

I bought it, walked to work, gave it to the client and all was well.

Then... later that day... when I was going through the staff desk looking for a can opener (don't ask)... guess what I saw? You'll never guess in a million years! I swear, you won't believe it! YES, I FOUND HIS GODDAMN ABBA GOLD CD!!! WTF???

I checked that desk four times! How did I miss the cd??? Am I blind?? Other people checked the desk too, are we all blind?? Or did someone take the Abba cd home, burn it, and bring it back...??? We'll never know. All I know is that I am now the proud owner of an Abba Gold cd and I'm actually pretty psyched about it. It makes me shake my booty.

The end.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

late fantasy girlfriend and a movie review...

It seems I've got fewer fantasies than I originally imagined. I've been having trouble coming up with fantasy girlfriends and have been forgetting altogether to even try on Tuesdays, which was the day I'd set aside for that little treat. Oh well. After Portia de Rossi, I had nowhere to go but down... no pun intended... (snickers).

I liked the idea of having real lesbians, like Portia, as my fantasy girlfriends, but I stalled out when it came time to pick the next one. So, instead of forcing myself to find lesbian fantasy girlfriends, I decided to settle for the original plan, which was to pick whichever chick happened to be calling my name in the moment. And so, this week's very, very late (or next week's very, very early) Tuesday fantasy girlfriend is: Reese Witherspoon, seen here in Vanity Fair.

I had this out from the library and kept meaning to watch it but didn't until just now. If I'd known that much of its action takes place during the Napoleonic wars, I'm sure I would've watched it sooner, since I've been buried in the Napoleonic wars for the the past month trying to read War and Peace. War and Peace was published about twenty years after William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, but both are set in the same early 19th century period and both concern, to greater or lesser degrees, society, money and marriages.

I enjoyed the movie because it is gorgeous and full of color. Why? Because it was directed by Mira Nair, who recently directed another beautiful movie called The Namesake. Nair is Indian, as are the characters in The Namesake. Bits of India turn up here and there in Vanity Fair and Nair has drawn those bits out and let them add color to a place and time that could not have really been so bright and vivid.

Then, of course, there's Reese. I don't care what anybody says, I love Reese Witherspoon. I love that she's Southern, I love that she's cute, I love that she reminds me of my cousin Lacey who, incidentally, is the first girl I ever kissed. Lacey didn't grow up to be as hot as Reese, but when she was younger, she had promise.

Anyway, my fantasy girlfriend Reese, brings her natural sass to the role of Becky Sharp, a very sassy character indeed. However, as I watched, I kept wishing I was simply reading the novel. As gorgeous as the movie was, and as great as Reese was, my understanding is that Vanity Fair is one of those long, sprawling novels with lots of characters and connections and alliances and betrayals, and novels like that are hard to cram into the format of a good movie.

For example, I watched Portrait of a Lady last weekend. The book, which I read a few months ago, was great, but the movie felt clipped and forced and bland in comparison. There was no time to linger over characters and motivations and a lot of the nuance was lost. That's a shame.

I hope I haven't ruined the reading of Vanity Fair by watching the movie. I've got a terrible memory, so if I just wait a few months, I will have forgotten all the details. Though I'll never forget my fantasy girlfriend, REESE WITHERSPOON.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

modified desktop meme

Zuhn, over at Vanity Run Amok (sorry, no link, I'm too lazy today) has tagged me (and about a hundred others) to do this desktop/desktop meme. It's a cool idea. Post a picture of your computer's desktop, and then post a picture of your actual *desk* top. You know. Your desk... that piece of furniture on which your computer sits?

Well, I'm besought by both technical and mechanical problems, not to mention, I don't want to post a picture of my computer's desktop. My scattered mess of files that should be organized somewhere and aren't are my business, not yours. But I will post the picture that is set as my desktop image. This is the barn I grew up with (not in) in Georgia. My grandfather's father built it. I love it.

And my camera is broken, but I did take a picture of my actual desk a couple months ago. Here's what it looked like then, back when I still had high hopes that I'd be using that passport sometime soon. Ha.

So there you go. Hope that was good enough. Anybody else want in on this?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

making lemons into lemonaid

Good Afternoon! As you might remember from my last post, I got stuck working a graveyard shift last night, after already working my usual swing shift. Now, you might think that would be the suckiest thing on the planet, but as I mentioned in my last post, it's really not. There are lots of perks, one of which is being allowed to ditch your next shift. Yay!!!

But there is yet another secret, hidden bonus. This one's a little more amorphous, a little harder to explain. Basically, when you only get four hours of sleep (on a couch in a homeless shelter) you spend your whole next day feeling really loopy. At least *I* do, I don't know about you.

First of all, my timing is all thrown off and I don't really know what day it is, or even what *time* of day it is. Secondly, I'm sleepy which makes me feel silly. Thirdly, I have a southern accent when I'm tired, so that's fun. And finally... well... there is no finally. All those things add up to make me feel a little bit tipsy all day. And since it's not a regular day off, it has that bonus, holiday type feeling. It's kind of like an acid trip: it's weird, and dislocated and it lasts about 12 hours, during which time you can't really do anything besides try and entertain yourself.

So, in order to take advantage of that feeling, I went out to lunch with my friend Leo. I love Leo. Sometimes Leo makes me crazy, but sometimes she is the sweetest, best friend ever, and that's how she was today. We debriefed about the Dolly Parton Hoot Night, and we debriefed about the BBQ at her house in honor of her girlfriend's parents, and she told me she's thinking about applying for a job as a librarian in Cairo. That's Cairo, Egypt, folks. And I think she's crazy, but hey, good for her, she should go for it.

Anyway, now I'm home, still feeling goofy and looking for something to do for the next few hours until the sleep deprivation catches up with me and I totally crash. Any suggestions?

this is not my beautiful house

Hello internet friends! It's almost 2am and I'm still at work! Awesome! I don't know why, but the on-caller who was supposed to work graveyard tonight didn't show up, so that means I get to stay! Fun times! Sixteen hours in a row at the Oasis! Nothing could be cooler!

Actually, it's not so bad. I'm about to curl up on the comfy black leather sofa in the loft and take me a nice little snooze that will last basically the rest of my shift. Getting paid to sleep is pretty cool, but that's not all. I also get a $25.00 bonus for working a double shift. Sweet! And there's still ONE MORE BENEFIT: I don't have to work my shift tomorrow!

So you see, kids, getting stuck at work on graveyard really isn't so bad after all. Goodnight!

Monday, June 04, 2007

are you there blogosphere? it's me, rpp...

Today I took my first step towards finding legal employment. I actually emailed a cover letter and resume to Legal Aid and asked to be considered fro Pro Bono work with the hope of someday being actually employed there.

Yeah, I know, I'm aiming really high. My fingers are crossed and I'm hoping for VOLUNTEER work at LEGAL AID. Go for the gold. Let nothing hold me back.

Well, whatever. It's what I want to do. Sort of. I guess. At least it's getting me closer to something I probably want to do...

Either way, I feel a little bit terrified about it all. That whole experience with Birdlady really put me over the edge. Those of you who weren't lucky enough to be reading this blog during the spring of oh-six missed out on my accounts of the terrible time I had in my disability law internship with the nasty tyrant I called Birdlady. She was a big mean bully and I fled her company like a fox flees a pack of hounds. Now I've got the PTSD from it and I'm terrified everybody I work for will be just as nasty and capricious as she was. Yikes. I've got to get over it.

Maybe I should go in for hypnotherapy...? Or maybe there's an accupuncture point to stimulate self-confidence? I could use it. Now I'll have a cold sweat every time I check my email until this woman at Legal Aid writes me back. Then I'm sure I'll have a whole new set of sweats if she actually wants to sign me up for volunteer work. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING! How am I supposed to help people??

Deep breath, deep breath. They'll train me, right? They'll train me and then I'll know stuff and then I'll get my confidence up and then I'll be fine. Right? Right. **sigh** Thanks, blogosphere. You're a good listener. I feel just a tiny bit better already.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Remember that attitude adjustment I mentioned the other day? I started thinking about other times in my life when I felt lonely and pathetic. There have been a few. And I tried to remember the ways I've managed those feelings in the past.

Back when I lived in Columbus, I had a stretch that was very similar to this one. I was single then, very alone, and I wasn't particularly happy with my prospects. I had a good job, but I was lonely. I spent too much time on the internet and I had unhealthy drinking habits. I didn't really drink that much, but I drank in order to get my hopes up about certain things (certain women, usually) and when those things (women) didn't pan out, I always felt pretty crushed.

You may laugh, but one thing that helped turn me around was reading the book Conversations With God. If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I won't even try to explain. At the time, that book struck me in just the right way. Suddenly, the whole world made sense like never before. I was filled with hope, joy, excitement, awe. I started meditating every day, more than once. I ate better. I had incredible, deep, meaningful dreams. It was the most healthy, happy time of my life.

What changed? Who knows. A series of things moved me further down the river and before I knew it I'd moved back to North Carolina and was living with an old flame from college and I wasn't meditating anymore or doing any of the things I'd been doing before and I was suddenly very, very depressed.

Well that sucked. And things suck now, so I decided to dig out that old copy of Conversations With God and see if any of the magic still remained. I know, I know. Just last month I made the bold proclamation that I don't believe in god anymore. True enough, whatever I meant by it at the time. But I do still believe in SOMETHING, and rereading Conversations With God is helping remind of those things I believe in.

I believe, for example, in the Big Bang. I believe that, once upon a time, all of everything existed in the form of a singularity, a tiny, dense hunk of all there ever is, was or would be. I believe that dense hunk exploded and the universe expanded from it, and continues to expand even now, but as much as it expands and as far and wide as it ever seems to grow, I believe the most important part of the whole thing is that everything that ever is, was or would be was once united in one little chunk.

That means that every tiny little subatomic particle in my body was right there in the beginning, right next to all the tiny little subatomic particles in your body, right next to the particles that make up the sun and the grand canyon and my bicycle and all the dogs, cats and horses and everything else on this planet and every other planet in the whole universe.

We all come from exactly the same hunk, and we're all made of exactly the same junk. For some reason, knowing that makes me feel a whole lot better about being alive. And it makes me feel a lot less alone.

it was a hoot

Last night was the 2nd Annual Dolly Parton Hoot Night. Lots of bands and performers (mostly women) came together and played Dolly songs to raise money for Siren Nation, some kind of women's music thing. I obviously didn't bother to educate myself very much. They got my fifteen bucks, whoever they are, and they should be happy.

It was fun, but nowhere near as fun as the one last year. The energy last year was much better. The venue was smaller, the emcees were raunchier, the crowd was crowdeder... and more lesborific... and it was just more exciting. This year it was good, but that special DIY, who-knows-what's-going-to-happen spark was missing. This one was much more slickly produced and the venue was a McMenamin's joint, so... you know... it was guaranteed to be benign and pleasant.

Some of the acts were pretty great. And of course the songs are AWESOME. I nearly wet myself when this cute woman with gorgeous, chestnut curls started singing Jolene. Because, you know, Jolene is awesome. Then there was this woman in Dolly Drag (apparently from The Gossip, but I'm not up on my Portland bands...) who was HILARIOUS and did an incredible, spot-on rendition of I Will Always Love You. She even edged her pudgy, miniskirted self off the stage and out to work the crowd. That was definitely the highlight.

And despite the slick production, there was a lot of amateur musicianship on display -- to very good effect. A cute, waify woman with a warbly, Cat Power voice kept flubbing the words to Coat of Many Colors (despite reading them off a sheet), yet she was so sweet and her voice was so nice, the more she flubbed, the more the crowd cheered. And we were rewarded when she did an incredible version of Little Sparrow, a song with which she was obvioulsy more familiar.

Another trio who were clearly not full time musicians did a couple of Dolly hits in a fumbly, out of tune, out of synch riot grrrl style, complete with a distorted bass and no guitar and a drummer who, by her own admission, had only been behind a drum kit ten times in her life. Yet, they were awesome in their fumbling and everybody loved them. I especially loved the drummer, with her serious face and furrowed brow, who kept time well and even managed a few flourishes, but who was obviously thinking hard about every single move. Her concentration was so apparent and so endearing, it was one of my favorite parts of the show.

I hope this really becomes an annual event, but I hope they don't try too hard to slick it up. The love of Dolly and her songs it what gives this event it's real life and the way people fuck up and keep going and are *supported* by the crowd is, for me, the best part of the whole thing. That and all the lesbians... b/c those are good too...

welcome new blogger!

A long time reader and commenter on this here blog has *finally* started her own blog!! Go check it out and give her some love at There Is No Other Troy!!

Welcome to the club, South Carolina Girl!

Friday, June 01, 2007

the sad truth

I came to an unpleasant but not unexpected conclusion the other night. I'm not a very likeable person. It was 1am and I was sitting with my former colleague and "friend" Fat Tony at Billy Ray's Neighborhood Dive on MLK (my favorite bar, if I haven't told you that in awhile), celebrating his last shift at the Oasis.

The story of how I realized I'm not likeable is boring. I won't tell it. I'll just tell you that I was sitting there, listening to my drunk "friend" Fat Tony giving me this long, self-aggrandizing speech about why he's a social worker (he does it for the clients, not the money, it warms his heart to do something meaningful for people, to really make a difference, etc) and I was just watching him as he talked and I was thinking "You are a worthless sack of shit."

And you know what? That kind of thinking is unlikeable, even if it *is* accurate.

Further, I realized that I was really hoping Fat Tony would fail in his new endeavor. Why? Because he's a lazy, incompetent, insubordinate, selfish, worthless asshole who seems to have some kind of charmed life. Who has dazzlingly childlike confidence that everything he does is golden. Who doesn't care about anything so nothing can hurt him. Who can live on practically no money b/c he doesn't care if he doesn't have heat in his house and b/c he has no problem asking people for beer or cigarettes when he wants a drink or a smoke. And he's strikingly handsome and seems to have a never-ending stream of cute young girls who want to sleep with him. He is my friend and my secret nemisis. And I want him to fail.

Fat Tony is a writer and a lot of our friendship outside of work has involved talking about writing. Fat Tony has quit his job at the Oasis a full month in advance of the start of his next job so that he can "work on the great american novel" for a solid month. No work, no money, no problem. I have read a short-story and play of his and I was not impressed, but then, I don't *want* to be impressed. I want him to suck at something that he cares about. B/c I'm a terrible person, in addition to being unlikeable.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this and that's exactly my point. I can get so wrapped up in thinking about a lot of negative stuff. WHY??? What is so pleasureable to me about my negativity? It's like a familiar, scratchy, pox-infested blanket that I love to curl up in while I hiss and spit at the world. Maybe this is why I'm spending so much time alone these days...? Who knows.

So, my goal is to try and peel off the pox-infested blanket and take a lesson from my nemesis... I mean... friend Fat Tony. He may be a worthless sack of shit, but at least he's sunny and positive most of the time. And he usually gives people the benefit of the doubt, which is a lot more than I can say for myself.

Ok... so... if you hear groaning and shrieking, that's just me enduring a painful attitude adjustment...