Tuesday, February 26, 2008

i finally got a piece of the pie...

So, this promotion thing is slowly starting to sink in... I've been wanting this job for four months, doing it on a part-time, interim basis, basically auditioning for it since November, and I'm still in a daze about actually, finally getting it.

I spoke to my arch-nemisis, I mean, my competition just now on the phone (he called to get my permission, I mean, feedback before putting another filing cabinet in my new office) and we had our now-that-it's-finally-over conversation. He congratulated me and then started spilling about the reasons he was given for not getting it. They were good reasons. They were the same reasons *I* would have given if I hadn't hired him. But it was still a little weird. He was very gracious about the whole thing, whereas I imagined that I might've walked into the middle of my workplace and commited hari-kari if I hadn't gotten the job. Which might explain why I was so stressed out over the weekend.

Anyway, there are a couple of things that I can't quite get used to: for one thing, I won't be working swing shift anymore. I've worked swing shift for almost the entire 6.7 years that I've worked at this place. I won't quite know what to do with myself when I have evenings off. EVERY EVENING OFF. I can hardly even imagine it.

Another thing is the fact that I'll be supervising people. Not just people: I'll be supervising people who were my peers yesterday. People who are my friends. That could be weird. Not to mention I have no idea how to be a supervisor. I'm actually planning to go Powell's City of Books today before work to try and find some self-help book about being a boss. I definitely need some guidance there...

And finally, and possibly strangest, I can't get my mind around the pay raise I'll be getting. I will be earning over a third MORE than I made last year. Take a third of what I made last year, add it to what I made last year (plus a tiny bit more for good measure) and that's what I'll make this year. Needless to say, this will be significantly more money than I have ever made in my life and I may very well feel like a rich person, however erroneous that feeling will be...

I remember an experience I had many years ago in Ohio. I heard a woman I didn't know very well exclaim to her friends, after getting a raise and getting her first post-raise paycheck, "I paid ALL MY BILLS out of ONE PAYCHECK!" I had no idea what she even meant or why she was so excited until my savvy friend filled me in: she got paid twice a month, and her income was now so good that she could pay all her bills with one of her checks, leaving the second check of the month wide open. I was astounded.

That's how I feel now. I will be able to pay all my bills from one paycheck (more or less). I still can't get my mind around it. It feels like so much money to me, but if I put it in perspective I realize it only seems like a lot because I've been living on so little for so long. For example, it's half what my (five years YOUNGER) brother has been making as a computer programmer. And it's just a fraction of what Waspy is making at her big law firm. But still... wow... it just seems like a lot.

Anyway, I know it's supposed to be taboo to talk about money, but I think that's part of what's wrong with people in this country. We don't talk about it, about the disparities and the way your income, or lack thereof, gives you a completely different experience of life than a person whose income is higher or lower. What I take for granted making my old wage, somebody else has to struggle for and what I struggle for, somebody else takes for granted.

Oh whatever, I'm just rambling. I need to go eat some lunch and then start making a list of all the stuff I need to buy now that I'll actually have some funds rolling in. New glasses, new clothes for work, new shower curtain, new shoes...

good for me

Turns out I got the awesome promotion I wanted. Yay. Yet, somehow, I still feel flat. Maybe it hasn't had time to sink in. We'll see how I feel tomorrow...

Friday, February 22, 2008

if i was weather, i'd STILL be gay!

You Are a Rainbow

Breathtaking and rare

You are totally enchanting and intriguing

But you usually don't stick around long!

You are best known for: your beauty

Your dominant state: seducing

Sunday, February 17, 2008

thank god my intuition is still intact

Tonight I hung out with my friend Rose at the Amnesia Brewing Company on Mississippi. Mahavira and I keep driving past Amnesia on these gorgeous, springy days, jealous of all the people hanging out on the patio, enjoying the weather and drinking a nice afternoon beer. We're jealous because we always see this scene on days when we can't join in. Today, for example, we saw it as Mahavira drove me home on her way to work. Work sucks. Life would be so much better without work.

However, even though there was no fun for Mahavira today, at least *I* was free to ramble and roam. My friend Rose had already planted the seed that we might hang out on Sunday, so I called her when I got home and we made a plan. By 5:30, Rose was here to pick me up and by 6 we were both eating sausages and drinking dark beer. Yum.

It was right around the end of my medium-hot sausage with sauerkraut when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but I recognized the area code as my dad's. My dad's whole family, actually, in North Georgia. Just so you know, I have an 89 year old grandmother who I love dearly, and whenever I get a random call from Georgia, I immediately assume the worst. I silenced the ring on my phone and told Rose my suspicions. "Dude," she said. "You should probably get that."

"No, dude," I replied, "I'm not going to find out that my grandmother is dead while I'm sitting here at this bar drinking a beer."

"Point taken."

So we kept drinking and talking and I noticed that the anxious, panicky feeling I usually get under these circumstances wasn't coming. I felt oddly calm. After about an hour my phone rang again, this time it was my grandmother's number. I could so clearly see the progression of events: my grandmother might have had a stroke or something, my family was all at the hospital and my dad borrowed a cell phone to call me and let me know. That would have been the unrecognized number. Then, maybe she died, maybe there were still family left at my grandmother's house, either way, somebody would be trying to reach me again from her phone to give me the news, to beg me to call, etc. I could see it all so plainly, yet the panic hadn't yet hit me and I silenced the call again and let it go to voicemail.

"Dude," said Rose, "I'm starting to get worried for you."

"Yeah. Thanks."

But I didn't feel worried. I don't know why. Pretty soon after that, Rose drove me home where I immediately checked my two voicemails and guess what! Nobody is dead, nobody is even ill! My dad and my grandmother had each tried to call me to see how my job interview went! Amazing. These people have never been even remotely in touch with the day-to-day issues of my life and I'd completely forgotten that they even *knew* I had an interview. How amazing. I'm still not sure why my dad called from an unrecognizeable number, but I guess time will tell.

I called my grandmother back immediately and heard all the family gossip, including information about my cousin's impending marriage. I have ten cousins and they are now almost all married. Even cousins way younger than me. I am now the absolute anomoly, holding down the queer fort with pride. Maybe me and Mahavira will get Civilly United, or whatever it is we can do now in Oregon. Either way, you can guarantee it won't involve sending wedding invitations to my cousins across the country. (I have my cousin's invitation on my desk right now, in fact, and can add it to the pile of weddings I have declined to attend over the years. Sorry, I'm boycotting straight marriages [no hard feelings, joolie]. Good luck and god bless.)

At least I know my psychic powers still work. Even though all the signs pointed to trouble, I knew in my heart of hearts that everything was ok. It was so nice to hear my grandmother's creaky little voice on the phone tonight, to hear her gossip about my cousins and laugh about her "evil" sense of humor. God I love that woman, and I am going to miss her when she's finally, actually gone.

Friday, February 15, 2008

the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin

Do you love Journey? I know I do. I'm trying not to neglect this blog now that I have a totally awesome new sex blog. So I got on here to post, but all I can come up with to write about is a sort of stream of consciousness ramble beginning with the lyrics to the rad Journey song that happened to be in my mind at the time. And I ask myself why I don't have a bunch of Journey songs on my iPod right now.... and I remember the technical difficulties I've been having with my iPod and I shudder and I stop thinking about that for now.

I had a job interview today. I've been angling for this new position at my same place of employment ever since the position was vacated in November. I've been doing the job since then on a very-part-time, interim basis and have really enjoyed it, and now I'm finally in the running to actually get it for reals. The interview today went SMASHINGLY well, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, I didn't bumble around and make a fool of myself and I felt that my interviewers were impressed with my enthusiasm and confidence (the kind of confidence that can only come after working at the same place for almost seven years and being utterly overqualified for the job...)

And I was pleasantly surprised when the compensation range was finally (FINALLY) disclosed to me. I might still be making peanuts, but there will be many more peanuts, and peanuts of a slightly higher quality. Maybe even organic peanuts. What I'm saying is, I'll be able to afford to pay the student loan people in March when they start asking for their goddamn money already.

Now I'm sitting here waiting for Mahavira to pick me up so we can go have drinks with her brother and sister-in-law. I am planning to make myself indespensable to Mahavira so that she can never leave me: one step is to ingratiate myself to her family. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

portland cool points

I have graduated to the highest echelons of Portland hipster cool: I packed up all my dirty clothes into my paniers and rode my bike to the laundromat on Sunday. I have arrived. I am now too cool to talk to you. (And if you're not from Portland, you probably have no idea why this would be considered cool. You'll just have to trust me.)

(By the way, don't forget to go check out my cool new sex blog, Swell. Don't be shy, it won't bite.)

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Awhile back, perhaps last summer, Zuhn made a very good point over on her blog. She'd come to a point in her blogging life at which she felt compelled to start writing about subjects she didn't feel her regular readers could handle. Not that they couldn't *handle* these things exactly... but things she feared would put her regulars off a little. Personal stuff, sexual stuff, stuff she hadn't been writing about on her blog before.

Now I find myself in that exact position. I have been blogging for two years now and until this point I have never shared any details about my sex life. I've talked about my girlfriends, my break-ups, I've written very vaguely about certain sexual exploits, but I've always pretended to be a lady who doesn't tell. Well that's just ridiculous because I love to tell. I've just been refraining for *your* sake, dear reader. I was afraid I would freak you out. See how I take care of you?

But the truth is that I love sex and really love thinking and talking and writing about it. I think we'd all be a lot happier and healthier (sexually and otherwise) if we were free to share some of the more intimate details of things. And so I started another blog. I decided I'd introduce it here and let *you* decide if you want to go there.

It's not a porn blog and it's not particularly sexy so far. It's just me, writing about my own sexual exploration and the way my sexuality overlaps with politics and feminism and genderism and all sorts of weird stuff. In fact, there's only two posts so far, so it's a blog in its infancy. I invite you to come check it out, if you can stand to read intimate details about me, and if you get inspired I'd love it if you'd post comments about your own experiences.

So here it is, Swell. Come on over! I'd love to see you all there.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


I'm sitting in Mahavira's "living room" -- although Mahavira's house is almost as small as mine and the "living room" also contains the bed, which makes it more literally a "living room" as in "the room I mostly live in" -- anyway, what was I saying...?

Oh, right, I'm sitting in Mahavira's "living room" tapping into a very tenuous wi-fi signal that could disappear at any moment, which makes blogging a sort of tenuous enterprise altogether. And speaking of tenuous, the weather here today was UNBELIEVABLY awesome. (Tenuous because it won't last, duh.)

I had no idea how nice it was outside since Mahavira and I (as per usual) laid in bed drinking tea and chatting until 2pm. Naturally, as we prepared to leave the house, I got myself all bundled up for winter -- and lo and behold it was SPRING when we got outside. We had a long list of errands to run and the goal of (Mahavira) studying for FOUR hours today, which made it really, really difficult to walk past the Amnesia Brewing Company right down the street, where people were lounging around picnic tables on the patio, drinking really good beer and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, without stopping in ourselves. Mahavira actually whined.

But we persevered and now it's 6:30 and we've picked up the truck, gone shopping at Fred Meyer and taken Ginger for a walk, yet Mahavira has barely studied 30 minutes, and her stated goal has been whittled and whittled and whittled some more. Now her goal is to study two hours tonight and two hours tomorrow before she goes to work. We'll see. Meanwhile, I'm just entertaining myself with my computer, which is pretty normal for me anyway...

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Hi kids. Thanks for all the comments and well-wishes. Thanks especially to someone called "Cookie" who says I'm her favorite blogger. That kinda thing really helps a girl's spirit.

Anyway, I'm feeling surprisingly better this evening. I wasn't able to work today, ended up sleeping many, many hours, which is a good thing. Finally, at 6-ish, Mahavira came over for a visit. I hadn't seen Mahavira since Monday morning, which is an absolutely unacceptable span of time apart. Fuck.

So Mahavira came over bringing all sorts of goodies which at first seemed sort of yucky, but pretty soon I realized how hungry I was and as soon as she left I tore open the bag of white cheddar Smartfood popcorn and started boiling water for the cup of Nile Spice lentil soup. Yum! All I've eaten in two days is a handful of stoneground wheat crackers and half a banana, so I was ready to chow down. Now I'm eating the Rice Crispy Treat bar she brought me and starting to feel much, much better.

So much better, in fact, that I'm planning to go sleep at Mahavira's tonight. I can't stand to spend one more night in my bed alone. I miss her! It sucks. Right now she's having cocktails with her best friend who she is constantly blowing off. She wanted to blow her off tonight when she learned I wasn't working, but I wouldn't let her. I don't want her getting in any more trouble with her closest friends. My presence in her life has caused her absence in the lives of a lot of other people. I feel sorta bad about it, but not bad enough to vacate entirely. I'll just try and keep some kind of balance in place.

Now I'm off to pack up and call a cab. My car is still broken and Mahavira is loaning her truck out tonight, so we're both carless. Taking a cab the twenty or so blocks to Mahavira's seems a little bit decadent, but I'm still too weak from my sickness to cycle down there and walking wouldn't be so fun either. So I'll just relax and let myself be a princess tonight. Because I've been sick...

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

my tempered and well reasoned feelings about some things

Today was not so awesome. I had to be at work by 9am for a "town hall" meeting with the CEO. I work for a large, non-profit, mental health agency that has been recently maligned in one of the local newspapers. Not naming any names here, of course.

In addition to a print article riddled with misstated facts and total falsehoods, there was an online version of the story which featured about 300 (maybe 400, by last count) comments, most of which were NAAAASTY. Some claimed to be from disgruntled former staffers, disgruntled current staffers, and many just came from assholes with opinions.

Anyway, many of these comments were actually personally insulting to our CEO. Now, I'm no big fan of business, but I'm not an idiot either and our agency (as wonderful and non-profit as it is) is obviously a business, with an enormous budget and uncountable obligations to clients, insurance companies, and every effing branch of government, not to mention private funders and the community at large. And, I'm not ashamed to say it, I think our CEO is a good person doing a good job. There you go.

In response to the article, but mostly motivated by all the nasty comments that seem to have come from staff, the CEO decided to go to all the sites, one after the other, and hold "town halls" for people to come and ask questions, air grievances, and help her to set up the kind of atmosphere where people feel heard.

Listening to the comments and questions today, I can only say that the woman must have incredible patience. Some of those people were just plain retarded. I am obviously biased, here. Biased against ignorant, knee-jerk hippies who say stupid shit like "why did you have to close down Site X last month, why didn't you at least try to save it," or "why don't we put some effort into getting grants to run things?"

Hello, Ricky Retardo, WE'RE DOING THAT STUFF. You obviously aren't even aware that a portion of the work you do right here in this building is funded by an enormous United Way grant that your boss's boss managed to land. You want a union because you think the bosses are all pigs, but guess what? You don't work at Wal-Mart or Ford Fucking Motor Company, you work for a non-profit mental health agency during the last throes of the Bush Administration. Even if our bosses wanted to be pigs, guess what? THERE'S NOTHING IN THE TROUGH!

Good for you, though. Be an activist, that's great. But maybe go change something that needs changing. Or get some goddamn information before you walk into the meeting and make an ass out of yourself by forcing the fucking CEO (who is an awesome, no bull-shit, mental health warrior) talk you through the most basic shit that would be obvious to anyone who pulled her head out of the union's ass long enough to find out what's *actually* going on around her.

Oh but christ, don't get me started on the union...

Anyway, you should know, at the end of this little rant, that a lot of it is fueled by the fact that I'm SICK. The kind of sick that keeps you near the bathroom. The kind of sick where you have a headache but you can't take anything for it because you won't be able to keep the painkillers down. The kind of sick where you try to take your mind off the discomfort by watching Weeds on DVD, and even though it's an AWESOME show and Mary-Louise Parker is unbelievably hot, you still feel like shit. The kind of sick where you leave work early and have to cancel on your girlfriend whose dad you were supposed to meet tonight. The kind of sick where you cry a lot and lament the fact that you're a loner scorpio and your only real friend is in Africa for six months leaving no one for you to call and ask for a delivery of pepto bismal. (And when you mention pepto bismal to your girlfriend, who is getting ready to go out with her narcissistic dad who only visits once every several months, she tells you pepto is bad for you and won't help. BUT IT WILL HELP!!!)

Ok, now write sympathetic comments. That's what I love about blogging when I'm sick. The pity... I mean, the sympathy.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

super duper tuesday

As the year 2000 turned into 2001, I watched with bewilderment as the election debacle finally resolved itself in the worst possible way. When the dust cleared and George W. Bush was installed as president, I was disappointed (scared, annoyed, disgusted) but I looked forward with hope to 2004.

We all know what happened then. I don't know about you, but I sat at the E-room (Portland's only lesbian bar) and watched the depressing results roll in. Not only did George get reelected, but twelve states enacted anti-gay marriage legislation of some kind, including my own state, and my marriage to CB dissolved before our eyes.

Fun times. Ostensibly we all left the bar that night looking forward to 2008. Not me. Turns out, I have lost all faith in American politics. And now that John Edwards is out and only Hillary and Obama remain... come on. It's all over. As I've mentioned before, the best we can hope for at this point is John McCain. And, god-willing, I'll be happy to eat those words in November.

Anyhoo, the point is, who cares about so-called Super Tuesday? It's all the effing same. My co-worker Pat summed it up right after the New Hampshire primaries. We were talking about the possibilities and he said, "Yeah, you know, it'll probably end up being Bush again. They'll count all the votes and all of a sudden somebody will say 'It's George, he won,' and the Supreme Court will be like 'yeah, we don't really know how it happened, but we guess it's legal,' and that'll be it." I don't think this is a particularly unlikely scenerio.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

life imitates art

I recently read this book and its ending shocked me. Now I see this strikingly similar story and am left to shake my head and wonder what the fuck is wrong with the human animal...

how my weekend was shanghai-ed

I'm taking the day off from socializing after a long social weekend. What's a "day off" look like, exactly? I spent the morning with Mahavira, I spent the afternoon shopping for bingo prizes with my friend Shmiel from work, who was kind enough to offer to drive me to the Dollar Tree since my car is broken, and I'll be spending my night (as in: bedtime) with Mahavira. So, this is no solitary retreat, but it is a solid six hours of nothing but my own company and the occasional text message from Mahavira.

I'm currently skipping this week's L Word party because I hung out last night with all those kayaking friends of mine and now I'm ready for some me-time. Mahavira, furthering her saintliness, accompanied me to a birthday dinner last night for Kara at House of Louie downtown. We were uncharacteristically late, having spent tons of time taking the goddamn foster dog to the vet for more tranquilizers. I hate that dog.

After the vet, we ran by It's My Pleasure (Portland's very awesome for-women-by-women sex-toy store) so Mahavira could spend the gift certificate I got her for x-mas and so I could pick up a birthday present for Kara. I was just going to get her a gift-certificate, but once I saw the plastic pee-standing-up device, I knew I had to get her one of those too. I couldn't resist. We're an outdoorsey bunch, but she takes the cake. I could think, off the top of my head, of about ten different situations she's in on a daily basis for which this pee device might come in handy. I'd love to post a picture of the kind I got Kara, but I can only find another cardboard kind online and I can't remember the name of the brand I got. Oh well. Just trust me. It was really cool.

The gift was a big hit and all the ladies had pee-device envy. I asked about getting some kind of bulk-rate discount, but the woman at the store told me I'd have to get about 25 before they'd cut me a deal, and I don't have that many friends. Oh well. I'll be getting myself one, eventually, but I waited. It'll give me a good excuse to go back to the sex-toy store (like anybody needs an excuse...)

After the mediocre chinese food at House of Louie, the birthday crowd wandered over to Hobo's to meet up with our Shanghai Tunnels tourguide. That was the big birthday surprise: a Portland Underground tour. For those of you unfamiliar with Portland's sordid history, our sweet little liberal utopia was once (in)famous for the practice of "Shanghai-ing" people -- in fact, Portland is where that term actually originated. From the mid 1800's to the 1940's, if you were an "able bodied" man who happend to get too drunk at any of the town's many saloons, you might find your drunk ass dropped through a trapdoor in the floor of the bar and put into a holding cell in Portland's vast underground network of tunnels and basement rooms, where you'd be kept in the dark for days until you were drugged again and carted off to the waterfront where you'd be sold to ship-captains, taken out to sea, and forced to work on the ship's crew for no pay. If you were lucky they dumped you off at the end of the voyage. If you were unlucky, they ran out of food on the trip and ate you.

The tour was an hour and a half long and can be summed up thusly: anticlimactic. Fun facts: in addition to having trap doors in the floor, those old saloons used to have tiled troughs running waist high along the front of their bars so that the men drinking at the bar (standing, b/c there weren't stools) could just whip it out and piss right there without having to leave the bar at all. Amazing. (Pee is an unintended theme tonight I guess...) And the worst Portland Shanghai-er (William Bunco Kelly) once sold a ship-captain thirty dead guys he'd found in the cellar of a funeral home who'd all died after drinking embalming fluid that they'd mistaken for whiskey. Woops. But kudos to Mr. Bunco Kelly for making lemonaid out of lemons. Not only did he sell the dead guys, he actually sold them for *more* than the going rate because he told the ship captain it took them that much more liquor to knock these bad-asses out. Wow. That's salesmanship.

Anyway, other than that, the tour was lame. While they've restored lots of the tunnels, the tunnels aren't even close to being connected anymore due to lots of modern construction and earthquake-proofing. The hour and a half long tour consisted of a *lot* of long speeches, full of 80% historical facts about the tunnels and 20% bullshit ghost stories to creep us out. Mahavira was thrilled at the possibility that she might have a brush with the paranormal ("Seeing a ghost will renew my faith in so many things," she kept saying) -- she lingered at the very back of the tour, insisting that any ghostly activity would be much more likely to happen to the person trailing behind.

Needless to say, she didn't have any brushes with anything besides boredom. We slowly made our way through three -- ONLY THREE -- underground rooms. We saw a holding cell where the men were kept while awaiting their sea-faring doom. We saw a pile of dusty cork-boots that were worn by loggers and had been found in the tunnels, evidence of Shanghai-ing, because the Shanghaiers would steal the boots of their victims then litter the tunnels with thick piles of broken glass to prevent escape. We saw a tiny, restored closet that had been used by "white slavers" to break the spirits of the women they'd kidnapped and intended to sell into sexual slavery. We saw a giant wooden, cigar store "indian," the purpose of which is too boring to relate. And finally, the climax was being encouraged to put our fingers through the actual bars in a window of another holding cell that the victims had put their fingers through oh-so-many years before. It might have been eerie if we hadn't, at that moment, been standing directly under the Boiler Room's karaoke bar, from which was wafting some pretty terrifying, butchered music. Yikes. That was probably the scariest part of the whole tour.

Not to be a total dick: the tours are run by a not-for-profit historical preservation society, staffed entirely by volunteers. I found it hard to begrudge my $13 admission fee when I considered that no one was getting rich off these lame tours. The money was all going to historical preservation efforts. I can appreciate that. And the tour guide did a great job with the dearth of good material she had to work with.

I was also planning to work my way further backward into the weekend and tell you about the post-holiday holiday party Mahavira and I went to for my work, but I'm getting sick of typing and need to go clean my house a little and do other cool me-time stuff before Mahavira gets here in two hours. Two hours! Woo-hoo! For some reason, the proximity of Mahavira makes me-time look dull and lonely by comparison...