Tuesday, January 30, 2007

ID Terror

Just reading over at Rebecca's about the future of REAL-ID... she says
wow: not only do we have to have passports now (as of Jan 14 or so) to fly to Canada and Mexico, but we will have to have passports to cross those borders in a car as of January 2008, and in May 2008 will have to have ID complying with the 2005 REAL-ID law to board an airplane (restricting travel within our own country) and also (I think) to access federal human services programs. States are free not to issue REAL-ID compliant drivers' licenses, but then their residents will have to have passports* to board any plane or access federal programs. The REAL-ID compliant licenses, at least in Maine, would cost people over $100, and require people to show original copies of their birth certificates and social security cards.

Holy fuck.

You probably know that I have a nine-year-old-daughter. You might not know that I don't technically have full legal custody of her, which means that I can't get a passport for her. I've already given up the idea of ever traveling out of the country until she turns 18, but it sounds like it might mean that we won't be able to travel via airplane at all after May 2008, and could possibly lose our food stamps and healthcare.

Here's the situation: Her dad and I never got married, although his name is listed on her birth certificate. This means that even though I have been solely responsible for finances (with the exception of about $500 in child support over the last nine years), schooling, doctor's appointments, nightmares, conversations about sex and death, childcare during work hours, middle-of-the-night-vomiting, consequences, hugs, backrubs, rollerblading, Christmas presents (okay, you get it)... Even though that's been all me and he's been completely gone for eight years, I can't get a passport for her without his actual presence with me in the passport office so that he can sign the fucking paper. Which is impossible because I don't know where he is.

I found him twice, and I tried to file for custody both times, but he keeps leaving the state every time I serve him with papers because he's afraid I'll get child support out of him.

All I can think of with this REAL-ID stuff is WWII stories about people terrified of being caught out without their identification papers.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I decided, just this minute, to buy myself a digital camera if I am still not smoking in six months (that's July, in case you have to count on your fingers like I just did).

Logic: I spend, on average, $10 a week on cigarettes. Yes, my monkey is small, but he's a tenacious little fucker. In six months, that's $240. And that doesn't include the co-pay on extra doctor's visits and prescriptions for my annual bronchitis, nor for the (priceless) wear and tear on the ol' bod. So, even after the roughly $75 I will spend on nicotine gum, I'm still breaking even financially, and might live to see my grandchildren to boot**. Though I'll likely have a newer camera by then.

**Should my daughter choose to someday reproduce, which choice is hers alone. Of course.

Day 10

It's kind of a risk, but I'm going to announce it anyway.

Today I have been 10 days without smoking a cigarette.

No pointing and laughing allowed. The twitching has mostly subsided and I haven't killed anyone in at least 48 hours, so I guess things are improving.

Monday, January 22, 2007

And the Winner Is...

J, who guessed the correct answer roughly 30 seconds after I posted the question. Nice deductive reasoning, J:

Being as shovels are often marketed to "men" and in a much more masculine tone,
my guess would be...The salad spinner

Your Communist Manifesto will be in the mail shortly, as I've decided to award the slightly burned santa candle to...

Patrick, who gets runner-up honors for the best answer:

This is a trick question. The answer is b and d, because it's a Ronco
Combination Vibrator and Salad Spinner.

If only there were such a thing. Lesbians (and other sex-positive individuals who like clean salad) would shed tears of joy. Or something.

Still no lesbian radio text. I'm such a frickin' slacker.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Quiz, With Prizes

Since I forgot my flashy-flash thing again, it's quiz time.

Please read the following text and choose the correct answer.
Touchables products are designed with your comfort in mind. Soft handles nestle perfectly in the palm of your hand and provide non-slip comfort. You won't want to put them down... We use only the best materials so you can enjoy long-lasting comfort. Touch them. Try them. We're sure you'll agree.

This copy came from a recent holiday gift that I received.

Was it a:

a. snow shovel
b. salad spinner
c. toothbrush
d. vibrator
e. puppy

The first correct answer receives a chapbook-style copy of The Communist Manifesto that I found at the used book store. Or a slightly burned Santa candle. Your choice.

K, you are not allowed to guess.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Yesterday's lesbian radio piece was a stunning success.

Okay, I exaggerate. But we did get one call-in, which is a 100% increase over the number of call-ins there have previously been during my six-month tenure as Lesbian Correspondent.

I think that qualifies it as an Event of Note.

I forgot my data stick/flash drive/flashy flash/thingy at home today so the text is not posted here as promised. But it will be tomorrow. Most likely.

I also lost my day planner yesterday, which leaves me wandering around with that did-I-turn-off-the-oven feeling, even though it has nothing to do with ovens or being away from home. Just the same distracted feeling in the back of my brain that I've forgotten something really important. Which I have. Twice.

Here's a promise for you: a quiz is forthcoming. I'll say nothing more lest I betray myself, but I can tell that all three of you are waiting with baited (bated?) breath.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snowflake Love

You can save snowflakes forever. (Thanks, Rebecca.)

Also, it's lesbian radio today. Talking about desire paths. And messing with The Man.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Can You Recommend a Book About...

I recently got a request for a book recommendation. This is one of my favorite things in the world. I think that my backup career choice would be to work in a library or bookstore so that I could just recommend books to people all day long.

So the request was for a book about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender experience(s) that is accessible to a non-LGBT audience. They want to read the book and discuss it.

I immediately thought of:

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

What would you suggest? I realized that I'm lacking knowledge of good books about the gay male experience, so any of those would be great too.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Not a Godfather or a President

I just got an email with the obituary of Tillie Olsen in it. She died on January 1.

Olsen is one of my favorite writers. A feminist, socialist, hard-working woman, I have always admired her work. Last semester I wrote a paper on one of her books, trying to see how she uses art to work on social justice issues, so that I can do the same thing.

The obituary, written by Mark Krupnik and published in The Guardian, says

Younger feminists praised Olsen for telling the truth, often bitter and circumscribed, of women's lives. She was speaking for those who passed without the opportunity to leave any kind of mark. For Olsen that meant not only dignifying the life of her own mother, to whom she dedicated [her book Tell Me A Riddle], but also those lives, exploited and forgotten...Her courses in women's writing encouraged a host of books on the difficulties of women striving for the authority ofauthorship.

and also,

With the wealth of capitalist society to support her through grants and fellowships, Olsen in her last decades remained essentially an old-style trade union radical. The difference was that while in the mid-1940s Olsen had addressed herself in the communist press to women labouring in factories, in her latter years she sought to encourage women inuniversities who were trying to liberate themselves by learning to write. She astonished seminar participants by reading and commenting on all the manuscripts of students who sought her attention. Writing students had modelled themselves on the male priests of high modernism, such as Joyce, Proust and Mann, and American inheritors such as Pynchon. Olsen largely succeeded in modelling another, a woman's, way of writing and being.

She was 94.

Olsen's short story, "I Stand Here Ironing," from her collection Tell Me A Riddle is one of my very favorites ever.

Olsen is and was, as her character in the story says "more than this dress on the ironing board, helpless before the iron."


Blog Archive