Friday, May 30, 2008

You Know You're an English Major When...

...things like this make you laugh out loud:

A Freudian, a Jungian, and a Lacanian walk into a bar.

The Freudian orders a cigar.

The Jungian orders an Etruscan mask to conceal his face.

"You cretins!" says the Lacanian. He then orders a beer, which, however, he does not desire.

Tweets for Today

  • 22:58 taking a break that has nothing to do with dancing. #
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

When you're gay-for-pay, like me, June is the month that your doctor hands you a bottle of valium and says, "have fun, sugar." Or, rather, you wish she did. If she's like my doctor she says something like, "have you ever thought about yoga?" To which I would like to reply, "yes, I think about yoga a lot. Would you like to provide some free childcare while I go?" But mostly I just nod and try to look thoughtful.

Anyway, what I meant to say was that sometime over the next four weeks I will likely have a complete brain meltdown due to the many convergences of my life (5th grade graduation, pride, other work stuff, presentation of work created by youth supposedly under my supervision). To avoid the dreaded brain collapse syndrome I am taking some precautions:

1. ample supply of valerian pills and sleepytime tea
2. season 2 of will & grace on dvd
3. a stack of novels that are absolutely not related to being queer
4. a little extra money set aside to buy dinner out more than once a month
5. taking a break from some of my extra activities

And sadly, my internet friends, #5 has a direct impact on our relationship. So, we could say, "let's take some time off and check back in a month." Of course, when I have said that to actual people with whom I have actual relationships, I almost never see them again. But I trust that you'll be here waiting, right? I might swing by a few times before then, but no promises.

But I'll have rice krispie treats when I come back, OK?

Friday, May 23, 2008


I'm pretty sure there was a coyote in my yard last night. I went out on the front steps around midnight and thought at first it was a really big fox, but now I think it was a smallish coyote. It was licking the pathway in front of my neighbor's house (she has a little girl, so there was probably some kind of spilled deliciousness on the ground) and it wasn't very afraid of me, even after I made a big banging noise.

I think I'm going to make sure to keep the kitty in at night from now on.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Goals

I think I just want to eat Rice Krispie treats. That's my new career path. I'll just eat them, sometimes with the butterscotch/chocolate stuff on top, sometimes plain. Sometimes with Cocoa Krispies, sometimes with the Fruity Pebbles. But always marshmallowy goodness, and always in my mouth. It's my calling. I could post a resume if anyone's interested in hiring me for that position.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

you shall above all things

I haven't been reading enough poetry. Thanks to the comments in a friend's blog, I revisited some e.e. cummings this evening , and this one, um, spoke to me. Maybe all the girlboys and boygirls and acceptance of things for what they are.

I also loved the boys i mean are not refined but it's a little too intense for this quiet evening... all the masturbating with dynamite and shaking the world clash with my rice krispie treats and surfing and the tv downstairs and a long day's work done.

you shall above all things be glad and young
you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you're young,whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad
whatever's living will yourself become.
Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
i can entirely her only love

whose any mystery makes every man's
flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

that you should ever think,may god forbid
and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
called progress,and negation's dead undoom.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thought for the Day

"The chronic procrastinator knows he's presenting a negative image, but he'd rather be perceived negatively for lack of effort than for lack of ability,... Lack of ability is a stable attribute, but lack of effort is shifting—it means you could do it, you might be able to do it."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Video Store Conundrum

If you think that my writing about the video store takes up a disproportionate amount of this blog, you'd be right. Sort of. I mean, I think the video store should take up zero percent of anybody's blog, and at the same time I can't help myself.

I was at the video store with Daughter a little while ago, treating myself to a the next disk of The Wire. Season 4 is creeping up faster than I'd like. Anyway, this video store has a deal on Thursday nights that you get one movie free with any rental, and if they like you they often charge for the cheaper one and give the new release free.

So I was essentially forced to find another movie. While I was perusing the new releases and the Top 60 shelf, I found myself having a meta-experience, analyzing my movie choice process. (And this is the point at which those who hate navel-gazing click away to naked pictures of Rachael Ray or something. Go ahead. Catch you later.)

My strategy is hampered by the fact that I am in denial about what I actually like for movies. I actually like crime movies, hip foreign films, and everything in the Juno-You And Me And Everyone We Know-Junebug-The Squid and the Whale genre. What do you even call that? Indie? If it has the little Cannes leaf design on it, I'm drawn to it.

I wish that I liked horror movies (I very much like horror books) but I find them too scary. I also wish that I liked documentaries more, but I don't like anything that looks too smug, and documentaries often do.

Comedies? No. Never. I am far. too. serious.

Kids movies? Unfortunately, sometimes. Though not by choice.

Tonight's Selections?

So it goes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dykey McDykerson

Hey everyone!

The Portland Dyke March Committee is having their final fundraiser!

Countdown 2 Pride!

Friday, May 16th 9:00 p.m. @ The North Star Cafe
with DJ Jackie

All ages, everyone welcome, $3 suggested cover donation.

Come help us countdown to pride season and this year's Dyke March!
Questions? Email us at

Save the Date:
Portland's 3rd Annual Dyke March
Friday, June 20th, 2008
Pre-show @ Congress Square @ 6:30
March @ 7:30
After Party @ North Star @ 8:30

Book List

I do love lists of books to read. There is a new book out that is a list of books (but, wait, does that book make the list?). The new book lists the 1001 books you should read before you die.
(via kottke)

These are the books on the list that I've read. I do pretty well in contemporary literature, and pretty well in the 1700s thanks to a couple of college classes, but I think I need to go back to some classics.

And, Interview With a Vampire? Really? I could suggest a hundred other things you could do with that span of time. Come see me if you really are feeling some Anne Rice coming on, and I'll give you something else to do. Unless you're in high school, and into black lipstick, and then go for it.


1. The Sea – John Banville
The Red Queen – Margaret Drabble
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
Fingersmith – Sarah Waters
Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
After the Quake – Haruki Murakami


Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Mason & Dixon – Thomas Pynchon
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Possessing the Secret of Joy – Alice Walker
Written on the Body – Jeanette Winterson
The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg
Black Water – Joyce Carol Oates
Vineland – Thomas Pynchon
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
Possession – A.S. Byatt
Sexing the Cherry – Jeanette Winterson
The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood
The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams
The Passion – Jeanette Winterson
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Anagrams – Lorrie Moore
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
The Cider House Rules – John Irving
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Neuromancer – William Gibson
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
50. Rabbit is Rich – John Updike
Waiting for the Barbarians – J.M. Coetzee
Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The World According to Garp – John Irving
Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin
The Shining – Stephen King
Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Crash – J.G. Ballard
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
Sula – Toni Morrison
Surfacing – Margaret Atwood
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
Rabbit Redux – John Updike
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – Kurt Vonnegut
Everything That Rises Must Converge – Flannery O’Connor
Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
V. – Thomas Pynchon
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
Solaris – Stanislaw Lem
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Violent Bear it Away – Flannery O’Connor
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
The Story of O – Pauline Réage
101. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Junkie – William Burroughs
Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
I, Robot – Isaac Asimov
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
The Pursuit of Love – Nancy Mitford
Loving – Henry Green
Arcanum 17 – André Breton
Christ Stopped at Eboli – Carlo Levi
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  1. Go Down, Moses – William Faulkner
  2. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway
  3. Native Son – Richard Wright
  4. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  5. Finnegans Wake – James Joyce
  6. The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
  7. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  8. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Out of Africa – Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen)
  10. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  11. Independent People – Halldór Laxness
  12. Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
  13. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein
  14. Journey to the End of the Night – Louis-Ferdinand Céline
  15. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  16. The Waves – Virginia Woolf
  17. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  18. Orlando – Virginia Woolf
  19. The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
  20. To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  21. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  22. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  23. We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
  24. The Garden Party – Katherine Mansfield
  25. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
  26. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  27. The Rainbow – D.H. Lawrence
  28. Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
  29. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
  30. Howards End – E.M. Forster
  31. A Room With a View – E.M. Forster
  32. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  33. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad


  1. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  2. The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  3. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  4. The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
  5. The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  8. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  10. The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy
  11. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  12. The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  13. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  14. Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
  15. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  16. Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne
  17. Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
  18. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  19. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  20. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  21. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
  22. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
  23. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  24. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  25. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
  26. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  27. The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
  28. The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
  29. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  30. The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
  31. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  32. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
  33. Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
  34. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  35. Emma – Jane Austen


  1. The Monk – M.G. Lewis
  2. The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
  3. Vathek – William Beckford
  4. Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  5. The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
  6. Candide – Voltaire
  7. Fanny Hill – John Cleland
  8. Clarissa – Samuel Richardson
  9. A Modest Proposal – Jonathan Swift
  10. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe


  1. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  2. The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous
  3. Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One of Those Days

You know that the day isn't going to be a disney musical when your first waking thoughts are, "oh, shit."

Last night was the Queer Youth Prom, and I volunteered to chaperone for the second year in a row. The theme was Out through the Decades, so my date and I dressed up as Secret Heavy Metal Dude Lovers, and I broke out my spandex and bought a leather vest for the occasion. I also used an entire bottle of sample-sized hairspray and wore red cowboy boots. Alas, I have no photographs of the occasion, but you'll have to trust that it was nothing short of amazing. The only think I forgot was to pack the spandex (which is funny, because it really, genuinely didn't occur to me) but I think it was a good choice in the interest of keeping things G-rated for the youth.

At any rate, it was an entertaining, if long, evening, and several of us chaperones decided to nightcap it off at a local drinking establishment. That would have been fine if the strong gin and tonics hadn't come in pint glasses, and if I'd eaten supper.

Long story short, I found myself walking to my car at 9:00 this morning, sipping on my coffee as gently as I could so as not to rattle the shards of glass that seem to be lodged in my brain. There is a complex series of broken blood vessels across my chest from the binding (to all of my trans and drag-performing friends: I'm sorry. I really didn't know) and I think I still have pillow wrinkles on my face.

I picked up Daughter from her friend's house, where she'd spent the night--probably getting even less sleep than me--and took her to acting class. I foolishly volunteered to help out at a bottle-drive fundraiser this afternoon, but being in a loud, clinking room full of the smell of rotten booze is, um, not my first choice right now.

Wish me luck. And a nap.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 21:18 I got the nicest present of my entire life yesterday. Don't worry, I'll be showing it off to everyone. #
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The Story of Stuff

Daughter and I have been enjoying (and forcing people to watch) this web movie (via feministe).

That's just the first chapter. You can see the whole thing here.

The parts that I keep thinking about: about how only 1% of the stuff we buy is in our houses after 6 months. I buy a little less than the average person, but still. Yuck. Also, about how, to make my 1 bag of trash per week, there were 70 bags of trash made to produce the stuff in that one bag. Double yuck.

My big weakness is plastic food containers. Like tupperware, but not tupperware because I'm too cheap to buy it. More like, the "disposable" kind you get at the grocery store. There comes a point in every plastic container's life in which I forget to take it out of my bag after the weekend, or I leave the leftovers in the fridge a month too long, or something. And then I chuck it, and feel guilty about it. Otherwise I think we do pretty good on the disposable stuff front. I buy recycled when I can (paper products) and keep an eye on the packaging of the stuff we do buy.

I've been trying to sell Daughter on having a zero-waste birthday party this year, where friends bring donations for a charity instead of gifts, and there's no plastic crap or extra bag of trash. She's.... um... unconvinced. I can't blame her; making changes is hard--but it's possible. I haven't bought any baggies (with the notable exception of two boxes of freezer bags to freeze vegetables last fall) in two years, and no paper towels in three (with the notable exception of moving week, when we lived in a paper product world).

Monday, May 05, 2008

Well Hey

(via slog--that's Seattle, WA)

I sort of know that guy. I definitely know his sister. You probably won't run across him here in Maine, but if you happen to, you know who to call. Hope he's OK.

UPDATE: I talked to a friend who knows these folks, and she says that it was a false alarm, and that he's OK. He just changed his mind while he was out and went somewhere else.

Tweets for Today

  • 14:43 today's baking: salted chocolate brownies and rice-n-cabbage casserole. #
  • 19:34 nothing makes time move more slowly than waiting for a phone call. #
  • 09:55 cut my own ear this morning while I was cutting my hair. I think I'm ready to admit that I have a problem. #
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Happy Birthday Queerbie!

This month is the one year anniversary of the Queerbie!

Gifts in honor of this special occasion are welcome. I would enjoy some bags of potting soil, a haircut, or a black heavy-metal t-shirt.

I think I will go eat some more salted brownies to celebrate (they are far more delicious than they sound, I promise. You know when you can't decide if you want sweet or salty? Or, in the tradition of chocolate-covered pretzels or kettle corn. Mmmm... so good.).

(Confidential to Muffin: Hello! Let's set up a mutual admiration society, yes?)

Sunday, May 04, 2008


I've worked off and on at the shelter downtown for about four and a half years, full time for the first three, and per diem since I started working at the Big Gay Job. After taking this winter off so that I could finish up school, I started picking up some shifts on Sunday mornings working in the dining room. It's only about two hours a week, and the pay is so low that it's not really enough persuasion to get out of bed at 6:30 on a Sunday morning. So I've been thinking really hard about why I go, and here's what I've come up with:

At heart the reason is selfish--I go because it makes me feel good, because it makes me feel connected to the folks there, it keeps me from forgetting that they exist.

And if I'm being honest, I also like to pat myself on the back for doing something "for the homeless." My two hours are nothing compared to what it's like to be homeless. I mean, I could call in sick to work. Or I could decide I don't want to do it any more. But they're still there, and they're still standing out in the rain from when I make them leave at the end of breakfast until the overnight shelter opens at 1.

I also think it has something to do with my mom, who is occasionally homeless as she struggles with her addictions. It feels like some kind of penance for cutting her out of my life.

I'm not going to quit the job , but I'm feeling conflicted about it. Couldn't it be exploitive in some way to use this job, those people, to work out my issues and feel good about myself? Shouldn't I be doing that somewhere else? Is it a fair trade-off? And isn't all of this navel-gazing just a brilliant example of my privilege showing, and making this all about me? Sigh.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tweets for Today

  • 16:49 made: oatmeal/tofu/pumpkin/chocolate chip cookies and lentil/chicken/peanut butter soup. it's kind of a multi-flavor day. #
  • 07:40 who shrank all my pants? and why? #
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