You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2007.

My blag’s been getting so many hits since I posted about Diesel’s new store, Bloc 11. It’s been reposted several times with various threads. But yesterday I discovered my very favorite one. After quoting a line from “Your Queer Heritage: Gentrification,” some blagger said he’d never encountered someone in more desperate need of a hit over the head with Atlas Shrugged.

Really? Atlas Strugged? I mean. I know the Liberals are mad… but the conservatives?! Why not just say I should be hit over the head with Dianetics? I mean, if you’re gonna go for an unethical life philosophy rooted in fiction why not go for Scientology? Those folks are making all the big bucks these days.

In other news, there’s some comfortingly familiar phenomenon beginning. I’m turning, not so slowly, in on myself. Today I made some pickles and walked into a strip mall where they were playing “Big Yellow Taxi” which seemed a little— counterintuitive. “Paved paradise and put up a parking lot?” The only place more inappropriate to play that song is a, perhaps, parking lot. I guess apple cider vinegar doesn’t wash off so easily. It smells like some sort of acrid earwax all over my fingers.

I also heard from J about her thwarted tree-saving endeavors. The Norwegian maple in her backyard has now been pruned so far that half the tree is gone, exposing half the bare yard to direct sunlight. It will no longer be a hospitable area for reading and recreation. Instead it will be decoratively grassy– if the landlord actually plants– suitable only for showing the apartment the prospective tenants. There’s just something about decorative spaces that I haven’t put my finger on yet.

Like my estranged Ladywife, now charming NYC with his every wit and outfit- I’m sure, I’ve descended into something. Mechanical. Dire. Perpetuating. Whereby I: leave my apartment for class and one required hour a day, return, fail to sleep, and get positively crazy if there’s no back up movie to watch in case of too much quiet. I’m on the brink of something. With hope, something manageable and close– luxuriously free from panic even if I do have to have another baddest bout of insomnia and some other minor disturbances.

City to city- I worry and don’t call.

I think my brother might be the only person my mother talks to recreationally. Besides that, I think, she just talks to church people and a new set of coworkers at a new defunct nursing home every few months. So I guess she doesn’t have anyone double-checking the vocabulary she picks up and sometimes just repeats things my brother says. Which is alright… except my brother is an 18 year old person full of slang.

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself when my mother reported informationally, “Your brother is doing fine. He’s had a couple of really sick lacrosse games. He said if his playing continues to be so sick, he’ll probably make the team.”

When asked why he was taking an English seminar on Virginia Woolf, one student explained that he “had been to the first day of Lee Edelman’s class and gotten really confused by all the talk about what understanding post-modernism through a modernist lens meant” so he thought taking a Woolf class might help him understand Lee Edelman.

We are living in a cruel and unfair world.

But don’t worry. Yesterday he threatened to drop the class if Ginny’s novels don’t turn out to be plotty enough.

*Motion to call the fact that Virginia Woolf would probably not be too happy to hear about her name on a blag Part: i

By extorting “the personal” out of me and into public forum, my final women’s studies seminar is going to exhaust me. I arrived at the three-hour block last week expecting we might be talking about … well… Doing the Feminist Research that the class entitled “Doing Feminist Research” vaguely alluded to. Honestly, I expected a 3-hour weekly waste of time which would leave me a little angry about privilege at University. Boy, was I wrong. The real effect: I am exponentially more frustrated with class than poverty. I take WS and America Studies classes despite the people in them because I want the information. And usually the information is as personally rewarding as– say– talking to someone who understands poverty, hegemony, sex, and sex work.Within the first hour, I was regaled with the story of one of my classmates who was so poor this summer that she had to “go online and buy a bike and then drive all the way out to Natick to pick it up because [she] really couldn’t afford gas to get to her job.” Everyone nods, almost excited to be frowning, and then next horrible tale-teller picks up while I calculate: a car, a computer, internet-access, gas to get to Natick, money for a bike, a steady job? Yes. You definitely know what dire means.

Meanwhile, we’re all supposed to be sharing anecdotes in response to an article about how traveling is easier for couples. “This article acts as if gender isn’t an issue, what about traveling as a woman?” the class asks. Bike R Car pipes in again to tell us how once, in Spain, her parents wouldn’t even let her go out salsa dancing. THAT’S how hard it is to travel as a woman. OHHH. That’s how hard. And what I want to know: In what fucked universe is it acceptable to start a WS course by asking everyone to recount their tales of international travel?

Because I was silent through that one (go fucking figure), the professor called on me first to respond to an article about the pay gap. Yes, folks. After four years, it’s come to this. Statistics about pay gaps and completely disjointed analysis of newspaper articles on luxury lifestyles. “Isn’t it terrible,” I began, abstracting my reflection as far the fuck I could from my own reality, “that people who have the power to give you raises base the raise-amount on what they feel you need. Women are considered second-incomes and men, sole breadwinners.” But that wasn’t enough. They needed me to expand. “It happens with age too, like, if they think you don’t need the money or assume you’re subsidized by your parents or something, they’re less like to give it to you.” Read the rest of this entry »

Talk about internalized hamafahbeea and deep-seated exant race worries.

Last night I dreamt that I was at some six-week program that entailed a fancy all-white-dress graduation ceremony. My bad-influence-friend from middle school, Allie Miner, was there. And halfway into the program I started sleeping with a straight Chinese-American woman a year younger than me. The sex wasn’t in the dream. But some facts about it were. Like, some sort of unnamed consensual force or maybe role-play. Halfway through the program the woman’s older sister showed up and found out we were having sex and put a stop to it. Everyone had a lot of shame about what had been going on. Then the woman I was sleeping with disappeared. The cops came and then it went to the FBI. Everyone was questioned, including the head of the LGBT Center at my school. I wanted to tell the police that we had been sleeping together but they kept telling me that she was involved with someone who was forcing her to have sex and I knew they thought her rapist killed her. Plus, I thought the feds didn’t have enough information to put a case together and decided to stay quiet. In my dream I thought had gotten away with it.

On graduation night I walked up a long pier from a boat with all the rest of the women to get my diploma. Bad-influence Allie was right behind me and she wrapped her hands around my waist and told me that my muscles felt good. I was overcome with the same feeling I got in middle school when any of the popular girls complimented me, angry elation. Then she said, “be careful, that can slip away quickly.” And I told her not to worry because I was a triathlete.

After the ceremony I went back to my home and a parent-aged couple met me and I went to my room. I heard the phone ringing in the LGBT center and knew it was the director calling for me but I didn’t get there in time. I took off my white dress to get in bed, exhausted and bleary-eyed. I lay down naked and immediately saw the flashing lights of the cops coming to get me. I thought I better put some clothes on before they arrested me and that I would at least be able to work out a lot in jail.

Completely unnecessary question: Why did I feel like I had gotten away with something?

More interesting question: What’s the connection between all the vanity and physical fitness and guilt/innocence and value?

The Atharva Veda is a composite text, closed about 1500 years ago, which forms 1/4 of the classical Hindu texts. Unlike the other three vedas, the Atharva Veda contains mostly personal prayers and spells, medical and alchemical writings, and coronation rituals. It probably survived on that last one– just another clever way people insinuate religion into wealth and power. Without an accompanying history lesson, however, the spells might be the most interesting.

Love spells for het men to say for het women: May her house sleep. May her horses sleep. May her dog sleep. May her siblings sleep. May her garden sleep. May her in-laws sleep. May [everything except my lover] sleep…

Love spell for het women to say for het men: [First she makes a clay effigy of the man. Then she heats up arrowheads in the fire. She throws the arrowheads at the effigy and says] May he burn for my voice. May he burn for my hair. May he burn for my face. May he burn for my lips. May he burn for my breasts. May he burn for my body… And may I never burn for him!

If all of the rituals for the king were put in to make the text more important and to secure its proliferation, I wonder about this. In contemporary google time, how do people know who to entrust to ensure a tryst? Is it the charming misspelling in the url that will make this page eternal? I found it by searching “ancient love spells” and I know it’s the real deal because it calls for pink paper and everyone knows the “ancients” had pink paper out their ears.

Dear Leonard Nimoy,

L’shanah tovah! I’m so sorry it’s taken me this long to get back to you. I miss you. I do. Really. But every time I get a chance to write or call, I realize I also owe all our mutual friends calls, too, and I know how you know everyone and I just don’t know who to start with. And now somehow it’s already New Years and honestly I’m writing you to ask small favor. But first: whats up how are you I’m well I do miss you what are you up to these days let’s have lunch soon. I found this great picture of the whole gang around the time you made Catlow. Remember that time we rode around in kiddie-size trains with Yul Brenner and I tried to get into the back seat of your sedan from the front because I thought it was a two-door vehicle? I’ll make you a copy. Anyway– I have this friend (I can’t remember if you met her at my last shindig) but she’s moved away and I feel like I should do something special for her. I thought of you because I just keep remembering that line from your poem “I believe in hopes, dreams, and decency.” Was that in Warmed by Love? Then that other one “Rocket ships are exciting/ but so are roses.” That one really haunts me. And I think either my friend or I might also believe in hopes, dreams, decency, roses, or rocket ships but we’re not very good at expressing our feelings to each other.

She’s a teacher and really busy and probably won’t even pick up if you call.. but I was just wondering, could you call her and tell her happy new year for me? Possibly you could send her one of your arresting photographs of nude women draped in tefillin or an exculpatory copy of one of your autobiographies

(either I am Spock or maybe I am not Spock, I just can’t tell which would be best because they’re both so different.) I’m sure she’s read them both but it would be a nice gesture. Just use your judgment on this one.

All my love and take care!

-Femmephane

p.s. If you reach her at home and you hear some commotion in the background that might be her roommate. FYI it’s his birthday today so many you could just say “hey” if you’re going to be calling them anyway. He’ll be reading my blag a lot today so I think it’s only polite.

Oh, just one more quick thing while I have you– thought you’d be the one to ask. Tinsel: neutral winter holiday trimming of the future? Or, achingly reminiscent of Christ-child?

School is back and I’m taking four three-hour seminars leaving me with really strange pockets of free time; fortunately my bike has revolutionized my life and I no long have to spend one minute more than necessary on my designer-education campus. In a personal record semester I’m taking three classes with male professors. Lapse of judgment or maybe I’m just getting soft. One of them is a computer science course which has already transported me back to the year I turned 10 and I had a subscription to a children’s programming magazine and I would just sit and read/write UNIX for hours.

That’s my first of three taught by a man– perhaps more acceptable because about 80% of the students are women. It would have been four classes, too, since I was trying to get into a fiction class taught by an anonymous asshole I’d never met. I made it off the waiting list only to sit through three excruciating hours with a smarmy, white, British, married ‘n’ middle-aged, man who made everyone play “Two Lies and a Truth” and then berated us in front of our classmates to everyone’s amusement. I don’t know why I stayed for the entire class except 1. I felt a little guilty going since he had sent everyone else on the waiting list home at the start of class, 2. Masochism, anguish, and prurient curiosity about how bad it could get (threesome jokes shared with “the guys” and a few well-timed “but it’s not like anyone in here has had a sex-change or anything!” sighs of relief.) For those of you who want to gag and gasp a little more you can ask me directly about the dirtiest detail. Currently en cyber route to head-of-the-department in a nasty little memo. -If only I had gotten into the class I wanted to get into -If only things like not bringing paper/pencil to a WRITING class counted against you there would have been two openings.

In other depressing news: A. “Distant-Glimmer” Weissman, my Ladywife, has now moved. I’m in minor to moderate mourning about his departure as well as Ms. EM’s and the late return of various best friends coast to coast.* Returning to school to realize that I only know four people on campus was a little more shocking than I expected. Ladywife and I said goodbye with some marvelous fresh mint ice cream (a flavor we fully expected to spurn and mock) and a nice night out in Davis. He reminded me that I’m supposed to join some blogging group because it’s run by a cute guy.

Femmephane: I’m not going to join a blog just so you can sleep with someone.

A. “Distant-Glimmer” Weissman: Why not? I’d do it for you.

And I believe he would. That’s exactly the kind of friend he is. He’ll bring you stolen tinsel for misc winter holidays. He’ll invite you to Philadelphia for High Holy Glitter Days with his family. He’ll pretend to ride side-saddle right down Elm St. for the sake of a joke. He’s a Virgo, for heavensake. We were recounting our recent best spam together near the weird sculptures in Somerville. My Ladywife was receiving testimonials from a woman who complains that her boyfriend’s penis keeps falling out and I had just gotten an email from someone complaining of her lover: “his phallus is too small!” For the first fake lady I recommend silicone– especially the over-priced but heavily decorated, more becoming in black, perhaps. And to the second I would recommend reading some Lacan– perhaps the only really good reason to read him?

*On a related note… I very much miss Sara Seinberg, ambassador extraordinaire, and Ginger Robinson, who told me she thought just the word ‘god’ was such patriarchal bullshit she wasn’t ever going to use it again unless she was telling the story about not using it.