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The Five Bigots You Meet in Queerland

13 Jun

We queer ladies (and gents) have to deal with a lot of crap. It comes from strangers who shout “dyke!” out their car windows, from friends who introduce you as their “lesbian friend,” (as if that were the only notable thing about you), and not-so-well-meaning friends who make drunken assessments of your “true” sexuality.

There are so many of these slights that they warrant categorization. So, without further ado, I give you the Five Basic Types of Bigot, as experienced by your friendly blogger:

1. The Hater

This person is the one who leans out of the car window and shouts, “Ugly dyke!” or “Fucking faggot!” at you whilst you are strolling along admiring the daffodils, holding your girlfriend/boyfriend’s hand. Examples in my life have included:

Haters are easy to ignore when you're a badass.

Haters are easy to ignore when you’re a badass.

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I Got Bangs!

31 May

I’m wasting no time in crossing things off my 30 Before 30 list – so last night, I got bangs!

What do you think??

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Soundtrack for junior high

14 Dec

There comes a time in everyone’s lives where we have to stop listening to Dad’s record player and Mom’s piano and develop our Very Own Taste in Modern Music. For me, this happened in middle school. Sure, I also worked on maintaining my love of post-1965 Beatles and early 19th-century Beethoven, but around about the 7th grade, I began receiving music from outside sources – friends, boys and other bad influences.

Here’s some stuff I started listening to then:

I first learned of Tom Petty via a mixtape. Then, a boy gave me “Wildflowers” on cassette. It’s hard to choose a favorite from that album, especially with so much creepy fodder like “Cabin Down Below,” “Honey Bee” and “House in the Woods,” but here’s one (of the many) I dug:

Much later, I would make a foray to a faraway city to see Tom Petty live with a selection of friends given to shenanigans. Naturally, shenanigans ensued.

My nascent love of Tori also began in middle school with a mixtape with two Tori songs on it. First, “Mr. Zebra” which is quirky and therefore suited my pubescent misfit image well:

And second, Caught a Light Sneeze, which is just awesome. I can’t find a video or audio clip of the studio version, so you’ll just have to imagine it. Tori would also be my first concert, which I went to with my dad, as I was too young to drive, or even have friends who could drive.

What middle school girl’s music list would be complete without some Cranberries, huh? I purchased not one but TWO Cranberries tapes with my allowance money at the local emporium after listening to some on, you guessed it, a mixtape. Here’s one from “No Need to Argue” (no, it’s not “Zombie.” Why is that the only song anyone remembers from the Cranberries?):

The Cure’s Lovesong, which I also bought on casette:

Much later I discovered Tori’s cover of Lovesong and almost died of awesomeness.

Bonus track: My favorite Beethoven song (cliche, sure, but it’s popular for a reason):

There was a lot of other really horrible stuff I listened to, but this is the stuff that stuck in my mind, and wasn’t too humiliating to post on the internet. What did you listen to when you were a youngin?

Day Seven: Gold star for me!

21 Nov

Starting with Friday, I spent the weekend doing Scary and Challenging Things, some of which were on my List of Doom:

No. 56: Take a hip-hop dance class:

After my epic failures at taking dance classes in the past few weeks, it’s understandable that I almost didn’t go to this class on Friday. I had to drag my mopey self out of my safe, safe bed to go out. I posted several apocalyptic tweets about how 100 percent sure I was that it would be a horrifying, humiliating experience. Not so! Teacher lady was super-awesome and friendly and so were the other students. We danced to Michael Jackson. Or rather, they danced, I stumbled around and, miraculously, was mostly able to keep up.

Also: Forcing internet strangers to sign up for stuff with me is, as it turns out, an excellent way to trick myself into doing things that are terrifying. Also it helps with goal No. 38 (below). Although technically I suppose I could cross this goal off my list now, I think instead I will modify it to “go to hip hop class every week until I can dance like a crazy mad dance fiend.”

No. 38: Organize one meetup per month

Above dance class was attended by two shiny new members of my dance meetup group. Yay! One of the people I’ve known for years, the other was a brand-new to Portland beginning dance enthusiast. WOOT! The internet truly is a grand place. Afterward we went to Produce Row and had fancy drinks. Fancy!

No. 72: Go to Barre Method class

On Saturday I got up relatively early and went to a Bar(re?) Method class. It was absolutely divine. Usually I hate the Pearl, but apparently yuppie jerkalopes sleep til noon on Saturdays so I managed to find a parking space easily, and only got hassled by one middle-aged botox victim in a North Face technical jacket with a tiny dog on a leash.

The bar studio was amazing. The people at the front desk were actually friendly and gave me a tour instead of looking at me like I was an alien (which sometimes happens when you are a new person at a fitness or dance studio – go figure). Then I got into the classroom: Plush carpets! Clean mirrors! Personal attention! Very few other people! Amazing workout! Still sore! Going again Tuesday! Seriously you guys – the teacher remembered my name AND that I have a back injury AND remembered to tell me about modifications for stuff that hurt. YAY!

No. 43: Go on 52 hikes

Sunday: I rounded up the Special Ladyfriend and the Roommate and we went trek-trek-trekking. I had to wear three pairs of pants to stay warm and I almost popped my leg fully out of its hip socket, but we made it a full 4/5ish miles through the woods, merrily kicked our way through giant piles of leaves, and only saw three or four other people, all smiling, mostly with adorable dogs. Dogs! Yay! This means I have only 51 more hikes to go…

In conclusion: Go me! Also: Please say nice things in the comments! It will keep me motivated to do other things from The List of Doom. Like visit y’all. And send y’all postcards.

20 ways in which I am not an adult

18 Nov
It was too hard to find a picture
of a girl child in a business suit.
This saddens me.
  1. I sometimes replace an entire day of meals with cookies.
  2. Right before I bought my car, I wandered around the house, cash in hand, yelling “Who wants to dance for me?! I want to make it rain! Dance for me, minions! DANCE!”*
  3. I wear contacts, but don’t carry solution with me. The space in my purse that could have solution in it instead has leftover gum wrappers, three pairs of defunct iPhone headphones, an empty prescription bottle, and various types of identification the government recommends you don’t carry with you.
  4. I have a mobile mini-bar. (It could be argued that this belongs on The Ways in which I am an Adult list.)
  5. I still think getting 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night is a perfectly acceptable way to Get More Done.
  6. I think diet rock star is delicious. This is probably related to No. 5.
  7. Novelty candy-infused alcohol amuses me.
  8. I force people to make a big deal out of my birthday.
  9. I once replaced dinner with four martinis. OK, more than once.
  10. I own several pairs of impractical shoes.
  11. I refuse to purchase one of those douchebaggy bluetooth things, even though the headphone bit that comes with my phone keeps breaking, and my favorite time to talk on the phone is while driving.
  12. I forget about produce I have in the fridge, until it spoils.
  13. It takes me an inordinate amount of time to get around to making doctor’s appointments.
  14. I think a trip on a Green Tortoise bus would be deeply entertaining.
  15. I play sophomoric party games.
  16. I cannot perform amortization calculations accurately, even when presented with a handy chart.
  17. I am a terrible single-tasker.
  18. I feel it is entirely reasonable to blow huge wads of cash on theme parties.
  19. I think dead baby jokes are funny. I know they’re not, but they totally are.
  20. My filing cabinet is very disorganized. And contains craft supplies.

In what ways are you still a kid/teenager/generally irresponsible?

    * No takers, sadly.

    20 ways in which I am an adult

    16 Nov

    Why? Why not, is more like it:

    1. I have a mortgage and a lawnmower.
    2. I have a cat whose vet bills I pay all by myself.
    3. I have a car in working condition, that I bought myself, with cash.
    4. Grown-up disguise!
    5. I have a full-time job with benefits.
    6. I plan my meals a full week in advance.
    7. I have automatic debits from checking to savings.
    8. I have automatic debits from paycheck to 401k.
    9. I got into graduate school all by myself, and will pay for it all by myself. 
    10. I have a mobile mini-bar. (It could be argued that this belongs on The Ways in Which I am Not an Adult list.)
    11. I throw parties where, sometimes, I don’t even drink.
    12. I host potlucks.
    13. I occasionally play matchmaker.
    14. I make small talk about home improvement projects.
    15. I have not occupied anything in the past six months.
    16. My socks always match.
    17. I carry an umbrella in my purse.
    18. I own several pairs of practical shoes.
    19. I can detect very small percentages of cashmere and silk in clothing by feel alone.
    20. I have matching furniture.
    21. I have matching curtains, and a bedskirt. 

    What makes you feel all grown-up?

      PS – My friend D is going to write a handbook on how to be an adult. She is the best person for the job, because 1) she has more than one mortgage, 2) she has an MBA and 3) she is awesome.

        101 Things in 1001 Days: Day Zero

        14 Nov

        As promised, I made a list of 101 things I want to do in the next 1001 days. You can examine it thoroughly here. Also it now has a permanent home up in the top nav bar on this site, (where the “About” page is). Some of the stuff is super-easy, like:

             No. 88: Go to the beach

        …but some of it is super-hard, like:

             No. 93: Do 100 push-ups

        Most of it, though, is just middle-of-the-road, been-meaning-to-do-forever, but just-haven’t-gotten-around-to-it type stuff, like

             No. 61: Find the perfect black shift dress
             No. 30: Be vegan for one week
             No. 28: Visit family and friends in the Bay Area
             No. 1: Take a ballet workshop in January

        I will be updating y’all on my progress on The List, more for my benefit, but if you don’t hear an update in a while feel free to chastise me. Motivation is key, eh? Otherwise I’ll just have to bribe myself. So hop to it!

        Weekend Open Thread: 101 Things in 1001 Days (11/11/11 edition)

        11 Nov

        There’s this thing I’ve been meaning to do. It’s called 101 Things in 1001 Days. Basically, you make a list of 101 things you want to do in the next 1001 days (nearly three years), and then you, you know, DO THEM. I started working on a list way back when guest blogger Mel began hers, and then I got distracted.

        So in an attempt to get back on the Getting Things Done train, and to celebrate today’s date of 11-11-11 (numerical alliteration, whee!) this weekend’s open thread theme is Things You Want To Do! Here’s how it works: You post the Many Awesome Things you want to do in the comments section, and then I promise to post my list on Monday. Deal? Deal!

        Some various questions to get you started/inspired:

        • What do you want to do with Your Life? (easy questions first! yuk yuk)
        • The next five years? Fifteen?
        • The next 15 minutes?
        • Where do you want to be ten years from now?
        • What do you want to do this weekend?
        • What do you want to do before you die*?
        • What is your biggest, baddest most secretest talent you wish you had but don’t?

        Happy 11/11/11 everyone, have a wonderful weekend!

        *Oh my my, how things have changed since 2006.

        The Five People You Meet in Queerland

        1 Nov

        I’ve countenanced a lot of, shall we say, “crap” over the years. It comes from strangers who shout “dyke!” out their car windows. It comes from well-meaning friends who introduce me as their “lesbian friend,” as if that were the only notable thing worth mentioning. It comes from not-so-well-meaning friends who make drunken declaratory assessments of my “true” sexuality, as of course who better to judge who I can or should or actually do love or lust after than someone other than ME?

        There are so many of these slights that they warrant categorization. So, without further ado, I give you the Five Basic Types of Bigot, as experienced by your friendly blogger:

        1. The Hater

        This person is the one who leans out of the car window and shouts, “Ugly dyke!” or “Fucking faggot!” at you whilst you are strolling along admiring the daffodils, holding your girlfriend/boyfriend’s hand. Examples in my life have included:

        2. The Liberal

        This is the one who trots out your sexuality (or any other non-trad feature of you, including but not limited to your race, religion (or lack thereof), gender (or lack thereof), occupation, etc.) to garner “liberal points” at dinner parties. This friend uses you to fortify their liberal bonafieds. You are offered up at social gatherings as proof positive that, because of his or her friendship with you, The Other, s/he is The Most Open-Minded, Most Liberal of all his/her liberal friends. Examples in my life have included:

        • Facebook Friend A, making repeated public requests to have drinks/lunch/whatever with my Special Ladyfriend and myself thusly: “I’d like to sign up for lesbian happy hour!” Ahhhh yes, because hanging out with us is, in fact, hanging out with women who date women, how very au courant of you.
        • Meeting new people, “And this is my lesbian friend, S!” And this is my dick-sucking friend, Mallory. C’mon, people. Think before you talk.

        3.    The Denier

        Deniers are particularly vocal around queers that conform to heteronormative gender standards (i.e. femme lesbians, butch gay men, bisexuals who don’t wear some kind of “Hi, I’m bi” badge). They’re convinced that you’re “confused” or “traumatized” or some other load of crap. Examples in my life include:

        • During a booze-fueled late-night heart-to-heart with one of my good friends, he made the following unhelpful and inaccurate assessment of me: “Well S, I never really thought you were queer. I think you’ve probably been hurt by men in the past, and, well, you know… *falls asleep/drools on self*”
        • Letter from my ex-boyfriend to my then-girlfriend: “Stop messing with S’s head. She’s really straight, you know.” Because my head, you see, it is pretty, and little, and easily messed with. I certainly can’t be trusted to make my own partnering decisions, heavens no. Others must make them for me, you see, either through coercion, or, if necessary, force. It’s like one big game of sexuality keep-away. Funsies!
        • Boy I dated: “Oh you’re just confused, you’re actually straight.”
        • Girl I dated: “Oh you’re just confused, you’re actually a lesbian.”
        • Random Girl in Social Circle: “So Boy A turned you gay, and Boy B turned you straight again, eh?” Right. Because that’s TOTALLY how that works. There’s like, a toggle switch, or something. But only really sexy people know where it is.

        4.    The Fetishist

        This guy is so accepting. He LOVES lesbians. In fact, he loves them so much that when he thinks about them, he touches himself. His eyes twinkle when he sees you with your Special Ladyfriend. If you’re bi, they twinkle even more. He’ll attempt to maneuver you near his wife/girlfriend, who will be pushed into becoming besties with you so that one glorious day, he can have a four-way. Or a three-way. Or some such -way. Examples from real life:

        • Friend X’s perfectly nice girlfriend, W, approaches me in bar and asks to have three-way with me, her boyfriend, and her. Me: “Did Friend X put you up to this?” W: ::hangs head slightly:: “Yes.”
        • Me, at a party: “Hi Random Guy Sitting with My Friends. What do you say to me having some of that Tasty Beverage over there?” RGSWMF: “Hmmm… first, you gotta make out with your girlfriend!”

        5.    Curious George

        Curious George just wants to know aaallllll about you so that s/he can better understand your kee-razy sex rebel mind and/or “lifestyle.” Curious George thinks your entire life serves as either a) a teachable moment, or b) material for the spank bank. Curious George used to be my downfall. “Familiarity begets acceptance, right?” I would think to myself. But then I realized how incredibly rude it would be if I asked them the same sort of questions they felt perfectly justified in asking me, and stopped talking to these arseholes. Examples from real life:

        • (Very drunk) checkout clerk from local grocery emporium, upon running into me out at a bar: “But… what is it you guys DO? I mean, you know…” My then-ladyfriend then proceeded to patiently explain various sex acts to her while I suddenly became very interested in the worn quilted bar leather.
        • Male friend: “So, how do you guys, you know, keep it interesting? I mean, do you have… you know, tools?” Yeah dude. We have like, drill bits and shit. Also, a sewing machine and a stand mixer. Ferfuckssake. 
        This concludes our Tuesday misanthropy session – although I know there are closeted bigot categories I’ve missed (like the ever-popular fundiegelical – “God hates fags! But Jesus loves you.”). Share yours in the comments. Oh, yeah, and subscribe!

        Five things I saw in New York this week

        6 Oct

        1. Man dressed as Elvis, with shiny red cape, trying to hail a bus. Not a cab, mind you. A bus. Luck, as it turns out, was not on his side.
        2. Old man in bow tie, smiling at me benevolently.
        3. Girl in gold-sequined scrunchie. Take that, Carrie Bradshaw.
        4. At least 20 men completely uninterested in the contents of my pants holding doors open for me.
        5. Three – count ‘em, THREE – hipsters. In  a week of seeing hundreds if not thousands of people, only three were pretentious trust-fund babies feigning poverty and artistic proclivities. I like it here.

        Special bonus thing I saw that I actually took a picture of:

        Isn’t it pretty? There’s a whole sidewalk full of them leading up to a big ol’ library. I haven’t worked up the courage to go into the library yet because the last time I tried going into a library in New York they kicked me right out. I must look homeless or something.

        It’s notable that New York City has the highest volume of library books in circulation in the US. Know what city is second? That’s right, it’s Portland. Being in these two cities is a very nice change from some other places I’ve lived (names redacted to protect the guilty) where the denizens voted to de-fund their libraries, essentially locking all the lovely tomes behind doors that never opened again. /shudder. I lived a half-block away from my town’s library growing up, and spent a lot of time in the stacks and snooping through card catalogs. I love me a good library. Also, book-smellin’.

        Yay, books! What was your favorite book when you were a kiddo? Mine was The Little Moon Theater. I still would really like to own one red sock and one yellow sock, so I could mix and match them like the misfit in that book.

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