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Jerks on the internet, jerks in real life

5 Mar

As you might guess, I spend a fair amount of time on the internet. It’s a pretty great medium for curating Important World News, tasty new recipes, and ridiculous makeup tutorials (little known fact: I’m secretly a drag queen). It also works pretty well for meeting new friends who share my interests, as opposed to the IRL version of meeting new people, which mostly involves proximity. Why leave things to chance when you can find new friends who are pre-approved by the internet as awesome, amirite?

As such, I like to host meetups – which are real-life get-togethers for internet people. I do dance ones, and queer people ones, and feminist people ones, and anything else that sounds interesting. Because, despite my misanthropy, I have this irrepressible urge to meet and become friends with people. I can’t explain it, it’s just the way it is. I organize monthly bar crawls, am doing Portland’s first-ever queer bar takeover this Saturday, and throw an obscene number of parties despite the smallness of my house.

This last Saturday I organized a lesbian bar crawl – it was fun as always, and I got to see some familiar faces as well as meet a bunch of really cool new people (WHY didn’t I get everyone’s phone number?! Oh, right – I was busy taking shots.) The night got off to a rocky start, though, and ended on a sour note.

The beginning: A handful of women (who had been confused by the invitation and shown up an hour early [admittedly my fault]) were quite cold to me and others when we arrived. I thought at first they may have been upset at the timing of our arrival – but they seemed to be having a good time talking to one another. After a bit of awkwardness, as we were gathering up to head off to the next bar, this pack of … ladies… announced loud enough for at least one person to hear that they were leaving because there weren’t enough femmes in attendance.

Leaving. Because. Of. Lack. Of. Femmes. Honestly, I think I probably brought enough femme for everyone (red lipstick, 3-inch heels, crinoline dress, checked stockings, flower headband, hairspray’d updo). But that’s beside the point. Here was a group of people who’d knowingly showed up to make new friends, and then decided to leave because some of the people in the group didn’t look as they prefer. They didn’t even TRY to talk to anyone outside their group, despite my frequent attempts at engaging them. Good riddance, I suppose. But I still just can’t fathom why of all the things there are to do on a Saturday night, you’d choose to go to an event designed for mingling with such a narrow mind. What a pack of bitches. And what a shitty switch from the usual “you can’t be in the lesbian club because you’re too femme” crowd. Frying pan, meet fire.

The evening progressed well after that, and everyone else was nothing but charming and lovely. There was much cider-drinking and cheese-eating and general loudness. Special ladyfriend ran into her straight friend on the way to one of the bars, and we had a straight male ally show up, and everyone welcomed both of them as they would any other nice people. Because that is what normal people do! It doesn’t matter what your gender or orientation or gender presentation is, there is a human being underneath all that shit who is probably funny and interesting and smart in ways that are different from you. Or maybe they’re an asshole. Either way you won’t find out unless you talk to them. Why the hell would anyone give two shits about anything else?

When we got to the last bar we split into two groups as there were so many of us. Unbeknownst to me, as I was busy laughing my ass off, someone on the other end of the room who had been with the original group of crankypants people but stayed behind, was going on a cissexist, transphobic rant. As I innocently ogled pole-dancing pictures on my friend’s phone and arranged people into ridiculous poses for photographs, this was happening. I didn’t find out until the next day when my friend who witnessed the rant, messaged me to tell me she wouldn’t be coming to anymore of this type of get-together. I don’t blame her, I wouldn’t either.

I’m not really sure how to police people’s behavior at something as casual as a bar crawl, especially when I am likely to quickly become too intoxicated to really notice anything but the fact that everyone is suddenly very interesting and hilarious. Until I figure it out, though, meetups may have to be in a holding pattern.

Except this Saturday’s meetup, of course. That’s already scheduled and is an unstoppable steamroller of queerness. If you live in or near Portland, you should come. Unless you hate femmes, not-femmes, trans people, or any other group of people for no good reason. Then you should just stay home and eat moldy waffles.

Retox Detox: New Year’s Drunkolutions

2 Jan

If you’re like me, you know that recovering from a bender takes more than a day. Whether you’re recovering from a once-a-year binge on Saturday night, or yet another week-long bender from which you’re just emerging (broke, naked, and possibly sticky), here’s how to get your body back to peak performance:

Day One:

3 a.m. Wake up. Try to figure out where you are.
4 a.m. Roll over. Find something warm next to you. Try to figure out what it is.
5 a.m. Go back to sleep.
7 a.m. Wake up again. Find a half-empty cup of water on a nightstand. Chug it like there’s no tomorrow.
7:01 a.m. Discover that the water you drank was actually vodka. Sputter and curse. Loudly.
7:02 a.m. Warm object next to you grunts at you to shut up. Go back to sleep.
11 a.m. Wake up again. Look around you and wonder why everything is blurry.
12 p.m. Remember that you wear glasses. Go hunting for them.
1 p.m. Find and put on glasses. Learn that the lump next to you is your significant other. Breathe raspy sigh of relief. Remember that you’re thirsty.
1:05 p.m. Spend several minutes drinking from the spigot in the bathroom because you can’t find a cup.
1:30 p.m. By now, you have located and managed to put on most of your clothes. It was not fun, but it was necessary if you are going to fry that bacon.
2:00 p.m. Burn bacon. Start over.
2:39 p.m. Settle down in front of the tube for a Buffy marathon and burnt-bacon extravaganza. Yeah, you burnt the bacon a second time, but it’s too delicious to waste.
3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Do not move from couch, except to pee, pay the pizza delivery guy, and change Buffy DVDs.
10 p.m. Consider showering. Go to bed instead.

Day Two:

12 p.m. Wake up from 14 hours of sleep still groggy. Wish your cat would bring you coffee.
2 p.m. Get out of bed.
2:30 p.m. Locate pants.
3 p.m. Cast aspersions upon said pants.
4 p.m. Climb onto couch.
5 p.m. Repeat yesterday’s 3 p.m. schedule.

Day Three:

5 a.m.: Sit bolt upright in bed, alert and cheerful.
6 a.m.: While showering, notice your brand-new six-pack abs.
7 a.m.: While brushing teeth, notice your face has gotten 35% more attractive overnight.
9 a.m.: Marvel at your ability to run all the way to work without breaking a sweat, despite your 15-mile commute.
10 a.m.: Someone has brought a free box of cupcakes to your desk.
2 p.m.: Your boss inexplicably gives you a raise, while simultaneously decreasing your responsibility.
5 p.m.: Fly home on your newly-discovered retractable wings.
7 p.m. Buy a winning lottery ticket. Upon discovering you’ve won, hoist your significant other into the air with your newly-rippling arm muscles in celebratory jubilation.

Honestly, though, I hope you all had fun, safe New Year’s extravaganzas. New Year’s isn’t my favorite holiday, as it always seems like a lot of hype for not a lot of payoff, but anything for a theme party, I say. I’ve never had any particularly memorable resolutions, other than this one. This year, as I so loudly told my roommate, I plan to gain ten pounds and start smoking. JUST KIDDING! It would be nice to tick off some of the items from my List of Doom, but I’ll settle for the six-pack. AHEM.

What did you guys do for New Year’s? Y’all have any resolutions?

Merry (heteronormative consumerist misogynist) Christmas!

24 Dec
Artist’s interpretation of my gayyyy
Christmas tree to go with my gayyyy scarf.

Hey! Today is Christmas Eve! That means it’s time to celebrate queery feministy socialisty things, right? No? It’s time to sit around and celebrate buying stuff and eating animal products, you say? Bah. My version of Christmas is awesomer than that, cuz it has rainbows.

Seriously, though, we actually do have a Christmas tree this year, and it has a faaaaabulous rainbow tinsel garland. But you’d never know that Christmas is an equal-opportunity holiday. Why? Because it ain’t. That’s right, kids, Christmas isn’t for everyone. And it excludes lots more people than just non-Christians.

For starters, Santa gives more presents to rich kids than poor ones. Santa’s kind of a dick that way. Illustrative anecdote:

In the third grade, Cole Slater, sporting his flat-top haircut, came up to me on the playground and asked, “What’d you get for Christmas?” I knew it was a trick, so I tried to avoid answering. “A few things,” I said (reality: A heap of stuff – probably a dollhouse, some footie PJs, more candy than a full-grown adult, let alone a 7-year-old, could ever possibly eat, an assortment of various other trinkets). “Why, what’d you get?”

“DIDDLY SQUAT!” he screamed so vehemently that his face turned red and blotchy.

Then he ran off to retrieve a basketball so he could spend the rest of recess hurling it at my head. Man that kid was pissed. Although in his case, he didn’t get any Christmas presents because he was a gen-u-wine jerkalope, there are plenty of angelic little sh*ts out there that do, indeed, get diddly squat for no other reason than Santa is not a fan of the Great Unwasheds. Christmas is for the rich.

Christmas is also for the straights. Specifically, straights with kids. And in particular the holiday is FOR children, not adults. Woe be to ye who is:

a)    Queer
b)    Childless
c)    An adult
d)    All three

Don’t believe me? Turn on your TV. Watch the onslaught of happy (white upper-middle-class headed by heterosexual couples with two point five tow-headed children and one golden Labrador) families (read: children, because everyone knows a family ain’t a family without kids) tearing into boxes stuffed with goodies from your favorite Holiday Retailers.

Even non-humanoid
illustrations are heteronormative.

Try finding an illustrated Christmas card that has humanoid figures on it that are not either of children (children ice skating! children looking hapless! children raptly gazing into Santa’s pedo eyes!) or families with children (the classic nuclear family portrait with surrounding sun-ray beams and matching outfits) headed by, you guessed it, one man and one woman. Man is center-frame, with his incubator wife and minion children around him.

What if you’re the adult female part of that hetero-happyland? Well then lucky you! You get to do all the work:

It’s the lady of the house’s job to make her kids happy – nay, enchanted – on Christmas, because kids that aren’t absolutely over the moon on Christmas get taken away by child protective services here in Amerikuh. Also she’s in charge of mailing all the cards to her family AND her husband’s family, as he certainly can’t be bothered with such niceties, as well as cooking, cleaning, and arranging the familial obligations and travel plans. He will carry the tree in, though. What a mensch!

All that being said, I do enjoy Christmas (particularly the excuse to mail stacks of cards to folks). It’s not my favorite (that’s my birthday, naturally, followed by Halloween), but any reason to gather with the three Fs (friends, family, food) is OK in my book. Passover, Christmas, Tuesday night potluck, pub crawl debauch, whatever, I dig it. What are your favorite holidays/holiday traditions? Do you notice the homogenous target demographic of “The Holidays,” and how does it make you feel? And what are you doing today, tomorrow, and the day after?

101: Progress report

19 Dec

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled sarcasm to bring you a progress report on my list of doom! Here are some things I have accomplished so far:

38. Organize one meetup per month

On Saturday I organized not one but TWO meetups. Quite the action-packed day for a misanthropic hermit such as myself. Meetup No. 1 involved me running into an old friend (this always seems to happen at meetups, who knew?) and meetup No. 2 involved regimented jello shots, rad chicks from the internet and Portland’s favorite pastime. So. Much. Fun.

80. Visit some of my blog readers in person

I met Ms. Writersays in NY last time I was there (we went to disco improv! she kept me from getting run over! a lot!) and I met a couple of cool blogular ladies at aforementioned meetup Saturday. YAY!

39. Learn to do proper makeup

Thanks to the power of YouTube, I’m fairly solid on this now, so long as I continue to have internet access. Apparently having appropriate brushes with which to apply makeup is key. I achieved a most excellent “smokey golden-y sparkly eyeball look” over the weekend of which I was most proud. However, today the eyeliner has still not worn off completely (despite a lot of remover and face wash) and I am significantly less enchanted with my newfound girly powers.

Works in progress:

92. Stay up all night, then watch the sunrise

I am less enthusiastic about sleep debt than I once was, and I keep psychotically early hours, so this one’s a challenge even when there’s a good reason to stay up all night. Further research pending. Disco naps may be involved.

37. Yarn bomb something

Here’s a picture of my first yarn-bombing knitting project (it may look like a scarf, but don’t let it fool you – it’s actually a stop-sign-pole cozy):

What happens to the rainbow stop-sign-pole cozy: Does it meet its destiny, or will it spend its days on a neck, forever ruing its cosmic missed connection? Tune in next time to find out!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

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.

        Feminist Friends

        10 Feb

        Feminism, and a whole lot of other -isms which are very much related, is such a huge part of the fabric of my life that I am shocked whenever I discover that my meatworld friends aren’t feminists. Or, worse haven’t ever thought about feminism in any real way.

        Example: While milling around in the fluorescent aftermath of a party, my friend related to me a story of her boss, tearing up after a rough meeting. Her story concluded with this gem: “I don’t consider myself a feminist or anything but it kind of bothers me when women cry at work.”

        Wait, what?

        Let me explain. I have friends from all stripes of political, religious, and -ism beliefs, and I like it that way. So when a conservative Christian tells me she is not a feminist, I am not surprised. But, when the sort of college-educated secular humanist vegetarian sometime-lesbians that attend my parties drop “I’m not a feminist” bombs, I’m rendered temporarily speechless.

        Let’s parse her sentence, shall we? “I don’t consider myself a feminist or anything but it kind of bothers me when women cry at work.” Firstly, she spat the word feminist out as if it were a bug she found in the evening’s sangria. Secondly, the two clauses, “I don’t consider myself a feminist,” and “it bothers me when women cry at work,” don’t really need the connector “but,” since, well, they’re not mutually exclusive. Wouldn’t it make sense that a non-feminist would dislike watching a woman cry? I suspect she meant her audience to take the desire for women to stop their sniveling already as a feminist trait.

        That said, I take a lot of comfort in the idea that female friendship can be, in and of itself, a feminist act. Even though I am friends with many women who don’t share my views about reproductive rights or the insidiousness with which patriarchy is chipping away at the fabric of human life, they’re still there to support me when I need them, and vice versa. They don’t know it, but just by being strong women willing and able to provide loyalty and support at other womens’ times of need, they are furthering the feminist cause.

        But is it enough? Do you often find yourselves in this situation, tender readers? Do you consider female friendship (of the truly supportive, not-seen-on-TV variety) a notch on the feminist spectrum, or not? And why?

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