Saturday, July 22, 2006

we never heard each other's screams

During the four separate times in my past when one of my grandparents (and my great aunt) took ill and died I was nothing short of a complete and utter coward. I never really felt a connection to these ancient strange people, despite living close to them all, and often sleeping over their houses and eating their food and accepting their gifts. I knew in my heart, even then, that they loved me in their own unspoken ways, but they always seemed completely alien to me. They scared me sometimes even, my larger-than-life grandfathers with their gruff, spartan way of life and sparse, curt, rural conversation styles.

I was an undergraduate, I think, when all these deaths took place and in all but one case, I was too scared to even return home for the funerals. Did I feel ashamed? Did I fear that their closeness to death might somehow allow them to see into my soul, see my anguish and my terrible gender secret? To say the least, I regret this cowardice every day - a regret at least on a par (and perhaps intermixed) with not having the courage to face my transsexuality earlier in my life. I guess I've always had an overwhelming fear of death, far beyond even the fear we all instinctively carry of that great unknown. I have always felt completely out of place when dealing with even the hint of death in real life. Afraid to get too near it else I contract it's foul odor myself, I suppose. When our family cat died, when I was I think in junior high, and I discovered her stiff, motionless body in the basement, felled in the prime of her life by some toxin or chemical that perhaps I had lazily left out, I couldn't deal with it and I stayed as far away from that body as I could until my parents arrived home from work hours later.

I witnessed both my once stout, ex-military, working class grandfathers sucked dry by cancer and lengthy hospital stays; reduced to still-proud, but bent-over stick figures engulfed by the smell of decay. But in the end, I fled them and their obvious need for love, back to the illusory safety of college and constant drinking, unable to give either of them or their grieving wives or my parents and relatives even the barest of support. To this day, I still have little clue as to my selfish reasoning or thoughts then. I was a self-absorbed brat struggling with my blossoming realization that I was "different" back then and I acted instinctually to escape an uncomfortable situation I suppose. And the worst part is I showed so little regard for how this must have affected my grandparents; to see one of their beloved grandchildren flee from them in their greatest time of need.

These days (and for at least the last decade) my deceased grandparents often drift in and out of my dreams and nightmares. Like in life, they say little and walk around with stern faces, like noiseless, shuffling demons, as I flail about in shame and self-disgust and fear inside the memory-faded facsimiles of their once familiar spartan homes. I wander their labyrithine rooms in hazy dawning horror at the complete emptiness and silence around me. I am completely lost and in need of their forgiveness perhaps, but still, after all these years, unable to really talk to them; to truly embrace them. I still fear them, fear their judgement. I was a coward, confused, selfish, alone; the silences, mostly my doing, but not always, always seemed to take a little of our lives away when we were together. So I fled like the mangy dog I often felt I was.

I'm sorry for everything, please forgive me...

Friday, July 21, 2006

the death knell of freedom comes blacking through my mind

Why are so many fucking yahoos out there so full of hate and willingness to sacrifice the very core of freedom for the illusory appearance of order and safety? Are their lives so empty and meaningless that they need to lash out at anyone who holds a different belief than themselves? Some recent news to highlight the increasingly censorious and divided society we live in:

Of course, there have been a few bright beams of positive action on the news front: conservative-proposed discriminatory law against immigrants has at least been put off, N. Carolina's ban on unmarried cohabitation was deemed unconstitutional, the anti-gay constitutional amendment was soundly defeated, and efforts to resist our growing surveillance society is growing by the day. Uggghhhh, still - this entry is NOT helping my negative outlook today!

ps: for you perceptive JC fans out there - yes, a part of this entry title is lifted from the lyrics of his excellent cover of the already brilliantly melancholy Bonnie "Prince" Billy song, "I See a Darkness."

the day is dragging me under

This is a formal complaint to myself! Things I'm working on here seem to be going wrong left and right today and the fact that it's friday doesn't help either. This goddamn afternoon just keeps dragging on and on. These are the times that I dread (and coincidently, these seem to occur most frequently on fridays) - I'm unmotivated, distracted, exhausted, irritated and just fucking bored. My mood has taken an unexpected downturn today for sure. Just swallowed 4 aspirin in an attempt to excise the uninvited drum-demon in my brain pan and I'm struggling to stay awake (and no, I didn't get drunk last night and I also got plenty of sleep).

Thank the gods I have the next week off!!! Nothing but beach and beers and kayaking for me and Emmitt for 7 days. Wish my woman was gonna be there to share it with, but I guess life can't always work out that perfectly, can it? See ya on the other side...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

questions about geo-metro-country acculturation

Jenn and I have been talking about (and taking actions to realize) living in the same city and actually living together. We've discussed this extensively, and I've also talked about it with my therapist and my friends and I can't see any tangible downside. We miss each other so goddamn much when we are apart and we fit together so perfectly and comfortably when we are together. Cohabitating would seem to be the next logical step and it would certainly help us both financially as well. This is in addition to the fact that both of us have at least sometimes felt the desire to change our work environs.

While I love my job and know it will be hard to replicate the great aspects of it elsewhere, there simply is little administrative support for the librarians - we are treated like 2nd class citizens in many ways - our pay scale is atrocious and there is little room for advancement. My boss isn't going anywhere and so there is no where for me to go professionally. Of course it almost goes without saying that starting a new job where my co-workers only know me as a woman is very appealing too. There is also the issue of my house. Were I to move south, I would have to either sell or rent out my house.

Then there is the issue of geography. While I love the countryside, I find myself more and more craving the diversity of experiences and entertainment options of city life. Can I adapt back to all-paved environs and bars on the windows? Can Jenn be happy up here in the boonies, with the bugs and no Broadway? She is originally a Maine girl, so it's nothing she hasn't experienced before, but she is also a city girl at heart and being up here would limit her ability to partake in some of her favorite activities, like the Hedwig shadowcast troupe and going to Broadway plays. On the other hand, I sense that she is sick of the cramped and dirty living and the roaches and the noisy neighbors hanging out on the stoop outside her window until all hours of the night. She isn't really an outdoorsy girl, but I think I can show her, over time, some of the beauty and peace you encounter when communing with nature in the right way; she has already shown me lots of the hidden beauty of the city.

So in the effort to be together, Jenn has been applying to hospital dietician jobs up here and I have been applying to library jobs in the NYC metro area. I still hope to hear about the one perfect job I applied for and Jenn actually has an interview up here very soon. Things, as usual are moving rapidly and in slow-motion at the same time. I want her here sleeping beside me every night right now, but I also realize that living together is a big step and should not be rushed. Jenn has never done so, and my one excursion down the cohabitation road quickly devolved into unmitigated disaster years ago. So while I am completely confident that this will work out, there is that fear lingering in the very back of my mind sometimes that what happened to my past relationship (coincidently with a girl also named Jenn) so many years ago might happen again. But then I realize I am a completely different person and the circumstances are different. I am more mature and confident and more in touch with what I want in life. Money is not so much a dominant and divisive factor and the secret of my gender no longer poses a barrier.
And most importantly perhaps, this relationship feels stronger and far more solid to me than all my past relationships put together.

No matter where we end up geographically, I feel we can achieve a satisfying balance together, through roadtrips and creativity, between those desirable parts of the countryside and those of the city. Things are really starting to gel and hopefully I will soon be spending each night cuddling with the woman I love more than anything in this world. And that, my friends, can never be a bad thing...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

quote of the week: music

Truly fertile Music, the only kind that will move us, that we shall truly
appreciate, will be a Music conducive to Dream, which banishes all reason and
analysis. One must not wish first to understand and then to feel. Art does not
tolerate Reason.

-Albert Camus (1913-1960)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hit the Lights

Had an awesomely fun (and sweaty) weekend down in the city. Jenn and the rest of her amazing (and super-nice) Midnight Checkout Queens were slated to perform another midnight shadowcast of Hedwig at the IFC. They were shorthanded, so I got shang-hai'd to do the lights (which just consisted of watching the performance and film from the projection booth and turning the stage lights on and off on cue - a difficulty level just my speed. So I got to see the show from on high - which was cool, although a bit claustrophobic.

The next day, after spending some quality time with my better half lounging at home, and then meeting my bestest sista Aelis in Manhatten and sipping Smirnoff Ice drinks in Union Square, I dressed up as Hedwig for the costume contest. Again, staff was short, so after the clip of John Cameron Mitchell's new film, Short Bus, the costume contest, and a Q&A session with John, I needed to head back to the little room to handle the lights. But in the meantime, I won the costume contest and received a signed copy of the original Hedwig play script. Very cool. Of course, it helped that I was the only one who had dressed up. I mean I would have won regardless :-), but still, it would have been better with some competition. The night previous, there had been like 4-5 contestants! Oh well - was very cool sitting next to John as he showed his film clip and then being up on stage with him briefly. John is a very very cool and gracious and funny guy.

Anyways, here are a couple pics from that night with my film counterpart/soulmate/girlfriend - doesn't she look absolutely super cool? Actually, I think she was just completely exhausted by saturday night, but she is a trooper and makes a very sexy Yitzhak. Hope you like...

ps: also caught "A Scanner Darkly" today - excellent Linklater film based on the brilliant Philip K. Dick psychdelic sci-fi book. Weird movie, but well done.

Friday, July 14, 2006

funny shit

Was browsing through the Best of Craig's List today and found a couple fucking amusing pages - enjoy!

whither the green revolution?

Green is slowly coming back, newly spurred by the continuing and blatant anti-environment actions of the Bush administration. Read about the history and current prospects for the modern green movement in this excellent article from The Nation, "Green Grows Grassroots":

If you'd like to get more informed and involved, check out these sites as a good starting point:
Apollo Alliance:

Peace and harmony,


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

2 fucking years

Wow - just noticed that I've been at this blog thingy for 2 years now. As I look back at some of my early posts, I realize how far I've come; how far I've progressed on so many levels. Don't get me wrong though , I'm still an immature, self-centered bitch. It's just that now I'm a bitch with sexuality and gender confidence and am so overwhelmingly in love there are just no words that can do this fucking intense feeling justice.

To celebrate, Jenn and I got tattoos this past weekend, followed by rollerskating and go-karts. She satisfied her Hedwig and the Angry Inch obsession (for now) by getting the gender ying-yang tattoo that Hedwig sports in the movie and that is featured in the movie's animation, along with the words "Origin of Love" in greek lettering along it's lower edge. I got this on my left shoulder, just above the chinese symbols I got a few weeks ago:

This is a custom tribal version of the Black Rabbit of Inlè that I created, from the book and animated movie, Watership Down, perhaps my favorite book of all time. I wanted it to have that primal and alive cave painting feel and I think it achieves that perfectly.

I think I may be developing an ink addiction...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Some long-overdue props go to librarians

Librarians have long been at the forefront of the civil liberties defense and freedom of information movements, and they get a little praise for those efforts in this article from The Nation magazine:

Quote of the week: freedom

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.

-Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Rainbows in My Garden

All pics from this photo album were taken within 30 feet of my house this afternoon...

Sneak Preview: