Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Be Careful of that Old Lady in the Bar

On Rachel Ray yesterday an older woman dating expert was on. She gave tips to older women to help them learn how to flirt, as she said, "turn themselves on." The major trick of the trade, what women can really do that works better than, I don't know, just going up and talking to a guy, is to go commando. That's right. Her advice for older women was to take off their panties and get revved up. To realize what they're working with, to really feel what they're bodies want.

Now. I would like to bring back an old blog post. One that regarded Whoopie Goldberg and Poise Pads together in a commercial. A commercial that stated 1 out of 3 women spritz their panties.

Six old women go to a bar panty-less trying to get "turned on," trying to flirt, and trying to be sensual. Two of those women are going to spritz right on the floor. And can I just say, that will not turn anyone on except maybe a dog or some creep who enjoys golden showers.

Thank you Rachel Ray for having another "expert" on your show who gives terribly creepy advice. I can't wait until the day someone pays me to keep it real, and "crystal clear". I can guarantee that I will never tell an old woman to take off her panties.

Which makes me wonder what the advice will be like when I'm an older woman. Granted I hope I don't ever have to go "play the field" again, but can't we just keep it simple. The best way to get to know someone is to, guess what, talk to them. And yes, you may need confidence for that but you're not going to get it by removing your spanx.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Give me Back MY Annual....since it's called a f-ing Annual for a Reason

I went to planned parenthood today to make my annual appointment. I have had several mishaps regarding this appointment in the last year. One being that I thought I was supposed to have it in January, thus I set it up, I went, I got naked, I laid on the table with a paper-sheet across me and then the doctor comes in and tells me we got the date wrong. Since I have the pink card I can only have 1 a year and my last one was in March. So it’s March. It’s the END of March. I go in today to make my appointment and get more pills.

She tells me that since FEBRUARY the plan has changed and that women 21-30 who have never had an abnormal pap only have to get them every 2 years. And since I had one last year I don’t have to lay naked on a table with a paper sheet across me and have a doctor insert those metal clamp things into my vagina. Fine.

Well, not really. I am actually pretty pissed off that this “theory” has become a practice. I remember hearing the controversy on the news and I thought it was all “talk,” but no, of course, when it comes to fucking over women’s health they’ll go ahead and implement those theories as soon as possible. I can’t wait until next year when they change their minds again because half of the women who skipped a year end up having major problems—like anyone really cares (except the women who actually have to deal with the issues…which is what, half of the population). In any case. In my theory it’s better to be safe than sorry. And I want it to go back to once a year. That is what I know. That is what I feel comfortable with. That is really the only way to get me to the doctor to begin with, because granted, it’s awkward, but as a woman I’d rather have one awkward moment a year, than years of awkward moments.

So FUCK YOU medical theorists. And FUCK all the people who want to control MY body. You can’t have it. It is MINE (whether you want to check it for cancer once a year, every two years, whenever you fucking feel like it, or whether you just want to see me curl up in a ball and die, you can't have it (whether you think you can or not). Rarhar!

Another Conspiracy (Christian Fundamentalist) Theory

I believe the news is getting carried away with Christian fundamentalists, white supremacists, and other crazy violent groups for the sake of justifying the republican agenda... Here are my three main points.

1) Anti-government groups have always existed. When Bush was in office there were Christian fundamentalists, white supremacists and other crazies blowing shit up, trying to overthrow the government, etc. but we never heard about them.

2) People who control big business are people who control the media are people who are generally hardcore conservative Republicans.

3) The big business-republican-controlled media is setting up the crazy so that when something "crazy" happens to the first black president we are all already prepared for it. WHAT? You ask. I mean seriously, think about it. What better way to accept the inevitable than to show crazy racist violent assholes over and over again on our main sources of media.

Because, really, how stupid is it to show a plot that didn't actually occur, "They were going to kill a cop and then kill all the cops that show up to the first cop's funeral". The news just gives away the un-used plots for other insane supremacist to actually carry out. It's like they want them to. Someone wants them to...obviously the newscasters are just reading whatever is put in front of them, BUT whoever is actually in control of what the entire nation hears, over and over again, wants us to subconsciously accept that there are severe crazies in the world and there is nothing we can do about it.

I feel like we're being slowly set up for another civil war. Except all of us rational open-minded folks don't want to blow shit up, which means we will probably get fucked by all the people who actually don't understand what it means to "love thy neighbor" even if they claim to live "by the bible".

I have a suggestion, let's just ship all the racist, fundamentalist assholes to Texas and let them rot there. They can have their land and we can live peacefully.

Monday, March 29, 2010


In our generation women have staying power. Many women who were popular in the 60s, 70s, 80s are still around and because of there insistence to not fade away from the limelight they have brought with them a new concept of aging and “growing older”. I find it interesting because it seems like this may be the first time in history that older women have saturated the media to this extent—Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Yoko Ono, Meryl Streep, Whoopie Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, Cher, Kathy Griffin, the list goes on and on. I have to admit that I am thrilled to see my mother’s and my grandmother’s generation of women hold their ground. And I am thrilled that so many older women are speaking out about the aging process, they are creating a safe space for the future generations. We can enter our 30s, 40s, 50s calmer, less worried about wrinkles, less upset about gravity taking a toll on our bodies because we see so many brave women before us enter each growing year with stride.

But I do not want to get carried away. Many of these women are relying on beauty regiments that I feel are going to cause major health problems in their futures. And I should probably be honest and admit that one of the major reasons many of these women “get” to stick around is because they don’t actually LOOK old. Botox and cosmetic surgery, special lighting, great make-up artists etc. have been able to distort many older women in the media to look like they’re 30. Almost none of them look like they’re beyond 40. So maybe they’re “cheating” a little bit. That’s their deal. If that’s what they need to do to stay in the game, fine. Their choice.

I just hope that they help open the door to better acceptance of older woman in general so that when our generation does enter menopause etc. we can do it the natural way and no one will throw us out the door because of our graying hair.

I don’t have an issue with “old”. All of us, living and breathing on this planet are “aging” it is not something that starts happening at 40. I personally have enjoyed growing with these women. It’s been a pleasure watching Madonna in A League of Her Own and then seeing her just the other day on The Marriage Ref. I love knowing the Yoko is still rocking. That Barbara is still talking. That Meryl can play the romantic lead.

It just goes to show that with age comes wisdom and though I am definitely not old enough to be considered wise what I have learned through my time here on earth is that it is important to slow down. One should stop and enjoy the day, each day, each moment. Because each day can bring joy and with joy comes youthfulness no matter how “old” you are, no matter how long you’ve been “aging”.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Becoming a Professional Sneezer

If I could just detached my head from my body and clean out the clogs I think I would feel much better. For the past few days I have been giving myself an half-assed Egyptian mummification, blowing my brains out through my nostrils. I haven't been putting my brain-pieces in a jar to take with my to the afterlife though, which may be a problem since I soon will not be able to formulate sentences properly.

In most cases I like the idea of spring cleaning--getting rid of that which is no longer needed, but I would really appreciate it if my body would not literally participate in this practice. Sure the seasons are changing but I do not need nor do I appreciate a physical reaction for proof.

I have shit to do. But since I need a functioning brain to do such shit and since I have major brain blockage no shit is getting done. Which is annoying me. If I could just get all this junk out of my head, I would be back to my unnormal self.

I got this email which said to put an onion by your bed, it supposedly soaks up all the bad bacteria in the air helping you get better quicker. We did this when Ryan was sick and he claimed it worked. Then I got sick. So I guess it just proves I absorbed more of Ryan's nasty bacteria than the onion did. When I tried the onion trick last night all that came out of it was a funny smelling room (which isn't that big of a deal right now since I have a non-functioning nose). I guess I'll try the onion trick one more night and if I am not better tomorrow I'll just stick to eating them.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Art of: Drinking to a Perfect Drunkness

Last night while drinking margaritas, Lizz said that when she drinks gin she gets mean. When I drink gin I also get mean but it's only because i'm wondering why the fuck I am drinking such nasty liquor. But, the comment sparked me to think about our bodies and how they react to alcohol. After drinking several margaritas I noticed how much my buzz differed from when I drink beer. And I wonder how is it that different forms of alcohol not only affect ones own body differently, but how different forms of alcohol affect different people differently? We get a different type of buzz from beer than from liquor than from wine, yet each person seems to feel it in their own little way. And to go even more specific, we get a different type of drunk from PBR than from IPA. An alternative buzzness between vodka and tequila.

But here's the psychological kicker... if I go into a bar and have the option of drinking anything I want and I pick rum and coke fully knowing that rum turns me into a bitch, do I pick the rum and coke because I want an excuse to bring my bitch out, or do I pick it because that's what I'm just craving to drink? Am I craving to drink it because I have been repressing the bitch in me and it's just a subconscious reaction?

And how does one particular form of alcohol develop seemingly liquid traits i.e. rum makes me mean= rum is a mean liquor.... Is it because the first time you drank the rum you were having a bad night? The rum just seemed to highlight everything wrong and thus the rum became a liquor that brought out the "the bad" in your life every time you drank it after that first time? IDK.

If one wants to get the perfect buzz, how can one purposefully make that happen, especially if ones mood, body mass, food intake, reaction to, changes every day?

We all have to design our own formulas. This can take years. One may never each reach the desired results--which can also differ from person to person.

For example my desired results would be to consume the least amount of calories to the highest level of buzzness (the level before pure drunk obnoxiousness). It would entail not having to take shots of any kind. And of course, not waking up in the morning feeling as if my entire body has been stuffed with cotton and thrown into a mega-dryer for several hours.

But alas, this is only a desire. I have yet to find this perfect equation. But don't worry, I'll keep experimenting until I have the solution. . . even if it takes years upon years of testing. You're welcome to join me any time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

When I was Younger. . .

I believe there is a reason most parents throw away their children’s drawings and homework, they do it to rid away evidence of the child’s incompetence. But what do my parents do? They keep every piece of paper I have ever scribbled on. Going through it while I was home really freaked me out. I could see the progression of my intelligence. I could see that a drawing one year, a drawing that could not even be classified as an abstract piece of work, transform by the next year into a structured drawing of a rainbow, a swing set, a house. As Sandra Cisneros pointedly puts it, when you’re 9, you’re also 8 and 7 and 6 and 5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1. At 25 there are so many layers to what I know and yet at 25 I realize there is so much that I have yet to learn. I get scared thinking that in 10 years I’ll look back on all my work and laugh at how naïve and stupid I seemed to be, how if I had only known such and such how my life would be so much better.

What really made me laugh was going through all the gossip-filled notes I exchanged with friends in grade/middle school (yes, I kept most of them—I guess at the time I thought I could use them as blackmail if needed haha). Anyway, reading through them and seeing sentences like, “are you mad at her?” “who do you like right now?” “I don’t really like her, she acted stuck up to me in gym will you not be friends with her with me?” etc. etc. Makes me want to go back in time and yell at myself. What I didn’t realize, and what most kids don’t realize after going grade after grade with the same people their whole lives is that everyone wants to be liked, even the most popular kids struggle to find acceptance, and going to such a small school actually gives you a bigger group of people to relate to in the long run. When I look back on the people I didn’t really like at the time I realize that I didn’t like them for the most trivial of reasons and a part of me wishes I would have gotten to know them better. That I wouldn’t have been intimidated. That I myself wouldn’t have been so mean.

But alas, such is life. And I seem to have a talent for meanness that hasn’t faded with time. But luckily I have learned to balance it with thoughtfulness towards the people I care about, even if sometimes my 6th grade tongue unleashes its venom. I learned how to put up a protective wall at an early age and ever since have been tearing it down for love and friendships and then re-building it after each heartache.

I guess it’s good that I can look back on my grade school and middle school days and see the humor and the pain and understand that I didn’t have it so bad even if at the time I thought I did.

While looking through my stuff I found a coloring contest drawing of mine. We all had to color a picture of a stained glass candle. At the time I thought I had done a really amazing job (and so did other people since I was one of the winners), I remember having it on the fridge for at least a year and how every time I passed it the brightness of all color made me happy. And I remember how much confidence it gave me to know I could create something beautiful from something as simple as an outlined picture. But recently when I pulled the picture out of the pile and looked at it closely I noticed how I didn’t color it in that neatly, how there were still white spots, and how it was actually not really very pretty at all. This sort of bothered me. I’ve been thinking about it though; I feel we all have things that get us through—whether it’s something we create ourselves, a movie we watch over and over, a person, chocolate chip cookies etc. etc. And what got me through at the time was a drawing I managed to make beautiful in my 5th grade eyes; whether or not it is beautiful now is beside the point. Just sort of like whether or not I liked Clayton or Joe or Todd or if I was mad at Nicole or Margo or Alisa; at the time it is what we needed to learn about who we were and who we wanted to be.

All of the reminiscing makes me put my current situation into a clearer perspective. If I look within, at my own singular life (and not pay attention to all the shit that’s happening outside it) then I really can’t complain….well, I could complain, but I shouldn’t. I have it pretty well. And even if I look back in ten years and laugh at what I’ve created at least I’ve created something to laugh at.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Art of: Motivating Myself

I came up with idea for a fictional bizarro feministy satirical story. I started outlining it and I have come to the conclusion that it is not going to be short, in fact it will probably be at least a novella length. I shy away from saying novel because if I say novel then the story will never get off the ground. I am making this idea public for one major reason. I need YOUR help. I need you to bug me occasionally by asking me how my writing is going.

I have a major problem of coming up with all sorts of ideas. This may not seem like a problem to you but the issue is that I will come up with something, start it, then fail to follow through, because along the way I came up with something I liked more and decided to switch ground and work on it instead.

That being said I have several writing projects in the works, but only 1 almost to a send-off point. Since one of my goals in life is to be a writer and since the only way you can claim the title of writer is if you have gotten something published (or at least send work off in hopes of it getting published) I need to push myself a little harder.

I have two essays that should be sent to literary journals by the end of April.
I have this bizarro story I just came up with.
I have a project that consists of a collection of essays written in the "purgatory stage" of my life between undergrad and graduate school when I worked at AppleBees and drank enough to forget that I had to work there.
I also need to write songs for our next Pervertable Tongues album.

That being said. I have piled a lot on my plate and would love it if you made sure I ate it all.

Call. Text. Email. Comment. Do whatever. If you do I may put you in my dedications---how much of an incentive is that.... oh yeah, that's worthwhile of your time!

Also if you have a preference for what you'd like to read, let me know and I'll focus my attention on those pieces first...


Tomorrow my blog may be more entertaining than this... we shall hope and we shall see.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trying to Purge it all out (before I purge again)

Sometime between when I got to the church and the time the wedding started the temperature went from 60 to 30. As we all left it was sleeting rain and we had to get to the reception located at some mega-barn out in the country. The beer was hidden in coolers outside and they asked us to pour the beer into cups because some people there didn't approve...but all they had for cups were clear plastic obviousness.

As well as the beer being outside in the sleeting rain, so were the bathrooms--port-a-potties... I tried to hold it as long as I could, but of course it was inevitable. I ran out in my poofy purple dress, door swinging against my strength in the wind, finally getting it shut, my ass almost freezes off--why I was drunk enough to think it reasonable to sit all the way down is beyond me.

Eventually we leave. We drive back to the hotel in half snow/half sleet and I get no sleep the rest of the night. My parents were noisy, making Ryan move ever 2 seconds, which woke me up making me move and OMG it was a repetitive cycle. Then my dad turns the TV on at like 5:30 a.m. And doesn't even think to turn the volume down--probably because he's almost deaf and thought the volume was low to begin with... in any case we leave shortly after I stuff myself with the free breakfast bar.

We drive through the worst snowstorm I have ever had to drive through. Eventually I make my mom drive my car. It takes us like 6 hours to finally get home...more than double the time it would normally take a person to drive there. Oh and can I mention that my car smelled like a dead animal? That really added to the amazingness of the day.

What I am really getting to is that the wedding and the reception and the storm and the driving and all of that combined to create some sort of major stress that literally made me vomit all night. Yes. For the past few days I have been sick sick sick and I'd like to blame it on the patriarchy. I know it's not logical. I'm sure I just picked up a bug from one of the jesus-loving-conservatives at the wedding...but I keep having all these terrible nightmares ever since the wedding event, and since I wake up from those nightmares having to puke my guts out I'd like to just go ahead and blame it on fundamentalists-- I don't think people blame them for enough things. I wouldn't have picked up this virus if the preacher would not have used the Adam and Eve rib story to marry my BFF. Nor would I have gotten this virus if he would have not scoffed saying "I remember when Kelsi wanted to grow up to be a senator, the next president, an artist, haha" LIKE SHE CAN'T NOW. ERGHH. Luckily I am puked-out or I would puke again just writing this memory--and luckily that is what it is a memory. I can now move on with my life and not let it happen again.

Just to clarify, if you have not got it yet, do not invite me to your wedding if your dad is going to give you away and your preacher is going to be a misogynist oppressor of women. I can only do that once in my lifetime. Thank you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Putting the "Made" in Made of Honor

In a few hours I will be in my first and last wedding ever…as the “made” of honor (I am not cleaning up after anyone so don’t call me a maid). Anyhoo, I am nervous for myself. Mostly, I am nervous that I will 1) Not be able to stand still (especially in heels) 2) That I will not be able to keep a straight face 3) That I will not be able to keep my mouth shut.

So I’m going to open it now. I’m going to try to get it all out so I can go in there and respect her decision (I do respect her decision or I wouldn’t be in the wedding).

What bothers me the most is the passing off of the bride. (For a beautiful moment in time I forgot that they even did it that way anymore.) She walks down the aisle with her father. Then he passes her to the husband and there is maybe one second where she is not connected to any man. I am sorry, but she is not a possession. She is an independent woman who can survive (if she wanted to) on her own. Why can’t the husband and wife come out together and unite as one instead of having the hand-off? I know I am being pretty nit-picky here but it’s a very symbolic moment. A moment symbolizing everything I do not believe in. How can you trust it’s going to be an equal relationship if she can’t even be trusted to walk in by herself? (I closed my eyes during this part in the rehearsal. I plan to do the same at the wedding or I may puke.)

Now, it is not in my right to tell another person how they should choreograph their wedding… but I have a Master’s Degree in Over-Analyzing so I can’t help but notice.

I really just want her to be happy. It doesn’t seem like anyone is very happy at a wedding to be quite frank. Everyone seems to be stressing out, planning, decorating, being forced to talk to strangers (where some end up being cool but others end up being assholes.) Being forced to wear heels and makeup and hairspray and puffy dresses—all of which can be fun but when there are 400 people staring I can only imagine the self-consciousness that will be setting in.

Oh, and can I just say that Kelsi warned people about me. And can I just say I really wanted to be a fly on the wall for that conversation, muhahaha.

“Umm…I’m inviting my feminist, anti-monogamist, anti-patriarchy, anti-capitalist, anti-racist friend to be in my wedding… she’s a bit off her rocker, you probably won’t get along, please don’t ask her what she does, or what she believes in, or if she’s getting married because she might bite your face off.”

“oh my, do you think she has rabies?”

“Oh, probably. Keep her away from your babies too.”

“Of course, of course.”

At least that’s what I’m picturing the convo sounding like….

Again. We all stress out under these situations. Even the people making the decision to spend their lives together are probably freaking out a bit even though they’ve had plenty of time to think this through and confirm. We all have different ideas of where we see our futures and how we get ourselves there. Mine is a bit “off the rocker” of mainstream conformity, but I’m not going to disassociate with people who make choices that I personally disagree—why? Because I believe we all deserve choices and we all deserve to go down the path that makes us the happiest, the most joy-filled, the most loved.

Because that’s all we need right?

(and if love is all we need, do we really need a ceremony…shit I can’t end without a sly comment can I?)

Let me try again.

I respect Kelsi’s choice to get married because she respects my choice not to. I will support her decisions because I know she is doing what she wants and she is doing all she can to get the most out of her life, just like me but totally different. I find that beautiful, people who can get together upon completely opposite viewpoints and enjoy each others company and respect each others lives. . .

And finally, I hope she can respect my decision to sip vodka during the whole event because I’m going to need it… :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I've decided I don't want you to Touch me with Your Hand

Who came up with the concept that you should have a firm grip when you shake someone’s hand because it shows you’re confident/assertive/in control etc? I want to find that person and punch that person in the face. Whoever came to this idea and decided to spread it around is a jackass. Why? Because now no one even shakes your hand they just squeeze it. They squeeze it like it’s a game of mercy—whoever let’s go first is the loser. They squeeze it like they want to break all the bones in your hand.

And let’s me honest. It no longer proves anything about anyone because everyone knows you’re supposed to firmly grip the other’s person’s hand.

I have a suggestion. How about we don’t touch each other’s hands at all? I don’t know where your hand has been, it could have been up your own ass for all I know. If you really think about it what’s a handshake for anyway? Is it like our Avatar tail? We touch you on the outside so we know what you’re like on the inside? Except now we can’t get any sense of each other because the person shaking your hand cuts off all circulation before any meaning is sent through.

Thus making me come to the conclusion that you—hand smasher—are probably just an asshole.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Top 10 Women and Gender Studies Books

I had to read a lot...out of all the books I read for my degree here are the 10 I liked (or learned from) the most!

10. The Creation of Patriarchy by Gerda Lerner

In depth history on how all the cocks thought they’d take over society. It can be a bit dry at times (no pun intended) but the information is revealing and makes our lives make more sense. “The contradictions between women’s centrality and active role in creating society and their marginality in the meaning-giving process of interpretation and explanation has been a dynamic force causing women to struggle against their condition,” (5).

(I also have an extra copy if any one wants one.)

9&8. A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid and Bandaneras by Dana Frank
These books will make you never want to go on vacation or eat a banana again, but they are must reads, why must you read them? They’re about working-class people, people just like you, trying to survive, yet somehow managing to get fucked by “the man” in more than one way. It’s also important to think about where your food comes from. And it’s important to think about the people you affect when you go on a “tropical” vacation—it’s a inner dilemma to have with yourself—the people on those islands now depend on tourists, yet the tourist have destroyed their sense of culture and community, turning stable islands into capitalistic trap-holes.

7. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi

A beautiful, hilarious, heartbreaking story. And it’s done comic-book style making it a quick yet thoughtfully executed read. It’s amazing how relatable the characters are even though it’s set in a different cultural context. It shows the connectedness of us all, yet at the same time, shows the individuality of a specific location and that place’s issues.

6. The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol Adams

“The male prerogative to eat meat is an external, observable activity implicitly reflecting a recurring fact: meat is a symbol of male dominance,” (33). The book links animal and women’s oppressions. Breasts. Thighs. Rumps. Juicy. Meaty. Yum. Want a piece. I bet you do.

5. Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinokla Estes

It’s about getting in touch with your natural selves through understanding our own psychological myths and stories. The book is structured so as to introduce a fairytale/myth in each chapter and have each chapter go into the mind of a woman---discussing the woman’s strength and overcomings throughout each scene. The book is impactful in its ability to conjure creativity and allow one to find one’s self again “A single creative act, has the potential to feed a continent,” (299).

4, A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

“Neoliberalim is in the first instance a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberation individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade, (2)” This is a difficult, stuffy read, but knowledge is power and this text is full of it. Want to understand our economy better? Want to know all about corporation corruption and bullshit privatizations…read this book.

3. The Male Body: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body by Susan Bordo

This degree did not just focus on femininity but masculinity as well. There seems to be a masculine crisis going on that very few people seem to want to talk about… but hello if we’re searching for a more egalitarian-type life we have to understand balancing the feminine and masculine and knowing the positive and negatives from both sides. Bordo does an interesting job revealing the default male and showing how the male negotiates through our system. They may be born into a certain privilege that comes with being male, but with that privilege comes a certain type of behavior they must live up to, and for many it’s not easy nor is it a path they really want to go down.

2. Learning to be White: Money, Rave and God in America by Thandeka

It’s good to know your own history, white or not white, understanding how racism developed over time in our country and how we are all personally affected by it throughout our childhood years of picking and choosing sides as well as how it became inherent in our culture. “White shame is the feeling that something about the self is racially beyond the pale. What is actually beyond the pale. however, is not the discovery of a drop of black blood in one’s veins. Rather, the darkness revealed with the white self in a realm of feelings if dismay, distress, loss, rage, and anger at one’s own white environment because it prevented the self from retaining a fuller and more inclusive range of its own sentient feelings,” (75).

1. Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria
Seriously the most inspirational book I have ever read. I could read this book over and over again. I think I have underlined almost every sentence. Talk about intersectionality—this book covers the interrelatedness of almost all our plaguing issues from women’s personal struggles with the power already within language (and the patriarchy) to race, to religion/spirituality, to art and creativity, to writing (revealing how she deals with getting it all out). “ To write, to be a write, I have to trust and believe in myself as a speaker, as a voice for the images. I have to believe that I can communicate with images and words and that I can do it well. A lack of believe in my creative self is a lack of believe in my total self and vice versa—I cannot separate my writing from any part of my life. It is all one, “ (73). Sometimes when I’m down all I need to do is pick up this book, read a few pages, and revive my energy. It is like my bible. I have yet to find a more meaningful book.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Master's Reflection

I have officially finished all of my classes for my Masters in Women and Gender Studies. What can I do with that you ponder? Well guess what! I can do whatever the fuck I want with that and if you’re so interested, why don’t you sit back and wait and see; I guarantee it’s going to be pretty--as pretty as a greased pig getting chased by kids at a county fair. But alas. I just spent $40K on my brain. It’s a bit overwhelming and a little scary considering all the PBR I’ve been drinking, but I feel it’s still working. It is at least above par and in this society that makes me a genius. So some say ignorance is bliss. But what’s blissful about not having the language or the understanding of why you’re so pissed? If you live your entire life knowing, feeling, that something is off, but you don’t have the ability to quite grasp what the issue is (or what the issues are--as there are obviously more than one) how can that actually be blissful? Sure, I am often perturbed and pissed about the shit that goes on around me, but at least I can see it, at least I can deconstruct it and show what’s fucked up about it.

When I was in undergrad I remember having many philosophical late night debates with artists/people/friends/ men about the best way to change the world. Do you try to create change one person at a time…do you try take it on all at once, do you attempt some in between of that? Should one even try at all? The master’s degree I have just received has shown me the interconnectedness of many of our society’s problems: patriarchy, racism, capitalism. How each is a thread, but how each thread is braided together to strengthen each others staying power and control. For all of us who see those threads as problems it’s a slow chipping away process towards improvement. It’s an every day struggle to reveal oppressions that are keeping us all down…

The running theme through all of this and my undergrad degree has been to “speak” As Audre Lorde says, “you’re silence will not protect you”. But before one decides to start yammering onward one must know what to say and must choose words carefully. We shouldn’t talk just for talking’s sake but we should talk to build upon each others ideas, each others creative flows, each others intellectual capacity. We will never know it all and that’s the great thing about this life—there will always be another book to read, another song to hear, another film to see, another person with an amazing story to tell.

If I could reveal to you all I’ve learn in one simple blog that would be quite problematic to the amount of money I spent on improving my education. But I would like to admit that many of my women and gender studies classes have had a lot of negativity within them—they were really good at showing everything that’s bad about the world. And honestly, it burns and it takes a lot of time to heal from those problems, to not go into a nihilistic destructive stupor, to rise above the tasks of feeling like there are too many problems for one person to solve.

I’ve had to learn to balance idealism and reality on my own—but I don’t think any institution is able to teach a person that anyway. I have had to “rise above”. I have had to “pick my battles”. I have learned to untame my tame tongue and let it join the wild once more.

These couple of years have really been used to develop my sense of self. I am a creator, an understander, a communicator, a writer, a multi-tasker, a developer, a thinker, an artist. If I’ve learned anything it’s that there is so much more left to learn, so many more stores left to hear, so many more voices needing to speak. Luckily, I have learned to channel my own voice, to speak, to let my tongue roam free into the wild words of transforming a master language into my own.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time: It's on "The Man"s Side.

Daylight Savings Time always seems to highlight the arbitrariness of clocks. I know I’ve talked about this before but it’s a good topic to delve into…this time yesterday it was 2 but today it’s 3, or yesterday it was 5 but today it’s 4. It’s a contained and controlled Wonderland. Cats can’t talk here but many know how to use the toilet and that my dears is just as weird. It’s funny how we’re all tied to time, yet how it can be collectively moved a whole hour if we want it to…it makes you wonder what else we could move… I know what I would choose…what would you?

If time is money and we can change time, couldn’t we also change money? Could we somehow make it so it stops fucking so many people over? More sunlight—ookay thanks, that’s great, but what else ya got? I bet you have more tricks than that up your sleeve dear government. I want to see the show. I hope it’s even more magical than when Alice falls down that hole.

I don’t know ya’ll. All I can think about is the tick tocking of control. The watch is watching. How would life be different if time wasn’t so divided, so rigid, so by the clock? If time wasn’t money. If time was just moments and segments of a life and money was a figment of our imaginations?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Morning Peace...

Trying to do yoga in Chicago is like drinking a pot of coffee and then trying to take a nap.

Thank you tick tocking clock for somehow increasing in volume the longer I stayed in downward dog.

Thank you Ryan for walking in and out of the room right when I was contorting into prayer twists.

Thank you car alarms and honking horns.

Thank you barking dogs and yelling children.

Thank you all I am right back where I began except now I have jello-legs and an hour and a half less time in my day.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Domesticate your cat not your wife…

I was reading an article in Bitch that was talking about the psychological problems of trying to prove yourself on facebook and how facebook is designed to illuminate middle class conformity. A section of the piece states “and pictures of a finger with a giant rock on it, the ‘most amazing man’ a friend has ever know, and the new subdivision house with a little caption that declares your friend ‘domesticated’ ”. Domesticated. How can humans domesticate themselves? Isn’t the entire idea behind domestication making animals or plants conform to a human lifestyle—so that animals and plants can live with humans peacefully? Something about that word really rubbed me the wrong way. It formed a horrid picture in my mind of the middle class suburbanite trapped in her two-story house, her wedding ring like a collar, her husband her master taking her for late night walks, his hand her leash.

I’ve never felt upset when I have seen old friends on facebook update their status from “in a relationship” to “married”, nor have I felt upset when they post pictures of their babies. Facebook doesn’t insist we conform; it is only a social outlet used to keep us all connected. Maybe it’s because I’ve never wanted that lifestyle that I don’t feel compelled towards jealousy. I’m sorry but how could one be jealous of someone who calls themselves “domesticated”? Maybe it’s just because I am confident in who I am and I am happy with the choices I have made in my life. Maybe if I had gone down a different path I would have more insecurities. Perhaps it’s just that I’m a tad bit narcissistically egotistical and I imagine that my “domesticated friends” are actually jealous of me. Or maybe we’re all just pleased with our own life choices. Could that be a possibility? Could we all actually be happy? Nah. But facebook doesn’t reveal the crap-pots of our lives, just an edited version of who we are, domesticated, settled, rebelled, alive.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another conspiracy (Oscar) theory

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? Well, here is mine for the Oscars…perhaps it’s less conspiracy and more obviousness, but I believe the Academy final realized who their audience actually is… why?

1) The elaborate poise pad Whoopie Goldberg commercial, wtf was that?

2) The “best actress” switched places with “best actor”

(and the best actress was fucking Sandra Bullock.)

3) A woman finally won best director.

Okay. So it’s obvious that it’s a very feminine viewer watching the awards, but let’s just break this down a bit into some mainstream conspiracy shit.

Kathryn Bigelow who won best director (for the Hurtlocker) was ex-wife to another director up for the Oscar—James Cameron (for Avatar) this immediately established a tension and drama within the academy scene that went beyond the actual quality of the movies.

And let’s face it, Bigelow won best director for a film about WAR. Granted, I haven’t seen it because it’s been on a “long wait” in my Netflix que, but I doubt it has any type of running theme of taking care of our earth, or connecting to our planet because we are "all one", or any of that type of lovey dovey, peaceful hippie shit that Avatar did. And here is my conspiracy—Avatar didn’t win because it didn’t send the “right” message out to our general public. It basically said to stop fighting and starting peacing and what U.S. citizen really believes in that?

Granted it is amazing and about fucking time that a woman got any cred, but we need to be a careful about how and why the victories come about. Advertising. Women are watching the Oscars; women want other women to win—duh. Most people watching the awards are looking for sentimentality, not underlying social messages which will come later when the people decide go see the movie that won. I don’t want to say that the only reason she won was because it would make better tv…but I sort of felt that the Lifetime network had taken over and we were witnessing a terrible scene about ex-husband and wife rivals (which I suppose we were). I didn’t like that because I felt they were pushing me to root for people based on them as people, not based on them as directors. I felt it was more about how many tears they could churn out because that sells shits. and that’s how they make money. and it’s all about the money and the power isn’t it?

Speaking of previews and sentimentality—Sandra Bullock! Can I just go puke up my soul in the toilet right now? OKAY. It’s true. I haven’t seen The Blindside and I don’t have it on my Netflix on a long wait, WHY? Because it looks horrendous. It looks like a middle class white woman being uppity, pretentious, and meddling. It looks like a white woman trying to get involved in shit that she has no clue or social conception about but who also thinks it’s her priority as a white woman to interfere because she can and because she’s white and that’s what she’s supposed to do. But that’s just what I’m picking up from the Hallmark-cardesque previews.

And finally. I do not think it is time, nor do I think it will ever be time to make elaborate commercials about vaginal leakage. But thank you Poise for completely fucking with my mind. 1 in 3 woman have leakage? Isn’t that just obviousness? I mean it’s a hole. Surely it’s going to be a bit drippy, but do I need to think about it? NO! NO! NO! Please. We don’t talk about it Whoopie because it’s fucking weird. I don’t think it’s gross because again, ½ the population have holes and there is a thing called gravity, I just don’t need the Statue of Liberty or a Fairy Princess telling me to wear a liner

But check it out for yourself if you’d like: click here

Finally, I would just like to say that I would feel better about an honest award ceremony based less on who is buying advertisements and who the mainstream audience is (white women) then one that centers on conforming to what they think the people watching would like to see, that is just pure bullshit and it makes it less believable that everyone who won, won so according to talent. I'd like to believe the talent is true, but it was the year of Miss Congeniality and that certainly makes me want to throw in the towel.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The possiblity of more assholes on earth....not on my watch

Perhaps I am too old for the abortion twenty-five I am set in my ways and I am not backing down. You can sit there and yammer on and on but I will not budge on this one.

Because we live in a very neoliberalistic society where CHOICE is our number one priority, down to the choice of privatizing almost all government run programs how can we alter one of the most vital? Surely if we can chose between 37 different types of ranch dressing or 53 types of marinana sauce we can let the one about aborting a fetus stay intake?

And why the fuck should you care? If you're not the one having the abortion is it really YOUR problem? It actually becomes more of a problem if the woman gives birth because that is another potential asshole you have to deal with. Do we really need more assholes roaming the earth? According to a statistic-- there are 1.3 million abortions performed in the United States per year (The Boundaries of Her Body 293). Imagine how much more fucked up the world would be if even more people were attempting to live on it...

The earth has already reached beyond capacity when it comes to human existence.

Let's all just be honest here. The future is not "our children" the future is us. The future is how we treat the people who already exist, not how we treat a ball of jumbled up cells inside a woman's womb. A woman should have the choice, it is her body, not yours.

Again, I am old. I am set in my old-timer ways.

I will not budge and neither should Roe.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A little stream mixed with a little dream

windows to see into the screen, into the alley, into your belly. windows to open, windows to close, windows buy time until your brain explodes. garlic breath isn’t it fresh, fresh from the garden of tongue and mouth death. are you depressed. degraded. over-stimulated by the mutated tomatoes staring at you in the center of winter, laughing sinisterly as you chop in delight, those big juicy red tomatoes snicker and slime through your teeth, mushing toxins down your glub. windows to the earth where there is dirt, where fruit grows like old men’s toes. and garlic still leaves your breath smelling of death and rot and rain. Tomorrow.

Am I done with this style, have I over stylized this style am I dead to this way, should I try something not me, something unknown and ghoulish or just keep trucking through hoping that I’m doing the right thing?

Who really knows what the right thing is anyway right? We all have our own minds. Each of us have comprehended the earth in our own way, yet we are all connected in a very threadlike manner to one another, whether we like it or not, whether we agree on anything else, we have to agree on the fact that we are all here trying to deal with one another. Our ideas may be complete opposites or somewhere in the grays. It could be that there are parts of our own selves that we don’t even like, so how could we ever like anyone else completely, totally, purely? Is purity something humans are even capable of? I mean how can one ever be innocent? I don’t mean in any catholized “we’re all sinners” sort of way, but in a way that right out of the womb we’re left jarred, forced into a world of someone else’s making. And the entire time we’re left here trying to figure shit out. Because we never figure it all out. Which at times seems wonderful, an endless array of learning, yet at other times it seems overwhelming and heavy, like the weights of time and ignorance are being set on one’s chest. But, I like to think everyone feels that way, but then again that’s me generalizing humanity, which I obviously shouldn’t do since each and everyone of us have different experiences. Just as a quick example, think of driving down the road with another person—you see everything out of the right window, she sees everyone out of the left. In those moments of flash by experiences you could see a fight or a bird or a giant frog which could spark a memory or an idea that the driver would never have even thought of—it’s just so weird and obvious I guess, but the more I think about it the more it sort of creeps me out. What brought you to reading this? What brought me to writing it?

Does it make a difference at all? Is it supposed to? And if so should I be a doing a better job at whatever it is I am supposed to be communicating right here for you to read? How is it that we are so separated from one another? Surely we are all connected in a greater more mystical way—so why can’t we be kind to one another?

Why can’t you move over when I am walking down the same sidewalk? Really, why? That is my singular most greatest mystery about life—when I can figure it out I believe I will understand the meaning of life.

I used to think that when I understood the meaning of life—that whenever that moment came to be and I “got it” I would suddenly implode or get hit by a bus or something because there would be no more reason to live. But then I realized that that could never happen, because the meaning of life is a continual search for meaning.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Be a Man, if you Can...

Michael Kimmel is a masculinities (pro-feminist) scholar and author of Manhood in America, along with many other books, essays, articles etc. Yesterday he spoke at DePaul. He over-viewed ideas in his newest book, Guyland. The gist is this: there is a new stage of development into adulthood that occurs between ages 20 to 30. This stage is more predominant in men (hence the title Guyland). Women are more focused and knowledgeable on what they want out of life and where they see their future whereas men seem to drift into maturity without really any sense as to how they got there.

He says that this new stage of development stems from several factors. 1) Helicopter parenting—where the parents hover over their children, over-protect them, force them into over-achieving, perfectionism etc. which leads to rebellion and a later search for one’s own identity/transformation in the college age years—when there are few adults supervising any initiations into manhood.

2) We live longer these days and thus are taking our time moving into maturity—which he seems to think maturity is somehow equated with old-school ideas of marriage, children, career, but I won’t go there right now.

He says that there is a pressure cooker to prove ones masculinity. He says that to prove you are a man (this is from a sociological scholarly perspective) you must follow these rules.

1) No sissy stuff (don’t be at all feminine)
2) Be a Big Wheel (have lots of money, status etc)
3) Be a Sturdy Oak (always reliable, emotionless etc)
4) Give them Hell (aggressive, assertive etc.)

I just want to pause for a moment to ponder.

Yes. I agree there seems to be a new developmental stage. And I agree that there seems to be a crisis with masculinity; men are perhaps a little resentful that women are gaining confidence and are invading into what used to be all-male territory (law school, medical school, golf etc). And I even like the idea that Kimmel is studying the center—what we can call the default—or what’s know as the highest level of privilege—white middle class men—and he is studying the center so as to de-center it, to move us beyond this norm into something less problematic. But, can we move into this issue a little deeper.

Why do men feel the need to prove they are masculine and why are these rules still the norm for that proof? If our developmental stages are shifting why can’t there be a shift in what we consider being “a man” and being “a woman”? The biggest problems seem to exist within the ideas of proving oneself within those four rules—why can’t we change those rules?

Kimmel suggests three important ways to keep men from having a masculine crisis during the “guyland” phase of their lives:
1) Have a charismatic adult friend that gets you
2) Have close same sex friend one where you can share your deepest feelings, thoughts, ideas emotions with who can validate your masculinity
3) Have an opposite-sex close friend—so as to personalize women

Kimmel talked about a UCLA survey that has been given for 30 years. For the first couple of years there was a question that stated “If you knew you would never get caught would you rape a woman.” About 19-20% of the men answered yes. The question later changed to read, “If you knew you would never get caught would you force a woman to have sex with you.” In those 30 years 50-60% of men said yes. How fucked up is that? There is definitely a problem with masculinity in this country. And no wonder women are scared.

There was another statistic that men who are married are happier than single men, and that single women are happier than married women. Hmm. He also said that in his point of view, though there needs to be more studies done, egalitarian marriages produce the happiest people. I don’t know how they measure happiness, but it’s easy for me to believe that people living on equal terms with one another feel less pressured, less anger towards the other, and are quicker to enjoy one anothers intelligence, thoughts and ideas. Which is not only how people should behave in relationships but what they should attempt to do within themselves--find balance--a balance between that which is masculine and feminine so as to be a more complete person.

It makes the most sense, but men in particular, feel the need to hold on to something that is barely there anymore—a power that is based more on a fear of losing it than on doing anything good with it, a power that won’t make them happy because how can you be happy when you’re hurting yourself and others along the way?

Would being equal be so hard? Kimmel claims that every day we’re becoming more and more gender equal—becoming more equal—doesn’t that just sound funny? Can one really be “more equal”—it reminds me of Animal Farm—“we are all equal, just some are more equal than others.” And I guess, right now, that’s true. But it doesn’t have to be.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What is in a Word?

“For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it. For others, it is to share and spread also those words that are meaningful to us. But, primarily for us all, it is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding. Because in this way alone we can survive, by taking part in a process of life that is creative and continuing that is growth,” (Audre Lorde Sister Outsider 43).

Tomorrow the arts organization a group of peers and I are starting, the Feminist Creative Alliance, will be having its first event, “What’s in a Word: a Feminist Response to Language & Power.” The theme for the evening is one very dear to my heart: communication. Not just how we deliver thoughts to one another but the underlying meanings of words, and the ideas between the words. It’s really interesting to think about how our knowledge base connects so tightly to the capitalists in control of our country.

It’s interesting to debate whether we can ever move beyond the power structure because our language, our way of communicating and knowing is so intrinsically tied to preventing that from every occurring. Can we ever get to the words we really need for change? Is the word “change” really what we’re aiming for? Or perhaps we’re searching for transformation, alteration, overthrow, underthrow, a slight make-over or a drastic revolutionization.

What are the truths in our language? If we think of the alphabet as symbols restructured over and over to communicate and share ideas is there ever any solid foundation to meaning? Though we like to imagine our society being based within some type of structure, that structure has the potential for serious modifications. CAT could suddenly be the word that describes what we know today as DOG, DOG could become TREE etc. etc.

Because the symbols make up words, and the words make up meaning all it really takes is a relearning, a redesigning of the meanings behind the symbols. “It is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding,” if we do not have the words, how do we carry on truth for a better, more accepting, and open world? Do we create our own? Do we communicate in ways beyond words? What does that look like?

Perhaps we will move closer to some of these answers tomorrow. If you’re in the neighborhood please come check it out.

What’s in a Word: Feminist Response to Language & Power

Thursday March 4th, 2010

6:30 p.m.

DePaul Library

2350 N. Kenmore Ave.

Rosati Room 300

Chicago, IL

For more info