January 10, 2015
i am pretty much a misanthrope.
and unabashedly so.
for the most part
i distrust people
and think the world,
on the whole,
my general response to the world
has been to create a bubble around myself,
one of as much beauty and acceptance as i can find.
i’m lucky in that i’ve a lot of privilege
relative to the rest of the world;
i’m (excessively) educated.
all things that help to counteract
the palpable oppressive force of the straight world.
(it wasn’t easy growing up queer when i did. at all.)
and so today i find myself nearly moved to tears
(the strange man plastering the walls in my bathroom
is the only thing really keeping me in check)
because i’ve been bombarded from all sides
by random acts of kindness,
kindnesses of which i’m rarely in need
and i would never have expected to receive if i were.
it began at the red hook in ferndale,
a coffee shop i frequent semi-regularly.
for whatever reason, i only had my debit card on me, and
for whatever reason,
it was declined.
which is odd,
as i just got paid yesterday.
the worker bee shrugged it off,
telling me not to worry about it,
and waited on the next customer.
a little chagrined
but figured i’d pay for it the next time i was in,
chalking it up to one of the small perks of being a regular.
but then i realized that i’d just ‘bought’ a bagel
at the new york bagel baking company
not ten minutes prior.
i recalled the lady saying she needed to run my card again.
on the second swipe told me i was “all set”
and i headed off to the red hook.
i can only surmise
that she spared me the embarrassment
of telling me my card was declined
and just gave me my bagel.
my middle class guilt made me queasy
and i vowed to tip big the next time i bought a bagel.
then the final straw.
as i headed home i realized i was low on gas.
i wasn’t sure i’d make it home.
i found a single dollar in that compartment
between the driver and passenger seats
(what the fuck is that called, anyway?!)
enough for about a half a gallon.
about two miles from home,
with my fuel meter telling me i had 0 miles left,
i pulled over to a gas station,
handed the attendant
my sad little dollar,
and pumped the .56 gallons of gas into my tank,
plenty to get me home to my wallet and another gas station.
as i hung up the pump,
the attendant’s voice came over the speaker
telling me, and anyone else in hearing for that matter,
that the man in line behind me said that
he’d put $20 on my pump if i wanted.
a wave of unfamiliar emotion came over me,
some combination of
what i can only describe as
a combination of fear, shame, and humility.
shouting, “no, no, that’s ok!”
with no clue how the attendant could hear me,
quickly hopped in my car
and spend away home.
i’m not sure what to say about all this.
i just knew i needed to write it all down as soon as possible.
i knew i needed to document what happened to me because, somehow,
i don’t know what it means,
i don’t know what my reaction says about me.
i think maybe it’s actually very sad
that such small kindnesses
could disconcert me so.
that people being kind
is so outside my personal experience
that the experience of kindness overwhelms me.
perhaps that proves i am right,
and the world is just as shitty as i think it is.
but at least for today,
that it was less so.
December 3, 2014
November 17, 2014
from the initial shock
of the news of leslie feinberg’s
if i’m honest,
stone butch blues
put me on the path
to my current work
as a literary scholar.
how do you repay someone
for changing the course of your life?
for showing you what matters
and who matters to you?
i’ll never come close
to living a life
as leslie feinberg’s
but, as long as i live,
hir work will not be forgotten.
“Feinberg is survived by Pratt and an extended family of choice, as well as many friends, activists, and comrades around the world in struggle against oppression and for liberation.”
June 4, 2014
the other day,
i got a package.
and you know how much
i love an unexpected package.
there is absolutely nothing better than an unforeseen gift;
may it be a sign of many many things to come!
so thanks, anna.
i miss you, bitch!
tomorrow, how about a fo, eh?
it’s been a while, after all.
February 21, 2014
just popping in to plug my shit again.
i’ll keep it brief:
Friday, February 21—Live Readings by the Broad MSU Writing Residents
6–7 PM | Free and open to the public
The Broad MSU, in partnership with the MSU Department of English and the MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, is pleased to announce the Broad MSU Writing Residency! This residency features six graduate students who will create monthly public readings that respond to an art work on view at the Broad MSU, while utilizing core themes from the upcoming exhibition, Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art. The live readings will begin at 6 PM, and will take place in the galleries alongside a corresponding work of art. (Meet at the Information Desk at 6 PM before moving into galleries.)
i’m one of the residents.
if you like,
and you could see me make a fool of myself.
i’ve been in a nostalgic,
sentimental, sappy kind of mood,
here’s a poem i came across, a sonnet
that has been nagging me for few days now.
poetry is good for you. so read it.
by marilyn hacker
You did say, need me less and I’ll want you more.
I’m still shellshocked at needing anyone,
used to being used to it on my own.
It won’t be me out on the tiles till four-
thirty, while you’re in bed, willing the door
open with your need. You wanted her then,
more. Because you need to, I woke alone
in what’s not yet our room, strewn, though, with your
guitar, shoes, notebook, socks, trousers enjambed
with mine. Half the world was sleeping it off
in every other bed under my roof.
I wish I had a roof over my bed
to pull down on my head when I feel damned
by wanting you so much it looks like need.
August 9, 2013
**the giveaway has now been closed!**
you thought i’d forgotten, hadn’t you?
you thought i’d forgotten it’s my blogiversary.
it has been a week, bitches.
as my new favorite blogger would say,
gurl, i’ve been going through it!
so i don’t think i have a thoughtfully written post in me tonight.
if you feel like getting sentimental, head on over to last year’s post.
but i should do something to commemorate the occasion, right?
make shit just a little festive around here?
what about a giveaway?
for old times’ sake?
the bitches get stitches fourth blogiversary giveaway!
1. spread the word – you can do that anyway you see fit; reblog, tweet, e-mail, facebook, ravelry, phone call, text, whatever. there’s even a ‘share’ button at the bottom of the post. just let some other knitter know about the giveaway. it’s completely on the honor system. i trust ya.
2. leave a comment – it’s the easiest way to assign everyone a random number for the all-knowing random number generator to pick a winner. make sure to comment on this post. you’d think i wouldn’t need to specify that but >shakes head from experience< and for the sake of fairness and my personal sanity, please leave only one comment.
3. this one’s most important – you only have the 24 hours from the time i posted to ‘spread the word’ and ‘leave a comment’. the winner will be announced tomorrow, august 10th.
while i realize my mere presence via the words on your screen
is a gift unto itself, the only gift you really need,
a $100 gift certificate to blue moon fiber arts
would be a bit more traditional.
(i’m a sucker for tradition)
July 27, 2013
mo decided to help himself to a toy last nightoddest thing to wake up to.
July 18, 2013
i began this post
in the middle of the night
in a guest bedroom in scappoose, oregon
with the intention of recounting my day’s activities
and proceeding thusly for the rest of my mini-vacay/retreat from life.
it soon became obvious
that scappoose lacked the bandwidth necessary
to blog on a daily basis, at least if i wanted to show you my pictures.
so now i am home
literally weeks after my return.
and must resort to the recap format for today’s blog
this might take a while.
coffee at ristretto roasters
which was the only coffee i had in portland that lived up to the hype
(this mocha was not fucking around)
there were a couple trips to grand central bakery
where i was more impressed by their breakfast sandwich and shrimp po boy (scroll down) than their sweet stuff.
in portland proper,
there was the ubiquitous
homeless/punk/beggar with cute animal entourage.
this group was outside powell’s where i had a pretty amazing haul
the next day,
tina and i went to black sheep gathering
where we saw judith mackenzie judge the fleeces,
a thoroughly delightful and educational experience.
(note: apparently, shetlands are in this year)
(the aforementioned shrimp sandwich)
we ran into beth hansen of hansen crafts
she is . . . a character. if you meet her,
and it feels like she’s making fun of you,
that’s because she is.
it’s totally normal.
i have strong feelings about the miniSpinner,
but this is all i’m going to say about it: i’m a traditionalist.
if you’re not, and aren’t bothered by the electric component
you should definitely buy it;
it’s a pretty fucking awesome product.
i won’t be buying one because
i am a fuddy duddy.
i stopped by black trillium fibre studio‘s booth,
one of the only booths i thought worthy of documenting, really.
the problem with all of these shows,
especially the smaller ones,
is that these people aren’t business people.
sure, i bet 90% of them make an amazing product,
but that doesn’t mean they know shit about how to sell it.
you’ve got to make a booth that makes people want to come in,
or you might as well not even bother to show up.
melanie knows how to work with what she has;
simple set up, a few beautiful samples, wide open
so people can get in and out easily.
similarly, the men at the clemes & clemes booth knew what was up!
these dudes are professional, know their product, work well together,
have their demonstration down, and there’s something to be said for a uniform. this dude had me wanting a fucking drum carder
something for which i have no use or space in my life.
that, my dears, is a salesman!
(sorry for the shitty photo)
then i met some west coast knitters
though i can only remember angela davis (the knitting one)
with her amazing mustard eye shadow (right) and parna
(with the broken hand), both of whom i hope to see again.
(sorry angela, not the best photo, i know, but better than the other one)
the next day,
tina took the misses newton, heidi dog, and me to the beach
before which we hit up this joint,
pacific way bakery & caféwhich, was fucking amazing…last year.
but made us a but queasy this time around.
and our waitress?
then we returned for more chicken time, but with a twist.
i don’t know what it is, but i fucking love deer.
maybe it’s from watching bambi as a kid, i don’t know.
but i can not get enough deer.
and i got way close to this guy.
i was then treated to a ________ about which i cannot tell you.
what i can tell you is that it was a moment when i felt
humble, special, and kinda fancy.
because it was fancy.
and more than a little pantsy.
though likely wasted on my middle class ______.
the whole tripped was capped off
by an amazing meal at cocotte bar & bistro
a meal totally worth live tweeting. which i did.
(click pics to read descriptions)
then i immediately hopped on a plane and headed home.
this trip was my vacation,
a flight, really, from my incredibly stressful summer.
there were whole swathes of time when i was not seized
by crippling work-related anxiety.
that level of ease is only surpassed
when i escape to my parent’s house,
or as i still think of it,
tina’s guest room
is a close second.
she’s the kindest host.
i even get my own bathroom.
*there was an undocumented fabulous indian dinner with tina, megan, and deb, friends from three very different epochs of my life, followed by a night out with megan at a former bowling alley dive where, once the lyons’ club bingo night rapped up, we watched the mentally challenged and tone deaf sing karaoke.there’s no picture in the world that can capture that.
July 1, 2013
my first ever stand-alone class went so well. so so well.
better than i have even hoped it could!
i was a good teacher.
they were good students.
doing good work on day one is really rare.
and while i was literally beset with the feeling
that i was going to vomit and take a huge dump in my pants,
i cannot emphasize enough what a boon that class was.
May 1, 2013
i firmly believe that all my happiness originates from the my mailbox.
recently, i’ve received a few things in the mail that have made me happy, but today’s arrival takes the proverbial cake.
this postcard art was made by jen cooney.
jen is, what i would call, a bar friend,
one of those people you see at the bar
and run into each other at all the same events
because you travel in the same, small, queer circle of people
though, for whatever reason, you’ve never really hung out
and your interactions have been largely limited to complimenting one another on the fabulosity of our outfits. believe you me,
you have not lived until you have seen jen cooney
in space face.
she put up a notice on facebook that she was doing mail art
and if anyone wanted one, to just send her their address.
i was a little reticent since, as i’ve said,
we weren’t very close back in the burgh
and i’ve been gone now for two years now.
but my love of mail prevailed and i sent my address.
best. decision. ever.
i tell you what,
this postcard makes me miss the queer community in pittsburgh.
whereas many people loathe the bubble-like insularity of such a small city, i miss those moments in the streets (or whole foods) of chance encounter throughout the city, that nod of acknowledgment that, yes,
we were both shaking a tail feather last night in the same place
and i may have been a hot mess but at least i looked fabulous.
there’s nothing like that here.
somehow, this image perfectly captures the essence of my life
and provided exactly the smile i needed to finish out finals week.