Monday, December 30, 2013

2013: The Year in Review

I've done this every year for a few years. Just my picks, in no special order, of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the notable of the past 12 months.  It's been a really tough year, in many ways. It's nice to look back at some of the better stuff, even if it seems less than important, in the big picture sense.

The City With Most Heart

Boston. You expected me to say New York, right? Boston is and always has been a great city. They took a real blow in 2013. The rest of us just watched in sadness and horror. Violence can change a place, forever, and I'm sure Boston feels different to everyone who lives there, but no less great. If you rooted for anyone else to win the World Series in 2013, I'd like to know what it feels like to have no soul.

Best DVD release of a movie you almost certainly missed at the theater

Cloud Atlas. Stunning, in every way. Released in October, 2012, if you blinked, you missed the five minutes it was in theaters. If you're lucky enough to find it playing at an art house theater, go. Just go. It's a thing of beauty, and really should be seen for the first time in a dark theater, on a big screen, with a sound system that does the gorgeous soundtrack justice. Most people won't ever get to see it on the big screen, though, so the DVD release will have to suffice. I saw it in a theater and immediately pre-ordered the DVD months before it was released - that's how much I loved it. The DVD lived in my player for something like two months.

If Ben Wishaw doesn't break your heart and make you fall a little bit in love with him, check your pulse.

Most Sincere Outpouring of Goodwill

Batkid.  I'm sorry - if this didn't make you stop and feel good about human beings for a couple of hours, there's something wrong with you. The sheer number of people who volunteered their time and energy to make a kid feel good for one day, with no payback except a feeling of satisfaction at a deed well done was moving as hell. Especially if you happened to be in San Francisco when this went down.

Best Job of "That's a Tough Act To Follow"

American Horror Story: Coven. I had my doubts they could top AHS: Asylum but, dammit, this is one crazy-ass, fun, rollercoaster of a ride. Witches. Voodoo. The undead. Jessica Lange making Samantha Stevens look like a novice. Kathy Bates, in her own sort of misery. Angela  Bassett kicking all kinds of ass and stealing every scene she's in. All the fun and suspense of AHS: Asylum, but none of the personal mindfuck. A relief. I didn't think it could be done, but they did it.

Best Job of "Second Verse, Better Than The First"

Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The first movie was fine. The second movie is a whole lot more than fine. Really engaging. I loved it. Let there be no doubt about it: Katniss is a rock star. 

Best Bit of "That's The Way You Do It" TV

Dallas - Who Killed J.R.? I'm not going to lie - I did figure it out before the big reveal, but it was still a gorgeous, juicy reveal, and I think most people were, indeed, surprised by it. This was a nice, little gift to fans of the original show, who sat at the edge of their seats for the other reveal (Who shot J.R.?)

Best Lecherous, Old Dude Who Is Making Better Movies at Nearly 80 Than He Did At 50

Woody Allen. Blue Jasmine. See it. Even if you hate Woody Allen movies. This is the movie he's never made, before. This is the one he should retire with. It is perfect in every way. Perfectly written. Perfectly cast. Perfectly acted. Perfectly heart-breaking.

Saddest Shit That Happened

Losing a friend. R.I.P., Heidi Moore.

Most Life-Altering, Booby-Trapped Genetic Jackpot

Sunday, October 6, 2013


So, you know how your grandmother has that old toaster from 1957 that's got that electrical cord covered in fabric? In some places the fabric is worn down or maybe it's been chewed up by mice. Plug it in, put your bread in, and it does warm-up. But smoke comes out of it and the bread comes out too toasted or not toasted all. And the kitchen fills up with the smell of burning rubber. Every so often someone offers to buy your grandmother a new toaster. She won't have it though.

So, yeah that. The cord to that toaster. That's what my spine looks like. Worn down and frayed. Wires exposed. Every attempt at making toast is a little risky. In this case it's not making toast, but standing up, sitting down, taking a walk, and just about any movement you can think of. Your grandma can get a new toaster. None of us really has the option to get a new spine though. This is the one I have to work with from now on. I expect it will be something of a learning curve. 

Here is what I've learned so far, during the last few weeks, which have been a crash course in degenerative bone disease: my couch is no good for my back, sitting on the floor is no good for my back, reading from bed is not good for my back, using a laptop computer is no good for my back, carrying a knapsack is no good for my back. Almost everything I do by instinct is bad for my back. I've been doing everything wrong, for my whole life, and there's no taking it back. The damage is done.

On the plus side, I find myself happy, on a day like today, to feel strong and pain-free enough to do housework. Ice, which is good for my back, is pretty much free. Morphine and Flexeril are great fucking drugs. EMS drivers and emergency room staff are really nice. So is my physical therapist. My workplace is incredibly accommodating. I have really awesome friends, who will happily keep me company by text message through several hours waiting in the emergency room. Oh, and I've learned how capable I am of taking care of myself in an emergency, a piece of imformation which is a really good thing to have gained from this experience. 

I've learned too, that my mother, who lived with the same bone disease, was even more of a Spartan than I ever imagined. This pain, it's no joke, and she lived with it for so many years. I understand now how it changed her, and what it means when people talk about when they say that "it's the pain talking." It feels as if she and I are having a dialogue about this. In a way this is a chance at a do-over with my mother, regarding pain and what it does to a person's psyche and mood. A chance to revisit the times when pain made her difficult to be around, and when I took her moods personally. For the first time I realize her moods had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with intense and chronic pain. In retrospect, I think she handled it with such grace. Not to mention strength and fortitude. Since I've inherited this disease, I hope I've also inherited some of her strength and fortitude.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Game, Set, Match

Twelve reasons, off the top of my head, why New York City is the greatest city in the world, and San Francisco isn't.

1. The subway. It's old. The stations are ugly, and there are stalagtites growing from the ceilings, I know. But that fucking system is 100 years old, and runs 24 hours a day, and is faster, more efficient, and more reliable than MUNI by a wide, wide margin. And it has fucking express/service tracks, so that one broken down train doesn't disable the entire city. I fucking love the NYC subway.

2. Bagels and bialys. If you're not from NYC, you may not know what a bialy even is. Look it up. And NYC doesn't just have them. They have them, freshly made, at stores that are open until 2am, except on the weekends. That's when they're open until 4am, and only because the floors have to cleaned *sometime*.

3. Deli. I ain't gonna elaborate.

4. Cab drivers. Those motherfuckers are ninjas. I love them. And how fucking easy is it to get a cab n NYC? Really fucking easy.

5. Fireflies. That's right. In summer, NYC has fireflies.

6. Mister Softee. You hate that sound? Um...fuck you. To real New Yorkers, that's the sound of summer.

7. Sun showers.

8. Manhattan Special.

9. Tree-lined streets, and lots of them.

10. Cobblestones streets in SOHO. Sure, driving down Wooster feels like the Ho Chi Minh Trail. It's called HISTORY, asshole.  NYC is teeming with it.

11. The Bridge. If you're asking "which bridge?" you're dead to me.

12. It's the biggest city that always feels like a tiny town. Running into people I know is a common thing. I like that. Brooklyn is bursting at the seams with my relatives, and we all look alike. I love it when people stop me and ask "are you related to (insert relative's name here.)?" It happens more often than you would imagine.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Capturing A Missed Opportunity

Heidi Moore once told me I was "the biggest missed opportunity at a best friend, ever." I had to agree, and I did not take those words lightly.  As young Goddard undergrads, we were never friends. We were never enemies, but we rarely moved in the same circles, no matter how tiny those circles may have been. It took 20 years, and the advent of the Internet and social networking to discover one another. When we did, it was over our shared love of reading and writing.

At some point, about six years ago, before she knew she was sick, Heidi put out a request for new titles to assign her students. I believe she was teaching at a junior college back then. Still relatively well, still working full time, working on an ambitious writing project that she was hoping would someday be a book. I saw her request and made a suggestion - Rachel Ingalls' bit of Magical Realism, a wonderful, quirky novel called Mrs. Caliban. Heidi got a copy, read it, loved it, and reached out to me with a sort of, 'Hey, I think we might possibly be suited as friends' attitude. After that, it was on, and we never turned back.

Her instincts were right on target. We certainly were suited as friends, and became very close over the next few years, exchanging book suggestions, chatting online about writers, emailing one another and, most significantly, engaging in marathon phone conversations. During the last four years, especially, I'd come to really love the one or two times a month when one of us would call the other and we'd talk for three or four hours - usually until Heidi was just too tired to go on any longer. In retrospect, the fact that someone who was that sick and that exhausted, and who had so little energy gave so much of her time to me is humbling. But, Heidi was like that: she didn't want to miss out on anything, even when she felt like crap.

People who know me know that I love to tell stories, and Heidi just loved to hear a good story.  While we talked about everything - books, politics, religion, our trials and tribulations with women, family, food, health, television, cartoons, music... - what she loved the most was to hear a good story.  I think the fact that her deteriorating health made it more and more difficult to have adventures of her own made her hungry for the adventures of others. If a story had humor - most of mine do - all the better. She loved to laugh, and I liked making her laugh. She made me laugh, too, with her wicked sense of humor and her snarky delivery of a one-liner.

It's sort of preposterous to me that it took so long for the two of us to become friends. We had so very much in common.  Heidi spent years teaching special education. She loved to read and write. She didn't suffer fools.  She rolled her eyes at "woman's music." Family connections were important to her and she adored her mother. She loved children and regretted never having had any of her own. She was opinionated. These were all things we shared.

If it seems somehow tacky or self-indulgent to blog about a friend who has passed away, let me say this: Heidi loved the written word and, when it become clear she would never write the book she wanted to write, she turned her energy towards blogging.  And her blog was and is a thing of simple beauty.

It seems like such a cliche to say that a dying person is brave, but Heidi was fucking fierce. No matter how sick she was, she was going to create. If a book was out of the question, a blog documenting her journey made perfect sense. Read it. Don't be afraid. It's not depressing or tragic. Nothing about Heidi's way of dealing with her situation was depressing or tragic. During the hundreds of hours we spent talking on the phone, we talked plenty about her condition, the many doctors she was seeing on a regular basis, her restrictive diet, the many treatments she was trying...and none of it was depressing or tragic. She refused to make it so. While being that sick definitely annoyed her, it also fascinated her. She made it a point to learn everything she could about what was happening to her body, how and why each of her many symptoms presented itself, and what the latest medical research had to say about it. That said, she was never complacent. At one point when she was hospitalized last year, a doctor told her she had maybe one week to live. She didn't have access to a telephone at the time, but she managed to get an email out to me. In it, she mentioned this prognosis. It made my heart ache. Heidi on the other hand took the news with a grain of salt. She did not feel in any way that her life would end in a week. Just words uttered by a mere mortal, not a god. Of course she was right. Just as she'd been right about beating the odds and living past her 48th birthday. Heidi turned 48 in November - a birthday she'd been told she probably would never see. I like to think that every day she lived after November 13, 2012 was a polite-but-satisfying FUCK YOU to every doctor who was glib about her prognosis.

I want to say this, because it's important, and because it's the best and most honest tribute I can think to make to my friend: knowing her made me a better writer. Having a close relationship with someone who was living on borrowed time, and whose ability to create had been compromised by illness changed my life and my outlook as a writer. One day I told Heidi about a novella I'd written, and how I'd been made an offer by someone who wanted to develop it into a script. I told her about how I'd been flattered but turned down the offer. Her response was, "Why? If you don't want to get it out there, why did you write it?" The truth is that I was afraid to. Afraid of failure. Afraid of exposing parts of myself about which I'd always been guarded. Afraid, even, of success. Heidi forced me to face that fear, ask myself why I'd bothered writing, at all, and let go of my cowardice as a writer. When I accepted the offer, it was Heidi and her refusal to let fear guide her that spurred me on. It also made me go back and rewrite the novella, almost from scratch, because Heidi's words made me see, for the first time, that I'd written as if walking on egg shells - every word tinged with fear and cowardice. Heidi didn't seem to have time for those things in her own life, and this made me examine how I was spending my time and using my talents and creative energy. What I was forced to admit to myself was that I was playing it safe and living under the delusion that there would always be time in the future to get things right and be brave. Heidi was a living, breathing reminder that there isn't really time. Not for any of us. And, again, she didn't show me this in any tragic, heartbreaking way. She did it by just being her stroppy, determined self. If she challenged me and and my motives, and encouraged me to always seize the day, she challenged herself even more. Heidi's time was way too short, but she made good use of it. She didn't squander it.

I am so sad that Heidi isn't in this world, anymore, but I'm glad that she's free. And I'm glad, too, that the opportunity we had to become great friends wasn't really missed, at all: just delayed. Having her in my sphere during the last six or seven years has been profound. I will never forget her.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Speak Up

The U.S. Dep't of Justice has invited the public to submit their thoughts on the George Zimmerman verdict, as part of their investigation into the possibility that a federal case will be opened. Any law that allows someone to carry a deadly weapon and use deadly force based on nothing but racial profiling is good for none of us. It's the opposite of law and order - it's lawlessness and chaos. When walking around with dark skin and a hoodie is considered an illegal threat, but walking around with a gun, looking for trouble isn't? We no longer live in a civilized society. I urge anyone who gives a damn to take five minutes and tell the Dep't of Justice that real Americans (Remember us? A bunch of immigrants of all different ethnicities and religions who believe in democracy and fairness? We're still around.) do not support policies or laws that protect and enable the George Zimmermans of the world. 
Send your thoughts to and please pass this along. This is where social networking can shift from being a fun diversion to being a game-changer.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Be Scared

Unless you've been living under a rock, and a rock with no wifi or 3G signal, you know it's one hell of a time to be alive in the world. Sure, DOMA has been overturned, but all's not exactly honky dory in the world:

Last week, all of this upset me. A lot. I'm usually a pretty tough customer,  and I rarely take things to heart, but enough is enough because:

  • I'm a woman. 
  • I'm of mixed race.
  • I'm a lesbian. 

On account of who I am and how I live my life, this crap, all at once, hit a little too close to home. For a couple of days, I chose to just unplug and avoid the Internet, except for the occasional private message. I was that upset. And, when I say "upset," I mean both angry AND hurt. I have to admit it: I was feeling really, fucking injured.

And then, this morning, I saw this, and it changed everything. It made me angry. And I felt injured for a moment. And then I laughed. I laughed at the the world because:

  • I'm a woman.
  • I'm of mixed race.
  • I'm a lesbian.
  • I'm Puerto Rican.

In short, I pose more of threat to close-minded,  shaking-in-their boots redneck assholes than anyone else I can think of. Not just in Texas or Florida, but globally. Even Russia is afraid of me. And guess what, motherfuckers? I'm all of those things AND I'm a U.S. citizen by birth (as all Puerto Ricans are, you idiots) and I never, ever miss an opportunity to vote. I am your worst fucking nightmare come true: a mixed race, hispanic lesbian who is well-educated, articulate, and politically active.  To add insult to injury, I'm from Brooklyn. Not the Brooklyn of whiney, privileged Lena Dunham. The Brooklyn of Azimov and Auden, Basquiat and Chisolm, Dershowitz and Fierstein. The Brooklyn of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  And, in case you haven't noticed? I never shut the fuck up.

Scared yet? You should be. We're legion.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dyke Central or Support Your Local Starving Artist

I know I don't blog here nearly often enough, but those of you who know me outside of The Superhero Lunchbox know that I'm always juggling five different projects, obsessively posting and cross-posting on Facebook, updating one of my other blogs, or working at the job that pays my bills. Also? I'm actually an incredibly lazy person, at heart. My capacity for just chilling out, drinking coffee, and playing Ruzzle is HUGE.

Whatever. I'm here, now, because I stumbled upon something really cool that definitely needs to be passed around, supported and nurtured. Again, if you know me, you know I'm forever interested in new media and independent film projects, specifically projects spearheaded by women. There's no shortage of web-based programming. In fact, I feel as if every time I turn around, there's a new web series being pimped on Facebook and Twitter. Let's cut to the chase: just like television and the big screen, the internet is flooded with crap. Low production values. Bad writing. Lousy acting. A lack of diversity. Enter Dyke Central.

I'm not going to write a tome about this (I told you: I'm lazy.) You can click on the link and find out what it's about, how it came to be, who the women behind it are, and why it's not like anything you've seen, before. You can even watch the first episode, which isn't a 5-minute snippet, but a full-length, 20-minute episode.  What I am going to say is this: most lesbian-themed programming I've watched is bloody awful. Hardly any of it looks or feels remotely familiar to me. Most of it tends to be very Anglo and completely ignores women of color. The fact is, America's biggest concentrations of queer women are ethnically diverse communities: NYC, Boston, San Francisco/Oakland. Why most lesbian-themed films and programming are predominantly white is a mystery to me. More than a mystery: an annoyance. I'm a mixed race Hispanic woman, myself. We exist. (And please do not send me emails pointing out that The L Word had a whole subset of Latinas. Seriously. The L Word was such crap. Do. Not. Get. Me. Started.) I watched the first episode of Dyke Central and was blown away by something that shouldn't blow me away: women of different ethnicities on the screen. On a show about queer women. On a show produced by women. On a show without cringe-worthy gags, and which isn't set in some weird, netherworld that looks nothing like earth as we know it. It's Oakland. And it's pretty damned good. Watch it. I think you'll agree it has real promise.

The other thing you can do is support it. Again, if you know me, you know I'm all about supporting worthy projects like this when I can. I'm all about projects such as The Throwaways and I Hate Tommy Finch, from Tello Films -  quality projects that only came to fruition because of crowd sourcing. This is what crowd sourcing is supposed to be about: supporting the creative efforts of people who have good and interesting ideas, but not the financial means to make them happen. Let me be clear: tv and movie stars who make a million dollars an episode, hugely successful authors of graphic novels and screenplays for major motion picture studios, and internationally-known musicians with recording contracts and touring schedules DO NOT need your ten or twenty buck donation to make their projects happen. THEY DON'T. And they should be ashamed to ask for it. Instead of throwing your hard-earned money at a successful, wealthy person or studio, so that they don't have to risk any of THEIR OWN cash (boo fucking hoo), support projects by artists and creative people who aren't connected up the wazoo, and don't have any other way to get things done. It's pretty clear the major motion picture studios have no intention of producing content for, by, and about queer women of color. Hell, the studios can barely stand to HIRE women of color in any capacity. If this sort of content is ever going to be produced and widely available, it's up to the viewing public to make it happen. If you want to see something well-produced, which looks a lot more like real life than you're used to seeing, and which is produced by smart women with new ideas, kick in what you can to support Dyke Central.  And, even if you can't throw any money at this project, pass it along. Blog about it. Tweet the link. Copy and paste it on your Facebook wall. Crowd sourcing demands a crowd.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dropping The Gauntlet

It's a personal rule of mine to be respectful of other people's religious beliefs or systems of faith. I may not agree with what a lot of people think is the whole point of this thing called life, but that shouldn't stop me from being respectful of the things people believe in or the way in which they choose to worship. 

At this moment, though, all bets are off. 

The specific details aren't important or of a reportable nature but the bare bones facts you do need to know are thus: a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints with whom I have professional contact has expressed a reluctance to have business dealings with a male homosexual colleague because he doesn't want to be recruited by a homosexual to do things which are in opposition with his religion. 

Like I said, all bets are off.

I have NEVER heard of gay people knocking on random doors in an effort to recruit people into fagdom. NEVER. I HAVE, on the other hand, had Mormon idiots knock on MY door, looking like Latter Day Stepford Children in their white shirts, and backpacks and pocket protectors, and try to recruit ME into THEIR freakish, fucked up, simple-minded, homophobic, misogynistic, lemming-laced, pedophilic cult. Gays don't have an army of recruiters, like so many Port Authority pimps, who are sent out to find more suckers. You, gullible-vestment-wearing-fool-who-believes-Jesus-spent-his-wild-20s-bumming-around-Utah...sure as hell do. They're called MISSIONARIES.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Perfect Kiwi Moment

Today, the small, South Pacific island nation of New Zealand's Parliament voted to redefine marriage to be inclusive of same-sex couples. After the final vote count was done, the gallery broke out in song. If you don't know the song, and don't know its origins, you probably found the moment sweet, but otherwise unremarkable.

I moved to New Zealand in 1999. It was my love for a Kiwi woman that was the impetus behind this move to the other side of the globe. The other side of the equator. Far, far away from friends and family. Into a culture I knew almost nothing about. I learned the story behind the traditional Maori song, Pokarekare Ana, almost immediately. Anyone who spends any significant time in NZ needs to know it, because it's a song every New Zealander sings. Stay late enough at any Kiwi party, and have enough to drink, and someone will invariably pick up a guitar and start playing it. And everyone will sing along. Some of them will weep. Because the song that every New Zealander knows, the song that New Zealand Parliament broke out into, isn't just any old song. It's a song of forbidden love. It's a song about struggle and hardship endured by two people who just want to be together. It's a song about lovers who risk life and limb to be together despite society's objections

In 2004, when NZ Parliament was getting ready to vote on the Civil Unions Bill - the first step towards legalized same-sex marriage - the general public was invited to make formal submissions for or against the bill. I put together a submission. Actually, I wrote a story. I wrote the story of my grandparents who, like Hinemoa and Tutanekai, were forbidden by society's dictates to be together. I wrote about how my grandparents, who'd known each other since childhood, had secretly, privately loved one another from afar for years, before they finally found a way to be together. I wrote about how they adored one another, and built a life together and had nine children together. I wrote about how they did all of this without the benefit of being legally married. I wrote about how I dared anyone to tell me their relationship was any less real or true or legitimate than any legal marriage. And I wrote about how their relationship was so much like the relationship I was in, which wasn't recognized, legally, either. One of the MPs read my submission and invited me to appear before New Zealand's Parliament to testify in favor of the Civil Union Bill. I considered this invitation an honor and a privilege - as a naturalized New Zealander, as a writer, and as a lesbian. In many ways, the 15 minutes I spent in front of New Zealand's Parliament, reading my submission, and answering questions put before me by various MPs, add up to my proudest moments.

This morning, when I watched the footage of that final vote count, and heard those loud, strong, sweet voices break out into song, I had to stop myself from crying tears of joy. Because I did, indeed,  know the significance of that particular song...a song about lovers who remind me of my grandparents, and of every other pair of unlikely lovers, ever. It was The Perfect Kiwi Moment.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Get Fucked

I've never been a fan of Michelle Shocked's music. It's just not my thing. I never really had an opinion of her, either, before now. Music I don't care for is easy enough to avoid, and I can acknowledge when someone has legitimate talent, even though their art doesn't appeal to me. I'm sure she's talented, but her talents don't produce anything I've ever cared to listen to.

So, yeah. She's a musician who's experienced a certain level of success - most of it around two decades ago. She's also, it turns out, a self-loathing homophobe. I say "self-loathing" because Michelle Shocked is at least bisexual, at most homosexual. I'm not saying this just because her music sounds like dyke music or she's always worn what could pass for a lesbian uniform. I say it because it's a long-established fact that Michelle Shocked has had intimate relationships with women. I'm not just referring to the suddenly-legendary "coming out" interview, where direct reference is made to her identifying as a lesbian and having female lovers (or so everyone who reads it seems to think, except for Shocked, herself.) I'm basing this statement on the fact that several people I know, and have every reason to believe, witnessed Shocked being intimate with women in very public settings. Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons, who isn't just some anonymous blogger with an axe to grind, but a personal friend of mine who has nothing to gain by making up such a story, even mentions seeing Shocked making out with a woman in San Francisco's Castro Theater. And let me make one thing clear: despite what they taught you in 8th grade health ed class, or what you read in Dear Abby 30 years ago, heterosexual women do not make out with or have sex with other women. Whoever invented THAT myth to make scared, nervous, self-loathing gay or bisexual people feel as if they were "normal" really should be shot. If you're a dude and you're jerking off other men or sucking another dude's cock? You're at least bisexual. If you're a woman, and you've engaging in make-out sessions with other women, bedding down with them, dating them, calling them your girlfriends or lovers? You're at least bisexual. And, honestly? You're probably gay. Yeah, that'll annoy some people...mostly people who have some faggish skeletons in their closets that they'd like to forget. Ask me if I care. I spend most of my day annoyed. Join the fucking club.

But that's not my point. I wanted to write, today, because I've seen several people online mentioning that, while Michelle Shocked said some awful things about homosexuality, she's clearly having problems of a psychological nature. "She needs to have her meds adjusted." I'm hearing that one a lot. Also, "Shes lost the plot." Most disturbing, though, I'm also hearing, "She's full of self-loathing, and obviously has some emotional problems, so I feel sort of sorry for her."

Um. WHY? Why would anyone feel sorry for a bigot? Because she's gay or bisexual, herself, despite her own best efforts to bury the past and deny her identity? That doesn't give her a free pass. In my book, it makes her worse than a xenophobe. And I'm not saying she owes the world even an inkling of information about her sexuality. I don't believe any of us has a right to out a closeted homosexual, unless that closeted homosexual makes an effort to not only hide their identity, but to make the rest of us suffer for ours. In that case, all bets are off. And this is exactly what Michelle Shocked has done. That anyone has pity for her is beyond me. She's not some poor victim who is without blame. She's a person who had an audience and used it as an opportunity to spew hate speech about me and people like me. She's not just someone closeted and full of self-loathing. She's like a light-skinned black person who not only passes for white, but fights for the Confederate Army to defend the right to own slaves. She's like a Jew who doesn't just hide her religion from the SS, but sells other Jews down the river.  She's like a woman who isn't satisfied to simply not identity as a feminist, but makes it her job to deny other women the right to equity in the workplace, reproductive freedom, and the right to vote. She's a fucking Log Cabin Republican turned up to 11. When the hell did LGBT people start making excuses for and rationalizing hate speech?

Does Michelle Shocked have some sort of psych disability? I'm not a doctor. I don't know. Maybe. Maybe she's just an asshole. Maybe she really truly does have psych problems. I suspect Anita Bryant, George Wallace, Ted Nugent, Mussolini, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon all had or have some psych problems, too. And you know what? They can still all get fucked. And so can Michelle Shocked. I don't care how many vaginas she's been up close and personal with - she's a bigot, and an enemy of the equal rights movement. I don't feel sorry for her. I hate her stupid guts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Short and Sweet

I'm not an atheist, but I reckon organized religion has bugger all to do with God or Gaia or any Prime Mover or higher power.  The fact is, organized religion is to God, what fan fiction is to Star Trek. It's not canon and, when you get down to it, it's just something people make up for themselves to fill in the emptiness when the Real Thing is on hiatus.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ron Jeremy Rides the F Train

It was some time in the late 80s. I was in my early 20s.  My mother and I were riding the F train into Manhattan. I looked across the train, and who should I see sitting on the other side, but Ron Jeremy. THAT Ron Jeremy. Ron Jeremy of porn fame and legendary proportions. I thought, "Fuck, why am I with my MOTHER, and not my friend Amy? Of all people to be with when I spot Ron MOTHER. This takes all the fun out of seeing Ron Jeremy. Life is so fucking unfair. I see celebrities in NYC all the fucking time, but this is Ron Fucking Jeremy...I need someone to witness this with me, someone who ISN'T my mother."

Of course I wasn't about to tell my mother to look at the chubby guy on the other end of the car, and tell her that I, her little girl, had seen him in porn movies. Who the hell tells their mother they've seen porn films, let alone know the actors names? What would my mother think of me, her baby, talking about some porn star? No. Life was unfair, and I'd just have to face the fact that my Ron Jeremy spotting had been a huge letdown because I hadn't been able to share it with anyone.

The train got to East Broadway, and Ron Jeremy stood up and got off the train.

My mother leaned over and asked, very quietly, "That big guy who just got off the train - did you happen to notice him? He's walking on the platform, now - look at him."

As the doors closed and the train slowly pulled out of the station, I spotted Ron Jeremy walking towards the steps.

"Yeah, I see him." I answered.

"His name is Ron Jeremy," my mother said, "He's a porn actor. He has the biggest penis you have ever seen in your life."

One more example of my mother's awesomeness.
Get well, Mr. F. Train.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Good, great, perfect

In just a couple of months, I'll turn 46. I've done a hell of a lot in my life. I'm a little bit past the halfway point and, so far, I've:

Fallen in love
Been published
Walked across a swing bridge (after many fearful tries)
Camped out at the foot of a glacier
Spoken before NZ Parliament
Learned to shoot a .22
Soaked in a geothermal hot pool, in the middle of an alpine beech forest, under the stars
Been caught in a hurricane while camping out on the beach
Been up close and personal with a rare, red sea turtle, rumored to be 500 yrs old (he almost certainly wasn't that old...but he was amazing)
Experienced earthquakes in three different cities
Seen Halley's Comet
Sung backup on a rap album
Carved my initials in a tree
Crossed the Cook Strait when there were 5 meter swells
Thrown some killer dinner parties
Seen both the Southern and the Northern Lights
Baptized a baby
Visited the Corn Palace
Delivered my mother's eulogy

And that's just a sampling. Life is so full of things. Or, at least, it is if you're lucky. I'm very lucky. If you're really, truly, damned lucky, you get some wisdom along the way.  I'll be 46 in a couple of months but, in my roughly 46 years on earth, I've never written or said anything quite so wise and true as this bit of wisdom doled out by my 7 yr old nephew. This wasn't homework, or a note he was writing to anyone but himself.  Just something he jotted down. By the spelling and handwriting, it's pretty clear he wrote it a while back. So, it was written by a 5 or 6 yr old. My sister found it while packing up the house, as she gets ready to move for the umpteenth time. I'm so glad she not only kept it, but sent me a snapshot of it. It makes me remember that, no matter how many fun and interesting things I fill my life with, simplicity is all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Our Own Worst Enemies

I'm going to try and keep this short and sweet. We live in a world where homosexuals deify men such as Oscar Wilde who - do your homework, homos - was clever and talented and witty, but who went to prison not to DEFEND his gayness, but during an effort to DENY IT. In fact, his legal matters stemmed from the fact that, upon being called a "sodomite," by the The Marquees of Queensbury, Wilde sued Queensbury for libel. Take that in.  He considered it so libelous to be called a fag, that he not only denied it, but sued the man who made the allegation. And he's a gay hero. An icon.  Harvey Milk (who was NOT the first openly gay elected official in the USA, in case you're wondering) conveniently waited until he was 40, and for all of his relatives to be dead and buried before coming out. That was his prerogative. The mythology that's built up around him, though, is of a man who led a life of bravely being out and proud. Not really the case. And I don't really care. I don't. But many of the same people who deify these two homosexual men, both of whom went to great lengths to hide their homosexuality (Milk talked about how he came close to marrying a lesbian friend, so that they could each serve as beard for the other) have, over the last couple of days, shit all over actress Jodie Foster's Golden Globe speech. A speech which, if you were paying attention, wasn't about being gay, but about being someone who was thrust in front of a camera at 4, and who has enjoyed almost no privacy, since.

For decades, the queer press has hounded Foster to make a public announcement about her sexuality. She finally did, and she did on her terms. It was pretty much an "I came out to everyone who really matters ages ago. I'm gay. Are you happy? Will you leave me the fuck alone, now?" speech. I thought it was awesome and brave. Not brave because she's now "out" (I never thought she was IN)  but brave because it was a sort of polite "fuck you" to the fame machine.

And before you say that she can't have her cake and eat it, too: she's a performer, not a politician. All she ever owes me is the two hours of entertainment when I pay to see one of her movies. That's it.

So what do queers all over America, and especially in the press, have to say in response to Foster's speech? That she rambled. That she should have just shut her mouth. That she has nerve complaining about a lack of privacy. That she DESERVES to have her privacy intruded upon. One gay person I know actually posted "The key to privacy is silence" over a photo of Foster at the Golden Globes. Um, seriously? Is that some sort of retarded twist on "Silence=Death" for truly stupid gay people?

Other people are saying that her speech wasn't enough. What the fuck more do they want, the precious bastards? Do they need footage of her performing oral sex on another woman, with narration by Ellen Degeneres and a soundtrack by Ani DiFranco?

 Being gay in America sucks, in part, because queers are so fucking bitchy with the in-fighting, misogyny, and double standards.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Gayest Thing on Television

And by "gayest," I mean the absolute best, most consistently surprising, wonderful, and original thing we've seen on the small screen in years. This 2 minute and 16 second clip is my new favorite thing, for so many reasons.  Sister Judy gets her groove on. Kit and Pepper boogie down. Lana smiles. All is well with the world. I wish I could MARRY this clip.