May 20, 2013

Three nights ago, I had a dream about Val. In the dream there was a party being held for Val at somebody’s house. I want to say it was Deborah’s house, except it didn’t look anything like Deborah’s house does in real life. It was a big, old Portland style house, at least 2 stories high and people were everywhere inside. Standing on the stairs and in the halls and filling up the rooms. So many people, in fact that MTB and I got overwhelmed and went outside and sat together, in the city strip grass, between the sidewalk and the street. It was sunny out and it felt like it was the middle of the day, with the sun high in the sky, and MTB was sitting between my legs and leaning back against me, when Val pulled up to the curb in a convertible. Not a sports car, though. It was a convertible Volvo sedan that was two tone blue, which was funny to me in the dream. I kept thinking where the hell did Val get a convertible, two tone Volvo sedan. Val was smiling really big and she was wearing a bright, blue plaid shirt and it looked like she’d just gotten her hair cut. And she leaned over, with her arm resting on the driver’s door, and she asked MTB and me how the party was. I think we told Val that there were a lot of people inside the house, like it was crazy crowded, and everybody was asking about her, and she told us she was thinking about not going inside. We all sat there for a while and Val never did get got out of the car, either. She sat there grinning in the sunshine, working her charming thing, which seemed a little mischievous, in a super sweet way, and kept looking at MTB and me and then up at the house. MTB and I told her she looked really fucking cute and that if she wasn’t coming into the party, she should go drive downtown and flirt with the girls. (Because in the dream there was some magic downtown square and main drag where dykes drive up and down and flirt with each other.) And Val laughed, and said something like, you think so, like you think the girls will like me.

I’m not sure I believe in signs and I’m not sure it matters if I do or I don’t, but I’m glad to have had that dream of Val. To have woken up with image of her grinning and happy in the sunshine so firmly planted in my mind.

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rain and weights and love

April 6, 2013

First real spring rain bike ride. Meaning the rain is not so cold and it’s light out and things are blooming and budding and generally coming up from the ground. I made it home from work and my pants got only moderately wet. Now, I am slowly working through my weight routine. Curls. Extensions. Presses. Writing sentences between sets. I’ve been doing variations of this shit, on and off, since I was 19 and my pre-gym queen era, gym queen roommate taught me how to lift free wights. We’ll see if I get to any of the unsexy things on my to do list tonight, like putting away my laundry or changing the litter boxes. Mostly, I can’t stop thinking of Val and her people and the immense amount of love and devotion I’ve witnessed this last week .

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two shirts and a plane trip

March 28, 2013

Last week, my dear friend from college, ADM, came out to visit me for a few days. We ate good food and had drinks and talked a lot and she met MTB and I made dinner for all of us (30 minute coq au vin, which took more like 60 minutes); plus AG came over too and brought berries and whipped cream. We covered a lot of ground during our big dinner conversation – the Steubenville case, queerness, regionalism, ACT UP, HIV, teaching, college, old friends and how I didn’t know that Judith Butler was a dyke (oops).

At my request, ADM brought with her some t-shirts from her ACT UP SF days that she was ready to pass on, and she passed them on to MTB, who was ecstatic to receive them. It kind of blew ADM away that anyone would want these t-shirts. In fact, when ADM and I first talked about the shirts back in January she kept saying how they were stained and dirty and maybe they had holes in them and who would want these things. And then when ADM gave the shirts to MTB and explained that the pink stains were probably from fake blood, I thought MTB’s head might explode. Here were shirts that were 20 years old and they were shirts worn by an activist doing activism.

A lot of things happened in that t-shirt exchange, like connecting someone I love not just to queer history that’s important to her, but to my own personal history too, and connecting someone else I love to something big in my life that’s happening right now, and also connecting two people I love to each other. All that via t-shirt and a plane trip.


election night and other things, like a bike ride and feeling lucky

November 7, 2012

I rode my bike home late last night after an election party. MTB offered me a ride, but the rain had let up  and my gear was mostly dry and it was clear out. Even if it was a little chilly and I didn’t realize that I’d lost my gloves in the bar until after they’d locked the door behind us, I still wanted to be on my bike. I could tell that I needed to be moving and to feel my legs and my lungs working. And my heart too. The literal one and the metaphorical. Also, I was a kind of buzzed, to be honest.

It was the first late night bike ride I’ve had this fall. Hardly anyone was on the street and and there were stars to look at in the sky and thin stripes of clouds and a beautiful half moon sitting low. That is one of the best parts of riding. The being out in it. I didn’t see the moon until I was maybe 7 blocks from my house and once I saw it I had to stop and pull over and stand there for a little bit to take it in. I even started crying. Which seemed kind of like a joyful thing that was about a lot of things, like being in a roomful of queers and watching Obama get re-elected and Claire McCaskill too. And Elizabeth Scott Warren winning in Mass. And texting with my sis and knowing my mom has my back. And how everybody at the bar was eating lots of waffle fries and being sweet and giddy with each other. And I got to do my loud dude whistle a bunch of times and exchange lots of hi-ives and talk to whole bunch of people I really like. It’s so nice to like people and hug them and have a kind and funny but sincere exchange, even a short one. I saw my friend S and she looked super hot and happy with her new date who was mega hot and seemed nice when I met her. And then being there with J and MTB.

And J.

And MTB.

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some really nice times and things to be grateful for

October 22, 2012

Woke up to blue sky, which waxed and waned and eventually gave way to the clouds in the afternoon. Should have worked in the yard but instead I rode my bike around and was glad to have my thin wool gloves and headband in my pannier, even if I looked like a complete dork when I ran into EKF on my way out of New Seasons, so much so that we almost didn’t recognize each other, which was funny. I am telling myself that I didn’t do yard work because I am transitioning into winter bike riding, but I don’t know if that’s true. I am also a little burnt out on the yard and am waiting for the final die down before cutting tons of stuff back.

I did try to get fava bean seeds at Portland Nursery earlier in the day, with no luck for the seeds, but instead a serendipitous run in with H + M and the their twins O + G. I walked back with them to their house for a short visit, wherein baby O and I stared at each other and made each other laugh for almost an hour. It was incredibly sweet and I didn’t even mind when she spit up on me. H also didn’t mind that I accidentally tried to steal the caramel apple M bought for her and had toted home on top of O in the stroller, which made for a funny photo opp, as in big ass candy apple on a little baby. So of course we all took pics. Seeing  H+ M and the the twins was the perfect end to a weekend that began perfectly and then stayed full of friend connections and eating some really good food.


i am officially ok, not that i wasn’t before

October 16, 2012

Grey and warm. Windy and rainy. Fall for sure. I am fighting off or adapting to a headache that’s lasted 2 days. It’s more like a dull, distant chainsaw buzz now than the temple throbbing thing it was last night and this morning. Strange, as headaches aren’t my usual thing. Or at least they weren’t until the last couple years. Kinda like how not sleeping wasn’t my thing either until the more recent past.

I had the pleasure of an unexpected visit with friends tonight, wherein I forgot to take the sparkling water I had promised to bring because I didn’t have anything else to offer at the last minute and then I forgot it because I kept changing my shirt (I think the shirt changing is a  sign of narcissism for sure (ha)). Friends and food and and the dog, who laid next to me, were all lovely  and I was forgiven for forgetting.

Also, I wrote an entirely new song. Not a new melody to old lyrics. But a whole new song, which puts an end to a 3 year dry spell that I had just about given up on caring if it had even had an ending. Like, I had been saying to myself, “Oh, this is the year I quit playing.” I guess I’m stretching out my 36 year streak. Anyway, this new song is kinda countryish. Not sad, but a little wistful. Feels like a perfect fit for the weather today and definitely perfect for this fall. A nice little bit of luck, part heart and part practicing almost every day for the last 3 weeks and then sticking with it, as in working through the idea. The creative process is so fascinating to me because so much of it is work and I love not having it be a mysterious thing, wherein (a word I am enjoying using tonight) the muse visits me and bestows on me this gift and I’m like “whoa.” The thing I have to remember is if I am doing the work, something is bound to happen.

Also, my friend Frannie wrote this amazing and mind blowing and beautiful post.

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good bye for now new york

September 24, 2012

Finally sleep. Only woke up once before 6 and then once at 7:30 and then didn’t get up til 8:45. I’m not sure how much more I can handle of the not sleeping nights, which have been occurring pretty frequently over the last 2 or 3 weeks, where I go to sleep at 11pm and then starting at 1am or so I wake up every 1 to 2 hours.

Last day in NYC. Very mellow. Was gonna try to jam a couple things in to today,  like Central Park (not all of it, obviously) and replacing my flip flops because the dog chewed one end of one of them, but this trip has not been really been about running around and seeing or doing a ton of stuff; its been about spending time with one of my dearest friends, who I will just refer to as M. I don’t think M and I  have spent this much time together in 10 or 15 years. There has been a lot of sweetness and some laughing and I made some really good food. I don’t usually use language like this, but I will treasure the time I’ve had with M this weekend.

Everything on top of that has been such a nice bonus, walking around, hanging out at parks, having some bahn mi, going to the museum, spotting other butches, seeing Colleen (especially nice bonus) and all the writing I’ve done, which has been an unexpected pleasure. I’ve been wondering if I could do a writing retreat/residence/workshop in New York without getting too distracted and now, I think it’s a real possibility. To finish off this visit I have a goal of seeing if I figure out public transportation to JFK. I think its doable. M is confident. RU keep your fingers crossed!

Being here has been a little like hitting a reset button for me. Which I think I needed because right before I left town, my lazy and relatively quiet summer was giving way to a busier and very possibly more fun fall, with more writing and reading and being AM’s T.A. for the IPRC class and trying to take advantage of the good weather to work on the yard and the garden and the house and more cooking, because this is the bounty, and more other kinds of personal things that I don’t really blog about. I was kinda stretching myself a little thin and one day last week I even found myself inexplicably sad/emotional, so much so that when I got this kind and encouraging email from Cheryl Strayed that I hadn’t expected, I just started crying at my desk at work. Luckily I go in early and no one else was around. It’s like I actually needed to go to other side of the continent to chill for a second, catch my breath and and take a look at what I’m up to. It’s all good stuff, really, some of it’s even exciting, but I know I’ve been shut down for a while so I am a little rusty I think with  managing the emotional parts. Away from it all and walking around New York, I’ve had some good revelations about myself, which is always gratifying and I feel good coming back and jumping in. IPRC class is tomorrow and my writing group the day after that and maybe some freelance work and then a reading this weekend . . . I’m stoked.

I so wish I could figure out how to have the both of best worlds . . . wait . . . ha – that was good . . . I mean the best  of both worlds. That I could be bi-coastal and live in NYC and in PDX. I’m not trying to manifest anything because that manifesting is not my thing. But it is a dreamy wish that I’m not to embarrassed to write down here.


start spreading the news

September 20, 2012

Hello New York City! The red eye landed early. I am remarkably awake. The weather is perfect. I took a short walk and saw some fabulous looking people. And I just spent some nice time with one of my oldest and dearest friends in the world.  My crush on New York has immediately picked up where I left it. Thump. Thump. It is easy to feel grateful. Pretty soon I am going to go march myself around to stay awake and then meet Colleen and then do some more marching. Need to adjust to east coast time in a day. Makes me think of when RU and I went to Paris and her Dad took us on an epic march and we drank cafe au laits, I think, and we took some melatonin and then went to bed at 8pm and boom, next morning, we were set. Not jet lag.

Life has been kind of whirlwindish lately. Full of everything all at once. It’s like suddenly every little part of life a got a boost of abundance, from the mundane and tedious to kind and generous and also, the sublime. Yay, sublime! My approach is to dive in, in a low key way, if that’s possible. Say yes; say yes; say yes. the only outcome of all this abundant energy that I can really bitch about is that I’ve not been sleeping very well, for almost 2 weeks now. Whew. Occasionally, I get neurotic and think about how lack of sleep is connected to all these health issues, but then I just try and think about the good luck of having come from a hardy gene pool.

Right now I can’t stop thinking about how lucky I am to just be able to fly to some place I love and see some people I love. It really is pretty amazing.

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love birds

November 13, 2010

A toast for Becky and Jeremy. I’ve been meaning to post this for some time now, but it’s taken me a while to figure out what I wanted to say.

The first time I met Jeremy was when he and Becky came out to Portland for a fencing tournament. At that point they had been dating for around six months and Becky had told me she thought that Jeremy could be the “one.” So of course I went with Becky to watch Jeremy fence. It was cute how much she could barely stand it -watching him compete. Jeremy would make some kind of move and Bec would twist in her seat and rub her fist into her hand. Jeremy’s opponent would make a move Becky would hunch over a little and squeeze her eyes almost shut. At one point she said she felt like she was going to throw up.

They were in that madly in love stage. At that stage that makes you believe in fate – that stage where you’re absolutely sure you and the one you love share a special psychic connection. It was kind of freaking me out because my dad had just died and the thought of loving anybody as much as they seemed to be loving each other terrified me. I told Becky that and she said she’d “I know.” She already thought about it – that she could be so in love with Jeremy and he could die and it would be completely and utterly unfathomable.

We all hung out together the rest of the weekend and the two of them were inseparable. They modeled clothes for each other at Buffalo exchange and made eyes at each other trying on hats at the Saturday market. We went for a hike up in Washington park and they kept lagging behind, stopping to point at trees and flowers, holding hands, talking low and leaning into each other. At dinner Becky asked me to trade places with her so she could sit beside Jeremy and afterward they shared a chocolate beer float at Pix. It was both maddening and one of the sweetest things I’ve seen – my friend was head over heels in love.

The next time I saw Becky and Jeremy together was at Ned and Kristie’s wedding. By that time, they’d been involved for about a year. It was obvious Jeremy was mostly living with Bec. He kept alot of important stuff of his at her house, like his bike, his laptops and his bass, his guitar and one of his cars. They were signs of seriousness.

They sat close together at the reception and flirted with each other. Bec told more than one friend to check out her Jeremy’s butt. We all danced together a little bit and I loved that Jeremy could shimmy and Bec tried but couldn’t and that fact was more fun than something Jeremy made fun of. He just kept shimmying for Bec and she just kept smiling really big at him.

I knew I’d be coming back some time in the next year for their wedding.

I’ve known Becky now for over 12 years. She is one of the last good friends I made before I left Bloomington. I think some folks have found us a kind of funny pair, because on the surface there are a lot of differences between us. But we forged an enduring bond when we lived together and have maintained it as best we can ever since. I’ve always valued Bec’s support, generosity, forthrightness, and her sense of humor. And I’ve always counted on her willingness to do things, like coming out to Portland and singing karaoke on Thanksgiving or hiking up the side of a mountain in the rain. Bec’s made of good, solid stuff and I wanted her to find someone who not only deeply valued the stuff she’s made of, but someone who could see some of the other things I know Bec can keep to herself, like her open heartedness and her tenderness. And along came Jeremy and he got it; he gets Becky. And one of the things I love is that he makes it ok for Bec to wear some of that gushy heart stuff on her sleeve.

I have a soft spot for weddings, I really do, but I’m not super sentimental about marriage. A life time commitment is made up of all sorts unpoetic and not very romantic moments that don’t usually work their way into toasts. When I think of getting married I think of what Joseph Campbell said about how you have to let go of the life you’ve planned, so you can to accept the one that’s waiting for you. And it does seem to me that if you can do that when you get married, if you can let go of the crazy things you’ve thought up about how life should be, you’ve gone a long way to making a good start. And that’s what I see in Jeremy and Becky – not just the willingness to accept the life that’s waiting for them, but the longing to jump in to having that life together. Being in their house, being around them together, seeing them with PJ – it’s obvious they are committed and I feel lucky that I got to be there to help celebrate that with them.

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