shooting soldiers

December 30, 2008

Rachel Papo is an Israeli who was born in 1970 in Columbus, Ohio but was raised in Israel. She began photographing as a teenager and attended a renowned fine-arts high-school in Haifa, Israel. At age eighteen she served in the Israeli Air Force as a photographer. These two intensive years of service inspired her current photographic project titled after her own number during serviceSerial No. 3817131.

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winding down

December 28, 2008

It’s 10pm on a Saturday night and I’m making latkes and reading posts about “best records of the year”. After more than a week of snow, warmer temps have came back to town, along with the rain. And now Portland is awash in a sea of slush. My feet are still wet from an epic walk around the sotuheast side. Trying to quiet the blues that seem to be weighing heavy on me as 2008 winds down. iTunes is playing random songs and  “Band on the Run” just came on and suddenly I’m at the pool waiting my turn at the diving board and every where the smell of coconut oil mixes with the smell of chlorine. The lifegaurd  cranked her little radio, but I can’t tell if she’s looking at me through her mirrored sunglasses.

That’s how it is so often with music and for some reason these last couple months I’ve been listening to it less and less. I think because I wanted to shut down to myself.  Music opens me up. And I couldn’t bare it these las couple months.

Earlier today I was at the grocery store and the Smashing Pumpkins “1979” came on. I cannot hear that song without remembering a certain girl. I hear that drum fill in the beginning, sticks on the rim, and I’m in her car at Taco Bell late at night and at that moment I didn’t want to be any where else. Sometimes I wonder what we would have done without each other that winter.

The latkes were good. The applesauce and sour cream helped. But that’s what they’re supposed to do.

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the eve

December 24, 2008

Hard to believe it’s Christmas eve. Pep had it right about kindness. That’s one thing I’ve thought about a lot this year. Enough can’t be said about kindness. Truly. A good thing to think about as the year winds down.

In honor of the most snow in something like fifty years.

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another day at home

December 23, 2008

It’s crazy here. Not a crazy amount of snow by most standards, but crazy for Portland Oregon.  There must be at least a foot in most places. Maybe more. This is my second day of being mostly home bound, although I just walked to get coffee and will probably trek my movies back to the video store. In the minute or two since I started my post, it started snowing again.

Since I came back from the east coast I’ve been dabbling with a state of “junk”. Spending more time shopping online, but not buying anything. Just filling up carts and abandoning them. Eating more crap food than usual – chips, soda, cookies, cereal, even the old stand by from my childhood — spaghetti-o’s.  I look at the weights in my room and maybe once or twice a week I don’t take my laziness seriously and I lift them. But mostly, I feel like a teenager rebelling against doing anything productive, even as I tackle some productive tasks, like taking stuff to Goodwill, clearing out the paper mill that accumulated from a couple years worth of personal records shoved in piles, deep cleaning parts of my apartment, recording some new music which I might post later this week. It’s just something inside feels off and askew, which I’m trying to be curious about.

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well put and probably not my last word on warren

December 22, 2008

Whether it’s “strategic” or not, whether it’s what our “leaders” think we should do or not, it’s pretty clear that real actual LGBT people are done with the closet. We’re seeing things in a new way. We’re no longer willing to settle for simply not getting beaten to death, for being able to live in our constricted safe zones without fear of baseball bats to the head and getting fired.


feet first

December 22, 2008

It continues to snow. In fact, it’s snowing here like nobody’s business. And dark. Dark as all get out. I walked around for a good chunk of the afternoon out in the elements. Trudged is maybe a better word for certain stretches. But I had good company, so it didn’t seem like trudgery. On the way home the flakes were big and thick and about half way here, the sun set on me. Walking in the in the middle of the road in twilight, with snow piled up everywhere I turned, it felt like it really meant something to just get home. May be it always does; it’s just today I noticed.

One of the things I love about Portland is that it is possible to have a walking life and a walking life opens up the door to reflection and contemplation, to negotiation with the elements, to the possibility of more human contact, and the chance to notice the details of landscape. A walking life opens up the door on isolation, even if it’s only making eye contact with the guy coming the other way across the street. A walking life has really saved me these last two years.

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wintering and sad

December 20, 2008

More snow. Feels like home. Without the amenities of salt and snow trucks. I was out walking around for a while. Maybe I’ll go out again later and take some pictures.

I realized today that I am deeply sad about the Warren invitation. And in my exchange with Amos, I realized how I’ve tamped down my emotions to cope with the anger and sadness I’ve felt for a long, long time about what it’s like live life as a second class citizen. What’s it’s like to have spent all of my adulthood being considered less than. To always be in constant negotiation with the outside. Because legally, I am an outsider in the US and it is ok to discriminate against me and it is ok to publically deride me.

Obama is a strategic and shrewd politician. Including Warren is symbolic just like excluding Jeremiah Wright was symbolic. Warren has called homosexuality a sin. Compared it to incest and pedophilia. For me, this isn’t just about Warren’s opposition to gay marriage. It’s about chipping away at the humanity of all of us who are queer. Because when Warren uses that kind of language it’s dehumanizing. And if you can make me a little less human, then it’s a little easier to treat me me a little less than human.

I cried today thinking about it.  I’m tired.

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2008 in photographs (part 2 of 3) – The Big Picture –

December 19, 2008

2008 in photographs (part 2 of 3) – The Big Picture –

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how about a hand mr. prez elect

December 19, 2008

I believe in reaching across the aisle. I believe in dialogue and common ground. I really do. I was close to a guy at work who prayed for my queer ass. But I’m not psyched about Rev. Warren giving the invocation. Why him? I just wanna say to Obama, hey didn’t gays give up enough supporting you even though you don’t support our right to full citizenship. C’mon give something back, dude. Reach out to the all the queers who worked their ass off to help get you where you are. Seriously. I’m tired. You know as well as I do, we’re not gonna wait forever.

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December 17, 2008

Snowing. Again. I predict the whole town will shut down soon. It does seem like a proper winter though, romantic notions of a “blanket of white” aside. The cold, the hassle, the cars sliding around — they mark the season for me. With all this external stimuli, I finally have something concrete with which to identify winter in the long stretch of rain that usually accompanies this time of year. I feel like ten years later I’m finally at a place where I can miss things from home. That’s it’s not going to kill me to feel the longing for friends or family or other familiarities. And right now I miss the rhythm of seasons.

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