how to be a mom to a butch

July 30, 2008

For the most part my mom always let me be my butch self. Fact is, she often thought of me as a boy cause it was just easier that way. So me and my cousin, Rich, often got the same kinds of presents – Matchbox cars, GI Joes, army uniforms and toy machine guns. And when I wasn’t wearing my school uniform, me and Rich often wore the same kinds of clothes – camper shorts, hi-tops, jeans and t-shirts. Looking back I’d say my mom usually got the outter markers right for something we both knew ran deeper than that, but no one was talking gender theory in the 60s and 70s, at least no one we knew. Some of us were just living it and living with it. Just like I live it now and my mom understands that without having to tease apart all the little details.

My mom reads my blog. (Hey mom! If you’re reading this.) So she knows about this girl in western Mass. Like any good parent and she asked me what it is I like about this girl so much. I ran down a list of things that seemed to satisfy her curiosity, but for the record it’s not easy to explain a girl who moves you like one of your favorite songs or a poem you wanna read over and over. And I didn’t feel like I’d done it justice, so a little while later when we saw some very middle of the road Indiana lesbians in the parking lot at Glendale I was inspired to tell my mom that another thing I like about this girl is she’s a femme and she likes butches. My mom said, “Butch?” And I told her, yeah, dykes like me, we’re butch. To which my mom replied “Well, I just think you look like a Marine.” I laughed and said something like I don’t know if I’m tough like that, tough like a Marine. And to her credit, she was pretty perfect in response, as though it was it her DNA to say the right thing; she said, “You seem pretty tough to me.”


short and oh so sweet

July 29, 2008

Although the photos don’t say it all, mostly cause there’s not one of Silvia, they do say a lot.

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it wasn’t a dream

July 28, 2008

Last night here in the homeland. I feel strangely cut loose and solid all at the same time. I have thought of home so much this year.  Seen certain landscapes in my mind and felt such longing for the place that I thought I might be romanticizing it all.  Thought I might be wanting this sense of home to live in me more than it does.  But here I am and the home in me is beating and breathing even as I type. And that is a beautiful feeling, man.

I am not any closer to knowing what next or where next or how next or anything about nextness.  But I wasn’t coming home to answer that question.  How Indiana fits into whatever’s next has been to some degree resolved in undestanding the Indiana in me. 

It has been impossible to be here and not think about this girl in western Mass. Knowing her has helped me know myself, and at times that kinda knowing has blown me away. 


homeward bound

July 25, 2008

I’m not sitting at a railway station, but at the Denver aiport.  Gotta go board.  See you soon, Hoosiers.

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what matters

July 23, 2008

I’m eating my lunch, a simple potato salad and a nice tomato salad, and it strikes me that good olive oil is almost always worth the price.

Figuring out what’s worth what reminds me that I wanted to say I am committing myself to a fall purge in which I’m hoping to get rid of a lot of stuff — books, cds, clothes, the buttload of junk Rachel and I drug down to her basement, the detritus of my life in Portland. My intention is unclutter my living space and to have the things I own better reflect what’s meaningful to me.


paint this

July 22, 2008

John Currin: who knows the title?
Originally uploaded by

This is from John Currin, who’s re-wroking the techniques of the Old Masters. Another guy who’s work I’d like to see in person.


today’s dig – alex kanevsky

July 21, 2008

Alex Kanevsky – KB
Originally uploaded by eumenades

Similar to Ann Gale. I’d love to see this guy in person. Interesting interview.

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dig this painter

July 20, 2008

Ann Gale
Originally uploaded by

This year I’ve discovered some new painters who I find quite moving. The first one I wanna share is Ann Gale. I saw her show in Portland this winter. Her portraits almost seem to capture something about the model’s interior. I wanna say she’s painting them from the inside out, because it all feels so unguarded.


the shape of things

July 18, 2008

This year is turning out to be a year where I really take a look at what gives shape and meaning to my days, and in turn to my life. I wouldn’t exactly call it an existential crisis, but that’s mostly because I’m not in a panic. If anything I’m more in a state of underwhelmed surprise, like “really, this is it?” The question I’m asking myself right now is: am I really down with the shape of my days, given that I have the luxury to shape them. I work and when I’m not working sometimes I do things that have some meaning to me and sometimes I just do things to take the edge off my loneliness and anxiety. I spend a fair amount of time by myself, which in part is intentional, to carve out the time and space to reflect, and to write and make music. But there’s also a hard swallow to all that alone time and that is, with very few exceptions, I don’t have meaningful connections out here. While I am part of a network of people here and that’s nice, the truth is I am not part of a community; I’m not in a deeper relationship; and I am far away from most of the people with whom I feel there is genuine understanding and the chance for giving and getting some sustenance.

It’s taken months of turning off the T.V. , not going to movies, not reading much, not eating a lot of crap and not just hanging out with whoever to see all this. But at this point I’ve got a pretty clear picture of what I’m doing with myself, literally and figuratively. And getting that picture flushed out has been accompanied by a fair amount of sadness, curiosity, and gratitude, some of which has been excellent fodder for this blog.

The other day I realized I might be coming to a place where I can start to let myself consider what now or what next.  I got a feeling that the what is mostly gonna be about me being solid enough in myself to take some bigger chances than I’ve taken before.  But we’ll see.  I know I gotta stay true to letting things unfold right now, even though I wanna rush ahead.  I need to seep letting things get stripped away so I can really see.

And it’s been a little bit of a surprise to discover how moved I am by art.

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it’s about not the technology

July 17, 2008

Some of the things I really love to use, I love because of what they let me do, like my guitars, my computers, my bike and my chef’s knife. In most instances they are means to and end, an often enjoyable means for sure. And in that vein, when I think of what I do all day, this article really resonated with me: Are we making someone’s job easier? Letting them have more fun? Helping them learn? Helping them keep in touch with friends and family?

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