morning bike ride and hoosier thinking

November 8, 2012

Early morning, as in still dark out. Lifted weights. Fed cats. Listened to the tiniest bit of the news and remembered why I was glad I’ve not been listening to the news for the last several months. Rode to work in the dimmest light of dawn. Headband, cap and gloves on.  The dark and quiet felt good, though. They almost always do when it’s not pouring rain or freezing cold. Got into my office 5 minutes before 7am. No one else was in yet. The big door to the hallway outside was locked and I had to punch in the secret code. Punching in the code felt official, which in this case is a more fun “official” feeling than serious one; it’s just a code to a door to some offices that in the big picture, aren’t super important. Some secrets feel fun that way. Like if I could find a secret hidden corner on campus that no one ever goes to, under a canopy of trees, so when it was raining I could be outside and mostly stay dry.

Looking out the window at work it struck me that some trees have already lost all of their leaves and their branches look like winter. For a second I thought of trees in Indiana. I thought of walking around IU campus or near the square downtown. And then without thinking, I remembered driving from Monticello to Indy one Christmas when HL and I went home. The long stretches of flatness. The clumps of bare trees. The farm houses. The big quiet before the city. That was only the 2nd time I took a a girlfriend with me to my dad’s family’s big deal Christmas eve party and maybe the first time I spent Christmas morning with a girlfriend and her family. It was sweet and it was family in a good way.

Hmm . . . this is not what I thought I would be writing about this morning, but all of the sudden I find myself thinking of that time and the Lefflers and Sandy in particular. I am sure I wasn’t who Sandy thought HL would be with, but Sandy was good to me when HL and I were together, and I am so glad I got to know her a little bit.

HL and I didn’t have the same Hoosier experience, but we shared a Hoosier heart.

I have been thinking of my Hoosier heart lately, which is a metaphor for a lot of things and maybe I’ll try and write about it later.


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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election day 2012

November 6, 2012

It is impossible imagining going to bed tonight with a different president than Obama. I refuse to do it. And maybe I should have posted this earlier, but I didn’t so here it is today. Tony Kushner talking about politics, circa 2003, but the message is just as pertinent:

“Caroline” (his play on civil rights) illustrates one of the ultimate cases in which American democracy achieved something great. I don’t see how anyone can read that history and then turn their back on the system — how anyone can think it’s not important who our justices are, who the president is, who’s in Congress.

These things, these ideas, these decisions, these elections really do transform people’s lives. We’re seeing it now, every day: For gay people, the overturning of the sodomy laws is immensely significant. It’s why I think politics is so extraordinary.

Listen, here’s the thing about politics: It’s not an expression of your moral purity and your ethics and your probity and your fond dreams of some utopian future. Progressive people constantly fail to get this.

The system isn’t about ideals. The country doesn’t elect great leaders. It elects fucked-up people who for reasons of ego want to run the world. Then the citizenry makes them become great. FDR was a plutocrat. In a certain sense he wasn’t so different from George W. Bush, and he could have easily been Herbert Hoover, Part II. But he was a smart man, and the working class of America told him that he had to be the person who saved this country. It happened with Lyndon Johnson, too, and it could have happened with Bill Clinton, but we were so relieved after 12 years of Reagan and Bush that we sat back and carped.

I think what one has to do is to ask oneself, “Do you want to have agency in your own time?” If you really believe that it’s your place to leave the world a better place than it was when you arrived, then how do you get the power? In this country, the most powerful country on earth, you get it by voting the right people into power. There are means of getting the power out of the hands of the very rich and the very wicked.

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opening up to other people’s favorite books

November 4, 2012

From the prologue of In the City of Shy Hunters:

Life is absolutely, mysteriously beautiful. Life has always been all around me, in me, of me, has always been this fascinating mystery, but it wasn’t until now I have been present, been aware enough, to witness.

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somehow this shit worked out

November 4, 2012

1975 – 7th grade at Eastwood Jr High

Originally uploaded by proteanme

I was telling MTB that I taught myself to do a loud dude whistle when I was in 7th grade. The kind of whistle where you stick your fingers in your mouth and push them up against your curled back tongue and then you blow and its incredibly loud. Some people can do it one handed. I use all 4 fingers. Its something I do at rock shows or watching sports. I think I even pulled a few out for my niece’s volleyball games, which were not usually ruckus affairs. It’s fun to do and it makes me feel grateful to my 12 year old self. Along with the teaching myself to play guitar, teaching myself the dude whistle reminds me I had at least a couple episodes of unplanned good planning for a 7th grader.

And really all this whistle talk is the long way of saying I was looking at 7th grade me the other day and thinking to myself, “dude I can’t believe we made it.” Seriously, back in 7th grade I could not imagine a future me, which was something I tried to explain here in my blog a number of times. I was getting bullied at school. I had raging crushes on at least 20 different girls and I was getting gender checked all the time. And I am forever grateful that I did not give up on all of that and who I was right then, but somehow, figured a way to stayed true to me, even when I strayed away from myself for huge chunks of time as an adult. Because the most amazing thing is that now, sometimes, I can be riding my bike or playing something on my guitar or lacing up my boots or holding hands with my date and I can feel the bond between the me then and me now. Like there is real continuity in my own life. If there is one thing I have gotten right, it’s been that – getting that 7th grader grown up – bringing that me into this world.


kind of a mix of this and that

November 2, 2012

The sky looks magical. I am sitting on the floor in my bedroom and looking out my window at the the very thinnest clouds and they can’t contain the moon, and unlike last night, they’re not in a rush. I should be in bed. I”m tired. But sometimes I like to capture these sleepy minutes, when I feel looser and less worried if I am saying things right.

I went out to see a show tonight and I accidentally parked by the place of my first date with MTB. It was hard not to get caught up remembering riding my bike up to Biwa and seeing her sitting in the little window alcove and how I hadn’t been nervous until right that moment, so then how I just concentrated on trying to keep my shit together. locking up my bike, thinking of what to talk about, trying to be cool with the fact that the date was actually happening. It all seemed so sweet and kinda . . . well . . . the nervous part was sweet.

Anyway, seems like it’s been forever since I’ve gone to see a show. The opening band looked like it had been transported directly from the 70s, circa Allman Brothers, Don Henley and Rush and sounded like an Eagles-Nirvana mash up. They had a few good moments and they definitely put it all out there for the 25 people standing around and vaguely paying attention to them. The second band seemed like something from an episode of Portlandia. One guy looked like a hobbit, another looked like a roadie for Tom Petty, another looked outdoorsy-gay, another had the short hair-big beard thing and the drummer was a  woman dressed circa late 80s. They had some moments too and did a pretty good Tom Petty cover, which seemed fitting because of the one guy. Sera Cahoone rocked it in her country style, sad hole way. Also, her band was soooo good with this one guy totally rocking a lap steel guitar. I really hope Sera is queer. That would be excellent. She seems like it to me but explaining why that is would lapse into stereotypes.

Also, I got completely gender checked in the bathroom at the Doug Fir. I opened the door to a women entering at the same time I was leaving and she stopped and looked at me and then up at the sign on the door and then back at me and then said “Am I in the right bathroom?” And I said, “I don’t know but I’m the right person.”

Wow, the moon got bright all of the sudden. I wish I could be out at Sauvie Island or something, staring at the moon from a back porch or a barn or really, I’d just take  pulling my car over on a little stretch of empty road. Maybe I will will try to go to sleep with the blinds up. Fool myself into being somewhere I am not. At least not physically.

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