Friday, December 30, 2005

don't bother looking for what i've neglected to bring

I'm back in chicago, where it is surprisingly warm and damp. I had a really enjoyable trip to Flagstaff, culminating in drunken pool with Erica and Maya last night at the Mogollon Brewery :-) I had a lot of fun overall, and I also read a surprisingly high number of good books. After Invisible Man, I read The Historian, a new book about vampires, Dracula, and the history of Eastern Europe and Turkey. It was quite fascinating, and now I have a new goal of someday visiting Instanbul. It sounds amazing! Next I finally finally finally read Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, which is such a cool book. There are so few books about intersexuals, and even fewer that get lots of attention and Pulitzer Prizes, and this seemed to me like such a tactful but truthful book that I can only hope it made a lot of people think more about the things it touched on. I loved this passage in particular, and it also resonated with me because Anna has been learning and passing on so much information about bisexuality and that seems very related to me as another word that messes up binary isolated linguistic lines and so isn't acknowledged or named a lot of the time. Plus, damn it, I hate being so constricted by language.
"Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.""

Saturday, December 24, 2005


I finished reading the Ralph Ellison Invisible Man last night. Such a hardcore book! And so different than I expected it to be. It really, at times, made so much sense to me as an analysis of political movements and how we use other people that I was in awe of Ellison. Plus he has this disarming habit of putting absolutely cutting unacknowledged political truths at the ends of sentances in parathesis, which totally stole my readerly heart a few times and made me gasp.
I also saw Serenity last night, and it was fucking cool. I really, really liked it, to a point that surprised me. I guess my friends who were all obsessed with it were right :-)
Happy Christmas Eve! Or Dec. 24th anyway, if you aren't a fan of Christmas Eve.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

the joy of small towns

I am back in Flagstaff for the holidays, and for perhaps the first time I feel kind of like I'm actually having the small town experience that has always been offered but never delivered when I was here before. Yesterday, as I was downtown christmas shopping at the bead store, I ran into two girls I knew in high school, Erica and Stacey. Erica lives in Michigan and we got in touch once last year so that she could stay with me if she ever visited Chicago, and I haven't seen Stacey since I was a freshman at UA but we used to be okay friends back in the day. So they invited me on a solstice hike, which was utterly lovely and enjoyable, and then they invited me to go to 80's night with them at a local microbrewery and bar. So I went, and was having a great time talking to everybody and drinking my cheap drinks, when all of a sudden all these people I used to know started popping up. I saw at least 5 people, some of whom I haven't seen in about 7 years. None of which is necessarily that strange, except for the fact that in the 6 years I've been visiting I think I have maybe just run into people I knew a very bare handful of times. Perhaps that's the strange thing: that in a town of 50,000 people I could run around every Christmas without running into half the people from my Bio II class sophomore year, or whatever. (The Bio II class had an unusually strong showing last night, I have to admit.) It reminded me a little bit of this girl I met (Anna and Erica know this story), a lesbian slam poet who had written a poem called "My Ex-Girlfriend is Your Ex-Girlfriend" about being a lesbian in a small town. It all comes back to haunt you someday, I guess, and my time hadn't come until last night.
But anyway, the hike was wonderful, the weather is gorgeous, and I can walk outside without looking like a poofball. Yay for Flagstaff!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I really though I had been to more states, especially after all that damn driving this summer... But I have 28, so 54%of my total possible states visited.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Monday, December 19, 2005

words fail me

One of the first things I found out this morning was that ANWR drilling was attached to a House bill involving defense, bird flu, and hurricane relief, and of course was passed. Maybe I would have known about it sooner if I was paying attention, but I wasn't. Doesn't it seem crappy that you can just make bills out of incongruent ideas, so in order to get a good thing passed you might have to pass a shitty one as well? I've always kind of thought that was a sucky way of doing things. Anyway, I guess it's going to the Senate again, so we'll see what happens. It doesn't seem to bode well though.
In other news, I appear to be addicted to the internet again. I am incessantly checking email, blogs, etc... And the newest additions to the problem are MySpace and Friendster. People convinced me to sign up for both of these a few years ago, and recently people I knew from high school etc. started contacting me through them, so I updated my profiles and now I can't stop looking for people I know. Gah! The weirdest developement is that I ended up finding one of the Chicago Kings on Friendster, which led me to look at all these profiles of cool people who are on there like Ken Las Vegas, Carlos Las Vegas, Del LaGrace Volcano... But I didn't know that unless you disable one of the functions on there, it alerts people when you look at their blogs. Which is not really a big deal, although it made me feel a little like a stalker and consequently a bit wary of looking at profiles of people I don't actively know. Also, Ken Las Vegas (a pretty famous and active drag king from Washington DC) looked at my profile, which makes me a little nervous :-/ He seems really cool and I hear he's very nice, but I've been a little intimidated by him the two times I've seen him in person. But I suppose all will be well (What do I really think will happen? Ken Las Vegas will decide he doesn't like me and I'll be shunned in drag king circles forever after?), and my online addiction will fade once I get to Flag and my sister takes over the computer so she can be in constant multi-media connection (phone, internet, and sometimes even in person) with her millions of close friends.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

the kings are dead

I had another one of those amazing enlightening incredible drag show experiences on Friday night. The Chicago Kings, our local and absolutely fabulous king troupe, is disbanding and they had their final show along with a special guest troupe, the Cuntry Kings, from Durham, NC. As much as IDKE (the International Drag King Extravaganza) blew me away last year, this was maybe or at least almost better. In the year and a little bit since I saw that show, I have learned more and about gender, drag, and queerness than I can even express, and it has really made me more able to appreciate when I see something truly radical and transformative. The Chicago Kings specialize(d) in large group acts, generally very spectacular, sometimes political but also very often just about the amazing performance quality. The Cuntry Kings (who I now love and have made me re-think at least a few of my ways of considering North Carolina) are very political as well as very awesome as a group, and they tackled some incredible issues in some of their pieces through a combination of group effort and slideshow-type pictures and words projected behind them. The show lasted about four hours, but when it was over I wished it could just keep going, or at least be repeated on a regular basis for my enjoyment. I know this is going to be a superlong post, but I want to tell about a few of the acts. So amazing...
It started out with Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, with the Chicago Kings. Most of them were dressed as bugs, with a few exterminators. The bugs were all killed off by the exterminators, but the bugs got some revenge too (my drag teacher from last year got her arms ripped off) before everybody resurrected to sing We Are the Champions together. Next were the Cuntry Kings as gay soccer players (a song called Soccer Practice by a guy who calls himself the Gay Pimp), Tainted Love (the Marilyn Manson version) with a girl acting as puppeteer for her boyfriend, then Madonna's Vogue with 18th-century dress and a dildo for good measure.
Next was the first political piece from the Cuntry Kings, Britney Spears' Toxic, retexted as a piece about tampons and cigarettes. Awesome! There was somebody dressed as a vagina being chased by someone dressed as a tampon, a giant cigarette being rushed menacingly at people, and choreographed dance with everybody smoking and text behind them telling what horrible chemicals reside in these products. Especially neat because, as they pointed out, they are from tobacco country and also because big tobacco backs a lot of right-wing groups backing anti-gay-marriage initiatives.
The Chicago Kings followed up with Pink's Family Portrait with a Star Wars theme, with Luke and Darth Vader duking it out with lightsabers while Princess Leia cringed and sang the song and gestured. The next few pieces were good but not outstanding in the course of the show, but the next awesome thing was again from the Cuntry Kings. It was Whitney Houston's It's Not Right, but It's Okay. There was a Betsy Ross sewing onstage, then Uncle Sam and his wife, the Statue of Liberty, interacting in not-cool ways with their black maid, who was singing the song. By the end, she had rejected them and told them off, while people with Racism?, Classism?, Fat-phobic?, and Ageism? on the backs of their shirts danced around them. The maid took of her shirt to reveal a large heart and the words "Self-Love" on her chest, and then they all held up the flag and revealed that it had inspirational statements along the same lines all over it. I'm realizing as I write this that I can't really describe how awesome this was; I saw it at IDKE last year and it made a huge impression, but I can't convey that in my writing about it. I hope it at least makes sense and doesn't sound too cheesy.
Next was a neat piece with a bunch of the Chicago Kings dressed as cyborgs, with one cyborg breaking free and acquiring volition and somebody (my ex-teacher!) as a kind of flame-goddess encouraging him. Last year, we watched part of that one in class, and she told us that the Kings have a hard time convincing people to be the femme characters but she had been totally psyched to be a femme goddess, so I was happy for her that she got to do it again :-)
After intermission, there was a piece of spoken word by Neeve, a superawesome king from North Carolina whose stage name is Pat Riarch and who I have read and seen movies about. I get a rush from seeing people I've heard so much about, and he and his troupe were just so cool, so it was just so great to see them. The next piece involved Chicago Kings in 19th century period outfits and people with wings on, and then... Madonna's Like a Prayer with the Virgin Mary, a dominatrix nun and two homoerotic catholic schoolgirls. Priceless!
The next was the Chicago Kings, doing an Eminem song called Lose Yourself while dressed as sperm. The chorus says something about how you only have "one shot," and basically there was this one sperm who beat out all the other sperms to break through the giant ovum onstage. There were also skateboards involved. It was just so perfect in terms of song content matching (but in such an unusual way) with the content of the act. The audience was cracking up. This was followed by Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, also the Chicago Kings.
The next piece was so emotionally involving. It was the Black Eyed Peas' Let's Get Retarded, and the background was all pictures of people with disabilities and phrases about the terrible things that people with disabilities undergo every day while the kings acted such things out. It was amazingly emotional, and such an unexpectedly harsh but also sympathetic look at something we ignore so often. I would never have guessed a year ago that drag could deliver such messages with so much emotional power, but it can and does. The next Chicago Kings piece was Frontier Psychiatrist (the Avalanches) about the misuse of doctoral powers, which was just trippy as hell. Then the Cuntry Kings again, Black Velvet, which was about femme (lesbian) invisibility and violence towards women, which ended with the message that you shouldn't be forced to hide your body. Damn! I still am overwhelmed.
There was a song called Boom Boom in Spanish by one of the original Chicago Kings, and then a piece of clown drag by Harley Poker and Pussy Galore that I for one thoroughly enjoyed. The Cuntry Kings wrapped up with Michael Jackson's Thriller, which I have to say I was kind of disappointed in in contrast to the other pieces they performed. The Chicago Kings ended it all with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Love Rollercoaster, the first thing I ever saw them perform last year. They were all connected by these stretchy bands, and it was so awesomely choreographed. It was my third time seeing that act, and I still just love it.
There were acts that I wished were in this best-of show, like the version of Green Day's American Idiot that was essentially a criticism of mainstream media or this duo performance of The Teaches of Peeches/Barracuda/Close to You with two women fighting and hitting each other with lollypops and things before reconciling that makes me laugh my ass off every time I see it. But, I suppose it's hard to cull out your favorite acts from 5 years of performing. I think my "review" has focused on the Cuntry Kings more, but that's only because they were more political and that's easier for me to describe than a purely spectacle piece from the Chicago Kings.
I am a little heartbroken that this can't be recreated, that the Kings are gone. I learned so much from and because of this particular troupe, and I just want them to keep doing this forever. Anna and I are hoping to go to IDKE next year in Austin, which will be awesome I'm sure, but I feel attached to this troupe. The four founders, Izzie Big, Maxx Hollywood (Anna and I love Maxx!), Harley Poker, and Pussy Galore, looked close to tears as they ended the show. It's the end of something special, even though drag in Chicago is certainly not over. It's just different, you know?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

late-night regret

I seem to have some sort of problem talking to people I reall admire. I know I wrote about seeing Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman from Le Tigre in a restaurant in Vancouver this summer, and recently I saw Nomy Lamm (who utterly and for the better changed my way of thinking about fat forever) on a bus, and I never said anything to any of them. Why? I'm afraid of sounding dumb, I guess. In the case of Nomy Lamm, I was particularly afraid of sounding dumb and then having to sit next to her on a bus for 20 more minutes. But seriously, these are people who changed my life. Shouldn't I be able to tell them so without feeling like an ass?
I particularly regret not speaking to Kathleen Hanna. I had several reasons (all figured out later while kicking myself in the car, but also halfway understood while it was happening) for not talking to her and Johanna: fear of sounding dumb, shock and something like fear from them showing up unexpectedly in the same damn restaurant as us, the fact that they had already sat down when we got up to leave, how we would just sound like every other fan they ran into and maybe they get a little tired of hearing the same thing over and over... And I've read some stuff Kathleen Hanna wrote about how she hates being seen as a star with fans, because that's a really weird power relationship, and I felt like I couldn't talk to her without being a fan, without telling her that her music was a huge force in my life, that listening to Le Tigre and Bikini Kill was one of the first political things I ever did. Which I'm sure in retrospect that she'd pobably appreciate, but at the time I was having a hard time reconciling it. So now, when I can't sleep at night, sometimes I lie awake and think (obsess, perhaps) about how damn it, I should have said something to them. How often do your role models, the people who inspire you, walk in while you're waiting for the check? Anna and I both froze a little, and as soon as we left we were both angry about it. I shouldn't still be dwelling, but I think that is probably something I will always regret and that is almost certainly not going to repeat itself.

the bathroom problem in mainstream media

This is an aricle that I got from the AIM news pop-up thingy about a place in Brazil that is trying to pass legislation to make certain establishments build third bathrooms for transvestites (and presumably all non-normatively gendered people). While I got the feeling that it was put in kind of as one of those "weird news" joke things, and while it stated that Brazil is "somewhat more tolerant" of homosexuality than other Latin American countries (which I have heard is definitely an American conceit fostered by the tourist industry to lure in adventurous and wealthy gay tourists), I was still quite happy to even see the "bathroom problem" mentioned in such a mainstream space. I'm assuming most of you are somewhat familiar with this issue, but perhaps not; in essence, it is the problem faced by transgendered or non-normatively gendered people when they try to go to the bathroom in a public place. It's a big issue, and most transgendered people report at some point being kicked out of a restroom and/or experiencing some sort of violence in a restroom, especially the women's restroom. Women seem to be very invested in keeping their bathroom space free of anybody who is not very obviously female, to the point where it can be very hard for people who are biologically female and don't appear female, as well as for people who are not entirely biologically female but identify as such, to use a woman's bathroom. A lot of transgendered people also have bladder problems due to their inability or fear of using public restrooms, and at least some people tend to curtail activities that take them away from safe bathroom spaces for too long. Some places make steps towards addressing this problem (Such as the Saturn Cafe, with their wonderful gender-ambiguous doors, that Jesse directed us to in Santa Cruz this summer), but others run up against problems. Will women feel uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with men? Will it lead to harrasment of women? That just negates the transgender person, as someone who doesn't factor in to the "will they get hurt or be uncomfortable" discussion, when obviously they are and do. Grrrr.
Anyway, here's another link, this time to PISSAR (people in search of safe and accessible restrooms), a UCSB student group dedicated to making sure that bathrooms on campus are handicapped-and-transgender safe. Check it out on your campus or wherever you are: Are your bathroom entrances out in the open, or are they hidden away in a stairwell where people don't walk by very often? Do you have unisex bathrooms or boy-girl? Do you have an instance (this is my favorite, I found it at my school) where there is a boy's bathroom and a unisex handicapped bathroom right next to each other? Are the paper towel/tampon dispensers in your bathroom too high on the wall for a person in a wheelchair to reach? Anyway, enough of my ranting for this morning. This is such a silenced (people really don't like talking about restrooms usually, are we all really that shy?) and present problem, so it's good to talk about it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

heartfelt alleluias

I had a lesson this morning, and I'm done! Until school reconvenes to kick me into submission again at the beginning of January, anyway. I went early this morning and printed out a crapload of recipes and musings on veganism, so I should be putting together a zine in the next week (before I leave, so I can use my giant stapler to staple them). Anybody who's interested, I'm up for trade or I guess I could just send you one, seeing as it is the season of giving or whatever :-) I'm so glad that this break is finally here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

bittersweet glorias

I played a church gig this weekend, which raised some of the confusion for me that it usually does. I usually start my musings wiht the thought, "I'm not religious, isn't it funny that I have a profession that essentially assures that I will have to attend and play at several Christmas/Easter/etc. gigs every single year?" I usually have a lot of time to sit and think while everybody is preaching or whatever. Eventually I get bored and start either listening or reading the program (especially if it's a multiple-service gig, like the one yesterday). And I start realizing that about half of what's on there makes perfect sense to me, and the other half is almost totally in opposition to the way I go through life. For example: "We all have to open our hearts, our hands, our lips, to others/and to God's mercy and Jesus' love." "I am grateful for the community and that we can share so much and be strong together/and spend our time together in the light of God's forgiveness." Things like that. And it makes me feel so weird inside, the conflict between the love of the community and giving and helping of others that so frequently seems to be a theme of the sermons and the thoughts and lives of the people that I talk to afterwards, and the split between us as I realize that all of this is predicated by a deep belief in something I don't believe in. I remember when I was younger I had a brief desire to belong to a church, not for the religion, but for the ceremony and community. I still have that desire, although I can't imagine that I could (or even truly want to) even bend myself enough to fit within an organized religious experience like the ones I observe. The services always result in a very bittersweet feeling for me, and a feeling that I am perhaps too close-minded when it comes to religion.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

i thought i was wrong once, but i found out later i was mistaken

I guess I didn't have food poisoning, because Anna appears to have come down with the same thing. So today was another day of making soup and lazing around in bed and reading and such, which was okay also. The only sad thing was I was supposed to visit Anna at work today and we were going to go to this great and widely-known falafel place for lunch, and now that will have to wait for next week.
We also got Anna's hospital bills today. My god, it is $4000! They gave her all these expensive x-rays and tests and drugs and--this one pisses me off the most--a $150 pregnancy test! I feel absurdly shocked and more than a bit naive. How do they think people can even afford to get treated for anything? I've never been in charge of paying for healthcare before, and I've only been to a hospital about once before in my life, but this seems over the top. It makes me even more outraged about how few people are able to pay for health insurance and how little seems to be done to change that for the better. Oh Canada... Luckily, Anna has (limited) health insurance and I think her dad is going to help us, but I am still just so angry and shocked and amazed by the whole thing. I don't even know what other kind of reaction to have.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

seasonal gender

It's officially cold here; the "feels like" temperature--as opposed to the actual temperature--isn't supposed to get out of the single digits today. I've been thinking a bit about cold-related things as I freeze my ass off on el platforms and such, about the gendering and ungendering nature of winter clothing in cold places and the ways in which people (especially women) seem to be trying to re-assert their gendered roles despite the weather. I started thinking about this because I was thinking about this lesbian movie called Salmonberries with kd lang in it that takes place in Alaska. I haven't seen it, but Judith Halberstam's synopsis/review of it as a butch movie in Female Masculinity makes a lot of the fact that the eroticism in the movie is related to the fact that almost everybody is swaddled in a great deal of clothing most of the time. When you're buried beneath 5 layers of clothes, in other words, it's insanely sexy when suddenly part or all of you is naked. This reminded me of how Lane, a Tucson guy who grew up in Chicago, told me that spring was inevitably sexy here for him because that's when women start wearing skirts again after a winter of bundling. Maybe when he lived here that's how it was, but several times this week I've seen women wearing shortish skirts and no pantyhose even. I couldn't believe it. It's 3 degrees out! It really makes me wonder about how far we're willing to go to look sexy. Why would you wear something bound to lead to you freezing your ass off? Not to get into that Gloria Steinem quote about masochists and feminists, but don't you have to be a little masochistic to wear a short skirt and bare legs in wintertime Chicago? But maybe it's an attempt to key into that "bare skin in the midst of almost total absence of bare skin=super sexy" vibe that Halberstam was talking about.
Anyway, I wonder a lot of other things too. Winter coats can be very de-gendering, obviously. When everybody looks like a puffball, there's potentially much less distinction between the various genders and presumably less subsequent enforcement aimed towards alternately gendered bodies. What does this mean for transgendered people, or non-gender-normative people, or anybody? I don't know, but it seems like there might be some interesting connections. Does it seem possible or probable that people have different gender perceptions of themselves and others based on the season, the outside temperature, and how they accordingly have to present themselves? I like to think of gender as being a fluid thing, that you change your gender (or your gender changes, put more appropriately maybe) even just a tiny bit to suit your moment-to-moment desires, needs, actions, and interactions. So seasonal gender makes sense to me. It depends maybe on whether you think gender presentation is the same or at least related to gender as a personal identification or whatever.
Anyway, this has gone on to long, and I've been spending too much time out in the cold. I've changed this post three times already because I'm home and lazy and killing time I should be using to practice, and because I keep getting annoyed at what I've written, so I'm just going to leave it alone now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

on the rollercoaster of all these years/ with your hands above your head

Well, it turns out that sometimes, in some ways, going out for ethiopian food can be a little bad. But I want to recap the whole weekend first.
Friday was my birthday, and ended up being a fairly nondescript day; other than seeing Anna for a while in the afternoon (she got me an Ani bootleg cd, from Chicago, taped on the night we count as our anniversary! Whooo! And Gary Snyder poetry!), I mostly worked at school and in Civic, so I didn't really do much. When I got home at 11, Anna was at a holiday party (with open bar) for work, so I was here alone. Eventually, she called and I went to pick her up across town in her truck. We didn't get home until 2:30, at which point there were no parking spaces anywhere, and of course nobody's really moving at that time so you can't expect something to just magically open up anymore. So eventually I decided that we weren't going to find a spot and we should park by a parking meter on Devon (the main street by my house) and I would get up before 8 (when the meter kicked in) and move the truck so we didn't get a ticket.
When I got up and went outside at 7:45 the next morning, I was kind of confused to see no truck anywhere in sight. There was, however, I sign that I had mis-read the night before that said "TOW ZONE: No parking between 3-7 am, Dec. 1st-April 1st, or when there are 2 inches of snow." I had thought that the sign only applied when there was snow, but that's not the case and lucky for us the night before had been Dec. 2nd, so they came in the middle of the night and towed our asses. Chicago is notorious for this, so I guess it had to happen sometime, but anyway we spent most of the morning trying to get the car back from the impound lot across town.
Saturday night, we went out for dinner. Yay ethiopian food! It was delicious, and a bunch of my friends were there and I felt really just happy and like I actually have friends here (which is not how I usually feel). I also got a dvd of Monsoon Wedding, which I'm looking forward to seeing again, and the cookbook from the Chicago Diner, a fabulous veggie restaurant in Boystown. Way excited about that one.
Anyway, unfortunately I got food poisoning from dinner, presumably anyway since I didn't have much to eat other than that, and I spent most of yesterday either laying in bed shaking uncontrollably or throwing up. I had to miss a Civic rehearsal last night because I was literally so weak I don't think I could have walked to the el stop. (The good part of that is we finally got to watch Hotel Rwanda, which was such an incredible but devastating movie. I cried every time anything happened, essentially, and felt awful for ignoring/missing all of that atrocity when it was happening. I know most people aren't terribly politically saavy in high school but still. I'm shocked by my own ignorance.) Luckily, I feel much better today already, so I think I"ll actually be able to eat something other than grapes and get back on my feet. Anna said this whole weekend was just bipolar; everything was either really good (her Holiday Party, the ethiopian food) or terrible (the car being towed, the food poisoning). Thank god for Monday, for once ;-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

all i need are books and food

Just to prove that everything in my life is not overwhelmingly crappy, I thought I'd post about an excellent book I read last week :-) Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces by Juana Maria Rodriguez is about how the spaces that people exist in have an impact on their identity, shown through three different examples. The first is activism, illustrated through a chapter on a San Francisco queer Latina/o organization dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS spread, Proyecto ContraSIDA por Vida (which incidentally has a truly fabulous mission statement but who I can't seem to find a link to). The second is the courtroom, through the court documents of a landmark case of a Brazilian gay man who was seeking a visa based on the fact that he would be physically threatened based on his sexuality in his native country. The third was based in the world of internet chatrooms and the politics of cybersex, using the author as the main subject (!). It was all engaging, and each section had some really awesome ideas. I especially liked the internet chapter, which raised so many cool issues of gender and identity and even language (Latin@ as a genderless internet handle, specifically) that I was just blown away. Definitely recommended.
On a random note, I just remembered that I meant to post this Halloween weekend. We saw a bunch of Loyola students on a train, and one of them was dressed as a box of Franzia wine (big box with a marker picture of a glass of wine and a soap dispenser pump stuck in approximately where her crotch would be). I overheard her say "Well, I went to the costume store and I was like, 'Well, I can be a slut or a slut' so I thought 'Box!'"
Also, it's my birthday tomorrow! We're going out for Ethiopian food on Saturday (my night off) so that can't be a bad thing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

everything that rises must converge

It looks like there is every possibility of this good quarter ending unpleasantly all around. After the two crapola things on Monday (the unfinished test and the almost-tearful you-suck final), I took a deep breath and thought about how I only have like two more things to do and then I'm done until I return in January. But yesterday, I got an email from the Civic manager saying that the conductor wants to see me before our next rehearsal tomorrow night. This almost certainly means he's going to tell me I need to up the ante, play better, get my ass in gear. (Anna points out, rightly I suppose, that it could be something totally different, but I've heard about things like this and I guess I'm just choosing to believe the worst.) I'm just so upset, because if this goes as I think it will it means that not only am I not doing so great, but I'm doing poorly enough to be singled out and chastised for my badness. Gah. Just when I thought things were looking up, this seems to be the week when everybody tells me otherwise.

Monday, November 28, 2005

back into the fray

I knew this semester would bite me in the ass at some point. I had a written final (my first test since I got here) in pedagogy today, which was stupid because he gave us the exact test several weeks ago and I hate tests that are just regurgitated information. Also, only two people in the class finished the test, which to my mind means that the test was too damn long to be written in 50 minutes, and then he sent us all an email insinuating that nobody had finished because we weren't adequately prepared. Bullshit, I say.
I also just finished my playing final for my orchestra repertoire class. Every semester, the teacher almost makes me cry, and this was no exception. He always tells me that I play my parts as well as I am able but that, unfortunately, I essentially still suck a lot of ass in a lot of ways. He's not even mean about it really, in fact he's as nice as you can possibly be while imparting information like that, but he always belabors my stiff bow arm and my lackluster vibrato until I just feel like going into the bathroom and bursting into tears and then dropping out of school and working in a coffee shop for the rest of my life.
The only good thing is Anna's a lot better, and thank you to everybody who called or emailed or otherwise expressed their concern. She's still in recovery, but I'm not quite so worried that she'll end up in the hospital again.
I feel a bit better for venting. Off to another rehearsal!

Friday, November 25, 2005

happy goddamn thanksgiving

Well, I don't want to go into a lot of details, but instead of cooking indian food as expected Anna and I spent the majority of yesterday in the emergency room. She's okay, more or less, but it was stressful and unpleasant. I was in the waiting room most of the time, waiting for someone to come out and tell me that something had gone terribly wrong and either a) she was dead (I've seen too many episodes of ER, I know) or b) she was really sick and was going to have to spend the night. At one point, she told me her body was rejecting the colonialist holiday and that was the problem.
Can I just say, it fucking sucks being in a lesbian relationship when it comes to healthcare? (Also looking for an apartment, but that's another story.) Linguist Lauren printed something in her blog recently about how women recieve less care in ER's, and it's of course even worse for queer women. Not to mention exchanges like this:
Nurse: So are you sexually active?
Queer patient: Um, kind of...
Nurse: So you need a pregnancy test.
QP: Um, no.
Nurse, Seriously, if you're sexually active you need to take a pregnancy test.
QP: I'm only sexually active with women, okay?
Not what you need when you're sick, I find. Not that it's always a big deal, but it certainly can be hard to cut through the preset dialogue and make yourself understood, and it can be a little embarrassing (for me anyway) to be forced into a discussion of my sexual practices with someone I don't know anything about. Anyway, Anna's going to be fine and they hopefully have figured out what's wrong with her and she's peacefully sleeping while I get up way too early on a holiday to go to, you guessed it, rehearsal.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

when disciplines collide

A little while ago, my friend lauren e-c posted a Pantoum (a poem with every line repeated three lines later, except for the 1st and 3rd lines which are repeated at the end), a type of poem that I was unaware of prior to that but kind of intrigued by. Then yesterday, I heard a musical Pantoum! It was a movement of a piano trio (piano, violin, and cello) by Ravel, and it was totally cool. I was just psyched that my new knowledge came into play so soon, and I thought it was a really innovative idea to pattern a piece of music after a specific poetic form.
In other news, my teacher told me a dirty joke in my lesson today. Weird.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

one for the scrapbook

This is the tribune review of our concert Sunday night.

Chicago Tribune – November 22, 2005

Civic opener lives up to the hype

By John von RheinThe latest incarnation of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago is so good that it seems downright patronizing to continue thinking of it as "only" the Chicago Symphony's farm club.How many adult professional orchestras in communities across the land can make music at such a high level? The playing experience and mentoring these exceptionally gifted young instrumentalists derive from membership in the Civic will prove invaluable as they eventually make their way into some of America's leading orchestras, including our own. Their opening concert of the season Sunday at Symphony Center proved conductor Cliff Colnot's contention that this is by far the best roster of musicians the Civic has fielded in 15 years. His first program as the orchestra's recently appointed principal conductor was a benefit concert; all proceeds will help the Civic match a $1 million challenge grant to underwrite the musicians' stipends. It's a cause worthy of the music community's support.Colnot built his program around the solo talents of five notable Chicago musicians, all of whom are Civic alumni. Rachel Barton Pine played Mendelssohn's E-Minor Violin Concerto. Another German Romantic work, Schumann's Konzertstueck in F Major, enlisted four of the five players who make up the horn section of the Chicago Symphony—Daniel Gingrich, Oto Carrillo, James Smelser and David Griffin.What a pleasure to hear young orchestra musicians so giving, so fully engaged, in their concerto accompaniments, something that cannot always be said of adult professionals. The ineffable sweetness with which Barton Pine traced the opening pages of the Mendelssohn concerto found its answer in the orchestra's songful countermelodies. The violinist made the familiar work seem freshly minted, especially in the gentle reverie that is the central Andante. The finale was as light as thistledown, with dancing woodwinds to match her puckish fiddling.Schumann's Concert Piece long has been a showpiece for the CSO horn choir and Sunday's soloists brought it to life in floods of warmly romantic sound. If the French horn is the most treacherous of solo instruments, you would never have guessed from their beautiful and shapely phrasing and the subtlety and precision of their articulation.Colnot provided a brash and brassy reading of Charles Ives' "America" Variations (orchestrated by William Schuman) at the beginning of the concert. The Second Suite from Ravel's "Daphnis and Chloe" ballet brought the program to a rousing close. The piece gathered shimmering atmosphere in fine degrees: burbling flutes and warbling piccolo and violins to evoke daybreak, a dangerously languid flute solo to mark the "Pantomime," and a suitably orgiastic "General Dance."

Good, eh? I don't know what I was expecting, perhaps something along the lines of "by far the best roster of musicians the Civic has fielded in 15 years... except for the 7th chair violist. She wasn't so great." :-) Not really, it went quite well and I didn't fuck anything up majorly. This is my first real review, I think.


I finished a pair of concerts this weekend, and am fully prepared for Thanksgiving break to begin. Yay for having a few days off of my ridiculous school, which never does that! I swear, the only day we get off is Memorial Day. The most funny and sad example of their desire to make us go to school as much as possible is Martin Luther King Day, where we get a whopping three hours off in the middle of the day (11-2), probably to fulfill some sort of state requirement.
Anyway, yesterday as I was walking to school, I realized that the campus sounded like one of those fake tapes of jungle noises that people sometimes use to fall asleep. There were so many birdcalls ringing out, it was overwhelming. I looked up, and there seemed to be hundred of birds perched in and flying around the trees of the foresty area I was walking through. My conjecture: they were migrating through? I don't know. But for whatever reason, we had been taken over. It made me really happy.

Friday, November 18, 2005

if wishes were horses

I got this from lauren e-c. I normally don't do things like this, but I was intrigued by the idea of thinking up ten things I really truly could use (or just want), and also by the idea that maybe I might get one or two of them. Not that I expect too much from this, but maybe some letters or something would be nice. It's my birthday coming up soon too, on December 2nd! I'll be 24, which just seems amazing to me sometimes.

Step One- Make a post to your blog with a list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and blog-related ("I'd love a icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for Harry Potter on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car.") The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want. Keep the 'non-tangibles' to a's hard to get world peace into an envelope, after all. We all know we're good folk. Let's just be about the STUFF for this.- Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your blog, or link to this post so that the joy will spread.
Step Two- Surf around your friends list to see who has posted a list. And now here's the important part:- If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes someone's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use--or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free--do it.- You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf--to spread the joy.- There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's day by granting a wish for something they really want.

1) Letters from friends. I love getting letters, and I hardly ever do. Trust me, I'll use my time when I get up at 5 to write you back ;-)
2) Interesting colors of fingernail polish. Not good for now (since I only paint my toes and it's goddamn cold) but I enjoy it when it's warm, mostly because I think people don't expect it from me.
3) Books, always and forever. Poetry, prose, theory, whatever. Thin books are good for the train, but I'll get through anything good eventually.
4) I could use a good tie. The only one I have is kind of subdued and crappy, no good for drag shows or much else, for that matter.
5) Ani's cd, As I Said. I believe it's the only one I'm missing, at least of the non-remix-or-collaborative cd's (although I wouldn't mind the Utah Phillips one either).
6) Saffron. I don't have any, and just read an interesting recipe asking for it. I'm a spice-a-holic.
7) Accessories for my recital would be nice. I want to dress up all sparkly, again because it's not expected of me.
8) Posters for our walls. Right now it's fairly barren, and I frankly haven't bought much in the way of posters since I was a freshman so mine have pretty much become officially too beat up to grace our walls.
9) I always enjoy a good mix cd or tape.
10) I had to buy a new Nalgene, so I need fun stickers to put on it. I was so sad to lose the old ones :-(

That was a lot harder than I though. Most of the stuff I need is too expensive or personal (viola things mostly, not sex things or whatever) to put on here, or too intangible. But whatever.


My goodness, check out this picture of ani. Somehow I had not seen this one before. It's amazing what you can come up with while looking for a new desktop picture on a Friday night.

who knew?

I would never have guessed from reading The Epistemology of the Closet that Eve Sedgewick was funny, but she is. This quote, about her recovery from and treatment for cancer, is from her essay "Gosh, Boy George, You Must Be Awfully Secure In Your Masculinity!" published in the anthology Constructing Masculinity (Berger, Wallis, and Watson).

"...I suddenly noticed that both my cheerful oncologist and the matter-of-fact medical textbooks I could not seem to stop reading apparently had the same question on their mind: to castrate--me!--or not to castrate. I did not even know what the word could really mean, in this context, but that did not keep me from keep me from bursting into the tears that mark the heaping of injory on insult: here I thought I already was! All these years my Lacanian friends had me convinced I had nothing to lose."

Later in the same essay she also postulates that some people may not just be more masculine or feminine than others, but that some people might just be more "gender-y" than others. I appreciate it when major theorists are willing to use a word like "gender-y."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

the tables have turned

I woke up this morning to a radio voice saying that it was 16 degrees outside but with windchill it feels like 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy crap! I can't believe that about a week and a half ago it was about 60. I guess the transition to the heavy clothes is starting today.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

old man winter

Wow, that last post sure seemed to spark some conversation. I may have to think some more about that and incorporate it into a cookbook zine or something. If I ever have time...
It snowed today for the first time, which was kind of surprising because it was also the first seriously cold day. I'm trying to ration out my warm clothes and not go directly to the down jacket and windproof hat and hardcore scarf and gloves and all, so today warranted a denim jacket underneath with my Tucson "coat" over the top, slightly heavier gloves and hat and a scarf that was not there mostly for decorative purposes. I wonder if other people do the gradual move to heavy winter stuff or if they just go from warm to cool to cold? Anyway, today I played for an amazing 10 hours, so now I'm sitting here with my shoulders covered in Icyhot and drinking wine and relaxing. I'm so glad I made it through today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I've been thinking a lot lately about how I call myself vegan even though I eat cheese on a fairly regular basis, and I've decided that I should really stop that. It's like being one of those people who call themselves vegetarian and then qualify that they eat chicken and fish. (This is all kind of interesting to me in terms of resistance of labels, incidentally, because I seem to feel really strongly about the use and misuse of these particular labels whereas a lot of other labels I tend to debate a lot more or try to reject altogether. Why is that?) So, at least for the time being, I'm going to make an effort to just say I'm vegetarian and try to make my peace with that. I'm sad that I'm making this particular transition, because I feel like it is somehow indicative of just how much my self-control has dipped. I know part of the reason why I've been resisting this is because I feel like I'm a quitter or something, but mostly I just know that I had good reasons for being vegan in the first place and stopping means that I'm admitting that those reasons aren't as important to me as my desire to eat cheese. But lately it's like I can't even control the cheese desire (erica may have witnessed this last year when I was there and I was reduced to uncontrollably eating Brie from their fridge) and I feel like I just can't deal with this anymore so I'm trying to let the guilt go a little bit and see if that can work. Somebody told me once that cheese is actually somewhat addictive (something about chemicals or something, I don't know) and I totally believe it. Anyway, this post has gone on long enough, so there you go. Perhaps later I'll go back, after I get my cheese addiction under control.

Monday, November 14, 2005

here i am again

I can't sleep. Damn it. So here's a poem. Or part of a poem, at any rate.

from It's the Poverty, by Cherrie Moraga

I say
my typewriter sticks in the wet.
I have been using the same ribbon
over and over and over again.
Yes, we both agree I could use
a new ribbon. But it's the poverty
the poverty of my imagination, we agree.
I lack imagination, you say.

No. I lack language.
The language to clarify
my resistance to the literate.
Words are a war to me.
They threaten my family.

To gain the word to describe the loss,
I risk losing everything.
I may create a monster,
the word's length and body
swelling up colorful and thrilling
looming over my mother, characterized.
Her voice in the distance
unintelligible illiterate.

These are the monster's words.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

and finally...

And here's the Yellowstone pictures.

A waterfall that I can't remember the name of. This was by far the easiest "hike" we took pretty much anywhere this summer, taking about 10 minutes total (there and back) but the path was covered in loose pebbles so I fell and landed on a prickly plant and was picking stickers out of my hand for weeks.

As we were leaving our campsite, there was this huge backup of cars, and we were like "What the fuck?" until we both saw these cute little black bears eating right by the road with a bored-looking ranger standing next to them. Very different from Denali, where wildlife causes everybody to stop and shut the hell up. At Yellowstone, you just drive on by and take a picture.

Case in point. There are signs everywhere saying "buffalo are dangerous!" but when we actually saw all these buffalo crossing a river next to the road, everybody was out of their cars taking pictures. One little asian man almost got ran over by a buffalo, but they spooked each other and went opposite directions.

The "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" taken from Inspiration Point (which would have been more inspiring without 30 screaming mothers and children on it). The Yellowstone River is the longest undam(n)ed river in the lower 48.

Lower Falls, a really large waterfall that we went on a lovely secluded hike to see.

And of course, Old Faithful; we waited an hour to see it, but it was really fucking cool when it finally went. The little girl next to us kept asking her dad "Will it be cool?" and after it went off she kept squealing "Wow!!!!!!" Very cute.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

some days

So lately I've been getting up at 5 or 5:30 two or three times a week with Anna, because she has to go to work really early and otherwise I basically don't see her at all. Some days I'm really productive after she leaves at 6:30, writing letters, making mix cds, listening to things I'm supposed to know how to play... And some days I just don't know what to do with myself, and this is one of those days. So here are some Denali pictures from this summer! Perhaps I'll do Yellowstone early Thursday morning, if I can't find something more productive to do.

This is, I believe, a picture of Erica and I trying to look thoughtful and arty on the park road. We went out looking for the wolves but didn't see them.

This is Anna and I by Toklat and the terrible tent where Erica worked. Bad tent, but not a bad place to live.

And these are pictures of neat mountains and things. I think the first one might have a sheep in it somewhere (Erica referred to them as "sheep dots" because usually they're so far away all you can see is a little white dot).

Friday, November 04, 2005

(blank stare)

I read on the AOL news thingy this morning that Barbie and Ken (who apparently broke up so Barbie could flirt with a surfer or something) will be reuniting after Ken gets a makeover. And for some reason, this was listed under gay and lesbian news. All of this strikes me as funny in different ways, but perhaps only because I've been up since 5:30.

summer days and summer nights are gone

I wanted to finally put a few of the pictures I took over the summer up here. I didn't take very many, partly because Anna was taking lots and partly because my digital camera batteries run out really quickly and when you're camping there isn't really any place to plug them in. But here is a brief collection of things I did deem worthy of pictures, for whatever reasons.

This is Anna at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, which in truth only contains one natural bridge (the others have long since collapsed).

This is from "The Trees of Mystery" in northern California. My parents actually told me about this and suggested we stop, and later my mom told me that my grandmother had also seen this as a young girl. So basically, we're in the third generation for seeing this cheesy but hysterical tourist trap. The Paul Bunyan statue has a loudspeaker hooked up to a microphone inside it and a guy sits in a room somewhere and makes the statue talk to people who are approaching the entrance, asking them where they're from and such. Anna also noted that the ox has a huge ballsack, but you unfortunately can't see it in this picture.

And speaking of tourist traps, this is the world's largest frying pan in Long Beach, WA. There is also a creepy "free museum" (gift store) across the street with a creepy little mummified "alligator man" named, for some reason, Jake.

This is the world's bluest lake, Lake Kluane. I believe it's in the Yukon, but it might have been upper British Columbia. We got stopped for construction here, but it wasn't such a hardship because the lake was so just amazingly beautiful.

I'll post some Denali and Yellowstone pictures, maybe tomorrow. This is fun, it's reminding me of all the amazing things we did this summer. I just wish I had personally documented the trip better. I really neglected the whole first part pretty badly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

where I live

Lauren made me super jealous by posting some beautiful pictures of the desert on her blog recently and prompted me to take some pictures of the changing leaves and such. I still prefer the desert, but it's not all bad here.

This was from a window in a practice room I was using at the music building. I still have a hard time realizing that I spend most of my days right by Lake Michigan.

Last, an oh-so-urban picture of the train stop that I use every day.

Now that I've recovered my cord for my camera, I'll also try to post some pictures from this summer soon.

Monday, October 31, 2005


Incidentally, I'm really glad that the Miers nomination was withdrawn. Not that I believe that I will miraculously love the next person that Bush nominates (that has "a snowball's chance in hell" of happening, my favorite idiom when I was teaching in Poland), but because this seems like tangible evidence that he has had to acknowledge that he is somewhat reliant on the opinions of others. It seems to me like lately it doesn't matter at all what anybody else thinks, how many people think something is fucked up, as long as Bush think it's okay. And here, for once, he backed off of something. Of course, it's not because people like me think that Miers was someone who shouldn't be on the court; it was because of other political people trashing his choice. But still, at least somebody's opinion still has some sort of staying power, even if it isn't the opinion I agree with.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

it's about time

Finally, after about a month, we have internet! So perhaps I will post more regularly, since I tend to use that as a time-wasting option.
We played a series of three concerts for children this weekend for Halloween. There was a mime duo involved (who actually mimed, unlike the mime play I saw with Jesse and Anna this summer), and much costuming and makeup on the part of the orchestra. It was really fun, and I loved seeing all the little kids dressed up in the lobby afterwards. Granted, most of them looked kind of freaked out since I looked somewhat dead, but they were still totally cute.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

dates and places and times

I always get stuck up on what seem to me like fairly inconsequential figures like how long I've been doing something or where I was when I last did it. I've been playing viola for about 14 years, isn't that ridiculous? That seems like my whole life. And I've been vegan (sort of) for more than three. That one seems like it should be longer. We're also playing a piece in school that I last played when I was 15, right after I decided that viola was what I wanted to do for real, not just as a hobby.
Following in the trend of me finding meat in my food, I found what appeared to be meat inside a waffle two weekends ago. This is getting ridiculous. That makes at least five times in the last 3 monthys or so. Bah

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

still forsaken

Almost three weeks and still no internet. As a full-fledged email junkie, I feel like I'm in withdrawl :-) Plus we still don't know where lots of things are and it can be pretty challenging to, say, order pizza without the internet or a phonebook. But whatever. I just hope it returns soon.
No other real news, just still so busy I'm constantly learning pieces the day before they are supposed to be perfect. I keep hoping I'll catch up, but it seems doubtful. Lately I've felt kind of grey and bitter, like all this constant stress and work and never seeing Anna is taking all the heart out of me. I was accused twice last week of being mean or insensitive, which is perhaps some indication of how deeply changed I sometimes think I am from being here. But I'm holdinmg on, hoping I can regain some hint of enthusiasm even for something. I just don't have the energy particularly right now.
But, having said that, Gary Snyder rocks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

happiness is a good book

I decided to read some Gary Snyder, since Erica (and other people) are always raving about him and I'd never read any. So I checked out The Practice of the Wild based on it's recommendation in erica's last zine, and it's already making me feel all happy and good. I love hearing people saying powerful things that I believe.
"Language teaching in schools is a matter of corralling off a little of the language-behavior territory and cultivating a few favorite features--culturally defined elite forms that will help you apply for a job or give you social credibility at a party. One might even learn how to produce the byzantine artifact known as the professional paper. There are many excellent reasons to master these things, but the power, the virtu, remains on the side of the wild."
-Gary Snyder, The Etiquette of Freedom

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Lately I have been unable to be gripped by a book in the way that I normally am. Nothing intigues me terribly much, and I seem to have no tolerance for theary, which is funny because normally that mostly what I read. So, this is my recent reading list:
How to Name a Hurricane by Rane Arroyo
Fight Club by Chuck Palahuick (probably not how you spell that name)
Valencia and The Chelsea Whistle by Michelle Tea (very amusing lesbian author)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (less amusing but very good lesbian writer)
I'm pretty sure I read at least one other thing that I can't remember right now. I'm still searching for that book that will suck me in or make me care about something. I feel apathetic about a lot right now. I think I'm just tired. Anybody have any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Does anybody know how to de-stinkify a nalgene? Mine won't stop smelling gross no matter how many times I wash it. Should I try and use something like vinegar or coke to kill all the grossness inside?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

the internet gods have forsaken us

The internet at my house has gone out, and may be gone for as much as a week more. Hence the lack of posting. I had my first moment of overwhelming panic yesterday, as I looked at a week in which I face a string bass test, a viola sectional for civic featuring a piece I can't yet play (even though I've performed it before, how lame is that), another civic rehearsal featuring entirely other music, my first civic concert, and unprepared school orchestra and quartet rehearsals. Plus Ann's going out of town for work on Thursday, missing a Sleater-Kinney concert that I now will have to attend alone. Bah. Not a fun look into the future, for sure.
Last weekend we volunteered at Anna's work, picking up trash in west town for about 2 1/2 hours early Saturday morning. I never truly realized how damn dirty this city is until I picked up some of its trash. It's an impossible task to get it all; we would clean a street, then walk down it and all I could see was the gobs and gobs of trash that we had missed. Still, I guess anything helps.
Anyway, off to learn another set of damn music.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


"...[T]he library card, to me, is the most magical and dangerous power in the United States. Why aren't librarians treated as the visionaries they often are? They know, as I do, that voices stay with a reader long after a book is closed (consumption being the assumption). Unlike echos, their voices rarely fade away."
-Rane Arroyo, How to Name a Hurricane

Thursday, September 22, 2005

mayhem and bedlam

School has finally started, and it's already been really busy. I had my audition on Tuesday, and since it was Anna's birthday we went out to dinner that night. Yesterday I had my first actual class, a string class pedagogy thing where I am going to get to learn bass, which should be fun. I also had my first lesson, and found out that I got third chair in the orchestra for this year. Along with all this (which doesn't sound like much but really has been quite overwhelming), I've been getting up with Anna at 7 instead of 11 like we have been for the last few weeks. That'll make you tired, I find.
I think things are finally settling down for a little bit, anyway. I was talking with another violist today about how this year is different than last year and he told me I seemed much happier. And I think I am, really. It took me by surprise because last week I was feeling bad about my quartet, but I really think that things will be better this year. I feel like I have a right to be here, unlike last year when I was secretly convinced that it was all a huge mistake and I wasn't supposed to be there at all. That combined with having Anna here with me is making all the difference in the world.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

a long and distinguished tradition

I've been reading this guy's masters thesis on punk zines and how they function as organizing tools and a means of resistance, and it's fascinating. His name is Jason Kucsma, the thesis is titled Resist and Exist: Punk Zines and the Communication of Cultural and Political Resistance in America, and it's the second thesis in something called the People's Papers Project vol. 1 that I got at a booksale last week. It's all about the history of the underground press and its relationship to political dissent, and how zines frequently address (in different, less formal ways) issues such as antiracism that are also being discussed in more "respectable" venues. He recommends a book by Stephen Duncombe called Notes from Underground that I'd really like to find and read. It's got me all riled up about the radical potential of self-publishing. Here's a nice quote:
"...The world of underground publishing is primarily anti-establishment. Whether the messages of certain publications are overtly radical or not, the act of publishing your thoughts and distributing them for people to read is an affront to corporate-controlled mainstream media that privileges passive consumption of news, entertainment, and politics."

Friday, September 16, 2005


Oooh, apparently Democracy Now! is going to have a big interview with Hugo Chavez on Monday. Exciting stuff, I tell you. You can watch or listen to it on their website.
Is anybody else incredibly frustrated by how John Roberts totally wouldn't say what he felt about almost anything? I am kind of skeptical that anybody can be a truly bias-free judge, and in fact I feel kind of distrustful of people who claim that they can.
Anna's birthday is on Tuesday. I think we're going to breakfast and maybe a farmer's market in Evanston tomorrow, since she just finally got a bike today so we can ride together. And tomorrow night, the pirate party will be re-visited at the house of my old roommate. I'm going to paint my toenails black and put little white-out skulls on them, and I'm baking vegan rum balls right now to bring along.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


The state of Texas executed Frances Newton today for allegedly murdering her husband and two children 18 years ago. She totally didn't get a fair trial or a competent attorney, and now she's dead. And all you see on internet news is about how Britney Spears finally had her baby. Jesus.

Monday, September 12, 2005

wild purple

I'm thinking about replacing one of the dead-white-european-male-composed pieces on my recital with a piece by a living woman composer, and it's got me all excited. Greta and I spent a fair amount of time a few years ago learning about women composers and planning a (never realized) concert of all female composers' music. It would be a shame for me to know that music like this exists and not play it at my recital, wouldn't it?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

sinking feeling

I went to my first quartet rehearsal, pre-school-starting, yesterday. It left me feeling really inadequate, which is something that I want to attempt to feel less frequently this year. Apparently, I'm not off to a good start. Something about this school just makes me feel unworthy, ungood, like I don't work hard enough or play well enough to really deserve to be there. It's kind of soul-deadening.
I also am being continually accosted by liberal groups trying to convince me to either give them money or volunteer, neither of which I really have to offer right now. They don't ever have anything you can sign, no petitions or statements of support or whatever, and if you tell them you have no money they just kind of walk away. It makes me feel like a bad person, but honestly I don't really want to give $8 a month to the HRC, even if I had the money.
We got up early this morning (early for us, so 10 am) to go to the nearby farmer's market and try to get basil, but it's really small and they didn't have any. So now I feel tired, disillusioned, and just kind of all-around crappy. It's the little things that just make me want to beat my head against something.

Friday, September 09, 2005

yay for underpants!

We just spent several hours volunteering, setting up a book sale at the nearby LGBT library. For our efforts (mostly trying to sort books into catagories like "Hollywood" and "Pets" and the like) we recieved several free books. I got two more Dykes to Watch Out For books and a zine containing two masters thesis, one on the contradictory role of white Southern women in the civil rights movement and the other on punk zines and the communication of cultural and political resistance. Anna got a book of erotic stuff (not sure about what this is yet exactly) and a book about the history of underwear! I'm really intrigued by that.
My friend Jesse is super cool, and wrote some really good stuff about the California same-sex marriage resolution and about Katrina in his blog today. Also about Tibet, although I am not sure what part of campus activism tends to be "Tibety" as he put it. Yay Jesse!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

it's a place called won't be there

I've written and deleted several posts in the last few days; it seems I am at a bit of a loss for words. I'm so angry and upset about the hurricane, but I feel like a lot of the discussion is beginning to sound like some sort of childish "who-has-the-worst-story" type of thing. Did you hear...? The administration did this? Barbara Bush said this? Did you see that picture? All of this is important, of course, and I'm certainly not belittling the spread of information. I simply don't know what to write without falling into that mode of communication, and I don't feel like doing that here.
Things are slow here, with little to do and a lot of time to do it in. A few days ago, I painted my toenails bright purple, just for kicks. Anna and I are both falling into this really terrible sleep pattern where we don't go to bed until at least two and don't fall asleep until at least 3, and then neither of us can rouse ourselves before noon most days. Tonight we're going to help set up a book sale at the LGBT library, which is conveniently only about a ten minute walk away. Last night we watched Secretary, a movie where I honestly don't really know what I felt about it. Was it good, because it showed sm in a positive light? Was it bad beccause it suggested that sm might be a good solution for self-abusers? (Actually, I recently read that sometimes controlled sm play can be helpful for abuse survivors, so maybe this isn't entirely off the mark. But maybe it is.) Was it bad because it lost its dark but powerful indifference near the end? I am annoyed that a movie that pulls so few punches in the first hour ends with a nearly totally generic "happy ending." Eh.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

So, Carol Queen is really cool. We did make it into the talk tonight, and although I felt somewhat out-of-place among the mostly leather population who all seemed to know each other, it was pretty interesting. For anyone who isn't familiar, she is a doctor of sexology, a writer of fiction/erotica and nonfiction/theory, a former sex-worker, the president of Good Vibrations, and very dedicated to making it okay and safe for people to have any damn type of sex they want to. She talked about the Woodhull Foundation, a group dedicated to trying to allow people more sexual freedom by doing things like opposing oppressive legislation and compiling a list of sex "crimes" nationwide so people will know what can get them arrested in various states. She also talked about the Center for Sex and Culture, a kind of archive and space in San Francisco that she and her partner started. Then, she read from some of her own writing, some theory interspersed with what she called "smut." Some of it was leather oriented, given our location, including the beginning of her book The Leather Daddy and the Femme. She then read about a bisexual threesome, first announcing that it was a true story, and the last piece was a very disturbing sm piece about having sex with a knife blade. I kid you not. It feels odd to be alternately turned on, interested in the theory and her explanations, and freaked out by the intensity and disturbing-ness of the last story. Anyway, it was really enjoyable and I'm glad I got to see her speak again. Also, the Leather Archives has a wicked auditorium; the stage has a wooden painted cutout of a huge muscley half-naked leather man with his pants half unzipped at the back, and the auditorium itself is completely adorned with the Leather Pride flags (black and blue and, I think, white stripes with a big red heart in the corner) and more paintings of leather scenes. Hardcore, indeed.
Incidentally, I just learned how to use the links option, so sorry if I've gone a little overboard :-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

lurking in the depths of suburbia...

Tomorrow night, hopefully Anna and I are going to go here Carol Queen speak about sexual freedom and read some of her own writing. The event is going to be at the Leather Archives and Museum, which is oddly enough about a block away from our house, on the corner of a residential street. We could almost see it if we stood in front of our house. It's fairly nondescript, without even the full name on the outside; the only clue as to its contents are two flags outside with big black boots drawn on them. I'm slightly skeptical that it's actually happeneing, since I can't find any listings on any pertinent websites and I only heard about it a few days ago in a listserv email from Chicago's feminist sex-store, Early2Bed. The talk is supposed to be a whopping $25 donation, so I'm hoping they will let us in for five or ten dollars since that's all we can really afford. I guess if they won't at least it's a short walk home.

we knew it all along

This is from Lauren's blog. I agree with her, I feel totally validated in my bad habit :-)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

you know what they say about the size of a man's mustache...

Things have been going much more smoothly since we stopped picking up furniture all the time. Thank god! Went to a drag show on Friday night, the first one we've seen since the random show in Kent, WA. They cost $5 before 10 and $8 after, and the shows don't begin until at least 11:15 usually, and since we're cheap we were sitting there for quite a while. However... Izzie Big, one of the co-founders and the MC for the show, came over to ask us if we wanted to go get 'transformed' (have fake facial hair put on) and we ended up talking to him for a long time, at least twenty minutes and maybe more. We talked about drag king techniques of facial hair, binding, and packing, and about how much things vary in different places in the country. For instance, Minneapolis has like 5 drag troupes while there are places like Seattle (where I would expect lots of public genderplay) that don't have any. And presentations and handling of gender are radically different depending on where you are and who's playing. Not surprising, but it was cool to hear such an experienced and well-known/traveled king talk about it. We also talked about the disbanding of the troupe, and he explained that people would still be doing stuff, and that there would likely be at least two more shows that were mostly them. Eased my mind a lot, knowing that there would still be activity, and anyway he said he felt like people were maybe becoming blase in Chicago, so maybe this will shake things up a bit.
We did end up getting transformed; Anna got what she called "a little gay mustache" like Charlie Chaplin and a little beard, and I got huge-ass sideburns. I got a lot of compliments, which was pretty funny.
Last night we tried to go to a queer political burlesque show, but failed miserably. When we got there, I swear there was a line around the block. We ended up going to a bar and playing Scattergories instead. Alas, my burlesque education will have to wait for another show.

Friday, August 26, 2005

the buffalo upstairs

The people in the apartment above us (three college girls) stay up until at least 2 every night, apparently constantly running back and forth and dropping thing and sometimes falling down. At least that's what it sounds like. The apartments are set up so that their living room is directly over our bedroom, and they kept us up last night for about hours after we went to bed. They also watched Dirty Dancing, I could hear it right through the floor. What do you do about something like this? We can't tell them to be immobile after midnight, but they are so damn loud it's amazing.
In other news... We went to the free day at the art institute on Tuesday, which was really fun. It's much nicer when you haven't paid $7, because you can relax instead of feeling like you have to see everything all at once. We are pretty much furnished, although we still need a dresser and coffee table maybe, and some end tables for the bedroom. That's about all, really. Things are calming down.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Why do people ever move? It's such a terrible experience. I generally dislike packing, and I'm not a big fan of unpacking either; it never seems like I have enough drawers or surfaces to put all of my crap. And this move is worse than normal, since this is the first time I'm moving into an unfurnished apartment and I own hardly any furniture to speak of. We've spent most of the last two days shopping, picking up furniture, lifting heavy objects, and steeping carefully around the twenty or so boxes and bags in our living room.
There are a few good things, of course. My biceps are awesome right now from all the lifting. We got a whole kitchen table with six chairs, as well as a super comfy armchair with matching ottoman, all for free! Craigslist is the bomb. We're waiting for word back on other things, too, like filing cabinets and dressers and such. We also bought a cool lamp for $10 today, with four snakey heads with colored collars on the ends in blue, red, yellow and white. Very funky.
However, right now I'm super sad because the Chicago Kings, our drag king troupe, is apparently disbanding. They are still doing the monthly shows where people do individual or small group acts, but the big group productions are stopping. It's sad; that's what this troupe is kind of known for, and they are astonishingly good at it. When they all perform together, it's awesome. Anyway, I'm bummed.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

back in the saddle

After another few days of power driving, we're finally in Chicago. We stopped for about 4 days in Moriarty, NM, visiting Anna's family and helping her mom set up things in her new bead store that's opening at the end of the month. It was pretty quite, all in all, but nice. I made a bunch of jewelery, and we played with the three kittens. Their names are either Felix, Callie and Fluffybutt or Felix, Missy and Cissy, depending on who you ask. Anna insists that Missy and Cissy sound like redneck southerners and holds out for Fluffybutt and Callie.
Finally, we took off two days ago and drove from Moriarty to Kansas City, Kansas. We crossed New Mexico, a piece of Texas (smelled like cowshit and looked like a desolate wasteland), went across the Oklahome panhandle (about the same) and then through Kansas (very flat). We stopped in Liberal to see the Dorothy house and the Land of Oz, but it turned out to just be a replica of the movie house fell of stuff from the time period. Kind of misleading, if you ask me. The next day, we drove across Missouri and Illinois, arriving here around sundown. We drove right down Lakeshore Drive, past the lights of downtown and the vast oceanlike expanse of lake. It was a nice reminder of the city, how it has its perks as well as its detractions.
Our apartment is really kind of funny. I still like it, but it's definitely not exactly like I remember it. It has weird-shaped rooms, lightswitches in strange and inconvenient places (like behind the bathroom door and between the fridge and the wall) and windows in odd spots (most notably the closet and on an interior wall between the bedroom and our "office"). It reminds me of the house on 10th street, with all of its quirky details like the window to nowhere in the kitchen and the bullethole in the back bedroom window. We picked up all of my old stuff today, and we went grocery shopping. Gah, tomorrow I'll have to start unpacking.

Friday, August 12, 2005

pleasantness is the machismo of the midwest

Here is a list of books that I have read this past week because no one I know lives here anymore:
Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros (This was great; it reminded me at times of One Hundred Years of Solitude, detailing a whole family history lovingly but without ommitting things. It made me wish that I could truly experience all these other ways of life that are so far away from my own.)
Woman Hollering Creek also by Sandra Cisneros (I overdid it on her a bit, I think. But stilla wonderful book.)
Harry Potter and the Half-Bood Prince (What can I say? I've read all the others, I might as well finish.)
Like Life by Lorrie Moore (Great short stories, I also loved Birds of America. She'll make you laugh but she will also depress the hell out of you)
The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places by Gary Nabhan and Steven Trimble (Essays on the authors' childhood experiences with nature, those of their own children, and more theoretical looks at the ways children experience and learn and thrive from even the most mundane of natural experiences, from actual day-to-day contact with wilderness to simply owning a dog or cat.)
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (I cried and cried, but what a complete chronical of grief! It deals with the aftermath of a family whose child has been murdered, from the perspective of the child up in heaven. It is a lovely book in many ways, but it tore my heart out.)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronical by Haruki Murakami (The first book I've read by him. I'm not sure if it's culturally stylistic or due to translation or just his way of writing, but rarely have I read such a meticulously detailed book. It reminded me of those old video games where all that happens is the entire scene around you is described and you type in carefully worded actions to be carried out. I was fascinated by this book, and really enjoyed it, but the ending did very little for me. Kind of like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, it's more about the bulk of the book than the ending. Sadly perhaps, I place too much emphasis on a satisfying ending, so I end up not liking books that end poorly as much.)

I'm off to get my last tooth filled, and then tomorrow (or possibly Sunday morning) it's off to Albuquerque!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

i'm all about a forked tongue and a dirty house

I just had three teeth filled. First, the novocaine shots made the entire right half of my head numb, so I actually can't blink my eye because the lower lid has no muscle control. This is painful, especially if there is any sort of air blowing on the exposed bottom lid. Then, the lower tooth wouldn't go numb, so I must have gotten about ten shots in that gum. When they drilled, it hurt so much and I started shaking and crying. God, I'm a wimp, but it's such a disarming pain. It isn't like cutting yourself. It takes away all of my strength. So now I look like Quasimodo, I can't move half of my face or blink, and it will probably take forever to wear off because I had so much more anaesthetic than normal. What a sucky day.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

just call me catwoman

I was having coffee with my friend Emily today when I remembered a strange dream I had when I was in Denali. In the dream, I was Michelle Pfeiffer, and I got killed in a plane crash in Anchorage and then postumously (for something I wrote after I died, as a ghost) won the Pulitzer Prize. Things like that, I just have to wonder what they mean :-)
It's rainy here, and all the people who I thought would be in town aren't so I'm pretty lonely. My family's also in Phoenix for the day to see a baseball game, so my plans for the evening are to cook an honest-to-god vegan meal for myself and maybe watch Evita on tv. Or just read, if I can find anything to hold my attention. I just finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronical by Haruki Murakami, which I loved almost to the ending, which left me feeling profoundly unsatisfied. I'm not sure if that is just because of the way the book is or because I don't read critically enough with fiction and missed some astounding connection or something, but it put a major damper over my enjoyment of the rest of the novel. I hate it when that happens.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

a vacation in denial, pt. 2

The day after Wonder Lake, Anna and I went back to Stony Dome to catch a picture of Denali out in full sunlight and then caught a bus all the way back to the entrance. We were on a lucky bus; they had apparently seen the wolves chase a caribou and a caribou calf earlier, and while we were on the bus we saw several bears and a crapload of caribou. One bear walked right past our window as we all sat inside and took zillions of pictures, and we also saw a mother and cub, very cute. I almost got whacked on the head by an over-zealous elderly man with a very large zoom lens (we all made a lot of phallic comments about this) during the bear-by-the-window encounter. By the end of that ride, we were both so annoyed by the other people on the bus, who would make us stop for ten minutes every time we saw a caribou grazing in the distance.
At the entrance, we drove to meet Erica and co. at a pizza place, and then we all headed over to the Salmon Bake (a bar/reataurant/club thing) to see a bluegrass band from Colorado. We slept at Jeff's cabin that night, then I drove all the way back to Toklat the next day using Erica's road pass. That was exciting, mostly because it takes about 3 or 4 hours and involves some very high mountains that are a little scary. We spent most of the rest of our stay taking walks and talking to Erica, plus one well-deserved day of mostly just reading at the end before we left.
I wish in some ways that we had done more, been more adventurous with our hiking or gotten out more or something, but mostly I feel like we did what we could with our time and energy. We didn't see the wolves, which I wish we had, but it's not like wildlife just appears at your beck and call. Mostly, I just enjoyed the beauty of the place, and I am so glad that we got to experience it in a kind of behind-the-scenes sort of way, so that we could be a little more than all the people who travel there and ride a bus for 8 hours and never get out and say to their friends that they've seen Denali.
The drive back was mostly uneventful: we missed a campsite by 8 minutes one night after driving 800 miles and had to sleep in a motel, and the next night we slept in the car because it was raining and we were too tired to deal with the tent one more time. Montana is beautiful, and I think that of all the places we visited I might like it best there, in someplace like Bozeman. It's beautiful. We went to Yellowstone for a night and part of a day, and hiked a little bit and saw old faithful and some wildlife. We watched a herd of buffalo cross the road right in front of us, eventually scaring a bunch of stupid tourists who had gotten out to take pictures despite many warnings about the danger, before crossing the Yellowstone river. It was beautiful and cool, but there were too many people. There are gas stations inside the park. For some reason that really bothers me, and I feel a little more in sympathy with Edward Abbey.
But now I'm home, the adventures over and no one to tell. We found an apartment in Chicago and have already signed a lease, and we're setting out in about two weeks. I guess that's where the journey will really end, for now.

bits and pieces

Here is Erica's advice on wildlife, delivered shortly after we got to Denali:
If you see a bear and it doesn't see you, walk around it or away. If it sees you, wave your arms over your head and say "Hey bear!" loudly. It might false rush you (!), but stand your ground. If "contact is imminent," curl up in a fetal position. Don't ever run away.
If a moose runs at you, run away. They don't false rush.
A caribou is just silly. It might hit you with a hoof or something as it tryto run away, but they aren't dangerous.
You could probably poke a dall sheep in the eye with a pencil as long as you moved slowly. They'll run away if you move like a wolf (I have no idea how to do that anyway).

I have found meat in my food three times in the past month, once in a truck stop outside of Portland (undefinable bit of something), once at a creepy roadside cafe in Canada (big chunk of sausage) and once at the Blue Willow in Tucson (ham, in the tofu scramble!). In the three years I've been a vegetarian, that's never happened to me before even once.

On the road back down from Alaska, I saw a truck full of pigs. What came out of my mouth was, "Is them pigs?" I was so shocked that that could come out of my mouth. It may be the most gramatically incorrect thing I've ever said.

a vacation in denial, pt. 1

After five weeks and over 10,000 miles, we finally reached Arizona again. We got to Flagstaff on Sunday, went to Tucson on Monday, I spent the day there yesterday and today I drove back to Flagstaff by myself. So anyway, now I finally have a bit of time to chronical a bit more of our journies.
After our day in Vancouver, we set out north through Canada. We drove for two relatively miserable days, alternately full or road construction or overly-curvy roads or really hard rain, making only about 500 miles each night. The third day, though, was beautiful. We passed by Lake Kluane, which I swear is the most beautiful color of blue I have ever seen. The rain slowed, and we spent the night in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, which is actually large-ish and has a grocery store and everything! The next day, we drove through Watson Lake, which has an awesome signpost forest ( and I believe we made it all the way to Fairbanks. The next morning was chilly and grey as we set out for Denali, hoping for no good reason that we would be able to locate a way, preferably free, to find Erica out at Toklat, which is mile 53 on the park road.
Luckily, after some blundering around and ascertaining that Erica's "friend" Jeff would be driving a bus at 4, we ran directly into Erica at the entrance bookstore. I think we scared her a little, since we arrived fairly early (by a few days). We rode Jeff's bus out with her, and set up in the loft in her house.
The park is so beautiful. Even that day, with all it's rain and low clouds, it was really awesome. You can't drive, ususally, so everybody rides these big buses out to wherever and back on a windy dirt 1-and-1/2 lane road. We were really concerned about the cold, because we weren't really prepared for rain and cold. Silly us, not realizing that July is the rainy season! Anyway, the next day it began clearing up, and it was in fact beautiful and mostly-to-entirely clear for the rest of our trip.
Our second day there, we got on a bus at Toklat and rode out to "Fish Creek," which is really a branch of the Little Stony Creek but the park service thought people would get angry that they couldn't see Big Stony Creek or some such crap. Anyway, we rode out, and then got off the bus at a place called Stony Dome and hiked for a bit. Denali also has very few trails; mostly you just kind of walk around on your own and make a lot of noise so bears don't get startled by you. It was a really nice hike, tundra is so cool to walk in! It's like a big weird sponge that your feet sink into, sometimes up to the ankles, and then you kind of bloomp back out. We came back and walked until a bus picked us up. That night two more Tucson people, Patty and Pam, came into the park and we all rode in a park service van (with Erica driving!!!) to the end of the road, Wonder Lake. Beautiful, but very mosquito-y. We drank wine and picked wild blueberries and watched as Denali (the real name of Mt. McKinley) came almost out of the clouds. We started driving back at 11 in the almost-twilight that never entirely went away while we were there.
Whew! I'm tired of typing. I'll write more later. I still have the rest of Denali, the trip down, and Yellowstone.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

what a long, strange trip it's been

Well, this is going to be kind of short, but I'll post a longer version later. Here's an overview of time since my last entry.
Seattle: Nice place. I think we were kind of tired by the time we got there, so we mostly drank coffee and walked around for a day and then spent an afternoon at Mt. Rainier (gorgeous and wonderful!) before we headed up. The higlight was miraculously seeing a drag king show in Kent, WA, a smallish suburb. We've been missing shows and concerts consistently by about 3 days all over, so it was nice to finally see something.
Vancouver: More walking aimlessly, drank Maple Cream Ale on Granville Island, walked in Stanley Park, ate indian food. We camped on Mt. Seymour, which doesn't technically have camping but they let us stay in the group camping spot, all by ourselves, which was right next to a creepy empty house. The best part of Vancouver: While eating in Naam's, a veggie restaurant, we saw Kathleen Hanna and Johanna Fateman from Le Tigre! More about that in a later post.
Well, I'm out of time, so Denali and Montana will come later when internet access is more extended.