Saturday, April 30, 2005


Well, tomorrow is May Day, but I don't think I'm going to be going to any of the rallies or anything. However, I did finally figure out where Haymarket Square is, at least I think, and I'm going to be downtown Wednesday for some stuff so I think I might try to go just visit it if I have time, just look around and think a little bit. I wish I was a bit more motivated to go tomorrow, but I'm really bad about attending things by myself and I just have lots of crap to do, as always. I don't know what all's going on anyway, except for a rally I think opposing this statue that everybody really dislikes, and an anrchist's picnic at some point.
In other news, I saw a nice drag show last night. They do a show at the end of every month that's amatures and legitimate Chicago Kings alternating, and this was the first one since I've been here. Very nice, I was a lot closer than normal and had a really good time. Next month Anna will be here, and it's a fetish theme, which will probably be pretty cool and interesting. I need to go shopping, though, for appropiate clothing ;-)

Thursday, April 28, 2005


I went to a talk on pornography tonight, specifically queer pornography and sex work and feminism. The first speaker talked about more mainstream representations of sex work and about the changing thoughts of feminism about sex work, fairly straightforward stuff but interesting. The second woman, a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, used to film queer porn for a now-defunct website. She brought a slideshow of about 170 stills from movies she had filmed that played constantly while she talked. Every once in a while, she'd glance up and say something like, "Oh, this is kind of a mother-and-child representation" or whatever. She talked about how she felt that a lot of the difference between queer porn and straight porn was just the bodies portrayed, the range of available bodies that you chould show. She also said that on their website, queer viewers liked porn that showed a heteronormative situation much more than one that didn't, which I found pretty interesting. Her talk culminated in us all watching about 15 or 20 minutes of porn videos. It was so weird, to be watching these really really hardcore videos of transgendered porn and d/s porn and just stuff I've never come close to seeing before, in a classroom full of people. People were covering their eyes, or just looking somewhat stunned, or really uncomfortable. It is pretty hard to watch porn in a large, self-conscious group. I wish I had been able to focus more on what she was saying, but porn is super distracting from spoken text, I have to say.

Friday, April 22, 2005

yay for the earth!

Happy Earth Day! Unfortunately it was windy and cold and rainy and generally nasty here today, so I didn't really feel like going out and experiencing nature or whatever. But if it ever gets nice again and I figure out where the woods are, I certainly will.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

wasting time

This is what I'm doing instead of homework.

by Mary Oliver

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her--
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

today awakens inside my cup

I did another master's student a favor this week by playing a concert for her, and in return she gave me this nifty bamboo box with a bunch of different types of tea in it. The tea is good, but the descriptions of how to brew it are hilarious and overdone. For example:

For the Perfect Cup:
In the brilliant light of sunrise, bring the freshest of waters to a boil. Breathe in the new day as you pour over a bag of Morning Rise and, like full leaf tea, steep 3-5 minutes, to desired strength. Like most teas, over brewing brings out bitterness from tannin, a natural part of tea. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Grrrr x 6

I mysteriously lost a whole cd case when I was in Tucson over break, and ugh, I just tallied what I can remember was in it. Damn, a lot of good stuff, or at least stuff that I liked for whatever reason, was in there, and I have the nagging feeling I'm forgetting some things I really will miss. If anybody has any of this, let me know and I'll send you blank cds or whatever. (Some of it I hopefully have covered, most of it in fact. Things in bold italics I don't. This is partially just a mournful memorial for all my poor lost cds. Although maybe somebody's life will change for having found all of these. Music is weird like that.) I'm really saddened by this.

  • Bitch and Animal, What's that Smell?
  • Indigo Girls, Rites of Passage
  • Jewel, various mix and bootleg cds
  • Sleater-Kinney, The Hot Rock, Call the Doctor, All Hands on the Bad One
  • Le Tigre, Feminist Sweepstakes
  • Dave Matthews Band, Before these Crowded Streets
  • Joni Mitchell, Blue
  • Julie Ruin
  • Ani: Knuckle Down, Not So Soft, Puddle Dive, Not a Pretty Girl, Living in Clip disc 1, Revelling/Reckoning, and Evolve (damn, that hurt)
  • a few other mix-type things


I almost hit a fish on my bicycle yesterday. I don't know how it got into the road, where it came from or anything, but as I was riding home from yoga I thought "Hmmm, that stick looks like a fish" and then realized as I almost ran over it (eeeeeewwwww) that it was indeed a real fish. It was by a "river," by which I mean basically a really big waste water ditch, but I can't imagine fish live in there. Anyway, how would it get out? Unless someone caught it and just left it in the road. Irrepressible, in my mind there is the image of a fish just leaping over the guardrail and landing on the road, but I believe that is just some sort of weird fantasy.
In other news, I have miraculously finished all of my gender reading for the whole week as of tonight. This is nothing short of a miracle. In addition to the Japanese article, there was our first piece of real drag theory, an excellent article about race and why exactly drag kings are so damn hot. I wish I could just copy my whole reader and give it to interested people, there is some great stuff in there. Anyway, I think I'm going to refresh my mind on Judith Butler, in case we get into an argument soon as to whether sex is also performative and not just gender. Or maybe I'll just be lazy for once, either way.

Friday, April 15, 2005

another me

I'm reading this pretty cool article about cross-dressing and androgyny in Japanese theater, specifically in the context of this particular very popular theater troupe of all women who perform as both sexes. A little bit like the opposite of kabuki, kind of, although there are also important differences. It's really interesting that, although the womens' performances reinforce stereotypes in their portrayals of men, they have also frequently used their performance or their subsequent actions as a subversion of dominant ideas. Anyway, this little poem is by one of the women who was a very popular male performer.

Today is my farewell party.
To love?
Inside am I a man? A woman?
I strike a pose as one
and the other one grows bored.
when the next page is turned
another me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

stupid spiritual guidance

I got accosted by one of the krishna people today. I hate carrying my viola sometimes because everybody feels like it gives them license to talk to me about anything vaguely related to music. I can't tell you how many people have seen my case, asked what I played, and then told me for twenty minutes about how they played the tuba in fifth grade. Anyway, so this guy asks me if I know music is the soul of god or some such thing, and I recognized him, because several months ago he actually managed to talk me out of two dollars for one of those little books they hand out. So I said, "Look, I don't need one of your books." He pressured me, and asked for a donation, so I told him to leave me alone and let me walk on my way. He followed me, saying he was already walking that way, so I just turned around and went the other direction. Grrrrr. I just hate it when people won't just leave you alone, and it always seems like I get the ones who are really persistent. A few months ago, another guy with a shirt that said "Jews for Jesus" wouldn't leave me alone and kept asking me who I thought Jesus was. That resulted in another walk-away. It's kind of depressing, really, all these people who I'm sure think they are trying to help people, and maybe even have some valid things to say on occasion, and all they're doing is pissing people off.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Did anybody else know that Ani covers a Dusty Springfield song called Wishin' and Hopin' on the soundtrack for My Best Friend's Wedding? That seems really strange to me. I wouldn't have expected her to pop up there.

draggin' ass

Well, to make up for the goodness of the first week, I feel really crappy today for no apparent reason. I have a headache, feel kind of nauseous, weak, just generally gross. I had my first drag class today, and I'm already worried it's going to be too much work for me to handle. We have a response paper (1 page) due Thursday, but I have rehearsals practically all day tomorrow and I don't know if I can focus enough to write one tonight. It's bad when you are already stressed out by the second class. But it still sounds cool, so I will probably stick it out. This is probably the last for-fun class I'm going to be taking for a while, and I want to make the most of it. There is a week on the syllabus called "Phallus Week." Now that's my idea of a good time.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

soon the laws of gravity will cease to function

I've been riding my bike a lot lately, due to nice weather (finally!) and I've noticed something kind of strange. I always seem to be riding uphill. I know that this is completely impossible, as you can't ride uphill going both directions on the same streets, but the illusion is quite pervasive. Also, if it's windy, I always seem to be riding into the wind, even if I turn and go another direction. It's almost like Evanston is some sort of mini Twilight Zone.
Aside from that, the weather is gorgeous today. It's sunny and fairly warm but still with a bit of nippiness, and the sky is blue blue blue. People are out in their yards all over the city, undoing the damage of winter. At the entrance to the school, this whole big patch of grass is covered with purple crocuses today. I've never really appreciated spring before, since it doesn't really happen so much in Tucson and in Flagstaff it just means it's going to be incredibly windy for a while. Here, it is such a welcome relief after all the grey and coldness. Yay for spring!

Friday, April 01, 2005

holy crap

Whooo, I got in the Civic Orchestra, the one I was all stressed out about the audition for a few months ago! Which means that next year I'll have a real job (pays $6000, could be worse) and be stressed out beyond belief. I'm really excited, though, I've been daydreaming about doing this for years. I have to say my first week back here has been one of the better ones so far!