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.