Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Haikus or Fragments form the narrative of my last couple days

April 28th
The smell of sweat and
Dirt gathered under her nails
Was like growing up

The disappointment
Of never having learned to
work for a living.

April 29th
Estranged initials,
Letters open, unexpected
Rounded but not worn

Fell through my inbox
Hitting a nerve on the way
Back into distance

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Productivity, thou art my master II

Endeavors I want to be pursuing:

-Writing a zine about trans issues and feminism
-Writing an article for an anthology about butch submissives
-Making a documentary about my mother
-Making up with my best friend
-Interviewing more transactivists

On Wanting II

The fact that I claim I don’t know what I want seems farcical to many people who know me. After all, I am ambitious and have the work ethic of a puritan Ox (I way want an image of that). The question that I can see in their eyes when the ask: What am I afraid of wanting? What am I unwilling or unable to admit that I want?

When it comes down to it, I want for those I care about—I want that they feel safe and cared for; I want that they feel good about who they are and what they are doing; I want that they see how strong and capable I know they are. I want many of the same things for myself.

But the question that always seems so untenable is what do I want from them. What do I want from my relationships with them? And thus I falter. I want to be a good man; I want to be a good brother; I want to be a good friend; I want to be a good parent. I want to be what they need. I want to show them they are already enough. I want to be a mirror that reflects all the things I admire about them. I want to love them in ways they can’t love themselves. I want to show them how much they have to teach me. What does any of that mean?

I know Buddhism is attractive to me because it tells me I am virtuous because I don’t want. I know that is ego. I know wanting things makes me feel vulnerable. I know that is ego too. I know that all the things I know only get me farther from what I want. So where the hell does that lead me?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Productivity, thou art my master

I'm the kind of person who likes to keep busy. I always have a few big projects and a few little projects I'm working on at the same time. I am only a little bit obsessed with productivity. About two weeks ago, I finally reached a point where I can say I am over-committed. But it wasn't until this morning that I paused to realize all the things I am actually working on at the same time (and break down how many hours per week I spend on them)...

1) I am developing a website (2-6)
2) I am continuing my oral history project (1 every other week)
3) I am editing and soliciting content for a history exhibit for this winter (2-3)
4) I am coordinating a college orientation trip for next semester (1-2)
5) I have been applying for internships and related grants (3-5)
6) I am co-teaching a photography class at a local community organization (4-6)
7) I am publishing a book (for money) (9-13)
8) I am coordinating a small-scale literacy initiative (4-6)
9) I am part of a core group of people organizing a divestment campaign on my campus (2-3)
10) I am trying to fix my health issues (which includes weekly doctor or naturopath appts) (2-3)
11) I am trying to write an undergrad thesis (included below)
12) I am posting more regularly on my blog (2-3)

That folks means 32-50 hours on top of being a more than full time student.

For the 19 credits I am taking, I have 10 hours per week in class and am supposed to do 47 hours of work outside of class.

How is this possible? I get academic credit for a couple fo the projects (like the wbepage and the photography class), I get paid for others, I colorize drawings while I wait for my doctor, I e-mail interviewees during class, and I haven't made the progress I need to on my thesis.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Certitude: A Conversation

Conversation with my therapist:

A: "So I feel like I kinda put gender on the agenda when we started meeting, but I never really find the occasion to talk about it."

T:"Because it's over whelming?"

A:"No. Because it's not that problematic. I mean I normally feel like I should talk about relationships because they have been causing me a lot of grief, especially recently. Gender's pretty comfortable to talk about."

T:"So talk about it."

A:"Well, what do you mean? I feel like I could talk forever, but I want to focus. Can you ask something specific?"

T:"Why does it come to mind now?"

A:"Well, I'm making post-graduation plans. I'm thinking about health insurance. I'm thinking about my goals for the next few years. I'd like to have a couple thousand saved up when I graduate. If I live somewhere where I don't need a car, then I'll be able to afford top surgery. I don't need a date for that, it's just inevitable, so I think about it in passing."

T:"That's the first thing you've ever talked about with that level of certainty. I mean why are you confident about this and not the other things we have talked about?"

A:"I don't see how they are analogous. Surgery is just something that is going to happen. Relationships are confusing and ambiguous and involve a high level of uncertainty. I know what I need from a surgeon. There are steps. I just have to save up the money. It's not something I need to worry about."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ophans II

My roommate is moving out in May. She is moving forward with her plan to get an apartment and adopt her teenage sister. The state approved the adoption papers, and last month's rent is in.

She got a voicemail from her brother today saying his girlfriend is pregnant. Yes--the boy whose been homeless for the last year, who didn't manage to apply for a single job the entire month he lived with us, who got a ticket last month for having sex in public in a saab, who referred to the ticket and the act he was caught during ("doing his girlfriend doggie-style") as his "rite of passage into manhood."

"They are keeping it." Her voice quivered, too exasperated to play parent again.

Oy. I hope Daniel's not straight.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Hunt is On

I've been looking for apartments for this summer to live in during my internship at a queer youth center in Chicago!

As always, Craigs list has turned up sme awesome looking opportunities and some fucking wierdos. Here are some highlights...


"we are friends with a good many spaces about the city which may be able to host your friends from alaska who play screechingly incredible noise music, we just can't really host it here. so, we are mostly looking for individuals who are, ya' know... chill, intelligent, personable, caring, engaging, and inspiring... but we'll settle for a few of those if your pretty old skool kool."

$1 Gay guy need Couch
This is a honest offer... Three social and easygoing gay guys 23-46 seek guy who needs some help starting on his own or a low cost place to stay. Perfect for bad weather, late night, visiting Chicago, internship, live in suburbs, between apartments or relocating/looking for a job...
The following is from notes sent by actual quests who stayed with us.

"I really felt like at home at your house. Really you guys make me feel like this is my home, which is hard to achieve." Alex- 3/09
"Thanks for everything. I had a great time with you guys." Matt- 3/09