Archive for September, 2008
I’m kind of insane this week. It’s one of those weeks.
So here’s some lovely butch eye candy combined with a new singer-songwriter combined with a catchy tune.
This is LP doing “Good With You / Cling to Me”:
October 10 and 11, 8:00 PM
Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre, 820 Mass Ave in Central Square
$11 in advance, $12 at the door
After a summer of East Coast touring, the femmes et. al. of The Femme Show are back in the Boston area with an all new show. From Barbie dolls to garter belts, from 1950’s dyke bars to suburban back yards and late night taco joints, from hula hooping to clowning, this show takes audiences on a wild ride. The Femme Show offers a variety of diverse perspectives on femme identity with subject matter that is at times thoughtful, sad, sexy, funny, and fun, with film, dance, storytelling, burlesque, drag, and performance art.
Visit www.thefemmeshow.com for tickets, volunteer opportunities, preview shows, and femme community.
I’ve posted this before, but it was nearly a year ago and I still get a lot of questions about it, so it’s about time to repost.
It’s a full Windsor knot, the instructions on the video below, and perhaps in some ways it’s not so impressive on the table as it is to do on your neck, but I can’t quite get the full Windsor tie on the neck to come apart as smoothly as the tie trick Windsor does. I can’t quite figure out how to explain this other than to say that the two knots, though they appear similar, are slightly different in their construction, and the narrow-tie-end pulls smoothly out of the trick tie, but the knot has to actually be untied in the version on the neck.
So, if my drunken explanations at parties don’t quite teach you how to do the tie trick, here’s the video, which is much easier to learn by. It took me a few days of trying until I could really do this – it’s great, now that I got it, but it’s not all that easy to pick up. That’s exactly why I love online instructional videos, ’cause I can pause and rewind and pause and replay and do it over + over without any teacher getting exasperated.
If you didn’t see it in my Google Reader shared items or on my shared items sidebar (over on the left), There are a few photos of me & Jesse James over at Jesse’s blog from my recent visit to Seattle. I didn’t have much time with Jesse, but it was enough to go get tipsy at some swanky bar and then go shopping.
Jesse took the afternoon off work to come play with me. A little snippet:
Sinclair to Cute Waitress: I’d like a Knob Creek on the rocks please.
Cute Waitress: Certainly.
Jesse: Hmmm, what do I want, what do I want. I can’t decide. Something fun.
Cute Waitress: Like a Manhattan? A — eeee!
Leggy Blonde Waitress walks by behind Cute Waitress.
Cute Waitress: She just pinched my butt! [Laughs, a little flustered and blushing.] Oh gosh, I’m sorry.What did you want?
Jesse and Sinclair exchange significant glances and try not to laugh.
Jesse: Can I have a bloody mary with tequila instead of vodka?
Cute Waitress, still laughing: Sure, got it.
Exit Cute Waitress to behind the bar.
Jesse: Dude, I am so totally in lust for you!
Ah yes, good times are had with good friends in Seattle. Jesse tells the story about what we did after that, which was basically have a little party in the dressing room and buy Jesse an entirely new fall wardrobe.
It was hard to come home this time, I needed the down time of being away from my life and obligations and freelance and writings and work and social life, but I didn’t get the real rest I need because I was running around with family so much. So really one of the very best parts of the trip was seeing Jesse for an afternoon, and then having a lovely dinner with about half a dozen of my closest friends in that city. I got my favorite black bean burger at my favorite brewery-slash-pub, made a visit to the famous lesbian bar, and slept on Jesse’s (very flat) futon while the Seal dozed in her cute dog bed nearby. I didn’t see Violet much but she was quite lovely and warm, and I so appreciate them letting me crash their place for a few nights.
It’s hard to admit, but I’m terrified about the upcoming election. I know, many of us are, especially the liberals who so desperately want Bush out of office, who want the democrats to regain power and attempt to undo some of the changes that are eroding our civil rights.
It is no small thing to write about politics on a public forum like this one – it is probably safe to say that my readership is primarily progressive liberals, but certainly not 100%. It is not impossible to get death threats.
Though I was raised by parents who are registered independents and who vote Green, who say the democrats are too conservative for them, who have been activists for decades, who believe in grassroots organizing and social change and that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, I have been often disillusioned with the political process in this country.
I grew up in Alaska, where the polls close last and we have three electoral votes. This means that as the polls closed around the country, my parents would watch the results roll in and would wait to vote, often until the president had already been announced.
Clearly, our votes really mattered.
I understand now that it was a political strategy – that they would be certain Alaska would not be any sort of swing state or tiebreaker so they could comfortably go vote for the third party. But at the time, it was confusing. I believed that voting was a key important part of a democratic process, that by not voting you’re showing apathy and disinterest, and the only way to contribute is to make your position known.
This is how I witnessed voting until I was 18 and began voting in my own presidential elections – two so far – 2000 and 2004. Which, as certainly you remember, were a disaster. 2000 did not help to restore my faith in the political process of this country. Hanging chads? Seriously? And what happened to all those missing ballots? Oh, they were found in the dumpster out back? Really? Why did all those people get turned away from the polls? They were voting democrat … I see. And someone could win the popular vote but not the electoral vote? Isn’t there something wrong with that? And 2004 … I was kind of excited about Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich for a minute there, but who’d we end up with? A cardboard cut-out. I don’t remember a single thing the guy said, he was so flat and boring. I could for a while quote some of the things Dean and Kucinich had said, but nothing memorable ever came out of Kerry’s mouth.
Maybe I’m being too harsh. I did support Kerry simply because he was the democratic party candidate. Although I resent that part of this system, too – that the political parties to which I am closest aligned do not have serious candidates, or, if they do, they are blamed for the democratic loss of the election, having “stolen” votes away. (This is another can o’worms entirely that I’m not willing to open – debate whether or not the third parties are valid or detrimental somewhere else, please.)
My point is, ever since I was old enough to vote, I’ve lived in George Bush’s America. And even since I was a kid, though I had a brief babyhood with Carter, I’ve grown up in Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush America. Capitalism rules – votes are for sale, influence is for sale, lawmaking is for sale. It’s depressing!
I grew up in the shadow of the civil rights legacy – social change through grassroots activism that clearly worked, that stopped the Vietnam war, that changed women’s gender roles, that shattered segregation, that united queers around the country. Parents and teachers who taught the political movements of the 1960s and ’70s like scripture, and I was – we all were – the next generation, the new movement, those who would pick up the torch and carry on.
And yet … and yet. The Right has been incredibly well-organized and effective. This country is divided on issues vs values. I find it so goddamn hard to believe that the election is so tightly close – I mean really? There are really just as many people voting for Obama as are voting for McCain? How can that be possible? It’s so hard to believe. Just like it’s so hard to believe that Bush Jr. was elected – twice – and took office – twice – and we didn’t stop him – twice.
However much those elections were fixed or rigged or fairly won or a systematic corruption of our voting system, we didn’t do enough to make it stop, did we?
I’m not a political scientist, I hesitate to even write about this because I feel like so many other people are so much more well informed than I am. That was one of the things I loved so much about The Ex, actually, was that she was a political scientist and could engage with me about political issues in ways that really helped me understand. So I know enough to know that I don’t know very much. (Which is why I’m linking like crazy, not only to source myself, but to encourage information gathering from other places. And to put all the links and resources I’ve been collecting in one spot.)
Oh jeez, and then there’s Sarah Palin. And the nonsense about Palin vs Hillary Clinton, which I don’t even want to speak to.
I do have some information about Palin, being that the Alaska Governor’s mansion is down the street from my mom’s house and my aunt works for the legislature. But if you’re paying any attention to the email forwards that are going around about Palin, then you probably already know what I know: basically, she’s vindictive. You’ve probably seen the Kilkenny email, the commentary by Gloria Steinem, and Women Against Sarah Palin. I probably don’t need to tell you about Palin’s anti-feminist, anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-freedom philosophies: pro-gun. Anti-abortion. Against same sex marriage. Bans books. Anti-evolution and pro-creationism in public schools. Against sex education in schools. The list goes on.
This stuff depresses me. About now I start thinking, wtf can I do?
Check out the Action Center on barackobama.com for more ideas about what you can do to get involved.
Donate to the Obama campaign.
Encourage everyone to register & vote – voteforchange.com has registration, absentee & early vote info.
If you want Obama buttons for your own site, they’re at /downloads – took me a bit of poking around to find them. I even downloaded an Obama wallpaper for my work computer, which is going to be slightly controversial in my conservative office, but I don’t care.
Meanwhile, fivethirtyeight.com‘s electoral projections are keeping my hopes up.
I was out of town last week, and now have returned from the other coast, the coast where the sun sets correctly into the water rather than over land, where I was in the Pacific Northwest primarily visiting my very large extended family for five days. I have all sorts of ideas about family and heritage and where I come from, about having kids and having a traditional structure, about how much my sisters and I are the freaks of the family.
Also strange to be referred to as niece, daughter, sister, granddaughter. Those words have never felt so ill-fitting. At some point I went to the bathroom and the door was labeled LADIES and I nearly stopped right there and turned around.
I am not a “lady,” not really. It’s not that I’m necessarily offended by it – I feel lucky to be part of groups of ladies at times, I love that I’m in women’s circles and women’s groups and women’s friendships, but even that word – woman – I’ve never quite felt right about it. I never refer to myself as such.
It’s not that I’m offended by it, it just doesn’t fit. Like too-big clothes or trying to put a hippie in black goth lipstick.
I have a friend who tells childhood stories that always start, “When I was a little girl …” and it struck me when I noticed it that I never refer to myself that way. I’ll say “kid,” as in “when I was a kid.” These days, I say “guy” – “I’m that kind of guy” – when referring to myself. Sometimes I use dyke or queer or butch I suppose, but I don’t ever use woman, lady, girl, or even sister, daughter, niece.
Still, it’s not that I’m transitioning – I’m not – and it’s not that I don’t identify with the lesbian/feminist communities – I do. Maybe I’m too much the poet, too much the semantics theorist, but some of these words just don’t fit.
I suppose this is just one of those frustrating gender binary things, and yet another of the reasons why butch is a trans identity of sorts. And yet another reason why I am still, continuously, inspired to keep doing this work, to understanding gender and creating new language to adequately describe myself and others, to contributing to the community and lifting each other up.
So there was a wedding in the Pacific Northwest, which is what prompted the large paternal family reunion. There are few events that are more gendered than a wedding. I thought it was going to be a small family wedding, as a few of the others had been, but the 20-something family members were actually in the minority and the community of friends and colleagues were abundant. At the church, I got sneered at by the small-town strangers. I was a bit flamboyantly dressed – pink button down, black argyle vest, no tie (I didn’t think it was going to be so formal!). But certainly I was not the only one dressed up, it was a freakin’ wedding!
Just served to remind me that I’m an outsider. I forget that, in New York City, where I don’t generally get noticed walking down the street unless I have a particularly good hair day. I fit in, I don’t stand out really.
The throwing the bouquet / throwing the garter felt like very strong gender-defining moments in the evening. No way in hell I was going to go out there and catch the bouquet – and actually I’m not sure I have ever been to a wedding where one was thrown, now that I think about it. But I did get out there when it was time to throw the garter. I couldn’t stay, though – I was too much on display in a room-full of too many people who had been giving me too many bad looks throughout the day.
I was little more than The Dyke From New York City all weekend.
I’m lucky, I suppose, is what I should take away from that experience – if I lived there, I would not dress as I do, would not have the fun I do with my hair and pink button-downs and vests and ties and belt buckles and cufflinks and jackets. I’m glad I have that opportunity, that I live in a place that not only accepts it, but encourages and, at times, demands it.
I didn’t expect it to be the reason, but really, I came to New York City so I could learn how to dress. Nothing has taught me fashion or style like this place.
Sometimes it is so uncomfortable to not conform to gender roles.
PS: I’m tremendously behind on email and correspondance, forgive me as I catch up.
So the former password protection post is spilling over with requests. With the intention of me not missing requests for access to the password protected posts, this is the new post where you leave a comment.
It would be best if you left your website, too, even if it’s your myspace or facebook address, as I’d like to know you’re a real person. You can email that to me if you’d rather it not be published publically. It’s not a requirement, if you don’t have one, but I’d appreciate it, as these are very personal writings.
About the password protected posts:
They are primarily my personal journal entries: reflections on my relationships, and my real life sex stories. Sugarbutch started so that I could have a place to reflect on my relationship difficulties, which included the problems with my relationship with my ex where I wanted to be more butch (and wanted her to be more femme) but felt unsupported to explore that, and the problems we were having with sex, which was that we were having none. It evolved into a place where I processed my relationship with another girl that I immediately got involved with, and when that relationship ended spectacularly awfully, it has been chronicling my evolution back to myself, my committment to myself, my “aspiring stud”-ness in trying to get laid, and trying to get my shit together such that I can enter into a healthy, stable, positive, committed relationship again.
Meanwhile, though, it has been lots of gender theory. Lots. And some smut stories. Which are also fun.
And as I’ve gained a larger and larger readership, the personal stuff is entirely too exposed, so they have gone under password protection. I still want a place to write about my relationship evolutions, and I still love having writing and blogging as a medium to explore my own sense of self, so I tend to write a few of these a month.
So, if you’d like to read the personal posts, leave a comment at the beep and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.