sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
For the first time in maybe ever, I've binge-read a comic series.

In the last, what, eight days? I've bought and read all seven volumes of Saga. It is, in the words of one friend, unreasonably good. Yes, it's a space opera with a bit of "Romeo & Juliet" in the story, but it's also got everything from extended family dynamics to social commentary to mild pornography. Saga has it all: heart, mind, and looks.

Writer Brian Vaughan, who's worked in film & TV, says he set out to do something that would be prohibitively expensive to film. Good on him. And unsurprisingly, it's published by Image. I have yet to read a title of theirs that I didn't like.
sistawendy: (stern nun)
Last night I skipped the Trans Pride march to set up & staff the table for Lambert House at the rally in the park that followed. That was more intense than I expected: I must have spoken to at least a hundred people in ones and twos over the course of three or so hours about the house.

Categories of people my fellow volunteer S and I talked to, in decreasing order of number:
  • People who just wanted to know what we were about - we're a safe place for queer kids to be together, basically, plus activities, and a few social services. I got the impression that there are people who instantly understand the value of a safe space by and for queers, and there are people who don't. I'll give you one guess as to the queerness of each group.
  • People who wanted to volunteer! I only had a handful of paper applications, so I sent people to the web site and handed out volunqueer coordinator B's business card liberally.
  • People who wanted to know how the fund raising is going. Many people knew about the eleventh-hour loan we got last year and the consequent capital campaign. I know what's going on with that better than most volunteers by virtue of hanging out with the director to do reports, but even I don't know much. I do know that we need six- or better yet seven-figure donations in the next few years if we want to keep our house.
  • One therapist. I got to give him the special clipboard.

I got mysteriously cold after the sun went down, possibly a blood sugar crash from the absurdly early dinner I ate so I could be on time. S took pity on me, saying she'd tear down - I'd done most of the setup after literally running down the questionably parked B, who's no good at giving directions. I administered Molly Moon's ice cream and warm Guinness at the Merc immediately, but I completely struck out at finding anybody I knew who wanted to party on the Hill last night. Even the young Burning Man campmates I ran into were calling it quits early. Weird.

Picked up Saga, vol. 2 - so much tasty plot! - and came home to m'boy, was reminded how much I don't miss his clutter & mess in my apartment, and went to bed.

Today's plan: work out, get gussied up, Greenwood car show & pizza with m'boy, hit the Hill for the street fair & dyke march, and the Siberian Siren's party. If you want to meet up with me, late afternoon is your best bet.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
So I've committed: I've put down a deposit on a custom corset from Dark Garden in San Francisco as my 50th birthday present to myself. It's going to end up being the single most expensive item of clothing I own, at least in nominal dollars. *Gulp!* But I'm reasonably certain it's going to be awesome. I have the money saved up for it, sort of. I have a Folsom-corset-and-50th-birthday-party fund, but so far it can only pay for one of those. I have some time to save, though. Dark Garden hasn't contacted me yet about details, but luckily for them I've given them an absurdly long lead time.

Also bought: a half dozen bottles of cheapish wine, mostly for the purposes of making my chicken in white wine reduction, which m'boy loves. (He likes it when I let the sauce brown a little, he says.) Gotta love that PCC discount on four or more bottles, but six is about my limit for carrying the three blocks home on foot.

So how is my son, you ask? He'd finally psyched himself up to go talk to his an advisor at his community college, but he found out they're on break until next week. Le sigh. It's a good thing he has plenty of time. He's really gotten himself worked up about it, but as I told him, I'm pretty sure the advisor is going to do most of the talking; that's what happens when your grades aren't good.

Oh yeah: at the recommendation of some queer girlfriends, I've started reading Sunstone, a series of comics about a bunch of kinksters and centered on a couple of queer women. It's as if I'm a target demographic or something. I asked the Siberian Siren if she wanted vol. 1 for her soon-to-be-celebrated birthday, and she said, in essence, shyeah!
sistawendy: (skeptic coy Gorey tilted down)
What I'd originally planned as just pho on the Hill with [personal profile] bork last night turned into pho, a fruitless search for vol. 1 of Sunstone*, a trip to the used record store (Everyday Music), maple walnut ice cream with lemon curd (really) with [personal profile] bork, and a drink at the Merc - just one, because I was wiped out - with a chat about upcoming activist activities with old hand DJ Maxx Destrukt. An unexpectedly good night!

Noticed a few days ago that I was having trouble stopping Goldiebike. Not good for an urban cyclist like yours truly. Got two pairs of new brake pads. Installed a pair on the front. Still no joy. Tightened front cable. Happiness. Tightened rear cable. More happiness. Now wondering how long bike brake pads are supposed to last; I think mine have at least 6000 miles on them. Also wondering how bad it is that I didn't replace the rear pads. I know a few of you out there in journal-land have the answers.



*BDSM-flavored comics about queer women, recommended by [profile] speedie316. How could I not?
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
Two memoirs, which I recommend to different degrees and for different reasons.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock - A trans woman who's now a writer in New York writes about growing up poor and mixed-race in Oakland, Texas, and Hawaii. She ended up getting some of the best and the worst in her life: poverty, childhood sexual abuse, a drug-addicted and macho father, selling sex to pay for SRS, but also an astounding number of supportive family members on both sides of her family in two parts of the country, plus the trans sex worker community in Honolulu. She sometimes digresses into Trans 101, which I'm sure most of her audience needs, but I'm the amen chorus for those parts.

Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart - Hart is a YouTuber who found success through, among other things, a channel called "My Drunk Kitchen". I'd seen a few of her videos, and I expected something similarly light from the book. Nope. Hart's mother has been debilitated by schizophrenia for most of Hart's life, and Hart herself didn't exactly escape psychologically unscathed. Oh by the way, Hart's a lesbian whose birth father is a Jehovah's Witness. Fun times, right? But what astounds me is just how tough and how smart - emotionally and otherwise - Hart has been in handling all this. And through it all you can still see some of the self-effacing charm that made her a success. I found it inspiring. If you only want to read one of these two books, I almost hate to say it being trans myself, but this is the one.

Yup, still sending off letters to electors. I'm about halfway through Texas, and I'm a little tired of writing my return address on envelopes.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Went dancing Saturday night because Jacob London, one of whose two members is trans, was at the Monkey Loft. I was determined to go as planned even though I'd been social all day, having lovely times with Funny Lady, [livejournal.com profile] ionan, and J. I have to say, I didn't feel Jacob London as much as I did Riz et al. over the 4th of July. It didn't sound like the old cheeky, glitchy Jacob London from the '00s, and what they brought wasn't as... distinctive. And I need to remember that my alcohol tolerance has fallen due to either age, weight loss, or both.

Zombitic all Sunday. Got zappy. No need to shave at all for the next few days, which is very yay.

Did not do any crafty stuff for )'( as planned. No panic yet, though.

Mental note: get in touch with the Islander and see if she wants to get together. I've already got a date with the Tickler on Saturday.

Insufficient sleep because John Scalzi is Gawd.

Started with new temporary team today. They seem to not be psycho, and to need me.
sistawendy: (amused eighteenthcent)
I took m'boy to the Ballard Locks yesterday, which I hadn't done since he was a toddler. It was a teachable moment about what locks are for (duh), the WWI war effort, and the fish ladder. We got to see a couple of little steelhead trout making their way upstream, and walked around the Queen Anne side where we saw a whole bunch of blue herons in the trees. And I laughed when I saw my first no-toking sign, because the locks are, as you locals know, a federal facility. Such happy. Wow. We both had a good time.

M'boy didn't want to stay with me last night because I told him I'd get him up with me at my usual 0700, take him to work, and then put him on the bus to Kirkland. It's that first part that was the deal killer: he slept from 2300 Tuesday to 1100 Wednesday. I'm thinking growth spurt.

So, I had a couple of hours to myself last night. I texted a certain Younger Woman who said she'd be free that night, but got no response. I consoled myself by finishing Bill Bryson's At Home.
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
M'boy bought me, mostly with his own money, a Kindle. I'll never want for a bus book ever again. Happiness.

The first book I started reading was Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey, which is a nom de plume of Peter Lamborn Wilson. I knew this essay was a favorite of ravers & Burners, and it's easy to see why: it espouses "poetic terrorism", i.e. vandalism and just generally being wacky as art and provocation. It doesn't have much to say about interpersonal relations, and it reads like a more earnest Book of Subgenius.

Where it gets creepy is if you read about Wilson. He's been a NAMBLA supporter in the past. The frequent mentions of boys in TAZ give me that oogy feeling, and I have a pretty strong stomach. I'm glad I borrowed this book instead of paying for it.
sistawendy: (Prius)
Drove to Portland for a wild weekend of shopping and eating with the Siberian Siren. We got a room in a house in northeast Portland via Airbnb.com, and it was highly satisfactory. Two blocks from a bus line, and about ten blocks from a cluster of restaurants, etc. on Alberta Street. The couple that owns the place, who were not home, are in their thirties and artsy, so the place was full of earth tones, driftwood, Navajo rugs, original art, and seventies furniture and curios to the max. As a child of the seventies with a father from the southwest, I usually have a horror of such things, but they made it look so good. They'd done a lot of work on the place and have more to do, and they've done it well; I had plumbing fixture envy. They have a charismatic cat, and a tragically skittish little dog. One of them has a tall, blonde, attractive sister who runs around in yoga clothes and clued us into the good shopping.

We didn't eat on the way down because ew, fast food. We ended up eating a rather nice lunch at 3:00 in the garden at the Tin Shed, went a little crazy with the food & drink, and took a while to recover. Lesson learned.

Bought bus tickets at the co-op grocery store. The staff groused to me about how Portland's mass transit isn't as good a deal for working people as it was before the recession. I find that their transit doesn't suck, perhaps especially in comparison to Seattle's. Everyone thanks the driver on their way off the bus.

Objective achieved: Powell's. My reads? Fear of Flying; I, Robot; and The Windup Girl. The Siren's reads? I don't remember the titles, but the subjects were BDSM, queer stuff, and Russia. Getting her out of there was a bit of a challenge. We didn't even hit the coffee shop.

I'd checked out Portland's queer night life online, but it was midnight by the time we got back to the house on the bus, and even if it hadn't been so late we were wiped out. My night in bed with the Siberian Siren? I kept the poor woman awake with my snoring. She was too nice to poke me.

The next day we eventually nailed down a brunch place - the SS insists that brunch must have waffles - but on the way there walked smack into a farmer's market and ended up getting crépes and coffee there, plus organic kale chips (for me) and exotic mushrooms (for her) to take with us.

Shopped on 23rd Ave. NW. We hit the vintage stores hard. One of them was a crazy packed little basement place with 7' ceilings. The SS went way over budget with a pair of black leather pants and a vintage mulberry cocktail dress with feather trim, both of which miraculously fit and which I enjoyed zipping her into and out of. As she dithered about the expense, at least four perfect strangers told her to buy the damn dress already, only more politely than that because hey, Portland.

Dinner: small plates outdoors in the sun at 23 Hoyt - good food, less good wine - people watching, playing spot-the-queers, and speculating about the waitress. We got out of there waaaay late.

And we were made later by vile traffic near Joint Base Lewis McChord. Dropped off the Siren, who had napped in the shotgun seat, schlepped her books upstairs. Got to the old, old place at 11:00, gave Aspiring Ex the books she asked for (paid for with a gift card from Mr. Right Now), and spent a little time with m'boy. I felt terribly guilty, but they were both gracious about it.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
I spent the weekend camping out at the old old place with m'boy because Nibs was in Portland. After he went to bed on Friday I watched Henry & June, which is some mighty fine largely queer softcore porn. According to Uncle Wiki, though, the queer part just wasn't so. I may have to add Anaïs Nin to my to-read list anyway. Should you watch the flick if you're not into porn? Only if you're into long, character-driven movies.

While m'boy watched the Hulk movie, I manually obtained the schema for the Lambert House DB. Fie on Access for making that hard. There shall be SQL and Ruby for a good cause.

I did as Nibs asked and put a large houseplant out of its root-bound misery for her because she didn't have the heart to do it herself. I'm more amused by that than I need to be.
sistawendy: (eek)
I've abandoned FEED because it was giving me zombie nightmares. To tell you the truth, I wasn't all that enamored of it anyway. I think my next bus book should be by Michael Chabon. I know Nibs has his latest at the old old place, but I'd rather not take a hardback.
Time to start on phase 2 of the Lambert House database. Time to bring it into the 21st century.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
If you're wondering why I've been scarce lately, there have been a few reasons:
  1. Girl Genius has consumed me. It's as good as some of you (especially [livejournal.com profile] savannarama) have been saying for years. I'll tell m'boy about it, which probably means he'll avoid it like the plague.
  2. I've been feeling a bit in a funk lately, possibly because the morning fog has been blocking out the sun over the last few days.
  3. Dating sucks. I still haven't given up hope. That probably bodes ill.

But what's really worth writing about is the house into which [livejournal.com profile] julzerator moved recently. It's one of the two "flower houses" on Alki. If you've been there, you know what I'm talking about. For non-Seattle folks, Alki is the loooong beach on the south side of Elliot Bay.

But never mind the riot of flowers out front or the stunning view of Puget Sound from the front window. The real action is inside the house. It's smallish by modern standards, being built around WWI, but the fellow who owned it in the 70's and early 80's was a globetrotter in the salvage business. The place is jammed to the rafters - yeah, I looked up there - with the most bizarre and whimsical objets d'art, furniture, and... additions to the house. I don't think my mouth closed the whole time I was there. (I was there for clothes. They're fab, too.) Here's what I can remember of this house's many delights:
  • Stained glass everywhere, even the bathroom skylight.
  • The spider web-like molding inside the front gable that's reminiscent of the Dharma Initiative logo.
  • The fire station pole to the basement. Want back up? You either climb the pole or go outside.
  • Randomly sized shingles nailed all over the exterior.
  • The irregularly shaped slice-of-raw-log kitchen counter that you have to dodge.
  • The Marilyn Monroe neon in the window, which fools tourists into thinking it's a bar.
  • The spire on the roof, which fools Asian tourists into thinking it's a Buddhist temple.
  • The two lanais, built long ago without permits, complete with live vegetation.
  • The v1.0 hot tub.
  • The creaking floor in the lanais because of damage from a mudslide off the bluff that looms over the back of the house.
  • The jackelope.
  • The butterfly on the lamp. That's all I'm going to say about it.


This is a house that will make guests think they've been drugged when they haven't. A whole lot of love went into that house, and [livejournal.com profile] julzerator's housemates have continued it with things like making a set of IKEA bookshelves lean about five degrees. I think an awful lot of my friends would love living there. I know I would.

It seems that [livejournal.com profile] julzerator and I have landed on our feet in similar ways.
sistawendy: (prabob)
I'd been meaning to go to a reading by horror writer [livejournal.com profile] icebluenothing for an embarrassing number of years. Not only did I finally make it to one last night at Wayward Coffeehouse; I took m'boy and got to hear Luna Lindsey's very first public reading, too. Luna brought the sci fi & fantasy.

That was worth many, many times the price of the cookies my son and I ate. We did leave shortly before it ended, but that was because he was getting tired & whiny. Until then, he liked it too. I'm doing that again, and I'm not going to wait so long next time.
sistawendy: (hopeful nun)
Dating: picking up as of last night. More news later. I've also taken [livejournal.com profile] xaotica's advice and checked out the local lesbian groups on meetup.com.

Doing Something I Need To Do during dilation time: started yesterday, now that I've finished 1Q84. Watch this space for the next couple of months.

Speaking of 1Q84, I've revised my earlier estimation of it downward. The characterization and some of the action are too anime-ish - everyone seems too ideal and too sexy - and in places it's too draggy.

Spent last night grocery shopping for Nibs, who was recovering from an infusion on Wednesday. Karma points? Hell no. I'll be extracting payback as soon as I can think of a suitable way to do so.
sistawendy: (hand staple forehead)
I stayed up until 4:30 last night finishing the Hunger Games trilogy. Wow. I have to confess that if I hadn't heard so much deservedly good buzz about it, the Young Adult label would have scared me off. I'll know better next time. It's been at least five years since I was that into a book.

Once I'm done with my current book orgy, though, I need to swear off for a while & Get Stuff Done.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
I took the Wendling to Norwescon for the afternoon yesterday. We took in a couple of panels I thought he'd be into - one on early firearms, one on energy - and he was into them enough to participate. He was sagging by the end of the second, though, because he'd slept poorly the night before for reasons he was unable to explain. He did love the arcade full of video games from the 80's.

He did seem interested in the steampunky things in the art show and, predictably, weapons in the dealers' room. I was astounded that his head never turned for any of the sweet young things in skimpy or fetish-y costumes. Are you sure he's my son?

He said he preferred Emerald City Comicon to Norwescon, so maybe I didn't quite succeed in indoctrinating him. Nevertheless, I'd wanted to take him to NWC for a long time. I've done my best.

I have grand plans for next year. Sadly, I must be coy about them because they're not finalized yet. I'll be staying there regardless. Oh yes, I shall.

I just finished Catching Fire. To quote [livejournal.com profile] vixyish, OMG you guys!
sistawendy: (oh yeah)
A couple of vignettes that I forgot to post from earlier in the week:

I was at Lambert House about to run to a date (or so I thought at the time) when I popped in to sync up on house business with the director, Ken Shulman. Ken noticed my plum & saturated-blue Argyle tights. He said that was the kind of thing he would have worn back when he was a dancer. These days he looks like, well, a lot of men in their fifties who work white collar jobs, but I got a lovely mental image of a young, lithe, and ever so gay Ken in Argyle tights. It made me smile.

On Tuesday night I delivered dinner to a grateful Nibs and boy, and since he was behind on homework, I found myself at loose ends at 8:00. I hadn't talked to my neighbor L in some time, so I stopped by to set up a date. So of course we spent the next two hours catching up. I even described how I first laid eyes on the Young Lady in the Bowler. She said, "Your life isn't something... of this cul-de-sac." No, it isn't. We still have a coffee date because L is cool like that.
Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 has eaten my mind. See you some time this summer, maybe.
Oh: my Saturday night plan is worthy of posting. House music deity Mark Farina et al. will be at Neumo's for the fifteenth anniversary of local label-cum-promoter Uniting Souls. This should be good. I will caffeinate beforehand.
From the Dept. of Cryptic: Happiness is having girlfriends who prod you into doing things for Project Girlfriend.
sistawendy: (contemplative red)
For a long time Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 was on my to-read list. While I was in Florida I popped into the used bookstore within walking distance of Mom's - gotta love college towns - and there it was. It's out of print, so your best bet is Amazon or Powell's.

It grew out of a Ph.D. thesis, and it reads that way unfortunately, but I found the content absolutely fascinating. The popular mythology about and among GLBT people is that back then we were invisible to the world at large and isolated from each other. Gay New York explodes those myths using diaries, police records, the records of private moral-enforcement groups, and the gay & black press.

what gay New York was like back then )

Why did it all end? Let's see: in the early 30's you had the perfect storm of a corrupt mayor in a tough reelection fight, a homophobic mainstream newspaper campaign, a famous shooting (Prohibition meant most gay bars were run by the Mafia - even the Stonewall was), and the need (?) to market the repeal of Prohibition with tough new liquor laws enforced by homophobic bureaucrats from outside New York City.

In other words, when we became visible for the first time, most New Yorkers did what they've always done: they lived with it. Some of them even enjoyed it. But Middle America, including the NY state capital, Albany, freaked right out and eventually got their revenge. They couldn't even stand mentions of us in mainstream media, much less our own.

Could it happen again? I like to think not - they play "YMCA" at major league baseball games - but I won't feel truly safe until homophobia gets treated the way racism does today, the way GLBT-ness used to be treated: like the memetic plague that it is. I wish I could buy all the homophobes plane tickets to Seattle and introduce them to David Serkin-Poole, cantor at Temple B'Nai Torah, or any of a zillion other decent queer people.

Then we can work on kink & poly. This is going to take a while, isn't it?
sistawendy: (butterfly)
my letter to Jennifer Boylan )

Did I send it? Hell yes, and I got a short but nice response.
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Bopped up to Bothell to a) work on the new voice and b) scrub a bathtub for [livejournal.com profile] kathrynt, who's no longer in any condition to do so herself. Happiness for me is being told I look like a girl when I'm on my hands and knees. Really.
Over in Bellevue, I told the Wendling's shrink about my transition. To my surprise, he, Nibs, and I managed to use up an hour talking mostly about what's going to happen when. It was then that I (re-?)learned that m'boy will be going to Nibsmother's place in San Francisco August 6th through 9th. Dr. Kidshrink advised us to tell m'boy no less than two weeks before school, so that works out to around 8/19. It's a tad later than my previous plan, but no biggie. I'll just have to tell my shrink that no, really, I'm not procrastinating.
Went to a dog "adoption event" at the Petsmart in Issaquah, only to find that all the dogs were too small. Duh, they had to be portable.
Also in Issaquah, we tried XXX burgers. It's a small, busy, family-owned joint, decorated in 50's auto memorabilia taken to charmingly tacky excess. Fries? Excellent. Homemade root beer & shake? OK. Burgers? Not awful, but certainly not Red Mill. Maybe on a level with Kidd Valley.
Nibs had a jeweler value our wedding rings. Nibs' fifty-year-old diamond that my grandfather bought in South America is too damaged to be worth anything. My ring? $60 for the metal, even at today's gold prices. Nibs was insulted. How metaphorical.
Finally, back at the Abbey in Kirkland, I'm about two thirds of the way through Jennifer Boylan's She's Not There. Boylan is a professor of literature at Colby College; her first name used to be James. The book is a memoir of her transition. I tell you, I'm that woman's evil twin. It's a lovely, often hilarious book that does as good a job as any book could of explaining us, and to me it's absolutely uncanny. Much more on this after I finish the book.

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