Friday, May 31, 2002

I should be balancing my checkbook, but I just don't feel like it. I think I spent too much time in the sun shooting hoops this afternoon. I ask you, what the hell is the point of having white people, anyway? It's not like we can make ourselves useful by going out in the sun and working, we (I) would scorch clean through in a matter of minutes. I mean, really, look at the Australians. What kind of loser people have to declare Slip, Slap, Slop the national motto (slip on a shirt, slap on a hat, slop on the sunscreen) in order to prevent themselves from going extinct from skin cancer?

Anyway. I've been laying here, packed in ice (re)reading Sarah Schulman's My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years. Mighty fucking depressing. Anyway, I was skimming through her commentary on her 1992 address "Why I'm Not a Revolutionary," and realized it's been ten years since Measure 9. (Schulman calls it Prop 9 throughout her essay, proving she knows nothing about the history of ballot measures and politics in Oregon, but I'll forgive her because her basic point was pretty good.) And I also realized I'm not tired anymore--politically, I mean.

Measure 9 took everything I had, so when Measure 13 came around two years later, I could barely bring myself to show up at the volunteer meetings. I just didn't care. The rhetoric surrounding Measure 9 was so cruel and hateful that I simply exhausted myself trying to keep myself mentally healthy. It just wore me out, all the "Save a child, kill a queer" bumper stickers, all of Lon Mabon's lies, all of hatred seeping into our lives uninvited. I'm not sure when I recovered, but definitely five years later, I was still, like, what-the-fuck-ever, I'm too tired to do volunteer work.

This also means it has been ten years since my parents had their meltdown over my coming out. I think I actually told them in September because I was too afraid to tell them during the summer. My brother was around, and I was afraid he would come across the coffee table at me and try to kill me for being queer, and I wasn't entirely sure my parents would stop him. That turned out to be a good call on my part, because although I think maybe they would have regretted letting him strangle me a few years later, at the time? I'm not so sure. They *completely* lost it. I knew it would be bad, but it surpassed even my worst imaginations. Maybe I should have told them years before I did, but in retrospect, the worrying about their reaction was actually less stressful than dealing with their reaction.

Um...where is this going...I think the absolute venom coming from my family combined with the horrific nature of the Measure 9 campaign really wore me out. My dad pretty much refused to talk to me for months--more than six, I think. Previous to this, the longest he'd gone without talking to me was two or three months, during the Gulf War. Whenever I called, he would just hand the phone to my mom and not say a word. Then my mom would scream at me for awhile ("No wonder you didn't have any friends in high school! Everyone hated you and now I know why!"), then start crying, then my dad would come back on the line and say, "Don't bother calling if you're just going to make your mother cry," and hang up on me. Repeat ad nauseum.

I just stop calling home, and eventually they noticed. My mom broke down first and called me, and it was really awkward, what was I supposed to say? Then she called again and actually said she loved me when she said goodby. I was totally floored because I had no idea where that came from, it's not like we ever say crap like that in my family. I think I said, "Uh....good." It took me three or four calls to say it back, I think.

Everything was still really strained for a couple years, and my dad was still barely talking to me. I went to visit them (without Catherine, how stupid was that?) near the end of my first year in the MA program in history because I was completely worn out. I had been sick and had been waiting to find out if I had cancer (which I did not!), and just wanted to go home, so I did. 24 hours into our visit, my dad was just picking at me, and I finally exploded and we got into this big fight, and my mom got into it with me, too, so I just walked out of the house. I drove the entire loop, up to Nighthawk, over to Oroville, down to Ellisforde, into Tonasket, and back out to Loomis, and was gone for hours. When I came back, my mom burst into tears and said she thought I had left forever and she was sorry and that she should have said she was sorry years ago because she was and she owed me an apology, and that was that, we've gotten along pretty well ever since.

My dad just walked out of the room.

Man, where *is* this going? I thought I was talking about Measure 9. Oh, okay, well, it was obviously a pivotal piece of political history in my personal life. It forced me to come out to my parents even though I was pretty sure it was going to suck, and it brought me closer to Catherine (our first date was canvassing neighborhoods with No-On-Nine literature, on Halloween, how very lesbian of us!). I had no idea I would go from the repressive community of University of Southern California to some queer-baiting, queer-hating state of Oregon. I think this may be the reason I never really bonded with Eugene or the University of Oregon. It was so much friendlier, safer, more real, more accessible than Los Angeles, but at the same time, we were surrounded by people who hated us, and weren't afraid to be rude about it.

So, it's funny that I feel more comfortable in Indiana of all places than in Eugene, Oregon. I have no illusions about the politics of this place, and even in Bloomington, diversity isn't exactly a thriving business. No way are they ever going to allow gay people to adopt or foster children here (especially in Martinsville! I know you're trying to clean up your image, Martinsville, but your elected officials are pigs, so there!), and a lot of people would just as soon see us rot in hell. But mostly, the conservatives here really do believe in the "you don't bug me, I don't bug you" theory of life. I know my coach has huge (religion-based) problems with gay people, but he would be the first person I would ask for help and he would be the first person to offer help in the event of a crisis. I am totally aware of all the problems in the midwest, I'm not white-washing them, but if I was given a choice of staying here or going back to Oregon, I'd stay here and be damned happy about it.

In unrelated news: the Jimmy Eat World "Bleed American" CD is surprisingly awesome. "A Praise Chorus" and "Hear You Me" are particularly nice.
Life has become one big adventure since Catherine discovered she can pants me whenever I wear my tan shorts.
Dear, divine self:

Congratulations on your new McDavid knee guard. You now have no reason to mope around the house as if there were no longer any reason to live. You may not be able to play hockey in it, but you can certainly run and skate in it. So, enjoy your new freedom of movement. Don't forget to take plenty of water with you as the humidity rises, and don't forget to wear sunblock. Be kind to yourself.



Thursday, May 30, 2002

have a major headache. I'm going to go home early and feel sorry for myself the rest of the afternoon. Then I'm going to get up and go lug a bunch of junk out to the curb because tomorrow is Big Garbage Day here in Bloomington. Will the excitement ever end.
Wow. That was harder than I thought it would be. I fidgeted the entire time. I could see my foot bouncing, and tried to stop it, no luck. I think the "are you ever anxious" question was pretty much superfluous.

Afterward, I really just wanted to go home and cry, but...I went to McDonald's instead.
The Federation met tonight, I am so tired. I think the meeting went smoothly, we're going to extend invitations to Beth, Jane, Coach York, and the CPA to join the board of directors. Coach York will preside. Next meeting in two weeks, to discuss bylaws and sponsorships. A ton of things on my to-do list now. I can't forget to get some of this junk done tomorrow.

register our web domain
open webhosting account, ask for reimbursement?
find bylaw/articles of incorporation manual at Business/SPEA library
e-mail Amy about new website, updating old site
mail significant bylaws to Shelly
next meeting June 12
Carmel stick-n-puck 12:45-2:15 Saturday (before Fever game?)
Fishers open skate 11:00-1:00 Friday
password on Ronda's bylaws

I'm not sure which is worst, thinking that my teammates didn't notice how angry (frustrated, humiliated, isolated) I was last January, or finding out they did notice but didn't bother to talk to me about it.
For Liza:

Underneath my breastbone is a shallow, tender hollow, and it is here where I store all my insecurities, fears and pains. As time passes, my collection of hidden objects grows piece by piece. Suddenly I discover the space isn't large enough. It's full, there's no more room. Thankfully, nothing spills over. Nothing falls exposed to the sidewalk in front of my feet. Instead, the hollow expands, pressing deep into my spine, against my lungs and my heart and my stomach. I can no longer breathe. My spine is severed by the weight, leaving me numb and empty. When this happens, I am forced to make room before the black blood of depression overwhelms me.

I take each item out for individual consideration, examining every picayune until I know which I must keep and which I can let go. "You, HumilationOfTenthGrade," I may say, "you can go free. I am so over you, I have no use for you anymore." Or "You, LackOfProtectionFromMyBrother, since you have slimmed down over the years, since you no longer take up so much space, maybe I can keep you for awhile longer. Just for awhile, because eventually I will be done with you, and you also will be free." Or "You, DisappointingFriendship, I know I should let you go, but I will not. Instead, I will bury you at the bottom of my collection. I will place you exactly where you can do the most damage; I will encourage you to fester and rot. You will never be free."

Finally, everything is neat and organized, shielded by the flat of my breastbone. Everything is safe from harm, because it is harder than you could imagine to penetrate a protective cage made of ribs, even with the sharpest arrow. So, I can rest and relax, and tuck every painful bit into its proper place until the tender hollow threatens to overflow once again.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Okay, these "who are you" quizzes have taken over blogs everywhere, and they're getting kind of annoying, but ohmigod, this one really describes me--I wasn't even trying to stack the answers and get the personality I wanted. I am soooooo old school--I loved my Commodore64! My first program was written on an Apple IIc but am always quick to point out, "but I'd run other people's programs years before that!" I used to constantly bitch about all these new people throwing up web pages liked they'd earned the privilege (I've gotten over that one, having discovered that even if everyone out there is too damn lazy to code their html by hand, they can still have interesting things to say). I've totally given up on Usenet, because when I go there, I just start lamenting the loss of quality postings that I associate with, oh...1991 or so. My first e-mail program (conveniently called "mail") was command-line driven, none of this polished GUI crap for me. I learned UNIX by accident, just by hanging out in IRC in the old days before this stupid mIRC program let everyone and his/her dog onto IRC. Damn, I missed the old days.

It probably sounds very silly, but Carolyn Keene/Mildred Wirt Benson completely encouraged me to be an independent thinker when I was a kid. I totally idolized Nancy Drew (but maybe I had a crush on George? That would be so baby dyke of me) and even when I was too little to really understand such things, I was absolutely taken with the way she did everything she wanted to do even when people (read: men, Carson Drew and Ned Nickerson) told her to do otherwise. I don't know if my mom realized she was creating a feminist monster by giving me those books, but I'm glad she did it. I can give incredibly detailed plot descriptions of #1-#38 of the original series (well, a few of those I read when they were re-released in the second #1-#34 series w/yellow hardcovers). Actually, I think it's possible I have The Secret of the Old Clock, The Secret of Shadow Ranch, and The Secret of Red Gate Farm memorized (and damn the new publishers for completely re-writing the plots of these books when they moved to paperback). A lot of my original books have big, orange, splotchy stains on the pages because on Saturday evenings we were allowed to read at the dinner table, and invariably, the book I had propped around the edges of my plate would flop over on top of my pizza.

The Secret of Red Gate Farm is the first book I really remember taking place during the Depression, and it's (unfortunately) the first place I really remember running across the "Asian spy" stereotype. I spent a lot of time thinking about the "bad guy" characters in those days, and how the author made someone bad with just a few descriptive words (cousin Edgar in Nancy's Mysterious Letter is a good example of how a bad guy can be created with just a mention of his eyes and his raincoat).

The Sky Phantom was the last Nancy Drew book I bought, l was in the fourth grade, and my mom let me buy it for our trip out to the ocean. So, that would have been... spring of 1977. When my mom was still working in antiques, she kept collecting the original series for me, and is still holding on to them for me.

I so want a roadster.
Oh, my...Bush as the Grandmaster of Cheese Doodles.... Kilian has some damn funny things to say about Shrub.
Just What Is Wrong with Being a Gay Athlete?, from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Okay, as soon as the DNS entries at get updated, this will be visible. It looks like it's working--no thanks to my panicked movement of files this morning. I've finally just *had* *it* with, and had to get a new hosting service even though my contract doesn't expire until 8/1/2002. My thanks to the friend who recommended I still haven't figured out the freaking mailboxes/aliases situation, but hopefully I'll get that straightened out this evening.
We walked (in the humidity and heat) 3.7 miles today. It was a little discouraging to be walking the distance that I was running a few weeks ago, especially since the last .5 mile was really hard. However, once we were out of the heat, everything was fine. I iced my knee, and I'm not in any pain right now, so I think by the time that active brace arrives, I will be ready to really test the joint out.

I almost missed the NCAA finals for lacrosse today! Can you believe that? I wait *an entire year* and then forget that the championship is on Memorial Day. I only saw the last quarter. Geez, I was mad at myself! Last year, I was in Costa Rica, the year before that, I only saw the last half. The year before that I saw the whole thing. When I get to work tomorrow, the first thing I am going to is mark next years lacrosse championship on my Outlook calendar so I don't miss it again. I wish I could see it live (Catherine didn't sound like she'd mind doing that, so maybe next year we could road trip it to the championship game).

The Outback is going to get a lot of my money now that I know I can eat salads there.

I just read a characterization of Amber Hollibaugh as someone whose work was informed by middle-class activism and the economic necessity of sex work. I wonder how she would take that description? "Middle class" would be the last two words I would link with her work--really, if you flip idly through My Dangerous Desires, you're going to find a lot of passages that specifically distance her from the middle class (economically, ideologically, sexually). In fact, there's not much of me in her work--I'm the person she chastises for not having to work hard enough to survive, for not having to suffer enough to be a dyke. I'm probably only one step into the middle classes, up from the farming/laborer class, but I see myself not at all in her work (other than in a general way, as I think her voice is important as a feminist).

I think there's a big gap between me and the women of her era--old school butch/femme, '70s radical feminism--almost as big as the gap between me and the new generation of 'zinesters. I also think there's an "urban" element to Hollibaugh's writing--the issues she was dealing with as a high-femme, former sex worker, radical seem to be more relevant if you're trying to find your identity in opposition to someone else. If you're living in isolation, in a rural locale, butch/femme isn't the question--it's still straight v. gay, or passing v. non-passing, I think. Maybe you have to throw your lot in with other queers to start sorting yourself out in queer terms.

I have no butch/femme identity, nor does Catherine (which may be why we get along so famously together). When I lived in L.A., I felt butcher than butch, but that response was as much to the "oh, I'm working on a screenplay" straight women as it was to the high-femmes of West Hollywood. It was straight women who kept me out of the women's bathroom, not lesbians, and it was straight people who called me "sir," not any glbt person. Once I left L.A., my supposed butchness evaporated, because I looked like every other outdoorsy Pacific Northwest type.

Okay, I'm just about done being gay for awhile (it was a long weekend!). One last item on this subject before I write an entry about how I spent my holiday:

Where in this list of categories do I belong (it's all about me, all the time, doncha know)? This is a group of links from the sidebar of

Arts and Muses
Deaf Lesbians
Dykes w/ Disabilities
Fat Dykes
Jewish Lesbians
Land Dykes
Leather Dykes
Lesbians of Color
Queer Links

And what the hell is a "land dyke"? Are we still doing the collective thing? No one sent me that memo. Let's assume I might follow the "activism/politics" link at least once, and probably the "anti-oppression" link at least once. Maybe hit the "gender" link once or twice if I'm looking for something specific. If I'm trying to fool my boss into thinking I'm working, maybe I'd look at the "computers/tech" link (I did this weekend, it didn't take me anywhere interesting).

If this is what being a lesbian is all about, I clearly am not dyke material. If it has the word "muses" or "spirituality" in it, I'm way out of there. Business? Families/parenting? Home/gardening? As if. I'm not deaf, I'm not a crone (yet), I don't have a disability, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I'm not so freaked about it I would go join a fat dykes club, I'm not Jewish, I'm definitely not a "land lesbian," I don't wear motorcycle leathers, my only colors are pale and pink (or red when I'm sunburned), I should probably actually watch TV before following the media link, I'm comfortable in my sexuality, I hate softball, I've never taken a "gay" vacation, and I'm not a youth.

All of which is to say, my, we're a fragmented bunch these days. Just when you think you have all the categories figured out, new ones pop up. What I need is a link leading to "lesbians of no particular distinction." I'd *definitely* follow that link.

Sunday, May 26, 2002

Catherine thinks I should contact Doug Bauder and talk to him about starting a mentoring program for GLBT students. It is a bit sad that whack places like USC have one and IU doesn't. However, I would be a very lousy mentor. Some kid would come to me and want to talk about the stress of coming out of the closet, and I'd be saying, "Dude, just do it already and quit whining." I don't think that's what they'd be looking for in a mentor.

My knee feels really good, this brace is definitely helping. I am anxious for my "active" brace to arrive so I can be

Oh, yeah, being gay reminds me...I am very tired of the (mis)appropriation of the word "queer" by academics. When the GLBT people around me first began using it...hmm...10, 12 years ago? I was all for that. It was edgy, it was hip, it was happenin'. But I was at this conference a couple months ago, and one of the sessions was supposed to be on "queer space." But only 1 of 5 papers had anything to do with GLBT people--the other four were using "queer" as a synonym for "the other." Alternative space, space occupied by someone other than a white male. You know what? You can't use me to make your point. I am not going to remain outside, beyond the pale, marginalised, just so you can use me as an allegory. Find your own word.

Oh, and while I'm apparently having a tres gay weekend, let me just say that whoever thought the title of this book was clever is an idiot. And obviously Borders employees aren't the brightest, because it clearly does not belong on the GLBT theory shelf at our store. Hello, straight men are *not lesbians*, so don't make me think about them having sex. *brrrr*
Mmm...we went out for dinner and drove around looking at the storm damage. Not the worst storm we've seen since we've been here (not tornadic, no straight-line winds) but a lot of trees down. Usually Catherine is the calm one during storms, but she completely freaked out during this one and made me go into the hallway away from the windows.

When we were out, Catherine noticed all the old yellow ribbons have been replaced with new ones. Friday will be the two-year anniversary of Jill's disappearance. It breaks my heart every time I see her mother at the games. At first, I think we were all mourning Jill. Then I think we were all morning our "loss of innocence," (although I do know at least one person who seemed to think Bloomington deserved this kind of thing for being so naive and believing it was safe here), and now I think we're mourning Jill's parents, because those are the people we see suffering. We can tell ourselves Jill didn't suffer until proven otherwise, but there's no way to look at her mom and not realize how endlessly hard it must be.
Okay, I'm still thinking about that novel I read on Friday, and started looking around at various things on identity politics (for lack of a better phrase) on the web. I was looking in particular for some things Cherrie Moraga wrote, since the author of the novel opened almost every chapter with a quote from her. I stole this excerpt from who actually stole it from Susana's website (the web can be an amazingly small place, or maybe there's only, like, six people actually writing anything important down, so you run across them over and over again). Anyway, I thought this passage was kind of interesting.

Cherrie Moraga, "La Güera" (1983, 2000)

"In this country, lesbianism is a poverty--as is being brown, as is being a woman, as is being just plain poor. The danger lies in ranking the oppressions. The danger lies in failing to acknowledge the specificity of the oppression. The danger lies in attempting to deal with oppression purely from a theoretical base. Without an emotional, heartfelt grappling with the source of our own oppression, without naming the enemy within ourselves and outside of us, no authentic, non-hierarchical connection among oppressed groups can take place." (Moraga, 44-45)

From Cherrie Moraga, Loving in the War Years/lo que nunca paso por sus labios Boston: South End Press, Expanded Edition, 2000 (original date of publication, 1983).
One last journal entry on this subject.

Loffreda spends 3-4 pages talking about ShadowGov (I refuse to link to them in this diary, and have my website linked with theirs via click-through stats). She makes them sound almost benign--fundamentalists (laughably) waiting for the collapse of the U.S. gov't so they can move in and establish "biblical law" (the only punishments for crimes would be retribution, corporal punishment, and death). There are only about 40 members in the group, and she characterizes their representative as "amiable" and "friendly" and says that even after he announces to her that they would recriminalize homosexuality and do away with feminism, she finds him likeable.

All I've got to say on this subject is she has obviously not been put on their mailing list. The first time she opens up her mailbox to find hate literature, like a flyer telling her why the only good queer is a dead queer, why she deserves to be killed, she'll probably start thinking they're not so polite. I don't know how they got our home address, but I find it a bit creepy that with only 40 people scouring the planet for GLBT people to harass, they managed to find us.

6:31 PM

And now for another view of Losing Matt Shepard (just to show you I'm open to new ideas). I'm stealing this from, and I'm probably going to burn in some Christian's hell for it.

"The author lost Matthew Shepard; he doesn't appear in the book, and neither does his murder. He is a ghost. Which is a true shame. Most of the book is softly pitched post-modern pyrotechnics. Loffreda avoids the hard questions, and omits crucial information to understanding what happened that cold, cold night. Loffreda dodges the role religion played in Matt's murder. One of Matt's killers was an Eagle Scout and an elder in the Mormon church. Also Loffreda makes a great deal about the fact that the killers attacked two latinos after killing Matt, as if racism is tied to homophobia. We aren't told that the latinos were homophobic thugs themselves, out slashing tires and looking for trouble. This book isn't about Matthew or even his murder, but if you can get past the author's sideways approach to the subject of homophobia it is a worthwhile read."

My reply would be:

The best thing about this book is that Matt Shepard is "lost" in it. It's not really about his murder, I don't think, it's about what goes on before and after the murder. Matt Shepard was never "found" for any of us--we didn't know him, we only know what the media told us about him, and I like the fact that Loffreda understands that.

Also, I'm not sure how anyone can really split homophobia off from racism. If they're not the same thing, they're definitely siblings. Or at least first cousins. It doesn't matter that the other two men assaulted by Matt's murderers were "homophobic thugs" (I got that they were thugs from the book, by the way, so Loffreda did cover that part)--they were still of Mexican-American descent, and the author has a few suggestion as to why that mattered in the bigger picture of Laramie. The person above sounds like he/she is saying, "they were homophobic thugs, out tagging and vandalizing, so it's okay that the killers tried pistol whip them to death, too." Get real.

Also, the author did talk about religion, but I have to agree with her--it's not a straight line from the religious right to a fence in a field outside Laramie. These two guys weren't saying, "We have to kill you in God's name," after all. The religious right can be blamed for fanning flames and encouraging discrimination and even murder, but it's not clear in this case that the killers were listening to anything outside of their own heads.
Today I bought and read Losing Matt Shepard: Life and Politics in the Aftermath of Anti-Gay Murder by Beth Loffreda. For such a slim book, it sure covered a lot of ground. One thing I liked about the book is how present the author's voice was in the analysis--I never had to guess whether what I was reading was her own speculation/emotion/interpretation. It made it feel more like a conversation than a lecture. Now that I've finished it, I wish I knew some straight people who had read it also, because I would really like to hear their opinions on it. Actually, I'd like to talk to anybody who has read it. Definitely none of my co-workers have looked at it.

It's a deceptively complex book. I read it without any sort of effort, but discovered I was really thinking hard by the end.

The most emotionally gripping part was in Chapter Five, when she lets Rob DeBree's voice come through. He was with the Sheriff's Office and did a lot of work on the investigation. I was really impressed with DeBree's character, and I would be very pleased to meet him someday. I love people who are educable, people who aren't afraid to look around them and say, "You know, I could learn something here," and then explore it. Static minds are the biggest turn-off in the world--curiosity, now that's where it's at. So, I admire DeBree for being able to step back and say, "I can learn something here, I can learn what it means to be frightened and gay, I can learn how to protect people, I can learn something about myself this way." And he's doing all this soul-searching while still doing an excellent job as an investigator, that's amazing.

This chapter kind of kicks you in the stomach, because this is when you get the details of the murder. I don't remember really what I thought when I heard about it four years ago, I probably didn't think much about it at all, but if I did, I'm sure I wasn't surprised by it. Not that I thought everyone in Wyoming was likely to do something like this--Wyoming feels like my hometown, I loved being there, I know and love people who still live there--but I think a person can't come out of the closet without first facing the fact that someone, somewhere, might take it into his head to seriously hurt or kill you. I think I dealt with that fear long ago and put it away somewhere. So, I just wasn't surprised when Matt Shepard was killed, but when I read this chapter, I suddenly was paying attention. Not because of the anti-gay nature of the crime, but because it is absolutely horrifying to hear what two people can do to another person "just because." It seems clear that it was a hate crime, at least on some level, but even without that part of it in the mix, it's truly terrifying to recognize the human capacity for torture and violence.

Some long quotes:

On bias crime laws (p. 55-6)

"However, after more than a year of listening to people's opposition to bias crimes legislation here in Wyoming, it's clear that certain objections have reached the status of mantra: "All crimes are hate crimes." "Murder is murder." "Bias crime law is thought policing." "Bias crime law creates special victims and special rights." The premises of some of these mantras are easy to question. For example, it is simply not true that all crimes are hate crimes. The drug dealer and con artist may cause great pain, but their crimes are ones of greed, not hatred. The hit-and-run driver is not motivated by hate; the thief who kills the store clerk is most likely eradicating a potential witness. It would be possible to say that any crime is motivated, on some level, by a fundamental disrespect for social mores, but such disrespect is light-years from bias, from the loathing of certain groups or identities and the decision to act on such loathing.
"I wonder too about the claim "murder is murder." It seems to me that our legal system works on no such assumption. First-degree murder is not involuntary manslaughter, euthanasia is not vehicular homicide, although all these result in the death of another. The drunk driver who hits a bicyclist, the wife who kills her abusive husband in his sleep, the serial killer who stalks his victims, the fired employee who shoots his former boss--these are all killers, but we judge them differently. We consider intent--the drunk driver who accidentally takes a life while his car swerves out of control is culpable in our eyes but not as abhorred as the serial murderer who plans and kills with full knowledge of his wrong-doing. We investigate motive--the abused wife, fearing future assault, who deliberately kills her sleeping husband may be punished, but not as severely as the wife who deliberately kills her husband for the insurance money. To me, one of the most compelilng aspects of our legal system is this very potential for suppleness--its care for nuance, its desire to differentiate as judiciously as possible among various kinds of criminal acts."

On discrimantory violence (p. 144-5)

"...It seems to [the author], then and now, that the questions we in Wyoming most wanted answered--Did this happen because Matt was gay? Can we know for sure Henderson and McKinney commited a hate crime?--we were asking in the wrong way. Bias--homophobia or any of its cousins--rarely plays out, [the author thinks], in perfect focus. Discrimanatory violence is rarely fully plotted--even in its most grotesque manifestations, it is far more often a bleak and ugly blur of knee-jerk discomfort, semiconscious revulsion, false visions of vulnerability, opportunistic rationalization, and relieved retreats to familiarity and sameness. If we wanted [the perpetrators] to supply a version of homophobic violence so symbolic, so planned, so measure and pure in its intent and execution that we could no deny its existence, they were poor candidates. What they did instead was show us homophobic violence as it is more usually expresses itself: half-hatched, half-confused, complex and impure of motive, deeply curel, and utterly stupid."

An interview with the author, Sgt. Rob McBree, Keenan Keller

Saturday, May 25, 2002

You know, I have tried and tried to get some old Usenet messages yanked from Google's archive, and it's just not happening. How the hell am I supposed to cover my tracks, man?
I finished the novel (Faults*, by Teri de la Peña) I started this afternoon and, in general, I give it two thumbs up. My caveat:

I completely understand the impulse to mock white people, I do it constantly, in fact. We're easy targets, we've done some mighty stupid things. I guess overall, though, I'm not sure what good it does to create a shallow, white character to cast as a villian. I wouldn't want read a book that did that to a character of any other ethnicity, it doesn't seem quite fair. And I guess I seriously doubt that any white woman who was supposed to be so educated would be so *clueless*--she would have to be the stupidest person in the world not to understand why a chicana librarian would feel uncomfortable suddenly becoming (essentially) her domestic servant. She'd have to be clueless, stupid and the most insensitive person alive.

It's so true that "popular" feminism has failed to offer a lot to women of color, or impoverished women. I doubt any of the women who live in my neighborhood would be able to relate to the feminist discourse coming out of the academy. Feminism hasn't exactly been inclusive, and it has definitely privileged women with white skin. Even so, it kind of depresses me when a white lesbian becomes the target of a chicana lesbian writer (in this particular case). It seems like if you're going to hammer on a white woman for her position of power, it probably shouldn't be the lesbian you're singling out. I'm not sure who the target should be, but I guess I would prefer it not be *me* because, honestly, I'm really trying to get it right here. I really am trying to be a responsible global citizen, and I would be very grateful if you could cut me some slack.

Sometimes I feel like we're all standing around playing this "I'm more oppressed" than you game. If you're more oppressed than me, then you get to beat me up. If I'm more oppressed then you, then the baseball bat is in my hands. And that's seriously fucked up.

*Why would anyone write a novel called Faults about chicana lesbians, using the Northridge earthquake as a major metaphor, when Sheila Ortiz Taylor's Faultline is so incredibly famous? Just curious. Obviously they're not the same book, not even close, but I can't be the only who didn't pick up Faults the first time I saw it on the shelf because I thought, "Oh, read that one," and then didn't realize until two weeks later, "Hey, that wasn't Faultline, it was Faults."

Okay, mystery solved. From "The Latina Legacy," by Terri de la Peña, Lambda Book Report, 6/1/99, p. 12.
"I remained unaware of Faultline until years later, probably because I was busy drafting my own novel with Chicana lesbian characters." So, I guess she's forgiven, but you'd really think someone would have pointed it out.

9:24 PM

So, two tough topics to spit out this evening. Neither of which I particularly want to write about, but it's probably good for me (either that, or I'm just an incredible masochist).


I called IU EAP and luckily didn't get their freaking answering service this time. The woman who put me on hold was very nice and came back to the line every minute or so to apologize. I finally told her to not worry about it, I was perfectly willing to listen to music and read my book, she didn't have to keep checking back and apologizing, just patch me through when a case manager was free.

I'm not sure about this whole thing. The deal is, IU EAP refers me to a local therapist and I can talk to them for three sessions. Then they refer me on. So, given that it takes me, like, six months before I say anything personal to anybody, I'm not sure what these three sessions are supposed to for me. I'm not even sure what it is that I'm should be talking to this person about. "Hi, my name is Susan, I'm an insomniac but I'm not particularly stressed about anything, so can we talk about basketball or something?"

I talked to the local therapist this evening, to set up an appointment. I had pretty much decided to give up on this whole idea, but the appointment time she offered exactly conflicts with the Staff Development Committee meeting (chaired by Problem Co-Worker A) and I really wanted an excuse to skip that meeting. You know your co-worker sucks when you'd rather go talk to a therapist than go sit in a committee meeting with her.


I started reading this novel while I waiting to pick Catherine up after work. I had an intensely negative reaction to one passage in particular, and it really surprised me, because I really like this author and have read all her other books. I'm not going to write about the passage/reaction because that would be *three* things I don't want to talk about, and I only promised myself to write down two.

However. It got me to thinking about why this novel(la) I've been working on still feels thin even though the characters are all there and the narrative is working and there aren't any huge gaps in the story line. I started thinking about exactly why it is that Liza feels so isolated and lonely. Partly it is because she's surrounded by the worst parts of capitalist culture--a downtown athletic club and the lame students at USC. But then I had to kind of face up to the fact that she also feels isolated because she never sees herself when she looks at other people on the streets. It's a really difficult concept to write about, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to fuck it up.

But I think it's important that Liza doesn't know how to be a white person in the middle of downtown L.A. Her apartment is right at that point where East L.A., south-central, Koreatown, and the downtown area merge, maybe a little east of where I lived, a little south. And she leaves her building, and no matter where she goes, she can't relate to the people around her. See, I knew I would fuck it up--I can't even explain it here, it will never come out right in the book, but Liza is absolutely terrified that she's going to say the wrong thing, give the wrong signal, offend someone, invite someone, just generally act improperly because she's never been in such a place before. She doesn't have anyone to help her navigate L.A., and she finds that she's turning into a racist. I mean, maybe that's why she has to leave L.A., she discovers that suddenly people who didn't frighten her in the midwest make her cross the street to avoid them now. And she hates that.

Who is she going to talk to about this? She hates it when people ask her questions as the resident gay expert, making her speak for gay people everywhere, so it's not like she can just walk up to the nearest Korean-American and say, "Hey, do you all find X offensive?"

So, I think she's frightened all the time. Some of it is legitimate fear--it's stupid to walk through even the edges of south-central by yourself to get to class when you're as frail as Liza, and it's bound to catch up with her. But the rest of it is just the fear that she's getting lost, no one can find her, she isn't one of the beautiful privileged people at USC, but she also has no way to break into the social structure that surrounds her at the edges of downtown.

Ick. I have to go eat dinner now.
Catherine liked her present and says she wasn't mad at me anyway. So, that's good.

Friday, May 24, 2002

Things I got done today in spite of myself (in order of appearance):

1. Picked up my new knee brace.*
2. Mailed a precis to Bill Palmer.
3. Copied an entire dissertation in case I need it for my "dark side" of motel architecture paper.
4. Went to the courthouse, picked up some deed of convenant agreements from the recorders' office.
5. Took deed of covenant agreements to BRI, set up the backup/CD-burning software on the office computer.
6. Bought a present for Catherine.**
7. Bought a copy of The Advocate and The Gay & Lesbian Review*** and a book on supersymmetry (SUSY) theory.****
8. Got a haircut.
9. Wrote one essay for my philosophy class (took an entire hour, I guess this is why getting an MA in the philosophy of science and mathematics would be a bad idea)
10. Talked to my boss about Problem Co-Worker A. She's on it, already talked to human resources about her.
11. Called IU EAP.
12. Went to pharmacy.
13. Started reading a novel.

Things left to do:

1. Write to Peter.
2. Read/correct Sunny's paper.
3. Go to gym, upper-body workout.

*I look like a total jock, but my god, is this how the knee is supposed to work? This brace has hinges on each side, and my knee only opens and closes along a prescribed (proscribed?) path now. And let me say, this path is nothing like the one my knee has been following. I've learned more about the way I move in the past five hours than I have in my whole life. I am just totally stunned by the fact that I now need to learn how to walk again.

**Does this make me a guy? I spend all evening being unpleasant, and then I go out and buy a gift to make up for it. I think it does make me a guy.

***I *will* have a gay identity, dammit! The trouble is, The Advocate has absolutely no bearing on my life. I don't have AIDS, I'm not HIV-positive, I'm not looking to cash in my life insurance, I'm not into cruising guys in bikini briefs. I'm also not having a baby, so the focus of this month's issue spoke not to my soul at all. Why do I even buy this stupid magazine? I've been complaining about it for years, and it just never gets any better.

****You know you are a freak when you experience a moment of real frustration in the bookstore when you realize you have to choose between a book on calculus and a book on the quantum paradox. I'm a freakin' weirdo.

Some random thoughts:

--You know why I love Bloomington? Even the men who work at the post office are all hoosier-y and nice.
--Splashin' Safari has a new slide. I thought Otorongo was going to kill me, there's no fucking way I'm going down ZOOMbabwe.
--Catherine wants me to take this class, but $600 for a 5-week class seems like a lot. Anyway, I'll already be taking SolidWorks and descriptive geometry. And I was thinking about taking calculus by correspondence, so I just wouldn't have time. And anyway, I'm way too bashful, I'd rupture my aorta blushing through the entire thing.
Well, I must be in the dog house 'cause Catherine didn't leave me a note before she left this morning. That's what I get for being a total bitch, I guess.

Many things on the to do list today.
Man, I have been online for an entire *hour* trying to buy airline tickets. I don't know, if we keep sniping at each other, we're going to be all, like, Dude! I'm not going anywhere with you!

Rob is completely cracking me up.
Here's the thing. On one hand, I feel a little bad that Gary Condit's career was destroyed, since it now seems like he's not the only possible suspect. As far as his affair with Chandra Levy, I have to say I really don't care about it. Yes, it would appear he abused his position of power, but honestly, I think his infidelities are between him and his wife/family and Chandra Levy. I've known some perfectly fine people who have stepped over the line for love and/or lust. So, although I may think less of him for using his political position to get laid, I'm not sure it made him a particularly bad politician (except that all politicians, by definition, are bad).

On the other hand, I don't feel bad at all, because the fact that he was instantly singled out as the most likely suspect should tell us all how screwed up our political system really is. We all believed he killed her, and if something like this happens again, we'll believe it was the closest congressman who offed the intern. We have no confidence whatsover in our elected officials, and yet we still keep electing them. We believe Washington, D.C. to be the most corrupt city everywhere (except my parents, they probably think its San Francisco), and yet still we run our country from the White House. The demolition of Condit's career should be a wake-up call. Far be it from me to call someone else morally bankrupt, I hardly live my life according to the Ten Commandments (although I do strive to live according to Kant's categorical imperative), but my god, why do we put these losers in power? They are beyond the dregs of humanity.

Okay, I am right in the middle of this chapter on ethics, and just finished the section on "virtue ethics," a large portion of which was dedicated to outlining an argument as to why infidelity is morally wrong. I've read this whole thing twice now, and I'm still not sure I see that adultery is necessarily wrong. Well, wait, I do see that it's wrong because it betrays a promise made (if you're in a monogamous relationship, for instance), but I'm just not sure that adultery is the worst thing in the world. I would never go out on Catherine, but I somehow think that's less because I promised her I wouldn't and more because I don't see any benefits of having an affair for myself (my god, I can't even bring myself to ask a stranger for the time, if I had to put the moves on them, I'd probably have a nervous breakdown). I do still think that honest, trustworthy, (reasonably) stable people might stray in their relationships. I think this might be the flaw in virtue ethics--you can have the best of intentions to live a moral life, and even make solid decisions that should prevent you from being put in the position of even having the possibility to cheat on your spouse, but there may be a moment when the flesh will be seriously tempted. I mean, is sex a biological instinct (there's an argument I don't want to get into)? If it is, is it immoral to fall prey to it?

I guess the whole problem I'm having here is--why is monogamy considered the only moral way to live? I myself am 100% happy in a monogamous relationship, but I don't think I should be allowed to project my life choices out and say, "My way is the moral way, the rest of you will be damned to some inner ring of Dante's Hell." Aristotle was pretty uptight.
I have to go home this evening and buy *another* set of plane tickets. Catherine and I just made a last-minute decision to go to this really cool conference.

The flyer came in the mail last night, and I almost tossed it without looking at it, but it had a picture of the Bamiyan statues of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban on the front cover and that, of course, caught my eye. I'm just so pleased we can go. Catherine's work will pay for her registration and/or airfare, since all the stuff about "insuring art in an age of uncertainty" and "protecting sites, visitors, artworks" is part of her curator's job. I'm just going because:

a) architecture in an age of uncertainty is just an intriguing concept;

b) I'm interested to see what the architects have to say about the "affirmation of cultural continuity" and building design;

c) I'm intrigued by the talk on "defining cultural attacks," presumably this includes something other than just physical assault;

d) building on the previous item, I want to know what Mr. Lewis is going to say about "defending cultural property." First off, what is cultural "property," is it physical? is it intellectual? are we defending our ideologies, or just the buildings in which we house them?;

e) I want to see Ground Zero now that it's all cleaned up. I managed to type out that addendum to my December blog entry, but it doesn't begin to describe what was going through my mind last time we were there. I want to see what's changed--the site, how I feel, how Catherine feels, how New York feels.

So, come June 6, we'll be going back to New York for the weekend. Which should really, really, *really* piss my parents off.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Never, ever, ever use (the merchandise division of CBS Sportsline) to buy anything. If you want to know why, just ask me.
I am so looking forward to staying here in August.
Maybe a mile was too much last night. The joint is all swollen and stressed again.
We are such geeks. We went out to the Outback for soup and salad tonight (by the way, even though it's a chain restaurant, Outback gets props because they don't use preservatives. It's the only place in town I can get a salad because I'm allergic to sulfites), and the waiter had to keep wiping down our table so we wouldn't get food on our reading material. Catherine had an article for the next Kinsey catalogue, and I had the rough draft of my manuscript, and we spent the whole meal ignoring each other and reading.

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

36000 words might be my upper limit. I have a headache.
I can almost take a regular stride. Not quite, but almost. And after walking from my car to the office, I've had to wrap my knee in ice again, but still, I can see some improvement. I might try walking this evening whilst Catherine is out running. Not far, and not if it hurts. But I need the joint to stay limber.

In other news, I have hired Diane to design a new website for me.

I also realized this morning that although I am an intellectual snob, I'm perfectly willing to forego a challenging plot in a movie if the lead actress is hot enough.
I am a lousy feminist. Someone should take my membership card away. The first thing I did when I got to the gym was step on the scale.

On the other hand, I'm not as lousy of a feminist as these other two women who were in the Cybex room next to me. They were talking about their friend Beth, and how she didn't work out so much anymore. Now that she's married, she's getting fat, because, you know, those married women don't think they have to work hard to look good anymore, so they just sit around get fat and don't care. I so wanted to turn around and say, "Hey, would you mind giving me Beth's phone number so I can call her and tell her you all suck?"

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Christ, I really don't have time to transfer my website to a new hosting system. And I have two months left on my netfirms hosting contract. Their service sucks so bad that I'm just going to have to do it this weekend before it really screws up my life.
Glad to see someone's paying attention.

The Shift in Women's Sport Advertising

Next year, instead of hockey camp, I'm going to the fitness camp at Smith. It looks like a hell of a lot more fun.
I have this fantasy that I can go back to the beginning and start again and major in astrophysics and get a Ph.D. and be an astronaut and then my parents will think I'm smart.
Boy. I really lost it tonight.
Okay, wish me luck. Good luck, self.

I'm going to the gym. I'm going to ignore any non-important pain (ie., palm and wrist). I'm going to respect important pain (ie., hamstring, ACL, collateral ligament). I will not freak out when I discover my bench press capabilities have dimished in the 1 week and 2 days I have been off my feet. I will not do anything that might further jeopardize my skating career, but will everything else I can without flinching. I will have not a meltdown when I find out I've gained weight over the past week. In fact, I will not even step on the scale (maybe).

Obviously, my dad is feeling better. Geez, give the man some energy, and he goes right for my jugular. I mean, here I was all at this happy place where I actually *liked* my parents, I was looking forward to going home in August, and he has me so mad that I can't stop shaking. I am perfectly willing to listen his point of view, I really am, but for god sakes, does that mean I have to sit there and let him make all these personal attacks? I mean, would it kill him to admit that I'm not the stupidest person on the face of the earth? How dare *anyone* suggest I don't know anything about history. I didn't sleep through my two master's degrees. I don't come to my opinions about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict by reading cereal boxes. I work hard at educating myself, and damn him all to hell for not recognizing it. I have been struggling with the "middle eastern question" for more than a decade. I put more effort into learning about the world than almost everyone I know. I read, I take classes, I discuss, I contemplate, I work fucking hard. I don't care if he agrees with me, in fact, I know he doesn't and never will, and that's fine, but why is it okay for him to tell me I don't know anything about history, that if I'd ever read anything, I'd know better, and that well, maybe I did read something, but I wasn't capable of understanding it. Would it fucking kill him to admit I'm well-educated and intelligent to boot? Because I am, and I'm not going to let him or anyone else in my family tell me otherwise, because I'm sick of that crap. I'm 35 years old, and I am not going to let them make me feel inferior or stupid or hysterical or any of that. Fuck that.

You know, I am the most stable of all my parents' children. I own a house, I have a great spouse who has a respectable job with a world-renowned research institution, I have a steady job at a research university and am adjunct faculty at a state college to boot. I don't do drugs, I scarcely drink, I don't even do caffeine. I take a minimum of two classes every semester and always have a correspondence course going on top of that. I read probably 5-7 books a week, minimum. I have studied and traveled abroad, and I travel to new places in the U.S. every two or three months. I read newspapers from all over the world, every day. I've formally studied Russian, German, French, Italian and Korean. I have four college degrees. I've always graduated with honors, and I've never gotten a speeding ticket. I do volunteer work at BRI every Friday. I do cool things like play hockey and study rocket science in my spare time. I exercise on a regular basis and understand what a nickelback is. I play half a dozen musical instruments and can sing reasonably well. I've never hit a child. I'm an alternate captain on my hockey team. I vote in almost every election. I know some fantastically intelligent people, and many of them consider me a friend.

But I still feel like a complete and utter failure. What's wrong with this picture?

Monday, May 20, 2002

That's twice now that Catherine's given me permission to buy a bass guitar. Maybe I'd better do it before she reconsiders.
I meant to write about this right after we got back from Richmond, but it just slipped my mind for one reason or another. One of the things we did in Richmond was go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. One of the exhibits with which I spent a lot of time was an installation by Richard Roth, called "Grief." There is a shorter, on-line version that should give you an idea of what it was basically like. And also, here is an a short (but not very critical) article about the exhibit.

There are 237 images in the exhibit, covering 4 walls and a center display area, all (allegedly) clipped indiscriminately from print media. At first, I was overwhelmed by the images, felt like sobbing, didn't want to look at any more, etc. But I think because there are so many, you get kind of numbed to the emotions depicted. After I was numbed up a bit, I started really reading the captions on the photos and not looking at the images at all. Half way around the room, it suddenly occured to me that there were a *lot* of photos of Israelis mourning their dead, but I couldn't remember seeing any Palestinian grief photos.

So, I stopped, and went back to the door and started counting, Israeli photos on one hand, Palestinian on the other. I included the photos from Rabin's funeral in the Israeli count. Okay, I have no proof that Richard Roth didn't manipulate the images. Publicity statements seem to imply that he just cut out all the photos of crying people he could find without discrimination. If that is indeed true, here is the evidence that we are so underrepresenting Palestinian suffering in our newspapers--particularly the New York Times, since that's where these photos came from. There were 28 images of Israeli families mourning lost members, but only 6 of Palestinian mourners (actually, those numbers may not be quite right, it's been a month since I counted, and for some reason, I think the Israeli count might be higher).

The message is--you can kill 10 Palestinians for every 1 Israeli, and Americans will think that is okay, because they will only see a picture of 1 Palestinian dead, not 10. Americans think the numbers are even, or that Palestinians kill a lot more Israelis than vice versa. And that's just not true. This completely wasn't the point of Roth's installation, but that's what people should be looking at.
So, I had a nerve test on my hands this morning. I already wasn't feeling that great, and I guess shooting electricity into my median nerve didn't make things much better. He doesn't see many other options at this point. I need an MRI so they know where to cut when I have surgery. I've decided I'm going to put the whole thing off for awhile. If I can rehab my ACL, I want to go to camp, if only for practical reasons, since I've already spent $900 on camp fees and airline tickets. I'm just going to have to suck it up.

I just want to cradle my hands against my body and protect them from everybody.
Guess what? It's *raining*. It hasn't rained in, gosh, like, five whole minutes.

The weather here is seriously fucked up.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Catherine's book finally showed up at

Sex and Humor: Selections from the Kinsey Institute
My ideal Sunday morning does *not* involve sitting in my office with my knee packed in ice.
Insomnia is apparently my muse.

Erika looked really good tonight. Henry must be doing something right! She's still thin, but at least she's lost that stretched, gaunt look. I couldn't even stand to look at her before, and hugging her was like holding a skeleton. She hasn't really gained any weight, but she definitely looked different, much more healthy. It really effected how I related to her. I'm usually pretty reluctant to talk to her about things, and let Catherine do all the talking, but she seemed so much better tonight that I found myself chattering like a wind-up doll. Anyway, we made a tenative date to go out to the Quarry Diner in Stinesville for dinner next month.
Four and a half hours last night. It's improving.

If I didn't know better, I'd say I was peri-menopausal. My mood swings were incredible yesterday. After I finished my rough draft, I was hopping around on one leg trying to do the happy dance for an hour. Next thing I knew, I was in tears--mostly about MistyD, I think, but partly about Todd--and then an hour later, I was completely manic again. I spent three hours last night playing DJ and hopping around my office. The end result is a stack of, like, 50 CDs on my desk that I have to put away this morning. And my knee is absolutely killing me from trying to dance on it anyway last night.

Following up on last night's melancholy, Catherine and I had a long conversation in bed this morning about Todd and why I can still be reduced to tears three years later. It's amazing that someone you're not even romantically interested in can fuck up your life so badly. I think the conclusion we came to this morning--again--is that it's not really Todd that I'm sad over, although I do miss having a best friend. What I'm really worried about is that it will happen with someone else. I had no idea someone could be so cruel, especially not someone I admired so much. I'm not sure how both Catherine and I missed his mean side for so many years. What I worry about is I'm going to find someone else I really like, spend time with them, get to know them, like them or even love them, and one day out of the blue they're going to turn around and hand me an itemized list of all my character flaws, everything they don't like about me.

As Catherine pointed out, the hard part was--if I was bugging him so much, why didn't he just say something in February when I first started getting on his nerves, instead of masking it all with friendliness for six months? I don't understand how someone can keep a tally in the back of their heads of all the things they hate about you, but at the same time, (apparently) eagerly make plans to go out to dinner. I have gone over it and over it and over it, and there were absolutely no signs of any kind that our friendship had come to mean less to him. If he really cared, he should have said something to me. Hell, he could have written "Get Lost" on a post-it note, and that would have been better. And if he behaved badly because something in his own life was going wrong, he should have said that, too. I don't take friendships lightly, I don't ask just anybody to be my best man at my wedding. If he wasn't comfortable with that role in my life, he should have stepped away from it years before.

And another thing that keeps me away from people, I'm not just afraid they'll dislike me, I'm afraid they'll misunderstand my intentions. I am a more-than-happily married woman. I'm not looking for anything outside of my relationship with Catherine. There is nothing better, and I'm not even curious about anyone else. I do not want to have dinner with a friend and have them turn around and say, "Yeah, well, it's obvious you're chasing me, and I'm not interested." How in the world Todd could ever even suggest something so stupid is beyond me. I mean, I don't how in the world he missed the fact that I am GAY, for chrissakes. And how arrogant is he to be to assume that if I was going to sleep with a man it would be him? I don't think so, scrawny, hairy boy. And how insulting of him, to stand at my wedding the year before as I pledged my entire life to Catherine, and then turn around and suggest to me I didn't mean those vows?

Anyway. It's obviously time to get over this crap. This is the first time I've ever written at such length about it, and they say "journaling" is supposed to make you more sane. We'll see about that.

Friday, May 17, 2002

I never betrayed you, and I never betrayed the revolution
I just didn't want to alone. I needed you to see me home
And if I could save you, and if I could find a solution
I would die a thousand times, to get you out of here.
The forecast? I'll tell you forecast. It's going to fucking rain.

(Constructive) things to do if I can't play hockey anymore:

1. Join/form another a cappella group
2. Join the Bloomington Community Band
3. Answer an ad in the paper from someone looking for a drummer
4. Go back to graduate school (is that constructive?)
5. Build more model rockets
6. Read more books
7. Finally learn how to speak Spanish/Norwegian/Korean
8. Learn how to play the bass guitar.

Today, I am incredibly impressed with myself. Not even the Great Morgan Smith could have accomplished what I did in the last five days. 106 pages in five days. That must be some sort of record.

It is incredibly hard to dance on one leg.
Four hours appears to be the maximum amount of time I can stay asleep--640 contiguous minutes. I can apparently function on that, so unless it gets worse, I'm not going to worry about it anymore.

Our sump pump finally stopped running 24/7. It was driving me batty. The landscape between here and Indy has completely transformed itself as a result of the flooding. It's like you leave Martinsville and end up in the Netherlands, thoughtfully contemplating land reclamation projects.

This will be a be a day with no privacy. While I was in the shower, the city moved a steam shovel (or whatever its modern-day equivalent is) into my backyard. Dare I hope they are finally going to fill in that trench?

With the proper font, I've got 83 pages at this point.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Well.....fuck. I just got a message from Rhonda [erasure]. This is a mighty fucking stupid world.

If I could do anything right now, I would reverse time so it could be yesterday again. I would give anything to not have [erasure] and I can't do a damned thing about it and it's tearing my heart out.
Maybe I really do want to marry this woman.

As Corpses Multiply in Juarez

There was a lot more I wanted to write down last night, but I was so tired. I'm surprised I didn't wreck the car last night, I was falling asleep behind the wheel on the way up to Indy, and it only got worse on the way home.

I just wanted to comment on how impressed I am with the way Jenna has been handling her head injury. I mean, look at me, I'm wandering around under a cloud of depression over the possibility of being kept off the ice, and the truth is, I don't care about hockey even 1/2 as much as Jenna does. It's her passion, and it's been taken away from her right when she was really getting somewhere with it. Her work ethic, her talent and love for the game were really taking her places, and now what? If I was her, if I felt half as strongly, I'd probably be hovering on the brink of suicide. She's a lot stronger than I am, and smarter, since she's staying off the ice. She says she still has trouble coming up with words and gets lost in the middle of conversations. I hope she recovers with time. I want to ask her if she ever tells herself she should have stopped playing after the 3rd concussion, but I'm not sure if she wants to talk about it.

It seems particularly brutal for her now that Amy is making a place for herself on the ice, too. I know they thought they'd be playing together for a long time, but I guess that's not going to happen.

I'm feeling a little more optimistic this morning. Dr. Florini said it's definitely my ACL, but she doesn't think it's torn. It's too tight to be torn, she can feel it. She wants me to be conservative for the next week, and if it's still in the same condition after that, it's time for an MRI, physical therapy, whatever. Props to Dr. Florini--it's nice having a doctor who actually remembers what you're doing with your life, and also tries to get you the best care even though your medical file is 10 inches thick. She said she was reluctant to send me to the orthopedic surgeon because she didn't feel they'd been very responsive to my injuries in the past, she'd rather just watch it for a bit and see what happens. And I have to agree. Dr. Eelma was very helpful, but the rest of them completely piss me off, and I don't need to be carrying around any more anger right now.

Everyone was talking about playing in the BUNS league last night, and my competitve nature just really got the best of me, I think. I'm so upset that they are all getting to skate this summer, and I'm barely on the ice at all. I need some quality time before camp, and I'm not sure when I'm going to get that. Once again, the season is going to start and I'm going to be at the back of the pack. I wish I could play BUNS, but it doesn't start until 9:15. Off the ice at 10:30, out of the locker room by 11:00, that means I wouldn't get home until 1:00 a.m. I like hockey, but not that much, and I know very well I'd fall asleep behind the wheel before I even got to Martinsville.

Man, I hope everyone caught the last part of the San Jose/Colorado game last night. That was some awesome hockey. Incredible effort put forth by both sides. Game 7s are so much fun.
I'm not sure if congratulations are in order or not. I went up to Indy this evening for a meeting of the minds, and ended up being appointed to the board of directors of the soon-to-be-incorporated Indiana Women's Ice Hockey Federation. On one hand, this is exciting, because the Federation will be able to really promote ice hockey, and really get something going in the Midwest. It will be easier to get sponsors as a non-profit organization, and the potential for growth is great. On the other hand, I can't help but hear the death knell for my sports career. I feel like I've spent the last two weeks just trying to avoid the fact that my hockey playing days are almost over. I'm so bitter--I finally find something I want to do, and I have to stand here and just watch it slip through my fingers. And I'm doubly bitter because things were going so well: my weight is down, my strength is up, my aerobic conditioning is on the right track for camp in July. But I'm terrified the doctor is going to take one look at my knee tomorrow and tell me to give it up for good. I just want to play, just give me a few more years.

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

39 pages. Read 'em and weep.
Thanks, Doyle.

Haikus of the Weird
Okay, I need to make a new vow not to slam lesbian fiction. The novel I read last night actually had a math joke in it that cracked me up.

Q: How do you know you've been spending too much time with a mathematician?

A: Her habit of converting everything to base-7 is getting on your nerves, 33 hours a day, 10 days a week.
What the fuck is IU EAP there for, to push people over the edge? If I wasn't in need of a shrink before I called them, I certainly was by the time I got pushed off the line by the answering service. I'd hate to see what would happen if a truly desperate person tried to get in touch with them. The brochure very clearly says 24/7 365 day a year. If they're not going to commit to that up front, they should give me back the money they're taking out of my paycheck.

Them: IUEAPthisisShanemayIhelpyou?

Me: Uh, yeah, I was calling to see if I could get a referral to a local therapist?

Them: You'recallingIUEAP?

Me: Uh, yeah.

Them: Thistheiransweringservicethey'reonlyavailablefromeighttofivedoyouwanttoleaveamessage?

Me: Uh, yeah, I guess.

Them: Whatisthisabout?

Me: Uhhhhh, I don't know? I mean, I need to get a referral so I can talk to a local therapist?

Them: Doyouwanttomakeanappointment?

Me: Yes.

Them: Name?

Me: Susan

Them: Lastname?

Me: Johnson

Them: You'recallingIUEAP?

Me: Yeah.

Them: Phonenumber?

Me: 855--

Them: Wherecanyoubereachednow?

Me: Oh, you mean my home phone number, right now, not tomorrow during the day? 812-3--

Them: Isthisanemergencyifit'snotanemergencyyou'llhavetocallback.

Me: I'm sorry?

Them: Ifthisisn'tanemergencyyou'llhavetocallback.

Me: Uh, okay.

So...if it was an emergency, how is that kind of conversation even going to help anyone? One thing I do know, you don't talk to a twitchy person at a million-miles-a-minute pace. And you could at least get your story straight. Well, fuck them. And fire Shane.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Lizzie, you rock. Congratulations on the job.

Interview with Lizzie Reis
I've just discovered that I can be bitter and happy at the same time. Very bitter.

Field Hands Find They Can Now Own Land

SUSAN AHDOOT is a poet and visual artist. She began painting as part of her spiritual path and has since had numerous and individual group shows. Ahdoot has been writing poetry for the past two and a half years and toured Europe in May 2000 reading from her first book of poetry, HEAT. Highlights included Shakespeare & Co. and Tea & Tattered Pages in Paris and student workshops in Germany. She has been published in FTS and GW Review. She has two new books of poetry, BEFORE YES and THE END TO INERTIA. She has been invited to participate in the 2003 show on Women's Sexuality that the Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana is producing. She is currently working on a project that combines her poetry and art.
I can't believe I said "okay" to that. Get a grip, Susan.
Tonight on our run we saw: dozens of birds (lots of cardinals), several rabbits, 2 deer (twice), a woodchuck, a cat and a dog.

Things I would study if I didn't have to hold down a lame job:

Physics (theoretical particle and/or astrophysics)
History and Philosophy of Science (physics and mathematics)
Military History (World War I)
Music (conducting, percussion)
Philosophy (ethics, theory of knowledge)
Geology (temblors, plate tectonics, geomorphology)

Monday, May 13, 2002

Six and one-half pages, baby. And there's more where that came from.
There are 9726 users with the interest "Jimmy Eat World" listed and only 3024 users with the interest "lesbians" listed. What's wrong with this picture?
Potter's Bar Train Crash

Eight Feared Dead at Russian Space Complex

Five Sisters Killed in Firebombing of Muslim's Home

Mascots: Cheer On and Cheer Up
Philip Howard cracks me up.

Dear Sir: I have worked in an investment bank in the US for the last two years. A large portion of my day is spent writing e-mails to people within the firm. I find it extremely difficult to change my S's to Z's in words such as "organise", which becomes "organize" here. The recipients of my correspondence are invariably American. What is the proper thing to do? Should I change all my English to American English? Jessica Laskar, Atlanta, Georgia

The useless letter Zee is on its way out even in England. The "rule" is that if an Enlish word is, or could be, derived from a Greek verb ending in -izo, it takes the Zed in English. But, a word like "analyse", which comes from Greek "analusis", "analuein" (no Z) to loose. Stays "analyses". Infuriatingly, Americans tend to spell analyze unetymologically with a Zed. But this is a distinction without a difference. Many style books, including that of The Times, have given up -ize verbs. Do the same. This is a form of "correct" spelling that is barking mad.

Dear Sir: One of my neighbours is English, and I have been trying to get to know him, in a friendly way, for ages. He is terribly shy (or possibly terribly British) and has so far bravely resisted my invitations for coffee. Trouble is, from our brief conversations, I've realised he would make an excellent friend, so how do I make it clear to him I want him as a friend and not a boyfriend? Linda Hennesy, Dublin

Persevere. The English can be very shy. They do not have the warmth or the love of goss and parties of the Irish. I should let the fact that you want him as a friend not a boyfriend emerge naturally in your conversations. If you state it explicitly you may frighten him away to Iceland. The English are slow. But they can be good friends. But you must not assume that you can bend him to your will. He may just be antisocial as well as timid. Keep on being friendly.

Being something of a homosexual, I find myself wondering whether there exists a polite way to inform acquaintances of my orientation, when - as often happens - they ask the inevitable "so do you have a girlfriend?" or similar. I am in my early twenties and do not want to appear either an activist or simply rude, but I do object to heterosexism. Is it better to leave the matter, laugh it off maybe with a polite "ha ha, no", or should I gently correct their mistake? Name and address withheld

There is nothing to be ashamed of in being "something" of a homosexual. Past unhappy and shameful history have made it a love that dares not speak its name. But today you can wear your sexual orientation with pride. In the desperate overpopulation of the world, the more homosexuals the better. To the young and liberal you can say, "I'm gay." To the old and bigoted, when they ask whether you have a girl friend: "No. I'm not that way inclined." Do not pander to the prejudices of the bigots by appearing to be ashamed of your sexual nature.
This 4 a.m. crap has got to stop.

Only a freak gets to work a half hour early on a Monday.
You get the ark, Noah, and I'll round up the animals.

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Is this a cool page or what? Bunker Hill. I miss the Bunker Hill stairs. And look look look! The Embassy and and old Embassy picture. Wow, I'm amazed it's still standing.

I've already written a million and one things in here this weekend, but I want to remember this. I just sent this to Catherine, and it perfectly sums up why I was such a basketcase after the Landers temblor. Given that my room rattled when anything bigger than a 2.0 aftershock occured, I'm surprised I didn't go insane:

April 22, 1992:
6.1 magnitude (foreshock) (Joshua Tree). I convert to Christianity while under my desk.

June 28, 1992 (Gay Pride Day in W. Hollywood):
7.3 magnitude, 4:57 a.m. (Landers quake)

June 28, 1992:
5.6 magnitude, 4:58 a.m. (aftershock)

June 28, 1992:
5.6 magnitude, 5:01 a.m. (aftershock)

June 28, 1992:
6.4 magnitude, 8:04 a.m. (Big Bear, aftershock)

143 of the aftershock quakes registered 4.0 or more, 19 registered 5.0 or more.

Then get this....they now think that aftershocks don't necessarily decrease with time. There are still aftershocks from the Landers quake going on. In 1997 there were 1000 aftershocks from the Landers quake alone. I'd be a basket case if I was still there.

This is from August 17, 2000:
"At 9:43 pm last night, there was a M3.1 Landers aftershock of the June 28, 1992 Mw7.3 Landers quake. The location was 17 miles north of Yucca Valley. It was reported felt in the small town of Landers. Although Landers aftershocks have become rare of late, due to the amount of time since the main shock, they have been continuing at a slow but steady rate."

So, I was already strung out and tense by the end of April (ie., the beginning of the riots). Finish with the riots, move right into more earthquakes.

We had a conversation this morning about space. I'm always amazed that the men at the Y seem to have no problem taking up personal space, and I think this is the one thing I really resent about them--they take up as much room--physically and mentally--as they need. There isn't a single guy out there playing basketball who acts like maybe he shouldn't be there, maybe he isn't good enough or fit enough. When the play is at the other end of the court, the men who are waiting to join the game will shoot at the open basket, then back off when the play comes back down the court. I would never do that, I'd be afraid they'd either yell at me or trample me. And in fact, that's what they did last time I was at Bryant Park, even though the posted rules very clearly said that only 1/2-court games were allowed. I've noticed it in the weight room, too. The men don't think twice about resting on the machines between sets. The women are all slinking from machine to machine, trying not to bump into anyone. The women are all trying to become smaller, trying to become *invisible*, the men are trying to bulk up and take up even more space. And it never occurs to them that maybe they don't have that right.

I just realized I was so obsessed with Curtis Williams on May 6 that I didn't even notice that it was my 6th month anniversary without Coke.
The administration at IU is so effing stupid. IU (the entire state, in fact) is out of money, they have to raise tuition, they laid off 1/2 the physical plant workers, none of us will get the raises we need and deserve this summer, and what the hell does the administration waste money on? I can't believe they spent $136,000 to develop a new logo that looks EXACTLY LIKE THE LOGO PLASTERED ALL AROUND TOWN ALREADY. Idiots. I could have provided those so-called "subtle differences" with a red marker I bought for 0.69 cents at Ben Franklin. And they wonder why the community spits on the university's shoes.
Man, I love Molly Ivins. I want to marry that woman.
I feel better. I spent a lot of time in the arm chair, watching Catherine clean, more or less reading Coachella (which, incidentally, is turning out to be a better book than Seven Moves--I abandoned that one about 1/2 way through last night). Sunny and Ed stopped by for dinner, but didn't stay too long. That's what I like in a guest: good company while they're here, polite enough to excuse themselves early in the evening. I think I'll go to bed and finish my book.

Powell's is double-damned now. I ordered some CDs off the web on Wednesday, and they arrived today. Any shipment from Powell's? No, of course not.

Saturday, May 11, 2002

We did get up and go running, I guess that's the one positive thing to hold onto right now. About 1/2 way through grocery shopping I had to bail and go rest in the car. Came home and went to bed for a few hours. I don't know...Catherine mentioned asking Dr. Florini about a pain management clinic, but that seems I really think I have a few more years of good mobility in me and I don't want to give that belief up yet. Anyway, I'm not sure they'd consider it a good referral since I still refuse to have surgery. Surely if I was desperate, I'd let them cut me open, right? Well...whatever.

Well, one thing I'm going to do is definitely call and make that follow up appointment with Dr. Dellacqua on Monday. I'm not letting him put anything in my hand this time, but maybe he can come up with some other alternative.

My mom said my brother finally called yesterday. How can he be such a jerk? It's been 3 months since dad was in the hospital, and he's just calling now? He said he didn't call before because he thought Mom was mad at him. Well, no kidding. Why shouldn't she be? Mom said Dad gave him a bit of a lecture, it's about fucking time. He'd better stay away from me or he'll find out what real anger is all about.
Okay, I didn't go running (we decided to do it in the a.m., making this my free day, making my back very happy), but man, I got a lot done, which is completely unusual. I usually just sit around and read things of little consequence on my day off.

We had a good dinner. Catherine said something very nice to me, making me quite happy. I was a good girl and cleaned my office when we got home instead of reading the Carol Anshaw novel I recovered from the pile of books in the back seat of the car. I can actually see my desk, and can actually roll my chair over to the drum kit without hurting myself. Good on me. I also got the property tax-exemption forms filled out and ready to go for when Steve gets back. It wasn't as hard as I was making it out to be (of course).

I didn't even freak out when I had to write a $1500 check at the travel agent's. Even though it didn't even include the Washington D.C. tickets. Apparently I'm on my best behavior.

Bought a very excellent book on the way home from dinner, a biography of E=MCsuperscript2. Catherine thinks I'm insane, but I'm completely psyched. I read the first several chapters at the store and really want to finish it now.

How to avoid people you don't like at the bookstore: If they're women, study the books in the sports section. Women don't like to be forced into conversations about rugby. If they're men, study the books in the physics section. Men aren't going to come talk to you and risk finding out that you're smarter than they are. Unless they're Ron, who will stop and talk to you no matter what, unfortunately.

I've more than shattered the self-imposed moratorium on book-buying. I've got to knock this crap off, where am I going to put all these books? I've already gotten rid of most of my academic books, just one or two shelves left, really. My smart friends would be very disappointed in my shelves these days. A few Orientalism books, some British history books, a few Red Scare books. Now where the heck am I going to put all these Civil War books? And my hockey/sailing/climbing/miscellaneous sports shelves are overflowing.

Life according to the bullet point:

--I forgot to read Pat's book this afternoon.
--My hand is freaking killing me.
--Travel agents are a complete rip off.
--I can put a load of laundry in to wash, but it will never make it to the dryer.