Saturday, June 29, 2002

One last note about my wonderful day as I sit at my desk sorting through CDs to take with us tomorrow morning.

I would give up a lot in life if I could hear Monkey Puzzle on a regular basis. I cannot praise Daniel Reed's songwriting skills enough. Hearing Monkey Puzzle again is like...I don't know, I guess somewhere along the order of a miracle. I was devastated when the group dissolved. If only they keep having reunion concerts every now and again, I'll be happy.

A perfect ending to my day. On to the War of Northern Aggression.

11:31 PM

Wow. What a fantastic day I'm having. Went to bed last night in a good mood, cheered immensely by a great second-half performance by the Fever and a long chat with a friend. Too bad a good mood doesn't necessarily translate to sound sleep!

Anyway, we got up, went running, and I didn't let myself wimp out even though I didn't really want to run 2.5 miles (at the one mile mark, I gave myself permission to quit at the two mile mark, but then didn't). So, that was a good start to the day.

The best part, though, was going sailing. Catherine bought me sailing lessons for my upcoming birthday. My birthdays are usually lackluster events, so she's going all out this year to make up for 10 years of rather subdued celebrations. So, we started sailing today, and then she's got good stuff planned for my actual birthday (we'll be in Seattle then).

Anyway, I loved sailing as much as I thought I would and the instructor says I'm a natural. I think it's not so much that I'm a natural (although I spent a lot of time by/on the water when I was a kid) but the fact that I've probably read 50 sailing books over the past two years. Some of the knowledge had to stick in my brain.

I'm completely pleased, and was so happy after we got off the water that I actually teared up (hyper unusual for me). I can't wait to go back.

And now, and now! we're getting ready for the Monkey Puzzle concert. And then we're off on a long vacation week. Can it get any better?

Friday, June 28, 2002

If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the Fieldhouse.

Everyone should have the privilege of watching a good ball game at the Fieldhouse. That's all. Everyone should get to feel the weight of one of the best sports traditions in the nation resting on their shoulders. I can't stress enough how much I love being a Hoosier. I hate being an American, but I love being a Hoosier--there's a contradiction in there somewhere, but I don't care.

Tamika Catchings is an awesome ball player, and Nell Fortner is a fantastic coach. I wish I could spend a week shadowing that woman.

One day Catherine is going to throw me over for a tall, athletic African-American woman, and I won't be able to blame her.

Overheard at the WNBA game this evening, from the gentleman sitting behind me in row 12: "Aw, she's not woman enough to stop you, Tamika!"

10:47 AM

Ice. I need more ice.
4:14 AM

My impulse is to protect myself and not write anything down that might be dug out and used to analyze my personality at a later date.


Hmm...I wanted to be up to three miles by the time I left for camp, I don't think that's going to happen, since I'm only at two and a half right now (and that's a slow two and a half). I don't think I can add on another one-half of a mile in just fourteen days.

Christ. Fourteen days.....

I almost skipped weight-lifting after my morning run, almost talked myself into going home and reading instead, almost decided I'd rather go take a shower, almost decided I could drive to Indy and go skating instead... but I didn't. Ran into Gretchen at the water cooler, which was totally great. She gave foot surgery two thumbs up, so maybe I will just do it one of these days. Right now it's the least of my worries, and a few hours with the night splint takes care of the worst of my foot pain. My knee, on the other hand... well, who cares about my knee, anyway?

Today is my Saturday, and actually, I'm on vacation until July 7th, so I guess I can do whatever I want. I think I will drum for awhile, although if my neighbor hears how lousy I am, I will be hyper embarrassed (turns out the neighbor plays a pretty mean drum kit). Maybe I will take a nap? I have to drive to Indy tonight for a Fever game, so maybe I should.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

So....just got back from getting my head shrunk. Luckily, I have to leave for an IWIHF meeting in a few minutes so I don't have time to sit and obsess and fret and worry about the entire session. Some of the things she wants me to talk about are just, well, *crazy*.
5:17 PM

Got a really nice thank you card from Beth today--so smiley--completely cheered me up.
1:44 PM

I just finished reading an article by Vikki Krane, called "One Lesbian Feminist Epistemology: Integrating Feminist Standpoint, Queer Theory, and Feminist Cultural Studies," from The Sport Psychologist (2001, 15, 401-11). I couldn't find an online copy, and it wasn't that "quotable," anyway, but it did pull together a number of disparate theories for considering lesbians in the realm of sport, so it was a useful find.

What really interested me, of course, was the bibliography, and as soon as I have time, I'm going to track down another article listed (also by Krane), because this is a topic that really gets me ranting:

Krane, V. (2001). "We can be athletic and feminine," but do we want to? Challenges to feminity and heterosexuality in women's sport. Quest, 53, 115-133.

If I have one criticism about the WNBA, it's the incessant emphasis on feminity by the league. I *hate* glammed out athletes, I hate runway model-like publicity shots, and I hate the person who invented sweat-proof makeup and sold it to women as a necessity. Maybe this is one reason I'd rather watch women's soccer? I can't imagine Tiffeny Milbrett or Mia Hamm wasting their time with this stuff. Okay, maybe Brandi Chastain, but Sissi? No way. I'm not saying they shouldn't clean themselves up every once in awhile (showers are not optional!), but geez, do women athletes have to buy into this hyper-feminine junk?

10:56 AM cute. I just spent 20 minutes helping an undergraduate who was doing research for a professor. Reminded me of my first research job.
8:47 AM

Places we will be next week (in no particular order):

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Fredricksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
Petersburg National Battlefield Park
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Vicksburg National Military Park
University of Virginia

Other possibilities:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Site
Booker T Washington National Monument
Cumberland Gap National HIstorical Park
Maggie L Walker National Historic Site
19 days until camp. Not that I'm obsessing or anything.
10:26 PM

I'm completely psyched that Catherine got tickets to the Monkey Puzzle Reunion Concert. Their website cracks me up--not only is it funny looking, they misspelled the name of Buskirk-Chumley Theater.
8:11 PM

I wasn’t going to write this down, because I’m not sure where the boundaries of good ethics lie (lay?), but after talking to Catherine about it, I decided to set it down in words, anyway.

Twice today I had a weird conversation, once with my co-worker, Diane, and once with my boss. In both cases, we were talking about me leaving for my new job, and how I shouldn’t blow off my exit interview. Both Diane and my boss indicated that I should let human resources know about the problems I’m having with Problem Co-Worker A.

This is what I want to know—if everyone knows she’s treating me badly because I’m gay, why the hell hasn’t anyone done anything about it? What good will talking to HR during my *exit interview* do? This is the easy way out for everyone—I leave, and Problem Co-Worker A stays, but no longer has a queer around to make her uncomfortable. What I want to know is what everyone is going to do when an obviously gay student worker applies for a job. Is it going to be okay for this co-worker to treat the student badly, too (assuming she even hires her/him)?

You know, I’m not stone butch. Most people think I dress casually because I play sports, not because I’m a dyke. In fact, I discovered last Friday that Steve has been assuming my partner is male for these past three months. Heterosexuality is assumed the norm, and although I look in the mirror and see a big ol’ dyke, apparently not that many other people do. But I guess look obvious enough to freak out my co-worker, or maybe it's not my appearance, maybe she didn't freak out until someone told her I was a lesbian, I don't know. What’s going to happen when some really butch lesbian student applies for a job, or some guy who happens to flame, gay or straight, shows up? It’s not right that this has been going on for a year now.

Actually, what’s not right is that this isn’t even the reason I’m quitting my job, but suddenly my sexual orientation has become *the* issue. For two and a half years, no one gave a damn what I was, and now it’s a problem. And somehow it’s my problem, because they’re not going to anything to Problem Co-Worker A.
7:15 PM

A forty page study on why relationships/friendships fail when communication is done exclusively through e-mail (along with a section on how to manage disputes once they arise). Oh, I just found a summary of the study published earlier this year in USA Today, of all places. Anyway, I can see where I may be making my mistakes now.
4:15 PM

For the first time, Aaron Mauger will start as fly half (first five eighth) for the All Blacks against Fiji this weekend.
2:26 PM

I really love the second story in this section, "You're Cheer"
1:07 PM

proof that I'm insane
11:39 AM

Addendum: Well, S. Korea lost, anyway, so Germany advances.

Sunny has completely lost her interest in the World Cup, which is too bad, since her country is in the semi-finals. She feels ashamed that S. Korea got there in the manner in which it did. To which I say: it is hardly S. Korea's fault that men's professional soccer is rife with cheating. Every single player cheats, every single game. Soccer is my favorite sport, but I can barely stand to watch men play because of the 4 dozen fake injuries I have to sit through each game. They move the ball ahead on the free kick, they move the ball ahead on the throw in. They throw illegal elbows then protest the yellow card. They cheat, cheat, cheat, constantly.

And quite frankly, Italy is one of the worst offenders, so they have nothing to whine about in the case of losing to S. Korea. The entire Italian soccer structure is rife with corruption, and everyone in the entire country knows it. Defeats and victories are regularly orchestrated in Italy, so they need to just stop whining. A good book on this very subject (one of my favorite sports books, in fact) is Joe McGinniss' Miracle of Castel di Sangro. Italy is as guilty, if not more guilty, of manipulative and deceptive practices on and off the field, so they need to quit throwing their weight around as if they are pure, innocent victims. I'm glad the sport came back to bite them on the butt.

I won't be a huge men's soccer fan until they clean up their act. Can you imagine Michelle Akers going down with a fake injury and rolling around, trying to get a foul called? No way. She'll take a foul, get gored in an illegal slide tackle, and keep playing until they force her to get in the ambulance. Women just don't do that kind of thing. I am really eager for the salaries of women athletes to go up, but part of me worries about what will happen to the sport when it is all about the money, just like it is for the men. Men seem to be wimps who are paid outrageous sums to play act, and I don't want that to happen to the women's game.

10:11 AM

I know we can't afford it right now, but I am really, really, *really* happy we're going sailing on Saturday.
8:46 AM

This looks awesome. I was thinking I wanted to go to the sports camp at Smith next summer (instead of hockey camp), but wouldn't Hawaii be better?

Having said that, I feel so feeble this morning that participating in a sports camp doesn't even seem like a remote possibility.

Addendum, later that same day: On second thought, I have absolutely no interest in getting in touch with my spiritual side, particularly not when it comes to the spiritual side of my sports. I think I'll stick with Smith (it's a lot less expensive, too).

Monday, June 24, 2002

Susana's got some good links on the current mayhem shaking up the WNBA.

I haven't had time to sort out my thoughts on this one yet. It's on my "things to think about" schedule, though.

One thing I *have* thought about is Sue Wicks' comments on the WNBA's refusal to acknowledge the lesbian fan base. The WNBA is so afraid of scaring off the "family-oriented" fans, they refuse to market to lesbians (as if those two categories were mutually exclusive). Let me tell you, Catherine and I have a hell of a lot more money to drop on a night out a game than my former co-worker Rick does, since he would also have to buy tickets for his three daughters. For them, a Fever game is a once-a-season luxury. For us, it's season tickets all the way, baby. I'm practically begging them to take my money, but they won't even show dykes on the jumbotron during time outs, much less cater to us with advertising, merchandising, etc., like they would for another potential source of support for the league. Damn it, for once, I *want* to be a target market.

(As an aside, I know the L.A. Sparks recognized lesbians come to games last year, but I haven't heard if they are still using that fact to boost sales.

Anyway, I'm tired of this argument that no one cares about the WNBA, because all it proves to me is that the marketers aren't doing their jobs, and once again, women athletes are going to get the shaft because of it. I'm sure I've got a real opinion on the possible strike somewhere inside my head, but it appears to be packed away in cotton right now.

8:58 PM

I was so tired this afternoon I went home from work early and slept for two and a half hours. I was practically stretched out napping at my desk, anyway, I thought I might as well be comfortable.

When Catherine got home, we went for a run. We synchronized our watches, I said, "Ready?" and clicked my stopwatch on, took two strides, and said, "Oh. My. God." Talk about masochism, I'm not sure what made me think running was a good idea. The first mile of the run was brutal. The second mile went pretty good, then the last quarter mile was pretty much vomit-inducing.

20 days to camp.

8:54 PM

Links on Shabana Azmi:

A Role She Was Born To

Fatwa Against Shabana Azmi


You Cannot Escape Responsibility

Faces of India

Education of Women Vital

and on Nandita Das:

Fire and Ice

1:57 PM

My hand is incredibly sore. I had to have my boss open this piece of hard candy for me this morning because I didn't have the grip strength. Now that's pathetic.
1:26 PM

Very interesting read from the Columbia Law Review: Theorizing Yes: An Essay on Feminism, Law, and Desire, by Katherine M. Franke. I kind of skimmed the section on mothers and reproduction, but found the second section "Getting Stuck In "No"" as well as the conclusion quite riveting. I haven't given much (any) thought to the idea of "legal feminists," so I appreciated stumbling across this article this morning.
11:01 AM

I had a dream about Gus last night, and I woke up crying.
I am so hungry. Since I have all this time on my hands, I figured out how many calories I burned this weekend. For my weight, playing hockey for four hours, it comes out to 2,547 calories (or thereabouts). Multiply that by two for yesterday and today. No wonder I'm starving.
Queer stuff:

Justice Department Pride Celebration Upsets Conservatives. Fuck them.

Reich Supports Gay Right to Marry. All I want is someone to counterbalance that freak, Lon Mabon.

Islamic Bloc, Christian Right Team Up to Lobby U.N.. Catherine read this outloud to me a few days ago. Again, fuck them. I wish someone would explain to me why someone else's religious practices should have ANY BEARING on my life. If we're going to agitate for some sort of universal right, I want it to be this: I should be able to live my life as I see fit without being ruled by someone else's freaking religion.

India Condemned for Anti-Gay Abuses. This is actually from April, but it related directly to the movie I reviewed below.
More "oh, yeah..." Mom says she doesn't know where Dale is and doesn't want to know where Dale is. She's just going to assume he's still in Winthrop. Apparently there isn't a lot of need for smokejumpers on the complex of fires in Colorado. She thinks they are holding Washington firefighters in reserve because of the fire threat up north. Of course, the moment she said this she contradicted herself and said the the preacher at Ellisforde church has son and daughter both out fighting right now, and at least the son is in Colorado. Apparently he called home the other day and told his dad that the fire line his is on is directly across from Storm King, and when he looks across the valley, he can see the memorial. I got shivers just typing that sentence.
Oh, yeah...I'm so out of it. I wanted to write some stuff down about the movie I saw on Friday, Fire. This is kind of an old movie (1998), but I didn't see it when it first came out. It was directed by Deepa Mehta, and had two absolutely stunning women (stunning in different ways) in it, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. This movie interested me because a lot of people were absolutely appalled by it (read the imdb entry to see some negative comments), and then a lot of people said it was completely great. Which was it?

Right up front, I should say I am not qualified to speak to the film's representations of the Ramayana. That said, I think it's interesting how everyone decided "this is a film against India," "this is a film against Indian men," "this is a film against Hinduism," instead of admitting, "well, okay, this was a film about a particular family in a particular place at a particular moment." Every commentator seems to want the film to be standing for so much more than I think it should. Okay, yes, the Ramayana is used rather obviously. But, really, the film to me seemed to be about two women making decisions. It wasn't about two women deciding an entire religion was bad, it was about two women wondering where their experiences fit into said religion. Two women fall in love. The environment in which they are currently living does not allow for that kind of love, and they need to make a choice, stay or go. That choice really exists independent of any particular religion. We make "stay or go" decisions all the time, about all kinds of things.

Anyway, I think the thing that people should really be wondering--why is a film with some guy jacking off not necessarily banned in India, but a film with the smallest of lesbian scenes (one bare breast, big deal) banned? Why can't I buy this film and ship it to Canada? What is everyone so afraid of? Add a lesbian and it becomes pornographic. Without the lesbians (make one of the lovers male), it only *barely* makes it into the R category. How many people are outraged by frontal nudity in a hetsex scene? And this really has nothing to do with India, or at least not India alone. I mean, you can't have lesbian sex in U.S. cinema, either, unless one (or preferably both) the women are murderers or insane. Geez, they even cut the lesbian kiss from the Scooby Doo movie. You make all the jokes about doing drugs you want, but hey, kissing a girl? that's really criminal.

Quite relevantly, I just found an interesting interview that uses this movie for a springboard to discuss glbt issues in India. Also, an article of the New Delhi-based Campaign for Lesbian Rights, an organization that came about because of crackdowns against gays and lesbians after the release of Fire.

What I liked about Fire (besides watching two beautiful women fall in love!):

It had music--no Indian movie should leave out the obligatory music/dance number
It wasn't five hours long. Not that I'm complaining about multi-hour Amitabh Bachchan epics, but 110 minutes of cinema is usually a good length for me.
The slight suggestion of the obligatory "wet sari" scene at the end. It didn't really devolve into the traditional wet sari scene, but alluded to it, and I thought that was funny.
The fact that the "bad" characters (ie., men) weren't really bad--they were actually fairly complex for antagonists, and I even felt some compassion for them. I didn't really feel any compassion for Biji.
It was pretty funny, the entire way through.

I did wonder why it was in English, subtitles probably would have made more sense, but I was wondering if the director had some sense that it wasn't going to be viewed by anyone in India anyway.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Whew. What a weekend. I am tired, tired, tired. Had a women's hockey clinic this weekend, 8 hours of ice time. A fuller accounting of it can be found in my hockey journal. I'm so zonked--most of it is dehydration--but also pretty pleased with myself. I'm a little less worried about camp right now. I know it's still going to be grueling, but I'm just trying to focus on how I've improved since last summer instead of making lists of all the things I still can't do adequately.

I love the smell of fresh ice, I love the feel of a fresh cut under my skates ("Chicks dig the good ice"). I had forgotten what it felt like to drink sweat and soap (defogs my recspecs) for four hours at a time.

In off-ice news, I finally told my boss this afternoon that I'm quitting. She took it better than I expected, and managed to sound happy for me. The worst part about my leaving isn't that I'm irreplacable, rather that there is a hiring freeze, so they might not get the opportunity to replace me. I feel guilty about that, but not guilty enough to stay. I'm glad to be able to talk about my departure openly now.

Our conversation strayed to other motivations for my leaving, and she more or less confirmed what I thought about Problem Co-Worker A. I know this co-worker is pretty much just insane, but she does seem more insane toward me than anyone else. And other people have mentioned that she has a really big problem with how I dress (ie., like a dyke), and I've just been getting these signals... Anyway, my boss agreed without actually committing herself to it that I wasn't mis-reading the situation, that Problem Co-Worker A does have a problem with just because I'm gay. So, that sucks, and makes me feel not so guilty about leaving.

God, my hands hurt. Too much stickhandling.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Things I managed to get done today:

  1. Watched Germany v. U.S. (only because Catherine was thoughtful enough to wake me up)
  2. Went to the gym*
  3. Visited 2 building sites with Steve
  4. Dusted off the drum kit (literally) and played some drums (couldn't find my favorite sticks)
  5. Dusted off the ashiko (again, literally) and played until I realized I was bruising my thumb with the grabs and that it was going to come back to haunt me when I start playing hockey tomorrow
  6. Played the drums to the Cyndi Lauper's "Twelve Deadly Guns" CD (if that doesn't test the character of our new neighbor, I don't know what will)
  7. Located my favorite tinwhistle (the black feadog D) and played a few songs (way out of practice)
  8. Went to the grocery store (bought oranges, cat treats, bottle of water)
  9. Went to the fabric store (I'm not sure which is more surprising, that velcro costs 6.25/yard, or that I stood in line for 23 minutes to buy it)
  10. Went to the petstore (bought catfood)
  11. Went home, read a couple chapters of Way to Go, Smith!
  12. Went the Monroe County Historical Museum, dropped of the Maple Grove Road videos for Steve
  13. Went to the Monroe County Public Library and turned in my books (they weren't even overdue), checked out new ones.
  14. Picked up Catherine.
  15. Went out to dinner at the Encore.
  16. Finished Way to Go, Smith!, started reading three other books.

Still to be done:

  1. Watch a movie (probably Fire [banned in India!])
  2. Anything else we can think of to pass the time on a sultry Indiana evening.

*One thing I wondered while I was at the gym this morning. Why do people splash words across the back of their shorts? Today I saw (in no particular order): "Cheer!"; "USA"; "Abercrombie & Fitch"; "INDIANA"; and "JAMIE". There is something slightly wrong with having to check out a girl's ass to find out her name.

Also at the gym: I got caught up watching these two women work out. One I kind of recognized, so she must be with the university, or maybe she's just at the Y at alot. Anyway, she was working out with the other woman whose whole being just screamed out "straight!" But the thing that caught my eye was, everytime said straight woman said something, the familiar woman was absolutely riveted. You could have dropped a bomb behind her and her focus would not have wavered. It was either very tragic, watching a woman headed directly toward heartbreak, given that her workout partner was almost certainly straight, or it was sweet, watching someone fall in love (provided it turns out well and the workout partner suddenly realizes she's not straight after all).

Plus, they could both do those push ups where you sit on the floor, back to a bench, then put your hands up behind you on the bench, suspend yourself, and do pushups. My triceps hurt just thinking about it.
Damn. I figured Germany would win, and they did. The U.S. won the possession game, they just couldn't convert. At least we didn't get slaughtered like last time around.
I am probably the only dyke in North America listening to Lesley Garrett right now.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Two posts stolen from two different blogs that prove that men are stupid. When things get tough, they crumble. Faced with overt oppression, they step back and let all the women do the work.

In the space of a couple of hours, I read these two almost identical entries, and both times, I thought: Well, no wonder we're still getting fag bashed.

Post #1, from a lead column in The Advocate:

"Andrew and I used to have a rainbow triangle on our car. We never thought much about it. Then one day we had to go to a biker bar in Trabuco Canyon, Calif. A very famous, very rowdy place. On the way there, several bikers passed, and more than a few expressed upset about our rainbow. When we got there, we took it off. Now, you’re probably gasping. But you know what? We didn’t need it anymore. You see, each day we went before millions of nongays as the happy gay couple talking about life, love, and current events. We were proud by example, by living as two out gay men in front of countless listeners who then gained a better understanding of who and what gay people are. We didn’t need the flag, the parade, a banner—we just needed to live openly. "

Post #2, from some guy named Jhames:

"Oh wait, there was also that one time living here whilst going to college and driving an ‘85 VW Golf. I had a rainbow-flag sticker on the back of PJ (car’s name) (if you need ask whom she is named after, then you need to stop reading this journal right now) (I mean it). My time was spent avoiding men who would speed up to check me out and attempt to flirt with me. Then I once parked outside a Super K-Mart to buy cleaning supplies and returned not fifteen minutes later to find my tires slashed. Ha ha ha. Oh yeah, like I had the money to pay for being a fag with a rainbow-flag. And the mechanics who assisted me with the new tires I couldn’t afford made sure to give me plenty of looks and glares. I immediately drove home and took off every inch of that sticker. Nary a day went by that I regretted my decision. Horny men stopped cruising me, too."

My question--what is this all about, why do both of these men feel so proud of the fact that they decided to hide a gay symbol? "We just needed to live openly"? How is buckling to gay-bashing sneers by removing a visible sign of who you are "living openly"? You *do* need that flag, that banner, because until you can fly it without having to worry about getting knocked in the head by a 2x4, the battle isn't over. Walk around holding hands, that's definitely the right thing to do, but when you eliminate the one symbol that clearly marks you as different, you're not helping anybody. All you're doing is making gay people an invisible minority again.

What really disgusts me--these two decisions to remove the flag weren't made while the car owners were, say, washing the car. They didn't notice it was faded and think, "Gosh, that looks tacky." They removed only after receiving negative attention, and then turned around and claimed it was good thing, because by god, they don't need it to be openly gay. Well, pardon me. You may not think you need it, but every teenager in the world needs you to have it. Every person who is being denied legal rights because of their sexual orientation needs you to have it. I'm not saying everyone should walk around with a rainbow flag. I think they've been bled of a lot of their "revolutionary" meaning, in fact. But please don't tell me these were ethical decisions, because they weren't. They were cowardly.

Oh, and, poor baby, cruised by horny men. Welcome to the world of women.
Yay me. The archives are fixed, and the site works in Netscape 6. I'll take Netscape on 4.2 tomorrow.

I have to write down this conversation I just had with Sunny. I just ran into her in the parking lot (she was coming out of the building, having not found me in my office, I was going into my building, having fled my office for some quality "time out" time). We chatted, then just before we said goodbye, she made this "oh, dear" noise and reached out and kind of touched my cheek by my mouth. I asked her what was wrong (I just ate, so maybe I had food on my face?), but she couldn't come up with the English word. I started guessing, but it wasn't food, not mustache, not flaky skin, not acne...finally she just said, "If you moisturized your face, this wouldn't happen." So, basically, she's pointing out that I'm getting wrinkles!

Good deal, I just got another e-mail from B97, and it looks like I can start listening to it again:

Good Morning;

As a follow-up to my email of yesterday, I want you to know that Kevin Osborne and I met with Troy yesterday afternoon to discuss his "on-air" comments. Based upon that conversation, I can assure you that Troy understands implicitly that these comments are not funny and are inappropriate on our station (or any station.) In short, they are NOT to be aired on our station anymore!

Your email was very useful in sharing with our entire announcing staff the need for sensitivity in our comments on the air. With the recent intolerance we have witnessed locally on Kirkwood Avenue.. this is a timely issue. Again, I thank you for taking the time to write. Your comments are most respected and appreciated. Intelligent discussion is the most appropriate method to effect change.

Have a great day!

Sandy Zehr
General Manager
Bloomington, IN
When was it that librarians turned into a class of people who hate to read? I have one co-worker librarian who doesn't read anything (except for the occasional magazine). She also says that if she did read, she wouldn't read fiction, because novels never say anything important, anyway. That statement is wrong on so many levels. I have another co-worker librarian who reads maybe one or two books a year. My boss reads mysteries only, our office manager reads mysteries only. Another co-worker librarian reads quite a bit, but just spent five minutes trying to convince me that nothing worth reading (in terms of fiction) has been published since the era of Anthony Trollope. Why the hell are these people librarians?
*ahem* The rates at Hoosier Heights Indoor Climbing Facility have not gone up in the last year. If you are that special person who is planning on buying me rock-climbing lessons for my birthday, you can find all the information on line, no phone calls necessary!
Sounds like we won't see Uncle Dale again this year. From the current firefighting headlines, I'd guess he won't be home at all again this season. I can't remember the last time I saw him. This little blurb on naming fires was kind of interesting. I thought I should start using official names--I still say "Dale was on Storm King," when I should say, "Dale was at the South Canyon fire, but no one would know what I meant, anyway.

Anyway, I don't think my mom even knows what fire he's on. It just seems strange that every year I see Dean, Ernie, Rosella, Fern and my mom, but never the mythical Uncle Dale. It's like he's always walking away just before we catch up to him. We go out to the smokejumper base, and he's just left. We go up to Winthrop or Hart's Pass, and he's there, but only because everyone has funny stories about him there as a kid. I know he exists, because I see other little signs of him, like this photo page. But I never see him in the flesh. A little strange.
Jesus fucking christ. Should we really be forced to deal with Lon Mabon as a Senator? Didn't he fuck up Oregon enough? Like I really want to hear him spew hatred on a national level. I bet his first action as a Senator would be to try and push through official recognition for a national "Kill a Queer Day."
In more early morning news, an e-mail from Muff Messier prompted me to mail off another check to pay for transport from Calgary to Banff. This brings the grand total spent on camp to date to US$888.91. Camp: US$390. Airfare: US$448.91. Transportation: US$50. That's better than last year, I guess, since I know I paid US$620 for airfare last time, but it's still depressing. I'll have to pay $72 + tip to get to the Indianapolis airport and back, so that brings us to $960.91. Pay for 3 meals on 7/13, 2 meals on 7/20, and random meals throughout the week when I get tired of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast. Plus, whatever the airline is going to charge me extra for my hockey equipment. Why did I think this was a good idea?

Also, I discovered last week that my weight has shifted so much since the end of the season that my skates no longer fit me. I want to buy a new pair of skates anyway, but I'd like my body to decide what weight it wants to be before I cough up $250. I really want these CCM 1152 Tacks, but it's not very realistic to expect I can take a lower-paying job and still spend money freely on hockey equipment just because I want to. I did, however, finally order a new pair of shoulder pads. They had to backorder them, though, so I don't think they'll be here in time for camp. The skates are the real problem. Maybe I can find a used pair on E-bay if I get desperate.

Hockey things I want, preferably before camp, but probably not very likely:

  1. CCM 1152 Tacks
  2. An Indiana World Skate Academy T-shirt (or two)
  3. Itech women's shoulder pads (ordered---$45 bucks)
  4. New Shockdoctor mouthguard (or at least another one, in the theory that if I swap them out every other day, my mouth won't be so cut up at the end of the week)
  5. Another set of velcro tights
  6. A new helmet--one that freaking fits and doesn't have to be readjusted every 10 minutes.
  7. A smaller equipment bag, preferably CCM (okay, I admit that's a luxury, not a necessity)

I guess I should be trying on helmets. Mine is 2 years old and it's probably time to replace it, and if my feet have changed sizes, my head probably has, too.
So, I started reading this essay by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick in the "Come Out Fighting: A Century of Essential Writing on Gay & Lesbian Liberation" [as an aside, I'm not sure who's more surprised by my choice of reading material, Catherine or me], and discovered something completely fascinating. Everyone knows that homosexuality was de-pathologized in 1973--the Board of Directors of the American Psychiatric Association removed it from the DSM-III (approved by a vote of the membership in 1974). However, what is never mentioned is that, in that same year, "gender identity disorder" was added to the DSM. Homosexuality wasn't de-pathologized at all, it just underwent a name change. It was okay to be gay, but if you were nelly or butch, then you were still a diseased freak.

I haven't finished the article yet, so I'm not sure where the author is actually going with this, but that point just really interested me. It also interested me that John Money was quoted in a *positive* light, a happenstance I can't believe.
Ronda sent us the first session schedule--first practice of the season is late, not until September 6, which means I will have 2 weeks to get my teaching act together before I have to re-focus on hockey. Looks like we're adding a tournament in Cleveland in November.

I'm still listening to EBS, and I really love this song "Despidete." It's probably the prettiest song I've heard in the last ten years. The background vocals give me that "I'm falling in love" feeling whenever I stand still and listen to it.
This evening we went to the Brown County Playhouse to see "Cole Porter," essentially a dramatic performance of his music, interrupted with comedic biographic recitations. I feel so midwestern now. It is so Hoosier to go to the local playhouse on a hot, summer evening, drive home afterward through the fireflies. And what could be more appropriate than a performance about an Indiana native (even if it left out the part about him being gay)? The women in it were much more interesting than the men, but that could just be my bias.

On the way home we got into a discussion about the veracity of the narrative. Catherine was bothered by the lack of attention paid to the Depression and WWII, and I was kind of put off by the way the subject of New York and Manhattan was represented. I mean, okay, so this was the Manhattan that Porter experienced, but it sure as hell wasn't the only Manhattan that existed. How much drinking, dining, dancing, social climbing, theatre attending, etc. do you think the immigrant classes did?

Also, it's amazing how something as simple as a Cole Porter song can become a rousing cheer of patriotism, wrapped in a post-9/11 flag.

Final conclusion: Catherine and I have spent too much time in academia.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

I'm listening to music while working on my template, and all I can say...I'm really sad that Ella Baila Sola broke up last year. It's quite possible they were nothing but lame pop stars in Spain, but man, Marta y Marilia sound so great together. I hear that Marta's solo CD premiered earlier this month in Spain, but I haven't managed to track it down. Since most first graders speak better Spanish than I do, it may take me awhile to find it.
Also...very cool to hear back from Chong this morning. Again, I had to laugh. She used two words that should never be used when referring to me: "stable" and "focused." Neither could be farther from the truth. Ask my therapist, baby.
Two things:

I'm obviously working on a new template here. The archives don't work. Well, they work, but the images on the page don't show up. So, I need to figure out where I'm mis-typing the path (since they work on the home archive page). No big deal, 'cause no one reads them.

The one big thing--I got an answer back from B97. I had been avoiding the station because I was mad, but I started listening again last night. In 30 seconds, I was mad all over again at the anti-gay jokes I was hearing. The text of the *second* e-mail I sent to the station (the first one is a few entries lower), followed by the station's response:


Last Thursday I sent you the below e-mail. Although I did not receive an acknowledgement, I decided to give your radio station another chance. Imagine my disgust when 30 seconds into my listening experience, I heard Troy make yet another anti-gay joke (about Linkin Park's "In the End" being Harvey Fierstein's theme song, a slur that I find completely appalling). You clearly do not have a policy against on-air slurs and bigotry, and from your lack of response to my previous e-mail, I can only trust that no future policy will be instated.

I am writing to let you know that my partner and I will no longer listen to B97. We can get the same playlist without the on-air bigotry from WENS, WTTS and WZPL. You should also know that I have started a list of businesses whose commercials I have heard on B97. As soon as possible, I will be contacting each of these businesses and informing them as to why I will no longer be patronizing their establishments. By buying air time from B97, they are tacitly approving of Troy's bigoted behavior, and I will not give my money to any such enterprise. I will also be contacting my employer, Indiana University, to discuss the school's association with a station that so obviously promotes anti-gay sentiments.



WBWB's response:

Dear JR;

Kevin Osborne, WBWB Program Director, provide me with a copy of your email. Thank you for taking the time to write us.

I want to apologize for our lack of response to your first email. We are very proud of the fact that we respond to our email inquiries in a timely fashion. We, somehow, did not receive you first email. Had we received it, we would have responded promptly. Please do not construe our lack of response to your email as a lack of interest on our part.

Neither Kevin, nor I heard either segment that you have mentioned. We apologize for offending you. As soon as Troy reports for work today I will speak with him personally about this matter and show him your letter.

I can assure you that WBWB is not interested in promoting intolerance in any form. Your email messages will serve to provide some very good conversation amongst our announcing staff about our "on-air" remarks and the need for sensitivity. This is an issue that our station will continue to work on. Again, thank you very much for the time you took to send us the email.

Susan, we sincerely apologize for offending you. We pride ourselves in being "in touch" with our listeners and will continue to strive to do so. Please do not hesitate to email me with any concerns you may have in the future. I am very interested in making our station better and appreciate your honest feedback. I want to encourage you to give our station a chance to take corrective action.

Thanks again for the time you invested in writing our station.

Personal Regards;

Sandy Zehr
General Manager
Bloomington, IN
Maybe it is just because I'm leaving soon, but my co-workers (okay, three co-workers in particular) are REALLY GETTING ON MY NERVES.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

And go, Martina, go.
Korea is in the quarter-finals, go Korea! Round of 8, who woulda thunk. Since Costa Rica left so early, I'm going for S. Korea.
You know, I'll never be the best skater on my team, and I'm okay with that. I'm never going to be fittest athlete in the world, and I'm okay with that, too. Mostly, I have to say I'm very proud of myself right now. My weight is closer to the place I want it to be, I'm working out everyday without going completely overboard, and my body feels good (or at least not so bad!). I ran two miles at lunch today. Yeah, they were slow miles, and yeah, I still have a limp, but I'm proud of myself for working on my strength and aerobic fitness. I am going to try and keep a positive attitude throughout training camp.
Wow. Chong wrote me back. I think I should wait awhile to answer her so she doesn't think I'm stalking her or something. I'm really interested to hear what she's been up to the last 10 years.
The text of the e-mail I sent to our local radio station, B97, WBWB. Still no reply.

Do you think we could get through one day without Troy making some disparaging remark about gay men? You know, I really make an effort to listen to your station because I appreciate the work that Pam Thrash does for the IU Women's Basketball team. I try to support her and her employer to pay her back for supporting women's athletics in this town. But, quite honestly, if I have to hear one more stupid, insensitive thing from Troy, I’m changing the channel and never coming back. I swear, every time I listen to his show, he says something completely insulting, either making anti-gay jokes, or (negative) suggestive comments, or something equally inane, and I'm tired of it.

I'm sitting at my desk, listening to one of the librarians talk about the driving habits of people who live in Seattle: "It used to be this way, but now it's just a big city and it's not that way anymore." And I am compelled to say outloud: "But it's not like you've ever lived there, or even been there recently, or ever driven there."

I can be a bitch, but man, how can you be spouting off your opinions on Seattle when you've only been there a couple of times 20 years ago?

Monday, June 17, 2002

Okay...I did kind of a bad thing just now. I submitted a paper proposal for a conference a couple months ago. I've been worrying about it ever since, and I just wrote to the organizers and pulled out. I don't want to go, I guess. Truthfully, it would be almost impossible to teach and go to the conference, but I bet Kirk would help out if I really wanted him to do so. I just don't want to go. I feel really guilty.
I can't believe this.
My goal today is to start working on my father's book again. I should have finished it ages ago, I really just need to piece together the manuscript and do some small edits. After that I can concentrate on the new introduction and conclusion. In the meantime, I'm going to work on some query letters.
During the week, I feel really guilty about my decision to quit my job. I like my boss, and she's going to be completely stressed out when she finds out. I know they won't fill the position once I leave because of the budget, and everyone is going to completely freak out.


After sitting here for another 8 hours on a Sunday with no work, no co-worker, going absolutely freaking insane, I never regret my decision. If they wanted to keep me so badly, they would have figured out how to move my shift to a M-F one instead of this stupid S-Th one. This is the biggest waste of the university's money I have ever seen. There is nothing to do! If there was, I'd do it, believe me, I'm so bored, I want to break a machine just to have something to fix. And now it's worse, because UITS brought in a consultant station, so what little I had to do on Sundays has been taken over by them.

So, I am glad once again that I made the decision to leave, and I can hardly wait for it to be August. I was going to tell my boss next week, but turns out she's out for the week, moving to a new house. I guess I will have to tell her the next week.

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Damnation, I just found out that Alex almost died last week, from a pulmonary embollism. Alex, if you die, I'm going to fucking kill you.
Oh, and just let me add, this iced mocha (decaf, skim milk) is the worst coffee drink I have ever had. I usually like Starbucks okay (coming from the PNW, it's what I was used to, that and Tony's), but this is crap.
Busy weekend. I skated for the first time in forever on Friday. My knee is aching a lot, but overall, I'm pleased. I actually seemed more steady on the ice than usual, so maybe the time off didn't hurt me as much as I feared. I have a hockey clinic coming up in two weeks, and I'm not sure my knee is up to 8 hours of ice time, but we'll see.

I managed to get in 4 runs in 4 days, but I am going to force myself to take a day off from running tomorrow. Weights only, only upperbody work. My knee needs the rest.

Had a nice evening out with Catherine on Friday. We were going to go to a movie after dinner, but decided to go to the bookstore instead, then had some ice cream. Then home for some quality time. Very nice day all the way around.

Saturday, we went out to the Quarry Diner with Erika and Henry for brunch, had a good time. We'd like to go back (with and without Erika and Henry). Then we drove up to Greenwood, bought a few t-shirts and shorts at the mall, then went to Galyans for more running socks. We never have enough. Then on into Indy for the Fever game. We lost :(

I played with the Clie a lot this weekend, I still love it. Read a lot, just not enough hours in the day to read everything I want. At one point last week, I had two books open in my lap and found myself reading a couple pages of one, then a couple pages of the other, because I couldn't decide which to read. Several gay books on the stack right now, a new development. I mean, I read a lot of lesbian novels (even sometimes the ones that are so poorly written they make me wince), but seldom any non-fiction. Lately, though, I've been reading a lot of theory, perhaps inspired by Susana? She seems so attuned to her chicana identity, like she's really given it a lot of thought, and lately I've realized, yeah, I'm gay, but I haven't thought about it in any great detail in like...10 years.

Back at work.

Overall, a nice weekend. The worst part: I almost got in an accident that would have killed me, no doubt. I swear to god I checked for cross traffic (more than once!) before pulling onto 37, but I just didn't see that car. I'm amazed I'm still alive. It scared the hell out of me. I was too tired to be driving, that's for sure. The good news: I've gotten a few more hours of sleep under my belt and feel fairly alert again.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Can I just say how much I love my Sony Clie? I don't know why I waited so long to buy a PDA. Yeah, they're expensive, but I really, really love it.

Friday, June 14, 2002

Everyone should live in a state with fireflies.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Lizzie Reis rocks.

Why is that? Because she took more than an hour out of her way busy life today to talk to me about [erasure]. I've had all these questions piling up for years, and when we were in New York, they suddenly overwhelmed me, and I didn't know who to talk to about it. Lizzie didn't laugh, didn't tell me my questions were stupid. And I really appreciate it. I sincerely miss that woman.
So...this morning I sent an e-mail to Chong, and maybe that was the wrong thing to do. I was driving to work and this old Jesus Jones song came on the radio, and I just suddenly had a really intense memory of her. I think (okay, I know) the song used to be on one of those mix tapes she made me, like....10 years ago. So I ran her name through google, and I think I found her e-mail address (although maybe not, there were a couple of choices). Now I wait and see if she ever writes back. Maybe she will tell me to jump in the lake, and then maybe I would do it.
I went out for a cheese sandwich at lunch, and realized I was so un-alert that I shouldn't have been driving.

Good things:

  1. Beth looked really cute last night, and she loved the Redwings baby clothes.
  2. The meeting went more efficiently last night.
  3. I've got 2 prototype websites designed.
I'm too tired to write, I really am. There are some thing I need to jot down, but I lack the energy.

The bullet-list approach:

  1. This is the first job I've ever had (say, in the last 15 years) that I've felt like a co-worker had a problem with me because I'm gay
  2. I've over-extended myself with IWIHF, I'm on too many committees
  3. I really need my head shrunk, I'm tired of having insomnia
  4. I can't leave this job soon enough
  5. This list isn't working because it's just reminding me of how fucked up I am

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

We bought a couple of videos from Curve Magazine, watched one of them last night, Chutney Popcorn. Two thumbs up.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Things from yesterday:

I had a follow-up appointment, and I'm being referred on for some long-term work. It was kind of a good news/bad news situation. She definitely thought I could be "cured," but thought it would take awhile. But, she thought by the time I started teaching in the fall, I should feel better. I just need to get up the courage to call the insurance company and ask for the referral list. I hate the phone.

I backed off an argument with my dad last night, but my god, he makes me mad. He's all knee-jerk "you shouldn't go to New York because you'll get blown up." I explained that a senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corporation (how much more conservative does he need my sources to be?) suggested that the threat of getting blown up by a terrorist was minimal at best, but because the words came out of my mouth, they meant nothing. If he had read them on his own, they would be like gold, but since they were mine, they were like styrofoam.

I'm pleased to be running again. I ran two miles last night, and my knee hurt the entire time, but it doesn't hurt so much after I ice it, so I can put up with the pain while running. I want to be up to three miles by camp, four miles by the beginning of the season.
Things from today:

I am about to be the new owner of a Sony Clie PEG-N710C. According to the owner (whom I trust), "It's in great shape, beautiful high res color display, has USB dock, all original software, the cute headphones that came with it, even the original box." I've been wanting a PDA for a long time, and several times in the last week I have messed up my appt. times because I use Outlook to keep track of my life, but I was away from my machine. It's pricey, but I'm happy.

My boss made one of my co-workers cry this morning, ragging on her about the web page. The page isn't even up for public viewing yet, and I think the design is pretty solid (and frankly, I know more about it than my boss). Even if it wasn't, do you have to harsh on someone so bad they cry? It's not like my co-worker breaks into tears over nothing. I should have interrupted and distracted my boss, but I confess, I didn't want to get involved. Also, I feel doubly bad because I know my co-worker is upset over her boyfriend having to move all the way north in the state to get a job. So that sucks.

Monday, June 10, 2002

I just want to say, despite the freaked out faux-Baptist anti-gay rallies, I love Indiana. We knew we were home when the cashier called me "Hon" when giving back my change at the parking lot in the airport. And at lunch today, the woman at the drive up window told me to come back and visit them real soon. Hoosiers are great.
Additional links to remind me about the weekend:

Brian Michael Jenkins
Crime and Violence After the Cold War (1993)
Opening Address, Conference: Terrorism and Beyond, Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (2000)
A Confounding, Complex Tragedy, Columbia (2001)
Testimony of Brian Michael Jenkins before the Subcommittee on National Security, etc. (1999)
The Future Course of International Terrorism (1987)
"Best Security Practices" for Protecting Surface Transportation Against Terrorism and Serious Crime (2002)

James Ingo Freed
Architecture of the Holocaust Memorial

Bonnie Burnham
World Monument Fund
WMF at Angkor

Bartholomew Voorsanger
Dreams Amid the Debris
Lest We Forget
Up From the Ashes
Steel Beams May Be Used in Memorial
How to Remember the Day
Competing Plans

Benazzi, Ducibella, Smilowitz
Jaros Baum & Bolles
"Security in a New Age" White Papers
DVS Security
Weidlinger Associates, Applied Science Division
It is really too bad that conservative thought has been so mired down with the bigotry of the religious right. I so expected to hate the presentations by the RAND Corporation guys this weekend, but they were absolutely fantastic. Catherine and I had a long talk about my knee jerk reactions to conservatives, and it all comes down to: it's hard to imagine conservative politics without bigotry. And that's not fair. My boss, for instance, is a very good person, pro-choice, definitely not a bigot, but is a fiscal conservative. There should be room for her thoughts on this matter even if I don't agree with them.
It's probably a good idea to listen to Paula Martinac on this one.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Wow, what an action-packed few days this has been. I am weary to the bone, but the conference was really interesting. It was very poorly attended, which is too bad, because there were some amazing speakers. Sometimes I wish I could just round up Americans at random and make them listen to this stuff.

We got in to New York hyper late on Wednesday because of the weather, and the cab driver did not really seem to know how to get us to the East Village from LaGuardia. I didn't like the place we were staying, and have extracted (another) promise from Catherine that we will get a real hotel next time. This makes two weird places we've stayed, and I'm done with that. It never really felt private enough.

Thursday, we dragged ourselves out of bed and down to the Village. Walked along Christopher Street, spent $119 on books in the Oscar Wilde Bookshop. It's sad that Barnes and Noble has completely displaced the independent book sellers in Manhattan. I don't know, maybe the B&N in the Village has a better selection than the one here, but I'd rather give my money to Oscar Wilde. They had a really good selection (compared to here), and it was nice to just be able to stand and browse. Had an excellent iced mocha on Christopher Street, wish I could remember the name of the place.

Thursday evening was the opening reception for the conference, held at the


So...hard evening.

Friday morning, we went back to Ground Zero. It was much more peaceful, the pit is almost empty, they are rebuilding the subway station, etc. It was good to see something so clean after what we saw there last fall, a kind of pyschological closure. Of course, today we learn that more bodies have been recovered from the buildings next to the site, so I guess it just never ends, but it did feel good to at least see the end of the WTC site clean-up. I am a little depressed by the idea that patriotism (nationalism?) has become shorthand for Christianity. The Iron Cross did little to move me emotionally, maybe I've done all my crying, but also, the symbol of the cross does very little to me at any time. All it is is an empty symbol for me, so seeing it at the site didn't really upset me like it did some others. The words written on the border of a flag upset me more--a few lines to "Jimmy and Dad" (I think those were the names), saying that they had hoped to find them there, but they know the people who didn't find them were trying their best and they were holding on to that...

Mostly, the trip to Ground Zero was peaceful, a nice bookend to my trip there last November.

So, the conference. Wow, the conference. Bruce Cole didn't impress me at all, but of course, I hate him anyway, so nothing he could say would impress me. The music by Josh White, Jr. was really nice, and reminded me of all those Flirtations albums I can't stand to listen to because it's all to painful, reminding me of hate, politics, AIDS, everything that was so hard ten years ago...

1) The first great talk was by Brian Michael Jenkins, undoubtedly the most expert person on terrorism I have ever seen. He's a senior advisor to the president of the RAND Corporation, so I wasn't sure what his politics were (I guess I shouldn't judge people be whether they were Green Berets or not, huh?), but he was absolutely fascinating, and very rational. He said one or two things with which I didn't agree, but had some really good points. The best one I thought was:

There is an affinity between the people who build things like the WTC and the people who destroy them. The impulse to build is the exact same thing as the impulse to destroy. It is symbolic. Yamasaki and Atta agreed on the symbolic values of the WTC, and that is perhaps something we should think about. Talked about the WTC as the Venice of today.

He told us some of the coolest stuff. Mohammed Atta was trained as an urban planner, the WTC destruction was his plan, not bin Laden's. He grew up in Cairo, in Giza, and out of his window he could not see the pyramids because they were blocked by these two buildings that looked just like the WTC. Just before he carried out his plan, he went back to Germany to finish his disseration (!) on the preservation of traditional Islamic neighborhoods against their destruction by the forces of global capitalism. Jenkins main point here was--you can't order someone to kill themselves, they have to be already willing, and Atta was. He was pursuing a utopian vision of the 7th c. caliphate, the height of Islamic culture. If you can offer them the 7th c. caliphate, tell them if they embrace muscular jihad they will obtain it, but the obstacle in the way is the West...then they will kill themselves. If you can destroy the U.S., demoralize it, destroy its culture, you can recreate the caliphate.

Jenkins also talked about a fundamental change in terrorism. In the 70s and 80s, it was easier to deal with and understand. The terrorists were pursuing political objects and they did in fact try not to kill too many people lest they jeopardize their political success. In the 90s, it began to change. Two engines of conflict, religion and ethnic hatreds. So long as there is religion, the mandate of God, then all the conventional morality constraints against murder and destruction are moot. We've reached the point of large-scale, indiscriminate violence.

1970s--fatalities = 10s
1980s--fatalities = 100s
2001--fatatilities = 1000s

We are moving into a realm of terrorist where the intent is massive death and destruction. To obliterate culture, icons. They are not making aesthetic judgements, but political. Ideas of appropriate targets have changed, looking for immediately recognizable targets. On the list: Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, McDonald's.

Still, to avoid being killed by a terrorist while traveling by air, the trick is to drive carefully to the airport. You have a 1:17000 chance of being murdered (if murdered, a 1:4 chance the killer will be a family member or close friend), a 1:7000 chance of dying in a car wreck, a 1:100,000 chance of being killed by a terrorist (using WTC numbers), or a 1:1,000,000s chance of being killed by a terrorist (using pre-WTC numbers).

Jenkins recommended two books: Divided We Stand (about the WTC), and How Did This Happen (about 9/11 in general).

Excellent talk, I was skeptical before he started to speak, but it was one of the best of the weekend. My only real problem with his talk was the point were he constructed domestic terrorists (Timothy McVeigh, for instance) as essentially benign, and international terrorists as essentially dangerous. I'm not sure I agree that militia-based, U.S.-grown terrorists are harmless.

2) James Ingo Freed, architect of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., gave a paper on resisting the temptation to let terrorism force us into building bunker-style architecture. It was interesting, but I didn't take notes because I had to listen so attentively. I wanted to ask him why interior spaces of buildings would become more particularized as a response to terrorism. I got the other points he was making about curtain walls, jersey barriers, etc., but I'm not sure why the interior space would be collapsed.

3) Bonnie Burnham gave a really neat talk about world monuments in an age of uncertainty, and it was rather optimistic as she focused on Angkor in Cambodia and Mostar in Bosnia as sites that were being successfully rehabilitated after destruction/neglect. She had an interesting point about the Hague Convention and the refusal to ratify it by the U.S. We were thinking of war in terms of nuclear disaster, so we didn't think it had any bearing on reality. The fact that we continue to participate in conventional warfare has forced us to reconsider the Hague Convention. The bad part about the convention is--they mark the buildings that should be preserved, and if you've moved out of ideology and into the idea of religious intolerance, you're going to ignore those marks, or use them to decide which buildings to destroy. Even conventional warfare no longer follows the conventional constraints of morality.

An interesting thing she noted was that the World Monument Watch was funded by American Express. The sites that are saved/rescued/rehabilitated are usually done so because AmEx sees potential tourism dollars from them.

4) John Belle gave a short paper on preservation and design of culturally important spaces, focused on his firm's work on the renovation of Grand Central Station.

5) Another RAND guy, Kevin Lewis, also talked, the key point of his talk being "it pays to attack Rosie the Riveter rather than G.I. Joe." In other words, his talk was on the process of making the "homefront" a legitimate target. In the margin of my notes for this talk, I have written "he's crazy. Either that, or he's brilliant. I'm not sure which," which made Catherine laugh.

6) William S. Dudley, director of the Naval Historical Center, gave an update on the state of his collection. Because of increased security at his site, the collection is no longer accessible to the public. So, his talk focused on how to make a national collection accessible even though it is housed in a secure area--do you do it digitally? Do you move it? What do you do? How do you protect art in a military environment?

7) The chief curator of the Musee d'Orsay gave a lecture on transforming a culturally important site into a functioning museum. I think this was interesting (Catherine thought so), but I was exhausted, and also I've never been to the Musee d'Orsay, so I had some trouble keeping my eyes open.

8) One of the best talks was given by Bartholomew Voorsanger, a principal at Voorsanger and Associates, Architects. All I can say is: it sucks to be him. It fell to him to crawl through the rubble of the WTC, the Fresh Kills landfill, and the scrap metal processing sites to mark things for preservation for a future memorial. He was contaced by the Port Authority a couple of days after 9/11, and although there were originally three people tapped for the job, it eventually fell to him to try and decide what kind of materials needed to be preserved for museums, etc. They had *2 days* to come up with a full plan of what to save, how to save it, why to save it, etc. I wish I had a copy of his report, it's probably 1000s of pages thick by now, but my god, what work. Here's a here's another one. It was so fascinating I forgot to take notes, but I doubt I'll forget it.

The reception Friday night was at the Morgan Library, but I was so tired, I can't say I really even enjoyed it. I know I definitely didn't enjoy walking through Spanish Harlem to get to a subway station so we could get to the library. We left after about 20 minutes and went back to the East Village. Had pierogi for dinner at this great Ukrainian place, Veselka.

Saturday morning, returned to Veselka for breakfast (open 24 hours!). Today's talks were more on the practical side of things, and again, I can't stress how fantastic this conference line-up was. Everyone should have to listen to these people talk.

1) The first panel talk was by Robert Ducibella, Robert Smilowitz, and Robert Benazzi (the Bobs), and really went into the details of designing architecture to withstand terrorist assault. The handout they gave out was 50 or 60 pages long, so I'm not going to retype it here. But the three of them together were great--a security consulting engineer, a structural and explosion protection engineer, and mechanical/electrical and plumbing engineer. All very articulate and just all around bright. They talked about current explosive capabilities, safety zones, safetey designs, weapons detection, parcel inspection, glazing, doors, HVAC, etc. Lots of explosion models, lots of real life examples (from Oklahoma, for instance). Best use of PowerPoint I've seen to date. It was a detailed presentation of all the things we could do with our buildings, but yet didn't have that panicked, scare-mongering tone to it.

As an aside, almost everyone poked fun at the Bush administration's warning system this weekend, even the people from the government!

2) Dorit Straus, from Chubb Insurance, gave an update on the state of insurance after 9/11. She explained the differences between insurance companies, insurance brokers, and re-insurers. She talked about the $50 billion loss the insurance industry took from the WTC attack, and told us how the industry had changed. The short version: insurance prices will climb. However, she gave us the detailed version, and her handout was good in that it broke out the state of the market prior to 9/11, the fine art insurance "players," the state of the market after 9/11, terrorism coverage in the private insurance industry, the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program, and an update on shipping and transit. Great to see so many people outside of art historians talking at an art conference, so many new perspectives.

3) Walter Butz gave an update on the changes of shipping and transit of art after 9/11 from a European perspective. Basically, everyone went crazy and it was a big pain in the butt.

4) Jim J. Lucy, former Secret Service man, now in charge of protecting the art at the National Gallery, gave an excellent lecture on the National Gallery's position in pre and post 9/11 times. It was really neat to hear about how they handled 9/11 being right on the mall, and knowing (as a former Secret Service agent) that 80% of the information anyone gets during a disaster is wrong. They had to decide what to do with employees, visitors, objects, etc., all based on information he knew would probably be wrong. Talked about the importance of emergency procedure manuals (the National Gallery had one, but no one knew where it was), practical things like offsite storage of employee phone numbers. Talked about what they were going to do for security in the future in contrast to what was happening at the Smithsonian. Very funny guy.

We had to miss the last couple talks because of needing to get back and get our luggage and go to the airport. We walked to lower Manhattan (well, we walked 70 blocks, we needed to walk 100 but decided to take the subway the last 30 in the interest of my feet).

Overall, I thought the conference was excellent. The organization wasn't all that great, the time wasn't handled well, the transportation wasn't handled very well, but the speakers were excellent. They really got some top notch presenters, and I wish I could eat dinner with them all, one by one, so I could grill them. I wouldn't have expected to have any affinity for a retired Secret Service agent, but I found myself really tuning into what he was saying. Again, I wish I could have dragged some other people with me to listen to this, there is so much to think about, and I know Catherine is already tired of hearing me ramble endlessly about it all.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

I just did 14 and one around Thomson Park! I am so impressed with myself. For once, I really am :)

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

The stuff I posted here this afternoon comes out of a storage locker I had on IU's web server. Couldn't bear to throw it all away.
It troubled me as once I was--
For I was once a child--
Concluding how an Atom--fell-
And yet the Heavens--held--

The Heavens weighed the most--by far--
Yet Blue--and solid--stood--
Without a Bolt--that I could prove--
Would Giants--understand?

Life set me larger--problems--
Some I shall keep--to solve--
Till Algebra is easier--
Or simpler proved--above--

Then--too--be comprehended--
What sorer--puzzled me--
Why Heaven did not break away--
And tumble--Blue--on me--

Emily Dickinson,
c. 1862
You Reading This: Stop

Don't just stay tangled up in your life.
Out there in some river or cave where you
could have been, some absolute, lonely
dawn may arrive and begin the story
that means what everything is about.
So don't just look, either:
let your whole self drift like a breath and learn
its way down through the trees. Let that fine
waterfall-smoke filter its gone, magnified presence
all through the forest. Stand here till all that
you were can wander away and come back slowly,
carrying a strange new flavor into your life.
Feel it? That's what we mean. So don't just
read this--rub your thought over it.

Now you can go on.

--William Stafford, from The Methow River Poems
Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.--Franz Kafka, 18 Oct. 1921.
Journal, Bellingham, Washington, 1985 (retrieved from the bottom of an old box)

...the pulsing of blood behind my eyes. I hope I'll be attacked on the way home. Hospitals are always warm: I hate the cold. It gets in my bones and slowly cracks them, one by one, departing only for a few weeks in the summer, giving me hardly enough time to heal. I am never attacked. Instead, I continue home, tears streaming down my face, trying to focus my eyes on the walk in front of me. I'm afraid to look up--hallucinations are all too common these days. No, instead, I walk, repeatedly asking myself my name, so that I won't forget it. This is a small thread of sanity. I revel in the fact that I know my own name. Across the square, I'm sure I will not make it home. My backpack won't stay on my shoulder, and my shoe is untied. I bend to tie it, wanting to crawl behind the cold, concrete trash can to cry. But I refuse to do so in public. I refuse to let them see what an outcast I really am. I am forced to walk the rest of the way home. Praying my roommate isn't home, I smile and say hello to my neighbor. I hate her, but am too weak to say so. If my roommate is home, well, I become human again. she doesn't know about the pile of leaves under my bed, the smoke in my eyes. I'm a real person now, and will be as long as she is there. But, of course, she's not, she never is home. And as I lock the door behind me, I become a disease, a monster, a ghost escaped from hell. Those tears can't be described. Besides, no one really wants to know what it's like to cry until you vomit. but, for me, it's reality. What do I cry about? I've looked at my clock, and I know that in ten hours, I will have to be awake, I will have to try again. I have to STAY AWAKE. I'm on the floor now, crying so hard I can't move. I can't face tomorrow, knowing I have to get out of bed. I promise myself to buy a rake.
In A Perfect World
by Andrew Motion

I was walking the Thames path from
to Westminster, just because I was free
to do so, just for the pleasure of light
filling my head, just for the breeze like a
hand tap-tap-tap-tapping the small of my back,
just for the slow and steady breath of dust

fanning on flints, on cobbles, on squared-
slab-stones - dust which was marking the
time it takes for a thing to be born, to die,
then to be born again. The puzzled brow
of Parliament filling the distance, ducking
and diving as long parades of tree-clouds
or skinny-ribbed office blocks worked their
in between. The mouth of the Wandle
its sick tongue out and went. The smoke-
scarred walls
of a disused warehouse offered on close
inspection a locked-away world of rust
and sand flecks and slate all hoarding the
That's right: I was walking the Thames
Path east
as though I was water myself - each twist
and turn bringing me out on the level,
leading me hither and thither through
into the hush of my clarified head,
into the chamber where one voice
its mind could fathom what liberty means,

and catch the echo of others which ring
round the rim of the world. Catch and
The buttery sun kept casting its light
on everything equally. The soft breeze
did as it always did, and ushered me on.
Catherine told me last night that my McDavid knee guard looked "implausible." I think it looks "stupid."
Remember how I said I was calmer? I take that back. Kirk gave me the course assignments just now: 2 sections of AutoCAD (no problem), 1 section of architectural layout (I think I'm okay with that), and 1 section of construction materials and specifications (I am so not qualified to teach that). So, now I'm in a semi-panic, because I didn't really retain anything I learned in my own construction materials course, and I have NO practical experience. Geez louise.
I'm a little calmer about the whole job thing now. I have a freaking long to-do list for the next 10 weeks before I leave here. I'm not sure the part-time job at BRI will work out, they might be looking for a rehab/specifications person instead of an office person, and I'm not qualified for that. But, I often see part-time positions for drafters, so I will try to hook up with something like that if 4 classes aren't enough work.