Monday, 24 November 2008

Damn Fine

In response to my last post, the lovely greg asked, "Do you remember the first moment that you realized you were in love with FG?"

Well! As it so happens, I do. But like any perfect moment, it requires some background.

FG and I grew up in a small, insular town where you basically knew everyone who was your age, +/- one grade. So we knew each other but we didn't start really hanging out until the summer I turned fourteen, which was also the summer before we started attending the same school. I was entering high school, she was starting at that school as a sophomore. Even that summer I was becoming infatuated... there were those endless, unspeakably fascinating conversations of early love, both of us on my kitchen floor, or over the phone while I walked barefoot on the kitchen counters or leaned out the bathroom window.

On the first day of school I remember thinking about her all day--it was a special orientation day for freshmen and new students, so she was there, and I kept imagining where in the building she was or what she might be doing. It didn't take long for us to start finding reasons to run into each other between every class, sit together at lunch, the whole nine yards. Occasionally I wondered what I was doing but honestly the drive just to be in her presence was so strong I didn't think about much else.

(Of course I wasn't thinking about whether this was a crush. I was a girl, and girls didn't have crushes on girls. Full stop, end of conversation. In fact, don't even start that conversation. That's how it went in my head.)

Towards the middle of September, or maybe earlier, I don't remember the exact date, there was some sort of assembly that was, again, just for freshmen and new students. On the way back I walked with FG and another new sophomore, who made a sardonic remark about having to spend so much time with the "damn freshmen."

FG half-glanced at me and replied, "Well, I've been spending time with a freshman. And a damn fine one, too!"

And that was it. Bang, hey presto, it's all over: I was in love. I still remember the hallway being soaked with honey-colored sunshine, feeling invincible and like my knees were about to give way, a new painful joy that started in my heart and throbbed out past my fingertips and toes.

I don't know if I said anything in more or just wandered off to my library orientation, grinning stupidly. But I remember smiling all the way through the presentation on call numbers and card catalogues, and thinking: "I'm in love. I don't care what this means. I don't care. I'm in love, and I'm never going to forget this happiness."

And I haven't.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Reflections, Miscellaneous

It's gotten a bit quiet in here.

I went to the protest in Boston over Prop. 8 etc. on Saturday. It was my first public protest and while I didn't find it transformative in the moment, I find that my feelings on politics, particularly queers politics and the politics of queers and the politics you can't avoid just because you are queer, have undergone quite a shift over the past several weeks. I was raised not to give offense, ever, to anyone, and so it's something new to stand around with 5,000 of my closest friends outside Government Center shouting about my civil rights, that's for sure. But even more new for me is the talking out and talking back, not letting a conversation peter out when I feel uncomfortable but pressing on and making the best case I can for challenging the passage of Prop. 8 in the courts or whatever it is.

All this politics, and it's all so important, and tomorrow's Trans Day of Remembrance, too. I'm not able to take part in anything formal but I'll be thinking about all those who have suffered and died for being transgender. (Well, does anyone transgender not suffer, in this society? But that's another topic entirely.) I really hope all this galvanizing over Prop. 8 ends up being inclusive and expansive. We need an end to violence and we need civil rights; we need equal protection, full stop.

And in the midst of all this, real life flows on, too, of course. I distract FG from her homework and drag her off to the bedroom (oh yes I do). And I make up for all that (not so) wasted time by making a couple of big pans of lasagna, which fed us for most of the first half of this week. I gave a presentation and it went well and I feel better about my work than I have in a long time. And I keep on learning to dance and building new friendships and rehabilitating old ones and crushing and sending cyberhugs to Jess & Tina and wishing they were real ones.

And between all those shifts in political consciousness and the press of daily life, there's still the ongoing drama of my life, the sorting out of my past and my relationship with FG and my gender, oh, always gender with me. But who really wants to hear, right now, about my complicated reaction to the middle-aged couple who, when I passed them on the sidewalk, hissed to each other "that's different" and "uh, yeah"? I'm not sure I'm even interested enough to write about it.

But I miss you all and so here is this miscellania of my consciousness, offered up from a dear friend's guest room where I am spending the night. Is there anything you want to know that I might write about? What should we write about now? Is it really the dawn of a new era, or am I just sleepy and typing nonsense with chilly fingers?

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Daily Life chez MacCool: A Photo Meme

The posting of this meme proves several things:

1. I am nearly incapable of saying no to a good-looking woman. You want more memes, Renee? You got it, baby.

2. I cannot stop stealing things from MLC, even if we would make a queer couple. (Yeah, we would. But the dogs would like us.)

3. My cats are unusually fine.

4. Blogging is my main form of procastination this week, yet...

5. I am not finding the energy to write about all the weighty, and even relevant, topics banging around in my head. Maybe one of these days.

But in the meantime, I present you with my very first PHOTO MEME!

The rules:
Get up and take the following pictures:

- your bed as soon as everyone is out of it and before you make it
- the contents of your medicine cabinet
- the contents of your refrigerator
- favorite place in your home

don’t arrange things
just take the picture
post pix without editing

It doesn't say to tag anyone, but just for good measure, I'm tagging Jess.

OK, first the bed.

Damn I love those cats. And the Red Sox.

And now the medicine cabinet.

God, that's a bit bleak, isn't it? Bathroom items belonging to the femme half of this household stored elsewhere, it should go without saying...

Refrigerator (oh, I bet the excitement is killing you).

It doesn't look great, but the brownies hidden by the foil on the bottom shelf were made by FG and totally rock.

And finally, my favorite place, which at the moment is my cozy desk area.
And there you have it.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Random Meme for a New Start

Stolen from a blogger I'm steadily falling in love with, Mid-Life Clarity. My last post was so depressing, I want something different to start this new week off.

What color are your socks right now? Black. Long black woolly socks because it's cold in here and I am planning on wearing boots later.

What are you listening to right now? Nothing. But the last thing I listened to was "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba. Remember them? Major flashback to 1997.

What was the last thing that you ate? Cold leftover pizza. Breakfast of champions.

Can you drive a stick shift? Daily.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? FreedomGirl

How old are you today? 29. I swear it's true.

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Pro football. I know, I know, there's no defense for it, but I find it completely absorbing. I swear I feel it when the QB gets sacked. I would love to be the NFL's first female lefty QB. Don't hold your breath.

What is your favorite drink? At the moment? Sam Adams.

Have you ever dyed your hair? Nope. But I've found a gray hair or two so this may be in my future. I'd go for something totally different though, bleached or black or something.

Favorite food? Cheese. Of almost any kind.

What is the last movie you watched? Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

Favorite day of the year? Like MLC, I can't answer this one. The best days sneak up on you with their joy & wonder.

How do you vent anger? Oh, the usual ways... I throw stuff and say unkind things in a loud voice. Vent constructively? Singing too loud in the car, I guess.

What was your favorite toy as a child? I don't remember. I liked digging though, trenches and holes and whatnot. I liked mucking around generally, so I guess I'll say mud.

What is your favorite season? Spring.

Cherries or blueberries? I hope I never have to choose.

Living arrangements? Been living with FG basically since I moved out of my mom's house, over a decade ago now.

When was the last time you cried? Saturday night. A long hard conversation on all the pain we've caused each other and a lot of bottled up anger, growing up gendered wrong, loss & grief & the usual suspects.

What is on the floor of your closet? Some shoes, some bins of stuff, some cat hair.

What did you do last night? Made a mix CD, went for a long drive & walk in the dark with FG.

What are you most afraid of? Wasting my life through fear.

Plain, cheese, or spicy cheese hamburger? Cheeseburger (well, cheese soyaburger these days).

Favorite dog breed? I love them all, especially the big proper doggie ones. Mixes are great. My great canine love (so far) was a golden retriever. I dream of a german shepherd in my future. Border collies are awesome but not likely for me as I don't have a herd of sheep handy.

Favorite day of the week? Friday. So much potential.

How many states have you lived in? Four.

Diamonds or ruby? Erm, rubies I guess? I really don't care about gemstones.

What is your favorite flower? How can you dislike a flower? Daisies make me especially happy, as do sunflowers.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Limits of Tolerance

I've been trying to think of what to say next since the election. I haven't figured it out yet but I'm posting today anyway because I just can't leave that picture at the top of the page forever.

I'm deeply happy about the presidential election. I remember the sense of joy and possibility of the first months of the Clinton administration (I'm not really that old, I was just a political nerd as an adolescent) and I think that, coming after the Bush administration, 2009 is going to be some kind of something for us as a political nation. I'm looking forward to it.

And, of course, I'm incredibly disappointed that the gay civil rights movement was handed a series of eviscerating defeats. To lose on marriage in California, Arizona, and Florida, and even more hurtfully on fostering & adoption in Arkansas, during a year of progressive change and hope is demoralizing. There's been a wealth of thoughtful writing about this in our beautiful little corner of the blogosphere. Honey captured my feelings particularly eloquently: "I am left with a feeling more of being impressed than proud, fascinated than inspired, an outsider to the excitement shared by so many of the people around me."

I'm not surprised by this feeling in myself; it's as familiar as rain. The world of people who might vote for Obama and against us does not strike me as foreign; it's the limits of liberal tolerance, the sense that gay rights are granted by a straight noblesse oblige, and that we can damn well play by their rules and at their pace if we want to be granted anything at all. I was raised to think that gay people, while inherently icky, should be tolerated as human beings--as long as they didn't flaunt themselves. (Straight PDA was also regarded dubiously but only in extreme cases.) Even now only one family member has contacted me after the election out of all that I made the case against Prop. 8 to; and even he said that, after all, gay civil rights might have to wait until we'd figured out 'survival' (the economy, the environment). Linaria said it well in a comment at Sugarbutch: "There are the people who actively oppose gay marriage, and there are the people who believe it’s a “special interest issue,” and those two categories encompass everyone who is not gay in this country..." I would expand her remark beyond the marriage issue, and suggest that it applies to the whole spectrum of legal and social discrimination and violence practiced against LGBT folks. Most people I know think the right thing, on a superficial level at least, but there's only so dirty they want to get their hands. There is a hard limit to their tolerance and we're walking right into it at the moment. No wonder it hurts.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Radclyffe Wilde

For Tina, since neither of us are ready for the weekend to be over: a not so great shot of my Halloween costume... design credits to Freedom Girl, who looked smoking hot in her own costume(s), but I will leave that to her to tell you more about. (Can I mention that there were fishnets involved? Oops, I just did...)