Monday, September 26, 2011

10 days

Thursday, I went to a strip club for the first time. We brought a picnic basket and wine. Saturday I went to knitter's breakfast, saw a movie with Kenda, had dinner with Janel, and saw a movie with Alex. Sunday I had Benedictos Banditos for breakfast, learned how to re-format my T3i footage for FCP, went to a picnic in the park, and mixed a first draft (storyboards and screen capture only, so far) of The Video. This week I am putting together Instructional Equipment Requests, and Friday I am going to Chicago for blues dancing and photographing and city beaching and dim sum and possibly filming. I MIGHT be able to spend a few minutes each day NOT obsessing over Alex. Maybe.

After the movie, he kissed me. Hallelujah.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Obviously, still very much a work in progress.  But, hopefully, watchable this time.

(re-uploaded 9/26)

Friday, September 23, 2011


Proof of concept.  Don't watch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tagged: art, sex, video

Quid pro quo.

This morning, I offered sexual favors as a commodity for trade.

I'm not talking about the somewhat publically acceptable dating contract, where men pay for fancy dinners and drinks and eventually are rewarded with sex. No, I'm talking about a casting couch, except I'm the one offering sexual favors, and he's the one who might agree to be in my video. So, I guess I'm officially a prostitute. Or at least a sex worker.

I am very aware of that line I've crossed. I am aware that I am supposed to feel ashamed. But I'm feeling confident, and in control, and a little bit mischevious. I'm surprised at myself. But I'm not disappointed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the question

Sometimes I think that being white is looking white, and I am just clinging to some exotic self-image because I want to be different.

I never really passed until I came to Iowa.  All my life, people, upon meeting me, would eventually ask some variation of the question, "what are you?"  More than a few have guessed Latina, and a boyfriend once told me that I looked like an Eskimo.  While I worked in a photography store in Berkeley,* a student asked me if she could photograph me as part of a series of portraits of people of mixed-race.  It happened twice.  Here, I have friends here who say they never guessed, they never even thought that there was something to guess.  And no one asks me that question anymore.

So I'm photographing Chinese restaurants in Iowa, but it's not really about the restaurants.  It's about our living room with it's hard, heavy chairs and grandly absurd dragons.  It's about the stone lions that I begged my friends to steal.  It's about this cultural heritage that I don't feel I can claim, even though it's the same heritage that made us different.  I don't think I want a survey of restaurant decor.  What I want is bigger and less well defined.

*still the Best Camera Store Ever

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Golden China Restraunt

His text said "maybe tomorrow." No chat or flirt or smile. I'm feeling the brush-off. Whatever.

The point is that the above paragraph is NOT the point of this post. The point is that I am starting to print final versions of my new State Fair images. The versions online are only stand-ins, quick and easy and good enough. The prints are not good enough. They are good. They are lush and large and beautiful and I love them. They feel like home. I've been away far too long.

This weekend I am going to photograph Chinese restraunts, because there is something wonderfully kitchy about Chinese restraunts in America, especially Chinese restraunts in Iowa. It's as if someone put a dozen or so elements in a hat and pulled out a few for each restraunt. Mix and match Asian flavor: The painting with cranes. The painting with fish. The painting with horses. The name, which contains two or three of the following words: China, Szechwan, Shanghi, Hunan, village, palace, jade, dragon, golden, and lucky. It isn't that these things are inauthentic. I have been to Chinese restraunts in Hong Kong and China, and they had carved lion statues, too. Like the ones my mother put in front of our house. The embroidered tigers and cranes hanging in our living room were not any more or less authentic than the ones hanging at Golden China Restraunt.* But context matters, and we as Americans are not totally over our Orientalism, and so the statues and embroidery take on an air of absurdity that they don't have in China.**

Also, Taste of China has PINK walls and awesome pot stickers. I can't wait.

*I made that one up. See how easy it is?
**Our living room, on the other hand, was entirely absurd.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Monday night was a twin bed in a tiny efficiency appartment, lying on our sides, and--oh god--his hand pushing and kneading at my breast, pulling at the small of my back. But I did not have sex with him, I was too timid for that.

Tuesday was hope and want and anticipation, my nipples hard and sore, distracting. I don't really know what I did all day. I couldn't manage to care. I wanted back on that bed. I told him so. But he never wrote back.

And it is only Wednesday now, but hope and want and anticipation have limits, and I have reached them. Hope doesn't float, it flails and splashes desperately, and it's exhausting. I can't afford to not give up.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I would like to sell you real estate

Black and white means I'm serious.

I needed a head shot. Blah.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

gauntlet thrown

text message sent 10:20pm

ps- in case you hadn't noticed, I think you're charming and I like you. Good night. :)

Not really a gauntlet. More like a sock or a hair tie thrown. Something with a lot less panache and a lot more internal squirming.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I am trying to not ask What did I do wrong? What do I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Honestly, I'm trying to not talk about it at all, because it seems like a lot of noise over a very little event. I'm blowing it all out of proportion. But the problem with writing one-hundred-and-eleven messages, is that they accumulate. This isn't one rejection, it's all of them, or at least it's sitting on top of the leftover packaging from all the other rejections, and so takes up much more room than it would by itself.

I could start an entire spreadsheet, solely for categorizing and tracking rejections. There are the most common kind, the rejection-by-silence. Over 50% of my messages never receive a reply. Close behind are the single-response rejections, where I get one reply, out of courtesy, perhaps, but with no interest fueling it. Within that category are two sub-categories, the replies that explicitly state their purpose, and the ones that do not. I greatly prefer the former, but when the roles are reversed, I rarely write them.

The next category is perhaps the most frustrating. The several-replies-followed-by-silence. With each successive communication, I am a little more revealed. And with each successive communication, I have a little more at stake. We play poker, and the chips are hope. But I don't see his tells, and when I lose, I am bewildered. I never see it coming. And I can't fall back on maybe, maybe he actually has a girlfriend but never deleted his profile. Maybe he doesn't want to date someone so old or fat or far away. Maybe it's not something I said. But the several-replies-followed-by-silence-reject-or is someone who appeared interested. He either feigned interest, for some unknown purpose, or he had interest, and then lost it. These are the messages that I read over and over, looking for turning points, looking to find answers in something I said, looking for moments when I lost, I just didn't know it yet. I never find them.

Out of one-hundred-and-eleven messages, only five have made it to a meeting in person. Of those five, three of them I slept with, one I never pursued, and one allowed a kiss before ending things the next day. So there is no category for this. Perhaps that's why I can't let it go. It's strange, that after one-hundred-and-eleven messages, I've never seen this one before. And so I keep asking, even though I know that the answer, if there was one, which there isn't, would do me no good. I ask anyway. What did I do wrong?

It all makes sense, now

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There are Giants in the Sky

He smelled like aftershave or deodorant, nothing special. It only matters that I could smell him. He was close enough for that. I thought that maybe I could stop reading florid sex scenes in romance novels in favor of actually having sex. Not immediately, of course, but soon.

I am very aware of the empty rooms inside me. There is the room I had filled with his aftershave, and the room where I watched Into The Woods last night, where Jack's song still paces across the floor, echoing. I want to be Jack. I want his soaring, bright-eyed song. But, even more, I want to write that song. I want that moment, and I want to write something that makes someone else want it. I want you to feel something. I can't make him want me, but I want to make someone want something.

two kisses

Yesterday, it was soft and sweet and just long enough for my hands to find themselves behind his head and his hands to rest on my waist. I keep thinking about that, his hands on my waist, light pressure, encircling.

Today, he turned away. I kissed his cheek instead and went inside.

Monday, September 5, 2011