Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not Shoes

1. This is an utterly beautiful personal essay about class.

2. I want to make a gesture.  You know, the gift-giving kind.  Except gift-buying, obviously, is out.  If I start from the premise, "What should I buy someone?" then what I get is "AAAAAAHHH!"  Really, what I want is the gesture.  The "Hey hey I like you" part. 

3. I keep thinking about that Facebook post.  I wonder, what would it take for it to not be a joke?  Legless Crack Whore Beats Rich White Child to Death?  Rich White Lady Beats Child to Death?  Legless Crack Head (male) Beats Homeless Vet to Death?  How much depends on the nature of the perpetrator, how much on the victim? 

Notes for new shoes

I needed to save links so I can find everything again...

Okay.  If I compete as a follow, which I may do, I need a pair of latin ballroom shoes in gold satin.  I can buy through the club from Showtime Dance Shoes, which gives me a 20% University Club discount, or I can buy through Dance New York, which I've done before.

The advantage of DNY is that those shoes can be customized, both in heel and width.  Since what seems to fit best is if I start with a 6.5 extra wide and then stretch it, customized is a good thing.  Also, while I think that the standard woman's heel is not as hard to wear as I'd previously thought, I'd still rather wear a thick heel if I can.

The advantage of Showtime is THIS SHOE.  

1534 - Ladies' Closed Toe

It's so pretty!  It's strappy looking AND close toed, and I LOVE it.  But, can I dance in it?  If I get it big enough that the bottom is as wide as my feet, will it be so big that I have half an inch of air between me and the back of the heel?  And will I wobble and fall in those bitty heels?

It's a $120 risk.  That's a lot.

When I could order this from DNY, which would come in a wide size, and a cuban heel.

Design 6033 (Classic) with 156 Beige Satin and 2" thick Cuban heel

It's not as pretty, and it's open-toed, although just a peek so you might not see any actual toe. 

It is the safer choice.  I don't know what it costs, although my glitter ones were $120 including custom heel, width, and fabric, so I don't think these will be much more.

ETA: Capezio also has this:

Capezio Alicia with 2" heel

It's a "peach" instead of a gold, but I think what the club wants is semi flesh-toned, something to look like the leg is longer and more extended, rather than cutting off the line at the shoe.  I think they'd be okay with it.  I can get it in wide, so the question is, can I dance in that heel.  (Price is $110, so comparable.)

ETA2: The more I think about it, the more I think that I'm better off with a heel that matches the rest of my dance shoes.  So that what I learn on one shoe translates to the other shoes, and what I wear to play is the same as what I wear to compete.  So I need to get them from DNY because I need the heel.

...and I just found the shoes I love (at top) on the DNY shoe page... under "Smooth."  Which means I can't wear them anyway.  Because shoes designed for smooth dances have something in the sole to keep it from bending, and that bend is necessary for latin.

6829 in Brown Satin.  Ask Susie if they will bend right for latin, if I can order in wide sizes with Cuban heels.

They LOOK like Latin shoes.  I WANT them to be Latin shoes.  But they may not, indeed, be Latin shoes.  And I may not be able to get them customized.  But I will talk to DNY tonight and see what my options are.

ETA3: I need to remind myself that these are, essentially, work clothes.  They are uniforms.  And if they don't make me excited, well, I have shoes that do.  I can get more exciting shoes.  I can get those 6829s in electric blue satin and sparkle, if I want.  Well, not in the same month as I get the competition shoes, but some other time.  I could.

ETA4: Talked to Beth at DNY, and she said that I can order the shoe I like in a wide size with a Cuban heel, BUT I am not allowed to compete in Latin with a closed toe shoe.  Period.  She's going to confer with Suzie tomorrow to make sure, but chances are low.  Sigh.  Stupid rules.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This person

Every once and a while, I look at myself and think, when did I become this person?

I saw this on Facebook:

and I thought:

Is there actually any evidence of prostitution?  And if she is known, or more likely, accused, of prostitution, is that still a good reason to call her a whore?  Or is it just that a man who is addicted to crack is a crack addict, perhaps a crack head, but a woman is a whore?  That's fucked up and it pisses me off.  And that's not even going into the shameless "look how gross other people are" point of the headline.  This is heartbreaking and people are laughing.

And, for a moment, just a tiny one, I considered posting a shorter, tamer, version of that.  But I know what I'd get. 

Really, that's where you go? Can't you think about anything else? Do you have to turn everything into your agenda?

And the answer is, yes.  Yes I do.  And then I look at myself and think, wow.  I am that person. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2am. Time to disengage.

On one hand, there's the whole you-can't-ever-win-an-argument-on-Facebook thing. On the other hand, I was the exact right (wrong?) combination of feisty, ornery, and tired.

But you know what?

Someone told me that she was impressed with my knowledge and vocabulary of trans issues.

That made my day. And it was a good day. There was competition. When it is tomorrow for reals, I'll tell you more.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sleep Study Complaints

I was a little uncomfortable going in. I knew what the sleep study entailed, and there wasn't anything I couldn't handle, but there were a lot of things I would mind. Just a little. So, when the sleep study tech came in to get me started, I was in a mood to be judgy. I was cranky. She had an annoying voice and too much eyeliner.

But even good-mood-me would have been put off by the incessant failed attempts at conversation. She tried. She tried so hard! And she seemed to believe that failure meant try harder, rather than stop.

Did I have a long day? Was it an easy day? What do I do for a living? Oh, do you like photography? Do you like to take any particular kind of photograph? Are you left or right handed? You know, her four-year-old is really good at drawing and he's left handed, and she heard that left-handed people were more likely to be creative types because they use the right side of their brain. That's a funny shirt. You know, her son had chocolate pudding yesterday, the kind with the swirls. When she wants something sweet, she really likes chocolate pudding. Am I married or single? Do I have children? Does my family live near by? Her family lives in Dubuque, but she visits them on the weekends so her four-year-old can get to know his grandparents. Did I go to school at the University? What did I study? When did I graduate?  She's at Kirkwood getting her gen ed out of the way, which takes a really long time, because she works a lot and she's hoping to get into the psych program at the University.

And that's not the whole of it. There was more.

When I laid down in bed, she asked if I'd "like the blankie?"

I could have said, "That's a personal question."

I could have said, "I don't want to talk to you."

I could have said, "I am perfectly capable of pulling up a blanket, and would prefer that you not talk to me like I'm a child."

What I don't like is that my only two options were 1) unpleasant one-sided conversation, and 2) confrontation.  This is the same woman who woke me up three or five times in the night to readjust the wires around me, then woke me up at 5:30am to get them off. And talk some more. She had more questions. At 5:30am. Questions with no medical purpose. After a night spent trying to sleep in a position that I do not sleep in, lying there, unable to do what I need to do to fall asleep, she wanted to chat.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"I'll take it from here."

So this happened:

See the house that is not on fire?  That's on the corner of our street.

It was scary, and then it wasn't.  I've only ever seen a fire like that in movies or on the news.  But the firemen were there, and so everything was okay, and even if it wasn't, there wasn't anything I could do about it. 

I still see myself as a little kid, some times.  I don't think further than "call in the grownups."  Once someone with authority steps in, I'm out.  When a housemate asked, "Is there something we should do?" I shrugged and said, "What can we do?"  Wouldn't I just be in the way?

I don't really believe that I have any power in the world.  I always expect someone else to take responsibility.  And the problem is, I do have power, and I can do things.  And this thing I do, this waiting for someone else to pat me on the head and say, "thanks for bring this to my attention, I'll take it from here," it's the lazy way out.

Friday, January 18, 2013

What to say when I don't feel like saying

So, this is totally a conversation starter.  And I'm an introvert.  I don't always like talking to people.  So there will be many times in the future when someone asks me what my arm says and I will not feel like talking about it.

I am tempted to shrug and say, oh, it probably says 'pork bun,' which is a deliberate deception.  It allows people to think that I don't know what it means and I feel kind of bad about not knowing.  And it somehow feels like less of a lie than saying it means love and serenity or something.  Or maybe it's that if I'm going to present myself as a person who was misguided enough to get a tattoo that didn't mean anything, at least I'm presenting myself as someone who knows better now.  It makes me someone who made a mistake, but that's way better than being someone who blithely thinks it's a great idea.

I might be able to say something like, it's a long story.  Which isn't exactly an answer to the question they asked, but might deter further questions.  It means, if I tell you, I'll have to explain, and it's a long story that I don't feel like getting into.  Which is, actually, exactly right.  If it works.  We'll see.


(Sorry for the yelling, I just finished making some signage, and I'm still sort of thinking in caps.)

I don't need to find the studies, do I, that show correlations between fat and health problems?  There are lots of them.  Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke.  Everyone knows that.  What I find stunning is everyone's assumption that there is causation between being fat and having health problems.  Correlation =/= Causation.  Isn't that basic science?

I mean, no one seems to think that liposuction actually makes anyone healthier, right?  If it were the presence of fat cells on the body that caused the heart disease, diabetes, etc., then liposuction would do the trick.  But no one says that.  Everyone says: diet and exercise.  So why are the same people who advocate lifestyle changes to solve the problem also saying that the problem isn't lifestyle?

No one says the US has a "sedentary epidemic."  Or a "cholesterol epidemic."  It's an "obesity epidemic."  A doctor told me that losing 10 pounds would give me X more years in life, or maybe it was X better chance of not getting Some Terrible Disease.  He didn't say that if I exercised X more hours a week, or cut down on fatty processed foods.  He didn't say, "treat your body right."  He said, "lose weight."  Pounds = health.

And I get that it's easier to see pounds than blood sugar levels.  We can't judge someone walking down the street on how much they exercise a day, because we don't know.  But we sure as hell can judge them based on how they look.  I'm not surprised that lots of people believe in the obesity epidemic.  I'm surprised that it seems like everyone does. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Things are good with Cassidy.  I keep starting and deleting a post, trying to talk about it, and it keeps falling flat.  But I've been reading a lot of back posts of The Pervocracy, and I keep comparing us to her examples, and I think, Yup! We're doing it right.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A good day.

OMG. Tattoo. Taking up ALL my headspace.  SO MUCH FUN.

Also, I weighed myself for the first time since October.  I was expecting about 215.  Because I'm having trouble fitting clothes, which I remember from when I started this a year ago.  You know what?  I weighed 205.  Which is 13 pounds up from October, but is 12 pounds DOWN from last January.  Even after all the diet-killing events in my life this year, both good and bad, I managed to keep off twelve pounds.  And I feel like I'm steadying again.  Not quite dieting, but not out of control, either.

So, I'm not starting over, I'm starting again. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Tomorrow I see my dentist to get molds made for Final Tooth Installation.

This Friday, I have an appointment with a sleep doctor to talk about my likely case of sleep apnea.



I have an appointment to give Kris the printout of my next tattoo, and schedule a time to get it done.

I can't afford it until February, and, honestly, it's a bit of a splurge even then.  So it's kind of early to get started, I know.  But it's set in my head, and the difference between my head and the real world is starting to grate on me.

This is ridiculous.  I can't believe I'm doing it.  I can't believe I'm going to be telling people for the rest of my life that I got "thank you pork bun" tattooed on my arm. 

But I can't not do it anymore.

I'm so excited.

I love this.

Yes, really.

Monday, January 14, 2013


In Silver Lining, we meet the main character (male romantic lead), eight months after he nearly beat a man to death.  He is getting released (against doctor's recommendations) from a state-ordered mental facility where he has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and some paranoid delusions.

In case we might want to tell ourselves that it wasn't that bad, that maybe the "near-death" thing was an accident—he pushed a guy and his head happened to bang on the faucet in just the right way—there is a brief flashback where we see that no, it was a long and bloody and horrific attempted murder that failed.

This movie is scary.  It is scary, and the thing that I am afraid of is the main character.  You know, the male romantic lead.  He terrifies me.

I don't know very much about bipolar disorder.  I don't know what would be a realistic treatment goal.  It may be that self-awareness, medication, and coping tools can be enough to prevent someone from ever becoming violent again.  That may just be fantasy.  I know that, for me, it wouldn't matter.  I would never feel safe around that man.  And I would never be alone with a man I didn't feel safe with.

And so, when the happy ending begins, I feel very uneasy.  I want to believe one of two things: either it's actually a happy ending, because he is cured and they are okay, OR it's wrong, it's not okay, this is not okay, why are we saying it's okay?  And if I am willing to believe the former, how can I feel the way I do?  It isn't right or fair of me to condemn this character, to believe he can't change. 

The truth is, both things can be true at once.  We are all allowed to make our own decisions about the level of risk we are willing to take.  She is not wrong, and neither am I.  I am allowed to make a sweeping, unfair, decision and say "you get no second chance with me."  And that doesn't make someone else wrong to say, "I'm willing to try."

I've been thinking about risk a lot, lately. 

When I found my brother's blog, and it seemed to show a thoughtful, interesting, person, with whom I might agree on many important things, I thought that I ought to contact him.  And I struggled with that.  I should do it, but I didn't want to.  I very emphatically didn't want to.  I felt bad about that.

But, I have already rejected the idea that relationships should exist because of family connections.  It is not enough to say, he is my brother, therefore we should talk.  And if I'm not doing it because he's my brother, then I'm just doing it because hey look here's this guy on the internet I bet we'd be friends.  But this isn't that kind of blog.  If it were a stranger, I'd glance through it once, and never go back. 

What this blog changes, then, is my assessment of risk.  It says that maybe I could have a fruitful relationship with the this person.  And maybe I could.  But I am unwilling to risk it.  I don't speak to my mother because I am afraid of her.  Because her anger is so sudden, so unpredictable, so devastating, and I can do nothing to protect myself.  If I open myself up to communication with my brother, there is the chance that my mother will appear through him.  And that terrifies me.  I will not risk it.  He may deserve a second chance, but I will not give him one.

Internet Info Dump

This is fascinating.  This keeps getting more and more interesting and challenging.

Someone posted my question on a large, helpful, internet space and got this answer:

So now a second person, when given my spoken request ("mmm-goi,") has responded with the same two characters.  He says that they are used as "thank you" but translate literally to "should not."  And the reason that people had a hard time reading it is that the characters are not part of standard written Chinese.  (I just read a dozen Wikipedia articles on Chinese language(s) and dialects, written and spoken, and it was far too much of an info dump to give me anything immediately useful, but there are certainly things to think about.)

This silly little joke idea I had keeps getting bigger. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Like John Cusack with a boom box, but better.

Oh yeah, I teased, I'm not too busy, why don't you stop by my office this afternoon?

And then he did. He was THERE, in the doorway of my office, real and kissing me and suddenly what was true and what I wanted to be true actually overlapped and I couldn't quite believe it.

I wished for something, and then it happened.

I think, if a Companion showed up at my door immediately after, and looked into my soul with big blue eyes and said ::I Choose you::, I would have told it to come back tomorrow. That's the kind of fantasy wish fulfillment this was.

It's the kind of thing I always wanted, sort of like John Cusack standing outside my window with a boom box, except less stalker-y.

It turns out that he had planned this for a day, at least. He managed to get me to tell him that I had no plans that would interfere, without making me the slightest bit suspicious. He even got me to volunteer the address and office number of my work. I TOLD him where I worked! And I had NO idea.

And it could have gone badly. I can't condone, as a rule, the practice of not telling me things. But this, it was just right.

When I sat down to start typing, I had started with FRIDAY, because I was going to go on to SATURDAY, when I saw The Silver Lining Playbook, which was difficult to watch, and just happened to be followed by Out of Range playing on the radio, and I was going to write about fear. But I cried. And then I got up and made dinner. And now I don't really want to write that anymore.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hey Look at This and Other Stories About Writing

Cassie wrote a story.  It is very good.  I say so, and I have the best taste of anyone on this blog.

So go read it:

Then you should rate it and go comment on the DSF facebook post because getting comments feels really good, and if I have any power over the internet at all, I would like to use it now.  (Honest comments, mind you, even nice spam is still gross.)

In other news, I am abandoning Heat Transfer.  Or rather, I am taking it apart for scrap and putting it back in the pile for possible future use.  It's got some nice prose in it, worth keeping, but there's just no there-there, and I don't think there ever will be.  And it makes me sad, less because of the loss of a story I wanted to exist, but more because I wanted to have three finished things because that makes this real.


I am looking at the toaster story again, and taking out the Part 2: Nonfiction bit.  It's trying too hard to do too much.  So I'm back to Allison and her talking toaster.  And I'm thinking that I don't want the toaster to be the frog prince.  I don't want the heroine to change the hero into what she wants.  And I'm thinking that I really don't want it to be Beauty and the Beast, where the heroine falls in love with who the hero is inside, and it doesn't matter that there isn't a physical relationship with kissing or anything, because they're in love.  That always bugged me.  There are versions I've read where Beauty gets to have sex with the Beast, and I like those.  And even the other stories usually end with Beast becoming human so there is the possibility of offscreen sexytimes.  But those stories usually make that the bonus.  It's the happy ending PLUS sex.  The implication is that it would still be a happy ending with everyone holding hands and feeling warm and fuzzy.  Literally.

Yes, I accept that some people are varying degrees of asexual, whose ideal relationship (if they want one at all, we shouldn't assume that everyone even wants to be matched up with another person or two or more) is emotionally intimate but not physically.  That is totally valid.  But it's not my fantasy.  And those sexless Beauty and the Beast stories make me feel as if it's the most valid way to be, that of course what matters is love!  I refuse to write one of those.  Allison likes sex and is not giving it up to marry a toaster.  Even a toaster with a really sexy voice.

(And here I think about how there are lots of ways to have a sex life, and how a sexy voice and a good imagination can go a long way.  I think about the messages on my voice mail that Cassidy left me this morning, and how much of our sex life happens in our heads and how much I enjoy that part.  But there was already a sex-with-kitchen-appliances story, and I refuse to add another one to the world.  We have suffered enough.)

Which leaves me with no answer for Allison and her toaster.  She can't make him not a toaster, and she can't be with him as a toaster.  She is going to have to leave him.  It's sad, but for the best.  I am apparently writing a breakup story about a toaster.


There are days when I pick up something like Michelle Tea's Rent Girl, which begins with her going to a hooker party with her hooker girlfriend, and I think, how can I compete with this?  How can I write memoir when I don't have stories like that to tell?  My life is so bland and epiphany-less.  And there are hardly any hookers.

And then I go back to something like Dallas Needs a Cheerleader, and read a lovely story about worms in puddles.  And I think that sometimes my trouble is that I spend too much time trying and failing to be Michelle Tea.  I want to be edgy.  I want to be shocking.  But I'm not in high school anymore, and I can't win the "I will take this further than you will" game anymore.  It isn't enough to be frank about sex and depression and eating disorders and the like.  That's for kids.

I want to be writing.  I want to be writing stories, and not just pretty, disjointed, bits of prose here and there.  I want to make something beautiful.

Beauty is pretty that matters.  Beauty is what lingers after pretty wears off.

Go read Cassie's story.  We'll talk more later.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Getting it fact-checked. Getting kind of real.

My aunt confirms "pork bun," but she says her Chinese is too rusty and she can't make out the first two.  So I sent it to Hanzi Smatter.  Which is funny because it's pretty much the opposite of what she does.  I really hope she responds.

I also sent it to a guy from Singapore that I know on Facebook.  I'm a little leery of people who aren't from Hong Kong, in case there are any local variations, but more data is good data.  I figure I can also ask one of the metals faculty, who is from Hong Kong, although his Chinese might be as rusty as my aunt's.  Oh, and could go to the "Chinese Corner," social practice group.  There's a meeting in February.  (I feel a little special-snowflake emailing a faculty/grad out of the blue and asking for translating assistance.)

It's not that I don't trust the guy who wrote it for me, but this whole getting a tattoo I can't read thing is super serious scary.  How the fuck do normal people do this?  And why? 

ETA: Singapore Facebook Friend can't read the first two characters either, but confirms pork bun.  Sooooo glad I'm asking!  I asked him if he'd be willing to write it out for me, and I'll take that around as well...

ETA2: Good news!  Interesting news!  I asked the metals faculty, and he confirms that this is pronounced "mmm goi cha shoo bow."  He also says that "mmm goi," means "thank you," when someone does something for you, BUT if part of the phrase "mmm goi cha shoo bow," would mean "please" as in "please bring me a pork bun."  Sort of like, "pork bun, thanks!" which makes it also, sort of, a dim sum order.  I'm guessing that the top didn't translate right for Facebook Friend because it's specifically a Hong Kong phrase, but I'm surprised at my aunt not recognizing it.  Hmmmm.  I'd still like to hear from Hanzi Smatter.

This is very exciting. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More ideas

Then I was thinking, what if I had a nice, curved, fitted, bodice that stopped just under my chest?

Sort of like this:

And THEN I was thinking, I could imagine being able to make a ruched top, to come up out of the bodice, if it were supposed to be kind of puffy, it might not be hard to make it fit enough.  Something like this:

OMG and I could make it in three separate pieces and I think I know how... I could use the corset pattern pieces I've been working on...

Miscellaneous (mostly) Dance Post

1.  I went back to Dance New York for a social dance last weekend, and it was strange to realize how good it felt.  Not the dancing, I was out of shape and out of practice, but good to be there and hang out with these people.  Sometime, while I wasn't looking, they became my people.  My group.

2.  Lessons with the ballroom club start at the end of the month.  I really don't feel like leading this semester.  It's harder because I'm not as good, and it's harder because it's against the flow, and I just want to relax.  Which means I'm thinking about competing as a follow...

3.  I just emailed the competition team captain and asked about shoes, and he said that they don't HAVE to be the same shoes as everyone else, I can pick my style, as long as it's in the gold satin fabric.  There might not be quite as wide a heel as I'd like, but I'm sure that, somewhere in the catalog, is a heel I'd be willing to wear.

4.  Clothes!  I have a latin outfit.  That's easy.  It's the smooth outfit that's a problem.  I could wear a plain top with a wide, long, skirt.  But I don't really like the top/bottom look for waltzing.  If there were a way I could incorporate the top into the bottom somehow... Like maybe make the top of the skirt the same color as the shirt, so when the shirt hitches up, it doesn't show... and a detail to make it look like the top/bottom color switch is on purpose...

I don't like this



The advantage of this plan is, I still get to be shirt/skirt, but look a lot more like a dress.  The problem with dresses is that I think it's harder to find a style that flatters me, and even if I find a good style, it's impossible to buy things in stores that fit, and I don't feel comfortable sewing dresses. 

5.  I am now only able to fit the very loosest of my clothes.  Which means I'm probably back exactly where I was in January.  So I think that this may just be the way things are.  I start January right here, diet down through the summer and fall, and then stress season back up again.  It's not ideal, but as long as I'm not dieting in an unhealthy fashion I don't think it's harmful.  And it means that, on average, I stay about the same.   I am starting to get myself used to smaller portions.  It's slow going, but I'm making progress.  Maybe I'll be willing to weigh myself on Monday.

Stupid things that annoy me

1. Spam views on my blog.  They turn barely-useful data in to mush.

2. The flu.  I don't even have it and it screws things up.

I am mad.  I am mad and sad and I want to go home and pout.  He NEVER comes here because it always makes more sense with our schedules and housemates for me to go there, and I'm okay with that but I was so EXCITED about him coming here and now he isn't.  And I knew it would happen, like, days ago when he first got sick, I knew it.

I don't get time off for pouting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I was talking to Cassidy last night about sending out the story, and he asked if he could read it.  (Which is way more than BadEx ever did, it was like he liked the idea of a girlfriend who wrote, but it didn't occur to him to talk to me about what I was writing, and even when I brought it up he never talked about it.)  Anyway, I emailed it to him.

And then, today, I sent him CH3, because, I don't know because.  More gifts of vulnerability I guess.  With a strange mix of showing off.  It's a weird combination.  Anyway, it was, like, a couple hours ago, and I feel so anxious about it.  I need him to say something!  I need to know that it didn't get lost in his spam folder.  I need to think that it wasn't actually spam, that even though it wasn't asked for, it was welcome.

And it wasn't that long ago, and he's home and sick, and likely sleeping or MMORPGing, neither of which lead to essay-reading, but oh, it feels like ages!

I HATE writing cover letters.

But since I spent the time doing it, and Cassie put in the time talking me down from much snarkier versions, I thought I'd post it here. 

They said:

And I wrote:

Oh, and in the off-chance that they accept, my bio will read:

Angela's first and only published poem appeared twelve years ago in The Iowa Review. Since then, she's moved from San Diego to Oakland to Iowa City, where she received an MFA in Photography from The University of Iowa. She lives with two knitters, two cats, and an often bewildered dog.

I don't think that this piece is as good as CH3, but I think it's good enough to try.  One of the writers in my radio class used it in her writing class as an example (I think, not of anything in particular, just part of an optional reading list or something like that), and one of her students though it was amazing, so I have some data to back me up.  It does bother me, though, that I don't think it's as good.  I want to tell them, no look, see I can do better!

If I had one more poem I liked at all, I could send out the sestinas, but I only have two, and two poems is an inappropriately small number to submit.

If I ever finished Heat Transfer, I could send that.

I apparently need a new Commie Pinko.  It has to be a real Commie Pinko, though, not a fake one I make up to motivate myself.  I tried that already.

The Geoff-o-Meter

When I was in high school, I had a crush on a boy named Geoff.  Geoff was tall, and good looking, he had big, sort of spiky, sort of just-woke-up, dyed black hair, and wore black eyeliner and was an artist and listened to NIN and Tori Amos and he probably did drugs and do you see where I am going with this?  I mean, really.  It was destiny. 

I did not figure as highly in his daily thoughts as he did in mine.  In fact, I'm not sure I ever figured in his thoughts at all, ever, except for that one time on the last day of school when he said something like, "Hey, I don't remember your name, but bye," and I just about died of happiness.

It's not as if Geoff was my One and Only.  I had a lot of crushes.  But when other crushes wore off, I found myself gravitating, always, back to Geoff.  

He sometimes had a girlfriend, a girl whose name I don't remember, who was lean and cool and had crazy hair and paint-spattered jeans and probably did drugs, too.  There was a photo of the two of them together in the school paper once, I don't remember why.  I don't think there was a lot of journalistic intent behind it.  In the photo, the two of them are standing next to each other, leaning against the side of a building, too cool to touch, or maybe just the tips of their fingers together, looking gorgeous and bored.

I saved it, of course.  And I "laminated" it with packing tape.  I drew a thermometer on it, like the ones for fundraisers, we are this close to our goal, and I labeled it The Geoff-o-Meter.  I kept it in my wallet.  The Geoff-o-Meter was a tool to measure attraction.  I would look at the photo and quantify how sad it made me to see Geoff with her and not me.  The inverse of that number, as a percentage, was the level of my attraction to whoever else I was dreaming about at the time. 

(The Geoff-o-Meter breaks at zero.  Because the inverse of 0/1 is 1/0, and oops!  Crash.)

Even if I still had the Geoff-o-Meter, it wouldn't work these days.  Some of the parts are worn past repair, and the manufacturer went out of business a long time ago.  I tried to google him, but I couldn't find anything.  It's too bad, because I could have sworn that someone I knew had heard of him, that he did go to art school, and had a job in design, but I might be mixing the story up with someone else. 

And even if it worked, you just can't read too much into the results, because it broke for my abusive fiancee, so it doesn't really matter that an imaginary scale I made in high school is imaginarily broken again.  But, you know, I was browsing through OK Cupid, because I do that, and there are new people, the kinds of profiles I like, and I didn't even bookmark them for later, just in case.  I looked at all the possibilities I could have, all of them with their best side showing, without the hassle of real interactions that might possibly go wrong, a line of imaginary boyfriends, and I just didn't care.

Monday, January 7, 2013

How to Fight With Your Mother: Received

I'm second-guessing myself like a champ.  But I liked it this morning.  Other people have liked it at other times.  So the way I feel about it right before hitting "submit" is perhaps a poor indicator of things.

God, my heart is racing, though.