Thursday, August 31, 2006

french and saunders

Ha ha ha!!! This is fuckin' classic F&S.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Youtube and Me, Happy Times

Once I was standing on a snowy street corner giggling with my mom and her professor collegue about something, when this creepy guy walked past and started muttering about women laughing. "Wow," said Mom's friend, "We can just stand here and laugh and be subversive!"

I've been watching Youtube more and more. I've watched a few DIY clips along with things from TV and movies that have cracked me up. Check them out!! Here are my favs.

Peaches "Kick It" video with Iggy Pop, fighting zombies.

Margaret Cho and Bill Daniels talk about improving relations between Koreans and Blacks.

Margaret Cho talks about Gwen and her job.

Margaret Cho is the comedian on Oliva Cruises and her mom demands to know if she's gay.

A fanvid mixing my fav show, Absolutely Fabulous, to Ultimate Showdown.

Dawn French takes the piss out of Bjork.

French and Saunders try to make a cup of tea admidst existential angst in a Bergman parody.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sexual Predators in the Queer Community

There has been an online outing of a prominent FTM artist as a rapist, followed up by criminal charges and the "alleged" rapist, Kael T. Block, fleeing the US for France, quite possibly in a white ford Bronco. I only know about this issue based on things I have seen online, tipped off by someone on Friendster, of which Kael is a member. I'm not going to talk about what he did, because the survivors have issued their own statement which you can read here.

What I do want to talk about is the appalling way these women who have come forward have been treated by the queer community. They have been accused of libel. They have been told he is innocent until proven guilty. Lynee Breedlove has said that what should happen is a grassroots mediation process between both parties so that they can discuss boundaries and have a chance for apologies (not unlike the recent case of a rapist whose sentence was to write a letter of apology to the victim). I can't think of anything more traumatizing to a rape survivor than being forced by her "loving feminist sisters" to spend time talking to her fucking perpetrator so that he can "heal." To see so many in the online queer community supporting this perpetrator and alienating these women so much that they feel they have to remain anonymous to protect their own reputations is sickening.

What also sickens me is the opinion by some in the BDSM community, and Kael's own defense, that he's a top who has trouble negotiating safewords. Dude, SAFEWORDS ARE THE FIRST THING PERVERTS LEARN ABOUT! Otherwise we wouldn't fucking do BDSM. And having a woman you've just met and don't know yelling no no no no and pushing you off her while you're sticking your dick in her is pretty fucking clear. As a member of the BDSM community, I know that some people are attracted to it for the wrong reasons. Abuse is possible in a BDSM relationship. For example, if my girlfriend slapped me and I said she could, that would be okay. If my girlfriend slapped me and I didn't want it, like in a fight, it would be physical abuse, and her telling people "well she's a masochist" doesn't make it okay. I have been in a BDSM relationship that got physically and emotionally abusive, and even after I told friends about it, some of them still remained friends with her. That all being said, this survivor isn't even into BDSM.

Which brings me to another issue, back from my queer youth days. My sweet gay friend was raped by a prominent member of the Saskatoon queer community, who had won Gay Man Of The Year the year previously. At the court hearing, most of the queer youth members were there to give support. NONE of the adults in the queer community came out. In many ways what is happening currently is similar here. No support to the rape victims, wanting to turn a blind eye, and being complicit in sexual assault through calling the survivors liars and trying to orchestrate a cover up.

Most sexual assaults are never reported, and this is a clear and very sad example of why. We wonder how we can stop rape, how we can encourage women to file charges, and then something like this happens and we tell the victim to shut up, to stop causing trouble. The mere fact that these women felt they had to describe his assaults in vivid detail to the general queer public in order to be believed is very sad.

It makes me wonder about another prominent FTM artist here in Canada who has sexually assaulted men and women. People still support him, and the people who are his victims don't feel safe or supported enough to name what has happened. I personally won't name him here because it's not my experience to tell, but if anyone does come forward I will support them. As a community we have historically not supported rape survivors, we have supported rapists.

When I first went to Vancouver, I met a woman in a gay bar with a black and blue face, she told a sad story about how she had finally left her lover and was trying to find a safe place again. Her lover was someone at the Centre, a gay and lesbian drop in. Where could she go? Who would believe her?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Needles, metal, cute girl, oh my!

I'd been planning for the last month and a half to get my lobes pierced when my artist fees came in. Mom started calling my late artist fees "Magic beans." "You're magic beans still aren't here," for about two weeks. Then after we came back from holidays, my Magic Beans arrived!!! And I . . . what did I do with them? I bought expensive cigarettes. I bought moderately priced cigarettes. I bought beer. I bought drugs. But I wanted something that would actually, you know, hang around for a while. So today I finally screwed up my courage and got my ears pierced, for the third time.

It might seem funny to all those who know my masochistic history to find out that getting pierced makes me nervous, especially since I'm bipolar and blood tests are a regular part of my life, and since I've done play piercing, and since I've taken a shot of testosterone right into my ass muscle (those needles are fuckin' LONG!), and since I've had arm bands tattooed on both arms, one of the most PAINFUL tattoos to get. But yes, I still get nervous. In fact when I was paying for it my hand shook.

But the lady was really nice, and calming, and fast! She didn't mess around with ylang ylang or counting down, she just had me take a deep breath and let it out when the needles went through. And even though I was nervous about having needles go through what is essentially scar tissue, it wasn't too painful. It definitely didn't hurt more than when I got my labia done. In fact, I think my body appreciated it a lot more than when I got my lobes gunned, it kind of felt good.

I also got to find out the price for Industrial piercings, which I want to get next. After that I'm going to get my hood redone, and then I think I am going to do a nipple.

I don't have my labia piercing anymore. I don't remember why I took it out, I just didn't feel like having it anymore. Have you ever seen a photo of a woman with TONS of labia piercings? It starts looking like a shoe. Besides, it doesn't add as much sensation as a hood piercing, although I hear for straight/bi dudes, a girl with labia piercings is hot hot hot in bed.

I hear tongue piercings are great for sex too, but I don't like the idea of getting noodles stuck around it. And I dunno, at this point in my life I eat more noodles than have sex.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I too am Gwenyth Paltrow!

Props go to the steadfast activists against the exclusion of transwomen at the Michigan Women's Music Festival. Transwomen are now allowed to attend, although the organizer will still be a bitch to them. Check it out at

Interesting news, when Condoleeza Rice was at Stanford, she was a champion to some transpeople there.

I just finished reading S/He by Minnie Bruce Pratt, which was so lovely in it's description of life as a butch femme couple, gender, homo/transphobia, etc. I found out the most intriguing, saddening thing in it about the Montreal Massacre. When Lepine seperated the men and the women, there was one butch woman who was assumed by him to be a man and sent over to stand with the men while she watched all the women get gunned down. Obviously it's left her with a LOT of survivor issues. And it also made me wonder, why wasn't this mentioned in the press? The entire thing was about gender, about men and women, but evidently there was no room to talk about someone who had survived because they were genderqueer. Not only that, but the fear she must have gone through, if he'd figured out she was female, she might have been singled out for even worse treatment (I shudder to think how it could GET worse) simply because he would assume she was trying to be a man, yet another feminist trying to make men powerless by usurping them.

I think I would like to make some work about Femme-Butch couples. I find the whole idea of butch and femme so erotic, and I think if there were no men, there would still be masculine women. Plus I think there are strange pockets of butchphobia in the community, even femmephobia. And then I think about how intense and powerful all my butch-femme relationships have been. There is something very complimentary about those roles working together.

Okay, this made me crack up and will keep me going for the rest of the day. I highly recommend for good blog reading.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Thank God For the Library

Ever since my Harry Potter marathon reading week, I've been sticking my nose in books more and more lately, especially since every couple of saturdays I go with my Mum and Gramma to the library.

This time Gramma got left behind. I forgot that I left the phone downstairs until three this afternoon, and by then I think she had pottered off to the library without us. Mum is currently returning all her messages and slagging me to everyone she talks to.

On my holiday I read a book about the evolution of serial killers throughout history; Colonize This, a collection of essays by feminist women of colour; Sex Changes : The Politics of Transgenderism (dude, was that the title?) by Patrick Califia; My Dangerous Desires by Amber Hollibaugh; Romanitas, a book about if the Roman Empire was still a huge superpower; The Hours by Michael Cunningham, and After Dachau, which was really scary because it's about if the Nazi's won and destroyed everyone who wasn't Aryan.

Now I'm about to read S/He by Minnie Bruce Pratt, Fast Food Nation, My Parents Were Holocaust Survivors, Why Bad Things Happen To Good People, Mental Health for Urban Indians, Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About, and Ishmael. I'm also re-reading Stones From The River because it's one of my all time favorite books, but it's giving me some vaguely Nazi-esque dreams. Just the other night I dreamt I was a blonde blue eyed woman running from the SS thinking "But I'm a German Aryan citizen!" and I had to go into hiding.

I got addicted to Djarum Black clove ciggys on my trip, part of the appeal was that I had contracted what we thought was a cold but evidently was the flu, so I was coughing with regular cigs but not cloves.

Here is me at Arches with a clove (I hope Megan doesn't mind me linking this).

Note the rotund tummy and apparent disinterest in anything beyond The Clove.

I found them here in town, but they are THREE times the price in the States.

I also found out that since I got the flu, it fuct up my eustacean tube and made my middle ear fill up with fluid, which meant I was terribly deaf in one ear and made meeting the mumbly husband of a high school friend all the more difficult to interpret. So now I have to hold my breath, plug my nose, and bear down like I'm going to poop. The indignity.

Which brings me to an old silly story about me, a cute lab technician, and the embarrassing medical issue.

I hadn't found a decent doctor in Vancouver for a couple of years, when something went awry with my nether regions. I had pinworms for the first time in my life. So I went to a Medi Clinic and they sent me away telling me to take Combatrin and it would clear up. So I did, and I still had a dreadfully uncomfortable feeling. So I went to a real clinic and they wanted a fecal sample. It's a really gross process to collect because you basically saran wrap your toilet and take a dump on it and then spoon it up.

But at the lab, there was the cutest girl. And all I had to offer her was my crap.

The clinic called me after the tests came through to tell me I had Salmonella, and judging by the tests I had had it for a fairly long time. This began a medication regime and weekly poo trips to the lab, same cute girl, same old poop in a cup. I did once go on a date with a cashier I picked up at Safeway, but somehow it seemed unseemly to flirt with someone I kept giving shit to.

Friday, August 18, 2006

C'mon and drug me up

Well, I figure after such a depressing last blog, I should keep you updated as to the waning of the Snuff It's. I distracted myself in a stupid way last night (4 Quart pitchers are rather malevolent), and then I got a call from my sweet dear friend Maggie. We chatted and chatted and she cheered me up. She was shocked to hear both of our exes were in a photoshoot together for On Our Backs. I kinda liked the jocularity of it all. And she called me a beautiful butch which made me happy. Margaret has always made me feel better since our first days of art school. She had a unicycle but I never got to see her ride it. Sometimes when I had the snuffits she would let me sleep over and tell me all about her cat and how he looked like Barbra Striesand (He did too!). She has frigging amazing mental health bedside manner. It's really graceful and classy, and not many people can treat crazy people like that.

Anyway, another few reasons for getting over this strain of Snuff It's is that I'm just a really freakin' curious person. I want to know what the hell is going to happen. I feel like an ineffectual spectator to civilization's downfall. I feel sort of like a global rubbernecker. I think I'm so weird because I grew up right near the end of the Cold War. Maybe I would have survived it better if I hadn't snuck off with mum's copy of Where The Wind Blows and started anticipating imminent nuclear war.

I remember one time I wrote a letter to Reagan asking him for nuclear disarmament. I must have been six or seven. He sent me back a brochure about all the fascinating facts of the White House, including Abe Lincoln's ghost.

Thus began my fascination with ghosts.

Once in the psych ward an orderly asked me what my fascination with death was. He seemed to think it had to do with me being crazy. But it's just kinda . . . there. When I came back from France and Germany all my pictures were of concentration camps and graveyards. I'm just kinda weird. But then I've also been struggling with issues of death since my depressive episodes started when I was seven.

One of my meds is being increased, the one that could cause a fatal skin rash. It's also really good for depression, so hopefully that will improve life.

I saw my sister, which cheered me up. She kept sticking her finger up my nose and making me slap her thigh until I noticed a bruise. And she headbutted me several times. I think she pulled my hair a few times too. Sometimes I think I just became a butch so she couldn't yank my hair the way she used to.

I also think I'm just really sad about Christopher still. I had always wanted to be more involved in his life, he was such a goof and I always heard such funny stories about what he was up to. I think it's especially sad and humbling when someone younger dies. Death doesn't seem so removed anymore, it feels present everywhere.

I guess I would say I've also had some kind of spiritual intervention. It's a bit hard to describe though, sort of like feeling outside thoughts enter into your soul about what's going on. Not like hearing voices, or seeing The Virgin Mary (or even the Harlot Mary). Just these emotional messages that you can understand, and sometimes it translates into words and sometimes not at all.

I came upon an interesting fact recently, which in a really weird way cheered me up. It said that the most dangerous suicidal episodes when people actually complete the act are usually the first three suicidal episodes a person has in their life. Afterwards people begin to learn that these feelings are temporary. Even me, these ones have really scared me but the longest each episode lasts is three hours. I still feel sad, but I won't be in the danger zone until the next one. Like waves. I find depression really fluctates compared to mania. Mania increases to tremendous proportions, but when you're in a major episode it's pretty persistent and all consuming for days and days. I never noticed having three hours of feeling slightly normal before going up again. Maybe that's just me.

But anyway, I am WAY past my first experience with ideation, I must have gone through at least sixty of these episodes in my life. I do internet reading on suicide and try to grapple with it logically as a medical condition to keep from feeling too hopeless. And I'm really trying to shed my own stigma and recognize and honour this as a symptom of a lifelong disability and not a true judgement of who I really am. Sometimes I like to make myself feel better by imagining what social changes should take place to preserve the health and dignity of other people with mental health issues. Sometimes I imagine starting a terrorist organization made up of the mentally ill doing outrageous acts of . . . uh, activism. Like peeing on Ewan Cameron's grave.

Sometimes I just go to sleep and have strange dreams about beautiful women and political intrigue. Which I think I'm going to do right now.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Snuff It's

I have been on a very long road trip with two queer gals and a mother through Western USA. Among the things we saw was the Arches in Utah. some lizards. petroglyphs, cave dwellings in Colorado, some canyons, The Balancing Rock, Devil's Tower, Sturgis, deer, bikers, and a helluva lot of RV parks. I am now an expert in doing sewage dumps, after mum undid the lid and got splattered in liquid poo and refused to do it again. I've seen first hand the RV class system, and dudes, we may as well have been towing around a cardboard box the way those people treated us. One day we were driving down the road when bikers kept pointing and gesturing at us, we discovered our sewage hose had fallen out of it's wee container and was being merrily dragged down the road.

Mister the weiner dog was with us and I was really glad for that, because one night at two in the morning I got the Snuff It's BAD. As in, I had worked out a plan and was about to carry it out IMMEDIATELY. I'm sure it would have been a pretty gory scene had I carried it out. Anyway, I was crying and feeling pretty hopeless and working up the nerve to just go do it and have it over with, and Mister started licking my face, and he just would not stop until I had calmed down. And then he snuggled right up to me until I fell asleep.

I keep getting the Snuff It's off and on and it's really bothering me. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it through this time. There isn't really anyone I can talk to about this stuff, because people freak out and get mad at you if you're talking suicide. I guess sometimes I just feel people would be better off without me, no one understands me, people think making fun of me is actually funny instead of abusive and making me want to kill myself even more. And people act like my bipolar disorder is a big burden on them, and besides all of that, I'm just not sure someone as marginalized as me has a fair chance in this world. I'm so tired of fighting and I'm so tired of not being loved. Most of all, I am tired of always wanting to kill myself, and I don't know anymore how to make it stop. What makes me most sad is that I still feel like part of me died in the hospital and is never coming back.

I don't know what else to say except that this pain is really awful and I'm running out of ways to make it go away.