Category: random

Lakes of Fire, almost two months later

By , August 15, 2013 12:05 pm

In mid-June I joined a few friends in attending Lakes of Fire, a yearly regional Burning Man fest in Michigan. I wrote about some of the experiences in this post from June. Shamelessly stealing from my own post, here’s s background on Lakes of Fire:

Burning Man is the big yearly festival in Nevada. It draws tens of thousands of people, and – not surprisingly – has resulted in Burner communities springing up around the country. Some of those Burners then organize regional mini-burns, like Lakes of Fire, which are supposed to hold to the same ethos and general experience of Burning Man, but on a much smaller scale. I was invited to Lakes of Fire by a few friends I trust, all of whom are peripherally involved in the Chicago Burner scene. None of these identify full-on as Burners, but all enjoy the community to a greater or lesser extent, and I trusted them when they said they thought I’d enjoy Lakes of Fire.

Lakes of Fire

Lakes of Fire

That post, linked above, was primarily about my experience skinny dipping at LoF. I wanted to take some time to speak more broadly about my time there, and what I think of it looking back now.

Continue reading 'Lakes of Fire, almost two months later'»

Call for Submissions – 21 Peaceful Genders Anthology

By , April 22, 2013 11:18 am

I may have mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again! An upcoming anthology, 21 Peaceful Genders, is looking for awesome submissions. The details:

GUIDELINES:  Are you an individual who identifies as transgender, intersex, innersex, genderqueer, nonconforming, or gender-gifted?  Are you a health professional working with patients who identify as transgendered, intersex, genderqueer, nonconforming or gender-gifted?  Do you conceptualize gender as an experience more than an assignment?  21 Peaceful Genders – No Boxes, No Bars, No Apologies will be an anthology that paints a picture of gender as a place of possibility. We welcome original creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry and b/w photography.  If you identify as trans*, and this theme resonates with you, what approaches have contributed to a more affirming health care experience for you? If you are a health care professional, please weave the creative insights that have informed your most-helpful approaches into your submission.  Our intention is to help bridge the gap of misunderstanding between genderqueer individuals and the healthcare system at large. Submit to [email protected]  Suggest 2000 word max.  Deadline Dec 31, 2013.  First Prize pays $500, plus two honorable mentions, paid in copies.  Feel free to circulate/post this call.

Well, gang, get on it!

120 minutes in NYC

By , December 10, 2012 2:23 pm


I landed about two hours ago and have traveled from LaGuardia to the corner of 27th and 6th. (I think the street comes first – New Yorkers feel free to correct me.) I was hoping to kill some time at 3DEA before my 4PM appointment with destiny, but it’s apparently closed on Mondays. I was able to peek in through the window (see the photo to the right) but it’s closed to the public. The appointment is at the hotel next door.

Growing up and living in Chicago, I like to think I understand how cities work. And I’ve been to New York a number of times; I even lived a bit east of Union Square for a summer apprenticeship in college, getting off at the Times Square subway stop Monday through Friday. Nevertheless, I always forget how dense New York is, how packed with people.

According to Wikipedia, Chicago has a density of almost 12,000 people per square mile. New York City? 27,000 people per square mile. The difference shows in New York’s bustling mass of people, the million tiny storefront shops, and –


Obama bunted, at best

By , October 4, 2012 3:28 pm

Like however many millions of people across America and around the world, I watched the debate last night. And, like so many Obama supporters (although I’d label myself as a tepid supporter, at best) I cried out in frustration as I watched Obama  fuck it up. A few quick thoughts on what I heard, and what I wanted to hear.

Embrace your own damn policies.

What I heard:  “Obamacare is just like the health care plan you implimented in your state! How can you be opposing it now?”

What I wanted to hear: “You recently said that the uninsured have access to emergency room care, and thus we don’t need a national health care plan. First, emergency room care is more expensive on individuals and on taxpayers who have to pick up the bill for those who can’t afford to. Second, asking millions of Americans to go to the emergency room leaves out the preventative care which could help them avoid the emergency room in the first place. Finally, and most importantly, I want to live in an America where we care about each other, support each other, help each other out. You seem content to let people live on their own, and die on their own.” Continue reading 'Obama bunted, at best'»

The Safe of Wonder

By , June 19, 2012 6:31 pm

A while back I mentioned a safe at Links Hall. A safe which has been there since the 1980s (at least!). A safe that has remained unopened for at least three decades. I’m still working on how to open the damn thing, but here are some pictures in the meantime.

Jewish antisemitism (in which I badmouth Israel AGAIN)

By , June 6, 2012 4:14 pm

I’m no stranger to opening my mouth and talking about Israel, even though I’m relatively ignorant about its history or its current situation. My biggest foray into Israel and its history were two posts last May, about Obama and Israel and whether or not Israel is an apartheid state. (Short summary: Obama said “borders” when Israel prefers “armistice lines,” and no, Israel isn’t an apartheid state, but not for lack of trying to subjugate the Palestinians.)

A little over a year later, my mom is dating someone who is vocally pro-Israel. I like him a lot, and we agree on lots of political issues, but we send pro- and anti-Israel emails back and forth every so often. Most recently, he said he’ll buy us each a copy of Side By Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine, so we can talk about it sometime. While we wait for the books to get here, though, he sent me this gem:

 if you want to make it in this incipient debate, here’s some very strong amunition for your side.  Join up with the Holocaust deniers, those who believe we use the blood of children in our matzos, and that we are all members of an international conspiracy to take over the world…for these are the beliefs of those who argue for the total recognition of the Palestinians and all of their arguments. Link:

My response is below.

Continue reading 'Jewish antisemitism (in which I badmouth Israel AGAIN)'»


By , May 25, 2012 10:34 pm

Cross-posted with permission from Copyright Erica Dreisbach.

the fucked up part about The Wizard of Oz is
Dorothy chooses Kansas over Oz
knowing what she knows about Kansas
knowing what she knows about Oz
she chooses Kansas over Oz
Kansas is flat and boring
Oz is magical, and full of adventure
they don’t give a shit about her in Kansas
when she leaves Kansas
they have left her there to die
they have left her there to die.
look around for a minute
well, we tried
open the cellar
go back inside Continue reading 'oz'»

Please raise my taxes

By , April 29, 2012 9:10 pm

I just sent this to my senators and rep. Feel free to use it to talk to yours.

Senator Durbin,

I have lived in Illinois my entire life. I am almost always in agreement with your legislative viewpoints, and appreciate how accesible and responsive you are to your constituents. And so I ask you: Please raise my taxes.

I’m a freelancer. I make less than $20,000 a year. I work in the arts, with children, with colleges and universities, and receive most of my income as 1099. That means I feel the weight of my taxes directly – they aren’t split between myself and my employer. I have bills, rent, medical expenses. And yet, I want you to raise my taxes.

With all the talk of budget deficits, the worries about angering voters by even mentioning raising taxes, and obstinant insistance by the GOP to refuse to raise taxes, I want to make my voice heard, too. As an American, taxes are part of the responsibility I bear to pay for the government services I enjoy. When I fly to visit family in California, I want to know my planes are inspected by government officials, and airports protected by others. When I drink water, I want to know the tap water I enjoy in Chicago is held to the same basic standard as in Portland or New York. While I disagree with much of our current military policy, I am ready to help pay for the defense of the United States. Everyday I am aware of the countless ways in which government helps make my life easier and safer. And I want to help pay for it.

I’m ready to pay more, for a sane government hand in healthcare. I’m ready to pay more, for a substantial government hand in education. I’m ready to pay more for a government hand in highways, bridges, science research, space exploration, national security, and on and on and on.

Please, raise my taxes.

Body Map, part one

By , March 5, 2012 5:04 pm

This is part one of a writing exercise about body mapping. Stay tuned for part two.

My fingers are a gateway to the world. Typers of words, feelers of skin, players of keys, graspers of all that is in reach. They are long and neither slender or fat, but finger-sized. They have hair between the first and second knuckles, between where they connect to my hand and where they bend. The hair has been hit by lasers, plucked by tweezers, shaved by blades, but still it grows back. Less and less with hormones and lasers and frustration, but still it grows.

The thumb on my right hand is larger than that on my left. My gym teacher slammed it in a door when I was in third or fourth grade. It was an accident, and he apologized, but still told me to stop crying when I went to the nurse’s office. I needed stitches under the nail, one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had.

When I hold my fingers up straight, palm out, the middle and ring fingers pop apart, as if in a permanent Vulcan greeting: Live long and prosper, forever. It’s kind of silly, and makes me incredibly self conscious. When I wave, I make sure to do so with fingers spread. When I hold my hand out, I either cup or spread my fingers to hide this physical quirk. It’s significantly more pronounced on my left hand, presumably because I broke those fingers flipping off my bike sophomore year of college. Ouch.

Continue reading 'Body Map, part one'»

Links for YOU

By , March 3, 2012 8:58 pm

Cleaning out some old links once again…

Dreaming of Dresses: Transgender Books for Children – Anyone read any of these? I enjoyed Luna, but don’t think I’ve read the others.

The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women’s Clothing –  Yes. Yes. One thousand times yes.

Requiem for a Dialogue – Lots of things, but particularly about femme and trans. A good read.

2012 Oscars and the Bechdel Test – Yes, I’m late. So sue me.

Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation – I’ve only played #1, so no spoilers please, but I did love it and this is an interesting article.

One Town’s War on Gay Teens – Great article from the Rolling Stone.

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