Category: random

I was a vigilante this afternoon, and it turned out better than I ever expected

By , November 25, 2013 10:58 pm

This afternoon, I was driving home from a theatre where I work. I was at a red light on a busy street in Evanston when the car in front of me tried to do a three-point turn at the light. They did so really poorly, and backed into the car in the next lane (that had been next to them before they tried to turn). They didn’t pull over, though, and sped off. Asshole.

Well, that wasn’t acceptable, and I wanted an opportunity to play vigilante. So I pulled a u-turn and sped after them, honking and flashing my lights. They turned a corner, and I rode their rear bumper. Some other concerned citizen clearly had the same thought, and sped past them at a stop-light to box them in. The driver got out, seemingly confused (whether it was feigned or real is unclear). We said he had hit someone, he replied “Oh, I didn’t feel anything!” But we convinced him to follow me back to the accident site, hoping the victim would still be there. The other concerned citizen -slash- vigilante went into the night, and the crasher followed me back to the accident site.

I gotta say, I felt like quite the badass when I pulled up behind a woman on her phone, pacing behind her car, a nice sedan with an HRC bumper sticker and Texas plates. “Did you just get hit?” I asked. “Yeah,” she said. “Why?” “Because here’s the guy who hit you,” I replied, gesturing to the car pulling up. Continue reading 'I was a vigilante this afternoon, and it turned out better than I ever expected'»

Facebook and breast cancer ‘awareness’

By , October 14, 2013 1:03 pm

I recently was included (along with 80+ others) in the following Facebook message:

Hello ladies, it’s that time of year again…support of breast cancer awareness! So last year’s game was writing your bra color as your status…or the way we like to have our handbag handy. Last year, so many people took part that it made national news!! And the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness too! Do NOT tell any males what the status means…keep them guessing!! And please COPY and PASTE this in a message to all your female friends. The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to GIRLS ONLY and let’s see how far it reaches. The one last year about the bra went all over the world!! Instructions: The month you were born is the Place you are going, and the day you were born should be how many months you are gone January – Mexico; February – London; March – Miami; April – Dominican Republic; May – Paris; June – Rome; July – Hawaii; August – California; September – New York; October – Puerto Rico; November – Las Vegas; December – Australia. If your birthday is 21st January, YOUR STATUS SHOULD READ: “I am going to Mexico for 21 months”. Don’t reply to this, put your answer in a status on your wall. Please do it, don’t be a spoil sport!…

I didn’t bother replying, and immediately clicked ‘leave conversation.’ I’m pleased to report that I have not received it from any other friends, or seen anyone actually post the status on their wall. But the IM has still been bugging me, and not simply because sending an IM to 80+ people. Lets talk about why I’m so annoyed.

Continue reading 'Facebook and breast cancer ‘awareness’'»

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.

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