I’ve been away for a while. I admit it. I was in Kansas City, home, Indianapolis, home for Chicago Fringe, then was hit with a bad cold, and am now finally getting myself back on my feet. In the meantime, this blog has languished, with the longest spats of no updates in…well…its entire existence. I wanted to talk about why that gap exists, and what I’m up to now.
First, the gap in writing. I’ve come to love blogging, something that is honestly surprising to me. It’s cathartic, a great source for performance material, and has allowed me to engage in a worldwide online community. Blogging is also tiring. It requires, much like the performance work I do, a public display of emotion, of experience, of self. And while I was on the road, I was surprised to find it took a little too much out of me. In retrospect, perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise: Flyering, doing interviews, staying with strangers, then doing very personal shows followed by talkbacks, being ‘on’ all the time, it’s tiring. Lots of fun, too, but tiring. And so when I got home at the end of the day, to the house I was staying at or to hang out with the friends I’d made on the road, I was reluctant to crack open my laptop and deal with all that again online. Not that it was bad stuff; as I said, I had an amazing time touring No Gender Left Behind. I’m already looking at touring opportunities for the coming year. But it also took a lot out of me.
Lesson of the day: Sometimes less is less.
Of course, finding that balance between too little and too much is the real trick…
Also, Steam is having a sale and I’m allowing myself one game. Trying to decide between between Left 4 Dead 1+2, Far Cry 1+2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and GTA4…Thoughts?
If you haven’t come across it before, you should check out Christine Miserandino’s analogy of what it’s like to live with sickness or disability, The Spoon Theory. In it, she uses something physical – a certain number of spoons – to explain to her friend what it’s like living with a chronic illness, in her case lupus. At the start of every day, she has a certain number of ‘spoons’ (energy) and every action takes away a spoon. If she runs out of spoons before the day ends (which often happens) she’s left exhausted and potentially impacting her long-term health. From the essay:
I asked her [the friend] to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.
Very well-written and worth reading. Check it out.
From this past weekend, when I may or may not have been in an altered state of consciousness.
There is incredible time dilation – things that subjectively must have taken mere seconds feeling like they’ve lasted forrrrrrever, even though they objectively been mere seconds (it feels like you’re thinking of a ton of different thoughts but I think it’s really thiking the same thought continuously but forgetting each moment of thinking so the single second of thought feels like one million tiny cuts of seconds) (this sentence felt like it took 3 or 4 minutes to type but it must have only bean thirty seconds cuz my typing speed continued as normal and annie and piet’s discussion was objectively only a few thoughts further)
A LOG OF THINGS: A BLACKOUT TEST
annie’s terribly creepy frog prince
“becc’s gonna lose it”
why do i get cough-y when i’m high?
the rhymes in this song are really sub-par
too tall frog, not two toe wog
annie and the sorcerers apprentice making out with gomez
xmen, discussion of what to watch when high
boy with the striped pijamas
laughing at the holocaust
oh it’s so sad
can focus for bref moments with intense focus (but not enough to write this sentence)
can you get me water? ahhhhhhh
welcome to masterpiece theater
it’s actually a metaphor for the sentate
get out of my bar freak
So much twitching. This is only somewhat enjoyable
unreasonable sollution of the stick seatbelt
i want to be everyone in this movie
professor x is gonna SAVE LOGAN
this doesn’ really make my pains particularly less
you want salty things
i don’t wanna be a ruiner. it’s stilled with instand gratification i’ts eyrthing you could every dream it could be
i wantt some pizzaa…. and i wish i hadn’t had as much
why would his shoes not make it
wait when when did they kidnaprogue? oh right she ran into the woods after being tricked to leave
i want that chocolate sooo baaaaad
why do they have so many badass cars? where does prof x get his money
i forgot how cheesy some o these special effect are, but the movie is still sooooo gooooood
test of science
it’s like the room zooms in, become less high while juggling, but then zooms way back out when high
it’s like the room zooms in it’s like the room zooms out it’s like the roomzooms in it’s like the room zooms out
what convenient colors to denote evil
shoulda run up to him and punched him in the face
still unwilling to make sacrifices….that’s what makes you weak
i would read that comic. of malcom x using magic to turn someone black, and martin luther king has to stop him
Walter Jon Williams is using pirated versions of his own books to try and get legit copies online for sale:
I embarked upon a Cunning Plan. I discovered that my work had been pirated, and was available for free on BitTorrent sites located in the many outlaw server dens of former Marxist countries. So I downloaded my own work from thence with the intention of saving the work of scanning my books— I figured I’d let the pirates do the work, and steal from them. While this seemed karmically sound, there proved a couple problems.
First, the scans were truly dreadful and full of errors. (Even if you’re desperate for my work, I can’t really recommend them.) A lot of time has been spent copy-editing, both by me and by Kathy— which isn’t really so bad, because this would have to be d0ne anyway.
But second, apparently a few of my books were so obscure that they flew under the radar of even the pirates! You can’t imagine how astounded I was when I discovered this.
Best of luck!
(Originally from Consumerist)
Limmud Chicago was today, and I did an hour presentation (well, 45 minutes because lunch cut into it) on being Jewish and transgender. The session went really well, and had some good discussion. I went in with the attitude of “Well, nothing is more Jewish than having lots of questions and few answers, so here we go!” Fortunately, the eight or ten folks who attended the session seemed interested and engaged, so they were willing to discuss my experience and the confusion it has brought up.
Much more exciting (for me, at least) was a session called “A Queer Take on Talmud.” I went in with some interest, but also some skepticism: none of the things I’ve read on Judaism as it relates to gender identity or sexual orientation has been particularly revelatory. Interesting, yes, but not eye-opening.
“A Queer Take on Talmud” was revelatory. Eye-opening in the way I’ve been waiting for.
I’m getting ready for my trip to DC for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Lobby Day and am trying to figure out where to stay. I’m currently leaning towards a hostel stay, and have found four that have received high reviewer ratings and are pretty close to where a lot of the meetings will be happening. They range from $30-$70 a night (depending on accommodations) versus the $160-$200 a night for a real hotel. I’m willing to put some of the money from this Kickstarter campaign towards staying somewhere I feel safe, but don’t want to blow the whole fundraising on a ‘real’ hotel. The friend I was hoping to stay with fell through, but I still may couch surf, at least a little bit. As a reminder, my fundraising campaign continues until March 11, the day I leave for DC. I’m also looking into some friends’ offers of hotel/airline points, so maybe that’ll make things easy.
Meanwhile, some links.
A play at Northwestern says it will examine “LGBT” issues, but the article seems to mean just LB issues. Boo.
Illinois youth are trying to get more trans-inclusive bathrooms. Awesome!
A nifty photo-documentary on trans subjects.
I hope the play itself deals with pronouns better than this review of some trans-themed theatre.
And that’s all she wrote! (For now, anyway.)
Happy New Years! Welcome to 2011! And so on!
I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. Part of it is because I feel like if something needs doing, you should just do it – its not necessary to use a specific date to give an excuse to make a resolution. I want to go to the gym more, but started that ‘resolution’ in November when my dad bought me a gym membership for my birthday. I want to actively pursue my artistic goals, but started that ‘resolution’ in September when I quit my full-time job. The more I think about it, however, the more I think my reluctance towards resolutions is tied in with my experience transitioning.
Growing up, I would set deadline after deadline for myself: I’ll start transitioning by the beginning of high school. OK, the end of high school. OK, the beginning of college. OK, the end of college. (Actually managed to do that one!) Setting deadlines that I failed to keep just made me feel bad about myself, and reinforced the idea for me that pure desire isn’t enough to accomplish something.
Being turned off to resolutions may have ultimately been a bad thing. These days, I’m trying to rethink resolutions as a motivator rather than an opportunity to fail. At the same time, I’m still more comfortable thinking of goals rather than resolutions. It seems less depressing to fall short of a goal, rather than go back on a resolution.