Sunday, February 24, 2008

So I Turned it Up And Turned it Down and Turned it On

In 12th grade, my dorm elected me Fire Marshall. I remember giving an acceptance speech, but not what I said. Probably: "Thank you for trusting me to usher you to safety in case of an emergency. Please remember that when a building's on fire, you can't afford to waste time getting dressed! You must dash valiantly into the night in your knickers, camisoles and fuzzy-animal-head slippers! You can nip out, no judging!" JK. I probably said "SUCKERS! You're all gonna burn!" I'm pretty sure I ran unopposed; it all happened too quickly for me to really consider the impact this election might have on my future. Somehow I ended up on Student Council that year too, though I can't recall if I campaigned for that. I was Secretary. I wrote funny notes read by the whole student population. That was good practice for blogging. Anyhow, the future is now, and I'm grateful that I've already got so much election experience.

But first, let's just get this out of the way: we all know I don't deserve this "Lesbo Blog of the Year" honor. The best lesbian blog of the year is not "This Girl Called Automatic Win." It's OBVIOUSLY "Come on Ilene." In this delightful OurChart-hosted vlog series, Ilene Chaiken makes meatballs while explaining her L Word plot choices. I admire Ilene for her seamless combination of cookery and chatting, like Martha Stewart (who, p.s., if she met you, would probably stick cheeseballs in your eyes). Furthermore, she's the creator of Showtime's hit series The L Word. The only person who could possibly dethrone Ilene is Max, but his podcast is so good, they're keeping it a secret, like the lesbo YA novel "Keeping You A Secret."

Anyhow, for some reason Ilene wasn't nominated, so I'm left to battle it out with four other blogs not written by Ilene Chaiken. Sooo ...

I noticed that Lesbian Dad, one of the other nominees, posted a blog where she said sweet things about all of us and endorsed her own candidacy. That seemed nice, that's the real spirit of this contest, like Lilith Fair! In fact, all the other nominees have posted nice, amicable posts announcing their candidacy, saying pleasant things about the others when appropriate and encouraging their readers to vote for whomever deserves it. I've basically just been like "everyone vote for me now!" That's how I used to get pudding as a child, see photo.

Speaking of children: I've sort of acted like a child about all this, 'cause I've got a chronic inability to conduct myself professionally and/or take myself seriously, and I don't want to seem like an asshole. I've wondered, "What do these strangers think of me?" and I imagine these kinds of judgments: "Is that girl called 'automatic *cough* win' trying to ride her (fading) youth & (arguable) beauty all the way to the bank w/o even bothering to read Strunk & White?" I'm pretty judge-able ... 'cause I just ... say things. I abbreviate words and sell underwear. My friends are smokin' hot and I talk about things that seem frivolous on the surface, but I promise are bursting with depth if you dig deep enough. And so ... this is that post that everyone else already did last week when I was too caught up in the pure entertainment of it all/riding the Rock n'Rollercoaster. So I'm gonna be totally mature right now and not be the teenaged randomized aggro candidate of yesteryear. I mean, these other women don't have Lozo's penis gunning for them. 'Cause yes, I am honored to be nominated, and they all deserve to auto-win. Srsly.

I wish I could just do "teacher voice" and become mature and say mature things, I seem unable to do that when faced with a keyboard.

This is a funny time though, too, w/r/t this nomination -- 'cause honestly, The L Word recaps really take a lot out of me -- I think this being the third season I've done, I'm just getting kinda burnt out, it's been many hours. And I refuse to quit, 'cause I'm clearly completely out of my mind. Also, I've been trying actively to adopt a lot of healthier habits in 2008 -- which don't enable L Word recaps quite like last year's did. And I'm also trying to polish a lot of stylistic and grammatical issues 'cause I basically write as the words come into my head and edit later -- and I wanna get faster and tighter. And wetter, obvs.


Anyhow! I feel bad that I haven't been able to update as frequently this month as you may've gotten used to. If you don't read the L Word recaps, I'm disappointing right now -- or maybe I'm not, mostly these are standards I set for myself. I mean, remember when I was posting almost every day? I do. That's when I was Emily Dickinson, it was a period of great productivity and very intensely focussed despair. But ... things are getting ... better. And not in a blindly optimistic way, but in real ways that I can touch and feel ... ways that make me laugh and smile.

I've been doing a lot of reading and a lot of thinking, too, about what I really want ... like out of life? I think when you barely even want to live (aren't making a living) (and are harboring a lot of anger and confusion) the big picture vanishes -- you do what you have to do to get through the day. And for me, that meant that for a large chunk of last year, I just wrote this blog and ate peanut butter crackers. I may never get back to that place where I posted 10,000 word epics or brand-new vlogs every day, but I'll be back to normal productivity (3-4 posts/week) in April, post-L Word. Like you might actually see Sunday Top Tens on Sunday.

But it's a transitional time for me & a lot of the people in my life right now -- clearly. I mean, Haviland's in Los Angeles, how did that happen. But it's also a good time. I've had fun just about every day this month with only a few exceptions. I've been digging 2008. Obvs ... I mean, you read the Auto-Fun. I mean ...


So I have one thing to say: Sashey, Shatey, Shante Shante Shante. No, I'm gonna tell you about the other blogs -- how we are the same, yet how we are different. Just like gay people. All the same, because they're all gay, but also different, because some of us have puppies and some of us like apples and some of us like ten-inch purple dildos. Also, some of us don't like Jenny, which is fine, except that people who don't like Jenny are wrong.


Dorothy Surrenders: I've actually been a fan of Ms. Snarker for a year or so now. Her writing -- "a gay gal's guide to pop culture" -- is tight, witty and relevant. Her pre-L Word run-downs, complete with a fourfour-ish knack for snappy telling screenshots, manage to do in about 300 words what it takes me 30,000 to accomplish. Her fingers are on the pulse of lesbian media and she isn't afraid to apply feminist criticism when necessary, like this week's look at the Scarlett/Natalie W Magazine Cover.

How are we similar? The L Word, a fondness for women in menswear, crushes on Jodi Foster and a suspicion that most sexy starlets who act gay are, in fact, gay. We both have regular segments -- she's got Straight Girls Acting Like Gay Girls, Naked Lady Mondays, and Weekend Crushes; I've got The Sunday Top Ten (occasionally: the Tuesday Top 8, Thursday Top 6 or Week-Long Top 15, I like to switch it up), and um, other segments I maintained for approximately 1-5 posts, like the Carousel of Progress, Great Mysteries of Life, etc. I've been good w/Auto-Fun. Anyhow ...

How are we different? I write about myself alot but also pop culture and books and stuff, she focuses only on pop culture. I'm cluttered, she's reliable -- she gets to the point and makes it well without excessive tangential journeys. She has not, as far as I know, shared photographs of herself or live-blogged a mental breakdown. She's got a real gig blogging for AfterEllen, I've got an imaginary gig blogging for my belly button.


Lesbian Dad:

First, let's talk about what Lesbian Dad said about mememememe, 'cause it made my heart swell:
"Ebullient, hilarious, very verbally zingy. A pop culture junkie, which predilection she humors in a spin-off blog dedicated to a blow-by-blow of each L-Word episode, complete with the incredulous dialog of her Greek Chorus of chums."

"When I was young and spry — particularly on the crest of coming out — I’d have felt, reading Automatic Win, that a life of lesbianism could be downright fun. Rather than what I first thought it was, in 1982 when I came out: a blighted but inevitable path which no one I knew was treading except my sweetie and me, surrounded as we were by theoretically bisexual, understanding and supportive straight friends. All power to the internet, sisters. But the madcap world Automatic Win depicts — memorably rendered by Riese in loose, inventive language, undergirded with a wry self-deprecation — is, alas, quietly but determinedly slipping into my past. Reading her gives me a blog’s-eye-view of the Younger Generation, the lesbo Sex In The City set. Only the more hipster version. With far more text messaging. And irony. And about ten years younger. "
How are we similar? She IS a Lesbian Mom (or "lesbian dad") ... I HAVE a Lesbian Mom. One day I'll probs be a Lesbian Mom, I'm waiting to get pregnant like in Village of the Damned so that my daughter will have laser-beam eyes and no-one will fuck with us at Wal-Mart. LD went to UC-Berkley, I went to University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and those schools are similar 'cause they're both heavily populated by dirty hippies. We both studied English and Women's Studies, except that she has hands-on experience too, as in: she was actually a Lesbian Avenger, which makes her automatically 150% cooler than me forever. I like what she says in her "about me" when she describes her affiliation with the "Walt Whitman" system of writing: "Whitman tinkered with what he wrote over and over, past its first and second and umpteen print publications." (Rather than the Gertude Stein school: "first draft best draft." Obvs that's not the case, especially when ambien is involved. Speaking just for me now.)

How are we different? She writes about raising children, I write about being a child. She posts cute photos of children, I post cute photos of twentysomething girls who like to dress in hoodies or costumes. She has several legitimate writing spots on various queer parenting venues, I have several blogs.

Sugar Butch Chronicles: First of all, her banner is hot. Sugar Butch talks way dirtier than Tina Kennnard, for sure. Her writing is trance-like and thoroughly, openly and explicitly erotic. She addresses gender/queer representation confidently and with the education/experience to make good points. Her goals are "to encourage lesbian sex and sexuality in ALL its various forms and manifestations, to spark conversations about gender and kink and power and sex in whatever might feel good to you and your lover." She mentions fisting like within the first two lines of the last post I read, score!

How are we similar? Well, we both dislike eating dead animals and celebreality. Also, we've both been published in erotica anthologies -- in Cleis anthologies, too! We both like having sex with girls. Also, we both enjoy making out with girls in bathrooms, and possibly have been kicked out of the bathroom for this very reason.

How are we different? Sinclair has a lot of labels, e.g., "kinky queer butch top feminist sex educator." I'm just "weirdo almost-hipster." I notice this a lot, especially in the sex writers circuit, that these words mean a lot to some lesbians and are vehemently unspoken by others. I don't hear "butch" or "femme" a lot in my circles. I'm not sure if "masculine" or "feminine" enable greater clarity or even mean the same thing, but those are the words I use generally (which intrinsically conforms to the limiting gender dichotomy, innately tying one's gendered expression to either "male" or "female" poles, lacking an ambiguous non-gendered adjective entirely separate from the existing patriarchal linguistics). I think I say "boyish" and "girly." Or -- especially when referring to the girls I usually go for -- "androgynous." I like the words "genderfuck" or "genderqueer."' Ultimately I admire SugarButch, and many sex writers like her I've met at various lesbian sex writer hoo-has, for carrying it on in whatever context speaks solidly in defense of their experience. Because her writing is super-hot, and anything that reminds people that lesbian sex, even when it's not between two plastics at a Malibu poolside, is delicious and wet and delightful.


Hahn at Home is a 46-year old mother with teenage kids in Sacramento, California. We are 56% sure we actually saw her last week at Disney World, so Hahn at Home, if you're reading this and you were at MGM studios on Monday the 18th of February -- HOLLA! If not, then there's another lesbian Mom out there who looks like you, were we to pass this lesbian Mom at lightning speed and then try to judge her appearance from behind, walking backwards. That's a good sign for queer visibility. Apparently Hahn won last year but felt that people cheated and voted for her more than once, and then honorably refused to accept her prize, passing it on to the super-awesome Curly McDimple, who I met last year at the Blogger Wienie Roast located in Timbuktu, Brooklyn. That's really honorable. You guys -- feel free to vote as many times as you can, I don't have a serious soul.

How are we similar? Like Lesbian Dad, I must point out that Hahn is a Lesbian Mom and I have a Lesbian Mom. Also my Lesbian Mom has adopted kiddos like her, so really, we're basically bosom buddies. We both post photos of ourselves. She updates regularly and has a serious following; her writing is clear and casual and intimate without being too personal. I think we both trust our readers, which might not make sense -- but it does, to me, and it probs does to her, too.

How are we different? Obvs, again -- this woman somehow manages to blog, work and raise three kids on her own, whereas I somehow manage to barely raise myself. I don't think I could even pack my own lunch. Really on the surface there's nothing at all similar about us except that it seems we apply the same probing eye to what our daily experiences and the experiences of our friends/family/lovers mean about society, ourselves, and specifically how it feels to be the age we are. When I have a baby, I'm gonna give it a mohawk and then take lots of photos, it's gonna be awesome.


How am I different from everyone? Two words: vlog vlog. No, JK. I think the main difference is that I'm all the fuck over the place -- I looked at my labels, which I'm terrible at applying properly so they really mean nothing -- see sidebar, I've added it for a brief moment of navel-gazing. Somehow "It's Britney Bitch," "Near Mental Breakdown," "Drinking on the Job," "Liberal Politics," "The Gym," "A Shot At Love With a Bunch of Lunatics," "Literacy," "My Hair," "Lozo" and "Magazines" are all on the same list.

It's hard to describe what it is I do here -- I talk about myself a lot. There's vlogs, underwear, lists of bad music, number one feelings and contests in which I purport to give away Haviland's underthings and Lozo's hand in marriage. Cait recently asked me if there's anything I won't do "for the cultural experience" or "'cause it'd be blog-worthy" (she asked me this re: "The American Experience") I think -- as much as I hate other people and wish I could live inside a cave talking to no-one forevs and evs -- I'm simultaneously addicted to the balmy undersides or garish presentations of psyche, cultural norms, history and existence, constantly questioning and probing, stuffing as much life into each day as possible. Because obvs my life philosophy remains that I don't want to say that I ever wasted time doing something unoriginal or boring, that I was always learning, that I tasted as much as I could of the world before leaving it. And then wrote all about it.

I engage my audience in intra-web social drama and catastrophe. I pretend blog is a forum for internet performance art -- poetry slamming with mysterious anonymi at 3 A.M., deleting my entire blog when someone makes me feel censored, publishing the letter that fired me, writing half an entry on something and calling it "crazytown" in the morning. And unwillingly but eventually for the greater good -- letting all of you watch my life kinda fall to pieces though I wouldn't tell you why 'til later ... and then building a cave in my room and refusing to exit except for a trip to the Hustler Club with Lozo. I do a lot of things "just to see what will happen," 'cause I think life is my private chemistry set for better and for worse. So that's what I do here. That's my bloggity blog blog.

It's become more than just a blog to me but a sort of community that offers viewers enough entertaining and quality writing and referrals to entertain and also a more in-depth interactive involvement with the auto-universe through commenting, donating to the tip jar, buying merch, joining the Facebook group or making out with me. If this was a sorority, I think this is the part where I'd make you drink a lot and then roll around in chocolate pudding and then kick [sic] [I meant "lick," but clearly this is the best typo ever] it off each other. Yum. These women are fantastic and I think the one thing we all have in common is that we're pretty dedicated to "blogging."

Ultimately -- I don't need to be the lesbian blogger of the year, because my Mom already thinks I'm pretty no matter what. But seriously, they have this RuPaul doll at rainbow depot and it's autographed by RuPaul, and I need it. Vote auto-win.

"You Better WORK!"


Razia said...

Ha, kick it off each other. That's got to be my favourite typo ever.

e. said...

Am I the first commenter? Omg, y'all, I think I am.... Oh, wait, somebody posted while I was writing this...
And, of course, I'm going to screw it up and say the wrong thing because it is three in the morning and I am figuratively drunk on necessary numbness, and also I am a terribly inexperienced commenter with a tendency to prattle, and also my dial is permanently set to "pretentious", but that is why I don't comment signed in.

I think I probs mentioned this before, in a roundabout way, but your blog is pretty much my favourite. I've read all the other top lesbo nominees too, and Dorothy Snarker in particular is super fun and all...but Auto-Win is totally my drug of choice. Seriously, it's like: Gotta headache? I'll just take a tab of autowin with a glass of water. Stuck my foot so far down my throat that I almost choked to death? Nothing soothes the bruis├ęd ego like prompt application of autowin. Witnessed formerly rock-solid, taken-for-granted bits of my life evaporate into thin air like so many splashes of alcohol on an open wound? I will calm my shaking hands and swallow the lump in my throat with a serious hit of autowin archives. Your blog is my crack, or smack (whichever is more potent/delicious/addictive), and also my therapy, and possibly the most honest relationship I've had in almost the past year, even though it's pretty well a one-way street what with me basically just reading, and only commenting, like, twice, and also now sounding like a total loser. Which, upon pondering, may in fact be mostly true. (Where'm I going with this? Why do I sound like a complete pothead? It's like I'm always high, but never in the fun way, just the stupid way. And I can't even surf. Or like, skateboard. But I also don't have roadrash.)

Ah yes. What I meantersay, Pip, is: I love that you talk about yourself. I love that you are both sarcastic and yet earnest, totally brilliant but not an asshole about it, and not disingenuously self-deprecating to pretend you're not an asshole while secretly, smugly believing in your own inherent greatness. (I believe in your inherent/earned greatness, though, so there!) I love that you own your stuff, like your life or behaviour or foibles or whatever, because nobody does that anymore, mostly because they don't want to or won't but sometimes because they can't. (I haven't yet decided which is my excuse.)

I think your blog is brilliant, I think you are brave and groundbreaking, I think you are the next great thing. Stumbling upon this blog for the first time was like when I read Clarice Lispector's "The Hour of the Star", I was fifteen, I didn't know that such things could be written without desintegrating as they were captured by the words, and I didn't know whether to break or laugh or burst into tears, but I knew that secret rooms I'd never agreed to acknowledge were now blown wide open and exposed to the air and also maybe the sunlight?

"To think is an act. To feel is a fact. Put the two together--it is me who is writing what I am writing. God is the world. The truth is always some inner power without explanation. The more genuine part of my life is unrecognizable, extremely intimate and impossible to define. My heart has shed every desire and reduced itself to one final or initial beat.... this is not simply a narrative, but above all primary life that breathes, breathes, breathes. Made of porous material, I shall one day assume the form of a molecule with its potential explosion of atoms. What I am writing is something more than mere invention; it is my duty to relate everything about this girl among thousands of others like her. It is my duty, however unrewarding, to confront her with her own existance.

For one has the right to shout."

P.S. That's from "The Hour of the Star", obvs one of the bits that made my fifteen-year-old head spin. ("Were she foolish enough to ask herself 'Who am I?', she would fall flat on her face.") Also, the "girl among thousands of others like her" isn't you, you are special, clearly, it's me, because I am as special as a snowflake. I am still being confronted by my own existance, totes existential crisis, but I wanted to thank you, for, y'know, kinda invoking the right to shout. Or whatever. *blush*

P.P.S. I didn't answer the question, did I? What was the question, again? I think I should have just sent you some overwrought fanmail instead of this ridiculous comment. Sorz.

Alicia said...

"I think this is the part where I'd make you drink a lot and then roll around in chocolate pudding and then kick it off each other."

Hahaha if only that wasn't a typo. Best and most violent sorority ever.

Anyways, hope you win. If somehow you don't, I'm sure you and your cohorts will go on a chocolate-pudding kicking spree on everyone who didn't vote for Auto-Win.

Lozo said...

apparently my penis didn't gun hard enough. i swear. it wouldn't be a sunday morning without me telling some girl i'm sorry about my penis' performance.

Dewey said...

I only read one of the other blogs, Dorothy Surrenders, and I have to admit I like it even if it was purely because it had the best picture of Ellen Page I've seen.

However nothing could change my opinion on you having to win, like this is a fixed part of my life. I may not comment as much as I should but believe me I still check back here everyday, almost without thinking. When I turn on my laptop I don’t check my emails or see what’s happening in the world, no, I check to see what’s going on in the community that is the auto universe.

So this blog is an auto-winner whether you win a rubber duck or not.

Oh and as for multiple voting, I haven't voted more than once but may have got some ppl to vote who may or may not read this.

chrissy said...

I kinda feel bad for Lozo...I mean, his junk is obviously not adequate enough in this situation (we're mostly bi/lesbians, so really, I didn't think his strategy would work anyway).
I'm even more upset that people just seem to be throwing their votes away instead of using them on you, who obvs deserves to win. This isn't about the duck anymore...well, maybe it sorta is. But still, I was really hoping that you'd have something to add to the sweat drop award. There's still a few days, so I'll see what I can do. *puts on pimp hat and heads out with auto-win flyers*

caittt said...

hiii, I really liked this also gun shots scare me, I hope it wasn't my favorite methadone man... You never really answered my question, but something tells me I already know the answer. In unrelated news I miss Mickey and fruit salad with mint ice cream.

Crystal said...

I haven't read any other the other nominees' blogs. I'm sure they're great, but at the same time I feel I don't need anyone else because you fulfil all of my lesbian blogging needs. In saying this, I'm confident that no-one else does internet performance art like you do.

Ok gtg, going to buy a bullet-proof vest.

Lozo said...

i won't lie. i haven't been reading much since this contest began. i was more focused on being your campaign manager. however, i don't like all the nice things you're saying about your opponents. muckrake! fling shit at them! dorothy just posts hundreds of pictures! she's a one-trick pony!

i will say this about your post. when i read, "I wanna get faster and tighter. And wetter, obvs," it moved a little.

anyway, i'll come up with a new strategy for victory that doesn't revolve around genitals. at least not mine, anyway.

riese said...

razia - and I am keeping it.

e. - you unique and special snowflake, your words touch all the innermost parts of me and thank you . i've read your comment like 10 times, for every word you have i have no words. also, hellllooo quote of the day.

alicia - i am totally going to have pudding wrestling and kick everything off people's faces, fo' serious.

lozo - that made me lol. we'll see how you feel on thursday morning. also, i'm still gonna win, obvs.

dewey- hiiii! it is good to hear you're still hear every day, that warms my heart. that is the best picture of ellen page i've ever seen too. you can get people to vote who can't even read.

chrissy - OOO flyers -- that's a good idea. Canvas away, campaign headquarters!

caitttt - it was MY favorite methodone man. I think the 10 answers to your question may appear soon enough.

crystal - i like that, fulfilling all of your needs. It makes me feel very adequate and also like a pimptacular person. i'm confident in your assertion that no one does internet performance art like i do.

lozo - see, you're my shit-flinger. you fling shit, I'll pretend to be nice. Maybe I'm not pretending. Who knows where thoughts come from .... ohhh, I'm tired. Don't worry, I still believe we can win this. The world needs to know ...

kazzie said...

Your blog is one of a kind, nothing else can compare imo. I'm not a reliable commenter but this place is a staple for me. It is definitely in my top ten things I'm going to miss when I no longer have access to the internet.

e. said...

Yay, auto-quote of the day! It's like I won a prize. Now I'm not (quite as) embarrassed about actually posting that comment--I had a lot of feelings, obvs, so when I went to write "My vote? She is yours," it tumbled out a lot more vulnerable and verbose than I'd intended. (Is there an "I like it hard and brief" joke in there somewhere? I think maybe. Anyone? ...Lozo?) It's like I need a separate blog to comment on your blog.

brooke said...

I vote for Marie.

In high school, I "totes" enjoyed your witty commentaries on the most inane student council meetings ever, and I continue to enjoy your insights into life and relationships with oft-pesky girls in New York.

a fangirl