Friday, January 30, 2009

Automatic Fun - January 30th 2009

Around late February/Mid-March of 2008 I was informed three times in one week that I hadn't written an actual Sunday Top Ten in months, that I hadn't written anything good since 2007, and that I was clearly just "phoning it in." I wonder when that'll happen this week. This blog is weird. I still keep writing it like I'm talking to 20 people, but I'm not, I guess, not anymore. I'm talking to a lot more people. But I don't know how to do that. So hey, you, and hey you x 19, you look beautiful today, I love all your feelings.

Quote: "She could remember being a child. It was a child's game in a child's afternoon, before time or distance were factors. When you were told you couldn't move or couldn't see. And for those moments you are paralyzed or blind. You freeze in plae. You don't move. You feel that you have been there for years. It does not occur to you that you can move. It does not occur to you that you can break the rules. The world is a collection of absolutes and spells. You know words have a power. You are entranced. The world is a soft blue." (Kate Braverman, Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta)

+ Curve reports that GLAAD has announced its nominees for annual Media Awards - by default, The L Word is nominated, Suzie Orman's snagged a big prize and Tyra Banks is somehow involved.
+ True Love, a poem in The New Yorker by Barry Gifford.
+ I think the fact that this New York Times article exists is kinda funny. It's about the Burger King Whopper Sacrifice Campaign on Facebook and it's titled titled "Too Many Online Friends? Time to Delete."
+ The Rumpus Interview with Margaret Cho
+ Jossip has The Wheels on The Blog Go Tweet-Tweet-Tweet: The Hyper-Expanse of the Microblog: "In the past two weeks, Twitter has gone from a cute little thingamajig you read about every once in awhile, to something that everyone's doing."
+ Desire
+ This Movie looks incredible, I must see it.
+ The New College Rankings - based on employability of graduates, at The Daily Beast.

Insomnia Poem

I think I need
more beauty in my life
she said turning palm open
for something else

like a shot, wife of lot
you've got salt on your back
your eyes are black
i've got an attack
every time i fly
i'm enchanted by the descent,
the small buildings getting bigger
i mean that it gets me every time.

toes on unwashed sheets
and winter gets worse every year
manic planet, manic panic
we used to paint our hair
with magic markers.
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

H&R Advice Column - A Twisted Elbow Crush VLOG

Sooooo ... so much footage, so little time! Last week while in California for important reasons, Haviland and I hunkered down with iSight and answered a large stack of your pressing questions on video. So now I can add this footage to the stuff I still haven't edited from November and before long we will probs fix not only your problems, but also the economy, The L Word, and our allegedly "high speed" internet connection.

If you're interested in getting drunk tonight/today, then I'd suggest a H&R Vlog Drinking Game that includes one shot for every time I say the word "vagina." Seriously it rolls right off the tongue. No seriously, um, I like words that sound gross. Not sexy-gross like the "p***y" word, but sterilized-gross like "vagina" and "lesbian."

That paragraph (above) will be a good one for everyone who's landed here from the Village Voice article about Mary "REISE" Lyn Bernard, a "sex blogger" with a "valley girl tone" often spotted at "sex savvy events about town" when she's not "goofing around" with her "live-in partner Natalie." The last one is clearly the funniest part, I'm sure Natalie's boyfriend agrees. I'm also very curious about these sex-savvy events, are they talking about Tegan & Sara concerts? Probs. I hope there's a special place in heaven for "sex bloggers" who never blog about sex, 'cause that's where I'm going. It's gonna be hawt, everyone's gonna say VADGE a lot like Julie Goldman. I think they met "Sexy Blogger" and clearly were talking about Haviland, she's the hot one, I'm the cool one.

We answer three pressing questions. Upcoming vlogs will include answers to additional questions and a lot of nonsense and Alexi's Closet outtakes.

H&R Advice Column #7/Haviland & Riese Vlog #34 (I know it's supposed to be 33, but I'm retarded. Maybe the next one will be #33 to make up for it?) STARTS NOW!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday [Auto] Fun Day - 01.25.09.

Hey dudes! Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Are you ready to take the plunge? I haven't edited our video yet, or written a Sunday Top Ten, or done laundry, or flown back to New York City. But one of those things will happen tomorrow, as will The L Word recap. BTW, if you like/tolerate/witness The L Word you should go watch Lezberado, it's a vlog-style show that Showtime produces online and I have it embedded on AutoStraddle. There was this other girl who did it, and now that girl isn't doing it so now I am and somehow over 500,000 people have watched it this weekend, it's the #1 most viewed People & Blogs Video this week and #24 most viewed overall, which's cool/weirdo. So if you like/loathe the show check it out.

I get back to NYC tonight (sunday night). It's always hard to come back from being away. It makes me think of always being away last year and then of a whole lifetime being away. I'm listening to "Swimming Pool," it's perfect 'cause part of what makes West Hollywood kinda dreamy is all those big boxy turquoise tanks of perfect artificial starshiney glow.

ZOMG! I just had the best idea ever. At the end of Season Six, we should have a roundtable discussion -- maybe in a podcast format, like they do at the Grace Paley Center for Media or whathaveyou -- like with all the people who've hated/pretended to endure the show for the last six years -- people who've been recapping for at least three years (i guess?) -- to talk about how it's changed our worlds and how the online community has shaped the show. Me, Dorothy Snarker, Scribegrrl, KC&Elka ... who else?

quotes: "She'd never understand me because I like too many things and get all confused and hungup running from one thing to another 'til I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion." (Jack Kerouac, On the Road)

- You guys, Ilene Chaiken is the decider. She's not gonna tell you about her decisions because she doesn't want anyone to tell her that there are no weapons of mass destruction and it's a stupid war.
- I just discovered Proof, a new section of The New York Times investigating "alcohol and American life." I honestly find this subject fascinating -- not in a "hey bro i love to get wasted" kind of way, but in a genuinely sociologically and culturally compelling way. You should check it out.
- What's the word (blogstar?) for when a kid from your high school and your favorite blogger/recapper watch a movie together and write about it? "Gabe and Rich Watch a Movie: Goodbye Uncle Tom."
- The Planet Podcast for Episode 601: A Long Night's Journey Into Day.
- A Change Web Designers Can Believe In: Viget Inspire looks at the new Whitehouse.Gov, with a look back on Clinton's '96 page and after.
- Real Men don't like spas, says the Times Online UK.
- Obama's Inaugural Realism Promises Great Things makes my point about realism & pessimism being helpful attitudes, numbskulls!
-More Letters From "Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama" at McSweeny's.
-Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story - n+1 reviews The Complete Centerfolds.
-My number one fear: the end of solitude. "Technology is taking away our privacy and our concentration, but it is also taking away our ability to be alone."
-Twitter Sexuality by Violet Blue at The San Francisco Gate.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

All Your Cleverly Planned [Pre] Vlogs

I'm writing to you from my 20th consecutive hour of "being awake." But that's fine! 'Cause we're gonna dig everything man and we're gonna find IT. You know, IT! IT! IT! Also, it's warmer here in California (I left the East Coast in the early AM, and compounded with my insomnia and the three-hour time change ... well, here we are) and I'm here with Haviland and therefore this particular post comes with VIDEO!

I've uploaded this super-special video VLOG PREVIEW to blogger rather than YouTube because YouTube is trashy and I'm not that kind of girl. I mean because I'm sleepy and YouTube is cranky. I mean it's because I'm in California, and it's sunny (except not now, 'cause it's night), and because I'm punk, and so is your Mom. Because YouTube takes too long and this is just a preview anyhow it's not professional I did it in iMovie.

I'm accumulating footage -- I've still got stuff from November, I've got outtakes from my most recent journey to Alexi's Closet, The Hot One (Haviland) and I filmed some advice vlog today (also I cut off all my hair again last week, these things happen) ... and we're gonna film a little more while I'm out here (coming back Sunday) so feel free to posit any advice questions to us in the comments or at ENJOY!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Automatic Fun of Inauguration Day 2009!

Eight years ago in my silly little diaryland diary I wrote: "I need to start an island like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach." I believe I'd just seen the film. Luckily for y'all readers and for The Macaroni Grill (they had the pleasure of employing me later that year), I stayed right here in America and did not "start" my own wild island of peace and savagery. Now I can never leave the country, 'cause I've lost two passports in two years, but this isn't about me, this is about TODAY! How does anyone "start" an island, anyhow. I am an island!

Seriously from now on this is about everyone else, for example:

1. Barack Obama

This is super awesome, today is gonna be sweet, and I look forward to talking about it on the interwebs with y'all. NYTimes has some cool features, check it out.

- Poll says most black say MLK's vision fulfilled (CNN)
- Bush-Era Abortion Rules Face Possible Reversal by Obama (WSJ)
- MSNBC Inauguration Day Coverage (MSNBC)
- Israel pulling out of Gaza before inauguration (CBC)
- Will Obama get rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? (@san francisco chronicle)

This site, WebTV Hub, features a comprehensive list of where you can catch the inauguration online. Here's a few:
  • CNN - Streaming the Inauguration in partnership with facebook where you can see the status of your friends update as you watch the live event.
  • BBC - Live coverage of the event & other stories from around the globe as the Inauguration takes place. (BBC)
  • MSNBC - Broadcasting the event from its website.
  • PBS- PBS will offer coverage of the event and also has a brilliant library of videos and dialogue of Inaugurations speeches from past presidents. (PBS)
  • Current TV - Live coverage integrated with Twitter for live online discussion of the event.
  • New York Times - Streaming Inauguration coverage from its homepage.
I was raised by politically active idealistic parents determined to enforce a gender-free race-free hopeful mentality. I was sheltered, in some ways, by a community safe enough to be so progressively idealistic. I believed back then that our country was on the inevitable verge of potential blossom -- counterculture and dominant culture could come together and better yet was about to, and then we'd all evolve -- and then I grew up and for the past eight years have witnessed the obscene opposite of that, something quite dangerously different.

I'm glad that we are finally here. I believe this is a new place from which change can begin. Not because Obama is a "celebrity president"/hopey mchoperson, but 'cause he's just cool. He's cool. We'd like to have several beers with him.

2. Crystal's Birthday - January 20th. She's in Australia. You can wish her happy birthday at her blog, right here. I love her.

3. Haviland's Birthday was January 19th. I hope that you have already wished her a happy birthday. I love her.

4. Natalie's birthday was January 16th
. I believe there was sheet cake, I have strong memories of vodka. I love her.

5. More Auto-Fun
- Iceland Melting - poems by Eileen Myles (@vice magazine)
- Another Nation: Only One Mexico (@chronicle of higher ed)
- FourFour Recaps gay Real World Brooklyn: "I'm not saying that I'm going to recap The Real World every week. I'm not not saying that I'm going to recap it either. Right now, all I'm saying is that I can't very well be expected to hold my tongue when I see something like this..." (@fourfour).
- Our Chart: Officially Over. I did that save-webpages-as-PDFs thing I should be an expert at by now, it's what a writer must do to save one's portfolio when the site goes under. Sigh sigh. You have 'til January 26th to gather ye rosebuds before the OC ghost town shuts off.

6. Quote(s)

"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." (Martin Luther King, Jr., "Where Do We Go From Here?" 1967)

"Now there are some things we all know, but we don't take 'em out and look at 'em very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names, and it ain't earth, and it ain't even the stars ... everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings ... you'd be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There's something wa down deep that's eternal about every human being." (Thornton Wilder, Our Town, 1938)

"Old" and "new" are the perennial poles of all feeling and sense of orientation in the world. We cannot do without the old, because in what is old is invested all our past, our wisdom, our memories, our sadness, our sense of realism. We cannot do without faith in the new, because in what is new is invested all our energy, our capacity for optimism, our blind biological yearning, our ability to forget — the healing ability that makes reconciliation possible." (Susan Sontag, Frankfurt Book Fair Speech 2003)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday Top Ten: My Super-Fancy Inauguration Day

[Sidenote: Episode 601 L Word Recap Here.]

I like casting things. I've nailed down bridesmaids with no plans for an actual bride [I'm intensely annoying in eternal doses, haphazardly picky w/r/t mate-selection, and slightly insane], I cast my favorite childhood novels for "fun" [subsequently I rarely approved of castings when these books were actually made into movies, though I applauded Winona Ryder as Jo March] because I am a dork and that's what dorks do for fun when they're too young to drive and computers haven't been invented yet. I'd take Major League Baseball All-Star team ballots home with me from games, copy them, and delight in selecting multiple dream teams, over and over again, again -- for "fun." I've made imaginary programs for Woodstock '93, a "Stars of U.S. Women's Gymnastics" World Tour and at the age of 9 had already scoped out my imaginary Super Sweet Sixteen (New Kids on the Block would open for Paul McCartney, obviously).

And so, although there are many reasons why I'd never want to be President of the U.S. -- I've got too many anxiety issues, I couldn't handle being disliked by at least 50% of the country's citizens 'cause I'm hard enough on myself without a CNN/Gallup poll to remind me how bad I suck at my job -- I really would like to cast my own Inaugural Ceremony! Well, I'd also enjoy presidential perks like fancy foods, the library, and the opportunity to help people. But mostly I want to cast the ceremony.

[Sidenote: We're now entering that black hole time known as L Word Season, when all my intelligent brain cells are zapped by a terrible terrible television program. But srsly I'll do my best to blog & write regularly and reasonably well. Clearly I've been braindead since Wednesday, and this is what I've come up with today. I know. I know! Waa.]

Sunday Top Ten: My Great Big Imaginary Inaugural Ceremony

10. Musical Selection #1

Obama will begin his program, which I believe takes place in the freezing cold, with some kind of cheesy patriotic medley starring the The United States Marine Band followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. I've read up on these groups and they're clearly excellent selections however no contest, hands down totes I'd pick the kids from the Ron Clark Academy, who wrote and performed the genius "You Can Vote However You Like" song during election season, which I saw on YouTube and on CNN and I said: "This is the best video I've ever seen on YouTube." True story.
9. Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
I guess I don't have a choice about the welcoming remarks and call to order, I think Senator D-Fen automatically wins that position, but if I could choose, I'd clearly pick Judge Judy.

8. Invocation

I cannot possibly improve on Obama's standout selection of Rick Warren, Passionate Preacher Lover of All Peoples. Honestly I'd prefer Jeremiah Wright -- in lieu of quality, I accept a good spectacle and counter-protest. Although I have nothing but respect for Rick's opinion that my lifestyle is similar to pedophilia, I might personally choose someone completely different. I mean that. Like the complete opposite of Rick Warren, maybe.

I'm a Jew, doest that make it complicated? Let's be honest, I've got no clue wtf an invocation is. Does anyone know? I pick Harold S. Kushner, Rabbi Extraordinaire and author of "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People," which I became briefly obsessed with because all these bad things kept happening to me and I had a lot of turmoil about maybe deserving them.

7. Musical Selection #2
Aretha Franklin: nice. Howevs, I gotta switch it up, can't have the same performer twice. Wouldn't it be funny if Tegan & Sara played at my inauguration? Everyone would think it was A Double Shot at Love and then get confused, 'cause most people in the world, much to my dismay, are not Tegan & Sara fans, but do absorb random bits of information about queer sets of twins and then get all confused in their mind. Also just realized that T&S are Canadian, which makes them poor candidates. Still though I bet you guys would all come.

Maybe Prince or Joni Mitchell.

6. Musical Selection #3

Obama picked John Williams, the prestigious composer of the Star Wars theme song. That's fine, Williams is really good at scoring music for movies, has won every award ever, etc. and he picked Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill to play the instruments which is a solid selection.

Is Williams gonna write an Obama Theme Song? Like the score for Obama's presidency? I hope so.

He should make a film score that plays in the background during every State of the Union. How cool would that be? Almost as cool as having the students from the Ron Clark Academy ALSO performing at the end of every SOTU. Or if we could just watch West Wing.

Anyhow. I pick Phillip Glass. I don't know what kind of instruments he'd want to use, so I'd leave that part up to him too. I like to outsource my details.

5. Inaugural Address -- I'd actually stick with Obama's choice of Obama. He would clearly make your eyes water, right? Whatever I could do, he could do better. Plus I have all these weird tics, like how I'm always trying to get a particular knot out of my back, I touch my nose a lot, and I laugh with my entire body. If I can see my hair, I'm constantly touching it, and if I see a mirror or a screen, I have to make funny faces. That's why I avoid mirrors constantly, to like a bizarre degree. Anyhow watch yourself in enough videos and you'll see how annoying you are. Meanwhile watch Obama. Besides the occasional overpause, that dude does not annoy me. Not at all! I've listened to him talk a lot and I'm not annoyed.

4. Poem

He picked Elizabeth Alexander, that's cool.

Ok ... basically I've had to come up with answers to all the other ones on this topic just because I felt like talking about how I would like to have a big public ceremony with Stephen Dunn somehow involved. Perhaps a Sweet Sixteen is in order.

3. Benediction

The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery will be performing this function, whatever it is. I feel like this is another religious spot requiring a religious leader of some sort.

I'd like a Tibetan Buddhist perhaps. I'm open to suggestions. It'd be hot if I could get the entire National Mall to meditate.

2. The National Anthem by the United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"

I think this is another no-pick spot. Sea Chanters? What's that. The only anthem I need is "Umbrella."

1. Big Party
Obama's party is really super hip. The first ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball? I want to live in Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder's neighborhood. Where is that oh Los Angeles. Sigh. I wonder if Cat Stevens would come if we invited him. My brother and I both invited Chris Weber to our Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, I also invited Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bill Clinton. None of them showed or sent money.

I'm going to Los Angeles on Wednesday for a thing. So if you want advice from the fabulous H&R advice column this time we're going to turn the sound on for sure when we're recording, so you'll get your advice soon, especially 'cause I've been too ridiculously scattered and busy lately to write anything (clearly). Email! Also when you do I think it helps to be as brief as possible, it helps us to get your answer as rapidly as possible and be sure to cover all the imperative bases on the spot.

I know it sounds sort of cheesy, but I think teevee is the opposite of poetry. I will be obligated to monitor this divide/balance over the next eight weeks, probably will need to read extra poetry.

Who would you cast?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

automatic fun of the day : 1.14.09

Firstly a BIG thank you to all y'all who voted Autowin for the 2008 Webblog Contest, especially if you voted a lot or recruited voters. Thanks to your efforts, I could've won the contest, but I didn't, 'cause it was rigged, and everyone else cheated and had an alliance for the tribal council. Unfortunately they were not caught and therefore also not punished, but I've snagged 5th place, !!!!, making me WAY cooler than John Kerry. No seriously, thank you. I am lucky to have such lovely people in my cyber-life. As your reward I promise to never make you vote for me for anything ever again. I can't control Tinkerbell, but you know.

Secondly!!! Check me out on Alexi's Closet on AfterEllen right now! This week I provide valuable advice to fashion maven Alexi about accessories and other important things. By that I mean I talk crazy while she tries to actually do her show.

quote:"I want to work in revelations, not just spin silly tales for money. I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down." (Jack Kerouac)

Link Party
- New Autostraddle: L Word Episode 601 in Twitter.
- Even with 140 character limits, The Twitterari Say Far Too Much.
- Cory Doctorow offfers really solid advice for anyone who battles the internet's infringement on daily productivity in writing in the age of distraction, @locus.
- We begin the worst-president-ever retrospective with Slate's Top 25 Bushisms of all time. 1. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
- Not Your Father's Censorship.: "with everything digitized, new communication technologies have led to a global proliferation of cencorship agents, methods and rationales."
- Clea Duvall's last blog on Funny or Die: Yes We Can, But Should We? "I should be sad right now ... but there's an excitement in the air ..."
- Turn yourself into an Obama icon. This will probably be saturated and annoying within 24 hours.
- New York Mag's aggressively-hip "New" issue includes new "lit-boy" Tao Lin by my hero Sam Anderson.
- The Advocate reports -- in '96, Obama went on the record supporting same-sex marriage.
- Hot Blogger 2009 Photos (an Urlesque Exclusive). Check me out, check out av flox..
- Dirty Secrets of College Admissions at the daily beast and salon's retort at The Perils of Privilege.

insomnia poem #22
featuring excerpts from riese's actual diary, 2006.

i. I keep having these dreams where
I look like Mary Louise Parker.

ii. I want out of myself
I want to be mature but I also want
permission to suck.

ii. I have never been so close to someone
so utterly disturbed.
She was normal today.
Maybe her therapist told her
to stop being such a cunt.

Dearest Natalie,
I stood next to someone wearing
your perfume
and it made me miss you.

v. So I need to write something
to save my soul.

vi. I look like Mary Louise Parker,
and everything is sun & grass.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday Top Ten: I Just Wanna be Good

The key to high self-esteem for Grown-Ups is to craft an adult life composed solely of things you're already good at. I don't feel smarter now than I did at age 13 'cause I AM smarter, I feel smarter now 'cause I'm not spending twenty hours a week staring dumbly at mathematical equations, Spanish verb conjugations and photosynthesis diagrams wondering why I've got chapstick for brains. The second runner up key to high self-esteem is alcohol or cocaine. The third runner up is actual self esteem. I don't know what's wrong with you people, what time did you wake up today?

Top Ten Things I Wanna Be Good At But I'm Totally Not
(some are from the list you made in the comments of what you're good at, those are indicated by an asterisk.)

10. **Grammar -
It's just kinda embarrassing. I've got several years of education on this topic. I wonder if my occasional mistakes make people violent like how I feel when I see apostrophes in plurals. I really get so upset about it, I'm just sick to imagine what it'd be like if you ever looked at ME that way. La la la. Preposition.

9. Dancing
- I secretly love to dance, I'm just bad at it and therefore often avoid it. How do you learn to dance? So far my best strategy's been to get really drunk,'cause then you know I just pick up the beat straight away, it's like magic suddenly I am ready to take baby out of the corner and do that big lift like Swayze-Crazy style.

8. **Sleeping - What a cop-out! I thought seeing "sleeping" as an answer and then I realized no, she is, she's a great sleeper. Her head hits the pillow and she's out, the alarm goes off and she's miserable but up, and I've always been fascinated by those who master this skill I've never -- literally never, not for one moment of childhood even -- possessed. I've generally dated excellent sleepers, sleepers who'll sleep through everything that keeps me up, when I wake up sick, or typing, or not sleeping, or reading or going to the bathroom, getting more water, hunting for chapstick, checking email, thinking thinking thinking thinking. They can snooze away. Haviland's a bad sleeper too, but she wears ear-plugs and wakes up at dawn w/o an alarm.

7. **Writing news stories quickly and efficiently - I am OBSESSED WITH FIGURING THIS OUT. Why? Why do I write so many words? Why are my blog posts so long? Why must I recap every minute if I'm gonna recap a show at all? Why must I be so thorough? What does it mean that I once used David Foster Wallace to justify this behavior and he killed himself this year? It's just I have so! many! thoughts! this is too long.

6. CSS/HTML -- You know that feeling you'd get while doing homework for a class you're bad at -- for me, this was all maths, sciences and languages (by that I mean, "Every class except English") -- a class you're required to take although your brain executes no apparent skill or aptitude for it?

That feeling don't end on graduation day, kids. We've got a kickass programmer now, but there's some things one must attempt to do oneself before one can even tell the designer what to design let alone tell the programmer what to put into code and godDAMN that shit is hard. After I finished my college requirements I thought from here on out, I'll only do shit I'm good at, but no. There's always new opportunities to feel that way, wheee!!

5. **Bullshitting - So I'm working, any job, being paid for something and I'm barely even initiated into the computer system before I begin breaking everything down 'til it barely even exists. I'm at a restaurant and my co-workers are earnestly absorbing information about the specials and I'm analyzing the macro-structure of going out to eat as a luxury commodity, how much food America throws out while in other countries starving children fight over bags of rice, how mealtimes are such an imperative part of family, social and worklife structures, how we've made something so animal totally civilized, and so what if you've got an eating disorder and therefore avoid going out to eat then what do you miss how do people look at you and what if we just talked to each other like real people, why do we agree to accept that the waitress will be nice to earn a tip while we all pretend that she's being nice 'cause she honestly cares, honestly thinks you'll be happier and healthier with Grilled Pork Chops or a soda refill. Well at least this job is better than retail 'cause I honestly do believe that people should eat food, but I don't believe they need a fried appetizer, and this is why it's better for me to just go into business for myself because there's a product I can talk about if it's a passion project and omg DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN! I mean don't even get me started on psychoanalyzing all my co-workers, we could be here all night/day/whatevs/shift.

They say "get a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life," I say, "Get a job you love and you'll probs avoid getting fired."

photo by cass bird

4. Letting Go For Reals - I never change, it's just circumstances that fit better. The only thing that ever helped me get over something was to replace it with something better or to run away or to change everything about my life completely so that whatever I'm holding onto wouldn't have a place in it. I did that at 14 and again at 23. Now I just write stuff so I'm not allowed to forget.

3. Remembering Numbers -- I'm severely, severely number retarded, and it makes me look really stupid a lot. I get numbers mixed up, even after months working at the same address I often misdirected deliveries. Despite frequenting the joint, I gave Haviland's address as "3E" in a recent reply-all and, back in '06 when I first started coming over, she'd have to stand outside her door at "2E" to intercept me on my way up.

It's not just numbers, it's symbols too, any kind of arbitrary pattern, I get mixed up. My first year at U-Mich I sent all my mail to the last four digits of my SSN 'cause my actual address was the same sequence with the first two numbers reversed.

I used to chalk this all up to flightiness and an inability to pay attention. But as I grow into the mature blossom of a person that I am, I realize that it's not. I'm gonna start writing shit on my hands again! That worked before. My hands are the softest post-it notes in the world.


1. Winning I'm trying to remember if I've ever gotten first place in anything. Every competition I've ever been in, I've never lost -- I've always gotten 2nd place or some kind of semi-finalist position, but never first. From the Ann Arbor Public Library Short Story Contest for Children to the 50-yard-dash to the ARTS Competition to National Merit Scholars to the Hopwood Awards to the Lesbian Blog of the Year. It's good, always placing but never finishing. Gives me something to reach for and a persistent sense of being one step away from greatness, which enables a humility that's quite necessary when one ventures to talk about oneself so much. La-di-da but anyhow you have two more days to vote! Keep voting! Remember we can't let the republicans win, yes we can.

Oh wait! We won the Uh Huh Her SXSW contest. Does that count? I don't know if our competition was even soapbox derby level.

You know what I was thinking about what I really like in a person? I like people who remember things being better than they were, who conveniently forget the hardest parts. I like that and I like good sleepers, and I like chips and ice cream (not together) and lately I've been really into these sandwich cookies that are like Oreos but the filling is sort of pepperminty.

Oh Carly if you've made it this far: IDEAS. You're genuinely good at ideas. Me too.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Eight Reasons Why Not & Brain Liveblog: The Stars Kept Marching,

I feel like I've become 50% human, 20% dancer and 30% sodium. I've been thinking about opening a vein. I've decided to talk crazy because this week a much-larger-than usual percentage of my readers have never read this blog before, which's funny. Do you like it? It's weird, kinda. There's no news here. You'll have to check out the other nine for anything remotely relevant. It's like a pageant. Today is Day SIX: SWIMWEAR Bikini Day. Whenever I say the word "blog" I envision: 1. a swamp, 2. a purse. [1. Sometimes instead of talking myself through a brief period of anxiety or nervousness, I just have some vodka. It's just that it's quicker.] I don't know why I keep trying to turn numbers into humans. I'm eating sodium as we speak. Canned soup contains sodium. Things have been happening very quickly lately.

Are you reading the Book Club Book yet? Just asking, not nagging. Mommy's not mad. We'll discuss after Valentine's Day. You can download it online for free, or buy it, 'cause it's hot and comes with condoms. [2. If you don't read books regularly, I am judging you. I mean I'm so not judgmental about most things. Well -- it's not that I judge negatively necessarily, it's just that it's something I will absolutely take into account when I file your final overall evaluation (the same kinds all humans make of other humans)] [3. Today at the gym I stayed an extra ten minutes on the elliptical to finish watching True Life: I'm Moving to Vegas.]

I read some good stuff today. Wanna read it? Ok:
- Diary of a Self-Help Dropout: Flirting with the 4-Hour Workweek - the freelancer's time management quandry: "My days are like eBay shipments: a few tangible things and a whole lot of packing peanuts. I obviously need help being the boss of me." (@wired)
- If the New York Times dies, does news die? (@venture beat)
- Look! An awesome AfterEllen shout-out for voting Autowin! and Grace the Spot ! and others! Go look.
- The Gayest. Real World. Ever. (@queerty) and also on that topic is the excellent Getalong Gang (@fourfour)
- This is really fascinating, you should really read it, one of the most interesting things I've read in months, so it's gonna be the last one - Letter from Japan: I Heart Novels (@the new yorker)

I asked my brother if he notices every time it's 11:14 and he said no. I don't get it, that's all I can think about it for two minutes every day, and those are two particular minutes that I am ALWAYS awake for, since I rarely go to bed before midnight or wake up after 11.

Isn't it weird how mean everyone is to everyone about what time you wake up? It's like if you say "I woke up at one," it's so shameful. In our arbitrary virtually "real" world, we hold onto these small excuses to evaluate the fuzzy fuzzy faces of our friends.

[4.I am fascinated by the extensive facebook photo archives of complete strangers. I am fascinated by a world that encourages and enforces such imagery as inherently public forum fodder. I do it too. Which is also fascinating.]

I had a friend who used to write song lyrics in her notebook all day, like to Tori Amos and Grateful Dead and Indigo Girls songs, just transcribe the memorized lyrics from her brain to the page I guess. I liked to doodle dark hard lines.

[5. When I was super young, before I understood death really, I was sometimes shamefully jealous that Anne Frank got her's published.]

[6: I leave water bottles everywhere.]

[7: I wash utensils last, I don't like how the metal gets hot and burns my hands, because in all other circumstances my hands are immune to heat and burning, I'm not into kryptonite.]

[8: I know we're all supposed to be cutting back on lattes and magazines, but those are the only two things I really need.]

Eric Mathew made this for me, do you like it?

He told me it's gonna be on a billboard in Times Square tomorrow. I wish I could write a "fuck you penguin" for this, but fuck you penguin is a much better writer than I will ever be. I'd like to become an authority on the internet so that I can declare "fuck you penguin is the best blog to ever exist on the interwebs, and the best possible usage of the technologies of the world wide web" and be quoted somewhere, like in the header. Also cat, just because you've got your paws all over my favorite fucking machine in the whole entire world and one of the machine's components is also a pun does NOT mean I can just take a fucking Sudafed and get over it, yes I'm aware it's non-drowsy, but the thing is -- because I know that you shed! It looks cute now but will not look cute when you shed all over my favorite fucking machine, don't read my email. vote, like the cute cat says.

I just wanted a grilled cheese sandwich so I made one and now I'm eating it. It's midnight.

OK I'm gonna ask you guys a question.
If you're reading this,
you should answer.
You don't have to put your name. It'd just be interesting.

Q: In one sentence or less, what is one thing you are absolutely sure that you are genuinely good at?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Little Blog That Could (with visual aid) & Auto-Fun. 01.07

UPDATE 1-8-09: I know my prospects are dim, comrades. But we cannot give up! If I give up, we all give up! It'll be anarchy! Firstly, I'm aiming for fifth place, and Gay Patriot is hot on my trail in the sixth spot, and with Tammy Bruce telling her readers to vote GP, I could fall behind in an instant. Secondly, I wouldn't continue to remind you that we're talking Vote or Die here if I wasn't aware that there are enough people reading this right now to vault me out of Loserville and into the upper tier of this competition. Just one little click. Every day. Is all it takes. Promise. To those of you that are voting, and have been voting, I love you more. Like so much! And am grateful, flattered, and pumped up. RUDY! RU-DY! RU-DY!
The 2008 Weblog AwardsSoooo you all look beautiful today. Really. Your shoulders look nice, your quadriceps appear significant, your skin's shining shining shining like a roman candle. Whatcha gonna do today? Yeah? Me too, actually I wash my hair every day, thus the gloss & shine. Oh! Just remembered something -- I'm a finalist for "Best LGBT Blog" in the 2008 Webblog Awards contest, you should TOTALLY vote. In fact, let's make this about both of us together -- every time I wash my hair (every day) -- you vote.

See, it's weird, right? Little ol' 3.5-posts-a-week memememe, nominated for the largest and most prestigious blog contest in the world. It's clearly a fluke, maybe they didn't realize it was my Mom who nominated me, not an unbiased source. Anyhow, it's the biggest deal of anything I've asked you to vote for (not that the other things weren't also awesome 'cause they were), I'm actually being really genuine & earnest right now -- hopefully you're not exhausted from the Hot Blogger Calendar Contest.

Readers, I am shedding my cool trashwhore exterior (copyright crystal 2008) and self-deprecating "who me?" attitude and asking you to shamelessly and aggressively make everyone you know -- even people who can't read, people who voted Yes on 8 and people who have sex with papayas -- to vote for me, every day. Why? Because of RUDY.

Have you ever heard the story of the Little Engine that Could? If you haven't, I don't know what's wrong with you, you should read it. Unless you can't read, then you should probs leave this site and go to youtube, the commenters there can't read either. No offense against people who can't read anyhow For the rest of you I am asking you to think of me as The Little Engine That Could. I've got no chance of winning this thing, but I'm looking to stay in 5th place, at least, which'll require tremendous support. That's a cool place to be.

Remember that time I told you what I like to eat? That was such a good post.

I'm not sure how Technorati authority ratings are determined, but your blog's popularity and relevance is measured by this score. Maybe if I understood it, I'd have a higher rating. Hm anyway. Mine is 89. I mention this to let you know how I measure up to the competition and how many times you must vote (every day). If you don't I'm never blogging again and I'm taking the goldfish. JK I will blog again, but under protest. I wouldn't just leave y'all. I'm nice. Basically as Grace said, underdogs can bite!

Here's how the contest is already not in my court -- these numbers represent how popular we are according to the secret Technorati formula. Basically Towleroad has a bajillion readers for every ONE reader I have.

Pam's House Blend: 1,192 Towleroad: 1,178
Joe.My.God: 653 The Bilercio Project: 606
Gay Patriot: 304 Susie Bright's Journal: 244
Tammy Bruce: 182 TransGriot: 144
Me: 89 Blabbeando : 86
To better illustrate this using train engine imagery I have created a graph for you. As you can see fame & fortune (the goal) is slightly cut off because it is so out of reach. Actually the fame part is less important anyhow, you can't feed sponsor children with fame.

Why should you vote for me? You probs shouldn't, those blogs are popular and well-established for a reason, possibly 'cause they don't write posts like this one, but instead post 10 times a day about Important Things that People Care About. I'm going to talk about freedom. (FYI, just some of the things I've written that are better than this blog post, if you're still needing to be convinced: this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this and this , etc.)

I'm not trying to take away anyone else's votes, I'm trying to create new voters. Like, but self-centered.

However. I would like to just MENTION that Gay Patriot is "home to the millions of gays and lesbians who support President Bush," which is fine, to each his own. I'm just letting you know, 'cause I thought it was about football.

You should vote for me 'cause I'm the only memememe (as in, I never provide actual news & commentary, I work alone sans staff, and I do nothing useful) on that list, and that's kinda kickass. I do a lot of shit here and on autostraddle and on the youtube channel. It's like I can't give up the dream of being editor of a magazine even if I haven't actually been hired to that position. I'm just another weirdo quasi-writer in my underwear writing down my desperately! important! feelings! and painfully relevant perspective. The whole blogging "thing" started with the idea of an online diary, and that's what this is. I've been reading the original scroll of On the Road, it might be making me crazy. but in a good way.

I can be like: rawr!

I haven't done auto-fun in a while, my computer's at the apple store so I don't have my bookmarks. I don't remember where anything like, is.

auto-fun - first january edition

quote: "I know the use of fiction in a world of hard truth, the way fiction can be a harder piece of truth. The story of what happened, or what did not happen but should have -- that story can become a curtain drawn shut, a piece of insulation, a disguise, a razor, a tool that changes every time it us used and sometimes becomes something other than we intended. The story becomes the thing needed." (Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know For Sure)

- This New York Magazine reviewer gives the best explanation I've heard of snark.. The Elegant Review one-ups him - Snark & Missing the Point.
- Poem from The New Yorker, alien vs. predator. : "Praise this world, Rilke says, the jerk. We'd stay up all night. Every angel's berserk.".
- As I said: Why College is a Waste of Money. (at the daily beast)
- A brilliant little dity about dead magazines at the grim repears' Magazine Death Pool.
- I think for serious this time. Ann Coulter = devil. Slams Michelle Obama in New Book, says huffpo.
- Digital guru Clay Shirkey is interviewed at the about the future of media. A lot of "great misfortunes," etc.
-Jessica Crispin at The Smart Set: "Addiction memoirs are like opinions on how to cure addiction: Everybody's got one."
-Breaking up on Facebook - Jamie Reidy at The Huffington Post.
-It's like I told them what I dream of and then they gave it to me: Drinking with Rachel Maddow, a video at New York Magazine.
-The 15 Most kickass women on television, at CliqueClack. C.J.!
- Also! Please vote for:
Fuck You Penguin. (pet)
Mombian (large)
Grace the Spot (new)
The Big Lead (sports)
Blue Girl Red State (best diarist)
Communist Dance Party (hidden gem)
DEFAMER AUSTRALIA (best blog ever -- i mean best gossip blog)

I can't write an insomnia poem today, 'cause my head is full of Jack Kerouac and I'm so vulnernble! but here's someone else's:

Our minds buzz like bees
but not the bees' minds.
It's just wings not heart
they say, moving to another flower.

(Jim Harrison)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Part Two of the Sunday Top Ten Gayest Moments of My Life on Earth

This is Part Two of the Top Ten Gayest Moments of my Life on Earth, the pre-quel to "The Top Ten Gayest Moments of my Life in Outer Space," which'll be a lot like "The Muppets go to Outer Space." I'm writing about gay stuff because there's an important election going on right now for the Best LGBT Blog of the year. I'm somehow a finalist along with nine legitimately mega-popular blogs, so it's a huge surprise/honor, and you can pick one of us here, today -- and you can vote again every 24 hours! I haven't got a chance unless LiLo personally endorses me this weekend, but I'm aiming for the stars -- Top 5!!! ALSO! There's gays you must vote for in other categories too -- firstly, 8 Against 8 ringleader Grace the Spot is up for Best New Blog, and I bet you haven't heard of any of those other people, I mean they're new, and who has the time, so you should probs just vote for her.

Honorary GAY A.E Brain is up for Best Australia/New Zealand blog (unfortunately Crystal's favorite blog and new blog bestie Defamer Australia didn't make the list this year), GAY Mombian's goin' at it for Best Large Blog, and BISEXUAL Margaret Cho and OBVS SECRETLY GAY Britney Spears are both on tap for Best Celebrity Blogger.

So the first five on this illustrious Top Ten Gayest Moments of My Life included The Rosie Cruise, Mz Hip 'n Fit New York 2008, my Mom's gay picnics, Melissa Etheridge in Atlantic City and the NewNowNext Awards.

When conducting a two-part Top Ten, I generally blow the best bits on Round One and imagine the second part being written by someone else, a better version of me with better choosing skills, or even a drunker version of me with less self-consciousness. Howevs, I'm so hungover I need a new word for Hungover and therefore it's just memememememe & my little baby mind.

I've had so many Gay Moments, especially these past few years. Even when I was a practicing het, I had a super gay life. I'm thinking big events for this Top Ten, but what about the really big private moments that I'll never talk about for free or the little private moments like the night I decided to finish reading Well of Loneliness after watching Brokeback Mountain and then cried and wanted to kill myself? I didn't though. So. Rawr.

I gave "5" to the Indigo Girls @ Pine Knob.

I witnessed many homo-heavy events at the Pine Knob amphitheater in suburban Detroit in the 90's including Lilith Fair, Ani DiFranco, and, on more than one occasion -- the Indigo Girls. The best IG concert I've been to was at the Greek Theater in Berkley, but my gayest IG-related moment was the Summer '02 Pine Knob stop of the "become you" tour. The cheap seats are on the lawn at Pine Knob.

I didn't even know they had a new album out (this would NEVER happen usually, I heart Indigo Girls) 'cause my dumb boyfriend, who was living with me that summer in the lesbian-filled house I'd occupied year-round, refused to listen to anything other than Blink 182 andNewfound Glory. You know that look people give you when you turn on your car and the Indigo Girls blast out? It's like "Did you just shove Emily'sbirkenstock up my ass?" look, the "Are you trying to kill me with blood and fire" look. I just wanna listen to my feeeelings.

My lesbian rugby roommates invited me, it was one of the first times I'd been out w/o my boyfriend in a while. They danced on the grass with bare feet like kids and I sat on the blanket with the hummus and the pita and I quickly identified my initial disgust towards their comfort/fancy-freehood/self-awareness as deep jealousy and then, at that moment, as Amy & Emily sang with acoustic guitar, I honestly thought (ever soinsightfully) to myself: "my boyfriend will never understand me."

See I didn't even know what I was talking about. YET.

[from Stef's cartoon recap of the Tegan & Sara concert.
Carly is bleeding from the head.]

But then ... speaking of concerts ... is that even gayer than when Tinkerbell got signed by Leisha & Cam at the Philly Uh Huh Her concert? Is that gayer than the Uh Huh Her concert where a fan with "you dismantle me" tattooed on her arm (it's a JennySchecter quote) bought us a round of lemondrop shots and showed me photos of her dogs and cats on her pink cellphone? Or the SXSW Uh Huh Her experience, like, in general?

Gayer than the Tegan & Sara concert where I tried to tackle Carly and she allegedly almost died but in reality experienced an awesome brush with the supernatural possibility of death?
So I give "4" to The White Party - NYC during Pride '06, mostly 'cause it's an excellent example of totally mediocre lesbo-party planning, and an example of things we did in 2006 that we would not do in 2009. I mean, not everyone was wearing white. That was the point. There was a costume of the day, ladies! Costume of the DAY! All white! I remember drama and feelings that we actually for once weren't a part of. A random told us she liked us because we didn't look "like John Goodman," which was sweet.

I was on ecstasy, so I pretty much loved everyone in the world, which is a very gay feeling.
For a person who never goes out, I've got a lot of memories of going out. Especially in the beginning of going to gay things. My Mom did that too in the beginning, which was neat, and then I could eatmozzarella sticks for dinner.
According to Cait & Hav, my first visit to morally decrepit West Hollywood girl-bar (night?) "Truck Stop" (during our 3. West Hollywood Weekend) is the first time in my life that, when asked "are you ready to go home?" I was like, "Nah, I'll stay." I ALWAYS am on Team Let's Go Home Now. I vaguely remember this. I was drunkish and having a good conversation about how hard it was to even think about being gay at U-Mich with a friend-of-a-friend from U-Mich who's now my friend and also Haviland's friend 'cause this is the way that we live.

Truck Stop was totally disgusting but I had to stay like how I have to watch Intervention. Nearly naked girls did coreographed dances on the bar in bikinis. Ideally I'll never go there again, but realistically I probs will, because I love trucks.

The next night, in true form, I busted the OurChart-sponsored Lesbian Oil Wrestling event way early. Why? 'Cause I was ethically opposed to how The L Word stole this concept from a legitimately empowering Brooklyn-based event (the original focused on political satire and creating a safe space for women of all body types, classes and colors to play and fight) and turned it into a glossy sexy skinny white girls teevee-tied-in lesbian event. Other versions of this story claim I left the event early because I'm a bitch and/or cranky and/or impossible and/or unable to just have fun and be silly.Whatevs. Gay!

But really anytime you're in a room with Catherine Keener, Ilene Chaiken, Angela Robinson and Clementine Ford ... that's pretty gay. Like I could feel Ilene breathing (firetorches!!!).
But how ridiculous, right? I mean, being gay isn't about half-naked celesbians rolling around in hot oil. It's about being denied civil rights! YEAH!

So the 2. No on Prop 8 Rally deserves a shout-out. My gayest moment w/r/t the election was fo'sho the 8 Against 8 thing, but if I started including cyber-moments, it'd get out of control. The rally felt a little disjointed, but still -- it was something to be a part of, besides just screaming into machines, which is so much easier. To chant & yell with signs in public and physically feel the community, and about something important and unifying, is the most important gay moment of all.

Thinking about Prop 8 makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Owsers.
But then my original number 2 in Draft #1 was our 1999 trip to the River Run B &B (now under new ownership)

Ryan & I brilliantly chose a random B&B in the Catskills to get away from Sarah Lawrence for a weekend. The bus driver dropped us off and said we'd be miserable here without a car, even offered to take us elsewhere for free, but we'd already paid. It was a ghost town, just one Mexican restaurant, La Chacha or something, boarded-up houses and this particular B&B. Larry the owner concurred -- "if you'd told me you didn't have a car, I would've said not to stay here" -- as he gave us the house tour. I noticed the rainbow flag out back. Ryan (gay) didn't.

Breakfast confirmed my suspicions. So! Many! Gay! Couples! I was totes pursuing straighthood at the time, but I was the one who picked up on Larry's drop of "they're family" when speaking of certain snow-shoe-trail-blazing-mountain-hiking-leading-guiding-stores and far-away restaurants and subsequently pointed out to Ryan that in our attempt to avoid our friends' Fire Island weekend ("too gay"), we'd accidentally booked ourselves a weekend at a Gay B&B in the middle of assfuck nowhere, which is the gayest shit ever.

(we read books and wrote all weekend, it was perfect.) (gay!)

See, I don't like to go out. I like to have little gay moments right here in my room.

Last night I had a bunch of people over for The L Word premiere (we watch it ahead of time to ensure timely recaps) and two separate people said, upon entering my room (they'd never been in); "so this is where the magic happens." Really what magic. Besides the rabbit in the hat thing. If there is magic in this room I need to find it stat. I cleaned yesterday so I feel like it should've turned up then. Guess what I'm listening to? Tegan & Sara. Where's my wings.
The past two years have been chock-full of gay moments. Honestly when I started this blog, I never expected to one day fit quite accurately into this particular category. But maybe I never really considered, at that point, living the life I actually wanted to live, either.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sunday Top Ten: Gayest Moments of My Life Part ONE

The 2008 Weblog AwardsAs your Mom(s) probs told you, I'm a finalist in the LGBT Blog Awards (voting begins January 5th). Therefore today I must talk about gay things. (Every day is gay day at my other blog auto-straddle, just FYI). I've perused the blogs of my nine co-finalists -- including an actual famous person, the web's largest LGBTQ group blog, last year's winner, a famous well-established news blog, an activist transwoman, an "openly gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, voted-for-President Bush authentic feminist" and um ... "the internet home for the American gay conservative" -- and determined my only chance to win this thing is via a RUDY -esque last-minute triumph of underdog glory (You can call me "Marie" for the chanting part, 'cause "Riese" only has one syllable. RU-DY, MA-RIE, etc.). Chances are it'll be less like Rudy and more like real life, where the underdog sits on the bench and eats peanuts from a can. Well ideally cashews.

Obvs I'm honored to be on this prestigious list among these world-class bloggers, I love everyone, this is great for visibility, and I'm totally pumped just to be nominated. I think I represent the NeXt GeNeratioN of insane queer weirdos. I feel much like Blabbeando (an excellent blogger and new-discovery, thanks Webblog Awards!), who said in his "I'm a finalist post": "There is the itty-bitty detail of being matched up with Joe, Pam, Bilerico and Andy Towleroad as nominees. Beat them for the award? Yeah, right." Me too, Andrès, me too. But you know what, RU-DY RU-DY! YEAH! AN-DRÈS!

I feel among friends -- up there with Pam of Pam's House Blend, who I worked with on the 8 Against 8 Campaign -- her blog is fabulous and I read it every day. Also I know Susie Bright (my fellow bisexual nominiee) -- she's one of my favorite feminists & sexperts & writers in the world, and she edited The Best American Erotica of 2007, and picked my story to be in it! -- read Susie interviewing me here.

To segue into this weeks Gay Top Ten Topic let me tell you about when I met Joe.My.God who won last year. Lesbo blogger Curly McDimple organized the '07 Gay Blogger Weenie Roast, which I attended out of gay pride although it combined several of my most loathed activities: daytime drinking, outdoor eating in hot weather, networking proactively, beer, socializing with strangers, and traveling to the farthest reaches of Park Slope from Harlem by subway on a weekend. Sometimes one must suck it up and stop whining in order to be a good networker.

But I went (see photo of Hav & I expertly networking with Jamie, who's not gay but I forced her to attend anyhow) and brought Haviland, Carly and Carly's friend Roy (he's the one who told me "that's Joe.My.God, he's a real big deal") and it was super gay. Also super balmy, I sweated like a nun at a gay weenie roast.

Our new friend Caroline (we'd just met her on the rosie cruise) (she's now engaged to Heather Matarazzo) was there bartending, so it was awesome to see her AND I ran into a lesbo friend from my brief tenure at Sarah Lawrence -- well, she wasn't my friend exactly, she was my gay best friend's lesbian friend's then-girlfriend. We were sorta friends. The moral of the story is this was super gay and that's how it is with the gays.

But was it one of the Top Ten Gayest Moments of my life? No probs not, doesn't stand a chance against Tegan & Sara or the No on Prop 8 Rally, which brings me to today's Top Ten Topic ... to be delivered in two segments of five, 'cause doing all ten at once would be really long and I know you're all very busy.

Part One, Items 10-6

First an honorable mention During my Mom's NYC weekend visit in April '07, my then-girlfriend TB was playing "percussive stuff at this new monthly Queer/Trannie Ethnic Drum party in Brooklyn." The idea of going to gay things with my gay Mom makes me really itchy, and although I protested that I wasn't ethnic enough for the drum circle (and I anticipated it involving actual granola), TB insisted and Mom was down. Therfore on a rainy dark April night I took Mom to far-away-land, Brooklyn on a series of buses (train canceled). Although TB had anticipated a "down-to-earth spiritual, tabla/djembe, chill-in-living room sorta thing" we got "whoa nightclub, ethnic hipsters and miked percussion." (all quotes are TB's, from this) and she apologized and said we could go, as it might not pick up for many hours, I had an article to write and Mom is a Mom -- it did pick up later, but by then we had cabbed it home.

The point is that had serious Best Gay Moment POTENTIAL but due to the thwarted extra gayness opportunity (actual ethnic hippie drum circle), cannot rightfully be on this list. But it deserves a moment.

10. The Rosie Cruise
Everything about the Rosie Cruise is so gay, I could probs assemble a Top 10 Gayest Moments on the Rosie Cruise for each year I've gone (Alaska, Key West 1 & 2, New England/Canada 1 & 2 ). Gay families, gay children, themed costume nights, Susan Powter wandering the boat yelling about her vagina and/or yoga, a musical theater-heavy performance schedule, and the identically-outfitted "R Family Team" regularly introduced by the song "We Are Family." It's a bunch of famous gays with a bunch of normal gays and their kids and then rascals like us. Where else can Andrea McArdle ask you to come wake up her husband with "look at all the hot lesbians in your bed!" It's so gay and by gay I mean happy.

9. The Mz Hip and Fit New York 2007 Contest
This was a two part exercise in gay-ness -- Hav was nominated for Mz Girl Nation (GirlNation hosts a gay Saturday night in NYC where everyone who's anyone goes to run into everyone they've already kissed) and Heather and I told her to do it 'cause we thought it'd be funny. It was FUNNY, obvs she won by a landslide.

I dragged my then-girlfriend to the event at Nation AND to the next event at "DUVET" (where Mz GirlNation would fight against Mz Cattyshack and etc for the "Mz Hip and Fit New York 2007" title) both populated largely by impossibly young fresh-faced Dos-Equis-chugging lesbians whooting and hollering Scores-style. We made a sign with markers. At DUVET, about 10 - 12 lesbians had to run on stage, dance, and then get voted on by the applause generated by the legions of friends they'd forced to attend. There were no speeches. There was also supposed to be no stripshows, but all the girls except Hav totally removed at least 50% of their outfits on stage. Hav was over it by this point and besides, nekkid-in-public isn't how she rolls, she's a lady from Savannah.

The first place winner had fake tits, they'd never let that shit fly on Miss America.

For some reason Haviland doesn't like flaunting this honor on all her promotional materials but I feel it should be her new nickname, like Haviland "Mz GirlNation" Stillwell. Google that, she-bitches.

8. My Mom's "Gay" Picnics

Back in the 90's, my Mom used to host these "potlucks" for her "friends" from her "group" for "women in transition" in our backyard [I almost put "backyard" in quotation marks too, but then I realized, no, I mean, that for sure was indeed the backyard.] and try to con me into attending.

As you know, I dislike the following things: 1. outdoor eating, 2. outdoor picnics involving plastic/paper flatware/dishes and lawn chairs, 3. large gatherings of women my Mom's age, 4. doing anything at all whatsoever that my Mom wants me to do ("4" is also the reason why I was straight as an arrow for so long), 5. eating large meals at mid-day, 6. large gatherings of people I don't know, 7. large gatherings of people, 8. other people, 9. tuna salad casserole.

Mom's primo con/strategy to force my attendance was The Grill Trick. Although I'd insist I didn't want any part of the potluck, Mom knew eventually I'd be hungry (and I was, 'cause she'd moved all the food from the kitchen to the "back porch") and then, when I expressed interest in eating a grilled item she would not, per my request, permit me to wait inside for delivery of said item (she would've only had to slide open the door and pass off the burger, no biggie). Instead I was forced to go outside, defenseless save my Angsty-Depressed-Emo-Teenager Skater-Who-Doesn't-Skate cloud of hostility, and place my request directly to the grillmaster ... and then! sit and wait for preparation!

During the waiting & subsequent eating period, I'd be obligated by "manners" to meet people and consequentially listen to women in transition talk about transitional things, like civil unions and the Women's Studies department at U of M. That was really gay. Her friend Tabitha was kinda cute though.

7. Melissa Etheridge concert in Atlantic City on July 4th, 2008
I'd never seen the Eth before and was therefore unawares that she unleashes mountains of gayness upon the crowd not only during her songs but BETWEEN songs. She basically told the story of every girlfriend she'd ever had, performed beneath a banner of Tibetian prayer flags, and called herself out for being a stalker. Real lesbians from New Jersey abounded -- women willing to miss fireworks for The Eth -- sang, swayed, cried a little, adjusted their tool-belts, etc. As you can see in the photo, Caitlin is popping her collar and Alex & I are full of passionate lesbian feelings. I love Melissa Etheridge forevs & evs.

6. NewNowNext Awards - May 2008

A;ex & I plugged microphones into our pants pockets 'cause we had no actual outlets for them, I was sick and therefore looked like a cokehead, Tinkerbell was there in her Uh Huh Her outfit, the red carpet was actually grey, we were totally dissed by Christian Whateveriano from Project Runway but totally treated as 100% legitimate journalists by everyone else, Candice Cayne said we were "GORGE," The Dazzle Dancers got glitter on Tinkerbell's nose, Ricky signed my vintage '95 My So-Called Gay Life poster and Michelle Paradise asked Tinkerbell for her number. Our actual friends Carly & Robin work(ed at the time, in Robin's case) at Logo and therefore were present, amping up the OurChart factor. Anyhoo then I felt sleepy sloos, I'm not really good at being out late at night.

I bet you are on the edge of your seat for Part Two yeah? January is a big month here full of excitement so you should probs put a cushion on the edge of your seat or a dildo, because there is so much fun to look forward to. Also, I clearly have a thing for befriending um, Capricorns? Birthdays - Caitlin (6th), Kelly from TLL (8th) (thank you facebook), Natalie (16th), Haviland (19th), my friend Erika from middle school (19th), Crystal (20th). OBAMA DAY on the 20th. L Word Premiere on the 18th. Also, it's fucking cold.