I grew up in a place called Barren Run.
Seemed like an apt name. Nothing to do except work (which I admit I didn't like to do and would try to weasel out of as much as possible). There was tobacco to set during summer vacation and tobacco to strip during Christmas Break. Oh.....there were cows to be milked twice a day, every day. And there were chiggers. And hateful fucks who called me faggot from fourth grade on.
But there were also lightnin' bugs and sitting outside talking to my mom as she shelled beans. My dad put pepper on his watermelon and once a week the BookMobile came....so life wasn't all bad.
Now when I go home, I feel like LuLu Roman is gonna come bounding through the porch door at any moment, with a big ole dish of funeral potatoes, 'coz misfortune has happened or is on its way. Those Johnny Cash songs were serious, folks. Really.
I will admit I am very proud of how I grew up - my parents worked very hard to provide for me and my siblings. Where I grew up.......well.....my parent's influence couldn't go much beyond our farm.
-- Rock throwing was a dangerous sport
-- Buggy rides and dirt roads made good memories
-- Moonshiners and bloody noses didn’t stop teacher
My dad read two newspapers every day - but he didn't graduate high school. He did go back and get his G.E.D. when he retired from farming at age 62. I graduated from college that same year and his diploma is something I am much prouder of than my own.
My mom had her own money, a job "in town" and is decidedly pro-choice. My mother would read someone a riot act, in a very genteel way (of course) if anyone EVER referred to her a Mrs. Calvin Thurman. "I'm his wife - not his property, thank you."
My siblings and I inherited their work ethic and something else, too.... It's hard to describe what it feels like to be so connected with a place (our farm) but so disconnected from the belligerent and often mean-spirited small-mindedness that permeates my home county.
Nevertheless, there are some extraordinary moments that I'll remember from this trip home. My oldest sister invited me to attend her agency's fundraiser Saturday. It was a superb performance by the Louisville Symphony Orchestra and there was an auction of decorated X-mas Trees and Festive Holiday Wreaths.
This was my favorite:
And I got this pic of my mom, sister and my oldest niece, too:
My oldest sister amazes me. She raised four kids, then went to college, has now completed her Masters and works as an advocate for Domestic Violence victims. At their fundraiser Saturday, one of the children had written a letter describing his life at the shelter. For the first time in his life, he could sleep in pajamas. He used to have to go to sleep wearing his clothes(including shoes). This five year old never knew when he and his mom would have to flee in the night if his dad came home ornery.
I never once had that fear growing up. And after spending time with my niece and nephew, I simply cannot imagine how someone could victimize a child in such a way.
This world scares me so much. And I fear for these bright, amazing children. Fortunately, they have wonderful parents and grandparents to protect and nurture them.
I know I'm being all Seventh Heaveny - but they really do bring me such joy. Probably because when they tell me they love me, I know they mean it.
And that's enough to make a grown man cry. Like I did today when I drove down our gravel road waving goodbye to my family.....turning onto the black top, thinking the only thing hollow was.....well...me.
Get a niece.
A five year old niece who engages in races, back bends, karate chops, pear picking and coloring. And that's just the first hour of a day's visit.
She rocked my world, though! Pissed off that some other little girl was copying her "look," my fashion forward niece entertained me and my mother so much today!
I tend to be a bit O.C. when it comes to going home for the holidays. For the past few years, I’ve been absolutely insistent on having all my laundry washed and put away; the floors mopped; surfaces dusted and things all tidy, tidy, tidy before I head out to Kentucky.
Today was no exception.
Now that my life has been blessed by the Goddess Swiffer, cleaning has taken on a whole new level of fun….and ease! Speaking of cleaning, and this is one of the totally random things that if I were talking, it would make sense – so bear with me…..but is that PARKER fucking POSEY as the voice over in the Windex Multi Task Cleaning Solution ads?
Anyway….so….I took the day off Wednesday thinking I’d have all my cleaning accomplished – HAH! At least it rained and snowed, so I rationalized my not leaving until today on inclement weather and not the fact that I’ve been living in a flipping pig pen and that it wasn’t Christina that I was mad at, but the dirt. Anyway, all Swiffered up, I headed home.
The OCD kicks in right before I leave, because I realized that I did not have music pulled for my ride home and back. The thing about driving home is that I do not have guaranteed NPR for the entire trip, so I have to have some music to keep me sane across Illinois and Indiana.
For years now, Madonna’s Ray of Light has been my constant. It really zaps an hour out of the trip. Thursday, I was in a panic because I could find neither Ray of Light (the album) nor the two re-mix CDs that I have. I also could not find my Buffy musical CD – so I was in a panic. I have to sing spread beneath my willow tree as I enter Kentucky. It’s a ritual, like honking the horn when I cross the Ohio River, okay? I almost thought about calling my mother and saying, “ I cannot come home…. It would be very, VERY bad luck….” But 30 minutes of tearing all my CD cases apart and the crisis was averted. One re-mix CD, the album and these CDs put my mid at ease:
1. Once More with Feeling – belted out to and from.
2. Natalie Merchant’s Ophelia – a mid – Indiana – on – the – way – back – after – 3 – cups – of – coffee – must - have.
3. Milla Jovovich – Gentleman Who Fell. The rest of the album, maybe....
4. A Sandra Bernhard CD
5. Madonna – American Life
6. Stereolab’s Sound-Dust CD courtesy of Kelly!
7. Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits
9. and my smacked-out CD compilations of show tunes and old house music
That’s how I make my way home. I can usually find a Stevie Nick’s song around exit 25a in Indiana. Just like a white winged dove….sings a song……sounds like she’s singing…..whoo…whooo…..whooooooooooo….
The scariest or should I say scarriest part of the trip are these patriotic fuckers……With their yellow and American flag magnets and their personalized US FLAG 4 license plate. I really couldn't give a shit that they were speeding. But where are the Grammar Police to cite this violation:
Too Scarry To Vote Kerry.
I am pissed, irate and flat-out outraged that Angry Greeks Deny Alexander the Great Was Bisexual
ATHENS (Reuters) - A group of Greek lawyers are threatening to sue Warner Bros. film studios and Oliver Stone, director of the widely anticipated film "Alexander," for suggesting Alexander the Great was bisexual.
Anthropoligical data shows that ancient Greeks had a totally different sexual construct than what we have today. But I'm not a historian. I'm just a pissed off homo who doesn't understand why folks are hollerin' that Oliver Stone took passages from Greek texts and tried to depict a complicated male relationship that occured 1600 years ago. Different times. Different cultures. Different words. Gay, bi......whatever...those current language and social constructs don't apply to ancient Macedonia.
And there may be no reason to raise a ruckus in the first place. I'm not even sure that male-on-male lovin' was ever even filmed in the film that opens next week. I've seen conflicting reports over whether the scenes were shot, were cut and/or being shown. So what if Colin Farrell fucks Jared Leto? Is it really more disturbing than watching him screw crazy ass Angelina Jolie? Perhaps the moral values debate has jumped the pond. ******CORRECTION******* Jolie plays his mother, not lover. My bad. Screwing your mom was Aeschylus.....not Alexander.
Regardless of whether the debate is here, or there....I think folks need to wake up that male-on-male action happens, happens often and that if grown men will fuck a goat...do you really think they'll turn down a really good blow job, regardless who is giving it?
I'm just on a tear. And I think I'm gonna start keeping a list of all the married fuckers who get on line looking for a blow job (or better yet, married men who want to get fucked). And I hope I wind up exposing one of these morally righteous fuckers who espouse these puritanical notions but don't mind a little something something from time to time.
I admit it. I'm just sick of all these folks and their bullshit moral values and homophobia.
Cock sucker that I am, I dunno....my moral values center around addressing issues of poverty, health care and education. Guess I have some flawed thinking.
And to make matters worse, I'm sitting here listening to a debate of whether or not evolution should be taught in school.
Perhaps I am being a little coarse, but isn't it pretty fucking obvious that Man in Mall Shooting Had Anger Issues
Nov 19, 12:04 PM (ET)
By SARA KENNEDY
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - A man who shot to death two people in a Radio Shack and then killed himself had been involved in a road rage incident earlier in the day, and his mother told authorities he had "anger-management issues," officials said Friday.
The past two weeks have looked like this:
2 AIDS benefits
Film Festival Opening Night Film and party
2 Film Festival After Parties
Sponsored Film Event
Arts awards party at the Contemporary Art Museum
oh, and work and trying to spend some time with friends.
I realize I'm very lucky to get to do the things I do. I'm often lucky to get tickets for these things for free. Being a gadfly is hard work!
I admit that I'm actually looking forward to spending a few days back home in Kentucky, quietly flipping through photo albums and catching up on my reading.
I dunno about you, but when I have a night to myself, which has been rare this past two weeks, I find myself doing just the silliest of things.
Last night for instance, I took a nap from 7-8, ate some noodles, read a book, watched just a little TV and did some aerobics to a Schoolhouse Rock video.
Yeah - you can do the pony and repeater-knee-kick-drop-spins to Sufferin' 'til Sufferage.
Ryan wrote about last night better than I ever could.
But still 100% bitch.
I'm way, way, way cranky. And I have to go spend hours with thousands of well-meaning, we-can-change-the-world homos.
God help the austere today.
I am feeling very lonely .
Coming home alone to a pile of wet laundry, an indifferent cat and an messy apartment just made an obstinate, surly mood turn dark and bitter.
This is why Morrissey, chocolate and cigarettes exist.
In just a few days, thousands of homo activists will descend upon St. Louis for the Creating Change Conference.
I found a passage in the conference book that rankled me. It's a memo on how to treat Trans people.
I suppose I should be full of love, tolerance and acceptance - but being told I should not "assume" someone's "gender" is....well, stupid and frankly, unrealistic.
I do think folks should respectful of Trans folks, as they should be of all folks, regardless of race, age, religion, etc. I do not think that language needs to be neutered 'coz some folks make lousy looking men and/or women.
As an overweight, white fag, who loves bracelets and oversized floral accessories, I accept the fact that folks will look at me with bewilderment from time to time. It is annoying (especially at gay bars) - but it's a choice I've made. And if someone screws up a pronoun, I don't care. I live with my choices and what I do.
While I suppose some folks would argue that Trans folks don't have a "choice," per se......but a trip to MAC or the Bass Pro Shop could certainly remove all doubts from even the most unsophisticated Hillbilly.
And as for "bathroom sensitivity"....please. Have none of these queer activists ever been to a gay bar? The girls bathroom is full of boys....granted, they're usually doing a bump in the stall - but who the hell cares?
Just put the seat down and move on.
Perhaps, I just grown tired of all this overt sensitivity.....and I need to move on to another arena....
Here's the passage that worked my last good nerve:
There are many Trans people (Transgender, Transsexual,Genderqueer and more) at Creating Change. To be inclusive and improve the quality of life for Trans people here, please read and act upon the following.
Please do not assume anyone’s gender, even people you may have met in the past.
A person’s external appearance may not match their internal gender identity.
You cannot know the gender or sex of someone by their physical body, voice, appearance or mannerisms.
It is best to ask, “What pronoun do you prefer?” or “How do you identify?” before using pronouns or gendered words for anyone.
In group situations where you don’t have an opportunity to ask someone what words they prefer, try using gender-neutral phrases like “the person in the red shirt,” instead of “that woman or man.”
One way of acknowledging Trans people’s needs is to designate restrooms gender neutral. In bathrooms, many Trans people face harassment that can lead to anything from deep discomfort to arrest or death. Regardless of what bathroom you are in, please let everyone pee in peace. Each of us can decide for ourselves in which bathroom
Please listen to Trans people’s needs and stories when they are volunteered; yet please respect people’s privacy and boundaries and do not ask unnecessary questions. Educate yourself through books, web sites, and Trans workshops. Then please join the many hardworking allies that are working to respond appropriately to transphobic situations. Respectful allies, who learn from and with Trans people and then educate others, are important for successful Trans liberation.
Thank you for your help.
I spent yesterday helping Stephen pack his things. Soon, he will load up his U-Haul and move to Washington D.C. I wish I could say that I was happy for him – which I guess I am – but I am also very sad. Saying goodbye to friends is always rough. And after a week of loss – his departure is a real kicker.
I met Stephen when he was a guest on the radio show I engineered. He’d left the military as a conscientious objector and was talking about his life in the Air Force. I remember when he walked into the studio, my first thought was, “whoa…he’s pretty….” and my next thought was “pay no attention to him,,,,,you don’t even exist in his pretty boy world….so save yourself the trouble.”
He was perhaps one of the best guests we ever had on the show. Literate and articulate, he really sparkled on air and told a compelling and interesting story. I remember that I’d look up from the board every now and then, and when his bicep would bulge under his tight black tee shirt, I’d just turn back to the board and feign disinterest.
In reality, I was listening intently to what he was saying – which made him all the more attractive. He wasn’t a bimbo. I guess that sounds bad – but lots of very attractive boys are vapid and kind of boring. But Stephen had something insightful and well-considered to say about the military, about being gay and what he felt about life and war.
After the show, I don’t think I was particularly rude to him – but I was not especially nice. But we’d talked about a couple of things going on in town – and you can only imagine my surprise when he called me and said he wasn’t using his tickets to an event (Star Wars LIVE!) and offered them to me.
Well, the crush was on….for about a week. I’d talk about “super dreamy Stephen” and when folks would ask me why he was dreamy, I’d pretty much just talk about what he said on the show. I started to realize that I liked Stephen personally and the libido-induced-bicep-ogling was replaced by a real interest in getting to know more about his politics and his thoughts and his interests. I guess I matured or something…….
Anyway, he’s leaving now and I cannot find the maturity to be happy for his change in life. I’m sad and blue. And even though living in St. Louis has been torturous for him at times, I wish he’d just stay here and suffer with the rest of us. Actually, that’s not true… I wish my friends and I could all be in a place that wasn’t as stifling – where we’d all have great jobs that would afford us time to have as much fun as we did at his going away party (pictures below).
I guess what I’m going to miss about him the most is that despite his incredible knowledge of literature and music, he knows shit about pop culture. He probably couldn’t name the girls in Facts of Life, and he never will and would never want to, either. He loves Hyperballad as much as I do……and he’s turned me on to some other amazing musical artists. We’ve spent evenings drinking coffee, afternoons making crepes and a lot of time just talking.
A lot of people add value to your life by bringing similar things to the table. Stephen brought totally different experiences with him. And that’s a lot more memorable and more important to me than bulging biceps.
Good luck, Stephen, I’m going to miss you. Lots.
The Festive Holiday Hat, usually out only in December....comes out for the Farewell Party.
I've never met anyone who loves fingernail polish as much as Stephen does.
It's not a party 'til the guest of honor takes off his clothes.....or most of them.
First, I want thank you sincerely for your contributions of time, money, and spirit this year. Our community stood together stronger than ever before. With millions of Americans standing on the side of fairness, the fight for equality will go on.
We suffered great losses and like all of you, we are deeply saddened by the results of yesterday's election. But let's not forget that we also secured key victories because of your dedication and commitment.
In congressional races, Senators-elect Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Barak Obama (D-IL) and Representatives-elect Melissa Bean (D-IL) and Gwen Moore (D-WI) will make great additions to our allies on Capitol Hill. Longtime friends of equality like Dennis Moore (D-KS), Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Rob Simmons (R-CT) all fought difficult challenges and won. It is with the support of these members of Congress and the actions of people like you that we will continue our work in Washington on behalf of millions of Americans.
Your outreach also helped us secure an extremely important victory in Cincinnati, Ohio, where HRC activists have been involved for over two years in beating back a mean-spirited and discriminatory law on the books. The voters there repealed a law that banned the city from enacting non-discrimination laws for gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens. We are proud of that victory and we are proud of all of the GLBT Americans who had those long and difficult conversations that brought more and more people to the frontlines of the battle for equality.
Fair-minded Americans know that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are their friends, their families, their co-workers, and we deserve equal protection under law. You and I made great strides this year in educating our allies about the importance of fairness. We know that to win at the ballot box, we must also keep winning at the water cooler.
As for the battle that lies ahead, our work must continue in the states - particularly the 11 states that passed constitutional amendments denying marriage to same-sex couples, as well as civil unions and domestic partnership rights. These amendments protect no one but instead discriminate against millions of American families, and were put on the ballot to divide people during the heat of the campaign.
Yet GLBT Americans and our allies are more united than ever before. Since the beginning of this fight, we knew it would be a long journey. We are committed and we will not give up. In challenging times, America has grappled with and ultimately stood on the side of fairness, and we will repeat this proud experience. History is on our side.
Together, we can turn the tide of divisive politics. We will work with our allies in Congress and reach out to the administration to find common ground on legal protection for GLBT families. We will continue our successes in corporate America in winning more equality nationwide. We will continue to educate young and old about the scourge of hate crimes and the need for full legal protections against them.
While there will be tests for us ahead, we are prepared and we are ready. Our hearts will mend and our spirits will only grow stronger. Thank you again for your amazing efforts.
I signed up to get dispatches from the Rove Robots, and I thought I should share this one with you. Just look how many times he talks about God.....
That's what an African American minister, Pat Buchanan and the CNN pundits have been talking about for the past few hours. Pat Buchanan said it was, "God, guns and gays." Some went on to elaborate, saying that the black and Latino communities are "socially conservative," so along with the white Evangelicals, the victory goes to George Bush.
I wish they'd just say what they really mean:
Isn't that what this all boils down to?
More people said they voted today because of "moral values." Not Iraq. Not the economy. Not healthcare. It's all about moral values.
They just hate fags.
And right now - I hate them. The big nebulous "them" of people not like me. And I can't stop crying because I'm feeling anger and revulsion. Anger at them and revulsion at myself. I didn't know I could feel this kind of anger.
There's a dull thud in my stomach and I've puked four times since coming home from a friend's house where I was watching the election coverage. I'd wanted to just come home and go to bed. But I walked into my house, and started crying as I climbed the stairs. I set down my stuff and walked straight to my bathroom and hurled.
I wish I could have expelled the thoughts I was having on my drive home instead.
When do I get to legislate my "moral values?"
When do we get around to yanking the foodstamps outta their trailer trash mailboxes?
Let 'em get a job.....
When do my tax dollars stop going to teach illegal aliens in American public schools?
Send 'em back to Cuba.....
When does the Medicaid assistance end to the unwed black mothers?
Let's start enforcing some of those "sanctity of marriage" morals now......
Nasty, hateful thoughts. And I hate that hate is all I feel right now.
I am sitting here crying because I loathe the path this country seems to be taking. And I hate myself for responding with such nasty, racist, hateful contempt and disdain.
I'd like to feel that more than half of this country considers me to be morally bankrupt simply because I'm gay. Trouble is, I do feel morally bankrupt because the morals I did value, namely tolerance and compassion seem wasted, meaningless and frankly, stupidly naive.
The culture war is on, I guess.
But I think I'm going to be a draft dodger. I am afraid of the hatred I feel for this country. I know I am capable of much more than anger and disdain and contempt.
And I don't want to waste my energies on hatred.
So if you know any Swedes looking for a houseboy, please let me know.
I want the fuck outta here.
I realize I may wake up tomorrow and things could be different. But, for posterity's sake......I took a photo, I know it's terribly self indulgent....but since I have no moral values...... why the hell not?
I guess it would be more accurate to say I voted against George Bush.
Kerry (and especially that creepy John Edwards) really didn't resonate with me. But I still punched their names. It was contrariness that motivated my vote and not any sort of belief that things will get better by voting for those two. I guess I hope that by voting for them - it just doesn't get worse.
Maybe I voted for Ms. Heinz Kerry. I do like her. Lots.
I wish I could have voted for Howard Dean.
Anyway, I cast my vote for the Dems.
We'll just have to see what happens now.
Originally, Celene and I were going to be characters from Tron....and somehow she wound up being this AMAZING bunny and I became the Wicked Witch of the West, as portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker.
|Elpheba, as portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker, forgoes the Ruby Reds and heads straight for the Blahnik mules.|
|Sassing it up in front of Freddies.|
|Tarting it up at AMP.|
|Working any street corner we could find.......|
|This outfit was way too fun!|
|Guilty of a little street action, myself!!!|