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update #2 for today.

Hi y'all.

It's time for me to get over myself and learn to dance already. And
when I say dance, I mean, in public, with other people around, moving
to music in a venue where I might want to be seen as cute/attractive.
(though my year of tap dance classes were fun and humbling and taught
me that I actually have really good rhythm, I don't think they'll
actually help me when it comes to the long crew dance...)

I'm newly inspired by both my birthday and Gilly's efforts to push her
own limits in the couch-to-fivek program. And Grover's comment about
dancing being my/your/our birthright. And the ecclesiastes line about
a time to mourn and a time to dance. there's been so much mourning as
of late. i should learn to dance.

So, I'm writing you all, my dance-positive friends, for dance advice.
what do you think i should do to get myself to learn to dance? Dance
in my house? dance on the regular? drink more? lie to myself and tell
myself that i like this activity? learn a few dance moves to fall back
on? ignore moves but drink A LOT more?

and then i'll make my own wallflower to dance floor program out of that advice.

Things about me and dancing:

1. I don't dance when I'm alone - which i used to think meant that i
just don't like it, but i now think it means i'm that so scared of a)
falling or b) looking uncool that i can't thrash around without self

2. My dancing block is definitely fear based. And i think it's my
biggest fear, so it's time to get over it.

3. the idea of dancing with a potential suitor is even scarier. though
i can "slow dance" just fine.

Any advice is appreciated. And if you're too busy now, feel free to
write me when you have time. or get advice from other people for me.

Thanks, y'all.


my life plan


i have a new life plan, and it confuses everyone i try to explain it to.  but, if you're interested, it's this:

leave saint louis at the end of may. Move to boston. Live in boston, in my house, with wylie my new roommate and his adorable pooch, olive.
do some painting.
write an article, due june 30th.
maybe go on some dates.

leave boston mid july, and move to the woods.

leave the woods mid august, and drive to saint louis.

move into a studio apartment, for a six month lease.

teach three classes in the fall, tues-thurs.

travel other places two weekends a month, thanksgiving, high holidays. Also go to Montreal for the anthro conference.

move back to boston end of December/early January.

Get paid in the spring to "write" - but i won't have to teach and I won't have to live in saint louis.

I'm also going to spend the fall applying for mph programs, so if no magic job shows up, i'll start grad school in the fall. which means i need to take the gre's this summer, and do all sorts of things i'm not ready and willing to do. but i'll do them anyways.

also, i'm super happy.

update out!

well, hi.

As it's been close to a year since the last time I posted, I'm not sure if i'm just shouting into the darkness here. (what's worse, shouting into darkness, or shouting into the future?) either way, i'm not really shouting, i've been in the midwest too long for that. whispering in the dark?


what's new. i got dumped, yadda yadda. but now i have lots of time for hobbies. i started tap dancing again. and i just finished the first three weeks of my 9 week wii exercise game, ea sports two. (game seems like it's the wrong word. it's quite a workout.) it has a heart monitor, which fascinates me in a ways-of-knowing-the-self-mediated-through-technology - I've never really thought about my heart rate before.

I'm teaching two classes, both of which I designed - a 400 level queering theory class, seminar style, with 9 students, and a class on biomedicalization. Both are super fun topics for me, but since they're both new, i feel like i'm constantly prepping for class. And i only have two classes!

I'm also still applying for jobs. They tentatively offered me another year (which basically means they included my salary in the budget, which needs to get approved.) But I don't want to live here long term, and I don't want to be single here. I would probably stay for a tenure track job - probably - but staying just one year just seems to be about money - but doesn't offer my much else. So I'm mostly sure that I'm going to move this summer. The when is a bit tricky, since my lease ends at the end of May, and if I move back to Boston, my tenants don't leave until July 31st. And I still have a few open jobs that haven't rejected me. I forget where most of them are, at this point, but I think one is at U Mich Dearborn, one is at Rutgers, and one that I just applied for is at UMass Dartmouth. They're all tenure track half women's studies positions. And there is a postdoc at the VA hospital in bedford, MA, and a postdoc at northwestern that I may, or may not apply to.

Other job stuff - I got into another edited volume, again for a paper I've yet to write. This one is edited by Barbara Marshall, who does great aging men stuff. The other one is part of carolyn sargent's gender reader - and the due date is soon, march 1st. I'd better get cracking on that - but writing is always so easy to let go.

I get things done these days exclusively because of my new favorite website (and app) http://teuxdeux.com. It's a pared down todo list maker - that i'm relying pretty heavily on. I highly recommend it for list makers.

after marjorie moved out, i had to decide what i wanted to change (she's really gone!) and what i wanted to keep exactly the same (ah, comfort.) I decided to invest energy into my bed. She took the literal bed, so I bought a new (much softer) mattress. and then i bought a cheap headboard and footboard on craigslist and painted it. I've never had a headboard before, so it's really exciting. (it was a blond wood color, so looked super country. I was trying to go for modern with the "dark pewter" paint.) and I bought a new duvet (pictured.)

to be honest, after the breakup, i went through a buying phase. I'm not even sure what i bought during that time - and it's a better sublimation method than straight up drinking - but i kept getting obsessed with things. i think that phase has passed - though i do have a crush on a gorilla - http://www.designpublic.com/shop/david-weeks/13851

and i did just buy myself flowers...

i also just bought a bunch of greeting card from my new favorite greeting card brand (because the damn squibnocket cards never returned).
They're hysterical.www.fomato.com/category/Educational_Sort_Of/c28

i have a few craft projects planned, and hopefully i'll do some of them somewhat soon. and not just obsessively collect library books. speaking of books, i've read a few lately that i liked/loved , especially make me a woman, by vanessa davis. It's a graphic novel about a young jewish woman - and the bar mitzvah humor made me seriously happy. And a couple of books for class- including saint foucault  by david halperin and mother camp by esther newton - both made me love theory again.

enough words for the darkness. i need to hunker down now to prepare for the incoming WINTERWEATHER.




hello, friends.

marjorie and i have taken up some new hobbies, and rekindled our love of older hobbies.

marjorie is excelling at her circus class, and has amazing new muscles to boot.

She also has been taking violin lessons, and a few weeks ago, we had a jam session with a few friends, with me on my banjo, and her on the violin. it was adorable, if off key.

I've taken up sewing, and started a sewing club here. i'm newly obsessed with fabrics, and all the things one can make. i made a few stuffed animals, most of which i gave away before i took a picture. but yesterday, my first official act of being on break, i made an apron and a half. this is a picture of the apron i made for marjorie:
it's double sided! i'm really enjoying making actual things, as an antidote to teaching and learning, which have no physical counterparts (except for the piles of grading which I am currently avoiding.)

this past weekend i went to a public auction, and i fell in love (again) with the auction scene. it was in someone's house, emil burbach, to be exact, and i and three hundred sweaty men all piled into his basement to bid on things. there were a few amazing things, none of which i bought, like a giant wooden propeller from an old plane, and things of that ilk. i did get a collection of vintage tins, and a set of 6 insulators for under a dollar. i was with a friend, who got bored, but i'm sure if i stuck around i'd be able to get total deals on things. for instance, i almost bought a sixties style table and chair set for a dollar. that's right, a dollar. with the auction scene, it's all about wanting the things that no-one else wants. this is a skill of mine.

and of course, my last hobby, and one that i share with my lovely girlfriend, is looking good. check out my new shoes!

over and out!
this is not a metaphor. i'm at work, and i think they are doing a rush type thing - i really don't speak the language of sorority - but there are many, many girls and they are singing in unison and they were here all day yesterday and they're back today. yesterday they were all wearing purple and today they're all wearing maroon. it's pretty scary.

but that's not very interesting. things that are hopefully more so:

1. i watched jersey shore yesterday, per a recommendation. for those of you as out of the loop as i am, it's a show on MTV, their new format of reality show based on a group of friends in a beach location, like laguna beach or the hills. for those of you who missed those shows too, they were a group of super rich, super entitled white kids who were high drama and surprisingly autonomous. this new show, jersey show, features self-proclaimed guidos and guidettes with thick jersey accents. now, i've only seen one show. but in the show this dude punches a girl in the face, and is immediately arrested. because they're at a bar that has police in it. while watching this show, i realized how different my reaction was to this show than it's predecessors. i never worried that the rich kids would be taken out of context, or had their class background used against them. but this show, to me, comes off as a reality show version of the super effed up website http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/, where the joke is that poor people dress funny. and maybe i don't get it - maybe the viewers of MTV feel more of a kinship with the jersey shore characters because its more familiar to them. after all, kids born in the late eighties and early nineties have never known a time before real world was on tv. and i assume that getting on the real world, or on MTV is a goal for segments of the population. so the people on this show might seem cool to them. but, to me, it seems like it's exhibited as a freak show - and therefore it's downright insulting. am i just an uppity feminist?

2. i've finished my syllabus for this semester. turns out one of my biggest issues is picking movies for my queer theory class. there are a handful of great, queer movies - my favorite being shortbus. but i just can't show that in class, not just because it's so blatantly sexual, but because i don't want queer to just be about sex. so i'm showing but i'm a cheerleader and Pick up The Mic, which is about homo hip hop, and hedwig. but if anyone has any suggestions of great queer movies, i'd love them. (other rejected ideas - xxxy, which is excellent, but i can't show a movie in class that features a rape - the aggressives, which is an excellent documentary about the women involved in the ball scene in ny, but has no queer consciousness, which is particularly hard in the middle of the movie when one of the butch women is admitted to a hospital and to have a hysterectomy and doesn't understand why she had it and the moment is dripping with the effed up things the medical system does to gender atypical women, particularly those that are African American and poor.) if anyone wants to see the syllabus, let me know.

3. we went to see eddie izzard the other night, and he was funny. hysterical. but somehow not as funny as i had been expecting. it's called the intimacy tour, but he didn't do anything about intimacy. he did a bunch of computer jokes - which i though lukkas would appreciate. but most of his show was on creationism - or rather, poking fun at that, and that seemed pretty obvious. compared to his 'covered in bees' bit. also, he was wearing a goatee and men's clothes. and really, i wanted him to look more pretty than that.  but that part is neither here nor there.

4. finally, i want to highly recommend bear's new book, the nearest exit may be behind you. it's excellent and personable, and super smart, and like nothing i've ever seen before. if you follow that link you can read an excerpt.

ok, time to meet with a student!

over and over and over and out.

Jan. 13th, 2010

look everyone, i made bread!

it was gorgeous, and delicious, but it takes forever. so the next time i do it, it'll be for a party or something where it can all be eaten that day.

here's the "money shot".

well, hello!

thanks to Samantha, i thought I'd spend a little time of this sweet snow day catching my four (4!) or so readers up on the events in my life. it's a snow day, which just means I'm not at my office and I'm wearing sweat pants. To set the scene, I'm sitting right under a long expanse of stain glass windows in my red painted dining room. My laptop is under a bouquet of star gazer lilies, which i got to celebrate Marjorie's first day of work on Monday, and right next to me is an amazing collection of plants. There are four or so inches of snow right outside the window. I just love the beauty of snow. It makes me want to be a poet. this morning we refilled the bird feeder, and the birds are happily gulping away at their new found bounty.

i say this all as longhand to say that life is good. great, even. while it is a new year, it's actually the third most important moment in my year for self-reflection. My number one new years moment is festival, which provides for me such a renewal that I've come to consider it the start of a new year. my second new years time is rosh hashanah and yom kippur, the one two punch of forgiveness and renewal. so new years eve typically doesn't mean that much to me. i normally don't do anything, or anything worth talking about, for new years. I don't care for public drinking or crowded public transportation. this year, shannon, nick, eric, sarah and i went to see an amanda palmer concert with the Boston pops which was amazing. as i've already mentioned on face book, the best part (of many, many excellent parts) was when she stopped the show to deconstruct lady gaga, performance of femininity as artifice, etc. it was amazing. i was grinning like an eight year old who just meet mickey mouse and realized that mickey mouse also loves grilled cheese and stuffed rabbits, except my grilled cheese and stuffed rabbits is gender theory.

here is the rant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wTyMiD3aew
and since my gf wasn't there, eric and sarah kindly provided me with my new years kiss.

also i ran into someone i knew from california at the show and that always makes me happy, reminds me that the world is much tinier than i assume when i'm spending all my time at tj maxx with people who mean nothing to me.

i decided this year to set some resolutions for the first time ever. so i'm going to try to avoid sugar for the rest of janauary and go to yoga every day of January. so far, so good. we'll see how it all works out.

the rest of my trip to boston was also great, except for the brief stomach flu or something that i got. family time was good, though i went to xmas dinner at my step brothers house and ate the most waspy food ever. i've had some amazing green bean casseroles, but when the green beans and mushroom soup are both from a can, it leaves some joy out of the equation. and they served canned corn, cold. made up for it the next night with fist pumpingly good ashkenosh, brisket and latkes and deliciousness. and two birthday cakes, one for my mom and my uncle. we went to see my grandmother in the nursing home, and she is holding strong in her own way - healthy enough to want to be on a diet and to have nothing wrong with her, unhealthy enough that she has forgotten how to walk. since i've had four other grandparents die, all before I was 15, (2,10,12,15) i have no idea how to handle this prolonged period of waiting for her to die.(which sarah just did in a much more abbreviated and painful way.) i don't want her to die - far from it. i totally love her, except for her blatant homophobia. but, it feels like she is just waiting it out, until she does get sick with something that will kill her. it's weird. in some ways it's a blessing that my dad died so quickly - i don't know how to handle this waiting period. (then again, it still totally sucks that he died so young, when both of us were young.)

work stuff is good - finishing up my syllabi and trying to focus to get some journal articles submitted. since i've never sent in journal articles before, i'm not sure how to start. but one thing i learned at the AAA is send it before it's perfect because it'll never be perfect.

i applied for one job just before break - lgbt studies position at yale. i realized that i'm kinda of two minds about jobs - both that i need to apply for the lowest common denominator jobs - like the georgia state lecturer gig - and the reach high in the sky dream jobs kind of job. like me, at yale? but now that i'm teaching at wash u - a school i NEVER would have gotten into as a student, I feel like I just thoroughly have no idea of how i'm read. this comes to me in a flash sometimes in other ways. like, i'm convinced i'm adorable. but what if i'm not, and it's just my ego that is attractive? or (Gasp!) what if i'm not?

I started knitting again, i made three scarves all from the same skein. it feels good to create something out of nothing again. and i might try to make a loaf of bread tomorrow. marjorie has been baking, but everything she makes is whole grain and super dense. so i might try to make a deliciously not whole grain bread. specifically, http://www.americastestkitchentv.com/recipe.asp?recipeids=4748&iSeason=9

what else? we're going to see eddie izzard this weekend, which i'm very excited about. i'm going to wear my brand new blue patent leather shoes. and marjorie's circus show is next week. i dropped out - i'm a circus school drop out. turns out my performance anxiety is made worse by being the worst student in class. (the short version is that the rest of the class folks except for marjorie have been doing circus for a long time, and none of them are going to be performing things they learned in class, they're going to be doing circus things they came into class knowing how to do.) i'll video marjorie's performance and post it. she's going to impress you.

we're not any closer to babies or weddings, but my mother has increased her pressure about both. i'm not getting any younger, she reminds me.

I've gotta say, i still *feel* pretty young.

silver lining.

so, when the adoption debacle happened two weeks ago, the social worker said she'd put evan and karyn on the top of her list. this meant nothing to them, since they were grieving and it didn't really make much sense, since "lists" aren't how babies get adopted. but then, on friday, they got a call. there was a new birth mom in oaklahoma that was 42 and was debating adoption with their same social worker. and she (the birth mom) had gotten burned by a set of parents that had adopted her child and then promised to keep in touch but never did. and so she didn't want to chose a new set of parents (which is a pretty difficult process of scouring baby books to find a good home for this not yet born baby - it's pretty intense.) so the social worker told her about what had happened to evan and karyn and she decided that they should adopt her baby. She was pretty far along, scheduled to give birth next week. and then yesterday she was induced because she was diagnosed as having preeclampsia. 20 hours later, a baby was born. evan and karyn flew to oaklahoma last night, and marjorie and i are flying there in the morning. She is healthy and tiny and her face is crazy swollen from the hard work of being born. She'll stay in the hospital until saturday, and then evan and karyn can bring her to the hotel. and then go to court on monday to get the ability to take her to massachusetts. and then wait nine days to get on a plane with her and fly her to massachusetts.

copious pictures will follow, don't worry.

Born 1011am
6lbs 15oz
19 in and change.

I think her name is lia haley, but i'm not sure. hell, evan and karyn don't know either. the birth mom named her. it's all happening very, very fast.
it does serve as a place where 6 or so people who care about me can all get information at the same time.

so, i think everyone knows that my brother and his wife were adopting, a little girl they were going to name leah isabelle. they matched 8 months ago, and they met the birth mother and signed papers with her about 5 months ago. she was scheduled to give birth next week, but was hoping to be induced this week, so we were all flying to tulsa in a few days.

about noon today we found out that the birth mother decided to go to a different hospital and give birth under a pseudonym. she gave birth yesterday, and gave the baby up for adoption so that state now has custody. She did not call - her landlord called the lawyer. she is totally mia.

from what i understand, my brother has no recourse to get the baby or the 50k they spent on this woman's living expenses for the last 8 months.

i'm heartbroken for them, i'm heartbroken for myself, and i'm irate that people will treat one another this way. the birth mother has been taking advantage of my brother and his wife's sincere desire to have a family, and i can't see any logical reason why. this just hurts.


i'm in my office at wash u. the brevity of this sentence does not convey the enormity of what i'm feeling. i got a totally nervous stomach walking up to the university. i'm not sure what the nerves indicate - the voices in my head are oddly reticent. but walking up to the building, what will be my building for the next two years, to start this new chapter of my life, and cleaving myself from my last few chapters - woah.

the office itself is big - there is a window and a giant brushed aluminum macintosh computer. (and an oddly tiny keyboard, which has carpal tunnel written all over it.) and two giant bookshelves i'm excited to fill with books. after i signed some paperwork i sat and talked with one of the profs - an anthro bigwig, at that - as a peer. mostly she cajoled me about not reading fiction - but it was staggering how different it felt than a student / faculty conversation. i'm glad i decided to wear a collared shirt instead of a tank top! there is a unisex bathroom down the hall which makes me happy.

things are getting there. i still feel unready for this chapter of my life, but sarah reminded me that i'll live into being ready. i arrived in st. louis yesterday and had dinner with my landlord, a effervescent gay man that was really into announcing the sexuality of everyone who he mentioned. he also told me that he considers himself and his partner lesbians because they are monogamous, and girls just don't do poly. since i was 24 hours out of festival, i set him straight on that one. we walked to grand, where the international restaurants are, and ate thai, which was quite good. i then unpacked my car, with bits of leaves falling off everything, and watched sunshine cleaning on my air mattress, the closest i had to furniture. (pretty good movie, i didn't cry so it doesn't get a strong thumbs up, and also i don't really understand the point of the lesbian subtext.) the air mattress deflated during the night, so i woke up with my back and butt on the ground, which would be funny if i wasn't so surly. i walked two blocks to get my morning coffee, which was pretty rad. the coffee was mediocre, but mediocre things are better when they are close. the movers came at nine and that was all pretty easy. now my living room is filled with boxes - the movers were impressed by how much came out of the pod. i take no credit, it was all my faithful and steady pod masters (eric and shannon) who made my furnishings into a puzzle to solve. yay for smart friends!

this weekend i'm excited to walk a block to the tower grove park and have a free yoga class and then buy veg at the farmers market. and then dove arrives, after a crazy super long flight. hopefully by the end of the weekend we'll have internet at the house and a sense of calm with our furnishings. (note: in the future, when i pack a take out first box, i need to remember to take it out first, and not let it get put on the bottom of all the other things.) my sheets and pots and pans are in that box. ah well. who needs those things? there is always takeout and sleeping bags.

for those of you i didn't see at festival, my time there was ... well, i'm unable to sum it up in a word. the first few days - maybe even week - was hard in that i had trouble leaving my consternation at the door. i worried too much, and to no avail. i was grumps about having to move, again, and make new friends, again, and buy new olive oil, again. but at some point it clicked in to me that by not letting myself enjoy festival i was only making it harder to enjoy what came after festival. either that or people started flirting with me and i got to steep in that. so the last week was great and amazing and i got to learn things about myself and other people and my muscles got bigger and the ladies ate amazing food partially because of me and i got to throw my head back and laugh several times a day.

so for now i'm in st. louis, alone, surrounded by amazingly lush parks and people walking their dogs and floor to ceiling boxes and a feeling of accomplishment that percolates up every now and then and makes me so, so excited for this life i get to live.

solipsism, over and out.