Thursday, November 29, 2007

no, it's official: this is how i feel today

how i feel today (and heck, lots of other days) -- and yes, that's my tori

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

check it out

you must all watch this:

Saturday, November 24, 2007







Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Candlelight Vigil

Last night's vigil was amazing and powerful. I had a bit of my facts wrong: this specific candlelight vigil was in honor of those in the transgender community who have been murdered. The organizers of the event at Portland State University did a compassionate job with everything -- sharing their words, passing out candles, and allowing us some moments of silence. I've always loved when people take turns lighting one another's candles -- so simple, so humane, so connecting. For anyone interested, check out And do your homework on Rita Hester, a woman who was killed for just being who she was, literally. She sparked much of this.

Funny the combination of feelings that sweep over one during such an event: the feelings of love and empathy; kind eyes lit by gentle candles; chilly bones in the night air; my dripping nose; guilty thoughts at wanting to be safe and warm at home, in my pajamas; hugging Karla and Steve; listening to that wonderful piece about owning our bodies, our hearts and souls, the power that comes with darkness and blending it into light, the idea that God doesn't "make mistakes" with transgendered people but gives them the bodies they were always meant to have -- God doesn't make mistakes, period. During the ceremony, I cupped my candle with alternating palms, sometimes held it in both hands and let the wind play with the flame, and during it all listened to the 17 pages worth of names read off of those killed for this specific hate crime from 1970 until today. Their names are now in my subconscious, webbed together in memory.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Clumpy Days

Today the sun is out a little, and it's a nice change of pace from the cold, rainy, chill-you-to-the-bone weather we've had lately. The dark skies and wet leaves and early nights and windy banshee noises.

Are you ready? You're not going to believe what's happened the last couple weeks:
--E's pregnant.
--C contacted J, A, and myself to say that L fell down, broke her fingers, smashed out a couple teeth, and is in the hospital.
--A good friend confided to me some of her health concerns. (She is the ultimate trooper -- if anyone will recover with flying colors and be the better for the experience, it's her.)
--Luna, our new companion, is blind in one eye and needs surgery to remove it because the pressure is building against the muscles and tissues. (And that's the really short version of the story. The long version involves screaming and yelling, tears, exhaustion, glasses of red wine, a mental health day, and more.)

Tonight I am going to a candlelight vigil in downtown PDX for Dan Callaway and his loved ones. He's part of PDX's queer community, and he was murdered recently. This vigil is to honor him, his family and friends, others in the queer community, and the diversity that Portland should/could/does represent. Thank you to Karla for the invite.

Feel optimistic yet from all of the above?

There's so much yin-and-yang in everyday existence, tugging on us and weaving us down the middle. We must choose to stitch the balance into place. For all the heartache I've gone through lately, I can't help but think: I got to have a fun Food Fight! shopping experience with Christina and Ben last night; I woke up to the cutest display of affection ever a couple nights ago; Ollie and Luna love one another so much and are now just the best of friends (and maybe more); Thanksgiving is two days away, and I get to share it with people I adore; Christina and Ryan got Jan, Ben, and myself princess chocolate bars from Disneyland; Ryan got me the cutest Dumbledore keychain (whispered tone: "...because he's gay!"); my writing is coming along well and a major plot point clicked for me this morning; I get to see Tori in concert in 14 days; Ben found the perfect loveseat/sectional for his apt. and I had fun loading it up and setting it up with him; Six Feet Under is so fucking good, and it's amazing to be rewatching it from the beginning; I've heard some "Nathan songs" lately that help keep me realizing that everything happens in its own place and time for just the right reason; such a thing exists as a bacon-chocolate bar, which--while I can no longer eat it because I'm a vegetarian--I can certainly treat Jan and Ben to it; Jennifer and I will give one another a huge hug on Friday; Aaron and I had a long, wonderful talk yesterday; I got to watch The Plague Monkeys videos; and....well, that's enough for now.

Wishing you all a fun and safe Thanksgiving. Marieke, I'll make sure to eat some yummy vegan dishes for you on Thursday, while you're doing that whole Scotland thing:) [Aaron -- I know you're rebelling against me for my non-meat holiday!] Marieke, give Andy a big squeeze for me! Maybe you two can re-enact some politically incorrect moments from Thanksgiving history. When my brothers and I were young, my mom would help us cut out construction paper pilgrim and Indian outfits and we'd put on pre-feast plays that had little to do with actual history. Well, I guess I've always had a flair for drama! And for being non P.C.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Audrey Horne: Part of my Essence


I’ve got to tell you, every day you do stuff that you’re not so proud of and you say stuff that you wish you could have done better, but that’s what being on the planet’s about. And I must say to you, sometimes I think, God, I’ve got to give people a break if I expect them to give me a break. Okay, so, she pooped on her Manalos. Give her a break.
--Tori Amos

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dear Girl Who Loved my Tori Shirt in Celtic Note,

Thank you for commenting on my Choirgirl Hotel shirt, and telling me you love Tori, and recommending Sinead Lohan and The Plague Monkeys. I had the luck to see Sinead in concert in Madison, WI, and meet her after the show. As for The Plague Monkeys, thank you for introducing their music into my Life. You may just be the best employee that Dublin's Celtic Note music store has ever had. I hope this message finds you well.

Thank you to Carol Keogh, lead singer of The Plague Monkeys, for writing me that thoughtful comment on my blog re: my write-up about you and your song "Safe", and how many lives it's touched. You are such a gifted artist.

Here are some videos for you all to ponder, then:


p.s. Thank you to Jordan for telling me to look up The Plague Monkeys' videos on youtube. I thus want to share this beautiful Tori moment with you and everyone else reading/listening/seeing:

p.p.s. Thank you to Jim for contacting The Plague Monkeys' manager that one Christmas, and getting me all their work on CD through him. Means the world to me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I write to discover what I know.—Flannery O’Connor


Luna has a new home. She and Ollie are alternately brother/sister and partner/lover with one another. We'll have to wait and see how many times they've read Flowers in the Attic before they make a corporate decision. Mom and I do miss Mollie: her cuddly abilities, her cute littleness. But we are honored to give Luna a place of safety and warmth, and Mollie will be easier to adopt, anyway -- she's young and friendly and housetrained and all that good stuff, just like Luna, except Luna's way older and thus would not be as "adoptable" (ugh). Mom and I think Luna looks like an antique teddy bear, one of those white-and-brown stuffed ones that look more like real bears than the cutesy teddy bears of today. (Cutesy definitely has its place, though.)

While writing this morning, I couldn't help but draw the parallels between my character's home and my own -- the love of mannequins and weird dolls, kitschy-meets-creepy-meets-spiritual. Maybe I'll never know all the reasons I love to collect them and name them and "give" them personalities....I've rescued them, so maybe that's it....found them cracked and broken, loved too much or loved too little. I can totally see the humor in my obsession, the goofiness of having Cassandra wedded to Cosmos, with their child Babette. Gizmo hangs from my curtain rod with Jordan's old cowboy jacket on him; Gabe/Paige (I can't remember which one his name was/is!), my old Cabbage Patch Kid, is stapled to the beam in the basement (his forlorn sister slung over a railing on the front porch); drawings and pictures and faeries and postcards are scatter-placed all over my bedroom and the rest of our home like little clues into my psyche.

I'm making sure to give Ollie extra kisses and hugs, so he doesn't feel left out and jealous. Mom and I wonder, a bit, if we made the right decision -- "Will Ollie feel sad not all the attention is focused on him?" -- but we realize that Ollie can't and shouldn't be too spoiled, and that this will be good for him to share. Plus, he won't be lonely during the day when we're both at work.

Yesterday was a day of weird weather and cackling laughter (not by me) and a comfy couch and some really great "Don't Fear the Reaper" moments. Today the sun has pushed through, and the cold air is both sharp and wet and fresh.

I keep thinking about this Christmas: What will it be like to not have Jordan and Aaron here? What will it be like to have Ben with his family down in northern California? I think it's natural that Jan and I will be bummed out, but I'm also hoping we can create a one-year tradition for ourselves filled with new possibilities and flexible fun ideas. Jordan and Aaron -- we sure do love and miss you!

And to the rest of you: Keep on reading. It means so much to me I get to share this blog with you.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pets....and More Pets

Sometimes life is feast or famine.

Mom brought home a lovely little black Chihuahua-and-something-else mix, Mollie, who loves to cuddle and play and yip and settle in the crook of your arm. Mollie is our foster pet; Jan signed herself up to take home dogs from the Pixie Project, helping them with good nights' sleep and good company, and then bringing them back to the Pixie Project during the days so people can meet them and maybe adopt them. Of course, right as she and I are falling in love with Mollie (we get first option to adopt), Jan goes to a garage sale and meets a woman whose family is moving to Mexico for several months, and they're looking for a good home for Luna. Luna, a terrier, was abused by another dog in her youth (she's eight now) and also, with one owner, had to live outside for two years. Now Luna's in a good home, and her current companions want to make sure she gets another good one. I look forward to meeting her tonight....mixed feelings, though....Luna sounds more relaxed (read: Nathan won't go insane with Ollie and Mollie running around and playing all evening long)....but we also are already giving our hearts to Mollie (I feel like pulling a Paris Hilton and getting a man purse and carrying Mollie around with me wherever I go). What are we to do at the Buck Motor Inn? I'll keep you all posted on this exciting chapter in the Buck saga.

Animals have been on my mind so much lately. A few weeks ago, Mom and I pulled up to the San Raphael house on a beautifully weird day (or a weirdly beautiful day, either/or) where the skies couldn't decide on rain or sun, so there were all these stark contrasts -- edgy clouds, gray and viscious, next to slashes of bright blue, some sun dangling down and catching itself on leaves in the neighborhood trees. There were two vibrant rainbows in the sky, one atop another, and a spotlight of sun cast itself right on the slick road. Lying in the road was a dead kitten, who'd just been hit. She was strikingly pretty, black and gray stripes, and green eyes, and you could tell she'd been hit hard. A line of blood had shot from her mouth like a liquid ruler, and there was a halo around her head, mixing with the rain. It just broke my heart, Mom's heart, the neighbors' hearts who pulled up right after us. Mom got a plastic bag and set her on the grass; the men offered to knock on a few doors and see whom she belonged to (they never did find out). It's strange to think how conditioned we are to dead squirrels, raccoons, deer even, but dogs and cats -- those we let into our hearts & homes -- we just have completely different visceral reactions to them. Shouldn't I feel just as sad to see a dead squirrel? I actually think I do, but it's on a cerebral level, not a gut level.

Missy, Ben's cat, has gotten in the habit of sleeping next to me at night. She curls up behind my back and hogs the bed (which is fine, I get to scoot closer to Ben). Missy and I have a funny relationship -- she's finally given me the thumbs up (she has her own trust issues from her life before Ben rescued her), but she's still wary of anyone who is not Mr. B. Still, it's nice to have her warm up to me. She recognizes me and likes to spend time with me, on some level.

Karla's iguana, Fluffy, is doing well. Karla and Steve are thinking of joining this program where you can walk shelter dogs, and the dogs wear "ADOPT ME!" clothes so people on the street can pet them, get to know them, and consider giving them a good home.

Final thought: So funny. Tuesday night I was cuddled on the couch with a blanket wrapped around me, and Ollie was at my feet and Mollie was in the crook of my arm, and Mom was next to me in the chair, and the house was a mess, and I felt alive and tired and loved and curious.

Life is sure a strange, mysterious thing.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Apostate (or, Homework Time)

I just found out I'm an apostate. Look it up, folks! It will be fun!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Post-Halloween Post

Ooh, I just loved reading Marieke's and Mom's stories in my "Comments" section of my last post. Check them out.

Halloween was, simply, divine. I adored giving out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. I have two favorites: the pre-teen girl dressed as a gift/present and the boy dressed as a ninja. The girl wore a giant, wrapped box all around her (strung on her frame like overalls) with a flat hat covered in ribbons of tons of colors. Seriously, she should be trying out for The Wizard of Oz or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- she'd fit right in. The boy's comments on Ollie, the family dog, were what really got me. When I opened the door to give him candy, Ollie--like usual--tried to go out and jump up and greet the seven(ish)-year-old. I apologized, but the boy, in complete seriousness, said: "I relate. I had a dog who used to do the same thing all the time. I'm used to it." What seven-year-old says, "I relate"? Maybe he's related to Doogie Howser!

November has kicked in with some sunny skies and cold nights and sharp stars and a half moon. The air is crisp and cold -- I'm having a love-hate relationship with it.

This is the season for pajamas, hot cocoa, curling up with a book, and favorite movies....

Thinking of you all this autumn. Stay spectacular.