If you are like me, you are busy and have a to-do list a mile long. There are the “This Week” to-dos of grocery shopping and buying socks for your kid, there are the “Must Get Done In April” tasks of birthday shopping for your partner’s gift and planting spring seeds in the garden. There are the 6-month goals which for me include cleaning out the basement and attending the 9 day School of the Work, and then there are the big dreams like traveling to Thailand, or getting out of your corporate job and into full-time work that you’re passionate about.
There’s a meme going around Facebook right now, asking you to share a certain number of things about yourself. I was given the number 8 by my friend Ellie.
1. I hate black pepper. I know that hate is a strong word, and still, I hate it. I think the flavor is disgusting, like it ruins the whole dish, but I’ve gotten better at ignoring it in my food and pretending it’s not there.
2. I often have night terrors. Recently I stayed in a cabin with two friends. In the morning I woke from what felt like a good night’s sleep and I asked the other two how they slept. They looked at each other, then looked at me with a look of horror as if I had worms crawling out my ears and one said, “You don’t remember bolting upright in the middle of the night and screaming ‘OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!’ and then proceeding to argue when I told you everything was alright?” Nope…I sure don’t. Bekah experiences my nighttime outbursts and subsequent arguing on a regular basis–luckily she has a finely honed sense of humor. I need to start warning the new people that I sleep with, though.
5. I didn’t learn to cook macaroni and cheese (or anything else for that matter) until I was a freshman in college, living in the dorms. My mom cooked for me my whole life up until that point. Thanks, Mom!
6. I have lived in Oregon for all of my life except: 1999-2000 when I did my internship and then worked my first year as an interpreter at CSUN, and then for 4 months in 2000 when I lived and worked at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. I love the memories from living in new places and at the same time I’m so happy to live in Portland and raise my kids here.
7. I won 3 character awards during high school: Sweetest, Friendliest, and Social Butterfly. I bet you’re surprised…
8. I have kept a journal since the 4th grade, and I fill about a book every month or two these days. I wonder how best to utilize all of the epiphanies, ideas, and confessions that I have stored up in their pages, and what to have done with them when I die. Currently they take up several shelves & boxes in our house…someday I’d like to have a dedicated book case for them and a letter explaining my wishes for them.
I think it’s fairly obvious how I feel about this beautiful city in which I live. But in case it’s not, let me just make it very clear:
And here is another reason why:
My favorite things converge in this campy show featuring gender-bending, love, glitter & song…and I have the privilege of interpreting for tonight’s show!
If you are a member of the Unicorn club, don’t think gender resides neatly in 2 boxes, or likes to see adorable performers belt out catchy show tunes, please join me at 7:00 pm at the Coho theater for a gay old time. Tickets are sold out online but will be available in limited quantities at the door…that’s how spectacular this show is.
This amateur sexy film festival started in Seattle and has been around since 2005, making its way to our liberal kinky city in, I think, 2010.
It seems that every year brings a different flavor to the screen, and while I’ll spare you the details of this year’s (you can ask me in person) I so appreciate the diversity of films shown. I went in prepared to see a bunch of sex, and came out with a whole new view into people’s fantasies and quirks. There were several submissions that were sexual but purely humorous. A couple that involved zero sex and instead centered around desire/fetish/play. There were the obligatory straight-up porns. And then there were a few hilarious (and wierd!) animated features. Truly something for everyone!
I loved the atmosphere of the whole event, dirty without being creepy, fun and light and completely open-minded. At the conclusion we cast our votes for 4 categories: Best Humor, Best Kink, Best Sex, and Best in Show. I did not hear one derogatory comment the entire evening, and I left feeling like I had just taken part in a special ritual of Portland culture.
I will definitely be back in 2014!
See people’s reactions to Hump!
Hear Dan Savage‘s explanation of the kinky film festival (less appropriate for delicate ears)
I really want to get my hair cut, so I ask google about salons in my neighborhood that aren’t Bishop’s. There’s nothing exactly wrong with Bishop’s, it’s just such a crap shoot and I’m feeling ready for a committed long-term relationship. No more backing into whoever’s chair comes my way…I want to know the person who runs their fingers through my hair, and I want them to know me.
And so, here I am: in shaggy-haired disarray…in haircut limbo. I’ve outgrown my last relationship but haven’t yet found the next Mr. or Ms. Right.
I turn to the world wide web, and it’s a scary yet exciting prospect. ‘Could this be the one?’ ‘What if we’re not a good fit?’ ‘Will she know how I like my sideburns?’ It’s angsty questions like this that plague me as I contemplate making the leap into the unknown. As I scan the page something catches my eye and jars my hair-cutting fantasy to a screeching halt:
Seriously?! What does my genitalia have to do with my haircut? And on Alberta Street, no less…one of the most difficult places in Portland to correlate with any degree of certainty what is in someone’s pants with the style of their hair. Now full disclosure: I am not a stylist. I did not go to beauty school. I cannot pretend to know the details of salon pricing models. But in my imaginings I understand that some styles are more complex and time-consuming to create than others. That makes total sense to me. And I imagine that in the 1950’s this pricing model took care of those discrepancies 99% of the time. It is now 2013, hairstyles and gender expression have come a long way, and they are not holding hands.
I believe it’s time for the salon industry to get on board.
I pick up the phone, and here’s what I say:
I am a neighbor and am in the market to make a long-term commitment to a hair salon. In doing some research I’m finding some disturbing information and wonder if you have 5 minutes to discuss gender-based pricing with me? What is the purpose of charging based on a person genitalia?
Sweet and spunky Lauren gave me the answer I expected, that usually women’s cuts are much more detailed than men’s. That this has ben the system for industry pricing for eons. That the owner is from Michigan and hasn’t woken up to the fact that he lives in one of the queerest towns in the country (I added that last part to make a point…Lauren didn’t say that). But (and this was the ‘but’ I was hoping for) the stylists do charge based on the cut itself and would charge a vagina the same rate as a penis if the haircut warranted (my words, not hers).
It’s a start. But it’s certainly not haircut equality.
This getting up at 5 and getting home at 11 lifestyle is not conducive to my thoughtful writing ways. And so, in another drive-by posting, I give you this blast from the past: one of my very first blog posts ever. Enjoy. Mostly the pictures are cute. xo
When Bekah & I started dating 2 years ago, things in our lives were different. ‘How different could they be,’ you think? Let me enumerate the ways:
- I worked 20 hours a week at one job and worked out like a fiend.
- Bekah served breakfast at a hip Portland comfort food establishment & took one class a term at PCC.
- My weekly recycling bins housed an assortment of drained booze, beer & wine bottles.
- Bekah was a musician.
- We lived in postage-stamp sized places and rented rooms.
- 3 kids!
So, when we started dating, we had what seemed like endless amounts of time to enjoy all that the city’s nightlife has to offer.
- Queer dance parties with loud music & sweaty hot bods piled into photobooth shots.
- All the great music Mississippi Studios could book.
- Sexy classes at sexy stores.
- Soaking and saunaing with all the ladies.
- Brunches in the morning and bars at night.
We pretty much did all of the things and had all of the fun.
Then Bekah decided to become a chiropractor. We moved in together. We got a puppy. We bought more camping equipment and matching outdoor-wear. Fast-forward 365 days x 2 and now our life looks like this:
- 60 hours of school per week for Dr. Cohen (maybe a slight exaggeration).
- 2 new businesses for me and more interpreting to fund it all.
- A teenage-dog
- 3 kids!
We still like each other a lot, and yet we find ourselves in a rut, often wearing soft clothes and eating tiny sundaes in front of our favorite tv shows. Something must change. And so, I am going to take the advice of my best friend:
I’m going to start dating again. But instead of trolling okcupid and heading out to bars, I’m going to start at home. I’m going to regain an interest in what’s happening in the city that might be fun, might inspire meaningful conversation, might put that twinkle into our eyes. I’m going to get dressed up instead of snuggling into my pj’s, I’m going to be ready on time for our evening plans. I’m going to savor brushing our teeth next to each other in the bathroom mirror, and get excited to hold her hand as we head out the door.
And so I ask for your help, dear reader:
What are your favorite fun, meaningful Portland dates that are rich in experience & memories, not necessarily in admission?
My future date & I thank you.