A Requiem for Home

April 18, 2009

Something about the spring brings on wave after wave of almost staggering homesickness. I find myself near tears on public transportation, making mixes of the songs I played over and over again in high school as I stared at the ceiling, breathing in the scent of the soft brown carpet in my bedroom.

The funny thing is that my parents always assumed I’d be the child to run away and never come back. And I guess I embraced that some, flying out to the farthest opposite edge, from the country to the city, from grass and mountains to cobblestone and glass.

And I like it here, I do. I’ve fallen for Southie accents and watched the still-as-glass waters of the Charles reflecting the Boston skyline. I love the childlike glee that pours from apartment windows when the Sox or the Celtics pull through in the playoffs, love to feel the summer air on my cheeks as I bike down Columbus after dark.

But this is not my home.

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Have you met Steven, my euphemism?

August 30, 2008

The Sig Fig and I have had some conversations about how, at a certain point in one’s life, the world “girlfriend” seems sort of inappropriate. I mean, doesn’t it? It’s sort of a young word, something that brings teenage relationships to mind. (Also I’ve always found it awkward that women over a certain age tend to use “girlfriend” to mean “female friend.” It leads to me wondering if women are gay when they clearly are not.)

And before the whole homos-can-marry-in-select-states thing came up, it was always a question of what you could possibly call your significant other. Partner? Very law firmish. Spouse? Still awkward, even if now it’s a legal reality.

The possibilities I hadn’t considered until recently, however, are “friend” and “roommate.”

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More on Teen Theatre

May 23, 2008

For those of you following the Teen Theatre saga, my little reptile brain had the idea recently to try to perhaps create a better website for the company. Whether or not this is feasible remains to be seen, but if anyone has any suggestions, that would be shweet. First priority would be enabling show updates and a little more detailed info on the company.

For now, I’m also trying to compile some testimonials of sorts from alums and audience members. So if you or someone you know has been in or seen Teen Theatre, please do drop me a line if you’d be interested in contributing. You can be absolutely as anonymous as you’d like.

Don’t forget to make a donation, no matter how small! You can use the secure site over at Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, or if you’re interested in making a donation by cash or check (or anonymously) just let me know in comments.


Only you can prevent forest fires

May 20, 2008

…and save Teen Theatre.

After 21 years, Planned Parenthood’s Teen Theatre is in jeopardy. National funding issues have meant lost jobs and suspended services, and now the entire education arm is threatened.

I first saw Ophelia Rising, the all-female arm of Teen Theatre, when I was in eighth grade. I was at a math and science conference for middle school girls and I was mostly extremely bored. But once those young women took the stage, I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing. I don’t know how to describe how important it was to see strong female role models at that age. It was like finally surfacing after drowning.

I joined the company when I was a sophomore and I can very honestly say it changed my life. It was there that I found my voice, learned the play the guitar, found a second family, fell in love, bounced back from love, survived depression, and became a part of something much bigger than myself.

A little background: Teen Theatre was originally part of Crater Cabaret, which I believe was the first drama program at Crater High School. The company was then briefly affiliated with the health department before finding a new home with Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon. The company is made up both of single-sex groups (Ophelia Rising and All the King’s Men), who perform for audiences from elementary school on up to adults on growing up female and male, respectively, and the larger company, which performs together all over the state.

Since the groundbreaking Celebrating Sexuality show in 2000, the company has tackled amazing topics from coming out to homelessness to pregnancy. Running through every show are themes of healthy decision-making, individuality, unity, and community. Although some content is specifically tailored to fit Planned Parenthood campaigns (like Rights, Respect, and Responsibility), all material is company-developed and changes with each new evolution of the company.

I just really can’t stress enough how important this company has been to me, and how important I feel it is for them to get funding so that they can continue doing such amazing work. Aside from being a wonderful performance and leadership opportunity for the teens in the company, Teen Theatre gives honest and vital information to kids and adults. Information like “You are not alone.” Information like “You are beautiful.” Information like “You are important.”

Please consider donating. The link up there at the beginning leads you directly to the online donation page, where you can contribute anything from $5 up using your handy credit card. (I have a feeling they’d take checks or cash by snail mail, too!) Part of the beauty of Teen Theatre in the past has been that the education department budget has helped bring the company to schools at little or no cost, but that luxury is disappearing.

And if you happen to be in southern Oregon, Teen Theatre will be performing “From the Heart” next Saturday:

Date: Saturday, May 31
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: Unitarian Center, Ashland (4th and C)
Appropriate for ages 13 and up
Tickets: available at the door
General: $5
Student: $3
Donations Welcome!


I’m eating Jell-o for breakfast.

July 27, 2007

It’s the American dream! Well, not really, because this is CVS brand gelatin snack, not Jell-o brand gelatin snack. I’m eating the American dream that’s four for a dollar.

Anyway, I’m back. For the two of you who expressed a mild dislike for my absence: thank you. Your mild dislike has truly, truly moved me.

For the record, I’m back to blogging here, but I’m going to continue to take a break from reading (most) other blogs. I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t be able to just read posts and ignore the comments, and since lately comment threads only raise my blood pressure, I figured I’d stick to bacon and save myself the grief. You may notice a new addition to my blogroll, however, and I can’t stress its importance enough. Read Dooce!

Moving on. Some exciting things have been happening over here in my little corner of the globe. For instance, there’s Steve. Steve is my new electric guitar. Should I happen to figure out the contraption you kids call a “digital camera,” there’s a chance you may see a picture of him and the ladies, Sheba and Artemesia (classical and electric acoustic, respectively), but for now just know that I am a person with more guitars than pairs of clean underwear. I do plan to do laundry this weekend, though. I swear.

I’ve also been granted permission to audit a class at my alma mater (how weird! I have one of those!) in the fall, which excites me greatly because it will be a class I actually want to be taking. It may even stimulate my brain and make those library classes more bearable. We can always hope. Anyway, it’s a course on gender and performance, taught by the wonderful woman responsible for me taking a seminar with Judith Halberstam (swoon) last year. I’m greatly looking forward to it, and I can only assume the reading list (Bornstein, Butler, Halberstam [swoon], etc.) will provide fodder for new writing here.

And, finally, we’re now at T-minus 21 days until I depart for another whirlwind tour, this time of Idaho and San Francisco. Hopefully this time I’ll get my act together and take a bazillion pictures, which used to be my typical behavior any time I took a trip. (Remember the two rolls of film from the very first day I was in Mexico? Yes, I know you don’t, but trust me, they’re boring.) I was sadly remiss in Oregon last winter, but never again!

Anyway, I’d like this blog to be a relaxing place for me. And for you, the two readers. In that spirit, my first post-hiatus “serious post” subject is, naturally, McDonald’s.


Oregon depresses me.

May 16, 2007

Jackson and Josephine County aren’t in a great way right now. Jackson County’s 15 public libraries will remain closed, while Josephine County will cut its sheriff’s department staff in half and its jail beds down from 140 to 30.

Sigh.

Wikipedia, that bastion of authoritative, accurate information, lists Oregon as the western state with the lowest taxes per person. (The footnote is dubious, but like any good lazy researcher, I’m taking it as gospel!)

Here’s the quick and dirty summary: Oregon used to depend heavily upon federal timber revenue. Because timber revenues have been steadily declining over the years (yes, in part due to environmental restrictions), in 2000 Congress signed the Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, which was designed to federally assist rural states and counties “which have been impacted by the ongoing reduction in receipts primarily due to lower timber harvest levels on Federal lands.” (This is from the USDA Forest Service.) According to the Trib, the Act was pumping $23 million into Oregon counties annually.

I just tried to find some info on the libraries, and found the extremely depressing JCLS homepage.

I really need to stop thinking about this.

Basically, Jackson county built a shitload of new shiny libraries in the past few years. They were arguably bigger than they needed to be (though they were built largely because of valid space concerns about the old branches) and it seems no one took operating budgets (or a lack thereof) into account. As such, when the RSCSDA ran out, the county had no choice but to shut down the libraries, because even without the libraries in the picture Jackson County was still facing huge budget shortages for basic community services. Yesterday residents voted on a proposed tax levy, which would temporarily increase property taxes to reopen the libraries.

Opponents of the levy seem to think that its failure will force county commissioners to come up with another way to fund the library. But guess what, jackasses? PUBLIC LIBRARIES DEPEND ON PUBLIC REVENUES.


Deal or No Deal

January 31, 2007

In thinking about the prospect of living in Boston once I get my master’s, I started pondering the concept of the dealbreaker. It’s a little different from the taquito moment,* in that the dealbreaker is generally a firmly held conviction, whereas a taquito moment can be a tiny incident portentous of things to come. In essence, the taquito moment can predict the dealbreaker.

In the hypothetical, there are probably a lot of things that would be my dealbreaker. Although I’d like to think I’m open to idyllic notions of true love regardless of gender, at this point it’s pretty safe to say that biological maleness is a dealbreaker. So would cheating (past incidences of assholishness on my part nothwithstanding), polygamy,** probably some fetishes (I’m thinking pedophilia, necrophilia and bestiality in particular, though I’m sure there are more), and, say, cannibalism.

Interestingly enough, though, here in the real world, things I’d always assumed to be dealbreakers are turning out to be, well, not. A desire for children is one. (I have it, and big time, and pictured myself with someone who felt similarly.) A passion for the northwest is another. (I ache to live in Oregon again, but, well, here I am.)

So how about the rest of you? What’s your dealbreaker?

*The taquito moment should really be worked into the vernacular of our times. It refers to a brilliant Washington Post piece.
**Here’s what I find interesting: at least anecdotally, it’s way more common for monogamists to compromise for the love of a polygamist than vice versa. And, of course, “compromise” in this case doesn’t mean that both partners engage in polygamy–it means the monogamist continues exclusively seeing the polygamist, who continues seeing everybody.