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Thursday
Jul172014

Queerosphere at BlogHer14!

BlogHer, the premiere event for women in social media, is almost here! 

Queerosphere will be held Friday night at the Hilton San Jose, and I can't wait to see you. It's all happening!

I'm co-hosting the Queerosphere, a community party celebration of the LGBTQ blogosphere within BlogHer. It's so phenomenal that BlogHer dedicates space and resources to honor the diversity of voices that are the strength of online publishing. All badge holders are invited, community members and allies alike. 

We'll be in a suite again this year as part of a cool night of community parties where attendees can roam and enjoy celebrations throughout the conference complex. Think progressive parties and open houses with the freedom to create the perfect night for yourself.

I love freedom more than anything. I know you like it too.

Here's BlogHer's post on the party plan for Friday night. Get badges while you are there!

The night begins with a special reception honoring the Voices of the Year and then the fabulous Listen to Your Mother Show Open Mic followed by Killer Karaoke.

From there, stroll over to the Hilton San Jose for community and sponsor gatherings from 8pm on (No RSVP needed) including:

That's how cool BlogHer is, amazing and plentiful choices so you can express yourself.  Go to one gathering or go to them all. Come and go. Close it out. You do you. Most definitely come to Queerosphere. We had an amazing Queerospher last year, and we're going to do it again. See you soon!


 

Tuesday
Jul082014

Steps to Telling My Grandmother About The Kickstarter Potato Salad

 

  1. Find the Oijia board. It's probably in the hall closet with the photos that aren't in albums yet and the tiny video tapes from the old massive video camera. Remember it's in a smooshed in box so it might be hard to see.
  2. Try to avoid being distracted by the photos. Yes, they were adorably babies! Yes, you were young!(Pause to find a photo of Grandma. The one where she's wearing a full apron and serving Thanksgiving dinner might be perfect.)
  3. Light a candle. Seems helpful, why not? 
  4. Touch the pointer gently with only the tips of your fingers. Don't shake, but do suck in your breath and only let it out in imperceptible wisps. 
  5. Boo! Gotcha!
  6. Ask the spirits to find Grandma. Say she's probably with other Danish-American ghosts who took boats and then trains to the Midwest in the 40s. Listen for an accordion, they are probably drinking coffee. Tell them if it's not a good time to bother her, tell her to enjoy her coffee cake and I'll try again later.
  7. Grandma? Is it you? 
  8. [no answer]
  9. Okay, well, I've been wanting to tell you a story. This guy in Brooklyn is being paid thousands of dollars to make potato salad! It's sort of a prank. Do you know about the Internet?
  10. [no answer]
  11. So it made me think about you and your potato salad. Piles of potatoes and eggs. Chilled just right. That you made for free. Amazing potato salad. Nothing is like it, Grandma, then or now. I don't know how you did it. So perfect. 
  12. [no answer]
  13. Big Lutheran church picnics with table and table of crockware and Tupperware full of potato salad, and I could find yours. I choose yours. You should have been paid for your potato salad, Grandma. I'm sorry you weren't. 
  14. [no answer]
  15. So this guy has this thing where I can give him money for his potato salad, and for a minute I thought about doing it, just to remember your potato salad. Does this make sense?
  16. NO.
  17. I know, I didn't do it! It was just a feeling, of nostalgia and longing. and there was room on the page for me to project all of that and that space made a vacuum that led to the button, but I didn't fall in. 
  18. [no answer]
  19. Maybe I'll make potato salad. But here's the thing. This is why I wanted to chat. I have a hard time getting the consistency right, your potatoes were cooked perfectly, not mushy at all, just right. And you must have held back some of the instructions when they were passed down through my mother, or you had a secret ingredient or something because I can't replicate it, not even close. People tell me it needs pickle or relish or mustard, but I know that's wrong. Maybe it's right for their Grandma, but it's not what I'm looking for, right?
  20. YES
  21. So what is it? Maybe it just needs a little more salt? A slightly larger dice on the boiled eggs? Rounder red potatoes, peeled roughly? Pepper ...
  22. NO
  23. Waiting longer for it to chill before I taste it? Should I wear an apron? 
  24. [no answer]
  25. I should have paid more attention. I should have. I should have, and it's too late.
  26. [no answer]
  27. Grandma, I think you and the other Grandmas should go talk to that guy in Brooklyn about not ruining everything. Just, you know, sit with him. Around him and/or guys like him. But if you go, don't give him your recipe, okay? Just don't, even if you all end up feeling sorry for him. It's not for him.
  28.  [no answer]
  29. Put the board its box, first fixing the corners with strips of packing tape. Put the box in a different closet. 
  30. Make coffee.
  31. Make a shopping list.
  32. Burn down the Internet.

 

Monday
Jun302014

Turning Your Female Reproductive Organs into a Supreme Court-Approved Corporation FAQs

So you want to incorporate your reproductive organs? Of course you do! Since it's clear that corporations are respected more than women in the U.S, it's the best way to go. You might have questions about how to ensure you are protected to the full extent of the law given recent Supreme Court rulings. Here are some helpful answers about corporations.

What is a corporation?

A corporation is a distinct legal entity created under state laws which can open a bank account, purchase property, enter into contracts, pay employees, choose a religion, take vacations with nice people like Hollywood stars, pose for selfies, conduct manipulative studies in your social media feeds, get bailouts, be leaned into, pay white men more than anyone else, stuff like that. They are basically pretty cool. You definitely want one for your reproductive system.

Does every reproductive system need to become a corporation?

NO! Male reproductive systems are by and large in good standing with our institutions without additional processes, thus freeing them to worry about other things, like LeBron's antics or building and maintaining wealth and power. Only female reproductive systems in whole or part are good candidates for the protection of incorporation. Storks are not included in your corporation application.

Do I need an attorney to file for incorporation?

No, you do not need an attorney to form a reproductive system corporation. You can prepare the legal paperwork and file it yourself with your OB/GYN, provided that he or she resides in any country that provides equitable health care to women without trying to exclude reproductive health care from the rest of her body (you have lots of countries to choose from), and provided that you reside in that country as well. We recommend Denmark but Canada is also beautiful this time of year. Alternatively, you can file at the ballot box each and every time you vote. Some vaginas are Ready for Hillary right now!

How do I choose a corporate name?

The name of a corporation must end with "incorporated," "corporation" or an abbreviation. You are free to deploy anatomically correct verbiage for any part to signify the whole (Karen's Labia Majora, Inc.) a branded name (The Center of the Fucking Universe Corporation) or branded invective of your choice (Back Out of My Vagina You Relentless Misogynists, Inc.).

Can I be the only shareholder in my corporation?

Well, that's the goal, but at this point we do need to disclose that it's currently pretty crowded in your reproductive system. The GOP is all up in there. The religious right has pitched a tent and they won't leave until you replace them with a quiverfull. There are wands and waiting periods and custody disputes and all manner of malarky, and some other corporations keep trying to move in with floral sprays and nozzles and whatnot, and, oh, it's a constant defense against street harassment, sexual assault, you know, the usual. Bottom line, yes, you should be the only shareholder in your reproductive system but it's not a given.

Are there costs involved?

Oh God yes. So sorry about that.

What is a corporate charter?

Also called "articles of incorporation", your charter is a written document filed with a U.S. state by the founders of your corporation detailing the major components of a company such as its objectives, its structure and its planned operations. If the charter is approved by the state government, the company becomes a legal corporation. Basically, this is your manifesto. It's time to write one. Write one for your pussy, your vagina, your clitoris, your uterus, your pituitary glands (oh, also mammary, oh also all your other glands), your ovaries, your heart and soul, your amygdala (and the rest of your brain), your estrogen, your pelvis, your breasts, your colostrum, your granulosa cells (hell, all of your cells), your blood, your internal os, your endometrium, your fallopian tubes (both or one), your cervix, your nipples, your uterine lining (again and again), your G-spot, your pubic hair, your follicles, your eggs (present, past & future), your stretchmarks, your labia, oh my god everything about you, your motherfucking DNA.

Write your corporate charter manifesto and affix your corporate seal. Send it to your government and nail it on your street corner. Help someone write hers by shielding her with your body as a clinic escort or hold her purse in the ER as she stands over a rape kit evidence collection cloth. Then wake up tomorrow and do it again.

That's all there is to it! Please direct any other questions to your elected officials. 


Wednesday
Jun112014

Jamberry, An Untamed State, New and Again

This is a test because this blog has been broken and I'm hoping it's fixed.

(Not a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. Entirely different thing. That lack of that test is how I know this blog isn't media-capital-m, because I'm not on any EBS listserv. That I know of.)

On my mind: the disappointment of second loops vs. the comfort of repetition. I found a stack of children's books in the hall closet when I was looking for an old Hawaiian shirt I need for a party invitation design. Jamberry! I don't now why that was a favorite but it was, looking for berries, berries for jam, and it all came back, the corner of the green couch, a tiny towhead, all the ancient again-again-again physical comfort. 

If I were going to meet your little ones this summer, I would bring them Jamberry and a pail, and we'd go pick blueberries. No stickers or thorns, just pinchable berries. Foraging. Just summer. Maybe get this book until then.  Can you live without those rabbits? You shouldn't have to.

So now this is not a test but has become a summer book recommendation post. Why not, they are everywhere out there, these summer lists. I don't know when I'll be able to tuck this book back into the closet. The hat on the goose. The hat on the boy. I guess I'm waiting to someday be a grandmother? Or for a girlfriend with a toddler? Let's have a baby and make bread with jam. 

I watched part of Mulholland Drive last night, which is the opposite of comfort repeat viewing. One of the things that happened is I found myself waiting and waiting for the beautiful scene in Club Silencio. Llorando. But I was waiting for something I couldn't get to. I realized I was waiting for the feeling I had the first time I saw that scene, but I can't have that now, this many viewings later. You can't have that feeling if you know about it and are waiting for it. I hope there's a name for this paradox, and that it's beautiful, and that I gasp in recognition when I eventually stumble upon it. 

 

I'm not going to review Roxane Gay's An Untamed State but you can find lots of high-placed reviews if you like. I've read a few, they agree the novel is excellent and they all unfailingly use the word "harrowing" so that tells you a lot right there. Kidnapping, hostage, rape, ransom, Haiti. Keywords say the rest. Brutal, but the truth of the book is quieter than that. I highly recommend it, summer reading or otherwise.

Read it because Gay exacts one of the best illustrations of PTSD played out through a character's psyche that I have ever read. It spoke to me in a twilight vocabulary I can't exactly explain because it's pre- or post-verbal, that somatic survival grammar of the beaten, invaded, damned. 

One of hardest-to-bear scenes in the book happens in an airport security line, when the worst is supposed to be over for Mireille but it becomes clear it is never going to be over. The ghost story that shadows the main line is the true terror. There are actually three airport scenes that form a sort of unholy trinity of the duality that is Mireille's truth: the airport experience when she traveled innocently between the split halves of her childhood; with her husband when he kisses the dirty airport floor driving a wedge in her marriage that parallels the duality of her homelands and foreshadows his other limitations; and the After scene, another division between her selves complete as concrete.

All of these layers, halves and wholes, joined and torn narratives are offered with nuance and finesse. 

I miss Mireille, so that tells you should read it. I don't know when I'll read it again, but I imagine I will. It's that close to the bone. I read it the first time because it's new, on so many summer lists, and when I read it again it will be for the comfort of repetition. Maybe not of the story because that won't ever become comforting, but of the twilight language of experience beneath it. I felt a strange comfort with that layer the first time, making it not harrowing at all, if that makes sense. I sort of hope that it doesn't. I think you should read the novel either way.

Saturday
May172014

Framing a 70s Ludo Spil board because time spent with my Danish grandmother was everything. Hjem.

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