Friday, December 4, 2009

Better Horde Some Canned Goods!

Texas is hilarious. Everybody all week has been talking about the snow which was forecast for today. First it was going to be 2 to 3 inches, then 1/2 inch. They let the kids out of school early today; people stayed home from work. (One friend told me that her boss told everyone on Tuesday (on Tuesday!) not to come in on Friday because it was going to snow!

I didn't see any white stuff, but a friend of J's west of the city said it snowed for about two minutes, "but it didn't land." And I heard that in Round Rock it snowed for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile here in Austin it was a gorgeous crisp sunny day in the upper 40s. Another friend of J's described our big winter storm as "really just sweater weather to the rest of the world."

Bunch of freaks.

This Is What It's About.


The no vote in the New York Senate means that Christine Quinn's 83-year-old father will not be able to see her dance at her wedding. Is the fulfillment of one's girlhood bride fantasies a civil right?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where I Am.

It occurred to me that some people might want an update on the aftermath of my accident last summer. I've been putting off writing about the legal stuff because it's not over yet, and I'm not sure what I'm allowed to discuss. I hired a lawyer pretty soon after the accident when it became clear that the process was more complicated (and more treacherous?) than I had expected. I'll go into all the details, if I'm allowed to, when it's settled. Which we're hoping is imminent. What I will reveal is that my medical bills amounted to about $45,000 and the minimum amount of liability insurance in Texas, which many if not most people carry, is $25,000.

As far as healing, I'm pretty much okay. But there are a few lingering effects, even six months later. There is still a slight swelling and dark cast around my right eye, and the bones of my eye socket and jaw and teeth creak and crackle when I touch or move them. There is a tiny scar under my eyebrow. I still sometimes wake up in the middle of the night because my neck and shoulders are so sore I have trouble moving them. But that's less and less frequent. Most of the time I'm not conscious of these physical effects.

I wonder sometimes, more often lately, about the psychological effect. I threw myself right back into everything three days after the accident. Summer school, my show in New York in September and October, job hunting, substitute teaching, dating, were all pressing. Not to mention the seemingly huge question of what creative project to undertake next.

Certainly the accident didn't create the chaos. Didn't cause the instability in nearly every area of my life right now. Would I be struggling so if I hadn't a few months ago collided with a car so hard that I have no memory of it still? I guess there's no way to ever answer that question.

Post New York, More Scattered Thoughts About Marriage.

So the New York Senate really doesn't want you to get gay married in New York. 38 - 24. Good to know.

I watched the debate live yesterday, which was fascinating for many reasons: one, because it still feels amazing to me to watch our system of government function in real time. I know we've had C-SPAN like forever, but it still gives me a thrill. History happening. And I was very moved watching Senator Tom Duane speak. I remember when we elected him to city council in 1991, what a thrill that victory was.

It was mostly only those in favor of the bill who speechified. Some of the speeches were quite moving, but still they're making the same arguments that don't convince anyone as far as I can tell. If you think it's wrong for two men to love each other, why would you be swayed by someone telling how much and how truly they love each other?

(It's interesting that those against the bill didn't speak. Maybe because they have no argument that isn't based on religious doctrine. Ruben Diaz, the one senator who spoke against the bill, didn't have any qualms about bringing his Bible into the debate.)

Over and over, when politicians and activists make emotional appeals for gay marriage, they insist that they are not asking to change marriage, they are only asking to be treated equally. I don't buy it. I know many same-sex couples who are absolutely devoted to each other, but not sexually exclusive and (rightly) don't see monogamy as a necessary component of a stable, committed, familial relationship. I'm sure many of these couples would, if they could, marry. I have no doubt there are many monogamous same-sex couples (whatever works), but I strongly suspect this is not the rule.

I believe, in general, that our families are different and that it is disingenuous to claim that by allowing gay couples to marry we will not "change the definition of marriage," to use the religious bigots' phrase. If gays can get married, a heterosexual couple might learn from the homosexual couple next door that it's not the end of the world if you relax the rules a bit, and pretty soon it's just a big orgy in the suburbs. (Hm. Maybe I should be for gay marriage after all.)

I'm curious. Are there still laws against adultery in some states? There must be.

That's The Way I Like It Baby, I Don't Want to Live Forever.

Been listening to some Motorhead tonight, trying to blast out this bad mood. I can't ever listen to this song without starting it over and listening again, and again.

I am seriously spinning my wheels lately. I need to be slapped around or something. I was chatting on facebook with a new friend of mine (I spend a lot of time on facebook lately), and he said it sounded like I need a life coach, to which I said yes but coaching is expensive and my biggest problem is that I'm broke, and he said that he'd sit down with me and help me sort things out, and I almost started crying, I was so touched that someone would do that. I guess what I learned from that emotional response (which felt out of proportion) is that I could use some help. I hadn't really occurred to me that I need help with this.

It's probably good that he hasn't known me for very long. He won't have a narrative already in his head about me; he can start a new one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Lemon.

This is my lemon.

We bought a little Meyer lemon tree a couple years ago and planted it in our yard on 15th Street. Last year it produced 2 or 3 fruit, as I remember. When we moved here, we dug it up and brought it with us. It's still in a big pot, because we've been waiting until our container house is finished to decide where to plant it. This year only one lemon survived, but it's huge and almost ripe.

It's been cold the last few days -- Texas cold, which is only down into the 40s at night, 60s in the afternoon -- so I'm getting concerned about it. Should I be covering the tree? or is it really only dangerous if it freezes? Last week, it was so warm the tree thought it was spring and started to blossom. I don't feel so dumb; even the trees don't know what season it is in Texas.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Last Good Nerve.

I'm already in a shitty mood this morning (that cough I had a couple weeks ago has returned, and I was up till 3 a.m. hacking my guts up) and this little email exchange didn't improve my disposition:


My name is Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, sub ID# xxxx. I just got my first check in the mail, but at the orientation/training I signed up for direct deposit. Please let me know if there was some problem with that, and if there are additional steps I need to take to start direct deposit.


And the reply:
Remember at the orientation when Ms. [So-and-so] went over the direct deposit information? Your direct deposit does not start until the second pay period you have worked.

[bitch's name]
HR Technician
Now, why would I have emailed asking why my first check wasn't direct deposited if I had remembered that Ms. So-and-so told us at the orientation that direct deposit doesn't start until the second pay period? So who is more stupid? That's what I want to write back, "Dear Ms. I'm-condescending-because-I-hate-my-job: Who is more stupid? Me or you?" Or better yet: "Who hates their job more? Me or you?" I can tell you right now, you will not win that contest.

Monday, November 30, 2009


I'm late to the party, but now I'm a total convert. It would be against my religion to not love somebody this fucking weird.

Another Half-Baked Theory for Monday Morning.

You often hear the hypothesis that homosexual men are caught in eternal adolescence. Because of homophobia, because of our fear of persecution, and because we grow up isolated in a heterosexual world, we are deprived-- at least until recently -- of a natural sexual coming of age, so we're stuck in that experimental stage all our lives. That's why we're promiscuous and turn everything into sexual innuendo. That's the theory, anyway.

At least we made it as far as adolescence. Sometimes I think heterosexual men never make it past kindergarten. Fatherhood only seems to exacerbate it. Finally, they have someone around who is developmentally the same age to play with. Have straight men always acted like little boys or is this something new in our culture? If it is not a new phenomenon, I think it is new for men to be so unapologetic about it. Look at how they dress. There's virtually no difference in the wardrobe of 5-year-olds boys and 40-year-old men.

Come to think of it, the dominant gay male "look" right now is a total appropriation of the straight cargo shorts and baseball cap thing. But it's not because we want to be little boys. It's because we want to be straight men, or have straight boyfriends, or something like that.

Culture sure is complicated.