Monday, November 30, 2009

$1063.26

I'm completely amazed and stunned by that amount. 2 weeks ago, I, in desperation, begged Joan Crawford fans, readers of the "Best of Everything" website, for contributions to help me stay in New York, to help me pay my rent... And they responded with over $1000 and tons of spiritually, psychologically helpful "you GO girl"-type of good, powerful wishes ...

WOW. I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for everything... the kindness of their thoughts... and the utter kindness of their donating anything to me. Even donations from some people who are themselves unemployed, or from teenaged kids who still live at home with their parents...

My Joan site really has meant something to them since 2004. And they're now literally paying it back. Revealing, I think, the true character of all of us Joan fans: Support for hard work, acceptance of admitted weakness, support for a dream...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks also for this "Bad Romance"

a la Lady Gaga:

"I want your love
And I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance..."

This song makes me wish I were back in my club days again!



Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance
Rah rah ah-ah-ah!
Ro mah ro-mah-mah
Gaga Ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

Rah rah ah-ah-ah!
Ro mah ro-mah-mah
Gaga Ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

I want your ugly
I want your disease
I want your everything
As long as it’s free
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love

I want your drama
The touch of your hand
I want your leather-studded kiss in the sand
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love

You know that I want you
And you know that I need you
I want it bad
Your bad romance

I want your loving
And I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!)
I want your loving
All your love is revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Rah rah ah-ah-ah!
Ro mah ro-mah-mah
Gaga Ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

I want your horror
I want your design
‘Cause you’re a criminal
As long as you're mine
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love, uhh

I want your psycho
Your vertigo stick
Want you in my room
When your baby is sick
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love
Love-love-love
I want your love

You know that I want you
And you know that I need you
(‘Cause I’m a freak bitch, baby!)
I want it bad
Your bad romance

I want your loving
And I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!)
I want your loving
All your love is revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Rah rah ah-ah-ah!
Ro mah ro-mah-mah
Gaga Ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

Walk-walk fashion baby
Work it
move that bitch crazy
Walk-walk fashion baby
Work it
move that bitch crazy
Walk-walk fashion baby
Work it
move that bitch crazy
Walk-walk fashion baby
Work it
I’m a freak bitch baby

I want your love
And I want your revenge
I want your love
I don’t wanna be friends

J'veux ton amour
Et je veux ton revenge
J'veux ton amour
I don't wanna be friends

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
(I don't wanna be friends)
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

(I don't wanna be friends)
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh!
(Want your bad romance)
Caught in a bad romance
(Want your bad romance)

I want your loving
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!)
I want your loving
All your love is revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
(Want your bad romance)
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance
(Want your bad romance)
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh!
(Want your bad romance)
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh!
Caught in a bad romance

Rah rah ah-ah-ah!
Ro mah ro-mah-mah
Gaga Ooh-la-la!
Want your bad romance

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving '09

This year has been sparse, but I'm thankful for:

My mom's generosity.
The generosity of Joan Fans this past month.
My health (not mental health, surely, but physical!).
My quiet apartment with nice landlords.
The Cowboys and Longhorns games on today! (yearly traditions to watch; enjoyable even by myself)

-----------------------

Speaking of "thanks" in general, and karma:

Years ago, in the maudlin doldrums, I remember thinking about Sylvia Plath and what her karmic punishment might have been for killing herself, for not being grateful for what she had. I came up with the perfect wicked scenario: She would be reincarnated as ME -- a poet, but not as talented as she had been; smart, but not as brilliant or as well-educated (state schools vs. Smith/Cambridge); and not as lucky in love (she bitched about Ted, but...I've been cheated on WITHOUT the benefit of someone brilliant and sexy to live with for 7 years!). The girl didn't recognize how lucky she actually was.

As for me today: Gee, back in Austin when I had a job and a car and friends and a family to be with on Thanksgiving, did I appreciate it? NO, not enough. Though I still don't think I made the wrong decision in moving to NYC. If I could only get situated job-wise here, I definitely don't mind not having a car; and seeing my family only once a year, at Christmas, isn't too bad, though I do wish I could see my nephews a lot more... As for friends: well, once you start working at a place regularly, and start having a regular income so you can spend money on going out, you start to make friends and start to go out! So...while I think I was partially ungrateful for my life in Austin, there's still something up here in NYC that my soul NEEDED to try for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Plastic Bat / White Cat, Windshield / Bug

Your horoscope for November 25, 2009

Love is coming your way, STEPHANIE, and you are likely to be more passionate than usual. Be careful, however, for your enthusiasm for the object of your desire may go a bit overboard at this time. It is quite possible that you have an unrealistic view of the situation. It also could be that someone is leading you on, making you think something that isn't necessarily completely true.


---------------------------------------------------------

[I may be by born nature constantly hopeful and romantic, but I ain't stoooopid. I remember last year around this time going over the same stuff with the same person; I remember the past 44 years. Everything is mostly utterly arbitrary. Surface stuff that others respond to/react to because of their own pasts, innate inclinations. Hardly anything about YOU.]

Let the below remain a real-life lesson to me about "how life goes":

PLASTIC BAT: Age 6, Iowa Park, Texas: Next-door neighbor Al Aceves (dad mocked him as stupid, mom wondered why I helped Mrs. Aceves take in her groceries, but never helped her) organized a softball game for all of the neighborhood kids/teens: "Go get your bats and gloves and meet me back here." I was 6, I was excited, I ran to get the only softball equipment I knew of: my plastic bat. All the kids arrived back in Aceves's front yard. He checked out all of the equipment that all of us had brought, then told me: "Can't use that plastic bat." I was a crushed 6-year-old. I can still see me standing there sadly holding my plastic bat while all of the older kids walked away to play without me.

WHITE CAT: Age 20, Austin, Texas: My first poetry class. There were some stunning heavy-hitters there, and I turned out to be one of them. But there were also many people who didn't write so well. One was a girl who wrote things like "White cat, sitting on my rug, I wonder what you think..." I pitied her and utterly ignored her, while simultaneously, shallowly triumphing in my own glory of being, for once, "one of the good ones."

As the song goes: "Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mean Cripples

Today I saw a feel-good ad on TV that showed a retarded girl being crowned prom queen. Everyone in the shallow, teenaged crowd wildly beamed with whitened teeth and applauded themselves for being so saccharinely warm-hearted.

For some reason, the smarminess of the ad ticked me off. And I also started wondering: What if that retarded girl were a real bitch? (I have no experience with retarded people; but on TV they're ALWAYS portrayed as good-natured and lovable. Are any of them in real life just plain intentionally mean, just like some people in any other group? Or does Down's Syndrome automatically override the "bitchy" gene?)

Which all flashed me back to my junior high and high school years, to a little Crippled Bitch named Amy. I don't remember what exactly was wrong with her physically -- something debilitating that had shrunken and twisted her limbs. She could still use her arms and hands, but not her legs, so she was always in a wheelchair. She wasn't, though, one of those cripples who can't speak correctly or who writhes around and so is embarrassing; rather, she was smart and from the best neighborhood in town, and so had teacher support and a "posse" of 3 smug future-banker-wives types and the one guy in school everyone thought was gay (even though in 1977 small-town-Texas, we 6th graders really didn't know what "gay" was; we just talked amongst ourselves about whether the guy was a guy or a girl -- he had a neutral name, so no one could really tell! He went on in high school to become the first male mascot.)

Amy was a mean little bitch!

Our bad blood started in 6th grade, when we were both up for the same part in a school play. I can't remember the play or the part now, but in try-outs, I was better than her, and everybody knew it. A teacher even took me aside after my audition and asked if I wanted to try out for a different part; I knew this meant that she was going to give that part to Amy. I really, really wanted to be in the play, but I was stubborn, and told her "no." I wanted THAT part. My friends even begged me to just give in and take another part so we could have fun together. "NO." I, of course, didn't get the part I wanted; didn't get to be in the play (though the latter was my own stubborn fault).

In 7th and 8th grades, Amy had an annual summer "Snoopy Party" at the pool at her house, making it a point to hand out invitations publicly, so everybody would know who exactly was receiving the "honor" of being invited. Only the "loser" kids (bad students, cheap or stinky clothes, budding druggies) were not invited. I was pretty, well-groomed, an A-student, played sports, had a group of friends who were all invited. The little crippled bitch didn't invite me either year!

Once in high school, Amy and Her Cripple Cadre took over the Student Council. In Senior Year, the Council met to discuss the theme of the prom that year. The vast majority of the group voted for one theme; Amy and the Cadre wanted another. And managed to maneuver the parliamentary procedures so that, after 3 or 4 votes, they ended up getting exactly what they wanted! Their manipulations were outrageous (though perfectly legal), and no one intervened to stop them, or even seemed to be angry about what they'd just done. I was Editor of the school paper, and wrote an editorial about what I'd just witnessed -- something about "the letter versus the spirit of the law," blah-blah-blah. I was hoping for an uproar of some sort amongst both those on the Council who'd wanted the more popular theme and the general school population. Nothing. Except even more of a cold shoulder from the Cadre.

Further along in Senior Year, the Mean Crippled Bitch struck again. It was the time of year when teachers in our home-rooms were taking nominations for things like "Most Beautiful," "Most School Spirited," etc. Once the nominees were chosen, the whole school would then vote on the winners, which would appear in our yearbook at the end of the year. One of my close friends was in home-room with Amy (though I wasn't) when the teacher asked for nominations for "Most Likely to Succeed." When I was nominated, Amy piped up with, "Yeah, most likely to succeed...at DRUGS!" My friend dutifully reported how everyone laughed; my name didn't move forward.

Now, in hindsight, I suppose they were right! I didn't ultimately become too successful! But that's not the point. At that time, while I did wear John Lennon and anti-military T-shirts to school and walked around with a surly expression on my face -- I was also Editor of the school paper; I was a National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist (the only one in our school; and we had only one Finalist, as well); I'd come in 2nd in STATE in UIL editorial writing; I'd won the academic awards in English for all 4 years; I'd won an essay contest sponsored by our local Congressman; I was active in school activities. I was fully qualified to be nominated... SANS bitchy sarcasm! :)

As for drugs... at that point, I'd never even seen a joint, much less any harder stuff; never drank; and had maybe smoked 4 cigarettes in my life. And the biggest irony is: AMY HERSELF WAS A REGULAR SECRET POT SMOKER!!!!!!! While I was mainly friends with the school nerds (paper staff, band members, science/math team kids), I also had a few smart "thug" friends -- one of whom had on several occasions provided Little Miss Cripple with joints and had smoked with her!!!

Oh, I was boiling mad. And, at the time, too darn wimpy to confront her. (One doesn't confront Little Crippled Chicks.) Over the past nearly-30 years, I've continued to have fantasies about what I should have done: We had an English class together; I've fantasized about marching up to her, saying firmly and sternly, "I need to speak to you in the hall." If she refused, I would then start my chastising tirade loudly in front of the whole class: "How DARE you accuse me of taking drugs! I've never taken anything in my entire life! And YOU, YOU'RE the one who smokes pot regularly, you hypocrite! How DARE you!"

(Whew! That felt good!) :) :)

God, but that bitch was pretty much the representative of everything that I considered awful/evil then, and still consider awful/evil now: Getting favored not because she was more talented but because she was crippled; publicly not inviting people to her parties; manipulating rules to get her way; the hypocrisy of publicly and FALSELY dissing people for an action that she herself was participating in.

Though I do have two softer memories of her...

(1) She and I were both in a drama class together in 9th grade and were performing a one-act play in front of a school assembly. We had one scene together, just the two of us, with rapid-fire, angry lines of dialogue back-and-forth. In the middle of the scene, she froze completely... We were two feet apart; I could see the panic and pleading in her eyes... When I realized what was happening, I pretended that her character wasn't answering me deliberately, and went on with my lines as a speech, as if my character were angry with hers for deliberately not responding. It worked. It saved her scrawny, wheelchair-bound ass! ;p Afterwards, backstage, she was big enough to thank me, and to ask me for a hug... I felt very close to her then. (You'd've thought she would've remembered that nice moment in Senior Year!)

(2) The friend who'd sold Amy pot told me that, once, while they were smoking, she'd revealed how sad she was that she was in a wheelchair; how she'd always wanted a boyfriend but didn't think she'd ever have one because of her condition...

The last thing I ever heard about her: One of my friends roomed with her at TCU their freshman year of college. My friend, L., was, probably still is, one of the nicest people in the world. But years later told me that, as Amy's roommate, she somehow became responsible for carrying her to the bathroom, and doing numerous other personal chores that ultimately became simply too much to handle. After the first year, they didn't room together again. (Don't know what happened to Amy after that. L. was gay briefly, later married a man who despised gay people, had kids with him; I'm assuming she's still kept her secret from him all these years.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Empire State of Mind



"The city never sleeps better slip you an Ambien..."

[Jay-Z]
yeah
Yeah I'm out that Brooklyn.
Now I'm down in Tribeca.
Right next to DeNiro
But I'll be hood forever
I'm the new Sinatra
And since I made it here
I can make it anywhere
(Yeah they love me everywhere)
I used to cop in Harlem
All of my Dominicanos (Hey yo)
Right there off of Broadway
Brought me back to that McDonalds
Took it to my stash spot
560 State Street
Catch me in the kitchen like Simmons whipping Pastry
Cruising down 8th street
Off-white Lexus
Driving so slow
(but BK, it's from Texas!!)
Me I'm out that BedStuy
Home of that boy Biggie
now I live on Billboard
and I brought my boys with me
Say what up to Ta-ta
Still sipping Mai Tais
Sitting courtside
Knicks and Nets give me high-5
Nigga, I be Spiked out
I could trip a referee
...tell by my attitude that I'm MOST DEFINITELY FROM...

[Alicia Keys]
New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York


[Jay-Z]
I made you hot nigga,
Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game,
shit I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can,
you should know I bleed Blue, but I ain't a crip tho,
but I got a gang of niggas walking with my clique though,
welcome to the melting pot,
corners where we selling rocks,
Afrika bambaataa shit,
home of the hip hop,
yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back,
for foreigners it ain't fitted act like they forgot how to act,
8 million stories out there and they're naked,
city it's a pity half of y’all won’t make it,
me I gotta plug a special and I got it made,
If Jeezy's payin LeBron, I’m paying Dwayne Wade,
3 dice cee-lo
3 card marley,
Labor Day parade, rest in peace Bob Marley,
Statue of Liberty, long live the World Trade,
long live the king yo,
I’m from the Empire State thats…

[Alicia Keys]
In New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

Welcome to the bright light..

[Jay-Z]
Lights is blinding,
girls need blinders
so they can step out of bounds quick,
the side lines is blind with casualties,
who sip the lite casually, then gradually become worse,
don’t bite the apple Eve,
caught up in the in crowd,
now you're in-style,
and in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out,
the city of sin is a pity on a whim.
good girls gone bad, the city's filled with them,
Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out,
everybody ride her, just like a bus route,
Hail Mary to the city your a Virgin,
and Jesus can’t save you life starts when the church ends,
came here for school, graduated to the high life,
ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,
MDMA got you feeling like a champion,
the city never sleeps better slip you a Ambien

[Alicia Keys]
New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

[Alicia Keys]
One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty,
no place in the World that can compare,
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeaaahh
come on, come,
yeah,

[Alicia Keys]
New York!!!!
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There's nothing you can’t do,
Now you're in New York!!!
These streets will make you feel brand new,
the lights will inspire you,
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York

[End]

Did I just get a reprieve??????

Lord almighty, I'm dreaming.

1) Did a temp employer from 2 years ago just e-mail me and ask if I was available for a project that runs through January?

2) Did the woman whose very soul I feel (!) just mention "Leo" (me!) alongside her usual "Virgo" on her blog?

3) Did Joan Crawford fans just contribute money for my December rent because they knew how much I loved Joan and how much time I'd devoted to the website over the past 5 years without ever asking for anything, and because I told them how much I sincerely loved New York and begged them for donations to the website so I wouldn't have to leave just yet?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU, GOD, FOR EVERYTHING --- for this brief reprieve, for the chance to stay, if even for a little while, in the oh-so-beautiful city that I'm in love with. (And thank you, also, for Sandra's beautiful spirit, for her innate ability to forgive.)

We'll see what happens. We'll see. I am so overflowing with gratitude right now. Just took a walk to the Hudson at 11pm and looked at the NYC skyline and cried with gratitude. There was no one around, so I also said out loud a couple of things: "Thank you, god, for letting me be here. Thank you. Thank you." and "Thank you, New York, for letting me be here and letting me look at you. You are sooooooooooo pretty."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yes, it's sexist.

Hey, Obama's also a controversial cutie -- why doesn't Newsweek run a cover pic of him shirtless playing basketball, hmmm? Because it would be disrespectful, that's why.

Just as it's disrespectful to run this photo of Palin in her shorts on the cover of an alleged NEWS magazine. (A shot Newsweek stole from "Runner's World" magazine.)

Ironically, the below quote accompanied Palin's "Runner's World" article:

"It doesn't matter your background, your demographics, your race, your political
affiliation, it's such a uniting, healthy, fun, awesome activity. It cracks me up going to some running event and seeing some dude who campaigned so hard against me, or a lady who's been blogging some mean comments about me. But we're all there together and we're smiling and we're having a good time because we're going to do something healthy and active. We need more of that."

The idiotic, overtly biased behavior of the corporately intertwined Newsweek/NBC/MSNBC ever since the 2008 Presidential campaign is every bit as bad as that of the right-wing Fox network, on the other end of the political spectrum. In fact, while I still can't stomach Glenn Beck's drama, it's now come to the point where I, a life-long Democrat, would much rather watch the relatively sane Bill O'Reilly on Fox rather than the overtly insane, snarky, asshole Keith Olbermann on MSNBC any day of the week.


RE: "Swim at your own risk"

She forgets this Leo's love of water signs. (p.s. The below poem, part of my 1995 thesis, used to be titled "Of Luonnotar" -- pretentiously -- after a Nordic sea goddess. I think the new title is now "Swim At Your Own Risk.")

------------------------------------------------------------

There is something left unsaid: for wounding eyes
a cut of silence bled for washing clean.
In frequent deep, voices unwed; lone
divers careless in this wet sky,
a stroke above the clouds that part their waves to meet god.

She swims to this sign: a glass-winged girl
heaven-sent, stirring sluggish soil
and flooding deaf horizons with the brook's gurgle,
a babble academy loosing its flow,
dismissing what may shatter stone.

There is no fear of drowning, no caution at the water's edge.
All is safe, she will say, in sinking to the sea below.

Monday, November 16, 2009

East Texas Me-Ma

My grandma, Me-Ma, on my father's side lived in a trailer in East Texas. While my parents were still married, we'd visit her maybe twice a year. My mom was German and always kept me very well-groomed, so I was a favorite with Me-Ma among the cousins, just because I looked cleaner than the "scruffy little locals"! :)

One time during one summer, when I was 8 or so, my parents let me stay with Me-Ma for a whole week by myself. On the surface, I don't remember that much about my stay, except for getting to scrounge through her costume jewelry box, and running errands with her. (And, in the car, her mildly chastising me for reciting "Beans, beans, a musical fruit, the more you eat 'em, the more you toot.")

But once I got home, I remember crying and crying and crying. My parents asked and asked me what was wrong, and all I could say then was that I missed Me-Ma... What I missed about her, what was so different from my own home, was that she was kind to me. Not that she bought me things or anything, but rather that she listened when I talked and had conversations with me; she showed me things; she took me around with her. She made me feel like a normal person. I hadn't had that at home. And discovering it, and then losing it, hurt awfully. I was 8 and I was momentarily utterly heartbroken.

Jobs

I was looking on craigslist for jobs tonight. Found one for $7 an hour; one for
$8 an hour; one for $10 an hour.

Let's see: At 40 hours a week, before taxes, that would be... $1120 a month; $1280 a month; $1600 a month.

This is what's being offered for a copy editor in New York City? I made $7, $8, and $10 an hour in Austin, back before I'd ever even gotten my Bachelor's Degree, doing shit jobs.

My rent now, for a modest place outside of NYC, is $1550.

How is it expected that a grown woman in NYC can live on $1120 or $1600 a month?

You stupid, stupid, AWFUL motherfuckers.

Lack of Mentors

I've never had any mentor, anybody I could turn to for life/career advice.

When I got to UT in '83 at age 18, I was a lost kid. Nobody helped me. Several professors/grad students offered me an "A" in their classes if I would "have coffee with them" regularly. I kid thee not. Three times I was overtly offered this: specifically, an "A" if I'd see the professor/grad student socially. I was shocked, I didn't think the professors/grad students were attractive, and I said "no" each time.

Was THAT bullshit my chance at having a mentor?

I never had a professor take an interest in me. I loved the 3 poetry classes that I took with David Wevill, and I know that my poetry was good... But I don't think Wevill particularly liked me, and, come to think of it, I don't think he helped anyone else, even his favorites, get anything published. Why not, Wevill? You lazy fuck. Too much trouble?

I do dislike Wevill for his laziness. After his own personal success in the early '60s, the man gave up. Got his tenure, and then promptly gave up, never helping anyone else, even though that minor effort wouldn't have hurt him a bit. I have very little respect for him, though I did think he was a good teacher.

As I write this, at age 44, I'm melancholy: Wishing I'd had a mom or dad that guided me emotionally; wishing that when I'd gotten to college I'd had someone to guide me intellectually. I've had to raise myself and educate myself, and I think I've been sloppy and haphazard about it.

Damage, by Josephine Hart

"Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive."

Whenever the movie came out, I remember talking about it with my boss. She thought it was surreal, extreme. I thought it was ultra-real and horrible and frightening, based on my past experience. I envied her ability to look at it serenely, from a distance.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Brain Sex Test

A couple of days ago, I caught a couple of seconds of the "Dr. Oz" show (he's one of Oprah's acolytes who's now got his own show), and the topic was, "What type of woman are you?" (nurturing, organizing, etc.) One thing he mentioned, that I'd never heard of before, was that, thanks to the testosterone we're exposed to in the womb, most men have ring fingers that are longer than their index (pointer) fingers; while, among women, either the two fingers are relatively equal in length, or the index finger is slightly longer.

Well, of course, I immediately looked at my hands: longer ring fingers! Manly! Actually, I'm not that manly. While I'm mentally competitive, and especially competitive with men (thanks to a childhood of being told that women were inferior, as well as being well aware that I was smarter than most of the boys in my classes while they got touted for being smarter, except in head-to-head competitions with me), I'm actually extremely sensitive to my surroundings and to others' psyches, which is considered a "female" trait. (Though, my often-intentional ignoring of others' states of mind because I find them irrational or unfair is perhaps rather masculine and cold. And, to this day, I remain extremely proud of the fact that I stopped believing in the Bible practically the second that I read there that women were to be subservient to men. I was 15. Even at that young age, I recognized utter illogical bullshit when I saw it, despite its utter hold on our culture.)

Anyhow, childhood traumas/mental triumphs aside, after I saw the "Dr. Oz" show, I got curious about the "ring-finger/testosterone thing." And came across this BBC "Brain Sex" test.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/articles/testosterone.shtml

For me, it turned out to be pretty generic and inconclusive, despite my longer ring fingers. I scored in the "50" percentile, which is what the average "female brain" scored. (Though, in the "Eyes" section -- reading the emotions of 15 pairs of eyes -- I got every one right! Very female of me. I liked that one. Proud to know that I can spot dead, blank eyes when I see 'em.)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pictured: Me and Daddy, 1965



Happy memories that I have of my Daddy:

(1) When I was little, still wetting my bed (4 or 5?)... If I woke up in the night and I'd wet the bed, I'd call out for Daddy, because he wouldn't get mad. If, on the other hand, I woke up in the night and hadn't wet the bed and just wanted a drink of water or something, I'd call out for Mommy. I knew that Daddy was the nicer, less-judgmental one!
(2) When I was 5 or 6 or so... When my Daddy came home from work, he smelled, in a GOOD way. I was a little freak -- I always asked for my Daddy's musky T-shirt to take to bed with me, and I'd sleep with his T-shirts.
(3) At 10 or 11, going to the Air Force-base swimming pool. (Though NOT the time that we drove there playing "The Sweat Game"--windows of the car rolled up in the Texas heat, suffering/sweating utterly, to see who would give in first and ask for the air-conditioning -- I was as stubborn as he was. Only to find that the pool was closed that day!) I loved riding on his back in the water. I also liked other base-things, like pinball and bowling.
(4) Staying up late and watching movies.
(5) Taking a Reader's Digest word-test with him, and scoring higher, and him not getting mad.
(5) Post-divorce: As a college student, showing him poems by Plath and Sexton. (He found Plath "angry" and liked Sexton.)

I also appreciate the family myth (told to me by my mother) that in 1968, when we lived in South Carolina: The day Martin Luther King was shot, my father stayed up all night sitting by the door with a rifle, just in case "angry Negroes" came to white neighborhoods seeking revenge. In 2009, this sounds crazy, but in 1968, many Southerners, especially in South Carolina, really did fear this as a possibility. I do honor my father's sitting-up-with-the-rifle-all-night 1968 protectiveness of his family.

Congratulations, Yankees! / Sweat-pants!

Their 27th world championship, the most in any sport!

I must say, I seem to be a good-luck charm wherever I go... :) When I lived in San Fran in '94-'95, the dread Cowboy-rivals, the 49ers, won the Super Bowl. And while I've been living in NY, the NFC East Cowboy-rivals, the Giants, won the Super Bowl. And now this! :)

I didn't grow up as any sort of baseball fan, Texas or otherwise, so I can now be genuinely happy for my new home-town team, the Yankees! (Football-wise, though, I can NEVER be a Giants fan, since they're in the exact-same division as the Cowboys.)

p.s. I was in a happy mood this afternoon -- went and got a cheap ($28) but good Jersey haircut; then, on my 40-block walk home, stopped at a sporting-goods store and bought a $15 pair of sweat-pants, which also made me happy, having lived with 2 crappy, decrepit pair of sweat-pants for after-work-comfortwear for the past 5-or-more years. (The receipt from the sporting-goods store, and a sign in the window, said, "If the Yankees win the World Series, this location will open at 5 am the following day." It makes me happy to think that Yankee fans will be so excited that they'll be at the store at 5 am!)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Paparazzi/Lady Gaga

I can't get this song out of my head. I dreamt it last night, woke up hearing it, have been walking around with it all day...

Sorry to say, I don't find Gaga physically sexy in the least; despite her overt, constant "men-men-men, but I'm also bi" verbal and video proclamations of her ravenous sexuality, she seems, in actuality, much more like a dorky guy who becomes fabulous only when in drag. (For instance, check out the opening scenes of this long version of the video; they're supposed to be erotic, but to me seem only awkward. Despite all of her accoutrements, she's guy-stiff, doesn't at all move like a woman.)

But, as a performer and conceptualist, she's very mentally interesting! I started catching the tail-end of the video on MTV a couple of weeks ago, where a smirking, black-cupid-lipped Gaga is poisoning her boyfriend... I was first interested in the plot and the visuals, then... the catchiness of the song itself took over! (I also now find myself internally stuttering on about "mymymymymymymymypokerface"...)