Category Archives: joy

merry maytime

my secret favorite holiday of the year is beltaine.  there are a few reasons for this, which i will enumerate:

1.  it is about sex.  outrageous outdoor sex by blazing bonfires.  or off in a leafy dell in the woods.  the only day of the year where you’re supposed to stay out all night & partake in pure unadulterated joyous sex.

2.  in a similar vein, it is about flowers.  [similar because flowers=plant sex.  yes, it’s a theme.]  flowers are another one of my favorite things ever.

3.  it is the first day of my birth month, which i think should be celebrated instead of my birthday.  to hell with birthdays.  may is full of beautiful weather and flowers all month long — what better way to celebrate my birth than dedicate a whole month to it?

so on beltaine, unfortunately once again, i did not have an opportunity to drive a herd of cattle between two bonfires and then sneak off to the woods with my beloved.  sigh.  really all may festivals are about sex.  young girls dancing around a flower-bedecked phallic pole?  clearly about sex.

in spite of my lack of bonfire exposure, i have been making use of this lovely month by spending lots of time in the lovely park by our house, eating ice cream (i’m looking forward to my free birthday sundae courtesy of here), and training for long walks in the hills when we take off and visit our friends in the UK.

yup, you heard me.  all three of you who still read this blog might remember that its roots are in the UK.  after we bought our tickets i said to M, ‘it’s the first time we’ve been back since we left!’

and then we both cracked up.  thank you captain obvious!  what i meant was, it’s the first time we’ve been back since we lived there back in 2008.  and it means a lot to us.  it also means a lot to us that we’ll be staying with our amazing friends, my first ever dyke friends.

in other news, this completes one full year post-grad-school, and i couldn’t be happier.  seriously.  i never, ever, EVER want to do that again.  phew.

i think that’s it.  no angst today!

xo FG


hark, what do i hear calling?

a new year! so much for my plan to blog three times in december!

i feel as though i should write the second december post (more musing, this time on the phrase ‘letting oneself go’) but instead i’ll update you on my life. fun times!

today is a holiday, and instead of working from home, i’m doing laundry & other household errands. because my remote desktop access isn’t really working. and i’m not cool enough to know how to fix it. also i’m rather less inspired to work today than i thought i would be, money be damned!

so: house is clean, laundry is washing, my grocery list is made, & when i get home i’m going to make a frangipane tart for the first time ever with some of the many pears in my fridge. a relative gave us a very large amount of pears for the holidays, and we bravely ate most of them, but there’s several left and it’s getting to be that time…

let’s see…i don’t do year in review posts, but those of you who know me & followed my leaving & returning to this space know that it was QUITE a year. part of me thinks that 2011 had better be a good one. because i’m going to need some time to recover. but the rest of me knows that the more you state intentions and wishes for time and life the more the universe gets to come around and kick you in the ass. so i’ll leave it at this: i hope that the healing and growing that i’m doing every day becomes both easier and more successful. and that the relationships that sustain me grow deeper and stronger.

i saw in a local cafe a box with a sign that said, ‘what do you want NOT to change about yourself in the coming year?’ and there was a stack of notecards that you could write on and add them. i don’t know what they were planning to do with these intentions, but what a cool idea. i’m still pondering this — but i know a couple of things i don’t want to change about myself, either now or ever:

1. my smile
2. my sense of fairness and justice
3. my love of adventure

anyone want to add what they are NOT going to change about themselves? i’m not really into missions of self-improvement, unless there’s something about yourself that makes you think less of yourself. i’m more interested in what makes you great.

Happy new year, two and a half weeks late!
xoxo FG

ps maybe i’ll write that other post this month…you never know!

thank goodness, it’s apple season

i know i’ve written about apples before here.  well i write about apples every year at apple time because there’s very little i love more in this world than a perfect in-season apple fresh from the tree.

and here in MA you can get them from september through november.   yes they are available all year round but i can always tell the difference between an apple that’s been waxed and sitting in cold storage for months and a fresh apple.

this  year september is also a really, really big month for me.  it’s the first september since 2005 that i haven’t gone back to school in some form or another.  2005-6 saw me taking math classes in night school; 2007 was my year in the UK, 2008-9 was my masters’ degree.

and now i’m done.

if you had asked my 23 year old self if i would ever seriously go back to school, i would have laughed in your face.  but growing up and living in new york changed me a great deal.  i realized that i was never going to make it more than i already had as a costumer, and it was time to move on.  it took a while to get it together; i could have done it faster if i hadn’t been insecure about my intellectual and academic ability.  but that was the point.  i was insecure about those aspects of myself and so i had to go to school to prove to myself i could do it.

and i got there, eventually.  i was proving myself to be a decent student, getting good grades and succeeding in my classes.  forming good relationships with my professors and classmates, feeling like a valuable member of the team in group projects.

but it’s sort of ironic — in the absolute chaos and mess of my life this spring, i said goodbye to any sort of academic achievement worries and set my goal to barely passing.  whatever it takes to get my degree, i thought to myself.  and i went to my professors and told them i was barely hanging on and they were going to have to accept what i gave them and not harass me about it.  they accepted this and supported me in doing what i had to do.

and you know what?  my gpa only improved.  i graduated with a solid A/A- average.  which, now that i think about it, is what i basically always get in any class if i do my best and turn in my assignments mostly on time.

i think, after all these years, i can lay my insecurity to rest.  in some ways i went to grad school to prove to myself that i could.  it was really, really expensive, and i’m going to be paying it off for a long time.  but i think i can say it was worth it.  i am so happy to be sitting here in my room on an unexpected day off, writing this blog/journal and feeling really alive.  feeling like i can be myself, not harboring a feeling of self-doubt about whether or not i can be one of the big kids, not feeling defensive and like i have to say ‘i know nothing in my life seems like it but i really am smart!  my ideas and thoughts are worth listening to!  really!’  of course going to school doesn’t automatically mean that, and certainly shouldn’t ever be a requirement for being taken seriously.  many, many brilliant people never get formal schooling.

but it was something i had to do for myself.  and all the way through i thought i couldn’t do it.  all the way through i thought that it was probable that i would ultimately fail.  maybe not fail out of school, but fail to make something to be proud of.  i was wrong.  i am proud of my accomplishment.  i am proud of the papers i wrote.  i am proud of the way i changed the environment of my school for the better, making it easier and safer to be queer there.  and i am so incredibly proud of myself for graduating, and finally being able to close the door on that portion of my life.  i don’t have to go back to school.  this fall, i can put my work down and walk out the door and be free.  i can read what i want to read.  i can spend my evenings doing whatever i want and not feeling guilty.

so today is a day off, because of rosh hashanah, because i work part time for a jewish organization right now while i sort out the rest of my life.  and last night i attended a truly beautiful gathering of progressive queers and jews and queer jews to celebrate the new year, and i was struck by how right it felt to be celebrating the turning of the year at harvest time.  i brought apples (of course!) because to me the idea of eating apples and honey to bring sweetness to the year ahead seems more right than just about any other holiday tradition.  maybe lighting candles at the winter solstice is another one of those supremely appropriate holiday moments.

happy new year, everyone.  eat some apples if you live in the northeast, they don’t ever get better than right now.  put some honey on them and think about how to make that sweetness last all year.


i have a long, long story to tell.  and i know you have all day.  hell, you have all week, right?  so i’ll be telling it in pieces.  some of them will be passworded, but you already knew that.

i moved, as you can see from the post below this one, which will shortly be removed.  now, i’m moving back.

i have missed this space.  for some reason, the new one never really felt like me.  for a lot of reasons, but one major one:  i moved away from this space when my relationship fell apart.  and i’m moving back in because my relationship…is on the mend.

ok, don’t freak out!  and don’t get too excited!  it’s a cautious, slow-burn kind of mending.  one of two adults who have taken some time to really, really try to get to know not only ourselves but each other in a new way.

but i’m really happy.

the other thing that happened (oh happy day) is i graduated from my graduate program.  it was a bit like pulling hen’s teeth, or herding cats, or what have you…but i’m done, my gpa was stellar, and i’m off to a new activist-y life full of amazing people, drama, poverty, and love.

you know what?  it’s good just to see my old categories.  ‘joy’.  ‘life’.  ‘crikey the family’.  i don’t know how many of you still have this blog in your readers, a ghostly reminder of an old friend who jumped ship.  maybe some of you followed me and are irritated (or excited!) to see me return here.  and some of you maybe are here for the first time, you have no idea of my blogging history or who i really am.  because the other space never felt like me.

so here we are!  i hope you will welcome me back.  it’s good to be back.  i’m happier than i’ve been in a long, long time.  i haven’t been this happy since april of 2008, which was the last time my life seemed really hopeful and positive.  it’s been a hard road, and it’s been amazing to share it with you.

ok, enough mushy stuff.  the password is the same as it was over on the other space, email me if you want it.  you know the drill.

xoxo FG