Category Archives: life

the month of march

March is a big deal month in my household.  M and I celebrate two anniversaries in March — the relationship anniversary and the wedding anniversary.  17 years and 9 years respectively.  I was at work yesterday and one of my coworkers came in all excited because she got engaged the night before, and it was one of those strange moments where I felt really old and really queer and really out of the mainstream.  They went around the group and told their engagement stories, and I thought I wouldn’t join in until the last minute when the coworker I’m closest to jumped into the lull at the end of the story and said ‘FG…it’s your turn!’

So I told my story, and felt even older.  ‘back in the day before debit cards, M went to the bank & took out a lot of cash, then she went to the jewelry store & said she wanted to buy a diamond ring for a friend…because this was back in the day when people just weren’t that out…then we got on a plane & went to Paris and she proposed on her knee in the mud in the Jardin du Luxembourg…’  Yeah.  January 5, 2000.  Back when this group was still in grade school.  Sometimes life feels a little surreal.

So M and I will figure out some way to celebrate appropriately this month.  It makes it all the more meaningful that last year at this time we were basically not speaking to each other.   Honestly though if it’s not one thing it’s another.  The relationship realm feels much more stable to me right now, but I’m struggling with some really intense personal stuff that feels like it’s sometimes winning.  There are times when I feel like there’s no amount of support that could even begin to keep me on my feet.  Part of me wants to say that it’s the weather, the winter, the transition to working full time — but deep down I know it’s more to do with the ghosts that are haunting me than anything environmental.

In happier and more exciting news, we signed up for a farm share.  It feels like a really significant investment in the future.  It’s a statement of intent in a way — we plan to be here this summer and maybe always.  We plan to be together sharing food.  We are investing in our local community — the farm is literally right down the street, an outpost of urban farming.  We are deepening our roots in this place.  We are also signing up for WAY MORE VEGETABLES than we will easily be able to eat.  Stay tuned for hilarious late summer posts about how to deal with the deluge.

I think that’s it for now.

xo FG

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25 most played

someone posted this meme on that terrible blue and white social networking media, and i am embarrassingly still part of it. so…i am bored and posting it.

here goes:

  1. Lovers:  Tonight
  2. Lovers:  Dead Deer
  3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs:  Hysteric
  4. The National:  Bloodbuzz Ohio
  5. Arcade Fire:  Wake Up
  6. The Cliks:  Not Your Boy
  7. Hunter Valentine:  She Only Loves Me When She’s Wasted
  8. The Damned:  Life Goes On
  9. Lady GaGa:  Paparazzi
  10. The Go-Betweens:  Quiet Heart
  11. Lovers:  Igloo for Ojos
  12. Arcade Fire:  Crown of Love
  13. New Order:  Ceremony
  14. Joy Division:  Atmosphere
  15. Lovers:  Peppermint (from Darklight, a remix of a song originally on Star Lit Sunken Ship)
  16. Hunter Valentine:  Youthful Existence
  17. MGMT:  Time To Pretend
  18. Scissor Sisters:  Don’t Feel like Dancin
  19. Echo & The Bunnymen:  Bring on the Dancing Horses
  20. M.I.A.:  Paper Planes
  21. Lovers:  Perpetual Motion, Perpetual Sound
  22. Lovers:  From A Highway
  23. Yeah Yeah Yeahs:  Turn Into
  24. Depeche Mode:  The Sinner In Me
  25. Lady GaGa:  Bad Romance

since there’s heavy representation on this list from Lovers, which (surprise!) is my favorite band, here’s their website:  www.holdmyclothes.com

what’s funny about this meme is that the 25 most played songs are indeed mostly my favorites.  but it also reflects a series of really difficult times in my life, when i put various of these songs on repeat for hours as i tried to calm myself down.  i won’t walk you through them all, but it’s a funny thing to keep track of in a way.  sometimes i listen to this list at not-sad times to desensitize myself to them.

some new faves:  still Lovers (of course) but also Sharon Van Etten, i’m on a huge New Order kick right now, and i’m actually listening to the radio a fair amount.

what are you listening to?

professional blues

i probably shouldn’t write about work here, and i won’t say anything specific, but instead just meditate on hard times for a moment. i’ve been out of school for several months now, looking for a job steadily during that time. i haven’t sent out tons and tons of applications, because what i’m looking for is really specific, but i also believe that i’m an extremely well-qualified candidate for the thing i’m looking for.

and i’ve sent out all these job applications, and had one interview. one. for a temp job, and i didn’t get it. i understand how hard it is right now with the bad economy and funding for just about everything drying up. but i want to know why i’m not getting interviews. i know people who get interviews all the time and flub them. i don’t, as a rule, flub interviews. i shine in interviews. i convince people who think i’m woefully underqualified that i might just have what it takes after all. even the job i didn’t get gave me tons of positive feedback on the interview.

but now my student loan payments are coming due, and i really thought that by this time it would have happened. i would have found something amazing. or at least good enough. as the year gets darker and colder, and the bills that i was just about covering comfortably almost double with the addition of my loan payments, i feel like i’m sinking into a kind of darkness. i hate being dependent on the kindness of anyone — even my beloved spouse, who is subsidizing me right now. i hate looking at myself in the mirror, growing puffy with lack of exercise and wearing old clothes that were either purchased three or four years ago or in thrift stores. i feel like my brain is slowly atrophying with the dullness of my temp job.

i know this will pass, or at least i cling to the hope that it will. i have lots of good days. i am surrounded by good friends and i have a warm place to live and food to eat and even health and dental insurance. but i want to be able to provide those things for myself. and more than that, i want to be challenged and appreciated and useful. i want to be employed not only to provide material things for myself and my loved ones, but to be contributing to the cultural exchange of ideas and work. i love working. i love going to work and having colleagues and the drama of having big deadlines to meet and the challenge it takes to meet them. i’m sad right now because i don’t have those things, and i’m not creative or disciplined enough to manufacture them for myself. some people have a day job, and a creative endeavor that is their true sustenance. for me, my work is my sustenance. which is why i’ve been selective about what to apply for — but now, i suppose i’m paying the price.

i’m really struggling with how sad and hopeless i feel about all this. i’m frustrated with myself on all sorts of levels. i can’t get away from the self-blame — if i were just more ambitious, if i had sent out more applications, if i had taken different classes or developed different skills i wouldn’t be suffering this way. if i were less gay. if i were more corporate. if i were smarter or more savvy or less self-indulgent. i don’t even know what i should be — the hard thing is that it feels like what i am is wrong.

this will pass i know but i just had to get it out of my system. thanks for reading.

***update***

literally just this minute i was notified of a job interview. maybe i just needed to wallow in misery for a while. the universe uses me as a yo-yo. whatever. i feel a bit better now.

i hear the way you lie…

so, you remember my post about that eminem & rihanna song, where i discuss how painful and difficult it is for me to listen to it, and how i do and don’t identify with it.  and lo and behold, some amazing people remade it with a message of empowerment and survival.

i am so glad.  it is like a perfect antidote.  and though it gets a tiny bit corny in a couple of spots, i’m just so happy it’s out there, and when i think about that song i can think about this version now too.

enjoy!

be still my beating heart

oh not really.  wouldn’t that be the dreaded alternative we’re always reminded of on our birthdays?  and how do i always end up starting blog posts with non-sequiturs?

oh dear.  where i was going with that was, omg two posts in one month!  be still my beating heart!

ok focus!

i’m in montreal right now, and i thought i’d write about it.  the storm from hell has been raging all day, which means your correspondent was bedraggled and wet before the day even got started, and my resemblance to ‘something the cat dragged in’ got stronger and stronger all day.  no one seemed to mind though.

i’m really impressed with this city.  we’re staying in the gay village [village gai] in a ridiculously gay guesthouse.  the guy who runs it looks like he’s a cross between an aging hipster dude and some guy from a 70s porno.  hilarious.  he smokes, so the place smells like smoke, which thankfully doesn’t really bother either M or me.  there are big windows that look out over the street, and it’s right in the thick of things.  ‘breakfast’ consists of coffee served on the proprietor’s countertop — i think he doesn’t do anything but run this place, and spends most of his time sitting in his living room watching tv.  he asked me in to drink my coffee at his table this morning.  i was worried it was/would be creepy, but actually we just talked about the city and what things are good.  i’m surprised by how laid back this experience is.

then i set out into the city and walked the mile to downtown.  in the pouring blowing rain.  i KNOW i could have gotten on the metro which is literally 200 feet from the inn.  I KNOW.  but then i wouldn’t have gotten to see the streets, how the city fits together, the shops that are the same and different from the US.  so, soaking wet, i finally ended up at the art museum, because i can never resist a good decorative arts gallery.  i looked at some art and then sat in the museum cafe and drank coffee and had a brioche cannelle aux raisins, which is french for the BEST PASTRY EVER (actually, it’s french for ‘raisin-cinnamon bun’).  the gift shop was also amazing.  it kindled all my dormant materialist desires, and inspired me to go home and use my vast fibre arts training to make myself cute things to wear.

i step away from the sparkly accessories, remind myself that i can go shopping when i get a proper job, and move on to more art.  i exhaust the museum and face the harsh reality that i a) have no dinner, b) have to get home through the hideous rain some how and c) if i go back to the inn at that moment i will feel like i wasted a whole day in montreal doing nothing.  so i set off for the atwater market, which is a huge conglomeration of cheese shops, produce stands, butcher shops, and a massive patisserie to top it off.  i drooled over everything (making lots of friends in the process) while selecting what i was having for dinner and conducted two out of four transactions entirely in french, which made me feel amazing.  once upon a time i was on my way to having french as a real second language, but disuse has buried it into the deepest recesses of my brain.  i’m in the awkward phase now where i figure out what they said several minutes after the transaction is over.

tonight M is stuck in a big conference dinner, which i am not totally clear on why i am not able to attend (isn’t that something that people do — they bring their spouses to conference dinners?  or was that just my dad?  i have a distinct memory of sitting in a hotel room in belgium at the tender age of 11 while my parents were at the big HP conference dinner.  but whatever, it means i have time to write to you all), but afterward we are planning to stop by the women’s bar across the street from us.  can you believe it?  montreal has a gigantic women’s bar.  wtf is wrong with boston??

oh yeah, to continue the food narrative…i bought some cheese, cider, and strawberries (all quebecois!) for my dinner.  i also had a funny conversation with the produce guy about ground cherries — everyone was selling big buckets of them, and i finally asked what it was, and he laughed and gave me one to try.  this was one of my all-french interactions, so i was really pleased.  i liked it but i felt like it needed cooking so i got strawberries instead.  but now that i’ve done a little more research, i’m tempted to get a big bucket of them on our way home & make a ground cherry pie!

another thing i’ve noticed is that older women are more stylish here than in most of the US.  i walked into a store that looked (to my eye) like an upscale, hip boutique, and i realized as i was walking around loving the stuff they had for sale that all of the other clientele were well past 50.  i passed a woman of about 60 on the street and couldn’t stop staring at her awesome studded leather jacket.  she wasn’t an aging punk — she appeared to be a proper modish middle class lady.  it’s just that her jacket was really cool.  i feel like that’s largely unheard of in the US, at least in boston…

and so, dear readers, this comes to an end, because i think my bedraggled glamorousness needs to take a nap.  i’m on vacation.  and people who are on vacation get to nap, or so i’ve heard…

 

summertime

you’ll all be glad to know i am feeling much better.  mono laid me low but i’m on the up and up now…

and summer is rocketing by me!  i am happy to report that this summer, although plagued with almost everything except locusts, has also contained many summery moments, such as swimming in the ocean, eating amazing heirloom tomatoes from the farmers’ market, growing my own tomatoes…and just yesterday, M. rowed me around jamaica pond in a row boat.  i wrote this haiku in honor of the occasion:

‘rowing in a boat

on a pond called jamaica

i love you a lot’

isn’t that lovely?  and i didn’t even get very sunburned.  (that would have more to do with the thick gooey layer of sunblock i applied than any sort of luck, forethought, or proper attire, i would like to point out.)

it’s amazing how many fun things there are to do out in the world if you just get up off your ass and do them.  the pond incident occurred because M. and i were sitting by the pond eating lunch and she had a thought process that went something like this:

‘rowing on the pond looks like so much fun, and i would so like to do it right now, but it’s probably complicated and a hassle and i’ve never done it before from this boathouse so i don’t know what to expect and i don’t know how much it costs and probably FG wouldn’t want to anyway.’

in spite of these barriers she did bring it up and i had no objections, so we went and did it.  right then.  in the past, we would have been stymied by thought processes like that, and as a consequence we have only rowed around in a rented rowboat once before, in central park when we lived in new york in 2003.

so i encourage you, if there’s something fun you want to do, but you feel like the barriers are insurmountable, just do it anyway.  take the first step and i bet it will be a lot easier than you think.

i’ve also been seeing my friends a lot and hanging out at the ice cream parlor (mono makes you hungry — i sucked down an extra-thick chocolate malted frappe in 10 minutes the other day, which is an obscene amount of ice cream) and having lots of femme time.  i’m in the midst of looking for a job, and when i see postings for things in other cities i move right past them.  i’m really happy here in boston and have no need to leave.

i know greg is on a cruise right now, but what about the rest of you?  what summer things are you doing, or want to do but haven’t gotten it together to actually do yet?

a weekend away

i’m in DC right now, visiting sisters and friends over the holiday weekend.  yesterday a friend and i were walking around in georgetown and passed a cemetery, which was closed by that point, and looked in and saw a deer snacking by the gravestones.  she paid us very little attention, stopping every minute or two to look up at us, and after wandering ever closer to the fence where we were watching, she settled down into the grass and chewed her cud.

really unbelievable.

then we went to the DC dyke bar, phase 1, which has been in operation since 1970.  i was quite impressed with it — cheap drinks, very diverse crowd in terms of both race/ethnicity and age, pool table, dancefloor, and people were friendly when i talked with them.  the experience left me really wishing that boston had one too.  for a city with such a long history of active gay community, it is striking that there is no dyke bar and no lgbt community center.  perhaps i should get on that…

today is the fourth, and i always have complex feelings about it.  in NY, where M and i celebrated the fourth in 2002 and 2003, for the first time the similarity between fireworks and bombs struck me and i haven’t been able to enjoy them much since then.  the proximity to the attacks of sept. 11, both temporal and geographical, really drove that point home.  today i’m going to a pool party with my sisters, where there will be barbeque and swimming and fireworks.  i haven’t told them this, but honestly these are very low on my list of enjoyable summer activities.  i will bring my book and my sunscreen and hope that i don’t get stuck talking with anyone’s aunt matilda.

DC is beastly hot.  always.  maybe i need to start visiting here in the winter!

anyway, happy fourth.  independence day.  though i think we would have been better off staying with cool britannia, it is too late to mourn that much.  instead i invite you to celebrate independence of all sorts today — financial independence, emotional independence, moments when you struck out on your own into the unknown and learned something important.  and eat watermelon!