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Showing posts from January, 2012

fruit and doves and blood and body parts

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I’ve always liked the color and precision of Frida Kahlo’s paintings, and I probably dress as much like her as a white girl can get away with (though in dressing like an indigenous peasant, Frida was arguably an appropriator herself—but at least she had the revolutionary chops to back it up). But I never really felt like I had the right to be as Frida-crazy as, say, my grad school friend who had a tattoo of the MEChA logo and spent a few months in the jungles with the Zapatistas . So I resisted the urge to run out and buy me a Frida tote bag (though when I got one as a party favor, I was really excited). And then I read The Lacuna. Barbara Kingsolver makes Frida come alive as a person betrayed by her body and her loved ones, who responded with passion, humor, stubbornness, ruinous pride or shameless dramatic gestures. I have no idea if this is what Frida was actually like, but I fell in love with Frida the character. Suddenly I saw the blood and body parts in her pain

everyone’s a critic (in which i pat myself on the back a little bit)

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The other day I fell into the wonderful black hole that is Regretsy —a blog that makes fun of Etsy ’s wackiest shit. There are crazy ideas, executed beautifully (and, in the case of the Star Trek Enterprise coffee table , photographed against unflattering backgrounds). There are regular ideas, executed terribly . And then there are those magical items that are the holy grail of poor/insane concept and execution, such as the Eva Peron butt plug , featuring a portrait of Santa Evita that is only recognizable as such only because EVA PERON is written in big gold letters at the plug’s base. Regretsy’s approach is mostly celebratory, and if you make Eva Peron butt plugs and sell them on the internet, you’re pretty much asking for it. But…(pun intended?), I found myself thinking, Helen Killer [as Ms. Regretsy calls herself] is totally hilarious, but it’s really hard to make an Enterprise coffee table! The product description even mentioned how the maker had gone through a couple of sheets

dragons, snakes and unicorns (ay yi yi)

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Yesterday I looked up my Year of the Dragon* horoscope, hoping for something along the lines of “You will get a baby and a book deal, fall even more fabulously in love with your loved one, and for once all of the bulbs in your kitchen light fixture will work at the same time.” Instead it was more like, “Meh.” I’m a snake, which is like a junior dragon. According to this horoscope , Dragon is my Happy Star, but “Dragon travels alone, so Dragon is also the Lonely Star to Snake.” Huh? Why is Dragon such a snob, and why does he want me to be lonely?! Two thousand eleven, though full of love, was also plenty lonely. Two thousand twelve is supposed to be about an embarrassment of riches, dammit. This horoscope (thanks, Cathy Che!) puts a brighter spin on the same info. The first one was sort of like, “Just keep your head down and stay out of trouble,” while this one throws a few exclamation points into the mix. It promises that 2012 will be “an exciting and busy time for you and your par

the sea of smashed things

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Public service announcement for anyone who’s trying to shut up her biological clock for a minute: Go see We Need to Talk About Kevin . It’s a movie (based on a novel I didn’t read) about a mom trying to raise a little psychopath whose only joy in life is tormenting her. The movie is sliced into short scenes, and it takes a while to figure out what’s going on—all we know is that there’s a Before world, in which Eva (Tilda Swinton) has a husband and two kids and a stylish haircut, and an After, in which she’s alone and haggard in that particular Tilda Swinton, Oscar-worthy way. But it quickly becomes apparent that her Before was mostly a period of suffering in silence, as she endures daily standoffs with a kid who refuses to potty train until he’s eight, when she tosses him across the room in a fit of frustration. Meanwhile her husband (John C. Reilly) just thinks the kid is quirky. The opening scene—never fully explained—shows Eva crowd surfing through some sort of Bacchanalia

circus weekend

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This weekend was a lot of things—MLK Day, Alberto’s birthday, AK’s continued birthday, Amy’s going-away, my biannual pap smear—but it was also…Circus Weekend! Chapter 1: My sister and I take Aerial Fitness at Cirque School L.A. Since my last (and only) trapeze class , they’ve moved into their very own gym in Hollywood. It’s filled with bouncy balls and trampolines and taped-up trapezes and flowy silks hanging from the ceiling. The good thing about going with Cathy is that we have all the same magical childhood associations. So one of us says, “Trampoline” and the other says, “Seriously.” And no more words need be exchanged. I have this plan that I will take all necessary cirque classes (about three months’ worth) to fill my grant requirements; then I’ll quit therapy and use the money I save to become a fucking trapeze goddess. That means I have three months to get my head healthy. The anxiety I had about getting a routine pap smear does not bode well for my mental health.

my heart belongs to sodapop

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This might be the only old-time photo that my cousin Maria and my childhood friend Bonnie have not put on Facebook, because neither of them had the privilege of starring in the Mira Costa High School production of The Outsiders in 1991. Neither did I—star, that is. I was an extra. I spent hours at rehearsals every week only to do things like walk across the stage pushing a stretcher during the hospital scene. Ah, the endless abundance of time that is youth. When I found this photo at my dad’s house (actual size: 11” x 13”), I said to my dad and sister, “How much do you want to bet I wrote something like ‘I heart Denito “Sodapop” Kelly’ on the back?” I flipped it over. I’d been stealthier than that: I’d labeled everyone and who each person played, but I’d written the “O” in Denito as a heart. Sexy. Denito is the one cuddling up to the girl that’s not me in the second to last row. He’s wearing a lot of blush in this picture. My sister pointed out that this may have been part of the

temecula klein, 2001-2012

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Dear T-Mec, When the rescue organization folks delivered you and OC to B’s and my apartment ten years ago, the first thing you did when they opened the door to the cat carrier was walk over to the brand new litter box and take a polite little pee. You’d been in the car for an hour and a half, and now you were in a strange new place that smelled like paint, but you knew what needed to be done. Last night you left my life just as neatly and tidily: We’d already placed a call to Vet on Wheels, thinking it might be time, but you decided to do it on your terms and save us $300. After a cuddly evening at home, we woke up to the sound of you coughing or…something. The phrase “death rattle” came to mind, and the night felt eerie. But we were there, next to you, until you were no longer there next to us. We petted you and talked to you and AK went for her bible to find a passage she remembered from Titanic (such is AK’s range of references). We let the boys in the room for a goodb

let's go to the beach, or: what i read in december

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This morning I looked at the Excel file where I track my literary submissions, and let me tell you, there’s nothing like a highly organized document to let you know in no uncertain terms exactly how unproductive you’ve been. Six submissions in the entire year of 2011! Since my unofficial 2012 motto is “Be less lazy and crazy” (my official motto is “What would Tina Fey do?”), I am particularly proud of myself for meeting the postmark deadline for this summer’s RADAR Lab, in which a bunch of queer people shack up in Mexico for two weeks and write together. That’s practically a novel itself. It will be called Vamos a la Playa , Jotos . Anyway, here’s what I read in December, back when I was still being a little lazy (and working my way through The Lacuna , which I’m still not done with). Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling: Mindy Kaling name-checks Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler's books in a self-deprecating way. For the record, Kaling's is much funnier and swee

the cheryl show, now with more costars and fewer commercials

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Zelda Kennedy is one of my favorite people at All Saints because her sermons frequently quote plays and musicals, and because she hugs parishioners like she means it. This morning she quoted a line from The Velveteen Rabbit, which made me cry when I was six and believed my stuffed animals had souls (I still kind of do) and again today. Something along the lines of: “If you become real, you will get worn down and used up, but you will never be ugly to anyone who understands what it means to be real.” Someone could probably put together one of those photo comparisons a la Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War for me in 2011. Which is not to say that my recent howls of thwarted entitlement* are the same as the Civil War, just that, well, it’s been real, and I think I have some fine lines to show for it. I’ve had a very nice week-plus off. Last night AK and I rang in the new year with Pedro, Stephen, Maria and Calvin at Onyx , after a potluck dinner at the boys’ place around the