Now that i have my Internet again i started getting caught up on blogs and it was like my brain perked up, reading thoughtful and intelligent writings on a variety of current topics. It gets my brain moving.
I don’t ever agree with all of anything, though. I’m always problematizing, critiquing.
Last night i watched Speak Up!: Improving the Lives of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgendered Youth with my mom. And of course what stuck with me most was the problematics of presenting historical figures as non-heterosexual. Besides the fact that “the homosexual” is a modern invention (for most of history there was only the conception of homogenital acts, but no conception of homosexuality as an “orientation”) whether some historical figures (e.g. Eleanor Roosevelt, who was one of the examples in the video) even engaged in homogenital acts is debatable. Sigh.
The video mentioned the Massachusetts Safe Schools legislation, which i had forgotten about. Must look into that, especially given the work Joe and i theoretically want to do.
[Also, note to self, write legislators about all the pro- and anti- same-sex marriage bills.]
One of the high schools in the video has an annual drag show. Joe, would you not love to see Ms. Pelaggi’s face if students at NHS organized a drag show?
I think i’m starting to forget what it felt like to not identify as queer. I told my mother that i get so used to being at Smith that i have to shift my brain when i think about doing stuff at the high school, and i mentioned that Smith has the Drag Ball. At first my mother misheard and thought i said Drag Wall, like images. When i repeated it she said, “Is that when you take all the women wearing makeup and roll them into a ball and kick them across the fields?” I thought she was being facetious, but no, she was just being dense. (It was late, she’s been under a lot of stress, don’t knock my mom.) I heart my mommy.
We watched an excerpt of Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity, and part of it is men talking about what it means to be a “real man,” and “tough” was one of the adjectives that came up a lot. I’m currently reading The Persistent Desire: A Butch-Femme Reader, and a lot of the adjectives reminded me of what i was reading about butches. I thought about how most of the words weren’t inherently negative. I was going somewhere with this, but i’ve lost it now.
My mother told me that one time my aunt and my grandparents were visiting when i was little and everyone was saying i was so cute and stuff and my aunt insisted, “and tough, too.”
When my brother was born my father phoned Elaine, one of my mother’s coworkers, with the news, and Elaine was so happy and impressed that my dad wasn’t all about “It’s a boy” and my mother was confused by this for a long time before she finally remembered. I would have remembered if someone said “Oh I’m so glad that man wasn’t hyper-jazzed about IT’S A BOY” but it’s not something i would think of on my own. I also tend to forget that not all families are accepting of non-heterosexuality of loved ones. I’m good at remembering most of the other ways that people suck in their ignorance and intolerance, but i always have to remind myself about that one. Which is interesting, because it’s not like i’m wildly out to my extended family, conscious whenever things come up of how heterocentric everyone is, but in the abstract i’m always, “Well why can’t you just tell your parents you’re in love with another girl?” or whatever, and then of course i remember.
Can i tell you how much i dislike stewardship campaigns? Today’s Scripture reading was from 2 Corinthians 9. You reap what you sow and all that. Pastor Bill said that a farmer doesn’t not sow the seeds because he’s worried that then he won’t have any seeds. I thought that perhaps a farmer might not sow all of his seeds if he’s worried that there will be a drought or something which result in not much of a harvest. This led to me thinking of the parable about the seed (in this parable, God’s Word) which could only flourish in good soil, and the metaphor analogy i make from that is that you give money to good causes but not all churches are places you should be sowing your seed.
I like Thirza because she’s blunt and says what she thinks and also because we often . She’s with me in the interpretation of giving to God as not necessarily being just about money. You can give of your time and your skills and so on. She and my mother reminisced about when Ron&Patty (married ministers at United when i was a kid) were here and they would talk about that and Peggy (church secretary, treasurer, something like that) would be reminding people, “But we do need your money.”
When George (not my brother) did the Scripture reading, he emphasized “God loves a cheerful giver” in this kind of “I’m talking to YOU” tone, and i thought about how unChristlike so many people have been in the past year (or two, or three, ...) and i had one of those “I am so done here” feelings. Our church covenant was today’s unison reading: ... We will hold one another accountable to the discipline of Christlikeness, and we will ground our lives in Christian doctrine. ... We will be sensitive and respectful to each other’s feelings and respectful toward one another in our communications. Together we will pursue the ways of forgiveness and reconciliation, and, as Jesus taught, do it as quickly as possible. Finally, we promise that if the day comes when we are led of God to leave this congregation, we will unite as soon as possible with another congregation where we can continue our commitment to the spirit of this covenant and the teachings of the Word of God.
My mom said that when she was a teenager she did youth group stuff at “the evangelical church” because they had a really good youth group, and sometimes she went to services there, but it just wasn’t the same [as this church]. “And now this is the evangelical church,” Thirza said.
Also, i am so tired of all this talk in the children’s messages about accepting Jesus into your heart. Lynda’s 5-year-old was praised for “accepting Jesus,” but as she pointed out, they don’t understand; they’re just mimicking. Today Tim was asking the kids stuff like “If you go to church every week but don’t have Jesus in your heart will you go to Heaven?” but the last one was, “If you do a lot of good works but don’t love Jesus, will you go to Heaven?” “Probably,” i muttered. The previous questions were phrased in a way which emphasized the fact that you can’t “earn” your way into Heaven, and i absolutely agree with that, but i believe that everyone, regardless of their relationship with Jesus during their time on Earth, goes to Heaven. I could talk at length about how i interpret “I am the Way and the Truth and the Light and no one comes to the Father but through me,” but sparing that, my base feeling is that i cannot believe in a loving God who would condemn beloved children (and yes, i believe in an all-loving God, the only kind i can believe in) to an eternity of any sort of damnation.
I am also so tired of my grandmother’s stories (and they’re the same stories over and over) of growing up in Beverley and how there were only one or two black families but no one was prejudiced (my mother said today, “there was no animosity,” and i think that is much more accurate) and the Italians sewed their underwear on September through June and they smelled so bad; the more i hear about racial issues the more i think most of them are mostly class issues. And i clench every time she talks about how when she reads the Honor Roll in the newspaper she can’t pronounce half the names.
Happy Graduation, Norwood High School Class of 2003.
The speeches by the valedictorian and the superintendent were both lame.
I hate honorary diplomas. Mr. Usevich started a tradition this year of giving them out. 3 of them. Oh, and i don’t care how much Mr. Katchpole [who is retiring] genuinely cares about the students; if you mess with someone i love, i am forever embittered.
Nick Domaney, one of my favorite people in that class, got a lot of awards. I hadn’t realized he was so accomplished. Moriah Wright, another of my favorites, also got a few awards.
My dad corrected mispronunciations of students’ names, made rude noises about “If So-and-so is graduating then a high school diploma doesn’t mean much,” and filled in the spaces between “Name” and “Post-highschool-plans” for some students with things like “staying out of jail.” For one guy my dad said, “drinking copious amounts of alcohol,” Mr. Usevich said “liberal arts major at Massasoit,” and i snarked, “Same thing.” Seemed like a disproportionate number of students are going to Massasoit. UNH is an honorary Massachusetts state school so many NHS kids go there. Not sure anyone’s going to UConn, in contrast to my year when it seemed like every other music student was going there. Second year in a row the valedictorian is going to Brown and no one is going to Harvard or Smith. One each from this year’s graduating class is going to the Army, the Air Force, and the Marines. People say that English is the “I have no idea what i’m going to do” major, but i have decided that Elementary Education is the “I want an easy job” major, because SO many graduates had that as their planned major in community college. I find this particularly ironic because watching Speak Up i was thinking about how i would like to be a high school teacher to provide safe space and mentoring and stuff, but i don’t know if i’m at all up for the teaching part and the discipline and the making lesson plans and the grading and all that; teaching is mad difficult yo.
The valedictory speech in particular was all about the wonderfulness of high school and the friends you’ve made here and all that. I don’t look on high school as the best 4 years of my life; i am friends with 2 people from that school, neither of whom graduated with me, and friendLY with probably a half dozen who graduated with me; i grow increasingly cynical about whether anyone learns much of any lasting import in high school.
I know people who will be graduating next year, so i will watch, and of course i will attend my brother’s the following year, but after that i am so done with graduation ceremonies.
My dad was watching the Power Rangers movie this afternoon because there was nothing better on, and i watched part of it because it was there.
The problem with ingesting lots of sci-fi/fantasy media is that everything starts to appear to have elements of everything else.
The Blue Ranger was such an Andrew and Ivan Ooze looked like D’Hoffryn. And when he talked about being trapped for 6,000 years i thought of the Stargate SG-1 episodes (Season 5, episodes 15-17) i’ve been watching Saturday evenings with my dad recently, about Anubis trying to get back into the fold of the Goa'uld System Lords.
It’s funny, i always tell people i mostly read/like “realistic” fiction with some sci-fi/fantasy, but a friend recently asked me to recommend books to read and everything i thought of was some kind of sci-fi/fantasy.
My mother was unearthing quilting material from my upper bunk which i have (like the rest of my room) taken over with WAY TOO MUCH STUFF (soon to be TM). I mentioned that Allie wants to come visit and that means i’ll have to clear off the bunk. My mother responded: “Tell her I worship the ground she... plans to sleep on.” Tee hee.
(I miss social interaction.)
I have SO MUCH to do in one month.
I have this fear of becoming like Oluranti (a woman my mother works with), doing problematically minimal work and getting it in at the last minute. Because that’s what i do now, and i can’t keep doing that when it’ll have negative impacts on other people.
I need to get my hair cut. Do i trust the barbershop downtown to cut my hair?