...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

My Defective Harem

I was thinking about it today, and realized that the members of my personal harem have gotten a bit unruly in number as of late. And one would think that this wouldn't necessarily be a problem--the more the merrier and all that. But when you have so many folks in your personal harem, competition becomes an issue between love-slaves, as does inter-harem dating and inter-harem uprisings, etc. etc. Plus, well, my harem-cage is only so big, and Casey Affleck keeps getting his giraffe-neck jammed in between the bars in the middle of night and then Angelina Jolie starts shrieking instead of just HELPING him get it out, so I have to keep running out there to get him unwedged before he suffocates to death. I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in weeks. So I figured it was time to weed some folks out. Since I know this subject matter is constantly in the foreground of your daily thoughts, I figured I'd set your mind at ease by letting you all know of these important changes.

I helped decide who to boot based on the strict criterion of whom I would like to have STRICTLY as a love-slave. Thus, folks such as Ryan Adams (who could croon my heart into jello) got bumped because, although I'd love to have him around to sing me to pieces, he's not exactly up my alley in the love-slave department.

So, based on those guidelines, my harem has officially been weeded down to the following love-slaves:

  • Julian Casablancas

  • Jason Lee

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

  • Mike Doughty

  • Franka Potente

  • Johnny Knoxville

  • Brad Pitt

  • Audrey Tautou

  • Dave Eggers

  • Vincent D'Onofrio

  • Mark Ruffalo

  • Tom Waits

  • Djimon Hounsou

  • Clive Owen

  • Jeremy Sisto

  • Gael Garcia Bernal

  • Peter Sarsgaard

  • Zach Braff

  • Folks who were bumped:

    Fabrizio Moretti--Dude, you're super-hot and all that, but I hate to inform you that I'm finally over you. I'll stick with Julian instead. His voice is like sexy honey dipped in wine and then swirled around with a big old slice of avocado sushi.

    Angelina Jolie--You're so lame now! UNSEXY!! BANISHED!

    Thom Yorke--Sadly, Thommy, you were just there for the crooning. Your pompousness does not make for good love-slaving.

    Edward Norton--You're too cute. I just wanna pinch your cheeks all day instead of shagging ya.

    Ryan Adams--It's all about the crooning, sexy-crooner. I'm sorry to say. Once I start my crooner harem though, you'll be at the top of the list.

    Casey Affleck--What the hell was I thinking?

    Jack White--See Ryan Adams.

    Mason Jennings--Also see Ryan Adams.

    Lucy Liu--You fox my socks off, but I've gotta bump you. You distract the boys too much.

    Oh! And I just noticed that Peter Krause somehow vanished from my list at some point, so he is officially back on.

    Now run and update those journals of yours and notify the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly!




    A hearty and barbaric YAWP goes out to Ms. Maura for her first-ever gig last night. She rawked the motherf-ing house out for those of you who weren't there. And for those of you who WERE too, I suppose. Anyways, perhaps I'll post some of the pics from her show here if Jef is kind enough to forward me a couple of his favorite--ok, Jef? Um, Jef? JEF?!?!?!?!?

    Anyways, the place was packed to the brim with people, and every single one of them was drop-dead quiet through the whole set. And Maura just threw one song after another after another at them, to quite thunderous applause. No shit. There were even whistles and screeches. Awesome awesome shit. My favorite moment was when Maura introduced the song she wrote for me (excuse me, I'm getting a little veklempt) and her nieces (who sat across from me) got all wide-eyed and kept asking, That's you right? That's YOU! She's singing about you! Tee hee. And she was!

    So congrats to you, darling-dearest. You sure as shit are destined to get more gigs after that.

    And a big barbaric yawp to Alec Stewart as well who breaks my damn heart every time he picks up that guitar. He rocked the house out as well on his first gig ever. Perhaps I'll also post some of HIS pics here if Jef is kind enough to forward me a couple of them as well--Um, Jesus Jef? Forward the motherf-ing things already? What's your f-ing problem?? =)

    You can check out his shit here though in the meantime (and even some of his artwork which also rocks the house out):

    DO IT!

    Anyways, a round of big wet smooches and yip yips to the two of you for a great night of entertainment. You guys rock.


    First Randomversary

    Apparently our first randomversary was coated in a water-proof bubble of goodness. The rain was supposed to bludgeon it Friday night (60% chance) and Saturday (40% chance all day), but it literally waited until ten minutes after we wrapped things up to start. Ten minutes. This is a damn good relationship-omen to me.

    Now, I actually don't like to give away all the intimate details of my life on this lil' blog here, despite the fact that it often SEEMS like I do. Everything I pick and choose to write about is very carefully chosen and is typically something that is significantly arms' length away from me that I don't mind sharing it with the internet universe.

    But certain things are special tiny little delicate things that I like to keep close to me and share only with those that are important to me. Throwing them out on the internet here seems to serve no good 'cept to pollute them. This is one of those, so instead of expounding upon how fantastic my randomversary weekend was (and it WAS--it truly truly was) with hundreds of lavish and specific details, I'll just throw a few random tidbits out there and let your imaginations feast on these instead.

    A snake trying to steal E's keys.

    Right! No right! Now left! Left! Really really left!

    Fire, glorious fire.

    70-foot jitters.

    Way too much time spent slamming into rocks.

    E, you rock my socks off.


    The Best Part of Wakin' Up ®...

    Is hearing your neighbor-guy orgasm (real loudly).



    Recent Pet Peeve

    I am royally sick and tired of hearing the phrase "Let's bring our boys home!" in discussing this bastard "war," on the fricking NEWS in particular. If I have to hear that phrase spew outta someone's mouth ONE MORE TIME, I swear to you, I'm gonna rip someone's testicles off with my teeth.

    Ladies and gents, shocking as it may be in this year of 2005, there ARE actually women over in Iraq. *Gasps of shock and horror*





    So for Christ's sake, stop with the "our boys" bullshit. I'd like to see the women returning in one piece as well (and soon, goddamn it), thank you very much.

    Carry on.


    MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 6 & 7)

    One of the defining moments of the week: standing near a campfire, breath chilled and hanging just slightly in the air, women dragging tarps taut across an open patch of grass, a wagon full of cans of what looks like paint but actually is chocolate pudding, cans spilled out in splashy blotches on tarps, squishy toys thrown in pudding, and then butt-nekkid chicks, skin steaming in the cold, slip-sliding their way out onto the tarps and then body-slamming, head-locking, crashing, smashing, plopping, pulling other nekkid chicks into the pudding with them, skin slick with brown, grinning, sweet chocolate snack in every crack you can think of (and perhaps ones that you can't) all under the spotlight of a couple dozen flashlights jittering on them until 2:30 am. Hard NOT to sleep like a baby after THAT.

    Today I dragged my ass out of bed at 7:45, despite getting less than 5 hours of sleep. Amazing. In the three years I've been here, I don't think we've ever stayed up past 1 am or so. Which is actually kinda lame. Heh heh. I am glad for this change. My eyes and body are not happy about it this morning, barely able to stay open. But dammit, it's the last full day so I figure I really should just take advantage of the last remnants of workshops and get my tush moving. So I get to make some books. Out of junk. And they are pretty damn cool. And life is good.

    Last day, I am sitting awaiting the start of the drum circle, typical of my last-day routine. Gah. The real world. I am not ready to go back, but I hope to take these energies back with me and couch myself with them, nicely and comfily, for a good long time. And share them with others--let them spill out some splashy bits of goodness on them as well.

    What I think amazes me most about this place is that its beauty comes from something so unconcrete, so changing, and yet so dependable--not a piece of scenery, not a person or a face, but a SPACE, an ENERGY. There is something about returning to a space that you know and grow in knowing over the years, something that you know and that knows you as well. It is like returning to the warm smile of an old old friend that you only see once a year for a week, and it's like basking in that fantastic glow and warmth and energy but not just in that brief moment of greeting each other again, embracing, and exchanging that love, but the WHOLE TIME you're together. It's changed and grown, the connection and love between you, different and yet the same because it's ALWAYS there to run back to and it reminds you why you should feel good about yourself, what it is to be happy in yourself, what it is to feel comfortable (really goddamn comfortable) someplace, completely unjudged, no baggage and messiness, just there to be. That's a fucking AMAZING thing. There is something awe-inspiring in the familiarity of the place, like coming home or the comfort of sitting in your mom's lap as a child, that doesn't unravel into staticness because each time is the same place, the same energy, but different ways that this is achieved. The ritual of it all, the fact that it is a rock, a solid abstraction that resides unchangeable despite the fact that everything within in it is in a constant state of change, this is beauty, this is home.




    So. Saturday night. E and I are lying in bed at about 2 am, bullshitting and about ready to turn the light off as we're both at the point of slipping into groggy stupors. The bed starts shaking. I give it a minute or so, then I reach over with my legs to nudge E's legs (he sometimes has a tendency to jitter his legs nervously if he can't fall asleep or something). Right as I do that, E turns his head towards me and says, Is that YOU shaking the bed? And no, no it wasn't.

    It started out relatively gently, but within a minute, my bed was shaking with the same violent shakes it might have were someone sitting at the base of it and jerking the bed backwards and forwards with all their might.

    I literally think he MUST be kidding and actually shaking his legs because it is jerking back and forth so hard--my bed vibrates when trains go by (or sometimes semis), but this is NOWHERE in the region of vibration; this is full-blown shaking. And the vibration caused by the trains is typically so light that E doesn't even notice it when he's over because the weight of two bodies in one bed cancels it out. He swears again that it's not him. I sit up and put my glasses on and flip on the light. The bed is literally shaking backwards and forwards so hard THAT I CAN ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY SEE IT MOVING WITH NO PROBLEM WHILE SITTING UP.

    I am, of course, super-freaked (and not in the good Rick James kinda way). I actually ask E to look under the bed and make sure there's nothing under there--heh heh.

    The shaking abruptly stops. My only logical explanation is that perhaps my downstairs neighbors might've had the washer or dryer on in the basement, but I've never felt such violent shaking before. *Trying to convince myself that it is not, in fact, my ghost*


    MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 5)

    Friday morning. It is still raining a bit, so I sleep through my yoga class knowing I will just be uncomfortable and soggy if I go (everything here is outdoors), so I head out instead for my 10:30 Basics of Auto Mechanics class. The instructor never shows which is a bit irritating since I've arranged my schedule to accomodate a class that I've always wished they'd offer and wondered why they hadn't in prior years. But things even out for the afternoon because of the performances--I get to see Alix Olsen slam out her poetry. Also get to see Tribe 8 play (perhaps their last ever performance) which is crazy fantastic fun. Lynn Breedlove is insane (which awes me because she wrote one of the most entertaining and well-written new books I've read in a while a couple years back as well: Godspeed).

    I must pause to discuss the following topic which I'd forgotten to do earlier: smiling. One huge part of what I love about the festival is the energy that swells between all of the women here, and one way in which it manifests itself is the smiling. Pretty close to every single woman who walks by you here takes the time to say hi to you or at least smile. And the smiles are so full of warmth and generosity that it is difficult not to feel recharged, simply from these small acts. Maybe I am just ultra sensitive to it, given that I work in a place where I can (swear to god) walk by someone, make eye contact with them, hold the eye contact, smile and offer them a Hi or Good Morning and have them not even acknowledge it with a word or a smile in return--just a cool black slate of corporate coldness. So maybe it means more to me than most to feel this energy, but it is beautiful. And it's also beautiful because I feel such positive energy pour out of me in the smiles I exchange with others as well--other places, exchanges are so sterile and mechanical that my smiles are just really tight lips stretched across gritted teeth. But here, my smiles are like waterfall energy spilling everywhere with nourishment. When I smile, I mean it. I smile because I love it here, I smile because I love the women here, I smile smile smile smile smile with every muscle in my goddamn face. It's quite fantastic.

    So back to other things. Friday afternoon I decide to head over to Camp Trans (my first time) with M to meet up with my sister and her girlfriend as we'd tentatively planned over the phone the week before. The plan is to wander over there and pray that I run across her--neither of us are sure how many folks ATTEND camp trans, what the layout is like, etc., and so we're just keeping our fingers crossed that I am able to track her down. We haven't even left the grounds yet, we're dragging our asses through the thousands of cars parked in the grassy lots, when I hear someone shouting, and M says, Isn't that your SISTER?! It seems that my sister just HAPPENED to be walking down the dirt road at the exact same time we were about to head over and start looking for her. Ah the powers of sisterly psychic energy! We spend an hour or two chatting while scuffling up dirt as we walk along the dirt road and while roaming through the woods and Camp Trans to check out her tent and the area. It is always great to see my sister--she is a source of stability and peacefulness to me--so I am very happy that things fell into place so neatly. It was too short, but hopefully I will see her again sometime in the next month.

    We head off to our evening. The music is great again--the Indigo Girls!--as well as the comedy of Elvira and BETTY. And the highlight of the night is when all the performers accumulate on stage to sing Closer to Fine with the Indigo Girls, particularly joyous and fun because Lynn Breedlove--her punk-ass, hardcore, feminist, gender queer, butch, dildo-toting, knife-waving self--sang her ass off to every goddamn beautiful word of that song with a smile smeared messily across her face. Fantastic.

    Wide awake still, we decide to check out the burlesque show at the Twilight Zone. The Twilight Zone is the camping area for the hard-core, noisy, don't-sleep-all-week party folks (and s & m-ers). We stick around and get to see a bit of striptease, but as it hasn't even gotten into full gear and is still dragging along at even 2 am, we head back.

    I did, however, get to see six shooting starts in the space of an hour--did I mention how fucking beautiful and clear the night sky is here?

    Tomorrow night we plan on returning after Night Stage to check out the pudding wrestling. Tee hee.



    We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

    To say the following:

    A hearty congrats and farewell to Patrick--it is his last and very finalest day of work here. He's managed to dig his way out of this evil corporate pit and is heading off to NYC to pursue culinary school. A big shoutout--YIP YIP and AT TO DEATH--in his direction!

    And also:

    My ghost has returned. Yesterday, I returned home to find that my framed Pink Floyd poster had fallen off the wall. The poster was in a fairly junky frame and was held in by a piece of glass. I thought nothing of it, until I went to pick it up and put it elsewhere. The glass and poster had dropped out of the frame--the backing and frame were still hanging on the wall. Not unusual. A wind must have disengaged it. However, the glass had fallen straight down and landed propped up against the wall very nicely and neatly. Still not the weird part yet, but here it comes. The poster itself was nicely centered in the middle of the piece of glass, but after my brain took a second to process the scenario, I realized **THE POSTER WAS FACING THE COMPLETELY WRONG DIRECTION**. Instead of the graphics facing inwards towards the glass as anything framed typically does, the graphics were facing OUTWARDS, as though someone had carefully flipped it over and recentered it in the middle of the glass but facing the opposite direction. This would take a few moments of skill to line up even by a human's hands, so either my ghost is at it again, or I was lucky enough to witness a one in a million freak occurrence in which my poster fell just the right way that it slipped back over the glass in a perfectly centered manner but facing the opposite direction.

    Weird shit, man.


    #1 Reason Why I Should Appreciate My Job

    Every year at Michfest, I'll be sitting around at my tent or curling up in my sleeping back and hear this terrific and loud droning noise seeping into the woods from a distance. It sounds like a very very large and very irregular bug buzzing in some weird kind of way. Every year I wonder to myself or others what the hell this noise could be.

    Finally, this year the mystery was solved. I was walking to the August Night Cafe with M when we happened upon the very loud, very disgusting source of the droning: men were running back and forth with very large hoses from Port-A-Jane to Port-A-Jane sucking up... well... you know... all the shit and piss from the Port-A-Janes into a very large honest to god Shit-Mobile.

    Need I say more?



    MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 4)

    Finally! I've been so fricking busy, flitting about and doing my business, that I haven't had a chance to journal in two days. This is good.

    The rain has been like a postage stamp, carefully placed in the corner of the days. The first rain took place in the middle of the night until just moments before the alarm went off. The second rain was Wednesday night during night stage--typically a mucky nightmare filled with rain ponchos, wet tarps, and slightly grouchy women. But this time it started right before Le Tigre and continued through the night into the next day. But it was perfectly in sync with the energy of Le Tigre, lemme tell you, and so we just took off our shoes and socks and danced the shit out of the muddy ground while Le Tigre rocked (and I mean ROCKED) the house out. We were soaking wet, we were caked in mud, but we didn't care because the music felt so damn good. They were phenomenal--even better than on their cds which is really goddamn impressive for a band that relies so heavily on electronics. They had choreographed dance routines, they had background slides and video footage, and they had killer singing voices. It was without a doubt one of the best shows I've seen here.

    We walked back to the tent in the pouring rain, me barefoot all the way through woodchips and gravel, M dragging her filthy self behind me. Our arms were coated with random splotches of dirt and twigs, my pants were soaked through with water and dirt nearly to the knees, but we were very very happy. We slept well, and the rain kindly stopped mid-morning.



    Stuff I Learned at my Herbal Medicine Workshop

    (Yes, I am a nerd and take notes at these things)

    *Note--Of course you do not want to take these notes as the be-all and end-all on the topic of herbal medicine (seeing as I may have jotted something down incorrectly, for example). So please, if you decide to use any of this info, be sure to research it a bit more first so you know what you're ingesting, how to ingest it, and why.

    Herbs can be ingested in various ways. Pills/capsule forms are not the best way to do so seeing as pills/capsules don't occur naturally in the environment. Your best bets are ingesting herbs by drinking them, which allows your body to absorb them more naturally. You can do this in several ways:

    1. By making teas from them

  • Loose leafy herbs--these just need to be steeped like you would normal tea--about 1-2 tsps. of herbs per 8 oz. of water. Place them in hot water, let them sit for a while, dredge out the herbs, and drink. Dried herbs also have stronger medicinal use than fresh, as a general rule. Store dried herbs in a dark place/freezer, preferably in glass rather than plastic (or stainless steel). Shelf-life is typically 1-1.5 years.

  • Roots, barks, berries, large chunky herbs--place these herbs into a pan/pot and simmer; 20 minutes to an hour should suit you well; as a general rule, you should toss in a small handful of these chunkier herbs per qt. of water. You can also add these to soups and stews and reap the benefits from a nice tasty dinner. Roots/barks have a shelf-life of 2-2.5 years.

  • 2. By using extracts/tinctures

    Liquid tinctures are great because they allow your body to immediately absorb their medicines. You can buy extracts/tinctures which come in little bottles like these

    at health-food stores or herbal places, and all you do is add some drops to tea, water, juice, etc. and you have a healthier drink for yourself. Tinctures have a shelf-life of YEARS (4 years on average).

    You can also use herbal remedies in the form of essential oils (must be mixed to use) and infused oils (which are soaked in olive oil and can be used as is--you can make these by pouring just enough olive oil over tightly packer herbs and setting them in the sun; however, you must use sterilized jars or the mixture will mold. Allow to sit about 6 weeks and then strain out into another sterilized jar and you're good to go).

    Herbs and Uses

    Alfalfa--Good for digestion, cramps, reproductive issues, bone building. Loaded with beta-carotene, Vitamins C, D, E, etc.

    Astragalus--Fantastic for asthma. For those who suffer from asthma that gets worse when it gets cold out, check out astragalus (which is beneficial for the lungs--warming and moistening) and ginkgo (which is an anti-inflammatory); drink as a tea or tincture, 2-3 x a day. In the winter, asthmatics can also just toss some astragalus into soups--it won't change the flavor.

    Basil--a good anti-viral.

    Burdock root--Cooling and moistening, remedy for the lymphatic system (like swollen glands when you start getting sick, for example). Bitter. Good for skin problems and generally recurring infections. Burdock seed is good for dry itchy skin (tincture).

    Chamomile--Good for tummy, an anti-spasmodic so good for cramps, good in bath for crankiness (for kids and adults).

    Comfry root--Cooling and moistening, you can soak in a tea bath which is good for sunburn. Drinking is good for a dry raspy throat and cough.

    Dandelion root--Cooling, bitter taste, dried root gives it its highest medicinal properties. Good as a digestive remedy and long-term-keeping-healthy digestive remedy. Good for anemia. Restores the liver to a good state (rebalances the system). Increases ability to absorb nutrients from food. Good for eliminating the shakiness/crabbiness of hunger (which is why I really need to track some down). Dandelion leaf has a high level of potassium, is also a diuretic, and helps to lower blood pressure.

    Eyebright--Good for sinuses. Cooling and drying. Good for itchy eyes (though not DRY itchy eyes, since it is also drying), hay fever, allergies. It IS nasty-tasting though, so best used as an extract.

    Fennel--Good for tummy aches, gas, and as a digestive remedy (which is why you often see big bowls of them on your way out at Indian food restaurants).

    Hibiscus--Cooling summer herb. Good source of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids. "Nature's Kool-aid." Add honey to it while hot and it makes a fantastic iced tea ONCE sweetened (sour without sweetener)--can add chamomile and also good with rose hips, or you can just add it to seltzer. Good for colds, to reduce varicose veins.

    Lavender--Calming and mildly stimulating at the same time. Good for memory. Can give some insomnia, however. Good for A.D.D.--calming and focusing.

    Lemon balm--Cooling and moistening. Mild nice taste. Antiviral. Good for tummy aches, cramps (mild ones), fevers, colds in the winter, as an anti-depressant (an "herb that gladdens the heart"). Long-term use CAN be bad for folks with low thyrroid.

    **Nettles/Stinging Nettles**--Dried herb, non-toxic, loaded with vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, etc.). Good in teas when mixed with peppermint. Cooling. Good for fatigue (due to the boost of vitamins and minerals). Can be a mild diuretic. Comes in extract form as well. Often helps with allergies. Considered the "herbal oj." Good for hair and skin. A sister to spinach, so can also be prepared and used in recipes similarly. **A long-term tonic to keep the body healthy, kind of the wonder-herb.**

    Oil mullein--good for earaches/infections (dried version good for chest colds).

    Peppermint tea--Good for tummy aches and anti-nauseau.

    Red clover--Lymphatic remedy. Good for women in particular. Anti-cancer. Cooling and moistening. Lots of minerals. Great as an herbal iced tea. Helps with congestion and swollen glands as well as liver function and varicose veins.

    St. John's Wort--Anti-depressant, anti-viral, antiseptic, drying. Good for first-aid with cuts and scrapes (in form of infused oil). Many pain-relieving properties (rub on twisted ankle, for example). Good for hemorrhoids (use an extract for the internal and an infused oil on the external). Good for colds and flu.


  • Red raspberry leaf (dried leaves from bushes)--Fantastic as a tea. Has calcium and magnesium. Astringent to the uterus. Good for heavy bleeders. Can make periods shorter, less bloody, and less cramp-filled.

  • Cramp bark.


  • Fresh extract of oats--made in tincture form, food for the nervous system (stress/anxiety).

  • Motherwort--good for stress and anxiety and heat palpitations, especially when related to menstruation; drink on a regular basis throughout the month (tincture of motherwort 2-3 times a day); continue to take a bit further beyond the time the symptoms disappear. Take a maintenance dose if symptoms return--this just means starting the routine of ingesting the herb again until symptoms clear up. Try for 2-3 months to see if effective.


    If you are using herbs to clear up long-term illnesses, you will need to work with herbs for long periods of time. As a general rule, think of it this way--for every year of illness, you will need to spend a month taking the herbal remedies.

    In order to get the full effect of bitter herbs, you must TASTE the bitterness.

    Anything bitter is good for the liver and digestive juices. Also helps balance blood sugar and sugar cravings.

    The skin absorbs herbs in baths as well--for 1/2 gallon of water=tea steeped from 2 big handfuls of roots/herbs in the tub.


    MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 3)

    This morning I woke up in the dark to the sounds of REAL rain this time, which of course made me need to pee. Thankfully, mother nature rocks so far this week and the rain literally wrapped up its performance just moments before we awoke to start the day. Not a drop since. Blueberries for breakfast. Scrambled eggs as well. I wish I ate so healthy in the morning ALL the time, dammit. Though my chances of choking to death on the natural peanut butter that I slather on my bread (which are pretty damn high, even here at the festival) would be increased greatly, which is probably not so good a thing. Showered this morning--when it's hot it feels SO much more necessary to do this regularly during the week, unlike last year when it was rainy and cold and you can hide your stink beneath layers. Went to my Qigong workshop which has become an annual tradition. I am DETERMINEd to remember the fricking movements this time so I can force E to do it with me occasionally on the weekends. It is fiercely sunny out once again, not a rain cloud in the sky. Tonight is the opening ceremony which means the mad rush of tarps to snag a seat for the performances. Thankfully there's only two of us which will make things a bit easier. I feel as though I'm relaying nothing real substantial about the fest here at the moment--no politics, no philosophy, just my daily events. Perhaps because not much is riling me up this week as it did last year. I am just happy to be back home. All my positive energies are like a plant that's finally been watered after a long drought. E is right--I will most certainly return home more cheery and centered and ready to kick some patriarchal asses. (Beware, wiener-toters.) Oh, integral and important info that I DO have to impart to you: there is a new Ben and Jerry's bar this year (Half-Baked) at the Cuntree Store, and I am addicted: a brownie slice covered with ice cream and infused with random bursts of cookie dough and then topped with chocolate. **It is strangely empty over here today which means the line to the food tent is probably going to be GROTESQUELY huge--fingers crossed.

    Okay. I still have 45 minutes til I have to meet M, so I will impart some more random tidbits. I have been topless the last two days. I fear I am getting more neurotic with my weird food compulsions, but at least they're amusing M. Some lovely woman just gave me big warm smiles. There are two girls about 20 ft. away wearing nothing but underwear and bats/fairy wings. E gave me an envelope to open each day of the week. I would tell you what was in each one, but I like secrets too much. =) I bought myself a sweet Michfest jogging jacket thing, to finally take place of my ratty red hoodie--very '70's. I still need to pee fiercely. So now we shall depart, oh Journal. Good day.




    Bah. Didn't end up journaling last night before bed--stayed up talking instead which is better anyways. But the final events of yesterday are now cloudy. Sat outside in the afternoon by the tent and faked reading while M walked around in the ferns, playing guitar quietly to herself beneath speckled sun. Then had some of the infamous Michfest nutloaf. Check out the recipe, specific to the quantity needed to feed 7,000 of us Michfesters. It'll make you laugh:

  • 400 lbs. of Brown Rice

  • Chop:
  • 425 lbs. Onions

  • 310 lbs. Mushrooms

  • 400 lbs. Carrots

  • 400 lbs. Yams

  • 105 bunches Parsley

  • Mince:
  • 13 lbs. of Garlic

  • Cube:
  • 400 lbs. of Tofu

  • Blend:
  • 1.75 lbs. Thyme

  • 1.75 lbs. Margoram

  • 1.33 lbs. Sage

  • Measure:
  • 55 lbs. Walnuts

  • 55 lbs. Peanuts

  • 90 lbs. Sunflower Seeds

  • 3.5 gal. Vegetable Oil

  • Grate:
  • 150 lbs. Sharp Cheddar Cheese

  • Roast nuts in light oil, stirring constantly. Saute Onions, then Carrots, then Yams, then mushrooms. Add Garlic and Herbs, stir through. Add Tofu, and bring everything to a slow boil and simmer.
    Combine Veggie/Nut mixture with rice and grated cheese.

    Note: Make a pot without Nuts.

    Can go with 7680 pita bread halves and 168 lbs. of Tortilla Chips.

    **credit to MWMF kitchen, copied from the 16th edition(year1991)

    Afterwards, watched some performances. Then watched some open mic and movies--relaying this info as I'm doing is boring the piss outta me as well as you I'm sure--damn me for not journaling last night when I would've had more to say about said events. *Donning hair shirt* Ended the night with some late-night chatting about social anxiety and lesbianism.




    Love Sonnet LXXIX

    By night, Love, tie your heart to mine, and the two
    together in their sleep will defeat the darkness
    like a double drum in the forest, pounding
    against the thick wall of wet leaves.

    Night travel: black flame of sleep
    that snips the threads of the earth's grapes,
    punctual as a headlong train that would haul
    shadows and cold rocks, endlessly.

    Because of this, Love, tie me to a purer motion,
    to the constancy that beats in your chest
    with the wings of a swan underwater,

    so that our sleep might answer all the sky's
    starry questions with a single key,
    with a single door the shadows had closed.

    --Pablo Neruda


    My Buddhist Nightmare: Random Sidenote

    So one of the first things I noticed in the Michfest program is that they have a workshop called BUDDHIST MEDITATION PRACTICE which states that you will learn a bit about Buddhist meditation and then practice meditating. I'm all about meditating and, having never done any BUDDHIST meditation, am curious to find out what it's all about.

    So I drag my ass out of bed about 7:30 in the morning to make it to the meditation session which is at 8:30. I know you're not supposed to eat before meditating, but I realize I have to stop and grab SOMETHING to eat because otherwise, i'll be awake 5 hours before I actually am able to put some food in my stomach. So I weigh my two options and conclude that it's probably better for me to eat something and then meditate on a full stomach then not eat anything and be fixated on the fact that I'm MOTHERF-ING hungry the hour and a half I'm meditating. Well, I get in line--the food tent is supposed to open at 8, and it doesn't open til 8:20. I run my ass around jamming shit onto my plate and then book it off towards workshops, forking eggs and yogurt into my face while I speedwalk.

    I get there and thankfully they haven't started yet. Already discombobulated, I sit down right BEHIND the instructor who I don't realize is, in fact, the instructor. She gives me a weird look and tells me I might be better off sitting somewhere where I can actually SEE something other than her back.

    Good start. Very zen.

    The workshop starts, the instructor talks real loosely about Buddhism and Buddhist meditation, telling me absolutely nothing that I didn't already know, so I'm a tad disappointed. And then she explains to us how to meditate and stuff and rings her cute lil' bell thricely, so I get re-excited about the prospect of meditating.

    Now, mind you, meditation workshops are always a bit difficult at Michfest, especially if you're not a practiced meditator, simply because there's a LOT of fricking noise going on at all times--other workshops, women walking by chatting, tractors and stinkbuses driving disabled folks around. So if you're just learning, it's hard to focus. But I tried my hardest to shut out everything. I'm doing ok, feeling very peaceful, when all of the sudden I shift a bit and realize my right foot, which has been sitting under my left knee, has COMPLETELY fallen asleep. Not the pins and needles kind of sleepiness, but full fledged "my foot feels like some disembodied slab of meat when poked at by the big toe on my other foot" kind of asleep. And I hate when body parts fall asleep. I fear that they will not wake up. And I feel the immediate need to get some blood back in them. Which, when you're meditating, is difficult to do without bothering the piss out of everyone else.

    So here I am, my foot completely asleep, quietly prodding at it with my other foot. Nonchalantly rubbing it with my hand as quietly as possible. Poking it. Jabbing it. Shaking it. Then the pins and needles start. Glory be. I am completely distracted, completely useless in the world of meditation.

    Goddammit, I think to myself. Or Buddha dammit. Or something like that.

    I give up on the attempts to actually get back on track, and by the time THIS session of meditating is over with, I've finally awoken my foot.

    She then begins to show us how to do WALKING meditation--2 different kinds. I am intrigued and pumped to try it. We all stand up, turn to our left to walk in a circle around the wooded area, and the girl in front of me's ass crack is half-hanging out of her pants. It is a large crevasse. It is dark and hairy. It looks like something a troll would navigate its way through in an enchanted forest. I cannot take my eyes off of it.

    Go figure, I have no problems seeing butt-nekkid women trouncing and flouncing all over the land all week. All the forms and figures make me so gloriously happy to see. And yet, there is something horribly vulgar and grotesque and mocking about an ass-crack half hanging-out of someone's pants.

    Needless to say, the walking meditation does not go well. I am disturbed and yet drawn to the ass crack again and again. Repulsed. Compelled. Repulsed. Compelled. We walk for about 10 minutes and I TRY with all my might not to fixate on it, but I fail miserably. And so the session ends.

    I am left thinking that I probably should just stick with Kundalini.



    Random Bursts (Pt. III)


  • Get up between 7:30 and 8:30

  • Go get breakfast (usually consisting of yogurt, a fruit, granola, sometimes eggs/tofu scrambles, and pb and honey on wheat bread)

  • Shuffle off to workshops between 9 am and 12pm

  • Meet up for a quick lunch with M at noon

  • Shuffle off for either more afternoon workshops between 1 and 5 pm or intersperse said workshops with craft-shopping and day-stage music

  • Meet for dinner at 5 and line up to the rush the night-stage and nab our seats at 6

  • Veg until 8

  • Watch performances from musicians and comedians from 8 pm to 12 am

  • Catch any festivities at either the August Night Cafe or the Twilight Zone

  • Go back to sleep between 12 and 2 am

  • Wash, rinse, repeat

  • -------

    Random Bursts (Pt. II)


  • Suzanne Westenhoefer (comedy)

  • Julie Goldman (comedy)

  • Novak n' Goode (comedy)

  • Elvira Kurt (comedy)

  • Alive!

  • Bitch

  • Gail Ann Dorsey

  • Ferron (my favorite song of hers: HERE

  • Le Tigre

  • Indigo Girls

  • Ember Swift

  • Cris Williamson

  • The Butchies

  • Sistas in the Pit

  • Alix Olsen and Pamela Means

  • Tribe 8

  • Holly Near


  • Nedra Johnson

  • Toshi Reagon and Big Lovely


  • The Basics of Herbal Medicine (Tues. 9-12 am)

  • Qigong Yangsheng (Wed. 1-4 pm)

  • Buddhist Meditation Practice (Th. 8:30-10 am)

  • Sacred Chemistry (Learning about scents and their history in culture/roots of aromatherapy) (Th. 10 am-12 pm)

  • Sign Language 101 (Th. 2-3 pm)

  • Women's Tantric Sexuality (Th. 3:30-4:30)

  • Basic Automotive Repairs (Fr. 10:30-11:30am) -- Got cancelled; bastards!

  • Kundalini Yoga (Sat. 10 am-12 pm)

  • Books from Junk (Sun. 9-11 am)

  • -------

    MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 2)

    (For those of you who never read about LAST year's Michfest, feel free to do so starting HERE and working your way through the week.)

    DAY 2

    It is absolutely fucking beautiful out. I woke up to the wind in the trees sounding exactly like rain against tarp. So imagine my surprise to be greeted with big joyous grinning sunlight, not a rain drop in the sky. Dragged my ass out of bed early, sometime around 7, and went to take a shower in the outdoor showers. Always fun taking a shower beneath rustling leaves and pure blue sky, surrounded by other naked women also taking their first shower of the day. I smelt and felt stinky and rank, so what turned out to be an ice cold shower actually hit the spot. Despite being blind as a bat and trying to shampoo my hair with conditioner, growing quickly infuriated with its inability to foam up and thankfully realizing my mistake, it was definitely the right way to start off the day. I ate a quick breakfast--granola and yogurt, canteloupe, and pb and honey on wheat bread. Then events ensued that I will now jot down as I must remember to torture E with (since he kept joking about how I was gonna end up shagging tons of ladies while at the fest): this stone cold beautiful chick sauntered up and hit on me. Let us set the scene:

    (L, walking along the path briskly towards her morning workshop. Passes foxy chick who is asking a couple women where to locate coffee. Notes that chick is pretty damn foxy. Continues on to workshop. Foxy chick apparently heads off behind L to pursue her coffee. She speeds up 'til she's next to L, and then slows down to match L's pace. L catches a blur of her out of the corner of her eye.)

    L (politely): Mornin'.

    Foxy Chick (grinning): Hey. (pause) I was just walking behind you and thought, damn, this woman is bee-oo-tee-ful from behind. So I decided to catch up because I thought to myself, You've GOT to find out what she looks like!

    L (laughing a bit, and uncharacteristically suave-like for once in her life): Huh! Well, I hope I didn't disappoint. (also grinning)

    Foxy Chick (shaking her head energetically): Oh no! Not. At. All. You're BEAUTIFUL.

    L (grinning like a big stupid embarassed idiot): Heh heh. Likewise. And thanks.

    (Foxy Chick heads off for morning coffee. L continues on to workshop, grinning at the great story that she will have to share with E--getting hit on within an hour of awakening on my first morning in Michfest, AND by a stone cold foxy chick.)

    /End scene

    So the workshop. The workshop is on herbal medicine, and I learned that I need to get me some nettles and some dandelion root and some red raspberry leaves (among other things). Our instructor welcomes us with piping hot coffee which my eyes and body greet energetically, like a big fat erection. Or maybe, more aptly, a huge erect clit. =) I learn learn learn tons of new shit that perhaps I will reproduce here later in the week. Meet M for lunch and then roam around the crafts area (afternoon workshop--Tantric Sexuality--has been pushed back to later in the week) and find a gift for E IMMEDIATELY. I think he will love it. ~~Women are salsa dancing as I write this.~~ It is packed here this year. My feet are already completely filthy. Heh heh. Ah Michfest.



    Random Michfest Bursts


  • My little stadium chair thingie for sitting

  • A rain poncho

  • My tupperwarey dinner plate thing--a spoon and fork as well


  • Bugspray

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle filled with water

  • A book for leisure reading

  • My Michfest program (which lists all workshops and concerts to schedule your day)

  • My skirt-wrap

  • A warm jacket-thing of sorts

  • My notebook (for journaling and other such things)

  • My sketchpad

  • My wallet

  • My eyeglass case and contacts

  • My Diva Cup

  • Leg warmers

  • E's envelopes

  • Camera


  • I need to take better care of my body. I do not treat it like it deserves to be treated. This means that I am going to try to get off the BC pill, for one thing--I would like to go back to the natural and beautiful rhythm of the female body rather than have that rhythm be induced by chemicals. It also means that I am going to try to eliminate my daily pop intake from my routine and instead infuse my routine with good herbal concoctions to healthify myself.

  • I need to make a more conscious effort to surround myself with positive energies. Every one of us have enough negative energies to deal with on any given day that we don't have any control over (or limited control). So those negative energies that we DO have control over, we really should make an effort to purge from our daily lives. This means that I should not be wasting my time and energy on people who bring such negativity into my life and make me feel like garbage about myself more often than they make me feel GOOD about myself. I need to make a better space around myself that is filled with GOOD energy (a Michfest OUTSIDE of Michfest)--this is within MY control and I need to start MAKING it so.

  • I need to start appreciating and being more happy with my body. There are so many gorgeous women out there, so many different shapes and sizes, and so many of them who positively GLOW with self-love for their body, no matter WHAT it looks like and no matter whether or not it fits the stupid acceptable mold of beauty that the media jams down our throat. I must work harder at reaching this place myself. I must work to keep it healthy--exercise it and feed it good things. But I must not give it crap, because it is beautiful and it really does serve me gloriously, dammit.

  • I need to stop being so insecure about my feminism and rant and rage if/when I feel the need, motherfucker.
  • Labels:


    MICHFEST 2005 (DAY 1)

    I am officially back, so I must therefore say SUCK IT, SMP SMP, AT TO DEATH, etc. to those of you I haven't said these things to for over a week.

    Phew. Much better.

    Anywho, I've been gone the past week attending the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival again (for those of you who haven't noticed my absence). So, like last year, I will be posting my Michfest thoughts and ruminations on this here blog. Hope you enjoy...

    DAY 1

    6, 523 women this year. Fucking madness. Fucking beautiful lovely madness.

    The drive went by like nothing, six hours in a blink. Was remarkably unsleepy despite only 4-5 hours of sleep last night. Did the usual routine--stopped for BK and Cinnabuns. Stopped at Subway once we hit Hart. A car full of Michfesters followed us the last hour. They waved with grins on when they finally drove past to check us out, and then fell back again to follow.

    The line was UNBELIEVABLY long, despite us arriving at 1 pm. Women who've been coming for years have said they've never seen it so long--probably because it's the 30th anniversary and all that. It wrapped out onto the main road where we were windswept by semis shuttling past. Finally got inside about 6 pm. (That's 5 hours spent waiting in line with my car, for those of you who can't do the math.) Set up an excellent tenting area--tarped very nicely, thank you, especially after last years sopping soggy mess of a tent, a little seating area out front.

    Dusk and then darkness.

    When finally all set up, we sat out in the pitch black and shared some congratulatory beers and some chips and salsa while moths flit crazily about our heads and darted into and out of the light of the lantern. M's lantern lit the undersides of the leaves, making them look tipped in silver and making the forest look like a fairy land. A large angry bug chitted at me heatedly. The crickets were a warm harmony as we slipped into the midnight hour with good talk and good energies. Then a nice pre-sleep shit in the Porta-Janes, read the first of E's daily envelopes, listened to extremely large bugs do kamikaze dive-bombs into the sides of the tent, and fell into a restless night's sleep, full of energy and excitement for the oncoming day.




    Somewhere in the refrigerator in the lunchroom at work, there are no doubt purple carrots.

    And I am the culprit.

    I have a short attention-span when it comes to food. I am also lazy. So some days I pack a lunch thinking, "MMMM hummus sounds SO fricking good I can barely contain myself" but by lunchtime, hummus sounds about as appetizing as licking birdshit off of someone's rusted out Buick. Other days, the thought of even having to CHEW seems to require way to much agonizing concentration and energy (teeth move up, teeth move down, move tongue out of the way, teeth move up, teeth move down, move tongue out of the way) that I can't bear to put myself through the torture of consuming my pre-packed lunch. This is the ultimate in laziness.

    The problem is, I typically forget that I never ate my lunch on one of these days where I buy something at the cafeteria or just sit at my desk and stare. And I typically don't remember it until a few days/weeks later. By then, my bag is one of 50 or so others, indistinguishable and wedged into the wet corners of the refrigerator. Were I a decent person, I would remember to remove my lunch from the fridge promptly the day I chose not to consume it and take it home with me. Or if I were a decent person, I would go back and search for it when I DO remember, weeks later.

    But to do the latter would entail scrambling and scrounging through all the OTHER bags in there which has the possibility of resulting in several unpleasant outcomes: 1) Some big-bosomed office-woman with a large beehive beats the crap outta me while suffocating me between her large bosoms when she just happens to come retrieve her lunch as I'm digging through her specific bag to see if it is, in fact, my lunch that I'd left in there a week ago; *OR* 2) I run across some other horrible and unmentionable food mutation which someone ELSE had forgotten about and left in the refrigerator to rot and which has grown some sorta eye that actually has blinking functions and seems to be weirdly autonomous and i am scarred for life because of it, weeping and shaking every time I come within a 50 foot radius of anything resembling a refrigerator.

    Neither is an appealing outcome.

    So instead, several of my molding filthy rejected lunches are loitering in the refrigerator down there, turning all sorta of different colors, growing fuzzy and furry and black, making people's nostrils curl up like the toes of the Wicked Witch of the West when she gets smashed by Dorothy's house.

    I am certain that there is one bag of baby carrots, one bottle of salad dressing, and several other unmentionables down there, plotting my death as we speak.

    But today I leave for vacation. =)


    ...And Riding on the Coattails of a Positive Blog is Surliness Illustrated with Pictures...

    Lately, I've been thinking, I really could live happily if I never heard another word out of another person's mouth for the rest of eternity.

    As I say this, I knock on wood, knowing that because of such an arrogant and mean statement, I'll probably trip while q-tipping my ears or something and, voila, my wish will be granted.

    But lately I just feel like one of those old-fashioned switchboard operators who used to have to transfer calls by plugging and unplugging into different jacks and stuff, all a-jangle with a bunch of different noise, a bunch of different people shouting for a bunch of different connections, a bunch of different thoughts going on in my head. And my head keeps yelling NO MORE INPUT! And I feel like I need to just put down the plugs and stuff and RUN.

    It just feels like each time a person opens their mouth, garish, deafening, static and grinding and terrible gnashing of mixed up frequencies and metal and phone lines comes out. Everything sounds like the metallic mastication, the iron noisiness, of Tetsuo or something. Like car accidents and lightning-striking and a machine bottoming out on itself as its gears collapse. Like I should be pausing like the 1950's scream queens in ridiculously slow and lengthy horror in front of such noise and countering it with the most blood-curdling scream ever...

    And then someone says something to me while I'm whining about this like, "i mean, when you have pickles, there ain't no lemonade!" and I take it all back. Heh heh.



    When I was little, as most of us did, I used to hang my head upside-down off the side of my couch and pretend that the ceiling was actually my new floor and that I was now living in this upside-down land where light-fixtures were now things that I had to step over and furniture now dangled precariously from the ceiling.

    That was good shit.

    I didn't even actually DO anything. I would just hang there for hours, head as red as a bright red lego, cloudy with the heartbeat of all the blood accumulating there, IMAGINING my existence in this newly-flipped universe, imagining the clutter-free simplicity of my new floors and walkways, just SEEING things in this new and different way and making it my new reality, for a short time at least.

    This gets harder to do as you get older, I think. I still try to. But it doesn't come with ease anymore--too many distractions, not enough imagination. Feelings of being trapped, being stuck in the mundane, trudging onwards as days whisk so quickly past. I mean, who EVER felt these things when they were little? Nobody. You had superheroes and smurfs and coloring books with which to distract yourself. Nothing was impossible.

    It still isn't. And yet we've so fiercely convinced ourselves that it is.

    When I was little, I also always wanted that ONE really sweet, really garbagey ice cream cone from the ice cream truck--the one with the gumball at the very bottom, a sweet and eternally-lasting surprise after all the energy it took to work your way through the sticky goo of spun sugar. All because of that stupid gumball. That stupid magical thing.

    Everybody always yammers about how people get wiser with age. But we were some damn smart philosophers when we were younger--and that's probably why we were so blissfully and obliviously happy, for the most part. We were brilliant philosophers who lived by our philosophies instead of just paying them lip-service, all without even realizing we were in the grasp of such brilliance in the first place.

    And yet here we are now as adults, bemoaning our confusion, crying about our sad fates, struggling to make meaning out of madness.

    Whenever I get stressed, I try to remind myself of these things that I once understood so inherently, so clearly, these things that were such an unquestionable part of my daily life that they never even passed through my brain as abstractions/cliches/oversimplifications because they were simply the way things were. I remind myself of them again, like a mantra, as I write this: Nothing is impossible. Be happy with small things.



    Yesterday was apparently a very David Lynch kind of day for me. Everywhere I went, there was a midget on a bicycle riding by.

    I kid you not.