Minicon Regrets and Memories

This was the best Minicon ever, for so many reasons and most of those reasons are people.

But I have some regrets.

One huge regret is that I didn’t remember to thank DD-B at Closing Ceremonies for his incredible photos and prints that made the ConSuite even more wonderful. Especially that photo of Doug. All the tears.

Another regret is that I didn’t hear every piece of music being played. Seriously, everything I heard was so so good. The Tooles were so damn good I was mad at myself for every performance that I have missed. So much energy, and just infectious joy. The Nate Bucklin Band were as sharp as bands that have been together for forever, and had just as much nostalgia. Excellent. And man, Riverfolk can effing play. I was so salty for every song I missed.
Adam’s concert? Just, come on. What?

Sister Tree was incredible. They are so talented and warm and loving. Kerri and Dee have something really special and I was just entranced. I’m so lucky to have Dee as a sister and get to be her fan girl all at the same time.

And then there is Cats Laughing. They were just everything. All the things you want from a show they gave us. They were so tight, so full of electricity, so happy to be there. They fed off the crowd and we fed it right back. If you haven’t seen the show you should just buy that DVD. I don’t make any money from it, so just trust that I mean it.

I was so honored to host the High-Roller Backer Dinner for Beyond Conventions before the show. What an awesome thing it is to buy dinner for such a fun and funny group of people.

And being asked by my brother to MC the entire concert? That will be one of my proudest moments until I die. To be the person he thought could do justice to this amazing thing he has just manifested? I just desperately wanted to do it right. I mean... Who the heck gets to do that?! I wont talk much about my part because why would I bother? I mean, I’m an egomaniac and not even I cared about what I was saying or how I was doing.

But, I do want to share a moment that was special for me. After they finished their power set of sock-rockin and ground moving music the band headed off stage. I just couldn’t look at them. It was too much. I just couldn’t have a check in with them in the context of show details, or even for just sharing a moment with my family or friends or people I worship. I just had to look down at the ground as they passed me and then make my way up the stairs. I was full on fan. If I had looked at my father I would have cried. And I just think when you fan-girl that hard at your father it will make Christmas dinners pretty awkward..

So, head down, I just screamed at the top of my lungs as they passed. And then I got on stage and I got to share some of that glory they had created. The audience was so completely grateful and I was one of them. As I did the most unnecessary round of hype-girling, I meant it so hard but that audience just didn’t need it at all. I realized later that my roof-raising gestures was so heart-felt that my arms are still a little sore today. It was just this complete moment of perfection. I looked out at this cheering crowd and felt the energy and I was so completely grateful.

The rest of the night, after the concert, I got to hang out with Aliera, Amanda, Jen, and Karina and we ran around and had awesome bathroom-couch adventures and silliness and it was so great. Best friends and the best.

Opening and Closing Ceremonies were in some ways awesome and others a little sad. I will miss Dave ushering in and waving off our fabulous little con. That is a tradition that I have always loved. It’s going to be hard to bring the funny as consistently as he has. But I am honored to have the chance to try.

There were music circles that I will remember forever. Uncle Johnny and Lojo playing tunes together? Lojo playing Vodka in the Jar. Johnny playing Parting Glass. Dave Clement playing the Mary Ellen Carter. Scott Keever playing really anything. Patrick and my Dad have some freaking musical chemistry. And PNH has this richness and authenticity that I so admire and wish he was around more to share with us. Nate playing Shine on Everybody’s Moon. So much yes.

It wasn’t just the music though. The Bozo Bus Tribune was so fun this year. After every awesome thing that happened I felt compelled to run and find Thorin and beg him to turn my pile of emotions and superlatives into something he could use. I managed to restrain myself from making the entire publication Toni’s Reviews of Con. But just like barely.

The ConSuite was so well run. The bar was excellent. Tart Cider! Delicious Sidhe beer! Blog. And our GOHs were all kind and impressive and generous.

I could not be more grateful to my whole Minicon family. I have grown up with all of you, and I absolutely know how lucky that has made me. Coming back from Portland because we missed our people and showing up just in time for Con was, as my mother would have said, mystical. So, for everyone to be so welcoming and loving to Karina really shouldn’t have been so surprising. The sheer volume of love and support is stunning and I am so completely thankful.

There were those stupid boys who went all GamerGate on Karina when she was trying to volunteer. That sucked and I was ashamed of our community. And then something cool happened. Every single person was super angry about it. Everyone. Even, and especially maybe, Matt who was running games.

We have built an amazing community for ourselves. I simply could not be more grateful. Never leave me.

I am the proudest daughter and sister and fangirl there ever was.

A Few Belated Thanks

I have real trouble writing thank-you notes. A lot of it is that I am acutely aware of how poor my writing skills are when compared to most of the people I am lucky enough to know. I also end up finding that they have come out either very cheesy and impersonal, or they sound completely insincere and forced. I write a few drafts, hate them all, curse my lack of genetic writing gifts, and then I never look at them again. Which is actually pretty great, because then not only have I wasted time and gotten to beat myself up, but I've totally blown off the only important part anyway, and get to be rude to someone who deserved a thank you. That has the added bonus of initiating another round of beating myself up. I'm a treat.

I need to end this vicious cycle. So, I present a few very long over due and poorly written notes of gratitude.

To coffeeem
Thank you so much for the amazing socks! They are gorgeous and I love them. It just got cold enough to pull them back out and I put them on and was immediately warm and happy. And then I remembered that I STILL haven't thanked you, and was inspired to write this post. I'm sorry it is so incredibly late, and so inadequately written. I love my socks very much. Thank you!

To lydy

My blanket! It's amazing. I love it. It's pretty and warm and it makes me think of you. Thank you so so much.

To tesla_aldrich

(Wow. This one is really really really long overdue.)

Thanks for the bed! It's still comfy and awesome. Sorry for the insane lateness, but thank you!

To thorintatge

I probably owe you a bunch of thank you notes. The year you gave me John Stewart's America for Christmas sticks out especially. It was exactly what I wanted and you just got it for me because you knew that. It totally made my Christmas.

To pameladean and ddb and also my extra bonus GP lydy

I must owe you a million thank you notes. For outings and gifts and love and affection a million times. Like that time you took me to the science museum or when we ate noodles or the time you gave me my first camera and taught me how to use it. Valley fair! So many millions of awesome things. Thank you for being amazing God Parents. I love you and regardless of how ungrateful I must seem, I do understand how lucky I am to have the God Parent Golden Ticket. Thank you.

Oh there are a million more to be done. But this is a start.


Week 3 Gender-Crossing Women

The material for this week consists entirely of the 18 readings, of various lengths, behind this link.

This was a really fantastic collection of readings. Well, ok. The translations were often laughably bad, and most of the bigoted attitudes of the era, and of the authors of most of the pieces, were pretty hard to get past. But there are some genuine laughs in these stories. And I feel like most of the people that the articles/essays/whatevers are about, are really pretty radical feminists, when considered in their own historical contexts.

One of the selections is a summary of an essay that is presumed to have been written by a doctor, that while hard to read because of sheer wrongness, gave me some real insight into how some of these attitudes actually played out in people's heads.

Other favorite things:

I liked the Havelock Ellis article and really appreciate the tagline "she drank. she swore. she courted girls."

I loved the article on Murray Hall, most of all. I mean, come on, *he"played pinochle and was sweet on women." Not to mention, he was a gender-crossing woman who lived so successfully as a man that he married twice, voted, and both possessed and used political power to further his ideals. And his born gender was not discovered until he died. That's a good read, right there. When you add on the story of Hall getting arrested, going to jail, leaving jail to get drunk with the officers, getting into it with one of said officers-whom he whipped and supplied with a black eye- going back to jail, spending the night in jail, and then having politically connected allies wrangle his release the very next morning; I basically have a new hero.

*When I talk about the Gender-crossing women (that's the term we are using for class, I don't know how individual members of the LGBTIQ community would feel about this choice, but it's the one we are using for class) I'm going to use the pronoun that the person used/is believed to have used to describe themselves.

Abusing My Prescription

Abusing My Prescription (To R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion)

Oh Pills are better
They're better then booze
Better than most weed
The distance I would drive to
The people I'd deceive
Oh no I took too much
I didn't take enough

That's me at the doctor
That's me at the Walgreen's
Abusing my prescription
Trying to keep my thoughts subdued
I think another dose will do it
Oh no I took too much
I didn't take enough

I thought that I had you going
I thought that I made you think
I think I thought you'd get me high

Every dosage
Of every generic version
Is stifling my emotions
Trying to reinvent quaaludes
Like a high numb stoned drug mule
Oh no I took too much
I took enough

Delivered scripts
The high of convenience
Delivered scripts
The pills that knocked me off my feet wore out
What if all these pharmacies
Come sniffing around
Now I took too much

I thought that I had you going
I thought that I made you think
I think I thought you'd get me high

But that was just the drugs
That was just the drugs

That's me at the doctor
That's me at the Walgreen's
Abusing my prescription
Trying to keep my thoughts subdued
I think another dose will do it
Oh no I took too much
I took enough

I thought that I heard you coming
I thought that I heard you call
I think I thought you'd get me high

By Me
(I'm sorry.)


Intro to Lesbian Culture

This semester, among other things, I am taking Intro to Lesbian Culture at MCTC. It happened to be the only class that worked both for my schedule and towards my Women's Studies certificate, that I hadn't already taken. I was a little nervous initially, because I am a real talker in my classes, and my outsider status had me a little worried about silencing and privilege and all that. Part of why it worked for my schedule is that it's an entirely online course, which means there are really no fears about silencing, and I'm getting pretty used to awkwardly confronting my privilege at this point, so I'm not having any issues at all.

So far, I really like it a lot. As has been true of most of my academic pursuit of women's studies, I'm finding it to be heavily dominated by white elite women, and intersectionality is seriously lacking. But, it's only week two, and one of the readings has already owned up to that, so maybe that means it will be more inclusive and full in scope as we progress.

Another advantage of the online format is that there is only one textbook, and everything else is online and free to the public. Not only did this save me money but it lets me do this...

Take my Intro to Lesbian Culture class along with me! Well, OK, don't do the assignments or whatever. But I'll post the links that I've read/watched/whatever for the week here, and you can read/watch/whatever them too. Then we can talk about them and improve our understanding and critical thinking skills and have interesting conversations and so on.

Unless no one comments and plays. Then I will stop posting and sulk back away to my secret LJ-voyeur's corner. That's legit, too.

Week 1

Introduction to Lesbian History

Definitions of Terms

And then there is a brief pdf that is basically a primer on Cultural Studies. It's pretty remedial stuff, and is also copyright protected, so you can't have it.

Week 2


Native Americans/ Gay Americans

Romantic Friendships