Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thoughts on Masculinity

Not mine, yours. This is a completely random request of a friend of mine, not to me but to bearsir for input on masuclinity as part of brainstorming for a new show, but it seems like a pretty wide call where more imput would be better, so perhaps it's generally worth reposting even though no one asked me to. Hopefully Turner won't hate me for it.

Reply in the comments or send email to turner atsign undergroundtransit dot com.

Hey folks --

As many of you know, I am hard at work on my new show, "Becoming a Man in 127 EASY Steps," which premiers in Seattle in May. I'm working on a section about what kind of man I could be, and it's set to Aimee Mann's "Guys Like Me" -- which you could hear on iTunes if you were so inclined.

Aaaannnyway. I've been asking male-identified people for a few years now about what it means to them to be men. I wanna get one last wave. This time I'm opening it up to anyone who is, was, will be, wants to be OR is not, was never, will never, and does not want to be. Yeah, I'm askin' YOU.


What does it mean, to you, to be a man?

More specifically:
--What are some of the steps you take (have taken, will take) to become a man?
--How do we differentiate "man" from "boy"?
--What does it feel like to be a man, physically?
--Name 3 ways in which being a man feels different from being a woman (or another sex and/or gender that is not male/man).
--What else feels important for you to say about being or becoming a man?

Okay, so y'all know I'm not interested in making sweeping generalizations here about "man" and "woman." In fact, I'm not even interested in philosophy or theory. What I'm actually looking for are all the idiosyncratic ways we think and experience and write about maleness and being a man. No answer is "right", no answer will be privileged as "better" than another. I'm just interested in what you think, feel, and believe. Those answers may help me write for the show.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

turner atsign undergroundtransit dot com

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Musical for the Vapid, Popular and Juvenile

13. Mark Taper Forum. 1/30/07.

A musical about 13-year-olds is a bad idea. It's that simple. I'm not suprised - I rather expected it would be a bad idea. No one wants to relive being a 13 year old, and its not exactly a musical-worthy accomplishment. But, honestly, 13 demonstrated a lot more promise than I expected. There were actually some bright spots.

The cast, first of all, was absolutely delightful. The kids were extremely talented singers, dancers, and actors. Ricky Ashley as the lead, Even, demonstrated skill that gives me a lot of hope that we'll be seeing great performances from him in the future. Sara Niemietz as Patrice was by far the most interesting character in the whole play and had a killer voice.

And really, I can't fault Jason Robert Brown as a composer and lyricist- the music was lively and fun and catchy and it encorporated the young voices quite well.

The problem, and for me this is a deadly problem, was the plot. It was atrociously vapid. Seriously, seriously bad. From the moment the characters were established, you knew exactly how the play would end and honestly, I didn't much care. The stakes were completely nonexistant - honestly, I didn't care whether Evan became popular or not, and I kind of hated him for caring. In fact, I hated many of the characters. My queer, nerdy, outcast self really did not want to see a musical that reaffirmed the power structures of juvenile society - the cheerleaders, the jocks, and even the conservative Christian Republican (as long as she's rich and pretty) never had their authority questioned in any way. I would have much prefered a musical about quirky outcasts who don't want to be popular.

And the world this musical was also problematic. First of all, it kind of felt like kiddie porn. The girls wore short little skirts so the audience could see their underwear when they kicked. There was a point where one of the boys came out and sat on an audience member's lap. Now, I don't inherently thinking it's a bad idea for kids to have their own sexuality issues and honestly "should I kiss him or not" is an awfully innocent problem for a 13 year old cheerleader to have, though it could have been dealt with in a more interesting and complex way. But teenage sexuality should definitely not be exploited for the point of the audience. I don't want to have to see blonde 13 year old girls objectified.

So, while this musical was superficially talking about the in groups and out groups of junior high, that very conspicuoulsly did not include race, gender, or sexuality issues. The popular crowd was ostensibly multicultural, but only in that the main jock was an African-American football player and everyone else was white. There were also some African-American backup singers/chorus members, but there were NOT any people who were neither black nor white. Nor was their any glimmer of gender nonconformity or criticism of traditional gender roles or beauty expectations (which is just plain silly at a time when everyone is going through puberty). The nerds, my own personal social group, was also tragically underrepresented. I had high hopes for the song "Being a Geek," but it didn't actually talk at all about the realities of being a geek or offer a viable alternative to the stupid social hierarchy that the musical was determined to reaffirm. The play values beauty, stupiditity, and athleticism at the expense of actual character development, or the real life problems of real kids who aren't fortune enough to be rich and pretty and in the suburbs. I honestly wanted to hit the vast majority of the characters at several points in the musical in order to jolt them out of their smug superiority and to put them (or me) out of my misery.

Michael Ritchie, CTG's old boy's network artistic director writes in the program "let's celbrate together that special time when the world is full of potential and life is just plain awesome." This may be true if you're rich, white, straight, and male, but for most people I know and care to know, the age of 13 was not a good experience and I honestly have no interest in seeing a musical that pretends that it is.

Femme Visibility

Since I was seriously craving some queer femme images recently, I thought it was perhaps about time to offer up femme-y links. Most of these are old news, but they're what I've got. I'd love to learn about what I'm missing.

I indulged by desire for femme pinups by purchasing the iheartbrooklyngirls calendar, which has 12 months of femme girls from Brooklyn, each posing as a pinup from a different decade. Now on sale for $10 (plus $3 shipping), it's quite a steal. Of course, I'd be happier if all the images were 40s and 50s styled, but the photos are quite lovely anyway.

Maria Angeline at Daily Dose of Queer has a Call for Submissions out for an anthology entitled Visible: A Femmethology. Submissions are due March 15, so get writing. Part of me wants to write something about retro-femmininity as a visibility stragegy, but I'm not sure what to write and who has time right now to write anything that's not dissertation? Ugh.

Darrah de Jour's Femme in the City month column at Dot Newsmagazine is occasionally fabulous and always offers up an interesting femme perspective on life and relationships.

Blogger saltyfemme asks some femme questions for which I have no answers and thus remain silent. But if you have something to say, she'd love your comments.

Midnight Bridges is femme blogger who is frequently amusing. She posted this lovely butch/femme meditiation a while ago.

Sassyfemme is another femme blogger out there.

The Femme Files in addition to being a fun femme blogger (who has been unfortunately silent recently), occasionally has fabulously femme posts such as this lovely conversation on nail polish colors we had a while ago.

Team Gina are a pair of musicians who seem to identify as femme based on the song "ButchFemme," which is super fun.

Jackadandy posts an occasional but fabulous series of tributes and profiles of femmes, many of whom ze met at the Femme 2006 conference. The most recent is of MizChris of This is a seriously excellent series of posts and I totally want more.

Femme books: The classic butch/femme book is Joan Nestle's The Persistent Desire, of course. As silly as it is, I love Shar Rednour's Femme's Guide to the Universe. Sally Munt's Butch/Femme is a pretty good collection of essays. Laura Harris and Elizabeth Crocker's Femme and Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri's Brazen Femme have the advantage of being entirely femme-focused, though I found both hit-and-miss in holding my attention.

My favorite femme performance artist is, of course, Lois Weaver, but I'm open to more.

Then there are fabulous queer women who may not identify as femme but do femininity in fascinating ways. Some of my favorites are Michelle Tea and Thea Hillman.

So, those are the queer femme links that I have off the top of my head (and my newsreader, of course). I wish I had more, so seriously, if you have suggestions, pleaase let me know. Who am I missing? Do you have a favorite femme?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Missing LA

What's wrong with LA? It's a major city, home to several universities, major music venues, and small performance spaces. So why do so many artists avoid it? I've noticed a lot of performances/bands that I'm interested in seeing, particularly queer ones, don't manage to get to LA when they tour. This seems to me to be a major oversight quite possibly demonstrating a serious lack in programing at local venues.

What brought this to my attention was the fact that Team Gina, a pair of queer women on their first tour and just releasing a CD (with a butch/femme song that I enjoy very much), had originally posted that they would be LA on Sunday, Jan. 28th with a venue TBD. It now seems that they've rescheduled to be in New Mexico instead. They're skipping LA completely.

And then, I looked at the just-announced tour dates for the Sex Workers' Art Show. They're performing in Claremont, San Diego, and Santa Barbara, but not in LA itself. I saw this show at UCLA last year, and even though it was an organizational and technical clusterf*ck, the show itself was amazing. I would gladly see this year's tour, but I'm pretty dubious about the two hours of driving in rush hour that it would take to get to any of these venues.

Similarly, SF-based Lipstick Conspiracy toured last summer and performed in San Diego but not LA. S. Bear Bergman is currently finishing up a week of performances and public appearances, but in the year or two I've known about hir, ze's never done a show in LA.

So what's wrong with us? Why don't the cool queer shows perform here? Is it a lack of organizing? Lack of opportunity? Lack of community? Audience? Is it a problem within the universities where we have the funding to bring these people? If anyone has the answers or speculation, I'd love to know.

I suspect with Highways, if a performer or group is local and thus assumed to have a local following, they're much more likely to get programmed than someone who has to come in from out of town. So you're likely to get a season like this most recent one where the butchlalis are the only thing I'm interested in seeing because they don't bother to bring in interesting things from out of town. The LA Gay and Lesbian Center seems mainly interested in big name performers appealing to upper middle class white gay men so they can charge lots of money for tickets. Transgiving is a great event, but I wonder if they'll be able to work things out and still get the major out of town talent now that its guiding light has moved on.

Someday, I'm going to program my own series of fabulous queer performances. In the mean time, I wish that the major city that I live in weren't a major black hole for out-of-town queer performers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Object Lust

Oh my goodness, I've fallen in love. With a handbag. This may be the most beautiful purse I have ever seen. Of course, it costs more than I can afford to pay for an entire outfit, so it sadly will never be my own. And, even if I had the money, I would be seriously reluctant to spend that much on an accessory. I'm not so big on accessories, really. But in the meantime, I can drool. And I have. I seriously want to make out with this thing. Sigh.

But what looking at this made me realize, however, is that what I really want is to be looking at hot pictures of queer women in retro (40s and 50s) clothes. Like, lots of them. Preferably in butch/femme situations. It doesn't have to be porn, though I'm fine if it is, but I just want to drool over lush retro costumes and queer folks. I think these things should be combined more. I love pinups - the heels, the stockings, the hair (goodness, I wish I could get my hair to do those things!), and preferably a few butches in suits as well. Why can't I find this? Why isn't it everywhere, right now, right here? Obviously, I'm occasionally a bit of a retro-femme myself at times (mostly for special occasions), but what I want to know are where are the big celebrations fabulous dressed-up retro-style queerness? I'm writing about the noir aesthetic of NY dyke culture in '80s, but I want more. I want more visual imagery, photos or drawings or anything. Things I can hang up in my room or take down from a bookshelf and leaf through. I want books and books lesbian art with fabulous costumes and high style. I'm greedy that way, I guess.

Monday, January 22, 2007

At the Hop

Who knew that there was a monthly sock hop in LA? I'm totally curious. Not this month, but at some point I want to check it out.

Also, in September, Rufus Wainwright will be performing all of the songs from Judy Garland's 1961 performance at the Hollywood Bowl (following his performance of her Carnegie Hallshow). I think this is super cool.


Ugh. I've been dreadfully ill for the past week or so, so I beg your indulgence for my long silence. I haven't exactly made it to the theater recently, nor have I been thinking particularly profound thoughts, although I am finally plugging away at my dissertation a bit.

Anyway, my birthday is coming up, and in terms of birthdays (at least my own) I'm a more is more kind of girl. My family has a standard birthday routine that will not be particularly exciting and will probably involve me being presented with fascinating gifts like socks and a 2007 calendar (but not this one, sadly). The birthday for me is not about gifts, but is about people. It matters a lot to me when friends call me on my birthday or make time to spend with me. So I figure that I have the opportunity to make this happen, rather than sitting around waiting for people to offer to celebrate, and for several years in a row, I've (with the help of roomie and prophboy, of course) thrown myself a big birthday party. I invite all the people I know and love, and then a bunch of people I don't know so well but think could be cool to hang out with and know better. I tend to invite all of the gay men and most of the other queer folks that I know (or have contact info for). It's always a grab bag of different groups, but I'm lucky that I have good friends on whom I can rely to come by and have a few drinks and sit around chatting until the wee hours of the morning. One year, there was cross-sexuality groping and a guy who passed out on the floor. Another, I stayed up talking until 4am. The parties have meet with varying success, but it always makes me happy to get to dress up (and yet be comfortable because I'm in my own house and can take off the heels whenever they start to hurt) and be surrounded by people (hopefully) having a good time.

Before that, my birthday tradition for several years was pear cider outside a coffee shop, with a huge group of friends and some flaming cheetos. It's all about spending time hanging out and laughing with people for me.

So if you happen to know me, send me an email and I'll make sure you're invited to the party. You should come.

But the point of this post was neither reminiscing or advertising, but rather polling. Since my birthday is generally not about getting presents from other people (although a beautiful, perfect purse from prophboy last year and a beloved book from nebs for my 21st are particularly memorable and beloved presents), I usually think of it as a time for self-indulgence. I treat myself to one (or sometimes a few) things that I would generally consider too expensive or too frivolous to buy for myself or that I just never get around to buying. So my question to you is, what terribly self-indulgent thing or things should I treat myself to for my birthday? Fancy clothes that I don't get to wear often enough? Makeup? Exotic bath products? Sexy heels? Is the perfect purse or wallet for me out there somewhere? Maybe yummy ice cream or good wine or some other culinary kind of treat? Wonderful old movies on DVD? Is it finally time to break down and get the L Word? Is there a fun book that I totally need even though I shouldn't take the time to read it?

What are your own personal indulgences? Something you're longing for or frequently take guilty pleasure in? What does indulgence mean to you?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Looking Ahead

I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions or predictions or any of the other things that have tended to appear on blogs in the past two weeks. I did, however, very much appreciate Jacob Anderson-Minshall's "A Preview of the Trans Year to Come". Of course, there's so much more than he could fit in his column, so I'd like to offer my preview of the Trans Year To Come, focusing entirely on the "Art, Theater, and Performance" category, since that's what I do best, and probably a bit LA-centric, but I'd love to hear about things I've missed and things happening elsewhere if anyone has things to add. Not all of my events will be specifically trans, but most will be in the queer/trans/genderqueer arena.

The lovely and talented ryka aoki de la cruz will be performing at Ladyfest South in Atlanta on January 27th. (Katz of Athens Boys Choir will also be performing Jan. 26th - check out all of the Ladyfest South events).

Butch writer/performer S. Bear Bergman is touring with hir book, Butch is a Noun (which I highly recommend!); hir performance piece, "Monday Night in Westerbork"; and smut readings, which I would give my left fishnet stocking to hear. Seriously, Bear's writing and gentlepersonly charm make me swoon and I've never even seen hir in person. I'm not sure how I would survive a smut reading, but I would welcome the challenge. Those of you in San Francisco, where Bear will be performing from Jan. 20-28, must not miss this opportunity. Still no dates in LA. Grr.

Fabulous trans rapper Katastrophe will be touring the West Coast with Nicky Click, including shows in LA on Feb. 17 at the echo and Feb. 22 at club butchin at Mr. T's Bowl.

The Butchlalis de Panochtitlan will be performing their badass butch selves at Highways Feb. 23 and 24.

Southern gent Turner Schofield will premiere his new show, "Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps" at the Pat Graney Company in Seattle in May. This show has received multiple major grants and commissions, and features Turner's fabulous personality and brilliant timing with the addition of crazy arial acrobatics. Now I'm not one to travel much, but I think this one is worth a pilgrimage - I'm seriously determined to get to Seattle to see it.

Homo a Gogo will take place in Echo Park this year on July 19-21. They're currently accepting proposals for performances, events, etc, so get your submissions in now.

Missing but anticipated events: there are a few events which I expect willl be happening this year, but the dates and info aren't posted. There's no future date listed yet for transgiving, but I assume one will be coming up sometime this winter. Fresh Meat Productions generally does a great event of trans performances in San Francisco in the summer, plus, Fresh Meat's artistic director, Sean Dorsey, has a new full-length dance piece called "The Outsider Chronicles" that he is apparently touring soon. Katz of Athens Boys Choir is supposedly releasing a new CD in the spring, with an anticipated West Coast Tour that will hopefully bring him back to LA.

Bonus: Femme Rock. I hear good things about femme musicians Team Gina. They just released a CD and are currently touring. They'll be performing all over the country, sometimes with the other artists I mentioned earlier, such as Katastrophe, Katz of Athens Boys Choir, and Nicky Click. They'll be in LA on Jan. 28th, which I will try to check out.

So what have I missed? What cool queer events should I know about/advertise/attend? What sounds good to you?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Magic to Do

Pippin. Orange County Performing Arts Center. 1/7/07.

I have a special affection for Pippin, even though I wouldn't say it's a particularly good musical. I love it because I worked on it in college, which was miserable and incredibly stressful at the time, but in retrospect I only remember the fun. It's a wacky, dark, sort-of-backstage musical by Stephen Schwartz, currently most famous as the composer of Wicked. It's a very 1970s musical and my one complaint is that this production had a very 1970s feel. Like many '70s musicals (Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell), Pippin has an Everyman/Jesus theme.

The Goodspeed Musicals production that arrived at the OC Performing Arts Center was a solid production with a very talented cast including Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees) as Charlemange. Pippin is the extremely fictionalized story of Charlemange's son, Pippin (minus the hunchback part), as he searches to find himself.

I would have liked to see more of a contemporary look, especially for Pippin himself, played by Joshua Park with his faded jeans and 'fro-like hair. He's an extremely talented actor and singer who did a good job in the role, but, really, I wish they had made him look a bit more contemporary.

André Ward gave an excellent performance as the seductive Leading Player. The thing that made the original production was Bob Fosse's direction and choreography and Ben Vereen as the leading player, both of which are mostly preserved on this Canadian TV broadcast. Ward makes the role his own, evoking an history of African-American performance styles and genres though subtle gestures and inflections while owning his position as narrator and director.

I do, however, have a problem with the Leading Player role in general being cast as African-American in an otherwise mostly white-looking cast (with the exception of players Mayumi Miguel and possibly Vincent Rodriguez III although he was hidden by whiteface). Like Judas in the film version of Jesus Christ Superstar, or Satan in The Apple, the most visible African-American character is a fabulous performer who also happens to be seductive, threatening, and evil. In general, it's a pretty creepy depiction of race relations.

Pippin also happens to be pretty heterosexual in this production, which I think is completely unnecessary. The play ends with the triumph of the heterosexual family over the sexually liberated, partially naked company of players, which the script demands. The seductiveness of the players, however, makes more sense if the sexual license and bisexuality of the company is played up rather than down. Even the weird incestuous relationship between Fastrata and her son, Lewis, didn't feel particularly sexual and the orgy scene didn't feel all that threatening. Perhaps I'm jaded, but the mere appearance of a dominatrix doesn't necessarily mean to me that sex is bad.

The set was a pretty cool giant rotating metal framework designed by Beowulf Boritt which was nicely flexible. The ensemble was composed of extremly talented dancers who were fascinating to watch with Fosse-esque choreography by Mark Dendy.

Overall, I had a lot of fun watching this production with its talented cast, though it is in many ways a problematic show.

Friday, January 05, 2007

LA Days

A good friend who moved to New York was visiting me between Christmas and New Year's and I couldn't help but reflect on how perfectly LA the days we spent together were. Each day reflects a very distinct feeling and geographical area but each is representational of Los Angeles in some way.

Day 1: We woke up late, made brunch at home, and met friends at the beach in Venice. After a moment of climbing on sand dunes, we walked to Abbott-Kinney and poked around in all of the furniture and design shops and tiny art galleries we could fine. We walked back toward the beach along the Venice canals at dusk and then had dinner and drinks at a bar/restaurant overlooking the beach.

Day 2: We met a performance artist/playwright friend at The Alcove in Silverlake. After an indulgent brunch (avacado bacon omlette for me - yum!) we parted ways. We went to Rudy's barbershop, where we each got hipster haircuts. We went home and played video games for a while, but later, we went to Amoeba Records and I spent money I don't have on DVDs of movies from the '40s (yay!). That evening my guest saw Pan's Labryinth at the Arclight while I stayed home and dyed my hair a funny color.

Day 3: Day 3 was New Year's, so it doesn't count.

Day 4: The fourth day of LA-ness was close to home. We had lunch with friends at Toast and then saw Dreamgirls at the Grove. We ended up back in my West Hollywood apartment, where we ordered Chinese food for dinner and watched Another Gay Movie, which was silly.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Where I'd like to be tomorrow

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is Gendronaut at Shotgun at the Eagle. For those to whom that was a random string of nouns, that means there's a drag contest/show at dyke night at the local leather bar. I've never been to this particular event, which happens every first Wednesday of the month, so I don't know much about it, but Shotgun in general seems to have a great lesbian/trans/genderqueer inclusive vibe and I'd love to see what happens when folks get up on stage to strut their stuff. I'm hoping I can rope my roommate into going with me, but I'm not holding my breath. I'd love for some company, if anyone out there is interested in going with me.

Curve ball

I recently subscribed to Curve magazine. My first issue was the Jan/Feb issue that arrived in the mail last week. Honestly, I was plesantly suprised. I expected the magazine to be entirely focused on pretty, feminine white women and dominated by fawning articles on the L Word. That is the impression I had of Curve from when I subscribed a few years ago. I had opted for Girlfriends instead, which was a bit better. I was certainly saddened that they closed up shop. So I had sort of missed getting a lesbian glossy in the mail, even though I don't exactly feel comfortable with some of the conservative, consumerist ideas I had attributed to lesbian magazines and "mainstream" lesbian culture. Similarly, I stopped watching The L-Word after the first season (partially because I don't get Showtime and the DVDs are expensive) because I don't see myself or those I'm attracted to adequately or accurately represented*.

Part of the reason I subscribed was the fact that Curve put "Lesbian Theater Awards" into their December issue. Which I just happened to see and thus picked up on a newsstand. I was extremely happy to see that Curve was paying attention to lesbian theater, which I feel deserves as much attention as music and books in a lesbian culture magazine. There's certainly some lesbian theater going on somewhere in the US every month and plenty of lesbian actresses and writers to feature and interview. Why not make it a regular column? Or at least give good coverage to the notable shows at the major queer theater festivals such as the National Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival in Ohio, and the Fresh Fruit Festival in New York. Of course, all of these events are in the summer and I'm sure it's difficult to cover them within the normal span of magazine publication timelines and still have them be relevant when they reach the newsstand, but I feel as if it's important and worthwhile to attempt. And they could at least give better information on how to find out more about queer performers and their upcoming projects and events. For example, even though they listed Adelina Anthony's Mastering Sex and Tortillas as one of their "award" winners, they didn't mention at all that it played in LA in December, the same month the magazine came out. Only half of the performers had their own webpages listed, even though The Break Up Notebook, Annie Sprinkle, Amy Salloway, and Vanda all have websites with more information about the relevant performances. So, while I'm delighted that they are covering queer performance at all, there's certainly room for improvement.

What I was delighted to discover, however, was how many familiar names and faces I saw in the January/February issue when it arrived at my door. There were some beautiful images and a short profile on the fabulous artist and blogger jackadandy, a mention of the amazing lesbian feminist theater scholar Jill Dolan as one of "Ten Powerful Lesbians in the South" (though they embarassingly said she wrote about "Wendy Wallerstein" in reference to her complex, conflicted pieces on feminism and Wendy Wasserstein), and several short pieces by local writer and artist Tania Hammidi, who I frequently run into at queer performance events. Plus, the pieces on queer Burlesque and Penny Arcade could indeed be considered covering more performance, which makes me happy. So in general, I was pleasantly suprised by my experience with Curve and I hope they manage to continue in this vein.

*Full Disclosure: I was recently exposed to a few episodes of The L Word again and I'm very close to breaking down and watching Seasons 2 and 3, despite my reservations. While I like the self-righteousness of dismissing it out of hand, it does employ more queer folks than most mainstream television and perhaps I should support lesbian self-representation even if it doesn't represent me. I do want to see more images of lesbians in media, not fewer, and perhaps that can only be achieved by supporting the ones we've got while demanding more and better queer politics. But this is a long and muddled argument, and really my point is that The L Word gets too much attention already.

Starting a New Year

I'm beginning 2007 with a new haircut, which I think is an excellent way to approach a new year. Last night I put on a cute dress and bright red lipstick and went with prophecyboy over to a friend's house to ring in the New Year surrounded by people I consider close friends even if I only see them on special occasions. This is such a great group of boys (and one [other] fag hag) - I really feel like they're family. I may only be a distant cousin, not exactly central to anyone's life, but I really love being around and embraced by them. And of course, prophboy is my family at this point - he's certainly known me long enough. Anyway, I spent my evening flirting brazenly with a delightful gay man who blushed adorably at the mere thought of my breasts, and really I couldn't have liked it more. We all stayed up well past midnight and woke up in the morning for a wonderfully greasy brunch. Though I certainly agree with the assertion made that there need to be more women (especially queer women) at these parties, I'm very grateful for this marvelous start to 2007 and for an excellent group of friends. I hope you all got to ring in the New Year in equally pleasant ways surrounded by those you care about.