Tag Archives: movies

Assorted butch news and other stuff

“And this gentleman is?”

He arched one eyebrow so it pointed directly at me.

I found myself crafting this response in my head: I’m not a gentleman.

But then I couldn’t say those words, because I pride myself on being a gentleman.

“My name is Rae,” I said, leaving him to figure out the rest.

IMG_0745It’s the hair. I haven’t been misgendered for a long time. Then blam. My hair becomes too long to spike up and sits on top of my head like a lid. There’s a bit of an overhang. It’s like having a little roof over the front portion of my head. It’s the Barney Rubble look that I wrote about here.

What’s a butch to do. Keep calm and Barney Rubble on. Someone make me a T-shirt, please.

In other news, I finally saw The Lego Batman Movie. Now, W and I pew-pew each other and the cats with our invisible laser guns after she gets home from work.

In more other news, check out this cool new documentary called Gender Troubles: The Butches. You can view it for free through March 28, sir.

Oh, one more thing, I’m giving away copies of my book, Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender, on Goodreads. You can enter to win here. You know you want to. Hurry, time’s almost up.

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What’s new with you?

 

Carrie Fisher

My dad took me and my brother to an old theater in Reading, Pennsylvania, to see Star Wars. We sat in the balcony. I was ten years old.

I remember being captivated from the beginning when those now-famous words scrolled across the screen. I liked the scene in the cantina with those crazy aliens and that funny, tinny music playing in the background.

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Cream Magazine

I’m not sure how many times I’ve watched Star Wars since 1977. My favorite scene became the one with the garbage compactor. “Into the garbage chute, Flyboy,” Princess Leia says to Luke as she shoots her laser gun at the Stormtroopers, transforming from rescuee to rescuer, from damsel in distress to take-charge badass.

I replayed that scene over and over in my head. “Into the garbage chute, Flyboy.” That was the kind of girl I was when I played with the guys. That was the kind of woman I wanted to be.

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naplesherald.com

When I got older, I idolized Carrie Fisher the author. She was a brilliant writer. If you want to learn how to write memoir, read Carrie Fisher. Her words were sharp and cutting, vulnerable and honest. The humor was so dark, you never knew whether to laugh or cry. I always did both. She wrote with the bravery and balls of Princess Leia. “Into the garbage chute, Flyboy.”

I read a lot of books. Most I recycle, handing off to friends or family, or donating to Goodwill. I keep some of Fisher’s books in a small, neat stack on my bookcase mixed with books written by a few other authors. My stack of weird books. They are the books that told me it was okay to think the way I did. That it was okay to be different. They are the books that gave me permission to be myself.

It’s been a tough year for losses. I lost two of my heroes earlier this year when the wrestler Chyna and the musician Prince died on back-to-back days in April.

And now Carrie Fisher.

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themarysue.com

I like to think they left me a little of their magic when they departed this world. A little of their bravery and in your face badassery. That it fell like stardust and caught on the inside of my sleeve or the back of my pants and clung like specks of glitter.

And that when I need to be bold and courageous, it will be there, giving me a needed push.

“Into the garbage chute, Flyboy.”

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What about you? Who will you miss most from 2016?

Grumpy butch

A text message from yesterday:

W: Do you want to go to Rocky Horror on 11/18?

W: Talking to J about getting tickets.

Me: I feel like I will be grumpy and annoyed, but I will go if you really want me to go.

W: Well that sounds like fun.

Me: You are a lucky woman, W.

W: Oh so lucky.

long pause

Me: I’m sorry

W: No worries. I got a ticket for you. J told me to.

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Me: That’s my grumpy face.

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W: That’s my happy kiss face.

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The moral of the story? Find a partner who is adept at handling your bullshit with a smile and a kiss.

Gratitude (#NationalComingOutDay)

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Just these three lesbian movies please and a pack of microwave popcorn.

Thank you to the clerks at my local Blockbuster store who rented me all of those lesbian movies when I was trying to figure out if I was a lesbian. You never batted an eye, even when I rented When Night Is Falling two times in a row for “research.”

Thanks to Melissa Etheridge for her 2001 memoir The Truth Is … that I read and re-read when I was coming out. And for the album Yes I am. If you could announce to the world on the cover of an album that you were, I knew I could tell the people in my life that I was, too.

Thanks to the Indigo Girls. Along with Melissa, you provided the soundtrack to my coming out. Somebody bring me some water. Please.

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I still love you, Jessica Stein.

Thank you to Jessica Stein. I was coming out in real life when you were coming out in your movie Kissing Jessica Stein, even though you weren’t really gay and ended up with the guy at the end. Helen was super sexy. What were you thinking? Anyway, when I was sitting in the movie theater with my Raisinets and newfound knowledge, it was like we were both coming out together.

Thank you to my therapist who organized coming out groups for women married to men. I thought I was the only one in the world. And to all of those women who participated in those groups. It was an honor to come out alongside you.

Thanks to Sisters, the lesbian bar in Philadelphia, that provided a safe meeting place for people like me. And the cute bartender who always called me “hon.” (Yes, I know she called everyone “hon.”)

Thanks to Ellen and Billie Jean and Martina and k.d. and Rosie.

Thank you to my brother who told me he just wanted me to be happy.

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Xena, you are a badass babe.

Thanks to Xena: Warrior Princess, who I caught in reruns that summer. I drew my warrior strength from you. Aieeeeee!

Thank you to my friends who just nodded their heads. “Of course,” they all said.

Thank you to everyone who came out before me and paved the way. The life I live today is possible because of you.

Thanks to everyone in my life who accepts me for who I am and gives me the courage to be myself every single day.

Happy National Coming Out Day!

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Who do you need to thank for your coming out?

What to watch?

images[1]We have nothing to watch. Nothing, I tell you, nothing, even though we have cable television with a bunch of premium channels, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and three Redboxes located less than two miles from our house.

There haven’t been any new episodes of Modern Family. We’re all caught up with Orange Is the New Black, Girls, Transparent, Jessica Jones, Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, Broad City, The Walking Dead. I think there’s a new season of Orphan Black out, but last I checked it wasn’t available for streaming through Amazon.

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Washed up celebrity horse with depression and addiction issues. What’s not to love?

I binged watched three seasons of Bojack Horseman one weekend without W because I thought she detested shows with talking animals. That’s what she had said, anyway. Turns out she meant live action shows and not cartoons.

“Like Look Who’s Talking,” she tried to explain.

“That had a talking baby in it,” I said. “And it was hilarious.”

She made her angry face.

“You mean like Babe,” I said, trying to help. “Our mother called us all the same,” I said in my best pig voice. “How could you not like Babe?

More angry face.

We have been trying to pick a new show.

“What about The Sopranos,” W asks.

“That seems so old. I don’t know that I can get into it.”

She forces a stream of hot air through her mouth like a tea kettle. This is the sound of exasperation.

She’s already named a bunch of shows: House of Cards, Homeland, Breaking Bad, Dexter. She ends up watching them herself because they don’t interest me. I am difficult. Impossible. I am glad I’m not married to myself.

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See, everyone loves a skinny tie.

I suggest Mad Men because, well, skinny ties.

“You don’t want to watch The Sopranos because it’s too old, but you want to watch Mad Men?

So. Much. Angry. Face.

Our youngest suggests Haven.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“It’s based on the Stephen King book The Colorado Kid,” he says.

“I liked that book.”

“Yeah, the people in the town have supernatural powers,” he says.

“Um. No. I don’t like that supernatural stuff.”

“You liked Stranger Things!” W says way too loud.

“Yeah, but that had Winona Ryder and Eggo waffles.”

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What did you watch this summer?

Flannel Files uncovers lost scene from Carol

IMG_0216CAROL:

What else do you like to do, Therese, besides listen to your hi-fi records?

THERESE:

Well, I like books.

CAROL:

Do you have a favorite author, Therese?

THERESE:

Rae Theodore. She works at the department store with me. She’s a terrific writer.

CAROL:

What an unusual name. Rae Theodore. Do you think I’d like her book?

THERESE:

I’m sure you would. She was married once just like you and Harge. And she writes about pretty girls with soft, feathery hair.

CAROL:

Maybe Abby would like this book?

THERESE:

Yes, girls like Abby would. Anyone, really. Haven’t we all felt different?

CAROL:

Where can I get this book?

THERESE:

Amazon.

CAROL:

(laughing)

Oh, Therese. From one of those tall, muscular women?

THERESE:

No. The online book retailer. Really, any place you can buy books on-line. Just type in Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender.

By the way, Rae has a blog, too, called The Flannel Files. She writes about girls like her who wear neckties and brown boots and flannel shirts in every color of the rainbow.

images[10]CAROL:

(blushing; touches Therese’s arm)

Oh, Therese.

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This was a promotional piece I put together for a swag bag to be handed out at a local LGBT Oscar party tonight. Thought it would get more attention than a more traditional flyer, magnet or business card.

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Did you see Carol? Thoughts?

 

 

At the movies

Rae Spoon“Gender is stupid.”

That’s  the best line from My Prairie Home, a documentary about transgender folk singer Rae Spoon.

My Prairie Home is part movie, part music video.  Haunting.  Beautiful.  Brilliant.

Spoon tells about growing up different in a conservative household ruled by a parent with mental illness.

I especially enjoyed the way Spoon tackles complex issues using simple lyrics.

Here are the lyrics to one song that I really liked:

Sunday Dress

When I was a little girl. I thought I had to hold up the world. Singing “Hallelujah” in the choir to keep my feet out of the fire.

My prairie home. My prairie home. My prairie home. Fits like a Sunday dress.

When I was fourteen the devil came for me. Showed me hell could be pretty. I had a poster at the end of my bed. Kurt Cobain in a wedding dress.

My prairie home. My prairie home. My prairie home. Fits like a Sunday dress.

Shaved my head and did my best. Tried to stand tall with whiskey on my breath. I sure wish I was a man. I would never go to church again.

My prairie home. My prairie home. My prairie home. Fits like a Sunday dress.

So, yeah, I would highly recommend My Prairie Home.  We watched it through iTunes for $4.99.

Rock on, Rae Spoon.

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What’s the last movie you saw?  Would you recommend it?

To write or not to write

I feel like I’ve hit a wall.

My flannel is wrinkled.

The spikes in my hair are flat.

I don’t want to write any more.  At least not right now.  Not today.  That’s for sure.

I am more content watching TV shows and movies or reading books.  Allowing words and images to wash over me instead of coaxing or forcing them out from that tricky place that’s part heart, part soul.

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Movie poster of my life.

Part of me says it’s not ok.  Writers write.  If I’m not writing, I’m not a writer.

The other part says take a break.  Even if I’m not writing, I’m storing words and thoughts for future use.

Here’s some of what I’ve been watching and reading:

Sons of Anarchy — W started watching this biker drama.  I read somewhere that SOA is based on Hamlet and that got this English major’s juices flowing.  So, yeah, it’s well written and well acted, and I like trying to figure out the parallels to the Shakespearean tragedy.  There’s a couple of minor lesbian storylines, but this one is all about the boys and their bikes.  Look for cameos from Stephen King, 70s hottie Adrienne Barbeau and Jimmy Smits.  And appearances by Venus Van Dam, the show’s transgender character.

Women of Will — Speaking of Shakespeare, I saw this play at a local Shakespeare festival last weekend.  Really, it’s part play, part lecture.  Master Shakespearean actor Tina Packer deconstructs the Bard’s most famous female characters with the help of fellow actor Nigel Gore.  Is it wrong that I was hoping for a sexy scene between perchance Lady Macbeth and Queen Gertrude?  Here’s the question I asked myself right before the show began: How do I relate any of this to my writing?  Five minutes in, Packer was riffing on the role of gender in Shakespeare and how Will’s female characters changed as his perceptions about women evolved.  Gender.  Can we ever get a break?

The Guilt Trip — In this cheesy comedy, Seth Rogen takes a cross-country road trip with his over-involved Mom, played by Barbra Streisand.  There are some genuine laughs, but I especially enjoyed the running gag of this mother-son duo listening to the audio version of Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex throughout the trip.  Because gender.  There it is again.

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She’s hot!

Lucy — Scarlett Johansson plays a young woman exposed to a synthetic drug that allows her to access 100 percent of her brain and develop cool superhero-like powers.  “She’s hot!” W blurted out at the beginning of the movie, allowing all of us to read her thought bubble.  It was some kind of auto-Johansson response.  No doubt ScarJo is a looker with those blue eyes and blonde locks.  But I was hoping for something a little campier.  In the end though, what’s not to like about a beautiful babe kicking ass.

Bad Words — Jason Bateman finds a loophole in a spelling bee competition and creates a scene as he takes out the school-age competitors one by one.  I like when Bateman plays assholes.  See Juno.  Oh, and words.  There were lots of big words.  And a scene with boobs.

A Most Wanted Man — Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a German spy in this John le Carre thriller.  It’s Seymour Hoffman’s last starring role.  As the credits rolled, W and I just looked at each other.  Sigh.  How sad.

The Best Nonrequired American Reading 2013 — Short stories, lists, poems, cartoons, all in one book.  An eclectic collection.  I read this every year.

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What about you?  What are you watching/reading this summer?

Date night

W and I had a date night on Saturday.  If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we don’t have a lot of those.

W asked me out, which is always nice.  I might be a butch, but I’m certainly not adverse to being asked out.

We went to see the movie Bad Teacher just because Ms. Diaz was in it.

We went to see the movie Bad Teacher just because Ms. Diaz was in it.  Does this make us bad people?

We went and saw this cute movie called “In a World …,” which is a small rom-com about the voice-over industry.  It’s a smart, funny film.  Lesbian comedienne Tig Notaro was in it.  As was Cameron Diaz, who played the leader of a group of Amazon women who battle a tribe of angry cavemen in the film within the film.  That’s the movie that I’d like to see next, ’cause Cameron Diaz and Amazons.

The movie was showing at our local art house theater and it was the first movie to be shown there in digital format.  So, that was exciting.

After the movie, the theater was presenting a special showing of Rocky Horror, and we got to see everyone dressed up for that.

We ordered dinner from an Italian restaurant across the street and went to a bar and watched the end of the Penn State/Michigan game while we waited for our food.  Penn State won in fourth overtime, which was exciting, especially because I’m a PSU alum.

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I’m sensing a theme here.  Are we that predictable?

We headed home with our dinner and ate Italian food in bed and watched a few episodes of season four of Modern Family.

There were some adult activities after that, but this is not that kind of lesbian blog.

Anyway, it was a pretty sedate evening, but it was really nice to have that alone time with W.  One thing about having kids, it makes you appreciate when they’re not around, at least for an evening or so.

Here’s the thing: I like that after all of these years, we still enjoy each other’s company.  We don’t need fancy or exciting or expensive.  Just being together is enough — sharing popcorn and a movie, Cameron Diaz, a football game and decadent desserts in a take-out containers.

Inside the Actors Studio

Inside the Actors StudioI’m a big fan of Inside the Actors Studio.  It’s something that I discovered recently, so I’ve only seen episodes that have aired in the past few years.

As a movie buff, I like learning the behind-the-scenes stories from big-time actors in iconic roles like Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby and Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise.

Plus, I like hearing about  what people are thinking when they are engaged in the creative process.  It’s like finishing a really great book and finding a final chapter in which the author explains the how and why of his writing process for that particular work.  Bonus.  Stephen King has been known to do this.

I also like trying to connect with the artist as a person and finding a link within myself to the art.  It’s the if-she-can-do-it-so-can-I frame of mind that encourages me to push forward with my own work.

Inside the Actors Studio just celebrated its 250th episode with a two-hour retrospective special.  If you’re familiar with the show, you know that host James Lipton asks each guest the same 10 questions at the conclusion of every interview.

I thought I’d tip my hat to the show by taking a shot at those 10 questions:

1. What is your favorite word?  juxtaposition

2. What is your least favorite word?  hate

3. What turns you on?  a woman in tall black leather boots

4. What turns you off?  ignorance

5. What sound do you love?  heavy rain when I am safe inside my house  

6. What sound do you hate?  yelling

7. What is your favorite curse word?  god dammit

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?  English professor

9. What profession would you not like to do?  grade school teacher  

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  You tried really hard.

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How about you?  Share some of your answers here.