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I Am A Sex Worker. PSA.

April 29, 2009 1 comment

and my mom totally called me tonight to tell me to wash my hands more so I don’t get Swine Flu. Loves it.

oh I’m not currently a sex worker by the way. But I LOVE this PSA!

Wow why is wordpress epically failing right now? It won’t let me embed this video, arggg!!! Fine, please click here: http://blip.tv/file/2049608

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Ten Really, I mean really really, important questions.

April 25, 2009 2 comments

What? I’m moving? I have to pack shit? Oh look a survey…

1. What is the one thing you want to learn to make before you die?
Learn to make? Hmm. Horse shoes. Because I am weird. I would really like to learn the trade of a blacksmith and be able to forge my own horse shoes for my imaginary horses that I own on my imaginary reclusive farm. No but seriously, I’d totally apprentice with a blacksmith. Pounding metal onto horses feet has always seemed appealing to me.

2. What is the one thing you avoid doing to avoid humiliation?
dance. I can’t allow myself to even toy with the idea of taking a dance class because I “know” I will be ridiculed. sad story.

3. If money weren’t an issue, what is the first thing you would buy?
selfish answer: PONY. (and by pony I mean impeccably well bred expensive warmblood) unselfish answer: I’d buy a huge cattle ranch somewhere out west and slowly but surely turn it into part indigenous land for it to heal itself, part wildlife rehab which would feed into the indigenous part, and part farm sanctuary… cause I’d be stuck with a bunch of cows who would not be sent to slaughter.

4. What is one of your favorite blog posts that you’ve written?
Last year I wrote one about death by our Capitalist culture using the examples of Eight Belles (the filly who broke her leg and was euthanized in the 2008 Kentucky Derby) and Deborah Jeane Palfrey (the “D.C. Madam” who committed suicide). I’ll probably re-post that blog here on the anniversary.

5. Would you rather have a personal chef or a personal trainer?
I’d love a personal trainer, but I’m also terrified of someone telling me I’m fat every day so I’d go with the chef because as much as I want to cook, and am going to try, it’s so damn time consuming!! (I don’t know why I think a personal trainer would be allowed to call me fat but a personal chef wouldn’t)

6. What’s a weird quirk you have?
I can’t think of anything specific. I think I’m just quirky in general. Maybe making everything metaphorical is a quirk.

7. If you could invent any kind of animal, what would it be?
Open your eyes! The world is FULL of amazing creatures, some that you probably couldn’t dream of existing… so why do humans need to invent new ones??? (have you fucking SEEN the cattle bred into Incredible Hulk Steer?! DISTURBING. I’ll show you. This is a Belgian Blue, a “genetically superior” cow. Humans are fucking stupid. (Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.)

8. What would you like now, at this very moment?
For all my stuff to pack itself and for my room to magically clean itself. Poof! Done.

9. What was the first movie that ever made you cry?
I had to use IMDB to look up release dates. It’s a toss up between which came first (for me): The Last Unicorn or Dances With Wolves. I know The Last Unicorn used to make me cry, but I don’t remember the first time I watched it specifically. I do remember watching Dances With Wolves and I cried like a little bitch (as 6 year olds are prone to do) when the white assholes settlers shot the HORSE in order to get to the rider. Those motherfuckers! I vowed from then on to always side with the Indians. I always thought I was a Native American tragically reincarnated in a suburban middle class white girls body. Super sad story.

10. What are a few of your greatest fears? Have they ever happened to you?
A. loving someone and not being loved in return.
B. being stranded at sea.
3. watching a horse die.
4. committing suicide.
E. living an unremarkable life, not improving the world in any way before I die.

Have they happened?
A. yes. and still afraid.
B. no, but just being kind of far out from the beach treading water freaks me the fuck out. All that open space, not knowing what’s beneath me…
3. no thank god. it kills me every time I see it in a movie, live on TV (Eight Belles and others) or read it in a book. I have friends who have been there when their horses have died…. I’ve had dogs and cats die and other animals but I don’t think I could bare to watch a horse die. It would be like I’m dying.
4. I think it’s possible, because mental illness is real and committing suicide is NOT A CHARACTER FLAW IT MEANS YOU’RE REALLY SICK.
E. I think thus far, I am unremarkable. I can’t comment on the future but I really hope that changes.

Got this from Cammy.

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Moving.

April 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m moving to a new apartment tomorrow and I have to do all my packing today. (Because I’m special like that)

But I keep procrastinating because… I don’t like this part. I don’t like taking things apart. I like putting things together I don’t like taking things apart. Umm…

I think of it as psychic energy. This space has energy (unbalanced, chaotic energy, but energy nonetheless) and to take it apart is going to be like… pulling apart strands of toffee and flinging them all around. No matter how many lists I make and plans I form to try to make it as logical and clean as possible… it’s a messy process.

I also don’t believe in doing things in a normal way. That’s too easy 😉 (actually it’s hard, for me, which is why I don’t do it) Buy bubble wrap and boxes to put things in? What? Why wouldn’t I just wrap breakable things in my clothes to keep them safe? IMPROVISE!

That just reminded me I have a blanket out in the garage which is probably really disgustingly dirty now. I put it out there in January when my cat was living in the garage and I wanted to try and keep her a little warm and comfortable (she was just “a cat” at the time, not “my” cat) sooo… great.

Moving shit, putting shit into piles and sorting shit and finding shit you forgot you had… I HATE THIS PART. So I don’t even want to start. That’s what happened when I moved from my place on the farm back into my parents house, before I moved to NYC. Moving to the farm was pretty easy, I didn’t bring a lot of stuff, didn’t bring any furniture. But of course I accumulated more stuff while living there and I was really sad to be leaving so I didn’t want to face that by packing. So literally the day my dad arrived I was just throwing shit in giant garbage bags hahaha. It was only a 30 minute drive but it was still pretty ridiculous. Then I didn’t know what to do with my bags o’ crap once I got to my parents because of course all my crap from my entire life was there already. Then when I moved five months later to NYC I took a train with two suitcases and a backpack. And like $600 to my name. That’s how I moved to NYC. I stayed with an incredibly generous friend in her studio apartment for three months and she kind of wanted to kill me understandably… and then I moved to Brooklyn. And I have lived here for a year and four months. I’ve accumulated shit.

And taking everything apart makes it real. Makes the experience real. I don’t really do real most of the time, I do “la la I live in my head look at the glittery unicorns!” or something to that extent… minus the glittery unicorns. And it’s not like I’m sad to leave. I’m fucking ECSTATIC to leave. And since I don’t really do enthusiasm, it’s a big deal to describe myself as ecstatic. That just reminded me of this:

teehee. But no actually if I were a LOLCat, I’d be this dude:

Moving on, I am super excited to move to a new neighborhood, to an actual apartment building with elevators and laundry in the basement and a foyer and a personal mailbox. An apartment with new (and by new I mean recent and well kept, not from, say, the 70s) kitchen appliances and bathroom.. stuff. (big words!)

I would like to go on a tangent right now and just say how many times I have to re-read everything I write and take out the word “like” and replace it with something more grammatically correct. Wow.

I love unpacking though. (This is the worst blog entry ever) I like finding new homes for things in new places. Like I said, (that was an appropriate use of the word “like” btw) I enjoy putting things (back) together.

That could be metaphorical. Chew on that. Okay bye.

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TED FTW!

April 22, 2009 2 comments

I keep watching TED videos and crying. hah. NERD!

It just makes me really excited, joyous, and hopeful watching women talk about about fascinating and important things like hyperbolic geometry, bio luminescence, bacterial quorum sensing, facing fear and innovating new endeavors combining science and art. (Of course I’ll watch videos of men too, but I am totally a feminist. Women and science, holler!)

I’ve never really understood germophobes, because I’ve always had the innate understanding that we work in conjunction with bacteria. It’s a part of us, a part of the ecosystem… why fight and fear your natural ecosystem?! This video is of Bonnie Bassler speaking on how bacteria communicate.

I LOVED math class in 7th grade. I had a wonderful teacher who made it fun and creative, and we did a lot of hands on work which is how I learn best, therefore I was invigorated by figuring out mathematical problems. (She also came to my horse shows, which automatically made her an awesomely supportive human being). Then I took algebra in 8th grade with a bitchy old woman who was bitter and closed. I was not going to have any of that bullshit, so I failed the class. (I think that sums up my personality in a nut shell. If you act like an asshole I will just say “fuck it”. Why should I try for you? Open myself and share myself with you? And yes, I believe learning anything, even algebra, is a sharing interacting experience.) So ever since then, math became a disdainful requirement that made me feel frustrated and stupid because it was all done on paper and in the mind. So when I watched this video of Margaret Wertheim a few days ago, I did cry. I cried because the concepts are beautiful and fascinating and I UNDERSTOOD THEM. And I cried because I felt a sense of loss. There is so much that I could have been doing with my life (I still can!) but I mourned all that time lost to feeling inadequate just because people were not equipped with the tools to teach me in a way I could comprehend and enjoy.

And I love this video of Elizabeth Gilbert because she is so humble, yet knows who she is and why she is here. That alone is inspiring. It’s funny because I have an aversion to huge megahits of any sort, so I never read Eat, Pray, Love. But after watching this I will now. 🙂 And I look forward to whatever she puts out next!

I really want to change the public educational system. I wonder how I can go about doing that… haha.

Oh heeeyyy… just after I posted this, I started watching this video:

I kind of love him. That is all.

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Draconian Thinking

April 21, 2009 1 comment

Tiptoe wrote another blog with another idea I want to expand on. She mentioned that she was thinking about how “draconian” can be applied to how people punish themselves through eating disorders. (Check out her blog for the definition of draconian. It dates back to Draco who created the first set of laws in 621 BC in Athens, Greece)

It’s interesting, because I think “black and white thinking” is very draconian. She was relating it to eating disorders, in the sense of restriction, shame and punishment and their involvement in food intake. The rule being only eat X types of food, and X amount of calories. The punishment for eating anything else or too much of something is drastic, such as purging, over-exercising, fasting. I’ve definitely applied these irrational rules to myself in the past. I’ve also applied it to “healthy eating”. I was extremely strict about veganism and if I (or anyone else, I was kind of a pedestal stomping asshole at one point) broke those rules I deserved to be punished (I didn’t think other people needed to be punished, but they definitely deserved my disdain. asshole. I hate people like that haha.)

But outside of that context, I have always been extremely draconian in my thinking. If I make a mistake, or feel like I haven’t done something well enough, I deserve to die. Often that is my literal thought process. You got that paper wet on the way to the copiers? GO HOME AND KILL YOURSELF. Which is… disturbing and extreme. Obviously. And apparently I keep breaking my own rules of punishment because I haven’t done that yet. (Because it’s crazy?) But it’s tiring, constantly having a voice in your head tell you what a horrible horrible person you are for such minor mistakes made. It depends on the time of year and what head space I’m in, but is ranges from believing I deserve to die to believing I deserve to live but I don’t deserve to have friends, be loved, excel in anything, etc. I think that’s a huge part of why I left college the way I did. I didn’t withdraw, I didn’t go through the processes and have a support system. I knew that I was incredibly depressed and out of control, but I felt like I was a failure for being that way so I thought I deserved to get failing grades and for my professors, parents, and friends to hate/misunderstand/be disappointed in me. I always feel like I deserve the most severe consequences, no matter how significant or insignificant my error is.

In times of less stress it’s easier to stop these thoughts from taking over. But as soon as I feel threatened or out of control it’s almost like a survival technique. Even though it’s the opposite of survival (what else feels like a survival technique but is quite the opposite? An eating disorder). And I can deal with everyone else’s stress. I can be rational in regards to everyone else’s situations. Just not my own. It’s exhausting.

A Decade Since Columbine

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s been ten years since the massacre at Columbine High School. When I heard that a few hours ago, I was shocked. Mainly because that means it’s been ten years since I was a freshman in high school. So much has happened since then.

I don’t remember it as vividly as I remember 9/11. But I do recall being in my French class talking about it. I also remember the aftermath. The days following in which my school sought out all the “alternative/goth/punk” kids, especially if they wore trench coats, and violated their privacy.

When I think about it now, I am so incredibly appalled. It is truly disturbing what institutions and large groups of people with authority can get away with during a period of crisis. Many of us students at the time saw the injustice, but, at least speaking for myself, I felt there was nothing I could do about it except voice dissent to my peers.

I was in the band, and there was a junior saxophone player who wore a trench coat, had black hair, wore eyeliner and black nail polish, wore chains and pins and patches on his clothes. He was one of the targeted. A girl a year older than me, also a flute player so I knew her relatively well, was good friends with him. She was really upset by the way he was being treated, and through her eyes I realized how wrong it was, and felt so hopeless. For mysterious reasons nobody would disclose to the students, they found reason to believe he was dangerous and a threat so they searched his bedroom and found “dangerous things”. So he was suspended. I remember being so angry, thinking, “if they searched MY room they’d find ‘dangerous things’ too!” if by dangerous things they meant angry, emotional CDs, razors, knives, and “goth” paraphernalia. But The Authorities wouldn’t know that, because I was an unassuming 15 year old girl with natural colored hair, glasses, didn’t wear make-up, and wore traditional style clothing.

I don’t think he ever came back, I think he transferred to a “special” school. After that we got more security guards. People weren’t allowed to wear trench coats. Inane rules were regulated.

Whatever happened to communication? To talking to one another? Why can’t adults in a position of authority find a balance with creating an open dialogue with the students under their supposed protection? I think that would go over a lot better than upping “muscle” and rule-enforcers around high school campuses.

When I got to college and Quaker ideals were applied to everything, I was blown away. I really wish they were acknowledged more in the “real world”. Especially the model of consensus vs. majority rule. Dialogue HAS to occur in order to come to a consensus.

I’m writing this off-the-cuff, because the day is almost over and it’s just something I wanted to extrapolate on. I don’t know what American high schools are doing now, so I don’t really have an opinion on how much or how so things have changed. But I kind of doubt there is much sense of community and connection going on.

(Except for Lexington High School’s Drama Club who are putting on a self-created production based on Neutral Milk Hotel’s Aeroplane Over The Sea along with Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls who is an alumna of the school. That is AWESOME. The end.)

In Respect of Julissa Brisman.

April 20, 2009 1 comment

I have been boiling over with contempt for the mainstream media once again. A few days ago I was informed that a woman who had supplied her services on craigslist was murdered in a hotel in Boston. Great news. Then I find out that she was A) from NYC, B) a masseuse, C) an actor, D) a recovering alcoholic, E) a year older than me.

Now, none of those details change the fact that she was a woman who was murdered. That should be the end of the story for anyone to stop and think, “wow, that is horrible, my heart goes out to her”. Right? Apparently not so much, because apparently anyone who is even suggested to be a sex worker is denoted to “less than” status. Someone who “deserved” it. Someone who’s life can be openly speculated and judged by anonymous strangers. There will always be assholes out there persecuting for the sake of their own fucked up justification… but what pisses me off is how the media blatantly perpetuates this mode of thinking.

This isn’t terrible, but it certainly isn’t straightforward journalism. This is outright opinions. I’m sorry, when did The Boston Globe become the Tyra Banks Show? A short article thinly veiled as remembrance of a victim but rather addresses quite a few stereotypes and popular opinions about not only sex workers, but actors and alcoholics. Not outright, no of course not. They cared about Julissa Brisman. So much, they cried for fifteen minutes when they heard about her murder. Now I’m not saying the people who knew her didn’t care for her, but I am saying whoever edited that article needs to be bitchslapped. Why the fuck do they need to address possible reasons of why or why not she was there? Completely inappropriate. What happened to “just the facts” in journalism? The New York Daily News wrote a slightly better article on the topic, and there are several links posted for your convenience at the excellent blog: Bound Not Gagged.

Okay, because I am just at a loss for words to describe my disdain for journalism at the moment…. I will address the topic of sex work itself.  First of all,  a sex worker is a person who does erotic labor in exchange for an agreed upon exchange of money, goods or services. (def. provided by http://www.sexwork101.com) Sex Work is NOT a euphemism for prostitution. It is an umbrella term which covers erotic services that may or may not involve physical contact. A sex worker is a Provider to a Client. This could be a prostitute or escort, it could also be a dominatrix, a sensual masseuse, a phone sex operator, a porn performer, an exotic dancer, and so on. The phrase was coined by Scarlot Harlot, also known as Carol Leigh, more than 30 years ago when she got fed up with the fact that the only words available to describe this kind of work were slang.

I think it is unfortunate that the vast majority of people in our culture are so misinformed yet so highly judgemental of sex workers. I see it as the same point of view as abortion rights. Pro-Choice. Any person should have the right to choose what it is they are doing with their own body. Period. It should not be regulated by the government (i.e. legalized) as it should not be illegal either (i.e. it should be de-criminalized). The more open people are about their bodies and their rights I think the safer and more pro-active the work will become as well.

If someone wants to have sex in exchange for money, who are YOU to judge or condemn him or her? Just as who are you to judge or condemn a woman who chooses to have an abortion, a person who gets tattoos and piercings, someone who chooses to smoke and drink and eat trans fats or high-fructose syrup… it’s a huge spectrum but they are all related.

Now, back to Julissa. She was, as far as we know, offering her services as a masseuse. Most likely a sensual masseuse, but that is not the same as an escort. Even if she was an escort though, that certainly does not give anyone the right to murder her. Or the right to say she deserved it. The point is she, and all other people out there offering these services, should be SAFE doing their chosen occupation.

Do you not agree?

EDIT: Oh how could I forget this gem of a news story? Really Boston Herald? “Hookers Fear Who’s Next?” Fuck you. Now, I do give them props for actually interviewing a sex worker and letting her tell her point of view… but “hookers”? Really??? How the fuck is derogatory slang acceptable for journalism? I had this issue back during “Spitzergate”, and then when Debauchette was recognized by her mother when she was interviewed on Diane Sawyer. PEOPLE. HOOKER IS SO NOT AN APPROPRIATE TERM. If the media doesn’t show respect, the public will never choose to change its ways. GRRRRRRRRR. The end.