Last-Minute Halloween Costumes … & a last minute blog post

(Costume ideas below the picture.)

Hey San Diegans,

I spent my prime blog writing time at Disneyland! I learned that Blue Bayou really does have “the best” Monte Cristo, it’s not an overstatement, and at California Adventure I learned that the silly swings are seriously fucked up. I will never go on those again. I only ever want to feel that sideways if I earned it through copious alcohol consumption, not a undulating suspension ride.

disneyland arthur stone sword

I’m down to 15 minutes before I need to start assembling my own costume, and I realized if I really do want to provide a service through this blog, I can at least share some last-minute, cheap and lazy, DIY Halloween Costumes that I found / imagined. Enjoy, and see you out at the bars tonight!

Movie Theater Floor
Wear black and stick on popcorn and empty candy wrappers.

Road to Nowhere
All black + white tape dotted line, then make an attachment or sign for your belt or hat that says “nowhere”

Fork in the Road
Road costume from above and dangle a fork on a necklace

Deviled egg
White shirt + yellow circle + devil horns

Error 404 costume not found
(print this and tape it to your clothes)

Aircraft carrier
Carry around a toy airplane

Operation (board game)
Use a thick red marker to draw the outlines of “adam’s apple,” “wishbone,” “funny bone,” etc. on white paper. Cut just outside the red lines and tape all the pieces on to yellow or nude colored clothing (or your naked body if it’s that kind of party). Wear a red clown nose or paint your nose red, or find one of those light-up Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer noses (I happen to have one..somewhere….)

Blackmail
All black clothes + print out oversized postage stamps and affix to the left side of your chest.  (Google image search stamps and put on a “large” size filter)

Cactus
Green clothes dotted with those page markers/stickies from office supply store or stolen from work

(Can you tell I’m just looking around my desk at this point?)

Any of the rage comics
Print out one of the rage faces as a mask, use black tape on white clothes to make a stick figure body.

Happy Halloween!

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I love tourists

I love tourists. (And transplants.) Granted, sometimes it’s a “kids say the darnedest things” kind of affection. I used to work at SeaWorld, and I won’t repeat his words here, but let’s just say a man from a small town in Oregon who was overwhelmed by the “diversity” taught me there are racist words that I didn’t know about.

He’s not the kind of tourist I love. Nor the ones who unknowingly starred in my daily comedy show: I watched seagulls dive-bomb trays of french fries as soon as the hungry guests emerged from Mama Stella’s. No, I value the people who remind me what’s good about this place. I mean, besides the weather. This weekend I met a woman from Chicago who awed at the mountains, and yes they were very effective at blocking my cell reception but I stopped cursing T-mobile and also spun in a slow circle. Ok, yes, I’m looking at them. Wow.

And every place has its own brand of localism, but ours is particularly bullheaded. Families sit behind property taxes like they earned the right to live here, passing down houses for generations. What they don’t know is that the transplants are saving this town. Because while we’re the last idiotic stand against all that is good and liberal in California, we have an ironic patience for tourists. Newcomers are weirdos. But we’re oblivious, too complacent and courteous to offer anything but smiles and averted gazes.

It is when I’m at a writing night, or in a art group, that people are surprised that I’m a local, like I’m some kind of rarity. Locals might create these spaces, but the transplants flock to them. They are still hungry for controversy, they still remember what it’s like to wear galoshes because you need them, not because they are covered in zebra stripes and match your fuzzy animal print coat…. Waterproof shoes are rad, why did no one tell me this? I stood in a creek! And my feet didn’t get wet!

The kind of tourist I love shakes his head at me, asks me how I can be okay with this, reminds me there is a larger world out there. The kind of tourist I love tells me I can retire here but I need to get out at some point. The kind of tourist I love, though, has to admit the chaparral here could inspire Dr. Seuss and this place is pretty great, underneath it all. And it’s getting greater.

  1. Beer. Obviously.
  2. The food trucks are multiplying.
  3. So Say We All
  4. A new haunted house
  5. …and more of course!

P.S. yes, I know I missed my post last week. I was preparing for a large camping festival, and yes it was lovely, and no I won’t write about it in my public-facing blog. I love you tourists, but that one isn’t for you.

Unrelated journal entry & I went to a Goth Club in LA (predictably, somewhat of a disaster)

I’m struggling to write something Survival Guide appropriate. I could relate my venture to Los Angeles, where I went to the wrong Goth club, spent too long in Hollywood traffic, went to the right Goth club, dropped my lover in a fountain, and spent 3 hours going up and down Sepulveda Blvd trying to get to a hotel room that never was.

I could give the diary entry that followed that night, but to be honest it’s too dark. Maybe it was the Goths, or maybe it was because a San Diegan in LA with only scraps for a plan and too much whiskey is destined for shame, baby. Oh, lord, haha my shame.

Because I don’t want to disappoint anyone who may be keeping track of the fact I promise new content every Thursday night (tricked you today by posting last week’s work to Facebook!) I’ll give a more innocuous diary entry. I thought this one was appropriate because I refer to my “audience” a.k.a. my friends <3

Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 6.06.51 PMAlso… 91 degrees — that was in September! Yesterday, I learned that what I have been experiencing this week in the form of “weather” is called, “blustery” and that some masochists people out there enjoy it.

Welcome to Sami Brain:

9/8/13

My face catches, little gestures of sadness, unfinished frowns. Lately. I’m grieved that I spend no time on my book, grieved that I have no discipline. I have nothing to say. When will the words come pouring out? I can draw myself puking black but it doesn’t make it so.

I’m stretched. So thin. I don’t know who I am. I can borrow other people’s words. Gather them in a little brown book. Publish them to twitter. I can become a filter for the firehose. That’s all anyone every wants these days. Discernment.

How do I produce reliable opinions on subjects? Are all prophets just bullshitters? I stared at my words written in red ink, and I didn’t recognize them, just as I didn’t recognize my face in the mirror when I was young and concrete was so cold it ached inside your lungs are fibers* your bones are glass.

If only, if only, I can become such a celebrity that people will want to read my diary. Then, maybe I am being productive. Gathering a fan club, generating mythos, larger than my ego, 50 feet tall, a giraffe of a girl. I will be so desirable, you will all read my diary. Whatever I write, you’ll eat it up like I eat pussy. It’s not that I want people to worship me, it’s that I’m lazy. I prefer to craft my audience to my existence than my writing to an audience. Love me as I am and let me be as slowly and lightly as I like. I don’t want to filter my firehose.

Anyone reading this would add so much more melodrama than I actually feel. I am just a little tired, a little hungry, a little naked and bored. My insides are immovable and I won’t feel better until the rocks come out of me. Stress and fucking, I suppose. I don’t think it was the cheap food. I feel instead pounded like a slug of clay into a hard lump.

I’m so close to the finish line. I am chewing on ambition like an overworked piece of meat that I’ll never be able to swallow. My mother will offer her hand (to me, as a toddler) and I’ll spit out the soggy, heavy chunk.


*Reference to a poem I wrote in 2008 or 2009. I’m not sharing the whole thing because I’m pretty sure the only people who like poems are people who write them, and then, only their own poems. When I read my own poems I am convinced I am a genius, and when I read other people’s poems (except Matt Steele’s or Rachel Dexter’s) I am pretty sure they are talentless puffs of cotton candy or that I am an asshole who doesn’t appreciate poetry.

Anyway, since you’re not living inside of me with me, and you can’t read my mind, you might benefit from a little context. Here’s the excerpt:

this slick demon
sucked air from my
tiny fibers were my lungs
scrambling like fingers toward a pale

It goes on, and basically it means I should have listened to the doubts telling me to dump my boyfriend.

Only nerds assume asking for consent is nerdy

I’m fucking sick of nerds.*

And by nerds, I mean unimaginative literalists.

I was at a party, searching for a topic to fill the lull in conversation. I remembered that I’d pledged for a cute consent panties kickstarter and I brought that up with the intention to offer a pair to my friend, if they were interested, since in my pledge bracket I’d be receiving 5 extra pairs of boxers and briefs emblazoned with phrases like, “Only yes means yes.”

My friend’s reaction floored me. I thought they’d be receptive. This is a friend who wears brightly colored wigs, just asked if I’d like to see their merkin, and regularly walks about parties with floggers and paddles. I figured they might be into consent. I’d barely said, “Speaking of Youtopia, I got these ‘Let’s Talk First’ panties from a kickstarter and…” I was interrupted.

There are basically two ways to be a feminist at a party. One is to stand up for your beliefs and counter any bullshit the best you can, whether through reasoned quips or belligerent screaming, as is necessary. The other is to realize you are outnumbered, down another drink, and to instead store up your dismay and upset for an angry blog rant.

My friend has a much louder voice than me, and sometimes I am a coward, so I opted for plan B. I listened to this friend say, “Oh god, the consent thing is just annoying. I mean how nerdy is it to ask, ‘Can we have sex,’ or ‘Can I kiss you?’ I mean why can’t people just use body language like adults.”

Right, because no one in the history of ever has suffered from relying on just body language.

Now that I’m not frozen by shock, slouching on a bar stool with a headache trying to gracefully hint to this nearby guy with a cookie monster onesie that I’m pretty gay, yo, stop asking me “what do girls like about men” while ever slowly inching closer to me, please?  … I just want to emphatically say, asking for consent does not have to be nerdy.

Asking for consent can be highly erotic! I have lived this; my dearest moments contain that asking, and not because I churned out “can I kiss you?” like a robot trying to follow robot laws, but because I have internalized consent; I have made it part of who I am.

This is not about literally asking, this is about wanting to hear the answer. This is about not accepting anything less than eager, dripping-wet consent, or, if that isn’t there, at least having a talk about if we’re still all cool to try this. In real life, sex is often a bit awkward and sometimes we push through it because we still really want to get laid tonight, even if the moment isn’t perfect. What we shouldn’t do is push through a maybe because, if we take a second to ask, we know we won’t be getting laid tonight.

But fucking nerds just hear the frustrated bleating, “ask first?” and they think that literally means ask first. As if asking “can I have sex with you?” is magic phrase that shields you from qualifying as a rapist… No. There are moments when you will use your precious body language, and in these moments you have to admit to yourself when her back isn’t arching and her skin is dry and her eyes windows to another world outside of herself and her smile holds a little pain.

That’s the moment when you stop, when you use your words, when you check in sweetly, “babe, are you ok?” That is the moment you graciously tuck away your desires and spend the night holding her, knowing there will be a better time.

Or, that is the moment when her attention falls against you like a tidal wave, and that you asked breaks her walls, and she decides then, yes, she wants this, she wants you, the one who asked. That is the moment your care for her makes her brave against her fears.

These scripts are missing from our movies, our TV shows, the popular media engine. People cannot imagine consent language being sexy, because they have not seen it modeled over and over again the same way they have seen men wordlessly seize women in impassioned kisses over and over again. This mute tension, not knowing if your desires are symmetrical, fearing what speaking will do to the myth you have created… I concede this is worth living once. I’m not saying we need to strike that out of our vocabularies entirely.

We do, however, desperately need to eroticize consent. “Rebecca, I’d like to kiss you,” doesn’t do it for ya? Well, fine, use your bloody imagination. Create your own stories. I’ll share two, and guess what guys, in both of these I felt like I was in a goddamned movie:

Erotic Consent Story #1

I sat in a tree with a friend and gave myself the same mental nudge I do before jumping off the high dive. “You have to know that I find you tortuously attractive,” I said. Deep eye contact.

Tortuously attractive, huh?”

We returned to our previous conversation a moment, about socialism and money as debt, and again I found a pause. “Stick of gum?” I offered, very intentionally referring to Wet Hot American Summer, which we had watched together the week before. I’d been intensely aware of our body positioning on the couch, wondering for a moment to kiss, but not finding it, and going home uncertain, still just friends.

I added, “I’d really like to kiss you, but I have this terrible cough and I’d hate to get you sick before you travel.”

“That’s a bullshit reason.” This was almost the yes I wanted. I felt my grin more than it showed on my face.

“Well, it’s up to you,” I sat back, “I’m serious about not wanting to get you sick.”

“Wait, am I reading into this too much??”

Emboldened by my friend’s flustered reaction, I responded with a warm low voice, leaning in, “What I mean is, if you say bullshit, I will kiss y–”

“Bullshit!”

We almost fell out of that tree.

Erotic Consent Story #2

I finally had come to the house of someone you will recognize from the comic below ;) and we’d spent the night playing videogames and watching Howl’s Moving Castle. “Help!” I’d texted my friend, “We’re actually playing videogames.”

As we were both too shy to make the first move (or so I’d thought, turns out she just likes tormenting people!) I’d squirmed the whole night in borrowed jammies next to her on silk sheets. We actually slept together without sleeping together. As an ex-Christian I am especially familiar with the ‘thrill’ of delayed gratification. I’d once gone 7 months without orgasm. I relieved all 7 of them in that single night.

As soon as I heard her stirring in the morning, excitement pounded in my chest and in my arms as I kissed her. I remember her delicately small ear more than anything, colors washed from my memory in the dimness in her room, and how her earring twinkled. I whispered into her ear, between kisses, “Can we… have… sex now?” Her yes was full of laughter and everything I wanted to hear in the world.

comic-lesbian-first-sleepover-sexP.S. I am the big spoon. Duh.


*Actual nerds — like enthusiastically into science or books or something dear to them from pop culture, those kinds of nerds — are great, of course.