Goo

I missed my post last week. As self-punishment, I will share a very personal essay I performed at a recent variety show. It is called…

Goo

I could define the moment when I started to leave the comfortable, safe nook of being Daddy’s Girl to enter ‘womanhood’ by my preoccupation with my scent. Previously, I was happy to believe my father when he told me antiperspirant is the devil and deodorant is unnecessary. Then I started to really stink. Maybe the first time Daddy was really wrong was when my B.O. betrayed me. Thanks for that.

Armpits, okay, that’s easy for me. I put on my Tom’s of Maine after showers and don’t think about it. I think, though, you might not be aware of this secret world of crotch stink. I, and other women who have been brave enough to tell me, live in fear that the whole world can smell our vaginas. Is there something wrong down there? Am I diseased? Am I a slut? Is my body communicating to me about ovulation? Am I emanating pheromones? Could my pheromones be a little more selective in who they attract? Finally, if I catch myself liking my own scent (and Fat Bastard reminds us everyone likes their own brand, don’t they) is it because I’m a perverted narcissist or am I just happy my juice smells healthy?

Then there is the matter of which Goo do I put on my hair and skin? Most of this Goo is scented (or promises not to be). Some of the Goo smells delicious and wonderful out of the bright green bottle, or when it is another woman’s hair. Then I put this same Garnier Fructigoo in my own hair, and over time it turns into odor of rancid apricot sunscreen. I repeat for many weeks until I swear off Garnier fucking Fructis for life; this Goo will never be the Goo for me.

Perfumes come in artfully shaped bottles and ethereal colors, like witch potions. The boxes are thrown out, stickers removed, and thus there are no ingredients listed, like hard liquor. That is how I see them on bathroom shelves and counters, crowded together like bar booze or wizard elixirs. There is no test I can take to see which lab-concocted smell won’t turn into rancid apricot sunscreen on my body. I go online and read reviews where women tell me their “chemistry” goes really well with one thing or another, and I wonder if she smells like me. So far I’ve figured out that my chemistry is decidedly opposed to being smothered in “fruity” Goo.
It gets worse. You find a Goo that isn’t awful and is maybe making your skin/hair moisturized. Over time, however, the Goo leaves “deposits” on you. That is the term accepted by Girl Experts: deposits. For optimum Goo satisfaction, you are supposed to switch products, so that your brand new Goo can wash away the deposits from your last Goo.

There’s more. You can’t put most Goo in your Vagoo. It will disrupt your “feminine balance.” Everything you have learned from lotions, soaps, etc. for your skin does not apply down there. Some of the things advertised as safe are a lie. So when I can smell my own crotch when I’m trying to have lunch with my dad, I am secretly panicking about the limited number of solutions at my disposal. Meanwhile, after a day playing frisbee, he smells like a salty animal and doesn’t really seem to mind.

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My Older Brother’s Birthday

Most don’t know about my older brother, Ian. I don’t often talk about him, and not even until recently did I think I had the right. Though I think of him from time to time and though I know he will always be a part of me, I am timid when it comes to saying his name. It has taken me the better part of my 25 years to claim the grief of losing someone I have never met.

Today would have been his 27th birthday. I didn’t expect this, but tears crawled up to strangle my throat when I wrote this. Each June 13th does not get easier, it gets harder as I catch up after years spent thinking his death was not a shadow that fell on me.

It becomes clearer that his ghost has informed so many parts of me. Losing their first, at 4 weeks, changed the way my parents held me as a baby. I think that grief, too, is carried tenderly like something so small and delicate and breakable even though it is what crushes us.

This year will be the first I spend without my parents on Ian’s birthday. My younger brother has already done this. For years I’ve watched my family plant trees and flowers in his remembrance, and I’ve carried small handfuls of soil and patted them down. This year I’m in Michigan, and all day I will be gazing at the ground looking for a place to plant a seed. Perhaps I’ll find a grassy patch by a house I do not know, opened to me by borrowed family, people I’ve never met who may be welcoming or may be cold — I’m never quite sure what Katelyn’s extended family thinks of me, thinks of us, thinks of what we represent, though so far they have said nothing. Perhaps I will sneak away to the shade of some tree and call my living brother.

I am motivated to write this because friends of mine are carrying their own griefs. I think I ought to say that mourning follows me just as it might follow them. Each grief is as different as the person or people who inspire it; I cannot measure the shape of my grief and hold it to anyone else’s and expect to pass along the same condolences that work for me. Yet I will nod at yours if you will nod at mine as we walk by each other in these familiar long corridors of pining, back and forth, back and forth, every year marked, every year counted, and remembered.

R.I.P. Ian

6-13-88 — 7-13-88

 

2 Years of SD Survival Guide

February 6th, 2015 was the actual anniversary, but it wasn’t in my Google Calendar so it didn’t exist.

Luckily today is poop and I don’t feel like writing, so the annual recap is perfectttt.

Links, pics, and excerpts for your enjoyment!!!!!!!!!!!!  The exclamation points are how you know I am enthusiastic and not just boring and sad :D

Snapchat-20140131100329Last year’s recap… Also uses the word poop. I’ve worn a few 2-dimensional identities in my life — the kind people use when they’re trying to describe you to a friend. They’ve varied from “Anthony’s girlfriend,” to “redheaded lesbian” and at least one unpublishable moniker in-between. Slowly, over the past year, “writer” has been taking over.

IMAG0487_1Giving myself excuses to be mean lol. Also viddygames & feminism. I’d like to give you some insight into the spiraling self-doubt that occurs for me whenever I say something remotely divisive on these social media channels.

Paranoia in the digital age, snapchat, and hangovers. Hangover is a philosophy, a way of being, in which fears and anxieties are either muffled, too heavy with the poison in your blood to run rampant over you, or they are amplified with the urgency of vomit.

girlfriend-in-party-hatOne of my fav posts: Crashing parties in PB. I met an incoherent philosopher. He made us give him really long hugs, but they were more drunken than amorous so I was fine with that. Maybe because he shared so many gooey-ooey thoughts about humanity I stole one of Katelyn’s cigarettes and traded it with a stranger who wandered up to the back wall for a high five.

Bad-feminist-fuck-itFEMINISM WITH RAD PICTURES. I saw an article, “5 Conversations Women Should Stop Having,” by HuffPo and got excited to get my feminist morning-read on, but….what was I thinking this is HuffPo.

tutu rave fishnets furry legwarmersRavetastic adventure. Event page said: “dress like Bruce Lee, get in free” which is a dumb and impossible, but Katelyn confidently put me in a cheongsam-inspired top and a tutu and said it would count.

I insult you on the internet because I love you or something like that. The truth is, for me, I’m just obsessed with all of you sometimes. I want to know if it’s okay to write about you. Picasso’s girlfriend probably didn’t tell him to hide away the portraits he made of her saying, ‘baby, what? I look so ugly, do you really think my nose is that big? My eyes are that..awkwardly placed in relationship to the rest of my face parts, seriously they aren’t even pointing in the same direction…??’

Party-planning-guest-listI’ve been obsessed with parties since childhood look read my diary. Candyland was the obvious choice for my “Sweet Sixteen” but I have to admit I was most excited about making giant lollipops out of balloons and cellophane.

If you take out a notebook and write down what a person says to you, they will fall in love with you.

Being Artsy Fartsy because Sports Bars…?? Draw a puzzle piece that’s open on all sides. Explain these connections happen to you all the time, that you’re easy. Explain you understand it was special for him, but it was common for you. When you hug him goodbye, he will recite his phone number into your ear.

I love birds. All of my snapchats are of birds.

I am the worst at nerd so I write an essay on why nerd is boring and I don’t need to try. Check out these birds tho. I understand, I really do, that having a common lexicon is a short cut to establishing shared experiences. But if you go on and on about Naruto, and I don’t know jack about Naruto, what am I supposed to do?

wpid-wp-1397760228272.jpegGood weather in SF means I am cursed. Trust me this makes sense. San Diego perfect weather is relentless. San Francisco sunshine is just a little bit delirious. I know I can’t live here because in my heart of hearts I know how inconsolable I get on a “blustery” day. I know this, but the Curse tricked me into thinking I can do these things.

Snapchat-20140417115114LOL fuck I fucked up my leg. Turns out if there’s a lump sticking out of my shin a terrifying extra 1-inch, my reaction is mostly jovial. This is a battle wound. Also, I had taken 3 Ibuprofen before the concert in anticipation of wearing my improbable shoes.

My friend Alexis found a live scorpion when she unpacked her luggage in America.

Went to mexico. Killed scorpion. Temporary veganism ensues. They are giving their bodies nutrients instead of Taco Bell and are rewarded with endurance and energy. I was trapped in a vicious whiskey / crunchwrap / gatorade cycle just trying to survive ’til next Friday.

EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE.

infantino-squeeze-pouch-for-babies-holds-2-shotsLifehack put liquor in these things and then in your pants. Infantino makes a squeeze pouch “feeding line” (are they children or are they livestock??) so that yuppie parents can package up custom applesauces, vegetable purrée, and other goo for their toddlers to quaff. … I will demonstrate in pictures how to alter this fine product to smuggle liquor in your underwear.

Sami is sad maybe party help? 

Dude my parents are super cool. As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered the joys of combining alcohol with activities I once hated, such as camping, sports, weddings, and now, socializing with my parents. If it is at all possible for you, I recommend getting to the point where you can get blasted with the people who made you.

Yes I am wearing a bunch of beanie babies I hot glued together as a garment.

Confidence. Let’s break it down. I am (usually) good at empathizing.  This makes it easier to understand other people’s actions and motivations and avoid blaming myself for things that aren’t my fault.

Sexual Predators :(

…So obviously feminism.

…And more feminism.

Dafuq am I doing with this blog shit got serious all the sudden? I could form an elite group of partiers who would descend on events like glitter locusts and leave kickbacks sparkling with glaze of alcohol and shimmer of sex-sweat.

This is where my parents met. Well, that's what K'nB Wine Cellars believed for the longest time.

In case you didn’t know, there are real neato perks to drinking at the same place all of the time. Go on Mondays because you need a beer to recover from the trauma of restarting your work week. Go on Tuesdays because you wish you came with an appetite on Monday and really wanted to try those sliders but, tomorrow, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Hi, the weather is great today in San Diego and also I am not your girlfriend.

Back to feminism because I give the people what they want. In a world where, “I’m a lesbian,” works less than half as well as, “I have a boyfriend,” we need more people who are willing to make it obvious that it is simply valid for a girl to reject a man because she says so. No explanation needed.

Le Butcherettes are worth driving to Santa Ana to see, apparently. I saw her pulsate and shake in a way that defies sexually-charged gazes. I dare you to objectify me.

Remember the space koozie I was so proud of....?

Burning man.

More burning man.space koozie after

Also burning man.

dairy-drought-takes-a-lot-of-water-to-make-happy-cowCows are causing the drought, I decided. Also shrubbery. Forget just turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth, the best thing to do is find alternatives to a lush green lawn. If your front yard looks like a sad, tawny shag of neglected responsibility, consider yourself the hero of this story.

Writing partyI’m writing a book!! I’ve started mentioning this wordy beast when people ask what I’m doing with my life. You know, because besides drinking, it’s all I’ve been doing with my life.

How do you speak up when it feels like it’s too late? I have been beating myself up recently for leaving things unsaid. Friends have said or done things that I was not okay with, and I pretended everything was okay and did not say anything.

Just when you think I’m done writing about festivals… I present this packing list. Things You Bring But Never Use: 4 extra friggin shirts; 2 extra friggin blue jeans; Book for “downtime” …

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 6.55.50 PMGoddamnit now this song is stuck in my head again. I “just don’t get” why the skinny shaming in Megan Trainor’s hit single is a big deal.

Unwanted sexual attention :c I often get some variation of, “If you weren’t gay, I would totally have tried to date you.”

Wanted sexual attention :) So, you think your lezfriend is smoldering hot. I’m guessing since you called her “lesbian friend” and not just “friend,” you’re either straight or bi/queer.

Resticles.Day.CloseUpHey look, burning man. And testicles.  Despite resembling hairy sacks of balls, they were very pretty.

matt-taylor-shirt-comet-landing-pensiveIn some ways it’s just a shirt, but really it’s so much more than that. This is what happens when an intelligent man is faced with his mistakes. He feels them more truly than those too defensive to see clearly. He sees the thousands of implications of his tiny, tiny, oh-not-so-tiny mistake.

Thanks drawingThanksgiving feels. I am imperfect. I am too afraid to join conversations when I imagine a response that will overwhelm me (Ferguson). I fantasized about posting a “cheat sheet” today for avoiding cultural appropriation, with cute drawings, timely for Thanksgiving, and posturing as if I have a clue.

Lost-panic-typewriter-drawing.jpgAt least some good writing comes out of my personal problems. I struggle with trigger-induced panic. Often, it is easiest to say I suffer from PTSD, though I haven’t been formally diagnosed and do not want to diminish the experiences of others who may have it worse than I do.

Jury duty made me miss my fun date to the Birch Aquarium so I sent her snapchats of "fish" all day.

JURY DUTY WAS A PARTY AND A HALF. And the prosecuting attorney was kind of adorable. He was soft-spoken, kept messing up what he was saying, and one time didn’t have his notes for a particular witness. “Uh, I’d like to request a sidebar..” he said when he realized he didn’t have them, “It’s kind of embarrassing…”

wpid-wp-1419367560968.jpegBeing quirky and mysterious is another way to avoid writing a serious blog post, lifehack. Go to the liquor store. Buy a cheap pair of sunglasses and an iced coffee. Go home. Drink half of the coffee. Write her name backwards in the the lenses of the sunglasses with a dry erase marker, and wear them.

I AM FROZEN I DON’T MEAN THE MOVIE. Friends of mine from places like Oregon *caughAlexDialcough* try to say that 44 degrees is not that cold. Relatively, no, it is not. But experientially, for us San Diegans, it is THE MOST TERRIBLE COLD WHYYYYYY

Creationism Museum Lol :D Proceed through the days of creation. Find animals. Exclaim, “Oh my god there is animals here!” Wonder if the docents have heard you take the lord’s name in vain.

Why do people treat me like a prostitute is it because I am a woman? *fake smile* kthanksbye North Park: Some guy will yell “How much?” at you from his car when you’re walking with your girlfriend to your car. It kind of ruins your night.

IMAG0150Inclusivity and cats. Recently I’ve gotten myself into a situation where I have a space and the agency to throw my own parties, so that’s added immediacy to my Responsible Friendshipping goals. I get to say who comes to the party and what the theme is! I’m also interested, however, in the bigger picture. Am I helping my friends move in a healthy direction in their communities?

Inviting people to parties the best way possible is something I think about a lot. Another strategy I’m considering experimenting with is masterminding a small groups rotation pattern. I will make it clear to friends that, to limit the size of the party, I will invite smaller portions of my larger friend base. If they are not invited to the current party, rest assured they will be invited to the next.

actually-happyGiving myself life advice on the internet and people liking, nice :) What better way to show I respect someone than to support their ideas? At times it verges on enabling, the way I cater to people’s fantasies, but I’d rather do that than be a source of discouragement for the people I love.

Wow, today is less poops. It was really lovely to remember that I’ve put all this content out there and that, for the most part, I’m pretty happy with it all. In other words, I’m rad and I deserve to feel rad :P

More importantly, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. It means so much to me when people mention reading my stuff. You make me feel heard :)

If any of you blog, please let me know! I’d like to start following more people this year.

*hugs*

sami

Getting old enough to party with your parents

As I’ve grown, I’ve discovered the joys of combining alcohol with activities I once hated, such as camping, sports, weddings, and now, socializing with my parents. If it is at all possible for you, I recommend getting to the point where you can get blasted with the people who made you.

I’d like to share a particularly successful example of this — if success means seeing your Dad so shitballed he can’t form sentences. This story takes place at a wedding.

After the ceremony in the blazing hot sun, we slowly meandered to our seating arrangements to await dinner. My brother, Zach, my parents, and I sat at table #19, along with two couples about my parents’ ages. Highlights of our experience with that table include: deciding we were the best table ever, inventing the table 19 salute (two middle fingers), throwing the centerpiece like a frisbee. stealing unopened wine bottles from other tables, sneaking tips to our servers (it wasn’t allowed), acquiring an extra champagne bottle from our server (and dispensing more illegal tips), and shouting. This is just the beginning of the night.

I did have a little champagne, but cut myself off as I was designated driver. Why was I designated driver? Because my mother bribed me to be for $50. By the end of the actual wedding, my drunken family had also managed to dance together like crazy kooks, Zach ran through the clover field, and I made lizard nooses for children. It was discovered that we were intentionally placed with the couples at table #19, who were also rowdy, though we could not ascertain if our location at the edge of the area was also purposeful.

After the ceremony, I drove my inebriated parents and brother to the house of the bride’s parents (my dad’s best friend from childhood is the bride’s dad). Already falling asleep, I crept off to one of the back bedrooms. I passed a bottle of Jose Cuervo Gold on the counter.

Somewhere in the midst of my slumber, my mother came into the room. “Can I please lie down next to you? Please? Sami?” She giggled as she crawled into the bed.  She had no pants on and her hair was wet. I didn’t ask questions and fell back asleep.

The woman of the house woke us up to regretfully inform us she had no room for us to spend the night. It was never our intention to do so, so we understood. My brother popped into the room and escorted Mom out the back door to the car. She still could not locate her pants and was in no condition to try. They would be sent by post in a few weeks when they were discovered on the lawn.

My brother and I had to find my dad. My brother was much inebriated. He congratulated the mother of the bride. I left him and decided to check the pool. With trepidation, I approached the dark, gated swimming hole. I was prepared to jump in and rescue my dad if necessary. I looked all around the edge of the pool – it was large – and found various discarded clothes-things, none of which belonged to my family. Finally, I came up the other side and noticed a lump on the steps. It was my dad, underneath a towel. Completely naked.

I fearfully shook his shoulder. He better not be dead, goddammit. “Muh?” Though he could not speak english, he was thankfully alive.

“Dad. Dad. We’re leaving. Let’s go”.

“Mah? Emurfagaf? Ebbluffin.. Yeah. Mkay..”. He then rolled back over and rested his head back onto his ‘pillow’ (pile of rocks). I heard my brother nearby, and called out to him. He had a bag, and in it were a pair of my dad’s shorts.

He convinced dad to put the shorts on. “Hey. Hey dad. Put these shorts on so I don’t have to look at your balls anymore.”

Somehow he also managed to get my dad upright. “Hey, don’t be a pussy. Get up. Let’s go.”

We did our best to help our dad “walk,” which could be described as “falling forward.” He zombie lurched across the lawn to the car. My brother coaxed him into the backseat. My mother was in the passenger seat, her legs folded underneath her arms. She seemed aware that she was mostly naked, her lips in a firm straight line approaching shame. We went back to the house to say our goodbyes. Zach congratulated the bride’s mother. I had a discussion with the bridal party about designated driving. Zach congratulated the bride’s mother. I said goodbye to the bride’s mother. Zach congratulated the bride’s mother, and asked if she’d be there at his wedding. He finished the Cuervo bottle.

When we got back to the car, my dad was very concerned about the location of his wallet. He needed to see it to be happy. We found the wallet, and he put it between his knees. Then I started us for my grampa’s house, down a dark mountainous 1-lane road. My mother was very helpful. “Brakes. Brights on. Brights off. Gas. Brakes.” I looked in the rearview mirror. My dad’s head rested on my brother’s lap. He was snoring.

When we arrived at my grandpa’s house, my mother helped my dad out of the car. He followed me up the stairs with a mischievous grin, lunging as he tried to remain upright.

A conversation with my brother

It’s 11:59pm. I miss a phone call.

“Oh it’s Zach, it’s only Zach,” I say loudly and facetiously to my lovers.

I call my brother immediately.

“Zach, you there?”

“Hey, hi, I just wanted to like talk or something,” the drawl in his voice is permanent so I can’t know if he’s drunk, just affectionate, or both.

“For sure, what’s up?”

“You like at a party or something? You busy?”

I explain that I’m not. Loosely. Through a few dropped calls, we establish that he’s lonely and that I’m available to talk.

“It’s just that back home,” he means San Diego, “I’m a God. You know what I’m saying?”

“And you’re a– in Berkeley you’re a puppet.” He’s told me this before, how he’s a character, how he performs. But he adds something new:

“I’m a clown. And everyone laughs at the clown. But the clown cries you know. This is just an allegory. I mean. I’m — a metaphor — I’m using poetry, here.”

“Right, you’ve got a tear painted on your face…” He keeps talking like he doesn’t hear me.

He mentions feeling better than everyone, how maybe he’s a sociopath. “But I have empathy. I love every fucking living thing on this planet.” He’s just surrounded by morons. People who can’t even distinguish a rectangle from a square, or solve a crossword puzzle. He reads The New York Times every day.

“Hey, Sam, can I ask you something? How many people died in the Syrian Wars?”

“Uh,” I guess blindly, “30,000?”

“That’s cute. One hundred ten thousand,” he says.

“See, I don’t know anything. I’ve been asleep.”

“Right, everyone is clueless.”

“I’ve realized lately that I’ve been out of touch with reality for most of my life. Now, I finally fucking care. I want to know everything. All of art history and science. I want to understand things like I’ve never understood them before,” I say. I mean it, too.

When we talk I giggle loudly. It’s good, his voice is good. Other people don’t sound like themselves on the phone, but I just hear my brother in the hot piece of plastic against my ear. He mentions how the Illuminati or maybe the overlord lizard-brains are monitoring our call, trying to intercept it, how he’s been really into conspiracy theories, “But I’m just high, it’s fun to talk about these things. I’m just augmenting my brain chemicals or some shit. Hey Sami, I’m going to drop a bomb on you, k?”

“Okay Zach.”

“You know when you were little, I was like 3–” he’s wrong, he had to have been at least 6, but he remembers things from age 3 so I don’t blame him for thinking it could have been then, “–I overheard you talking about your alien thing, Anastasia.”

“Venastasia.” I correct, and wonder now (and not a moment earlier) what the other people in the room think of my side of the conversation.

“Right. I just think there’s something about us.”

He asks me to lucid dream with him. When we were young our grandmother told us stories of sharing dreams with family far away in Michigan. She told us how our uncle, at 7 years, would touch people in the grocery store, and they would start crying. “Either she’s fucking crazy, and it’s in my genes so whatever,” I imagine his squinty self-deprecating laugh, “or there’s some extra-dimension bullshit going on.”

I have asked myself in the past if I were crazy, and I know the ache and frenetic sadness that comes with that. Even though I hear my brother saying these words, asking me if he’s crazy, I’m not worried. Somehow I’m confident he’ll be fine.

We finish our conversation with these thoughts, “You’re the only person I can really talk to about this, Sam. You know you share more DNA with me than anything else in the world.”

“I think about it every day, Zach.”

“Meet me in your lucid dream, in the café on Mars.”