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12 March 2011 @ 05:02 am
 
I have an alive post, so now I want to have a 'random' post to cover some of the things I've missed in the last while. Well, two come to mind. Let's see if I think of more, otherwise I'll just go into finishing today, which turned out to be pretty interesting.

Random:
  • Tag Night: Tag Collective's International Women's Day Comedy Night, I believe the whole title was; it was at the Global Cafe, my favourite spot in Reading. I went with Clover. As soon as I stepped upstairs where it was held, there was this immediate sense of relief: inter-generational women! lesbians! non-heteronormative women! heteroflexible comedians! women with guitars! I educated Clover some more on lesbian stereotypes; she learned even more from the acts themselves, as I 2/5 were very lesbian and very out with very lesbian humour and a third was straight but was good with observational comedy and pulled in some lesbian humour when she realised a lot of her audience was non-straight. I explained to Clover (and one random guy who asked) that it wasn't a lesbian group, but that wherever one finds a group of feminists, one will often find a number of non-straight women. I've met a small number of non-feminist lesbians (or those who hate the label but basically are), but it's usually safe(ish) to say not all feminists are lesbians but all lesbians are feminist(-sympathetic at least) so we tend to be found in feminist groups. Plus, lesbians and activism tend to have a bit of a history (especially with the lesbian stereotype Angry Lesbian taking to the streets).

  • The actual night: The lesbian comedians tended to interact with me. Mainly because I gave a pleased call-out to using Alanis Morissette as angry!music in the shower and a super-pleased call-out to Harry Potter (uhm, duh). For the main act Rosie Wilby asked if anyone had seen the lesbian film When Night is Falling and I was the only one in the room who had (I, uh, did lots of 'research' into lesbian films when I was a teenager). She laughed with me and gave a summary of the film. Mae Martin was the one who joked with me about Harry Potter and a few things. I saw her walk by in the cafe before the performance and didn't know she was a performer; I blushed when I saw that Clover had caught me in the act. Anyway, after the comedy was through there was music and I couldn't help dancing so I danced and more people joined in until we had this beautiful circle of inter-generational women all dancing differently and sharing styles to this peculiar music that most of us didn't know. Sometimes we used our voices, but mainly we communicated with our expressions, our body, our laughter and our smiles. It was wonderful and everything I used to love about many of the events back home. It was so powerful to have it here, where I have this huge disconnect in not being around 30+ women (and especially lesbians) the way I often am back home. I missed it more than I can describe.

  • Counselling: My counsellor reminds me of a mermaid. I like how quickly her face jumps expression (and it's adorable how she exaggerates them) and I enjoy her crooked nose. This week she listened to me and my stories more, and helped me go more in depth into the issues behind all my panic and the like - rather than just 'break down all your work, make a schedule, here use this wall map, schedule in tea, take a walk, don't procrastinate.' (All the stuff I already know and know how to do, but that doesn't stop the disconnect that exists in my brain.) This week was much more useful. She loved my panic attack coping method of, yes, having the paper bag nearby, but mainly how I IM someone I trust (and who generally enjoys a story-telling session) to ask if (s)he will tell me a story. We talked about panic being the mammalian part of the brain with its fight-or-flight and the frontal lobes powering down; she agreed that asking for a story powers up the frontal lobes again to pay attention. It keeps me from going straight back into a panic attack once I stop breathing out of the bag. I also mentioned that most people tend to tell funny stories, and laughter somehow helps straighten out the breath and bring some mirth into the situation, which helps. She told me she's going to suggest that to others now - so go me for finding a coping strategy that works! She acknowledged that I am doing well and managing. We talked about self harm and sleeping and food intake a big. She agreed that I should fill out an extenuating circumstances form on my dissertation as a precautonionary measure (mainly to make me feel better/that there's a backup); Nick agreed today in meeting.



Tonight:
  • The concert: The singing was lovely. Claire blew Andy out of the water during their duet, which made me really happy since Andy out-sang Claire with popular songs during rehearsal (and got a bit snarky/impatient with Claire as a result). But in the performance Claire dominated with the song they chose since it was classical and, goodness, her voice is just made for classical; it was really nice to listen to. Thankfully it was in another language so I didn't have to pay attention to the words, too. I don't think Claire knew how religious the show was going to be (they only picked their songs last week I think).

  • Coming out: I don't believe in God. I grew up in a religion that encouraged each person to find his or her own path and beliefs, which I have done. Mine tends to be a mixture of science, respect for the inherent worth and dignity of each person and for the interconnected web of which we are a part, communication, love, and some concepts from a few religions/philosophies/books/what-have-you. God and Jesus do not feature in my belief system, which is generally flowy and not pinned down (hence my great difficulty in ever writing a credo; it changes from moment to moment). I know it was a gospel choir, but often times for university events things will be more non-denominational. I'm afraid what I say next won't come out as respectfully, which I am a bit ashamed of, but I will try. It proves how much I love Claire that I was willing to pay and sit and listen through so much singing and talk (between songs/both 'special guest' bands) about God, Jesus, praising when things go right, helplessness and being pulled through by God or Jesus. I understand that many people believe in all of those and I am authentically happy for those people, if their faith enriches their life and gives them a sense of purpose and a feeling of strength and something to help them through. That is not the case for me, and unfortunately not only are those things not incorporated into my belief system, but they have always historically made me uncomfortable. I was raised in an atheist-agnostic-you-choose-your-direction household and between that and being gay, growing up to have people trying to convert me with such ideas was incredibly uncomfortable. I'm happy where and how I am, I don't believe in nor feel I would or should go to hell, I feel complete and that I have a driving force and inner-or-community-driven strength. There's the old joke about Unitarian Universalists (my 'faith'): Why are UUs so bad at singing hues? They're always reading ahead a few lines to see if they agree with the lyrics. I do that and I always have; if a song said God or Jesus, I generally did not sing those words or replaced them with something else - which has always been totally acceptable within my congregation (and I know I'm never the only one doing it), but I also know the next song may be about the earth or a Goddess or Buddha or a little light that keeps shining. I'm proud of myself for sticking through today for a friend, though, and for not feeling too-too-too uncomfortable. I really want to grow to a place that I can handle this stuff without feeling spooked or intimidated.

  • Claire's mother: I finally met her mother. She was nothing like what I expected her to be like based on Claire describing her as a very proper lady ('no elbows on the table, use the correct utensils, table set properly every meal' sort of lady). She's lovely and so is Claire's grandmother.

  • Flirtation yaaay!: The doors didn't open until later than they were supposed to, so I stood by the stairs people-watching for a while. I noticed a young woman about my age come in with long curls like the tightly-wound finger-curls (tighter than my curls) and a lovely unique face. I caught her eyes a few times but other than that stuck to my Ani DiFranco. After the show I was standing with Claire. I saw Andy (Claire's singing partner) hugging the girl; soon enough they were walking our way and I saw that this girl glanced up at me a lot during the walk over and seemed excited to be heading my way. She smiled at me a lot as we all were chatting. I complimented her hair and she complimented my rainbow necklace. Claire had to run off for her jacket or something, Andy was going crazy and decided to get a balloon so she ran off back into the lecture theatre. I said, "Looks like she's on a performance high." She laughed and agreed, saying she would be too; I agreed to that in turn. She asked me if my necklace was a pride symbol; I was confused for a moment (it's not, strictly speaking, but it's rainbow, so it sort of is) and eventually concluded yes, then showed her my earring which is more obviously pride as it says "pride" right on it...and the one next to it has a lesbian sign over a rainbow background. I may not be as "HELLO LESBIAN WITHIN 100 YARDS!" as I was when I was 15, but there are definitely the hints everywhere. And at last I heard the blissful phrase that is so musical to a university lesbian's ear: "I haven't seen you at any of the LGBT meetings." (Given that it isn't a GSA - Gay Straight Alliance - basically anyone who goes is non-straight in some manner.) We chatted about that for a while. At last I asked her name: Hannah. I don't know why it made me smile. She promised to add me on Facebook. She's cute. She has a broken front tooth so one corner of it is gone, which I noticed and enjoyed; her face is unique in a pretty way; and, as I mentioned, her hair is lush. It was a pleasing session of flirtation, then!

  • Oestrus detection in cattle: is boring to research about. So I'm going to go to sleep as tomorrow will be a long day of oestrus detection presentation creation and citation analysis. Also it is comical how often I am changing my bra. I am rotating through all of them over and over. For someone who would normally remove a bra immediately upon arriving home, this is very atypical!


Apologies for the long post! I think I want to remember this and the different AGEs ('another growth experience') I living through in various parts of my life. Third year isn't only about learning to write a dissertation, I suppose. (:

P.S. I totally fit one of the lesbian stereotypes Rosie made fun of - it was glorious. She also made fun of short lesbians looking to take tall lesbians (I've always wished, but never have). And how if lesbians and gays could breed fully, lesbians would produce taller and taller children and gay men would produce shorter and shorter children until all the gay men would have to hide away from the lesbians' stomping Doc Martens. (Guess who was a short lesbian wearing Docs and often checking out taller lesbians? This gal here. *Giggles.*)


Kiwi

"Listen, why don't you save yourself years of sexual ambiguity and get fitted for a pair of Doc Martens and a plaid flannel shirt?"
[Stewie; Family Guy]
 
 
 
lash_laruelash_larue on March 12th, 2011 10:25 am (UTC)
Sounds like a pretty good time. I prefer my religion on the quiet side as well, don't care for "contemporary christian" music, though I do like old spirituals and hymns. Around here people tend to use religion as a club, which is understandable since they all know just what God is thinking and speak with Her voice.

Yay for meeting new and interesting people, cute is a nice bonus.

Oestrus detection in cattle... all you need is a bull, that's what gomer bulls are for, and they're quite good at it.

It sounds like you have a decent counsellor, I'm glad, a bad fit there is worse than useless.

Have fun stomping on tiny gay men.
L
Kiwi Crocus: Monty Python || Science!cranky__crocus on April 3rd, 2011 06:08 pm (UTC)
Ahhahhah, your fist paragraph cracked me up to no end. In a bit of a sad way. But nevermind!

I definitely covered gomer bulls and androgenised cows. (: But they have all sorts of nifty devices, like essentially a computerised pressure-pad that alerts another computer...the funny thing is that none of them work as much as just having a trained person watch the darn cows! :P But using the tools in tandem with observation tends to do the trick rather well. :D
minervas_eule: red roseminervas_eule on March 12th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
What an interesting post - we already established that you should not apologize for length or anything else ;-b ; to write it because you want to remember this is exactly what I do so often :-) - I am so happy to have this spot to do it...
The night at the Cafe sounds such fun !
Comparing your counselor to a mermaid made me laugh: why do you consider changing facial expressions quickly a mermaidish trait *LOL*?
Kiwi Crocus: Women || Blue butterfly.cranky__crocus on April 3rd, 2011 06:10 pm (UTC)
*Giggles.* I don't think it was the quickly-changing facial expressions that reminded me of a mermaid... probably her facial structure, her hair, her body expression and the quality/lilt of her voice. I tend to think of people quite strangely, or so I'm told! (I used to think it was normal. Thankfully I don't much care. (; )
gerristgerrist on March 12th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
Between the Clover visit, the new therapist and the fun flirtatious lesbian night out, you sound a whole lot better! You seem to have the sense that you will get this dissertation done and it will then be ... well, DONE. You'll really never have to do it again. Isn't that cool?!

I can so relate to times at events surrounding other peoples' religions. So many funerals, weddings and songs over the years. Always biting my lip and trying to smile with joy for the others while often feeling more than slightly like puking. And every once in a while I really break through and experience their joy with them - that's the best.

Lash's comment, "Have fun stomping on little gay men [in your Doc Martens ]" made me laugh.

XO
101mutts: dordogne101mutts on March 13th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a lot of yayness!

I can relate to your feelings about being around religious songs. Sometimes, I find it a bit oppressive to be in a Christian culture when I am very much not Christian. Hyms can be really love, too. I love some of the Jewish songs even though the words are very God-centric the melodies are lovely.

I like your therapist and that she involved science.

Giggles at the lesbian stereotype.
CaroRulescarorules on March 14th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
Yay for meeting that girl Hannah!! :) Seems like you hit it off! Keep us posted!