Saturday, October 09, 2010

"if you let me play" - nike ad

apparently, wonderful things happen when you let girls play sports. lots of organizations and women's groups go on and on about this, and it's true -- playing sports does wonders for self-esteem, leadership and teamwork skills, overall health and issues like obesity and diabetes and osteoporosis and, well, pregnancy. what they don't mention is that girls are less likely to play sports because of that pesky gay factor. they don't want to be perceived of as butch.

let's face it. most people who see a woman playing sports assume that she's a lesbian. especially if it's softball. it's quite the stereotype -- the strong, physically capable woman taking the field and playing with other women who are just as able-bodied as she is -- and like most stereotypes, there's enough of a grain of truth in there to tilt any bent perspective. why they don't assume these things about men who play sports? there's certainly plenty of closeted professional male athletes out there. but for some, being gay isn't necessarily considered masculine. and what's more masculine than a basketball player?
look what they did to elena kagan with that photo of her at bat in the wall street journal. softball=lesbian? really?

it's hard enough to be a high school girl that's waking up to your sexuality in this media-saturated age without having everyone assume that you're into girls just because you can play ball as well as any boy. all anyone needs is the whiff of an assumption and whatever they think is true. and who wants that zipping around the world on facebook? what with all the hell gay/lesbian teens have always caught, it's a wonder girls play sports at all.

so hats off to the girls that do play sports. and yeah. i ran track.

Friday, October 08, 2010


i'm on pandora - finally, at long last. if boxing conditioning class hadn't worn me out so thoroughly this evening, i could almost get off my sofa, stand up straight in my polka-dot underwear and do a snoopy happy dance in the privacy in my own living room. for the moment, all i can do is thank God and stretch out my legs. wheeeee!

it's my black americana cd talkin' fishbowl blues that made the cut, by the way. i'll be submitting the jazz cd what is love? later this week.

i'm elated (and somewhat relieved) because i now have a presence on the music genome project's massive global configuration machine that everyone seems plugged into so passionately. i can't hardly get past the commercials but i did get lost in some gram parsons the other day that made my afternoon ethereal and glowy and somehow more complete. and when i think about it slowly, it would be worth it to pay a little cash money and get rid of those ads, especially since i do so love to spend my mornings listening to music while i write and write and write.

what am i writing? well,there's blogging. there's also emails and stuff. i have beautiful pen pals. there's plenty of rewrites for the alberta hunter project that i'm developing in the workshop i mentioned earlier. there's also another song cycle that will get recorded this month at the maid's room if everything works out musicianwise, to be released in the spring. the lyrics are turning out to be much heavier than i thought, probably because i'm letting them come out of me all by themselves.

all of it is such a great escape. i'm kind of giddy to see where all of this leads.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

boxing: a few gorey details

my boxing session only lasts for an hour but its grueling, punishing stuff. i do it every day. sometimes if i really want to wear myself out, i do it twice a day. it's relentless, it's non-stop, it's on-going. i am forever moving and moving and moving for that hour. in the moment that i stop to catch my breath, there's someone leaning over me, yelling at me, telling me to get going, lift my feet, swing my arms, don't stop.

in that hour, my body is pushed to its absolute limit. my heart is pounding in my chest like thunder. it's slamming up against my ribcage so hard, my teeth are rattling. the sweat is pouring down my face, trickling down my back, soaking my clothes. i have to take my gloves off and wipe my face with my wrapped hands, i'm so overwhelmed. i look horrible, like a crackhead that just got slimed. all i see when i look in the mirror is that i can't seem to keep my hands up, that my torso is lumpy and weak, that my shoulders are way too stiff when i move and that i don't flow with any combinations.

loosen up and dance with me, gennaro my boxing instructor will say to me. you like to dance, don't you, love? i nod numbly and try to smile but i can only grimace. my boxing stance has me crunching down on my stomach muscles, and i'm feeling them more and more. he wants me to bounce, so my legs are slightly bent and moving all the time. always ready to duck, to shift, to block, to pounce, to move. keep it loose, he mumbles, and he shakes his shoulders to show me what he means. he thinks i'm making a tough mean face with this grimace. he imitates me for a moment, looking for all the world like a bad little boy that smirks as he goes. i thought it was cute that he thought he could see through me. in that moment, when he's making that face that supposedly looks like me, i love him like a fat kid loves cake. when he's done with me and i can't lift my arms, i tell him so. he is elated that my arms hang useless by my sides and says something pithy about how that means he's done his job. at the other end of the room, peter the negro awaits me. peter, whom i sometimes refer to as monty, is blood-curdlingly merciless and exacting in the way he wears me out, with this monotone that he mumbles through -- and an accent that's so thick, if i had a steak knife, i couldn't cut it in half. by the time negro is through with me, i have to take my puny arms into the steam room and convalesce before i can make it home.

apparently i have no stamina, no endurance, no strength. no nothing -- just this urge to keep going. and i have absolutely no idea where that's coming from. maybe it's stupidity. like a cow that doesn't come into the barn when it rains, i don't have sense enough to stop.

just when i think i'm headed toward something concrete physically in that room, just when i think i've learned something new and maybe i'm grasping this somehow, i come out swinging and my every shortcoming rises up against me like some hydra-headed beast from beyond. and there i am, swinging and it's not fast enough, pushing and i'm not strong enough, gasping for air like a fish out of water and i can't stand it, i can't stand the way my own body seems to be caving in on me and constantly letting me down. except it isn't letting me down. i'm simply surrounded by people who are way better at it than i am and who've been at it longer than i have and i'm just impatient to get there.

of course, i'd feel better about all of this if i had enough upper body strength to do a real, honest-to-goodness all the way down to the floor all the way up push up. but i can't. i have to bend my legs and do girl push ups. and when i do, all i can think is, what happened to me? i used to be strong...

and yeah, my clothes are getting downright baggy on me. but if i could lose some weight during this entire process, that would be frackin' super.

still and all, there are moments when my body hums and something clicks and i get it right and i think, wow. maybe i'm getting something out of this. maybe i'm growing. maybe i'm getting better at it. maybe that's what keeps me coming back.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

richard pryor, playing on sesame street

whose idea was this? i mean, seriously. who sat behind a desk and thought this one up? did it take a lot to get him to do it, or did he just breeze on through and rip it up? the late, great richard pryor, playing with the pre-k set while teaching them the alphabet - even if it's all the way through the tv set - is just flat-out brilliant. sesame street was light years ahead of its time.

hm. i wonder if he's high?

Monday, October 04, 2010

play, and then some

bizarrely, the first thing i think of when the word play comes to mind is this album play by moby. i don't like moby, per se. he's floating around out there in the pop music stratosphere like everyone else, i suppose. all of them are a collective something that drones on and on in the background, serving as sonic wallpaper for the most mundane moments of my life, like when i'm eating in some restaurant or when i'm watching some movie.

i don't necessarily even like this album, either. i recall that when it came out, it was absolutely everywhere, and that was kind of annoying. i remember thinking, why should i buy this? i can't go anywhere and not hear it. then again, when i realized that the album basically consisted of him taking some blues records from the 20s and setting them to a hip-hop beat, i was really annoyed. the songs he pilfered were much more alluring to my southern black blues-heavy ears than the beats he staged around them -- and the idea of what he did, the cleverness inside of it, well, that was enough for any hipster that crossed my path.

i think of moby as a well-intentioned dj that made good. he's a vegan, he loves jesus and he does charity work, and occasionally has bouts of panic attacks, so i'm not going to throw a rock at him. personally, i prefer fatboy slim -- even though he slices and dices as much as anyone else -- because he's funkier and he's way more fun, and his sampling thievery isn't as obvious. hearing the backstory to this album redeemed it for me on many levels and pulled me in.

still and all, someone that i love very much was really into this album while she was alive. and now that she's gone, i think of her whenever i hear it. which is still quite a lot.

one can only hope that all those blues artists he ripped off/sampled received some kind of royalty check/compensation/acknowledgement.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Your Sunday Sermon: Beware of Being Offended

Today's Sunday sermon, entitled Beware of Being Offended comes to us from Pastor Carter Conlon of Times Square Church. Enjoy and be blessed.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

october already?

yes, it's really october. the sunniest days have a chill in the air that feels like a subtle warning. bad weather isn't mood inducing for me. all i can really do to maintain my equilibrium is pray and stay grateful, keep a clean, well organized kitchen and keep going to boxing class, steady pounding that bag.

i've learned how to hibernate, the hard way. in a book, a biography, in someone else's life, another place and time, someone else's lesson learned. in museums, getting lost inside my favorite paintings and other works of art, with my permanent boyfriend by my side, giving me some sort of insight i hadn't considered. in a teacup, in a tea pot, in a dish stacked with ginger nuts and figs and cheese. in my kitchen, figuring out some brand new thing to do with a few pounds of chicken and a fistful of fresh herbs. in a speakeasy, in the bottom of a cocktail glass.

there are all kinds of apples in every farmer's market but i feel like i haven't had a decent peach all summer. for some strange reason, that makes me sadder than heavy weather ever could.

wouldn't it be nice to have some stuffed peaches for dessert tonight?

Friday, October 01, 2010


nablopomo's theme for the month of october is play - whatever that means. let's see how far i get with this one before i completely fall off.