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Showing posts from August, 2019
I read a lot of advice columns. It's the best way I know to keep track of what people think of as normal. Not what's actually normal, mind you -- that is, what most of the people do most of the time. Just what people think should be normal, which is a different thing. One where I make a habit of lurking is the r/relationships subreddit. It has a decent mix of ordinary, mostly-functional folk, batshit crazy people with good intentions, and the usual appallingly sexist internet scum. The posts tend to get repetitive, what with everybody having to learn their life lessons the hard way, but as of late I've seen a new sort of post crop up. The question is something to the effect of, "My partner has announced they're non-binary, and as they've started presenting less masculine/feminine, I'm less attracted to them. Am I the asshole for wanting to break up?" Surprisingly (for the internet), the answer is usually no. They get the same sorts of responses that …
By the time you all read this, I will have spent an evening performing with my flamenco teacher and a few of my classmates, with a live symphony orchestra, in front of I don't know a few hundred people. I am asked on a regular basis if this makes me nervous.

Short answer: No.

Longer, more accurate answer: People freak out over being on stage mainly because it represents something that makes them significantly more nervous than other things they do, on account of the perceived consequences for screwing up. Performing in front of a crowd does not make me any more anxious than anything else in my life. The actual consequences for screwing up on stage are that you will have made a mistake in front of a crowd. The actual consequences for screwing up other things I deal with all the time are dying of starvation, homeless and alone, under an overpass somewhere on the outskirts of Boston. In comparison, "a bunch of strangers think I look silly" is not anything of note. I get up …
TIL I would fit into Marlene Dietrich's clothing.

There's an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts right now called Gender-Bending Fashion. It has the array of glam rock costumes (Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones) you'd expect, as well as modern pieces from couture runway shows. Some of the pieces are considerably older -- there are Edwardian women's "suits" á la Titanic that took their inspiration from men's business attire, and sporting and driving gear of similar vintage. A few of the outfits there belonged to Marlene Dietrich, who spent an awful lot of her career borderline crossdressing. One of them is the tuxedo she wore in the nightclub scene from Morocco, embedded at right.

All of the old clothing looks pretty small by modern standards. People are generally both taller and broader than they were in a hundred years ago, mostly owing to improved nutrition across the board. (Yes, there's a lot of crap out there these days, but we also put vitamin…
I'm still alive. Sort of.

In the past few weeks, I've had a grand total of twenty-one hours where things felt like they were going reasonably all right. Twenty-one. I went back and checked timestamps and counted.

I landed a short-term gig teaching dance for a bunch of kids. It wasn't absurdly lucrative, but if I could earn that much money every week I'd be fine long-term. I was on site for 6 hours a day M-Th and had a four hour evening on Friday. I wasn't even running around with the kids for all that much of it, I just had class periods separated by free time. It ruined me to the point where I was having trouble feeding myself and showering consistently. I would get out of there and try desperately to get something useful done and just stare at a wall, if I didn't lay down "just for a minute" and wake up hours later.

I don't think it's necessarily the physical activity that's the problem. I can do four hours of hardcore dancing in a day…