The ‘work in progress’ is …progressing and some reading thoughts

canadian blog awards

Winner in the GLBT category

Hello you all,

rainy day here,

in my beautiful ugly.

Please don’t think,

I’m complaining,

I’m not,

give me rain over,

sticky dank heat,

any day.

My work in progress,

is progressing,

more and more notes,

adding up,

a memory stick full of pictures,

hell,

I even created a twitter account,

check it out,

join me,

https://twitter.com/bookishbutch

Austin Kleon’s book,

Show your work,

suggested it was,

the favorite social media,

of writers.

Early days,

but,

I can see enjoying it,

and,

it will help with impulse control,

“gotta’ control yourself,

or those 140 words,

can get you in trouble

:-)

I just finished reading,

Gender Failure,

by Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon,

a must read people,

will give you much to ponder,

and,

make you laugh and cry,

lots of emotion,

lots of thought,

two astute minds,

collaborating to serve up,

a truly excellent book.

I think you all know,

the love and respect I have for Ivan,

a butch idol of mine,

respect brother.

Rae Spoon,

I am less familiar with,

but,

equally impressed with,

the journey and grit that lead to this,

place,

yes,

impressive.

It brought forth  many questions,

I never realized,

I had about the trans experience,

if I can put it this way, but, actually that kind of, a ridiculous way of putting, because the experience is different for everyone,

all part of the vast,

human experience.

It made me think,

and,

feel,

and that is what I value,

above all else,

in a book.

I saw their show,

Ivan and Rae’s,

Gender Failure,

last year with my friend, Francoys,

and so looked forward to reading,

and discussing it with him.

(:

Don’t think for a moment,

“well, I saw the show, I know what the book is about”

it is a very different ‘creature’

both are excellent and complimentary in my opinion.

The show left a lasting impression,

I have discussed it with people,

and,

pondered on it,

many times,

since.

The book opened up a door,

Fran Lebowitz,

one of my all time favourite writers and speakers,

discusses this concept in a talk on Jane Austen,

A book should not be a mirror but a door.

By this she means it shouldn’t be about you,

or recognizing yourself,

but, a door to another world,

another world view,

a glimpse into someone else’s,

human experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujjJlT9cCts

I have read all of Ivan’s work,

’tis love,

and,

now I want to explore,

more of Rae’s,

they appeal to me,

very much,

and,

force me,

in a joyful way,

to explore my thoughts,

confront my acquired ideas.

That rocks

:-)

Austin Kleon in his,

Steal Like An Artist,

and,

Share Your Work,

advises you to learn everything,

there is to know about artists who you love,

learn all their work.

I’ve been doing this for years, but, it is nice to see it articulated, I guess.

Ivan is right up at the top of artists and work I love.

A worthy book.

and this morning,

I came upon this,

on upworthy via face book

proof there isn’t only crap on fb

It added to my thoughts,

once you start,

chewing, marinating and pondering,

on a subject,

stuff turns up,

nice that,

so here is the link

http://www.upworthy.com/the-thing-your-first-grade-english-teacher-missed-that-you-should-definitely-know?g=2&c

Let me know what you all think,

about all this,

I’m off to steal and share.

Be well.

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

Posted in Book Love, Book reviews, My Ramblings | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shades and Levis, the return of elements of butch style

canadian blog awards

Winner of GLBT category

For years,

I owned but didn’t wear,

shades.

I had a pair of Ray Bans,

which I have misplaced,

and,

about 12-13 years ago,

I got these boss,

Armani shades.

I loved them,

but,

they were a tad small,

for my moon face,

and,

since,

I am blind as a bat,

without my lenses,

I found carrying them around,

cumbersome,

so they were usually,

in their case,

in the chest of drawers,

Fast forward a few years,

the sun is stronger and stronger,

here in the beautiful ugly,

and,

just as I have given in,

to moisturiser and sun screen,

I dusted off the shades.

I wear and carry them around,

in my leather messenger bag,

all the time.

I like how they look,

cool and sleekly sophisticated,

but,

I have discovered a few other things,

I vastly enjoy about them,

of course,

number one,

eye protection and clear vision,

a truly beautiful thing.

:-)

Also,

well,

nobody sees the annoyed eye roll,

when wearing your shades,

you look people over without being obvious,

they are invaluable in observing people,

also,

shhh,

checking out girls,

This is purely a looking thing, BB is spoken for, and my heart is true

Yep,

I’m liking the shades,

one of my butch icons,

extraordinaire,

would not be caught dead without his shades,

joe cool

bw and sunglasses

see the resemblance??

this pic was taken on Easter weekend, Starbuck’s in the Village by my talented friend(photographer, writer, filmmaker) Christos Tsirbas, check him out at  http://seetsirbas.com or http://evil-genius.ca

Ah the magic of photography,

he managed to make me look,

younger, slimmer and yeah,

a little more badass:-)

Point is,

shades are,

an essential element of butch style.

Wear what works for you,

what makes you feel suave,

and,

able to leap tall buildings,

you can go,

weird and eclectic,

but,

please don’t-

I implore you,

do that ironic hipster thing,

that’s just annoying and for kids

:-P

One of the reasons,

I can wear these,

again,

my moon face is more,

chiseled,

a result of clean living, don’t you know, well, cleaner and leaner

Operation leaner better butch,

goes on,

a major work in progress,

I don’t mean it’s hard,

I mean it’s a baby steps thing.

The gut and everything else,

have shrunk,

the gut is still bigger than I would like but, I’m getting there.

Which leads me to another,

element of butch style past,

Levis,

three weeks ago,

I was shopping with my girl,

at Costco,

and,

they had Levis 514′s,

in my size on sale for $30,

score!!

You can’t try things on at Costco,

you have to know your size,

and,

go on faith,

they fit perfectly

:-)

A slim not skinny fit,

magic.

For years,

I wore boot cut,

wide jeans,

cheaper fat chick brands,

a combination of bad body image,

and,

small budget.

I’m so glad to wear my Levis,

again,

they aren’t 501′s,

I’m not twenty

but,

they make me feel good,

sexy,

butch,

and,

like I have rejoined the land of the slimmer.

I don’t aspire to a twinkie size,

I just like,

feeling better,

in my body,

when looking in the mirror,

and,

having more shopping options.

It’s mostly about loving myself,

and,

feeling swaggeringly,

butch.

Call me shallow,

if you must,

but,

it’s my life,

and I think,

feeling better and looking better,

in my eyes,

is important.

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Elements of Butch Style | Tagged | 2 Comments

Impostor syndrome and listening to the voice

canadian blog awards

Winner GLBT category

Sometimes,

In life,

we do stupid things,

worse,

sometimes,

we perpetuate,

stupid things.

We don’t listen to the little voice.

You know the one I mean,

right?

the one that tells you,

don’t do that,

don’t go there,

let it go.

We argue,

with the little voice,

‘don’t tell me what to do!!”

“don’t be shallow, there is more than meets the eye”

I have won arguments,

with my little voice,

and,

more times,

than I wish,

to acknowledge,

I have been wrong.

The thing is,

the little voice,

has got that,

blink thing,

going for it,

it ‘sees’ in the blink of an eye,

and,

uses all your knowledge, baggage, instinct,

to come to,

what can sometimes seem,

a rash judgement,

decision,

I don’t think it is.

Something very unpleasant,

happened this week,

what it is,

and,

who was ‘right’,

doesn’t really matter,

but,

it was once again,

an example,

to me,

of not listening to,

my little voice.

I like to think of myself,

as fair minded,

a good person,

far from perfect,

a work in progress,

trying not to make the same mistakes twice.

Like most people,

I have boundaries,

they aren’t barbed wire or concrete,

I can be made to change my mind,

and,

I often do,

I think a person must,

or else you stay in your stagnant pool of complacency.

Some things,

I cannot abide,

being talked down to,

being patronized,

being made to feel guilty.

nope.

But,

my integrity and honour,

being questioned,

well,

that,

as the saying goes,

is a deal breaker.

I know that many of us,

are the walking wounded,

people have lived through their own,

private hells,

and,

come out on the other side.

I cut slack,

especially for the abused, wounded, confused and brutalized

and,

I make allowances for different world views,

the thing is,

I expect the same in return.

A while ago,

someone who was relatively new in my life,

and,

who had been very sweet and generous,

questioned my integrity,

it shook me,

they couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I rose above it,

my hurt and anger,

in spite of what the little voice was screaming,

‘walk away” she said,

“no good can come of this”

well,

yep,

dummy that I am,

I ignored it,

and,

said,

“ah come on, it was just a misunderstanding, insecurity rearing it’s head”

but,

the voice was right,

nothing good could come after that barrier,

had been violated,

for either party,

this person,

hurt me with their doubt,

and,

I had obviously hurt them,

to bring up,

the doubt.

Things could never be the same again.

So, the events of this week,

were the inevitable,

conclusion.

The thing is even when,

you don’t listen to your,

little voice,

it does seem to play out,

that ‘she’ was right!!

Dang, I hate that:-)

To add to the confusion,

and,

the noise,

going on,

in your head,

there is another little voice,

this one,

is negative,

doesn’t try to protect you from hurt,

like the other one,

this is the one that tells,

you,

you are an impostor,

not really that smart or talented,

that is the impostor syndrome one,

and,

this one,

you should never listen to.

This is the one that tells,

you in your head,

and,

sometimes out loud,

in the voice of others,

‘you aren’t a real writer, you are just a blogger, a neophyte, an impostor”

“everyone takes photos, why would you think yours are any better?”

I don’t think they are better,

I think they are mine,

and,

that is all they can be.

I have been reading a wonderful,

short little book,

Steal Like An Artist,

by Austin Kleon,

I read about it in a photography article.

Two big things,

it has taught me.

Use your digits(fingers and hands)

not just the digital,

and,

I am not an impostor,

I am working on being,

the woman,

the butch,

the friend,

and,

lover,

I wish to be,

and,

that is wonderful,

also,

hard.

Yesterday,

I stopped at the art supply store,

got a cheap sketch pad,

some pencils and felt markers,

and,

I wanted a red pencil,

I told the man behind the counter,

it was for corrections,

instead of saying editing,

he asked me if I was a teacher,

I said,

“no I’m a writer”

it was the first time ever,

that I did not qualify it,

or hem and haw,

that felt,

better,

than I can,

describe.

A week of voices.

Later girls,

BB

Posted in My Ramblings | 2 Comments

small reflections on Anarchy

canadian blog awards

Winner GLBT category

 

Hope you are well,

it’s hot here in,

my beautiful ugly,

real hot,

oh well,

’tis Summer.

I’ve had a beautiful week,

spent some time with my girl,

being with the one you love,

well,

you all know, right?

I’ve been working,

survey monkeying,

and,

I am getting back to,

my photography,

it makes me happy,

it gives a concrete,

rendering of my thoughts,

my life,

and,

in spite of all that has,

happened,

my life is good.

I have just finished reading,

At The Cafe:Conversations on Anarchism by Errico Malatesta,

wonderful book,

shows the true beauty of anarchy,

from a practical and intellectual,

viewpoint.

If you yearn to learn more about,

anarchy,

this is a great book for that,

a short yet deep read,

disputes all those ridiculous cynical arguments,

not in the least pedantic,

well worth your time,

my anarchist’s son,

recommended it,

and,

he was so right.

Who knows,

you might find yourself becoming an anarchist?

:-)

Anarchy has long had this bad wrap,

as humourless and black,

and,

yet,

my two favourite anarchists,

the great Emma,

emma-goldman

 

and my friend the anarchist,

were brilliant,

bon vivants,

colourful,

fierce,

with a love of laughter and food,

free love,

and,

a belief in and a love of humanity,

no intellectual laziness,

rigor,

always rigor,

but,

with fun,

and,

kindness.

I re-watched the PBS documentary on,

Emma,

recently,

and,

what struck me most,

is how when anarchy,

is truly,

understood,

not demonized,

by the capitalist opposition,

it is seen as what it truly is,

an ideal state,

romantic and Utopian?

Perhaps,

and,

what pray tell,

is wrong with that??

I am absorbing this book,

still,

processing,

and,

now I am reading,

well,

finishing,

The Heart Of The Matter,

and,

just starting Life and Letters of Keats,

morality, truth, romanticism,

that’s where BB is at,

right now.

Later girls,

be well,

BB

Posted in My Ramblings | Leave a comment

The anatomy of grief part II

canadian blog awards

Words are,

a comfort,

to me.

I don’t understand people who say,

‘talk is cheap, actions speak louder’

The right words,

carefully thought out,

reflected upon,

or,

from the heart–

are not cheap,

they are priceless,

in fact.

As I stumble,

through the valley of grief,

I search for words,

sounds,

and also,

silent action-

symbols,

even.

Support that will keep me,

standing,

going forward.

I have found through,

all this horror,

much support,

and,

love,

for me,

for my friend,

and,

also ugliness,

and greed,

and control freakedness.

I do not wish to dwell,

on the ugly,

the ugly won’t bring comfort.

But,

just as beauty and love,

buoy me,

keep me afloat,

so to,

does,

ugly,

knock me down.

Some people,

roll with the punches,

avoid, duck,

use them for momentum,

I am not one,

of those people,

but,

I can take a punch,

and,

I do heal.

I am not cynical,

I try to understand,

the motivations,

even,

for meanness,

it helps me process,

keeps me standing.

Borrowed words,

original words,

all words,

help us tell the story.

As I stood by Francoys’s bed,

in the hospital and knew,

he was dying,

I kept hearing,

the Billy Joel song,

Only The Good Die Young,

and,

since then,

other words,

have come to me,

fragments,

phrases,

words spoken by poets, writers,

or friends.

Montaigne’s words about friendship,

“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.” 
― Michel de MontaigneThe Complete Essays

The song from Les Miserables,

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,

Phantom faces at the windows.
Phantom shadows on the floor.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

The,

I Carry Your Heart,

of ee cummings,

and of course,

Auden.

Auden was a cynical old queer,

( I believe he would relish in that description)

often hurt,

as sensitive human beings,

are.

I had lent to my friend,

the anarchist,

a small book,

the Everyman’s library edition of,

W.H Auden: Poems,

on Friday,

the 13 th I got a chance,

to recuperate,

that,

as well as a few other books.

The Auden,

has a ribbon bookmark,

the marked poem,

was,

Funeral Blues.

Words shared, words well spoken,

words planned and sweated over,

yes,

they help,

when your emotions,

stop you from articulating,

You can borrow,

those of others,

and,

a quick mental edit,

results in them,

‘talking’ for you,

helping somehow,

to ‘explain’,

the ‘unexplainable’,

building a foot path,

through,

the valley of grief,

one,

stone step,

at a time.

 

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

 

There will be good again,

there is,

and,

once again there will be peace,

and,

happiness,

in the valley,

but,

stumbling around,

mumbling,

confused pain,

is part of the process,

the on going process,

of grief,

indeed of,

living.

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

Posted in My Ramblings | Leave a comment

The anatomy of grief part I

I should be at work,

today,

but,

I’m not,

I feel crappy,

actually,

crappy,

doesn’t begin to describe,

how I feel,

I have gone,

from,

chasm to numb,

to reaching for happiness,

to guilt and anger,

and,

other things,

which,

I neither,

understand,

nor,

can explain.

The process of,

the anatomy of,

grief.

Some people have therapy,

I have a blog.

This is my process,

my wailing wall,

my release.

I am trying to be strong,

get through,

live my life,

be happy,

I miss my anarchist.

He brought joy,

but,

also,

reason,

to everything,

he would say,

nobody is indispensable,

you will get through this,

of course,

I will,

new people and new experiences,

will manifest themselves,

come into my life,

but,

today and this past week,

have been,

hard.

Later today,

I will be going to a gathering of,

Francoys’s friends,

I plan on wearing,

the most colourful shirt,

I own,

no blue oxford,

to celebrate the anarchist,

blue linen with garlands of pink flowers,

classy, frayed Hawaiian,

an homage,

in colour.

I will lift a gin and tonic,

to his life,

his spirit,

my love and friendship for him.

I anticipate,

a flood of emotion,

but,

afterwards,

I will be in the arms of my family,

they will get me through,

this dark time.

thanks for ‘listening’

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in My Ramblings | 4 Comments

Happiness, really is the truth

canadian blog awards

Winner LGBT category

I have been absent from my life,

for a few weeks,

sad and numb,

coming to terms with the death

I won’t use euphemisms like passing and disappearance, Francoys was a truth sayer and an atheist, death is the word,  he would say

of my friend,

the anarchist.

I’ve been shaky,

the pillars of my world,

needing to be rearranged.

Yesterday, I went to,

an homage,

the company he worked with,

for so many years,

organized for him.

Coffee, doughnuts,

a power point presentation,

pictures of him,

with colleagues,

at play,

mostly,

smiling, laughing, smoking, eating,

Francoys the man,

the mountain.

Because,

I think that although,

he was a pillar to so many of us,

who loved him,

he,

himself,

was a mountain,

a colossal force,

presence,

self-sufficient,

self-sustaining,

loving,

loved,

respected,

admired.

Of the earth.

He was happy,

always,

life was beautiful,

in all it’s parts,

and,

it was meant to be lived,

devoured,

ravaged,

even.

and,

if you weren’t happy,

you were missing something.

He always chose,

to be happy,

on his terms,

all the while,

respecting the choices of others.

I know that he would understand,

our collective grief,

our anger,

even,

at the unfairness of such a young man,

dying,

and,

that he would never,

serve up such,

trivialities,

as,

‘suck it up’,

or some such nonsense,

but,

he would say,

be happy,

la vie n’est elle pas belle?

his signature phrase, which translates to, Isn’t life beautiful?

In the last few days,

as I have shared times,

good times,

with the son,

he loved as much as life,

with his close friend,

sharing meals,

memories,

and,

a visit to the anarchist book fair.

As I read the words,

of the activists he admired,

as I mourn and celebrate him,

at the same time,

I realize,

the real tribute,

is to be happy,

that what we have,

now,

is truth,

and that happiness,

as  Francoys believed,

is the truth.

Youppi!!

his other signature phrase, used with enthusiasm in all contexts, bring it on etc

Later girls,

BB

p.s listen to Pharrell, it will make you happy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM

and he rocks hats, like my friend the anarchist did:-)

 

 

 

Posted in My Ramblings | Leave a comment

Chasm

canadian blog awards

Winner 2013 in the LGBT category

 

I started this week,

feeling OK,

even,

good.

Spring was in full bloom,

I was looking forward,

to the visit of someone special,

the Habs were getting ready,

to kick the Bruins,

onto the golf course,

the town,

had Spring and Hockey fever,

and,

my birthday was coming.

I like my birthday,

I look forward to it.

I understand some,

would not look forward,

to a forty ninth birthday,

but,

I did,

I earned these years

:-)

but, right in the,

midst of,

the sunshine, the hockey wins,

and,

the imminent passing of another year.

A chasm,

opened,

right,

before my feet,

huge,

deep and dark.

My friend Francoys,

here one moment,

gone the next.

The sunshine,

went away,

a deep dark dank humid place,

replaced it.

It happened five days ago,

I know it,

but,

still,

I cannot,

believe it.

When I think that I will no longer,

share,

my hopes,

my dreams,

my fears,

my doubts,

that I will no longer,

share in his light,

his passions,

that I will no longer,

discuss books with him,

learn about history,

see into his brilliant mind,

that I will no longer,

hear his laughter,

or his always jolly and enthusiastic greeting,

that never again will,

I drink his delicious coffee,

sit in his wing chair,

and,

pass the time of day,

and,

shoot the shit,

share our lives,

learn from each other,

trust in each other,

be ourselves,

no persona,

ever,

and,

trust that no judgement,

will be passed,

ever,

truth,

friendship,

and all that,

that means to me,

all that it meant to him.

I am blessed in friendship,

a few true friends,

and,

they have been so supportive and sensitive,

in this time,

of dark,

of pain.

One of my pillars is gone,

my anarchist,

my noble gentleman,

he was light,

he was fun,

he was our own code and jokes,

and,

traditions,

he was unique in a world of sameness,

he was gentle and good,

he was strong and roaring,

he was a mensch,

a big beautiful,

man,

queer and feminist.

He leaves a chasm in my life,

that I will go around,

detour,

and reel from,

for a long time.

The world,

was a better place,

because of him,

it is lesser now,

truly,

but,

I will never forget.

I carry him in my heart,

the wound of his passing,

will,

eventually turn to scar tissue,

to keep him safely cocooned,

reading, smoking, laughing.

Bonne route,

mon ami.

Tu me manques,

deja.

BB

for those of you, who didn’t read this, here is, the tribute I wrote for his birthday:

http://bookishbutch.com/?p=4286

 

Posted in My Ramblings | 6 Comments

Happy Mothers day

Good morning girls:-)

Here in the  beautiful/ugly,

(Montreal)

it is a gorgeous sunny day,

fitting as it is,

Mothers day.

Anybody who knows,

me,

or reads my blog,

knows,

this butch loves her mom.

My mom,

is special,

I suppose most of us,

think that of our moms.

My mom,

is a little woman,

who has lived a life,

of both,

duty and independence.

My mom,

is a bit of trailblazer,

a quiet one.

Never flashy,

never screeching,

but,

no shrinking violet either.

She is her.

Mom came from a loving,

working class French Canadian family,

the eldest of four,

she wasn’t of a time when,

women,

or anyone,

for that matter,

went to school for much more,

than high school,

not,

in her social milieu.

In spite of that,

I don’t know many,

who are quite as well read as her.

She has read,

the classics,

French,

Russian,

English,

American,

cannons,

mom reads,

still does.

She rarely told me what to do,

she was an example,

she bought me books,

we read,

we watched great films as a family,

she loved my father,

wholly,

without conditions,

she has loved me the same way.

Mom doesn’t pontificate,

or make speeches,

she got up,

everyday,

went to work,

in all conditions,

including when she was sick,

she was/is a rock.

She lived intensely,

without duty shirking,

she thinks what she thinks,

fears not telling you,

but,

doesn’t ram it down your throat.

The words honour, valour, courage,

all apply to her,

she’s on your side,

she will never be anything else.

Life hasn’t always been easy for her,

but,

she has lived it.

For someone,

who looks,

pretty mild mannered,

she is tough,

and,

an iconoclast,

and,

has style,

all her own,

classic with a touch of whimsy.

Mom isn’t a wannabe in any way,

she just is her,

and,

her is like no-one else.

I hope you are all as lucky,

mom wise.

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Here she is as I see her.

I love you mom

:-)

Later girls,

BB

 

 

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