strange fire

books. poetry. paganism. feminism. queerness. blog.

This will I now sing deftly to please my girlfriends. June 29, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 1:48 pm

–Fragment 11. Sappho

I had a World Lit class when I was in 10th grade. Mr. M was one of my favorite teachers; a terribly nice, lisping man who always refered to us as Miss Last Name. I remember reading Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood that year, which is an awfully harrowing novel, and probably the first time I had seen a depiction of motherhood that wasn’t all warm fuzzies and Victorian greeting cards. We also had a big anthology of world lit. I remember clear as day when we were assigned to read Sappho to ourselves while he graded papers:

He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes–
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you

who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing

laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can’t

speak — my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,

hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body

and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn’t far from me.

Poetry geek that I am, I loved this poem. I read it several times, just savoring it. And then I had this lightning bolt moment, when I realized that she’s addressing a woman. I was completely and utterly astounded. A woman poet writing a love poem to another woman. I didn’t know you could do that. I’d never heard of it. I looked up at my teacher, grading away. He hadn’t said anything about Sappho. The textbook didn’t mention anything unusual about the poem. I re-read it again. You would think someone would have mentioned something about it. It was a baby dyke moment, to see feelings and emotions I spent most of my time trying to bury and ignore, condensed into poetry that everyone in the class was reading. I felt terribly exposed and confused. I decided that it must be some sort of literary device. She couldn’t possibly be saying what I thought she was describing. I really, really should have been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead of The X-Files.
Needless to say, this news made my day: Lost Sappho love poem published after 2,600 years


you won’t fool the children of the revolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 8:03 am

Emma Goldman mugshot!
You are Emma Goldman! You are the mama of
Anarchist/Communist feminism and you inspired
millions to embrace the labor movement. Without
ever directly saying so, you directed efforts
toward saving wymyn and children from
exploitation. Oh yeah, you were also a total

Which Western feminist icon are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

ooh, sexy pince-nez! and a mug shot! aw yeah. This is, surprisingly, a very good quiz.


post Pride Fest reckoning June 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 4:28 pm

Queer friends I went with: 2

Cameras I forgot to bring: 1

Daily temperature: 100 degrees fahrenheit in the shade

Number of gorgeous dykes/bi/queer girls: 10812374982734101923801983012983029

Number of gay guys in various in various unfortunate states of deshabille: 12918273982734

Number of posters I saw advertising PrideFest at bus-stops: 5

Percentage increase from last year: 100%. Take that, backlash!

Percentage of women with shorter hair than the men: 95%

Percentage of jewelry on sale that was marketed for guys: 95%

Dogs with rainbow bandanas: 500

Photos taken with cardboard cut-out of our Ignoble Leader: 1

Log Cabin Republicans in matching white polo shirts (motto: “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re sorry!”): 2. Definitely the straightest people there.

Times I wished I had a girlfriend so I could take advantage of the opportunity of holding her hand in public freely: 5000000

Times I took a flyer/sticker/leaflet because I thought the girl handing them out was cute: 10

black tank with “LESBIAN” on the front: $10

“Sorry I’ve missed church; I’ve been busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian” bumpersticker: $1

“The Christian Right is Neither” button: $1

Realizing that this town does have a queer community, if only for two days out of the year: priceless

R, who’s majorly into astrology, says that Librans (such as myself) in general have same-sex tendencies. And we saw a booth at PrideFest for a vitamin supplement my mother made me take in high school. Obviously “IT” isn’t genetic. You get it from a fatal combination of astrological ignorance and gay pills.


et ma grandmere est en flambe!

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 3:02 pm

Which Eddie Izzard line are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Right, I don’t think the picture is going to come up (fucking quizzilla), but my result is the line: “La souris est en dessous la table. Le chat est pres de la chaise. Le singe est sur la branche.” Which is wonky French, but that’s an English transvestite comedian for you. Go here to take the quiz, What Eddie Izzard line are you?

So, guess who finally sent in her visa application to the French embassy today? aw yeah

But wait, there’s more! Up next, Pride Fest blogging.


merde is such a dumb ass cuss word June 23, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 7:28 pm

but it’s the only French curse word I know. Well, there’s putain, but that hardly fits the situation. Baiser I think can mean “fuck”, depending on how you pronounce it (furiously trying to remember sophomore year French).

I have to get up at 8 AM tomorrow to call my contact person in France. Definitely haven’t spoken French in over a year.


Why do I have to call her? BECAUSE SHE WON’T ANSWER MY FUCKING EMAILS!!! And there’s some info I have to have to finish my visa app. I can’t buy a ticket to France without a visa, and I can’t get the visa without a ticket or an intinerary stating date of arrival, etc. And I don’t know when the orientation is.

merde merde merde merde merde merde merde merde merde

They are one of the most unpleasant races in the Galaxy–not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious, and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in sent back, queried, lost found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finallly buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

::reminds self that she likes the French, even if they are fucking Vogons::


Horblower and the Atropos ~ C. S. Forester June 20, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 10:16 am

When I first started Horblower and the Atropos, I couldn’t help feeling that Atropos is an odd name for a ship. Atropos is one of the three Moirae, the Fates, in Greek mythology; she’s the one who cuts the thread of mortal life spun by her sisters Clotho and measured by Lachesis. It would be fitting for a big frigate or ship of the line, an intimidating man o’ war. But Hornblower’s got the smallest ship in His Majesty’s Navy; he spends most of the book avoiding trouble because he knows his ship is no match for the Turks and the Spanish in the Mediterranean. Naming it Atropos just seems to be, well, tempting fate.
But then, the whole theme of the book seems to be how he can’t avoid trouble or outwit Fate. Things just go wrong for the poor guy the whole way through. Just when he gets out of one scrape, he lands in another. He’s got to orchestrate Nelson’s funeral while his wife is giving birth, the coffin’s barge almost sinks in the river, he’s saddled with a 12 year old German prince for a midshipman (Horblower, very sensibly, addresses him as “Mr. Prince”), the ship’s doctor gets into a duel and nearly kills a Very Important Passenger, he spends three chapters or so getting chased by a Spanish frigate, ends up losing his ship to the slightly crazy Sicilian king, and comes home to find both his kids have smallpox.
As always, I find myself torn between feeling bad for the poor slob and wanting to smack him upside the head. He’s such an infuriating and endearing person, which is probably why I like the series so much. Swashbuckling adventure on the high seas goes a long way as well. Because really, there’s a lot a pacifist radical feminist hippie chick like me could take issue with (the less said about Forester’s depiction of the Ceylonese pearl divers, the better). I did spend most of the first time I saw Master and Commander dissecting the discourses of masculinity informing the story, after all (don’t worry, I spent the second and third time just relaxing and watching shit blow up). But Hornblower himself belies what an act the whole stiff-upper-lip-patriotic-sea-captain bit is, because he’s got a truly awesome inferiority complex and basically is just PMSing all over the place. He’s very good as a sailor, but he’s not very good at being an impassive macho dude, and he overcompensates as a result. Forester gives us a few scenes of Hornblower being a dad that betray what softie he can be:

Little Horatio was sitting up in a highchair. His face lit up with a smile as he caught sight of his father–the most flattering experience Hornblower had ever known–and he bounced up and down in his chair and waved the crust he held in his fist…This was happiness again, fleeting, transient, to have his little son tottering towards him with a beaming smile.

All together now: Awwwwwwww!! The BBC/A&E sure as hell better make some more episodes of the series, I’d love to see Ioan Gruffud playing this scene.
But, now, the big news is I finally get to read Beat to Quarters, where Horatio meets his Twue Wuv Lady Barbara. Much angst-ridden pacing of the deck and hand-wringing, I’m sure. I think I get a bit of a kick out of watching him torture himself.


shameless knitting pic June 16, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 1:45 pm

I don’t have a digital camera, but Shithead does. ::wicked grin::

Just to give you all something to look at while I finish up Hornblower and the Atropos (halfway there).

So, without further ado, here is The Sweater:

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Which, considering I’m knitting it on 8″ needles when the pattern calls for 16″, is pretty damn impressive, I think. The camera washes out the color a bit; the ribbing and darker stripes are purple, like my hair. Yes, I know it’s a lame-o picture, but you try holding your knitting with one hand, taking a photo with the other, and not looking stupid, all at the same time. This was the best I could do.

Hm. Now I’ve made the template all whacky. Well, I gotta update the links anyway…

Oh, and Batman Begins rocked my socks off.

Back to your regularly scheduled book blogging.