strange fire

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

misadventures of a cunning linguist November 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 2:31 pm

damn, it’s a good thing I got a knack for languages, because every day is an exercise in subcultural translation.

For example, I was chatting on IM with Winter:

Me: Hi, what’s up?
Winter: Erm…not sure how to respond to that, really.

Turns out they don’t use the phrase “what’s up” in Britain (and here’s where I quote Oscar Wilde’s quip about two countries separated by a common language). And in explaining it I realized it’s a more complex phrase than I imagined. It can mean “how are you,” “what’s going on,” “what are you doing,” “what’s the problem,” or just “hi.” And just with vocabulary in general, even though we’re both very well read, we’ve decided that there needs to be an American-British dictionary.

And my parents have taken to refering to Winter as my Friend. As in, “So, when’s your Friend coming to visit?” You can just hear the capital F. I find it amusing, like Winter and I are some sort of notorious duo, like Thelma and Louise. Oh, there’s Andygrrl and her Friend, watch out for them! (They can’t pronounce her name either, it’s Welsh, I find it lovely and elegant but it’s a bit much for my midwestern parents). It must be a generational thing, because I’ve told them she’s my girlfriend.

And that’s another one that always trips me up, deciphering the straight woman’s girlfriend from the dyke’s Girlfriend. I find it odd that straight women would refer to friends that way, as if “friend” is inherently male and they have to specify the sex; but you would never hear someone refer to their “female friend.” Being in a relationship does make it easier to casually out myself in conversation…except when they don’t get it, and I have to go, “No, no, my Girlfriend.” Don’t even get me started on Brits and their ubiquitous use of the word “partner,” for straights and gays alike. We don’t have any good words to describe these intimate people in our lives, and I’m not sure why that is. Maybe our cultural skittishness around sex and emotion (seriously, only one word for “love”? And getting a clear definition for sex that’s not hetero missionary position is an adventure in itself).

I remember one of my first literary theory classes, the professor brought in a boombox and played the Police’s “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da,” to illustrate the principles of Deconstruction theory, which essentially says that all language ultimately fails and hinders true communication. Word. (Boy, try explaining that one to someone who doesn’t speak English.)

And you don’t even want to know how many spelling errors I’ve had to correct in this one. My head hurts.


no cats were harmed in the making of this post November 16, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 4:25 pm

they were threatened, however, and became very annoyed with me.

So, after 2(ish) years blogging, I’m finally doing my first cat post, complete with pictures. I’ve always considered myself an animal person, I’ve had pets most of my life, lots of fish, and two dogs, despite my allergies. We had a calico cat named Chablis when I was little, she liked to eat cockroaches and kill bluejays. I like animals, and they like me.

Except for my housemates’ cats. They hate me. They’ve got it out for me. It’s a cold war, and they’re the Russians, concocting nefarious plans to destroy me while regarding me with an icy, soulless stare.

All I did was move into the room in the basement, but they seem to view me as an invader (housemates say they have some Siamese in them, which may have something to do with it). There’s two of them, beautiful blond tabby cats who are determined to reclaim the basement from the evil interloper. I need to keep them out of my room because of my allergies, but I inevitably come home to this sight:

See, the door to my room doesn’t quite close completely, so enough nudging and pushing will do the trick, if I’ve been careless. So they sneak in and sit on my bed like it’s got their names on it…whatever their names are. Something hippie and Eastern that I never caught. I don’t call them anythihng, just “Git, you!” and “Don’t you hiss at me, you little sneak!” I’d call them Cat A and Cat B, but I can’t even tell them apart. They’re always yowling and complaining at me.

After I got her off my bed she decided to rummage through all my things, and took a particular interest in the postcards of vintage lesbian pulp novels (“Strange Sisters: She Dared Enter a Lesbian World!”)I’m not sure what to think of this.

When I do manage to throw them out, they sit outside my room and glare at me through the catflap. Then they scratch at the door and dig at the carpet, trying to get in. I don’t know why they’re so anxious, all they end up doing is sitting and lolling around. You’d think I got catnip in here or something.

I hope having cats who hate me doesn’t damage my lesbian street cred or anything (really resisting the urge to make a bad pussy joke here).


in which I indulge in vulgar schadenfreude November 8, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 3:52 pm

Dear South Dakota Fascist Anti-Choice Pigs: FUCK YOU! HAHAHA!

you soulless, ignorant asswipes. BITE ME shitheads. My body, my choice. If you don’t have a uterus, you don’t have say, fucktard.

It’s not much, but it’s a victory. In South Dakota, of all places (now that teenage Sioux girl who got raped by her stepfather can still legally drive an hour to the one clinic in the entire state).

That felt really, really good.


She Loves November 4, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 11:22 am

deep prolonged entry with the strong pink cock
the sit-ups is evokes from her, arms fast
on the climbing invisible rope to the sky,
clasping and unclasping the cosmic lorus *

Inside, the long breaths of lung
and cuntswell the vocal cords and a rasp a song
loud sudden overdrive into disintegrate,
spinal melt, video hologram in the belly.

Her tits are luminous and sway to the rhythm
and I grab them and exaggerate their orbs.
Shoulders above like loaves of heaven,
nutmeg-flecked, exuding light like violet diodes

closing circuit where the wall, its fuse box,
so stolidly stood. No room for fantasy.
We watch ourselves transform the past
with such disinterested fascination,

the only attitude that does not stall
the song by an outburst of consciousness
and still lets consciousness, loved and incurable
voyeur, peek in. I tap. I slap. I knee, thump, bellyroll.

Her song is hoarse and is taking me,
incoherent familiar path to that self we are wall
cortical cells of. Every o in her body
beelines for her throat, locked on

a rising ski-lift up the mountain, no
grass, no mountaintop, no snow.
White belly folding, muscular as milk.
Pas de deux, pas de chat, spotlight

on the key of G, clef du roman, tour de force letting,
like the sunlight lets a sleeve worn against wind, go.
Olga Broumas

She dared me to post this poem, so I did!