Wishing Snake

Tina’s toilet brush hit something thick and firm under the rim of the toilet bowl, and then a snake tumbled into the water.

“Oh, bugger,” the snake said.

Tina stumbled backwards and ripped the earbuds from her ears. The sound of podcasters exclaiming about container gardening floated upwards from her shoulders.

During her tenure as a New York City subway janitor, she’d cleaned up a lot of surprising and revolting messes: human waste, dead animals, mysteriously soiled clothing, drug paraphernalia. This wasn’t even her first animal in a toilet, just the first that spoke.

Continue reading Wishing Snake

The Disintegrating Gender Binary and Pure Relief

Hello, dear reader,

Long time no blog! I’ve been kicking around these ideas for a while and not blogging about them because there’s absolutely no way I’d do them justice. Suffice to say that I will try.

It’s Transgender Awareness Week, which feels especially important considering both the strides trans and non-binary rights have come and the current threats to them. I was going to make a list of the Trump administration’s individual offenses, but the way I can most accurately put it is that they are attempting to erase about 1.4 million people in the US.

These people, however, are, and have been, standing up for themselves. There is greater trans and non-binary visibility now, and a greater public understanding of what it means to be trans or non-binary. It’s not perfect, and there’s a long way  to go, but I do believe we are moving in the right direction.

So what do trans and non-binary rights have to do with me, a ciswoman? Quite a lot. I have personally felt the benefits of trans and non-binary (T&N) people chipping away at the gender binary. Granted, what I feel as merely pervasive discomfort is life-threatening to T&N folk. But I know I’m not alone.

I remember talking with some ciswomen about passing lessons some transwomen would take. A complicated issue considering what it takes to pass and what that means if a transwoman is butch, lesbian, and/or decides not to do hormone replacement therapy. The lessons in passing made us think of how passing would not be a given for us except for being cis: how to speak “like a woman,” how to dress “like a woman,” how to move, how eat, how to groom, and on and on and on.

For years we’d been given the benefit of the doubt that we were women, but that didn’t make us good enough, not real women, not in a way that society cared about: too dark, too fat, too disabled, too old, too loud, etc. Femininity was supposedly our birthright, and it simply didn’t fit very well, like putting on shoes a size too small. Technically, we do fit society’s idea of what women are because we won’t be murdered for being trans, and yet we don’t fit society’s idea of what women are because there’s money to be made and subservience to be had for chasing a feminine ideal in a patriarchal, capitalist society.

Now, T&N folk are just trying to survive and ideally flourish; there’s not a lot of room in that self-advocacy to worry about privileged folk who don’t have laws being made about what bathrooms they can use. But I’ve benefitted from their self-advocacy anyway because the gender binary fucking sucks. It’s awful. And telling the society that polices your self-representation to go kick rocks, and that femininity happens on your terms is amazing. The sense of restriction lifting is similar to taking your bra off after work but a million times better.

The thing about fitting the mold is that while it is safe, sometimes pieces of yourself are removed to do it, even it should supposedly be no problem because you’re cis, straight, able bodied, etc. People being able to be completely themselves is important for a healthy, happy, functioning society, and enabling more people to be completely themselves and keeping them safe is a benefit to us all.

But enough of my word-flapping, go check out these awesome trans and non-binary peeps:






(Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s Okay to be Mean to People Who Hate You

Hello, Dear Readers. It’s been a long, long, time since I’ve blogged. I’ll be honest, the Kavanaugh hearing kind of broke me. I wrote up nearly a thousand words about it and just couldn’t see it to the finish line. It was just too fucking hard.

Now before we get into things, I don’t normally do a content note, but if you’re just trying to keep your shit together, this may not be the thing you want to read today. Content Note: rape culture, anti-choice bullshit, fuckheads

So what could bring me back to blogging about politics of all things?

Righteous anger!

Continue reading It’s Okay to be Mean to People Who Hate You

A Scary Story for Halloween (that is not as scary as the news)


Vanity was never one of my faults, not really, but I had become obsessed with my reflection.

It started, as most things do, subtly, as if everything were still normal. I woke up one night needing to pee; so naturally, I got up and went. I stumbled through the hallway, my feet shuffling along the thin carpet, not bothering to turn on any lights. When I finished peeing in the dark, I washed my hands. Glancing up, I saw my pale face reflected back at me, almost gray from the hallway nightlight. I noticed that I needed to pluck my eyebrows, and that the zit on my chin was finally receding. I leaned in a little closer to get a better look when I swore I saw a flicker of movement in the mirror, just at the periphery of my vision. Continue reading A Scary Story for Halloween (that is not as scary as the news)

I’m back and here to talk about gay romance

Holy balls! It’s been almost half a year since I’ve blogged. Aunty Mommy strikes again.

So what have I been doing? What kind of incisive commentary or big life events do I have to share? I mean… there’s a lot… like I “own” (the bank owns) a house now, and I moved, and politically everything’s a disaster even as my life is going well and…

I’ve been reading a lot of gay regency romance novels. Like. A lot. (Silly pre-November 2016 me didn’t think she would read romance novels, even while making a case for them. You sweet, stupid summer child. You know nothing.)  Continue reading I’m back and here to talk about gay romance

Squiddle: Adorable and Dangerous

Hello, dear reader! In lieu of writing something that requires analysis, emotional wherewithal, and sources, I made a thing!

My current job involves screening and editing academic articles, one of which was titled, “Squiddle: The Octopus with a Unicorn Horn.” It’s about a totally academic topic, but the title stuck in my brain to the point that I just had to draw Squiddle, as you see below.

Squiddle’s a good octopus, but sometimes Squiddle makes mistakes.

Mr Squish has been working on his art skills the past couple of years, and I’ve watched videos with him and his process. So I actually did some experimental sketches before putting Squiddle together. I stole his alcohol-based markers, which allow for better blending, shading, and a smoother finished product. As you can see, I’m still getting the hang of it as it was my first try with them, but I’m pretty pleased with how the water turned out.

Any who, there ya go. Something not depressing! Hopefully Squiddle will gently squeeze your heart so you feel happy. Squiddle does Squiddle’s best.

I’ve “Walked Up” to your idea, and found that it was bullshit

Wow! It’s been awhile! But at least I’m committed to my goal of —*checks last post*—posting at least once a quarter!

What could have spurred me to write a post after so long? This video. [Fair warning, it was promoted by IJR, a conservative site that’s a favorite of Trump.]:

At a time meant to commemorate seventeen people killed at school, and a moment meant to be about holding adults responsible for inaction that caused the death of children, this young woman goes on a rant about how mass shooters are caused by bullying, specifically, the kids that are protesting right then. What this is, is the unsoftened side of those who support Walk Up, Not Out. Continue reading I’ve “Walked Up” to your idea, and found that it was bullshit

Buckle Up, Here Comes a Rant

Hello dear reader, I’m not sure if you noticed, but the world has kind of exploded with sexual harassment/sexual abuse news. I’ve been just kind of rolling with it to the best of my ability. It is ultimately a good thing that this is all coming out. But I’d really like to address some things I’ve been hearing… address them with rage.

OMG! We’re all going to be prudes and NEVER have fun AGAIN.

Ok, first of all, what the fuck do you do for fun? How the hell does “remembering that other people don’t exist for you to torture them” infringe on your fun times? Maybe you’re an asshole who doesn’t deserve to have your “fun.” Ever thought of that? Continue reading Buckle Up, Here Comes a Rant

What Trump’s Letters to an Advice Columnist Would Look Like

Wow, it really sucks that Trump is the POTUS, right? He is really terrible on so many levels and different ways. Worse still is that Mike Fucking Pence is next in line, and the two are supported by morally destitute members of Congress like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. It is really, truly awful knowing that these are the people in power: the kind of guys who would probably strangle me to death with their bare hands if they thought they’d get a dollar for it or get to pass a bill to hurt LGBTQ* folk.

Anyway, the reason why I’m writing this post isn’t just to vent my spleen and remind everyone of the heavy blanket of dread that they carry around. (Everyone who reads this blog anyway.) I’m hoping, in however small a way, to reset the low, low bar that Trump regularly slides under. We’ve become accustomed to how horrible he is at everything and his supreme selfishness. When you see headlines that read, “Trump Did [X],” “Trump Says, ‘[Y],’ But Scientists Disagree,” “Trump Surprises Staff by Declaring [Z],” it all runs together, and when he’s marginally less bad, people are starting to call it “presidential behavior.”

So instead, I’d like you to think of Trump’s behavior through the lens of people who write to advice columnists. (It’s a stretch, I know, because Trump hates asking for advice.) The people who write advice columnists are usually looking for someone to say that a) they’re right or b) they can get a divorce; the advice usually is to a) stop what you’re doing, b) stop hanging out with awful people, and/or c) have a real conversation with someone like an adult. Though sometimes, the advice columnist will publish something and the advice is, “You’re a terrible person, and I hope your family, friends, co-workers, and strangers are safe from you.” That’s the kind of letter writer Trump would be. Continue reading What Trump’s Letters to an Advice Columnist Would Look Like

Our Culture of Mass Shootings

Okay folks, let’s get some stuff out of the way first thing. I know responsible gun owners and gun enthusiasts. I know people who hunt and go to gun ranges and gun shows and they’re all responsible kind people who don’t relish the idea of blowing someone away. I assume you know these type of people too. I am not here to say that these people are a menace. I am here to say that as a country, not just gun owners, we’ve got a culture problem.

Now, let’s talk about what the problem isn’t, not directly.

Not Enough People with Guns.

This is just… It’s a solution that at the very least lacks nuance. It’s like people saying, “Fight fire with fire!” without understanding things like fire breaks or controlled burns… So they light your car on fire when they see flames on your house. Continue reading Our Culture of Mass Shootings