Saturday, November 08, 2003

Up-Tight Guys
The boys at this school hate being checked out. And I mean the whole uni, not just the law school. It's like they have a sixth sense, and no matter how discrete I am, they know. And they hate it.
A couple years ago this uni was found "most homophobic" by a national survey. Now, in a very recent issue of Instinct magazine, the uni's been found to have the best queer studies department.
Can you say "reactionary"?
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Incidentally, if anybody thinks this blog is getting too gay, look, it's just a phase.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Changing Face of Gay Lit
When I was in my twenties I read a lot of gay-oriented books. I was trying to figure myself out. I kept wondering, "How do gay men live?" The non-fiction, self-help guides I saw seemed to only ever state the obvious; I felt my needs were deeper, more expansive. I was probably being melodramatic. I got more out of the fiction. In 1997 I read William J. Mann's first novel, The Men From the Boys. I thought it was really good. It made me feel better about who I am.
Mann's next book was non-fiction, a biography of a silent film star, William Haines, who didn't make the transition to talkies and became a decorator. Joan Crawford said Haines' relationship with his boyfriend was Hollywood's only stable marriage, or words to that effect. The book was pretty good but it didn't have the umph of that first novel. But then, it was non-fiction, after all.
Not too long after that I had a huge upheaval in my life, and I forgot all about gay literature and Mr. Mann. Plus working in an academic law library is hardly the place to keep up with new gay books.
Recently my boyfriend and I spent an evening with some straight friends of mine for the first time. Those friends are great, and it was a great time. But it was the first time I had spent time with them with a boyfriend. It started me wondering again, but this time, "How do gay couples live?" And then I discovered Mann had published a sequel to that first novel, named Where the Boys Are. I bought it. I've only just started it.
My eye was caught by the photo of the author on the just jacket. He didn't look like the same person in the photograph on the dust jacket of the first novel - I pulled it down and checked. In the older photo he looks like a nice college boy.
When I think of a gay author, I think of someone like Edmund White.
I don't think there's anything wrong with my idea of a gay writer changing to this.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Drugstore Clusterfuck
Over the weekend I finally finished the roll of film I started in the mountains. Last night, after work, I took it to a drugstore to be developed.
It turned out to be an excrutiating experience.
When I walked in, a young couple were standing at the photo lab counter. A voluminous black woman was behind the counter, flipping through envelopes of prints. When she saw me walk up, she announced generally, "I ain't workin'. I just come to get my pictures." And giving the envelopes a dismissive flick with an enormous talon, she walked out from behind the counter without finding the young couple's photos.
I decided to just look around for a drop box and a stack of film envelopes. I found the envelopes but instead of a drop box there was a box box which had no notice telling me to leave film there.
Now a real on-the-clock photo-lab employee had turned up, but was having trouble helping the young couple. He couldn't find all of their pictures, and now there was a second young couple waiting behind the first.
I broke down and asked the black woman, who was still standing around, if I left my film in that box. She said yes.
I left to look for shaving soap. While I was looking, I heard "Manager to the front" a couple times, from the PA system, in a thick Mexican accent.
When I got to the register, the first young couple were in front of me.
The young woman was saying, "Look, it was supposed to be a double set of prints for $4.99 and an index for $1 more. They didn't give me an index, so I don't think I should have to pay that extra dollar."
"Manager to the front please," said the Mexican cashier into his microphone.
I think I need to find a new place to get film developed.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Simmering Frustration
It has occurred to me that I constantly have a simmering, seething amount of frustration. I will have it as long as I keep this job.
Most of the time it's just in the background, but sometimes it moves forward. It's been on the move today. Partly because this has been a ridiculous day. I have accomplised nothing at work because there is nothing for me to accomplish here.
It's also on the move because I have not heard from Rob today. His mother has been in the hospital for over a week with some sort of intestinal infection. They were planning to do some sort of endoscopy test - maybe that was today. I don't know if something's gone wrong or if his computer crashed.
So it isn't just work conditions that bring out the constant frustration. It can be motivated by personal life situations, too.

The Longest Monday Morning
I swear, this is interminable. The woman in technical services who receives journals and periodicals and releases of updates for loose-leaf filing has her schedule set up so she leaves around lunchtime on Friday. Which means that when I come in Monday morning, I have nothing to work with/on. I've done my small maintenance walk-through and dealt with what few small things have come my way. Mostly I am sitting at my desk trying to amuse myself with the internet in workplace-okay ways.
And getting annoyed with the woman in the next cubicle, who has been on the phone for the better part of an hour.