The winner….

The winner of the Amazing Ellie Leonardsmith Photo Giveaway, chosen using the first thing that came up when I searched for Random Number Generator, was contestant number 4!

Which was this comment:

Key words here are “I wish I could win this.”  Sadly, she can’t, because she is way more than an hour outside of Boston.  Sorry Kristine (and Shiva 😦  ).

So our second pick, via random number generator?  As luck would have it, she’s also several hours away (um, on the other side of the country), but coming to Boston soon.

I suspect this is how she feels about her prize:

Yay Ele! Get in touch with Ellie and have a spectacular photoshoot!




Filed under other

Bookstore Experience: The Angry Lesbian Edition

Okay, so here’s the other thing that totally sucked about our trip to the bookstore on Saturday night (reminder: the first thing that sucked is our whole world telling us we need the damn “perfect” wedding or else we’re Doing It Wrong and there’s no good publication out there to remind us that doing it right For Us means we’re Doing It Right. Anyway.): there was no lesbian fiction.

Okay, let’s back this up a little bit, because that statement needs, like, 500 qualifiers.  Or at least 2.

The thing is that I want some nice, light reading to read.  You know, the printed word and all that.  I want some fiction, even some, ahem, “chick lit” would be acceptable – but I want some lesbian characters.  The lesbian characters I was searching for didn’t have to do anything especially special:  I didn’t need them to have babies or have graphic sex or run around talking about being lesbians.  Unless those are the things lesbians do all the time, in which case, I think I’m Doing It Wrong.

lesbians Doing It Right?

Anyway, I got up in search of said light reading.  First stop: the new fiction table.  I read the back or inside cover of every book on that table, hoping for something as small as the main character’s sister dating a woman, or even a nonchalant “Sarah and her partner Debbie” mentioned in passing.  I don’t need a whole AND THEY’RE LESBIANS TOO storyline – I just want them to appear here or there or even be important characters.  And what did I find? Nothing.

So I headed up to the Lesbian & Gay section of the bookstore, and here’s what they have there: books on the legal papers you should write up because even if your marriage is legal in Massachusetts, if one of you dies, the other still gets nothing if you don’t have legal papers.  Uh, thanks for that relaxing reminder on my relaxing Saturday night, Barnes and Noble (Note to self: find a lawyer, write up the damn papers, wear my helmet while riding by bike. Stay safe, kids.).  Other books included: being straight children of gay parents, being straight parents of gay children, how to come out to your family, how to tell if you’re dating another woman or just spending time together as friends, a book called something like The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping With Chicks (um, not a bad book if you’ve been dating men and just realized you’re gay, but also somewhat offensive. Just in case you were wondering.), and a whole lot of erotica.  Did I mention I just want some light fiction?

Where you go next, if you are me, is to that fancy little Nook area – they have these Kindle-esque things that are actually pretty cool, and you can search for books right on them.  So I search for “Lesbian + Fiction”, and I search for “lesbian fiction”, and I wish you could hear the frustration and near-rage in my voice when I say that besides the Sarah Waters book that came up, every single thing was erotica or porn, and one book about mother-son incest that apparently had some lesbian aspect to it.


I am just looking to be able to see a reflection of myself somewhere.  Of course it doesn’t have to be me exactly, but something like me.  It’s like all those wedding magazines, showing the wedding you aren’t interested in having. It’s like, if you are a straight couple, finding only books about same sex couples.  Fine for a story or two or even twenty, but don’t you want just one that is a story about someone like you?

So here’s what I’m hoping for: that you will all chime in and tell me I was looking in the wrong places and here are eighteen million books that have same-sex couples in them and are not all about sex or even mostly about sex (and maybe because they’re not about sex they wouldn’t be called lesbian fiction?); or that you will chime in and agree that there is a need for something like this, and I will run off and write a novel.

It’s funny, I think, the things that make me feel marginalized.

Please chime in? Thanks.


Filed under gay

Bookstore Experience: The Wedding Sanity Edition

As it turns out, Barnes & Noble is a pretty hopping place on a Saturday night. According to a friend who works at the cafe there, B&N is really The Place To Be – which makes me feel a pretty good about admitting that our Saturday night date was at a bookstore. Not only are we true to ourselves and owning our nerdiness (yay bookstores!), we’re also the cool kids (I think this is a yay… hm.).

Anyway, I’m not writing to tell you about how awesome we are (pretty awesome). I’m writing to tell you what was supposed to be a story about how I got enraged at the bookstore, but I think that’ll be a post for tomorrow.  Today? Good wedding deeds:

We had our cocoa at the tables in the cafe, read through some magazines. Had to get through some trashy ones to learn about Katie’s Holmes’ apparent drug problem and bratty daughter (but Suri is oh so cute) and then continue on my quest to find a magazine that 1. doesn’t make my brain rot (Katie Holmes already did that; thanks, Katie); 2. Is interesting (sorry Runner magazine, you’ll just never be mine); 3. and doesn’t make me hate everyone (hello, every women’s fitness magazine ever). The quest was largely unsuccessful.

As we got up to leave, we noticed that the girl at the table behind us had a wedding magazine on her table. And next to that, a stack of about 15 wedding magazines. And, you guys, she looked a little stressed out. “Turtle,” I hissed, “should I tell her it’s going to be okay?”

approximate size of *one* of her stacks of magazines. poor girl.

Turtle gave me a look that said, I married you and I bring you out in public and yet I’m still surprised when you ask me these things – why? I should know better by now. You can tell we’re married because I can get all of that from just one look. But she answered, “See if she has a ring – you can only say something if she’s actually engaged.”

So I leaned over to pick up something that I, ahem, dropped (um, a piece of trash on the floor? A cup from someone who’d been sitting there before? You know, something I would have otherwise ignored), and confirmed: a ring! So what did I have to lose? I took a deep breath, leaned over, and said, “Excuse me, I just noticed all of your wedding magazines. If you’re looking for some sanity, you should check out A Practical Wedding. It really is wedding sanity.”

And she looked at me with sort of crazed eyes (I mean, I think? I don’t really know her, so maybe her eyes are always like that. But she did look a little panicked.) and said, “Oh my goodness, thank you so much. I definitely could use some sanity.”

I feel like I’m a happy little wedding fairy.  Why aren’t more people telling people it’s going to be okay?  Instead it’s “YOU NEED THINGS.  YOU NEED MORE THINGS! THEY. MUST. MATCH.”

If I weren’t as shy as I feel and I knew her a little better, or if she’d said, “tell me more!” I then would have listed off every website ever that has the sanity (hi all you readers who also write!).  But I am kind of shy and I didn’t know her and mostly I felt awkward.

What would you do?

Coming soon, the story of my bookstore experience: The Enraged Version.


Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

Movies for another snow day

So, yes, I did used to have a Livejournal.  For some reason, I was inspired today to see if it was still there… it is.  Weird.

What inspired me to write this post, though, is the last thing I posted on LJ: this video, which is a bit outdated, but still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes:

And as long as you’re watching some good lesbian videos, watch this, too (though this one maybe has some language that’s not good for work).  Even if you’re not up for the whole thing, skip to 4:27 to hear the awesome message at the end:


Filed under gay

I wish I could win it, but instead I’ll give it to you (or you, or you)

You may have noticed that I have some affection for our wedding photographer. Let me tell you a little bit about her.

us & our wives

I met her in college when one of my roommates was all, “My friend and her girlfriend are coming over for dinner, cool?” and I was all, “Cool.” And then we started hanging out more and playing boardgames and living a few blocks away from each other and then living a few states away from each other and now living a few towns away from each other. She introduced me to roller derby and I took care of her dog once.

Both the dogs, coexisting (this is a more informal pet-picture, but there are more on her website)

Sometimes she comes to visit us and takes our pictures.

and she makes us look really cute! AND! She makes it feel really natural and fun.

Why, might you ask, am I telling you these perhaps seemingly-random facts about Amazing Photographer Ellie Leonardsmith? Well, it’s because today, she’s doing An Awesome Photography Giveaway.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Winner gets 1 hour of free photoshooting with Ellie! Pick your poison: she’ll take pictures of you in your wedding clothes, in your street clothes, running naked through the streets… what I mean is, whatever you want to wear, she’s willing to take pictures of you in it.  She’s also happy to hang out at your house or a park or around town and just take pictures of you being awesome by yourself, with your friends, or with puppies.  Kittens are also acceptable.  And babies!  Happy to photograph babies, too.

  2. How to win: comment here and tell us about your most valued picture and why it matters to you (for example, I have a picture of my dad and me on the dock up at camp when I was maybe 4 years old.  I’m wrapped in a towel and probably shivering, and we have the exact same profile.  I love that picture.).
  3. I will use a random number generator to pick the winner!
  4. Deadline to comment is 5pm EST Monday January 24th.
  5. You must be within or willing to meet within an hour of Boston; specifics to be worked out with Awesome Photographer Ellie.
  6. Photoshoot is free, and afterwards CD of images, prints, or albums can all be purchased through her.

You can see examples of Ellie’s work all over my blogs, but also on her website.

Also, I get nothing out of doing this, except her gratitude and excitement that I get to give my awesome readers something that I think is really awesome!  I say awesome a lot.  Now, comment away!


Filed under other

Across the Shoreline: You came for me in fast forward

After making our way up slopey beaches, leaping into the air, and leaning on the people who were there for us to lean on, my brand new wife and I go some time to ourselves.

Sort of.

One very vivid memory I have of the day was finishing our pictures with our brigadeers and suddenly realizing I could take off my dress.  You guys, the dress was pretty.  It satisfied whatever need I had to wear a dress, and whatever need other people had for me to wear a dress.  I liked how it looked.  And I was ready to get the eff out of it.  And then?  All comfortable and still dolled up, it was time to spend some time with my wife.  Oh yeah, and our photographer.

Check out the rings on those fingers!  These were some of the best moments of a day full of best moments.  It was just the two of us, and the instructions we were given were essentially, “Act like you just got married and you’re happy about it.”  Um, no problem.

After a few photos outside the building and out by the water, we wandered into the woods. At this point, I was just on a strange, thrilled, calm high. I couldn’t believe we were married. I couldn’t believe there was still so much of the day to do, and I was excited about all of it, even though I could hardly comprehend that there was more of it. It all felt surreal –

– and what better way to ground yourself in the craziness of all of that than to find your new wife and remind yourselves of each other? So, unprompted, we had our first dance. No music, just the two of us, spontaneous-kitchen-dancing-style.

You guys? I for serious love her.


Filed under Marriage/Wedding/Engagement

And I get a new name!

Having realized that structure is essential to my mental well-being and that getting out of the house is absolutely vital for my sanity – and thus the general health of my marriage – I have made big plans to leave the house today.  I wrote down time frames and everything.

It seems, however, that I am out to get myself, and I make little deals with myself all day to get out of actually stepping through the threshold and out into the world.  Example:

Me1: “Bird, you will walk the dog at 2pm and then get your butt to the library and apply for some jobs and graduate schools! Okay?”
Me2: “Sure!  That sounds fine, and totally reasonable, except I just put in this banana bread and I can’t very well leave it baking alone in the house.  How about I walk the dog at 3?”
Me1: “Well, fine, you can walk the dog at 3, but then, to the library you go!”

I’ll spare you the whole monologue, but let it suffice to say that it is 4:27 and I am sitting in a rather comfy chair in my dining room.  Foiled again!

But here’s what I am doing: setting things up that I just cannot get out of.  For example?  Roller derby.

I know, I know, we broke up.  We broke up twice, or maybe three times now.  Yes, it’s an on-again-off-again relationship.  But you know that first true love who you promised to always love, forever and ever, no matter what, even if you married other people and had families you would always love each other at least somewhere in your heart?  Well, Roller Derby and I did that.

While I’m not skating right now and I’m unemployed, I realized that I sort of need roller derby, especially since otherwise, I would never leave the house. So, as a former coxswain, I have decided to be a referee.  I have been to 3 scrimmages in this role, and you know what? It’s kind of awesome, and not enough people talk about how awesome it is.  It’s roller derby without getting hurt; it’s roller derby without the jitters before the whistle blows – because, ahem, I am the one blowing the whistle.

I have a ton to learn: the rules, in detail, the hand signals, how to skate while paying attention to whether other girls skating are following those rules, all while not falling over or getting run into or skating into the coaches yelling at them from the sidelines.

Anyway.  I don’t have much to say beyond that I’m excited, that I am leaving the house, and that, while my heart has been broken once or twice (or, um, three or four times) by roller derby, I’m still really, really excited to be a part of it again.*

Now tell me: what do you do to get out of the house?  How do you keep from going crazy?  If you think I’m not going crazy, just wait for the video on tomorrow’s Flying Dingo.  Yes, a video… of dog boots.  Coming soon from a Crazy Near You.

*Side effects vary, but already I’m working out religiously, because how can you not want to be in shape when surrounded by women made entirely of muscle and brute force?  I feel better already. Also, now I don’t have to feel sad every time I see that I still have a Roller Derby tag on my blog. Woo hoo unexpected side effects!


Filed under Roller Derby