Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Well hello, Strangers!

I know; it's been a looooong time since you've heard from me. I'm sorry, but I can't say that I regret it.

In the last two years, life has been everything I never expected. Through August 2012, I was writing regularly--I just couldn't share it all with the world. Then in September everything imploded and exploded and my life felt like a shipwreck: beautiful and painful all at the same time. That's when I stopped writing.

Now I'm not the same girl I was the last time you heard from me and I'm trying to figure out how to I want to exist in the world. Am I still a writer? Do I even like writing anymore? Will anyone care if I have anything to say? Am I distanced enough from my recent experiences to write them without falling back into a quicksand of feelings? Can I be honest and vulnerable in my mini-memiors without hurting anyone else?

There's only one way to find out.

So, my beautiful dear readers, I am back. I'm not promising that I'll stick around or provide regular updates. I'm only going to give this a fair shot and an honest try and the results will tell us where to go from there. I think that's only fair.

Welcome back. Thanks for sticking around; it means the world to me.

Besos,
A

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Jai Guru Deva Om

Holey shiiiit!

Lovers, I'm back.

xoxo by Kristi Jackson

Whoa.

There are so many stories I have to share with you! Today's story is going to be awesome because it will accomplish, like, a bazillion and a half things. It will
  • Explain where I've been and what I've (sort of) been doing,
  • Revive The Point,
  • Give me an excuse to play my super corny iTunes mixes (like John Lennon's Across the Universe, which obviously inspired this post's title)
  • Make you feel things,
  • Cause you to think about your life,
  • Cause me to think about my life,
  • Make me not look so alcoholic when I open a bottle of Merlot at 3 in the afternoon (after all, I am writing),
  • and tons of other things which I'm sure you can figure out all on your own!
Are you ready? Ohmygosh I'm so excited to be writing for all of you again! Let's get it on!



Jai Guru Deva Om

Dear Readers, do you know what Manifest Destiny is? If you don't, I'd like to quote the beautiful and always accurate source known as Wikipedia
Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent...Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only wise but that it was readily apparent (manifest) and inexorable (destiny).
Westward the Course of Empire Takes It's Way by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

In my special little head, Manifest Destiny isn't some general idea: it's my personal destiny. The world is HUGE: obviously I am supposed to explore it. We all are. And considering the size and cultural scope of the grand 'ol US of A, there is no better place to start than right here at home.

As luck would have it, Arla (remember her? my lesbi-bestie) and her girlfriend moved to Los Angeles last summer. And it just so happens that her girlfriend, Kayai, is a good friend of mine. And, after a series of unfortunate events, Kayai and Arla had an empty bedroom in their apartment at exactly the time I was ready to get my Manifest Destiny on. 

Once the crazy part of my brain convinced the rational part of my brain that Manifest Destiny was a real Thing I Had To Do I quit my job, packed everything I could fit into my Dodge, and begged my youngest sister to cross the country with me. I was unhappy in my tiny east coast town and I needed to shake up my world culturally, spiritually, creatively, and environmentally.


And so I decided to leave my small mountain town in Virginia and head for the palm trees, smog, and heat of Los Angeles.

For the most part, co-workers, friends, and family members were really supportive. A few were skeptical. Some were downright against my plan, calling it "irrational." But really, isn't 'rational' a pretty subjective word? What is 'rational' for a single, 24-year-old queer woman of color living in the Bible Belt isn't necessarily 'rational' for a married, 60-year-old heterosexual white man living in the Bible Belt. So I ignored the haters.


My sister and I set out right after New Year's, ringing in 2012 with a ten-day journey through the southern half of the United States. Starting in the Hampton Roads area, we literally traveled from coast to coast, visiting both Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada before ending in the Golden State. It was fabulous!

Once I finally reached Cali, I was sun-struck: the weather, the palm trees, the number of beaches to explore... I loved all of it. For the first three weeks, I was in this really wonderful honeymoon phase with my life. I'd left a job that wasn't working for me, I'd escaped the Bible Belt, I'd found a city with gay bars that weren't secret hideaways but wide open proud loud clearly labeled establishments, I'd crossed the country, I'd shown the haters! My life was open to anything the Universe elected to throw my way.

Then I started freaking out.



Here I am, I thought to myself, in Cali and I am not making any money! I can't stay in Cali if I don't make any money! And from that moment on, I've had these little spasms of worry. Like charlie horses, they just creep up on me in the middle of night and scare the shit out of me.

Fortunately, one of the best things I've learned in the last few years is to ask myself, Realistically, what is the worse that could happen? So this morning, when a wave of worry overtook me as I was cooking oatmeal I stopped and asked myself: Girl, what are you so scared of? What's the worst that could happen? 


Worst case scenario: I don't get a job here in LA. I end up going broke and then I have to move home and live with my parents. Obviously, this is a very real scenario: I moved to Los Angeles knowing that might be how this experiment ends.

I had a moment of epiphany when I realized that I could either continue having paralyzing mental spasms over the slow disintegration of my finances or I could enjoy LA while I'm here--however long that may be--while I continue the search for gainful employment. When you think about it, there's no reason to stress out when things are going to end however they end (because, obvs, I believe in destiny). So the point of this move, even if it ends up being a two and a half month vacation, is that you've gotta enjoy your life while you've got it rather than stressing out about the future. I know, I know: this sounds like a point I ripped from a high school kid's page on WeHeartIt, but sometimes it's the easiest lessons that take the most time to learn. 


Monday, October 31, 2011

Like a Zombie, I'm Back From the Dead

Holy fuck you guys,

I've been absent in your lives since June. FUCKING JUNE. I considered never coming back, then I considered coming back but kept stopping myself... kind of like when you pick up the phone to text someone you really want to like you and then you pause just before clicking 'send' to throw the phone down in shame/fear/embarrassment/a bundle of indiscernible nerves. Then you do that again. And again. And again. Until, finally, you find yourself staring in the mirror screaming "SEND THE TEXT AND STOP BEING STUPID!"


I mean, I hope I'm not the only one who does that every now and again.

So now I guess you know how I got back to writing. But what about why I left you for so long? Well, I was on my own personal vision/spirit/coming of age quest. Seriously; I'm not being silly. I'm pretty sure I found my spirit vegetable (turnip, if you were wondering) and my spirit song ("Strawberry" by Everclear). Unfortunately, I'm still seeking a spirit animal, a spirit color, and a spirit smell. Suggestions are welcome.

I just re-read that last paragraph and, apparently, in the last five months I've become a hippie. Please forgive me.
letznotandsaywedid.tumblr.com

Okay, so I'm not sure if I'm searching for a point in life anymore, but since the philosophy of everything happens for a reason still seems logical, I'll share a story with you and, together, we can see if there's anything to be gleaned. Kapish?


DREADLOCKS

When I was in high school, I had two best friends: Oriana and Chelsey. By our senior year, they had come down with an affliction that PTA moms affectionately refer to as a case of "the Boy Crazy." It was a little bit gross. "The Boy Crazy" is this terrible disease where girls think about boys all the time--kissing them, touching them, dating them, marrying them, holding them, and so on and so forth. TBC wouldn't be so excruciatingly terrible if it wasn't a permanent state of mind. However, when a girl gets TBC, she loses her ability to live in reality--all she can focus on is the iron cage of longing her heart is stuck fluttering around in.

TOON HERTZ

And, to make matters worse, TBC is 100% contagious.

In my case, I felt left out: my two best friends were going on and on about the last time they saw Michael or Gabriel or Travis or whoever and all I had to talk about was the English teacher who told me that if I wanted to get famous for writing literature, I needed a drug or alcohol problem. We were existing in totally different worlds.

It wasn't that I didn't like boys (I mean, I don't, but I didn't know this back then), it was just I didn't know any boys that induced TBC mentality in me. Then one day, sitting in the parking lot after school,  I saw him. We'll call him... Ebert. He had great arms and cinnamon skin and these beautifully twisted dreadlocks. I was pretty sure those attributes made him attractive and I immediately began referring to him as "that hot boy with the hair".

He was friends with Oriana's biggest crush, so we were able to do a lot of boy watching together (is that enjoyable for anyone? Really... you just stare at boys and what do you think about? Sex? Babies? Your wedding dress? Honestly, I'm curious). In two seconds, I went from outcast to full on part of the conspiracy. Suddenly, I had something to report when lunch time came ("He passed me in the hall after gym!") and something to contribute after school ("God, look at the way his arm muscles move!"). I even had the ability to participate in stalking ("Since he passed me in East Hall after gym, his class must be on the back end of campus... I'm going to try to figure out his schedule!"). It was like TBC wasn't a disease but a competition and I was going to prove to the world that I did it better than anyone else, ever.

OLIVER THOMAS

However, after a few weeks, it became clear that I could never win TBC game. See, while Oriana and Chelsey and all of my other friends were going all Bella Swan on their crushes, they were doing it with the intention of actually snagging the boy for their own. It turns out that I didn't have that intention. In fact, I'd never spoken to Ebert. To this day, I don't know what his voice sounds like. I never had a class with him, attended a party he might be at, ate lunch near his clique on the bleachers, nada. I had picked the least attainable and most easily avoidable boy on campus to be my crush while I grappled with TBC dilemma.

It occurred to me at one point that if I were to somehow convince Ebert to like me back, I don't know what I'd do with him. Date him? How exactly? What do girlfriends and boyfriends do when they aren't making out? I certainly didn't want to make out with him, so then I wondered: what did I want from him?


Once I realized my lack of sexual interest in Ebert, my participation in TBC epidemic was doomed. I had panic attacks any time one of my friends suggested I approach him--why? how? would he talk back? what would I do if he did? would I have to actually show interest? I found a way out of every situation, set up, and 'coincidence' my friends rigged to get me within touching distance of Ebert.

By graduation, it was clear to me and to everyone else that my obsession was Ebert was a facade for social situations, a counterfeit ticket to a show I didn't even want to see.

Fast forward six years.

Living the fabulous life of a debt-riddled young professional in recession-era America, I'm at a party out of town and I meet a girl named Harley. She's covered in tattoos and piercings. Poking out of her hair scarf are a crop of freshly twisted dreadlocks.



Harley is far from my type, but she likes me and the host of the party swears we're totally going to hit it off if I give it a chance. So I agree to suspend my snap judgement and give the girl a chance. In a complete reversal of my experience with Ebert, I spend the whole party talking to Harley. It's fun and easy and strengthened by the liquor spilling down our throats. Thankfully, I no longer have to question what I want--I want the touching and kissing and whatever else follows.


However, two months later--after a awesomely awkward date and a number of flirty exchanges--I find myself fielding text messages about our non-existant relationship. In seconds, I am seventeen again and in that faulty TBC mindset: if I were to date Harley, what would I do with her? What do girls do with their girlfriends when they aren't all over each other? I like making out, but I don't actually want feelings or anything. Do I need to show interest in this conversation?

You guys, this was literally a month ago. Harley and I are no longer talking because, once again, I choose the most easily avoidable person in my social sphere to get involved with. Once again, I can't figure out this relationship thing. Once again, I have no intention of snagging anyone for myself.

When I was writing this story, I thought it was kind of hilarious that both Harley and Ebert had dreadlocks and that our non-relationships had the same ridiculous demise, which is the only reason I linked the two. I was going to tell you all these crazy things about why I have non-relationships with kids who have dreadlocks. However, in writing this, I realized that I have quite a number of non-relationship exes (the majority of whom do not have dreadlocks) and all of their appearances in my life lead me to this point:

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND RELATIONSHIPS, YOU GUYS.

SOBREEUEVOCE

I don't understand them at all. I guess I thought that once I figured out my sexuality and got comfortable there I would have the relationship goal bestowed upon me in a shower of rainbow sparkles by God or whoever, but I'm here and I'm queer and I still really don't get relationships.


I've officially gone Brian Kinney up in this place.. and while that may be fine for now, I'm wondering if this is going to be problematic in a few years when my friends are settled down and scouting out ridiculously expensive and diverse prep schools for the buns in their ovens.

Aye. What's a girl to do?

Friday, June 17, 2011

June = Queer Lovin'


...Baltimore is TOMORROW!!!!! 
I'll be attending all of the shenanigans
I'm *so* excited.
(This is the part where you wish me luck & fun times)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Am I Catching "Hipster"?

Ahoy mateys!

I have a confession to make.

It's difficult for me to admit this to anyone, but...

I've fallen in love with *instagram*.


It's a app that allows you to take pictures with your iPhone and then enhance the photos by changing the color gradation or adding borders.

downloadsquad
It's totally hipster.

this image brought to you by the magical instagram tumbler

I hate hipsters. But even though I try, I can't hate *instagram*. It's the same way I feel about tumblr. It's silly. It doesn't require any talent. I don't even own an iPhone!


But it's so addictive!

I've been traveling for the last two weeks straight and writing cool new entries for you by hand as I ride trains and sit in hotel rooms and listen to acquaintances wax on and on about aspects of their lives I care nothing about.

During one of these trips one of my friends handed me an iPhone to try out their new *instagram* app.

It was like the skies parted. Glitter exploded. Puppies were born. Rainbows appeared. The world shifted.

So you're probably thinking, "So what Abernathy--what does this have to do with The Point?"

Let me tell you.

Today's point is this: I need to find someone who will pay me to travel the world (or at the least the US) and take *instagram* pics. Obviously, this currently unknown someone will also buy me an iPhone.

I know I sound just a teensy bit crazy, but my idea is not that far out of this world. NPR, Starbucks, Levis Brasil and Pepsi Max all use *instagram* to reach their consumers these days. Who's next?


Friends, I've found my calling. Now how the fuck do I make it a reality?

Friday, April 15, 2011

There's About to Be a Girlfight

Ahoy friends!

It was eighty-two degrees last weekend here in the southeast! SUMMER IS COMING! I'm so excited, I could cry. Heat means tank tops and cold beers and sparklers and short skirts and--the holiday that inspired this blog--Pride weekend!!!!!!!!!!

Let's just take a minute to bask in the excitement of what I am sure will be the epic summer of 2011.

martianwho
Whew.

Now on to this week's story...


There's About to Be a Girlfight

You may not believe this, but when I was growing up, I got into a lot of fights. A LOT. I know I seem like a pretty amazing and chillaxed little lady now, but it took me a while to get here.

The last fight I ever got into took place in college between me and a girl who went by the nickname of Caca. Yeah, I can't make this shit up.

Pun intended.

Would you like me to tell you about it?

Of course you would! Why else would you be on my blog?!

startswithabang
Check this out:

My senior year of college, my four best friends and I lived on the fourth floor of a historic dormitory with no elevator. This being the case, each floor of the building was cut in half by the building's large echoing stairwell. I can't tell you how many nights I found my way to my dormitory after a party and crawled up the stairs on all fours while I cried about the unfairness of buildings without elevators. But those are stories for another time...

Thanks to the stairwell from hell, my friends and I were able to secure the west half of the fourth floor for only ourselves and our guests. We ran around at all hours of night and day in various stages of undress and rarely closed our bedroom doors. All of this transparency was somewhat jarring to our friends visiting from other dorms: everyone on our hall knew in seconds if a guest was in our space and we treated our guests' privacy the way we treated our own--we gave them none.

mkmcd
One of my friends, Toga, regularly tutored her teammates on the basketball team in an effort to keep their GPAs high enough to allow the girls to play. Being a division three school, we had to require our athletes keep their GPAs at or above a minimum--it's not like any of them were going to go pro and make a living off of their insane athletic skills. On the night this fateful event took place, Caca was working her way through a project with Toga.

Now, I should probably tell you that I've never liked Caca. I had met her when she first arrived on campus earlier in the year. Caca was from my hometown and, because of her involvement on the basketball team, I knew she would be one of the few other girls of color to interact heavily in my social circle. I needed her to be classy.
After Ellen
What I got was a girl wearing skintight American-flag red sweat pants (three sizes too small) who told me that she was assembling her entourage to come to all of her games as she was the best basketball player in the region (a vast exaggeration). It took me about 5 minutes to glean this information from the text messaging language she'd found some way to convert into a spoken language brimming with "witchu," "grlchunow," and curse words.

Needless to say, I was not excited about Toga tutoring Caca on our hall. But, due to my love for Toga and the rest of the basketball team, I decided to avoid Caca during her tutoring session. I stayed in my room and did my yoga. Then I wrapped myself in a towel and headed for the communal showers, figuring that by the time I finished bathing, Caca would be gone.

My timing was nearly perfect. Caca was just exiting Toga's room as I left the showers. When Caca saw me in my towel, she paused before smiling and said, "I'm gonna fight witchu."

I laughed. "Okay, whatever."

"Naw gurl," she said more forcefully. "I'm bout to fight witchu." I looked her over and saw the weight in her stance. She wasn't joking.

"Alright," I acquiesced. "Let me put on some clothes."

"No."

"Underwear."

"No," she shouted and pushed me backwards into a fire extinguisher bolted to the wall. Let me tell you something: THAT FUCKING HURT.

I wrapped one hand around my chest to hold my towel in place and aimed a right hook at Caca's face: no one touches me without paying for it. The hit connected and Caca shouted, "Oh fuck you!"
domo

She aimed for my face and I ducked. She went for my throat and pushed me against the fire extinguisher again, choking me. I clawed around--losing my towel in the process. I finally grabbed Caca's braids and yanked her head backwards. By then she was screaming and cursing.  I was so angry that I slammed her head into the wall twice.

The whole thing lasted about 30 seconds.

I stepped back from Caca, picked up my towel and wrapped it around myself. Lost in all of the adrenaline and emotions pumping through my body, I started to laugh. The hall was filled with my friends, who had apparently witnessed the whole fight. They all looked at Caca and I nervously. Caca saw their faces and began laughing with me. My hall mates continued to look uncomfortable, but laughed lightly, trying to figure out what was so funny.

The look on their faces made me feel sick to my stomach. "I'm going to go put on clothes." I said to no one in particular. I went into my room, slammed my door and began to cry. I called my friend Mae, who lived in another dorm and explained the whole thing between sobs and sniffles.

"Fuck." She said, "Sweetheart, that's terrifying."

"I know," I wailed, "Who does she think she is? A first-year challenging a senior to a physical fight!? While I was in my toweeeeeeel!?"

"Well yes, but I think you're missing the point: you two could have killed each other. She could have broken your back and you could have split her head open. You're pretty fucking lucky that nobody got hurt."
lesuicideblonde
Mae made a valid point and one I hadn't been bright enough to consider on my own.

It kind of scared me.

After that, I resolved not to fight crazy bitches anymore. And so far, so good.

fin

Today's Point: The hippies up the street with the peace signs in their front yard may have a legitimate point.
indybay

Monday, April 4, 2011

Go Shawty, It's Your Birthday

Ahoy!

You guys, every time I watch the Runaways I feel all crazy inside because K. Stew looks *so hot* as Joan Jett. Seriously, she spends ninety minutes running around in leather and doing all sorts of bad-ass things--starting a rock band, getting high on an airplane, peeing on some douche's guitar, smashing her recording studio, lying around in underwear and playing with her guitar...it's swaggerific.

The only part of the film that pulls me out of K.Stew Land is the scene where she gets it on with Dakota Fanning. I know that D. Fan is totally grown up now, but she still seems little to me and I get all sorts of wigged out watching her in a sex scene.

FACT
The first time I watched the Runaways, I jumped up at that scene and said, "Wait! Is D. Fan old enough to have crazy roller-skate sex with K. Stew?"

Maybe I was just jealous.
OH SHE GLOWS

Either way, this brings up a good topic of discussion: when are kids "old enough" to be involved in sexual situations? 15? 16? 18?

Obviously, kids will do what they want when they want, but at what age do those of us over 20 look at teenagers and not think, "Gosh, you're too young to do all of that?"

I sure as hell don't know. I figure the best way for us to learn is to investigate a scene from my high school days.


Go Shawty, It's Your Birthday

My senior year of high school, one of the girls in my class turned 18. Since she was the first one of us to reach that milestone, my friends and I decided to do it big. 

We wanted to hire a stripper.

We discussed the idea with enthusiasm, trying to figure out how our friend would react, how much the stripper would cost and what he would say during the party. However, it quickly became apparent that our plan had some major obstacles:
  1. The birthday party would be at our friend's parents' house. We assumed her parents wouldn't look too kindly upon a stripper showing up at the front door.
  2. None of us were 18 yet, so we couldn't technically hire a stripper.
  3. We didn't have enough money to pay for a decent stripper. We'd heard tales of female strippers with Cesarean scars and though we didn't know what the equivalent of that would be for a male stripper, we didn't want to find out.
WE HEART IT (APPARENTLY VIA FACEBOOK)
Fortunately for this story and all of you reading it, my friends and I were a creative bunch and we came up with a backup plan. One of the girls in the group had a younger brother... and there was a dollar store that sold Halloween costumes right down the street from our school. Rather than hire a stripper, we were going to make our own.

The night of the party, we were pumped. While the sister of our stripper-to-be went home to pick up her brother, I corralled a group of five party guests to join me on the trip to the dollar store. We got there and realized that we had to make a serious decision: would our stripper be a fire fighter or policeman? Which would be the better stripper?

The amount of time we spent debating this decision is longer than I care to admit. Everyone had serious opinions on the matter, but eventually the fireman enthusiasts won out.

The costume department met up with the stripper-to-be outside of the birthday girl's house just as the party was beginning. The kid. was. awesome! We showed him the fireman's hat, the yellow fireman's jacket and the giant badge we'd purchased for the occasion and before we had finished talking, he was coming up with ideas to make the outfit even better.

DELLBBY
Half an hour later, the fireman's jacket had become a vest with ripped sleeves, a neon orange scarf functioned as a fire hose and our stripper had been sprayed with enough axe body spray to drown a frat house. We were ready!

First, the six or so party goers went into the house. We scoped out the party and layout, said hi to the birthday girl and found a cd with decent music for the main event. Two of us then went outside "for a cigarette" and primed our stripper. The party was in the attic. All we had to do was get the kid through the door, cut across the living room and then he'd be up the stairs and on the birthday girl. All we needed was to wait for a sign that the adults in the house were momentarily distracted.

CUTE OBSESSION
We only had to wait a few minutes before the lights in the living room began to blink on and off. Taking it as our sign, we ran into the house and shoved our stripper through the living room and kitchen. Someone upstairs cut the music and I heard the birthday girl yell, "Hey what's going on?" Within seconds a loud, raunchy pop song began to fill the attic. I pushed our stripper up the stairs, "it's time!"

It. Was. Amazing. The kid sauntered up the stairs and into the attic, rolling and rocking his hips to the music. The birthday girl was sitting on the floor and he stood over her, straddling her legs. He dropped down to the ground so that he was very nearly face-to-face with her and then popped his back and hopped back up. I'm not sure someone we paid could have done any better.

At this point, the birthday girl's face was flushed and she was giggling nervously and looking around like, "What the fuck?" The kid kept dancing around: he pulled off his fireman's vest/jacket, he wrapped the "hose" around the birthday girl's neck and pulled her close, he sat in the air just above her lap and ground his pelvis. It was raunchy.
TTTTRUCK
When it ended, everyone high-fived our stripper and sent him downstairs to wash up and put his shirt back on.

The six of us who orchestrated the striptease surrounded the birthday girl; "So, what did you think?"

She shook her head, "Isn't that Kim's little brother?"

"Yeah!" We shouted, "Wasn't he wonderful?"

The birthday girl cocked her head to the side, "Isn't he thirteen? You guys, I'm pretty sure that was totally illegal. Also, I think you are all kind of sick."

fin

In the spirit of full disclosure: The stripper and I became close friends. He's actually a drag queen now and we joke about that striptease every time we see each other. The birthday girl and I are not friends anymore because, apparently, I have no morals.

So. What did you guys think of the story? It was a doozy, wasn't it? Is there anything to be learned from this experience? Were we in the wrong or just kids having fun? Share your thoughts below!