Oct 31, 2012

Day 9 Redux Nefertiti

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet

There are a lot of someones I wish I could meet. Everyone from Michelle Obama to Tina Fey to Charles Xavier or Albus Dumbledore (yeah, I'm a nerd, leave me alone).

I wish I could meet Nefertiti. She still reigns as the most beautiful woman of all time and she lived thousands of years ago. Aphrodite's statues have worn and don't hold the same power and sway as they used to among the world population. But the bust of Nefertiti is still as regal and mysterious as ever, as famous or more as Mona Lisa's smile.

She raised herself up as a goddess among her people, she took unprecedented power, ruling as the Great Royal Wife but with status almost as a co-regent. She helped cause a religious uprising, shifting Egypt from a polytheistic religion to the worship of one deity, Aten, the sun god. She built a new city from the ground up and plastered herself across it. These images lasted thousands of years, and we know her history easily from all inscriptions she had of herself and her family carved into the walls.

About her reign there is little mystery. Before she became a royal wife and after her husband died is not as well documented, but we know much about the time between. The only things unknown are her motives. What could possibly have caused her to uproot her people and move them into a new city in the desert? Why would she have gone against the laws of Ma'at and destroyed her own religion? What was in it for her?

She intrigues me, delights me, terrifies me. I wish I could meet her if only to figure out what was going on in her mind.


Interesting note: Of the 42 principles of Ma'at, my favorite is I have made none to weep.

Other translations have it written as "I will not cause the shedding of tears" but I don't think the wording is as cool. Can you imagine if we lived in a world where one of the religious promises was "I have made none to weep?"

Day 8 Redux kcnightfire

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend

I'm going to direct this to kcnightfire, considering she comments on my blog more than anyone else lately. Go check out her blog!

Admittedly, I probably have really bad taste in art. I dated someone with a Salvador Dali in her living room but the beauty of it was totally lost on me. What does a pig in a tree have to do with Alice in Wonderland? I guess I should probably read the story and not base my opinion off the Disney movie :D But, if you asked me to name the most wonderful painter of all time I would say Vincent van Gogh. Starry Night has to be one of my favorites, but the other? I love his entire Wheat Fields series- not so much the haystacks or the reaper and sower, but the Plain at Auvers, Harvest in Provence, Wheat Field with Cypresses.

They all bring me comfort, fill me with wonder. When I look at any of his paintings, it's like looking in a window, except the world inside is richer and more beautiful than the one around me. They make me wish I could see the world the way he must have, and they all remind me of home. Sounds weird, I know, considering he lived thousands of miles away, but if you stood on a hilltop across the river from my house, you would see his environment. Everything he knew, down to the windmills and gold fields, the sky so blue, the clouds bright and crisp, all rippling through my backyard.

I don't have any talent in the painting arena - I've tried. I took exactly one art class in high school and realized I can draw a pretty decent duck and paint a sunset well enough that you'll figure out what it is eventually :) I also took ceramics for a semester before I failed out because I was too much of a perfectionist to get anything in on time. I can pick apart a sonnet and discover the undertones and symbolism in a heartbeat, but interpreting art is so different. I love reading your posts about certain pieces and galleries because I'm so in the dark about most of it and it's kind of like you're handing me a flashlight.

I love reading your blog. We must have some similarities in our thought process because it's easy to follow where you lead. You're smart, informative, funny, and dnt spel lke thIs. All things I enjoy in a blog :)

I could say this is a day late going up because I was asleep/hallucinating all day from my spider bite yesterday, which is half true, but also because I was avoiding this letter, the other half truth. This letter series isn't really meant to be read by the people they're addressed to, so I wanted to share something where you wouldn't be obligated to write back - I didn't want to drag you into it.

Sorry I'm such an-!


Oct 30, 2012


Just an update on Ouch:

After calling in sick to work, I spent an hour applying a hot washcloth to my hand to kill the toxins and reduce the swelling. Add to that an asprin and an allergy pill and I thought I'd be pretty good to go. Fast forward a few hours and my hand was still throbbing.I know when I've been bested and decided to go to the clinic.

The nurse looked at it and was like, "well, maybe it's a bite of some kind or maybe it's a foreign body..." so she went and got a doctor. The lady doctor took one look at my hand and was like, "Babe, you got bit by a black widow."  Seriously? A black widow bit me the day before Halloween? You've got to be joking.

Apparently I done good with the heat in killing a lot of the neurotoxins. She didn't give me an antitoxin, but told me to keep doing what I was doing (with the addition of lots of Benadryl) and come in so she could check on me tomorrow.  If my arm muscles start to spasm or this mottled pattern creeps up my wrist I need to go to the hospital.

The creepiest part is that I woke up with the bite, which means it's probably in my bed. Don't need a psychic to tell me there's lots of laundry and bug spray in my future. Happy Halloween y'all!


My fingers are a little swollen too, but you can definitely see my knuckles aren't supposed to be that size
I think this must be what it feels like to get in a bar fight. I'm not exactly sure what I did last night, but I definitely didn't punch anything. However, when I woke up this morning, my knuckles were swollen, red, and raw and all the bones in my hand are throbbing. There is one small mark next to the first knuckle on my index finger.

From the swelling, the confusion, and all the weird dreams I had last night where I died, I'm a little worried this is a spider bite. Like, a really bad spider bite. We've got a lot of deadlies here (the scorpions seem to have disappeared over time, but those used to crawl in every so often), so it's possible that when I was moving stuff, cleaning stuff, and up in the rafters, something might have gotten me. I've never been bitten by one of the baddies before, so if this is what it feels like, it hurts like a bitch.

As for Sandy, all my friends in Harlem and Astoria still have power, and my family in Boston is hanging in there. They had a rough time with the river behind their house, but no real damage, and they're gonna be okay. So glad my old roommate left NY last month to tour. During Irene I was yanking my hair out worrying about her, and this time she was safely on this side of the Rockies. Thank God for the nomadic nature of musical theater.

Oct 29, 2012

Day 7 Redux Exes

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush

Dear Lovely,

I used to hate it when you talked about your Brazilian ex-boyfriend. Okay, yeah, he was hunky, and maybe you wanted me to be jealous (was that it?) and if so, it worked. Did you enjoy feeling dominated and possessed? Was I trying too hard to avoid being clingy that you felt under-loved, under-appreciated? You made me feel jealous, yes, but I was also hurt. I think a lot of lesbians have issues dating bisexual girls because there is this feeling of inadequacy that comes along with the territory.

You like men, that's fine, whatever, but you were with me. I don't have rippling pectorals and a rock hard six pack and a chiseled jaw. I'm a lady. I'm pretty sure you got the idea of my feminine wrapping when you started stroking my arm in the bar and whispered in my ear how soft my skin was.

I couldn't believe you were interested in me. I think your accent alone could unravel me and your fingers could weave a more beautiful tapestry from the threads. But amongst your traits, this one bragging, boasting, constantly talking about past sex with men - I just couldn't get past.

I'm sorry, I really am. You were so many possibilities and I could see them all flash through my mind - but when you pulled away I couldn't fight for you. Whether you left now or five years down the road, I just don't think we were meant to be together.

You were a flash fire- a searing heat, filled with warmth, joy, a sort of spiritual rebirth after I had been crushed too many times, but by very definition, burned out quick as it began. But, you renewed my faith in relationships when my past experiences had my hopes withering. I wish you all the best, lovely.



This is playing in my head on repeat. I can only imagine what dreams it will bring.

Update: Dreams get so slutty sometimes. It's not exactly rare for me to have sexy dreams, but it's not common. So, last night I knew, I could just feel it before I slipped off that my state of mind was in that place. You know the place I'm talking about - the place where you ache to touch and be touched, to breathe against skin and feel wrapped in heat.

So the dream came as no surprise, but the setting shocked the hell out of me. Remember in Day 2 when I mentioned I've been having marrying/being married dreams? This was one of those. It feels strangely private even though I don't really know this girl and it didn't even happen in real life.

We were in our apartment, it was definitely our apartment, it felt warm, comfortable, lived in, and she was getting ready to leave. She looked wonderful, jeans and boots, and I felt uncomfortable next to her in my too glam for me dress.

"Hey," I stopped her from leaving with a hand on her arm. God, she was warm, so warm, and my legs were freezing. I wanted to curl into her. "It's your bachlorette party and I want you to have fun and everything," I smiled, stroking the soft skin below her neck, "but if you sleep with someone else the night before our wedding I will kick your ass, got it?"

She grinned and leaned in for a kiss. I let her take me, desperate, fearful, joyous, triumphant, wanting. "You got it," she promised, and reached for the door. I pushed her back and she let me, surprised. I took her mouth and felt her moan rumble through my chest. I reached for her hand and led her fingers up my bare leg to my waist and she pushed harder against me. I popped open the button on her jeans and she pulled away, breathless, "What are you doing?"

I knew we both had to leave, but I couldn't stop now. I slipped to the floor and touched my lips to the skin of her hip, took a few breaths to make sure either of us could stop this if we wanted to - if we were really worried about time or other people. I could feel her shake against me as the warm air passed over her flesh. "Reminding you just what you're coming home to," my lips curved against her skin, and when our eyes met it was electric.

Oct 28, 2012


I just want to start out by saying that this is not a cry for help. This is communicating.

Everyone has their own baggage, whether it's mental illness, criminal records, bad dating history, abuse, violence, drinking, drugs, addictions of any other sort, or whatever else. When you have an eating disorder, like all other baggage, it never goes away. It's not like one day you wake up and you can eat everything and anything and in the back of your head you're not thinking of all the calories adding up in big piles.

This is my baggage. It's not so much baggage for other people because it's really an internal awareness. Do I eat junk food? Yes. Do I eat and not feel guilty? Yes. But I've come a long way since I was really sick in high school, and for some people it's a very daily struggle. I still drink at least fourteen glasses of water a day - it's a habit I haven't been able to break.

I haven't been eating much lately. At first I think it was time management, I've been working two jobs and trying to get things done, and when I finally have time to eat it's been four hours since I was first hungry and I can barely choke down a granola bar without feeling sick.

I've been doing it for a while now, so the idea of eating a whole meal makes me nauseous. I don't think it's my eating disorder talking. It doesn't feel like forcing myself not to eat by drinking ice water and looking at pro-ana posters. I feel physically ill. That's not to say that those feelings couldn't stem from something psychological in nature, which is why I was getting worried again. There were four days over this past week that I only had an energy bar (bagel type thing with nuts and fruit) or a granola bar over the whole day, which is not normal eating behavior.

Stuff I moved
Today, though, was my first full day off since last Sunday, and it felt so good! I moved some stuff, cleaned some stuff, moved some more stuff, and climbed around in the rafters to repair some stuff.  All in all, I got a lot of things done, and worked up an appetite!

So, I made flautas for dinner! Yes, flautas! You know, those delicious things made from flour tortillas with meat or tofu (chicken, in my case) sauce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, and salsa? Which means today I had breakfast and a full dinner, which eases some of my worry. I try to be good, I try to be healthy, so I need to make sure to stop and take time to eat, no matter how many jobs I'm trying to do.

Stuff I found, but not at my house.

I found a very old Rainbow Brite doll tucked in a cabinet full of other dolls, also not at my house!

Day 6 Redux Stranger

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 6- A Stranger.

Dear Stranger,

We don't know each other, but if we did - if we met on a bus at 2 am and poured out our hearts, whether you are 8 or 80, we would relate. I could probably love you if I met you. That's just who I am. There's a part of you that would love me as well, but as to what kind of love and how much- that's unique to us. To you and me and how we fit. I think it's hard not to find one thing to love about each person, even in someone you've only just met, or passed by on the street.

I'll probably remind you of someone you already know, and yet I'll be completely different, and it'll be the same for me. In a world of seven billion people, it's amazing how no two are ever exactly the same.

Maybe I'll hate some part of you, as it's easy to do. It could be easy for me to be jealous of an ex-lover's new relationships, easy to feel as if you've been handed the world on a platter, or easy to feel betrayed by your lack of interest in the world around you. Mostly, I have issues with intolerance. If I see any of those qualities, I'll try not to hold any of that against you :) I try to see the heart lighter than the feather in those around me, whether Anubis would agree with my judgement or not.

I would try to cherish you, and hope you could do the same for me. I don't require gifts or constant attention and affection, just a thought now and then. A gift could never compare to a shared laugh or a conversation on the rocks in the river, or to a glance and warm smile when the clock reaches 1:23 and the words don't have to be spoken because we both understand.

I hope you find someone to sit with, someone who makes you feel warm, happy, and bright.

Thinking of you,


It's a bit boring, I know, sorry. Just in case you're interested, here's the 2010 version. I didn't read it before I wrote this one, but I did read it after and it was interesting for me to see how I've changed and stayed the same.


Aneke, a blogger I respected and adored, though is no longer on this website, frequently posted "My Day in Pictures." I loved this idea, but never got around to doing it myself. Until today.

I have a camera on my phone and my phone goes everywhere with me. Why am I not taking pictures 24/7? Today was the most gorgeous day: lots of sunshine, not much wind, tons of animals, and the perfect sort of time to walk around and sit outside and mess around with Layla (guitar, not a lady, gutterminds).

 It was a very sunny day without a cloud in sight!

Rose in the afternoon sun 

Lavender stalks overflowing with bees.

Morning Glory flowers, interestingly enough, at sunset.
I thought the flowers were supposed to bloom and then fade by afternoon, but these stay open all day. They are definitely of a convolvulaceae family, so I'm not sure what their deal is.

And this is me as I was making dinner last night :)

I have about fifty pictures of the bees in the lavender from this afternoon. This woman walking by thought I was crazy because I was right next to them and taking pictures and didn't care that they were buzzing all around me.

When my grandfather died, it took me at least a year before I went out and visited the grave. By the time I had, it was all covered in grass and dandelions, and the little white weed-flowers always popping up on public lawns. Anyway, the bees were going nuts, and as I sat there by his headstone telling him everything he'd missed, they kept landing on me. I haven't been stung from that day forward, and since then I seem to associate them with his memory.

Oct 27, 2012

Day 5 Redux Dreams

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 5 — Your dreams

Instead of a letter, I decided to share. This was last night's dream:

I was wandering through a small alleyway near one of the places where I work, when I stumbled upon a candle shop. There was a woman inside, a customer, dipping a wick into white and blue wax, creating a candle. I browsed the store and found a beautiful candle in a wavy design, dipped in layers to create a rainbow pattern. The tag read $30.00, much less than some of the other, duller candles. My heart started beating faster in my chest and I felt warm and radiant. I wanted to make one.

I strode toward the front counter to find the shop keeper, but there was only the woman making the blue and white candle. Suddenly, a woman with glittering, dark eyes appeared from behind a thick curtain I hadn't noticed before.

"Hello, dear. Let me guess, you want to make the rainbow candle?" I was astonished she could read me so quickly, but she brushed it off with a gleam in her eyes. "I'm a psychic as well as a candlemaker. Each candle calls to a person for a specific purpose." She was interrupted by a good looking girl with short blonde hair coming in the door. In the dream I could tell she was gay, and she radiated sadness.

"Take a seat at the table, please, each of you. In the seat to the left, you may tell the negative aspects of your story, and in the seat to the right, you may tell the positive." The other girl began to speak, but the psychic interrupted her. "Positive first, please."

Words started to pour out. I was hyped up on all the sugar in the world. I couldn't stop beaming. My heart was expanding so far and so fast that my chest couldn't possibly contain it. "I want a rainbow candle because of this girl. Last time she didn't notice me and that was alright-"

"Was it?" she questioned. I wasn't sure. I felt so wonderful. Plus, wasn't this the positive chair?

"No, I guess I was heartbroken, but I learned from it," I quickly moved on, feeling happy and sparkling again, "but if there's only ever going to be a few people in my life who make me feel this way, I want to experience it. Even if it's only for a moment, like a comet." I couldn't hold still. My veins were filled with champagne and I was bubbling, effervescent. My breathing was harsh and I could feel my face was red with exultation. "I want it to streak across my life with such bright glory that it will sear into my memory and the beauty and love and excitement of this moment will never leave me!"

The psychic beamed. "I'll help you make it for free," she told me, her eyes crinkling at the corners.

I woke up. It was so disorienting, breathing so harshly in the dream, and then waking up to a body that was taking a slow, calming inhale. It felt weird, and wrong, almost as if I were waking up to the wrong body altogether.

I'm not sure exactly what this dream means. I never saw myself switch to the negative seat, and I never heard the other girl's story, but even as I wrote this, my heart beat fiercely against my breast and my face flushed. The joy I felt in the dream lingers on. It's a gorgeous feeling. I wish I could share it with you.

Oct 26, 2012


When I started this blog I was searching for something - searching for everything. My blog title "I Lost Myself - the search for a misplaced queer identity," really fit. Now, not so much; I think I want to change it. Would that be too confusing? Also, I don't know what I'd want to change it to.

I talk about myself, being gay, and uh, that's about it. Occasionally I'll throw in some stuff about relationships, power dynamics, identity struggles, femme invisibility, body image, steamy dreams and crushing on straight girls.

So, here's where you chime in! Give me your best, your worst, your most cliche!
(That's right #MoHomo! ...I can't believe that didn't catch on)

If you don't help out I could end up with
"Mo' Homo - going beyond the gay."

Leave a comment or talk to me on twitter @tabbyqt !

Day 4 Redux Siblings

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)
I've got a lot of siblings, but I'm just going to write two letters because these are on my mind right now.

Dear Sister #1, (This is the sister side-story I mentioned in Vanity)

Every time you get pregnant, I start to wonder if you're a little insane, again. You're the most wonderful, happy, loving, gorgeous person I know, and so is your husband, but you have so many kids. I think having that many kids would drive me nuts. When do you sleep? When do you eat? How can you afford food for everyone?

And then I spend time with everyone and I can't imagine your family without a single one of your children. They're all so unique, each bring a different perspective to the table, and I love each and every one of them. I can only imagine what this one is going to be like. But, seriously, now. Nine kids? That's a lot. Just hold off a minute and seriously think things over before you go for ten, okay? I'm not getting any younger and would like to be the "cool auntie" for all your kids. If you keep going, your youngest ones are going to think I'm old and weird.


Your Little Sister


It's been five weeks since I've heard from you. Grams let me know you were okay three weeks ago, but it's not the same.  I worry about you all the time. Everywhere I look, there is someone who looks like you, or there's a Marines logo, or a "Support our Troops" bumper sticker. I want to rip them all down, because each time I see them I worry about you more.

When you were still in training, I could wear all my USMC gear with pride. It was as if by branding myself with it I could still feel you in the passenger seat, arguing about the awful music you like to listen to while we drive down the highway. But now you're not in training, and I see all these kids on the street- 17, 18, 19, 20, and my god, you're so young. Now I can hardly look at any of it without wishing I could work up the courage to write you a letter or pick up the phone and try to reach you.

I get that you've been trained well, I know that you know your way around a gun better than half the guys you're with, but you'll always be that little boy who tried to fight me and lost, every time. You'll always be the kid who ate chicken nuggets with ketchup, who couldn't handle a cold pool, who got locked in the walk in refrigerator every week and loved to dismantle lawn mowers in his spare time.

You're always going to be that kid, no matter what you do, or what rank you earn, or if you become a national hero. You're always going to be my little brother, for better or worse.

Love you- hope you're alright.

Your Big Sis

Oct 25, 2012

Day 3 Redux Parents

30 Day Letter Challenge

Day 3 — Your parents

I can't wait until we get past all these embarrassing letters that I don't want to post to the fun ones!

Sometimes I sit and wonder what the world would be like without you. I know, that's a horrible thing to say, but I think you do the same for me. The choices you made would have been different. I think I trapped you, and you trapped me as well.

Mom, head to toe, I'm absolutely your daughter. You made me tolerant, open-minded, and kind. Because of you, I was eager to see the world, and jaded when it refused to live up to fairytale expectations. You fed me on hopes, dreams, and miracles, and when none of them saved you, you snuffed out the light of my world and threw away my pixie dust.

But I can't stay mad at you. You're the funniest person I know. You connect things in such a weird way that I never know what's going to come out of your mouth. You want to hang out with Russell Brand and you watch The Ellen Show like the world is going to end. Our fights are the worst, the happy days we spend together the best. No matter how we wish things would've been different, don't doubt that I love you.

You gave me my beautiful, bitter, sarcastic wit, you stripped away all thoughts that I could exceed beyond expectations. But deep within layers of armor, my romantic heart still glows with a small flame you no longer have. I wish I could give you that small spark of hope. For now I remain-

a jack of all trades- master of none.

2010 Day 3 Letter


If you follow me on twitter, you know I have a great love for the ABC hit show #Nashville.They cover some beautiful songs on that show, and it has struck such a chord in me that I dragged my guitar out of its dusty corner.

I haven't played the guitar in months. Almost four months, actually, so when I picked up my trusty Layla today (when I was a kid I thought the song Lola, by the Kinks L-O-L-A Lola was L-A-Y-L-A Layla and it was my favorite song), I expected certain things to come back. Maybe the last song I learned to play or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

What came rushing back instead was the first song I ever learned to play - the whole reason I bought my guitar in the first place. Every card carrying lesbian worth her weight in vinyl albums released in the 2000s  knows the lyrics to this song:

What a weird thing to come back to me. It doesn't apply to my life anymore, so I guess it's time to practice and learn a new song :)

Also, this makes me remember when I looked to Tegan and Sara for hair advice. Never again.

Oct 24, 2012

Day 2 Redux Dream Girl

30 Day letter Challenge Redux

Day 2 — Your Crush

Ohhh man. I have so many kinds of crushes. How about a little something different?

I've never been a dreaming kind of girl. My sleeping history has been riddled with mostly nightmares, not dreams, so when I met you, dear friend, what a surprise that my nightmares paused. My normal ratio is something like 3:1 in favor of nightmares, but for weeks it seems to have reversed.

Even in my happy dreams, I've never dreamed of a relationship with someone in future tense. I've never had a sleeping dream where my partner and I were happily together ten years down the road. For someone who has feared commitment most of my life, I am now dreaming of you in the most interesting of ways - introducing you to friends as my wife, watching as you stand up for me against an old adversary. These dreams are not sexual in nature but imply a deeper bond, a trusting, warm link that makes me feel safe and comforted - things which are hard for me to feel during my waking hours.

The fact that I barely know you makes this even more interesting. I hardly know anything about you, and yet, in my dream you become my everything: my fierce guardian and protector, my giggling companion, the person smiling and pushing hair out of my face as we linger in the quiet kitchen of a social gathering.

Who are you, and why do you make me feel so safe? Is it a psychology thing? Have I become more accepting of love and kindness, more willing to lean on someone else, and this is being personified through you?

Now when I wake I still feel distress, but only because I wish I could fall back into slumber with you.


Good Lookin' Wednesday

It's that time again! Good Lookin' Wednesday is back! This one is super important. We're gonna talk about eyeballs.

Did you know most eye drops are actually bad for you if you're using them on a regular basis? If you're using eye drops every other day it's too much. The redness reduction in eye drops is actually a blood vessel constrictor which hurts your eyes in the long run, and causes "rebound redness" after 4-6 hours. Not to mention if you wear contact lenses (like I do) most brands of eye drops (Visine, Clear Eyes, etc) will break down your contact lenses quicker and make your eyes more susceptible to infection.

Any eye drop containing an antihistamine, most common in allergy specific drops, lowers the immune system in the eye and leaves the contact lens wearer prone to infection. Who wants pink eye? Not me, thanks! Normally I try to go organic, and Similasan eye drops are great, but if you wear contacts they will gunk up your lenses quickly and ruin clarity.

So what do I use?

Blink Contacts® Lubricating Eye Drops
Blink for Soft and RGP Contact Lenses
It also comes in a regular dry-eye formula, but I've only used the contact formula. Blink works differently by improving tear film stability and break up time, which is equal to the amount of time it takes for dry spots to appear on the surface of your eye after you blink.

Sound cool? That's because it is. While all the other dudes are making your problem worse so that you have to use eye drops every four hours to feel like you don't have sandpaper under your eyelid, Blink helps to solve the underlying issue. You don't need to use the drops very often. I use them maybe once a week when I've had my contacts in too long (like yesterday, when I took a shower with my contacts in and they got suctioned onto my eyes!) but some people put a drop onto their lenses before putting them in to increase all day wearing comfort.

Hope this helps with all your uncomfortable eye needs! Do the research on your favorite brand of eye drops and see what they're actually doing to your eyeballs!

Oct 23, 2012


Another blog post, I know. I'm overwhelming right now. I just needed a space to vent after today.

I love my job. I'm good at what I do. I have a special bond with kids that allows me to help in ways their parents can't. I see them and understand them and try to treat them with respect and understanding. Most of the time it seems like I have magical powers. I can get through to this one girl that all others seem to have given up on, herself and her parents included. She's smart, witty, brilliant at putting certain concepts together, but she drags her feet.

Usually I can get her to do her work- today, though, today was just awful. Part of me blames it on the fact that I skipped out of the shower and left the house without any makeup whatsoever, as if some preternatural mascara would have made all the difference. I've never seen her so frustrated, so determined to pit herself against me, so ruthless in her efforts to free fall into a dive I know she'll never come out of. Trust me, once you have 25 missing assignments in one class, there's no way you're making them all up.

Today I felt bereft of my magic. I felt defeated and upset. I was exhausted and irrationally disappointed in myself.

I can't make her choices for her, I'm not even her family, but I care about her, and for her to push me away totally sucked. Also, I hadn't eaten anything because I was running late for work, so it wasn't until nearly eight o'clock at night that I actually consumed a handful of calories, which might account for some of my irrational feelings.

I'm tired, I'm frustrated, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose this girl and watch her flunk out of school. Maybe mascara has no special powers, but I'm putting on two coats tomorrow in hopes it'll be a better day and that whatever is going on with her, she'll open up to me and help me help her.

Day 1- Redux BFF

I started the 30 Day Letter Challenge two years ago and never completed it. This bugs me- a lot.

So I'm starting over- I mean, it's been two years. Should I link to the letters I wrote in 2010? I will for this one because you can't answer me before I post this...

Day 1- Your Best Friend

Luckily, my best friend hasn't changed :)

Two years and it's been you and me, babe, through thick and thin. 2011 seemed like the time of our lives :) I got over a lot of stuff, you dumped your jerk boyfriend, and we just spent time together, having fun, being ourselves, learning, growing, laughing.

I love that we can go days, weeks, months, not saying one word, and then I can text you a picture of the most random thing in the world and all of the sudden we are on the same wavelength again. You know exactly what I'm thinking, what I'm trying to say and you say it better than me.

Our relationship works out so well because every time I say "I really miss you," you know I'm saying I love you, and every time I say, "I could so go for one of your homemade cupcakes!" you know I mean everything is falling apart and I wish you were here so I could talk to you. 

Because I don't talk. I'm a failure when it comes to communicating (Remember Avoidance?) I try and I try to work on it, but sometimes things eat at me from the inside out and I can't share them with anyone, even you. But when we talk about how upsetting the last episode of "Grey's Anatomy" was, you know that I'm spilling my guts about everything I just can't say.

I'll never tell you all this, chica, but I don't need to. You already know it.


Oct 22, 2012


I am a vain person.

This blog serves as Evidence File #1. I sit at a computer and write about myself and feel a sense of accomplishment when other people read it. I think I'm pretty, smart, funny, polite, generous, and kind. It's fairly obvious I'm quite narcissistic.

Despite this, I don't dress up very often. I didn't come from money and I don't have much now. I'm not impoverished, but I don't buy things I don't need and I am a firm believer that with tweaking, Ikea furniture can last a long time. I don't buy clothes every year and none of my shoes cost over thirty dollars. That's just how I was raised, and I'm used to it. Plus, cheap clothes and shoes are so cute nowadays (hello, Target!)

(Side story: My sister went bankrupt after high school when she worked as a waitress in a suburb of Los Angeles. She bought thousands of dollars of clothes and shoes on a credit card, in order to catch the eye of some rich guy. After maxing out and calling it a day, she moved back home and fell head over heels for a sweet surfer guy with zero cash. They've been married for 16 years. Everybody say it with me. Awwwww.) 

Anyway, I'm pretty much a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal, and people don't usually pass out compliments when you wear the same four pairs of jeans and converse for two years running. So, when I stepped out for work into the chilly, drizzling weather today I hadn't expected anything special. I was dressed differently- it was cold so I switched out my jeans for leggings and boots, my t-shirt for something more stylish.

I didn't expect to be complimented. I didn't expect people to tell me I looked beautiful, or to ask where I'd gotten my clothes or my shoes. I smiled, and someone asked what eyeshadow I was wearing (was she crazy? Who wears eyeshadow in the rain?) Someone else asked me what shampoo and conditioner I use. People complimented my hair, my smile, my laugh, my eyes. I think I may have started glowing.

I felt beautiful. Not just pretty, not just sweet and smiling in front of a mirror in the morning, but noticed. I felt as if I had suddenly come into focus, rather than just a blur in the background. It wore off as I came home from work, took out my contacts, put on warm socks.

Tomorrow I'll just be the blur - the girl in jeans and a t-shirt, and I'm okay with that. But just for today, it felt so wonderful to be beautiful.

Oct 18, 2012

Rise of the Redhead

Marilyn Monroe courtesy of Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Remember when blondes used to have more fun? It seemed like every movie star was dying her hair blonde and magazine covers all had blondes splashed across them. Now, while there is more diversity encouraged among actresses, singers, and models, a special jewel seems to have emerged at the top.
The redhead.

Dyed redheads are super popular too, but the natural redhead remains the most coveted of all. Why the sudden fascination? Why are women scrambling to buy red dye from a box or a salon? Is it a feeling of empowerment and bold sexuality that accompanies the color? Or is it something else?

Few people who are not naturally red or strawberry blonde can pull off the switch to a red color. I dyed my hair a nice, vibrant mahogany-ish color once when I was 12. With my Mediterranean/Native American tanned complexion (though I am not Mediterranean and not very Native American) it looked FABULOUS on me. Just kidding, it looked awful. I won't ever do it again, I promise.
Karen Gillan, a stunningly lovely natural ginger

Both of my grandmothers had red hair and my mother has lovely jade green eyes (but brown hair) and I always feel like I missed out on the DNA lotto. My sisters managed to snag her eyes but my brothers and I were left out. I've cherished her green eyes for years, but no amount of wishing has ever lightened my eyes or made them magically turn green.

I do wonder if our sudden fascination has anything to do with the Harry Potter culture-the red hair and green eyes that were so special and cherished in the storyline that wound its way through a generation of new, young readers. These readers have grown up and started what seems to be an "invasion" of British-isms. These are a generation of people who enjoy British television, books, music, talk radio, colloquialisms, and fashion. If we idolize the minds and words of those across the pond, why not their looks?
Michelle Rodriguez - 10th New York International Latino Film Festival - "Los Bandoleros"
My ultimate badass crush- Michelle Rodriguez
Most of the world has brown eyes and brown hair, traits which are beautiful in their own right- but it seems like not many people are happy with what they have, and are constantly reaching to change themselves into something more "special and unique." I'm not saying that I fall on the outside. I love being "special," being noticed. But I'm not a redhead- I don't have green eyes. Sometimes you just gotta let DNA do its thing.

In the meantime I'm lucky in that I'm a gay lady and enjoy looking at pretty girls who are special and unique.

Aishwarya Rai- one of the most beautiful women in the world, and Jamie Chung- current TV love who is heating it up on ABC's Once Upon A Time

Kerry Washington is lighting up DC with her gorgeous face in Scandal and just try to tell me you're not in love with Grace Park, a smokin' hot lady you might recognize from Hawaii Five-O

ABC's Nashville LadyCrush- Connie Britton Along with my favorite smiling girl TaySwift

I will stand under your Umbrella.

Oct 17, 2012

Good Lookin' Wednesday

I'm going to try to type quickly and see if I can still get this up on a Wednesday, PST, at least.

So, you know what really hampers being good lookin'? All your pets. Don't get me wrong, we of the soft-hearted gay/lesbian/queer/insert-term-here society have a HUGE thing about taking in strays and loving our animals. We have not so much love for the fleas, ticks, and other hungry bugs our cuddly little balls of fluff bring with them.

Cool thing about fleas- animal fleas will bite humans but will not nest in human hair or live on the human body. They do leave crazy bite marks and welts that are scarily unattractive. First time getting naked with a lady you do not want to have flea bites all over you, right? So, bring on the remedy, you say! (This also works for scabies and bed bugs if you have an unfortunate run in with either of those.)
100% Pure Tea Tree (Melaleuca) Oil

Oct 15, 2012


Okay- so back to that part where I was dead. Want a recap? Go here.

After the nothing, I remember something around my waist, dragging me down, choking me.  I couldn't breathe.  I threw back by head and a sharp pain lanced through me, but the thing let go and I propelled myself to the surface.  I broke through, gasping, coughing, crying.  Oh, god, my head hurt.

My best friend came up behind me, clutching her cheek. I had launched my head straight back into her face. I wanted to say I was sorry, but I still couldn't breath, couldn't think. My vision was blurry and I felt like I was going to vomit.

The two pulled me out of the water and I tucked into a ball and tried to breathe.  Crying made it hurt worse, so I tried to stop.  I think they were talking about calling 911.  "No," I objected, "my mom will be so mad," because getting in trouble was so important right now. But we were trespassing, and they were good kids, so we all tossed out the idea of emergency services.

"Did you hit your head? What happened? We didn't hear you come up for like ever but you can hold your breath so long that we didn't know anything was wrong for sure..." I could tell she felt guilty under her valley girl accent.

"I can't remember," and at that point in time, I couldn't. I remembered diving in and then waking up, floating above the floor of the pool with her arms wrapped around me.

"My mom's a nurse. She'll know what to do," so they half carried me to her car and I curled wetly into the back seat, sobbing quietly like Harry Potter clutching at his scar.

I'm sure we didn't tell her mom the whole story. If we had, there is no way she would have put a bag of frozen peas on my head and told me not to fall asleep. I had been underwater for more than a few minutes. There could have been serious brain damage.

I had hit the bottom of the pool hard enough that there was no bruise. When the blood vessels broke, all the blood had been squeezed out of the area into my scalp (yeah, found that out later) and left the area of impact bone white. Luckily, that made it easy to cover with make up. I never told anyone about that night, not even Ladybug, because I was pretty sure he couldn't be trusted not to tell anyone.

A few weeks later, my friends decided I should get over it. I had gained an aversion to the pool (I almost drowned, you guys) and they wanted to see the old me restored. They brought our boards to a special section of the beach where the waves crest higher because of the rocky shoreline. It's a secluded area, and it requires scaling down the side of a small, shale cliff to get into the cove. I shimmied down the rope and we made our way out into the water. The waves were maybe three or four feet. I made my way out cautiously, smacking a huge piece of bubblicious to keep the extreme taste of salt out of my mouth.

I took one wave and started to relax. The sets got closer together, making it hard to get past them into open water. I made my way back out and grabbed another wave. I lost control and was pinned against a huge rock near the cove.

The waves battered me as I tried to keep coming up for air. I panicked. I started to remember hitting my head in the pool.  I remembered hands around my waist, fire in my lungs-in my panic I couldn't remember what to do or how to get away from the rock, the waves, the current. One of the guys grabbed me, pulled me behind the rock, and towed me to shore. I gagged on saltwater and fear. I lost my board somewhere in the undertow but I didn't even care. I never wanted to go in the water again.

A scan later showed that I had fractured my skull in two places during my shallow dive. Twice since, I've felt the blow of hitting the bottom of the pool. I've gone to the ER both times. Now I can pay attention to the signs and take the right medication to hopefully prevent it from happening again. The doctor says that it's my nerves reliving the moment of impact-I say it's dying, over and over and over again.

This summer I was comfortable with spending a lot of my time swimming in the ocean. I was able to remember why I love it so much, but I still can't bring myself to dive. The sound of bubbles rushing near my head is the most terrifying sound in the world. The thing I most loved is the thing I now fear most.

These are the consequences of my arrogance. 

It would make a great story. Too bad I'm not Greek.

Oct 10, 2012

Good Lookin' Wednesday

So, I know Wednesdays are kind of a slump day, which is why I was hoping that by posting on Wednesdays it would give me and you a middle-of-the-week perk up. Sharing tips, tricks, and good products is always fun, helpful, and a real money saver because someone else has already tested them out for you.

I try to keep many of my products pretty natural or organic (though sometimes I stray) but all of them have to do right by my skin, hair, and body. If I have to cake myself in something in order to look good, it's doing me wrong. So, for my first post I want to talk about raw honey. Yeah, the stuff you buy at the farmer's market or Trader Joe's or other healthy establishment. You can put it in your tea, use it in recipes, or even eat it plain. Did you know it's also really great for your skin?

(Note: If you're allergic to bees, do not use raw honey. Also, never give raw honey to a small child under 2 as it can be fatal. This warning label should be on the jar.)

Raw honey contains enzymes which allow it to keep many of its natural healing properties which are lost in the commercial refining process (AKA the stuff you find at Wal-Mart.) By applying it topically it can help to heal small cuts and scrapes, and using it internally supposedly has many benefits as well.
Raw Honey made from Orange Blossoms
 Here is the last jar I bought. It's the only brand the store carried that wasn't a sage-based honey (I'm allergic to sage, so, probably not a great idea for me) and it's lasted me a few months now.

Since it hasn't been refined, the honey will crystallize over time, leaving a thick layer at the top while the layer underneath remains liquid. Mine is a few months old, but the thick, lighter colored layer hasn't gone bad, and will become a liquid again when exposed to the temperature of my skin.
I love to use it when I'm peeling after a sunburn. It soothes and calms itchy, ruined skin. Later on in the sunburn process it will slough off all the dead skin while moisturizing the new skin underneath and give me a nice, healthy glow. You can mix raw honey with other ingredients to make facial masks specific to your skin type, but I don't. Raw honey has antibacterial properties, which help fight off acne and infection as well as the normal whiteheads and blackheads which occur when bacteria clogs up pores in your skin.

I combat these by washing my face with raw honey once a week. A once a week regimen will not upset the balance in any skin type. (I find that using it every day is too much moisture for me, so I use Bareminerals as my main skincare.) I wet my face first and then grab a tablespoon of honey out of the jar with my fingers. (I do not consume any honey from this jar. It is for my external use only. I don't think it'll kill you, it's just kind of an ick factor for me.) I spread it on, careful to avoid the eyelids, and let it sit for a minute (if it's a new jar it can be a little runny, so use less and watch it to make sure it doesn't run past your eyebrows) before gently massaging it across my skin.

Raw honey is grainy, and can exfoliate quickly. Be careful and light with the pressure the first few times or you could end up exfoliating too many layers in one go. This goes for any face wash. Your skin is fragile, and rubbing harshly is a surefire way to cause lines, wrinkles, and sagging. Since the honey has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, it dissolves in water and washes away easily, leaving your face clean, soft, and glowing.

Also, if you have age spots, freckles, or mild hyperpigmentation, dampen the spot and dab a little raw honey on it for ten minutes every night and it should lighten up in a few weeks, thanks to a peroxide-type effect raw honey and water have when mixed together.

Do you use raw honey in your skin regimen? What do you think?

Also, drop a note, tweet, email, whatever, about a problem or product that you can't find or that does work for you that you'd like me to cover. Anything from getting rid of your cat's itchy flea bites to finding a good hair conditioner to the most awesome chapstick I've ever used. Let me know.

Oct 9, 2012

HIV Result Update

Okay, so we'll get back to the part where I had just died in a minute. A minute being, you know, my next post. I won't leave you hanging for too long. Obviously I didn't stay dead forever, otherwise I wouldn't be posting my story on the interwebs.

Point being: I interrupted the scheduled programming to bring you news I had previously mentioned in my Avoidance post. If you missed that, no big deal. Long post short: I was freaking out because I saw a movie about suburban, white kids contracting HIV.

As I was raised in a suburban(can you call it that?), middle class (granted there's a lot of debt involved), white (of mainly Eurasian descent) focus group, it seemed strongly to apply to me, and I went to go get tested. After fretting for weeks the results finally came in the mail with a little "negative" typed on the right hand side. (I think clinics need to be more joyous when they send you things like that. Can't they send it on stationary with little balloons or something? At least bold it.)

Anyway, I'm clean and I'm glad, but it got me thinking. I've always done a lot of fundraising for my local LGBT and HIV center- which helps with everything from HIV testing and medication to food, mental health counseling, group therapy, activities and mixers. But lately fundraising doesn't seem like enough. It's kind of a long drive, so I don't participate in many of their mixers, but I've been thinking about doing some volunteer work, both in the center and raising awareness in the outlying communities.

Even though I'm not HIV positive I don't want this to just fade away and go back to feeling like I was invincible. I have no real fear of death or pain until it's staring me in the face. I know it's my youth, my naivety of "that could never happen to me," that lingers on, despite having left my teenage years behind me.

No matter how long I try to cling to this fear that I could die, that I can feel pain- it always slips away and I become as reckless and adventuresome as before. In the meantime, I'll try to volunteer. Try to give comfort, assistance, and care to those in need and try to remind myself that there is always a price for the rush I seek.


When I was a kid, my cousin/ basically my brother (from this point on be under codename: Ladybug-don’t worry, it’s a loving nickname) and I were enrolled in swimming lessons. I began when I was four or five and he started a few years after when he reached that same age. I would take the earlier, advanced class and he would take the younger class right after mine, so we were around to watch each other.

The classes were held in our outdoor community pool, which was absolutely freezing so early in the morning. For whatever reason I can't feel the cold. By the time the car pulled into the parking lot I always had my jacket off, shoes in hand, ready to jump in the pool, and when my lesson was over I refused to come out.  

Ladybug, like most other kids, had a much more difficult time. He would shiver and shake and most days he would beg to climb out early, wrapped in a thick towel as his teeth chattered, while I would eagerly ask if I could take his spot and jump back in.

I excelled in swimming, could hold my breath for two pool lengths or dive off the diving board and forget to come up until a worried instructor feared I was drowning and pull me out. (That tended to make them mad) I thought diving was the most wonderful feeling in the world and I practiced all the time.

Since I grew up right next to the ocean, when I wasn’t in the pool I was at this crap strip of beach ten minutes from my house. The waves were never very big unless there was a storm coming in, and each crest was filled with kelp and/or seaweed that tangled its slimy way across every inch of skin. I didn’t enjoy the shore much, but once I got past the breakers I loved the freedom of being able to swim in the (very cold) water when the pool wasn't open for summer.

I swam all year round, and because I can't feel the cold, one stormy January day I stayed in for more than 3 1/2 hours without a wetsuit and almost came out with hypothermia. It took several piping hot showers on the beach before my skin turned pink and I could uncurl my hands. But I was fine, a teenager, invincible. I didn't let it bother me.

It was this excellence, this confidence, this arrogance, which would be my undoing.

I was 16 and "pool hopping" with two of my friends. They were both 17 and enjoying the freedom of legally being able to drive friends after dark. We were in the spa of a very fancy hotel for only a few minutes before I left them. I could never take the heat for long, and preferred the cold water of the pool a few yards away.

The deepest section was only five feet, but I was 5'1" at the time and had been in this pool many times before. Shallow diving was my specialty. I dove in off the side- once, twice, six times. The rush of bubbles along my cheeks was thrilling, the ice water refreshing against my skin. It was a cold night and the stars were especially bright overhead. My breath puffed into the air as I climbed up the ladder.

I dove again, casually, carelessly, no longer thinking or making an effort. I'd done it a thousand times before. I cut through the water, too quickly, too steep, and couldn't stop myself. The bubbles rushed by my ears and I tried to arch my back. I couldn't pull up. The angle was all wrong. A tremendous pain lanced through my head, my neck, my spine-a pain so intense I could never have imagined anything like it.

And then there was nothing.

Oct 7, 2012

Gay is Definite

I'm gay.

With all the labels and all the struggles- trying to find a term that fits everything I am, only one word seems to encompass it all.  Queer, femme, butch, lesbian, woman, genderqueer, genderfuck, and dyke have all been tried on with varying degrees of success. Each one felt like a plaster mold into which I was pouring and conforming myself to meet its definition.

When I stopped writing over these past two years, I stopped trying on words, frantically, as if they were outfits five minutes before a date. I took my time and slowed things down. I came out to my family. Coming out to strangers had been no problem in the past, but my uber-religious family was scary. Turns out I didn't have much to be frightened of. But in the time that I stopped searching for words to mold myself into, I found the word that molded itself to me.


Such a simple, unhindered word, traditionally used for the male sex, but that doesn't hang me up. People understand it immediately. Unlike other terms which begin a lengthy discussion of who I am and what I identify as (don't get me wrong, I love lengthy discussions, but not every time) the term "gay" is very quickly grasped. 

To be gay in society has a certain connotation.  Gay is not a phase, not something to be outgrown or moved past with "the right person." Gay is not a lifestyle choice. Gay is unchanging; gay is forever.

Gay is definite.

Everyone has a word they feel most comfortable with, and when they say those words with pride, when they announce to the world, "I identify as genderqueer," or "I'm a femme," it gives that person strength, power, joy- a sense of self and confidence.

But for me, each time I tried to label myself, the words rang false. Instead of joy and pride, I felt an emptiness and a longing.  Until now, when people ask, and I can simply say, "I'm gay," and it makes me smile. If it's with a random passerby, the inevitable question thereafter is, "so are you butch or is your girlfriend?" because a lot of people still believe all lesbian relationships are butch/femme.

"I'm just gay," I laugh, and who cares if they're confused. It's my word, and the freedom attached to it has never felt so good.

Oct 6, 2012

Don't Touch

It's long, so if you want to skip to the end, the last three paragraphs are my favorite. I'll bold it for you :)

Recently I wrote about Sexual Objectification and this, that, and the why-fors of appreciating and abhorring it. Whenever I write a post the subject seems to stick in my head for a time, and then suddenly life seems to revolve around it.

All week I have been hyper-aware of my personal space. While I like my physical traits to be appreciated, I don't enjoy being touched by people I don't know well. Handshakes, hugs, and pats on the back are fine, but lingering contact with strangers/brief acquaintances unnerves me.

Whenever I know someone will be touching me in a professional context (masseuse, chiropractor, doctor, gym trainer, etc) I shower and shave in the few hours before I go. Feeling fresh, wet, and clean is very important in those meetings. It makes me feel like I'm courteous and hygienic, and helps reassure me that particular setting will be strictly professional.

Whether this is normal behavior or this is because I have had problems with molestation in the past (ex-boyfriend and prior) is somewhat irrelevant considering I don't find the behavior harmful.  I don't go ballistic if I can't shower in the hour before I have to go to the doctor- it's just a general guideline. Although I wonder how many other people do the same thing.

When I'm with friends, family, and romantic partners, touching is wonderful- warm embraces, lingering brushes, harsh hits, surprising grabs. I'm not on the defensive when I know who is around me and all sorts of touching is great.

So, when I was at the gym the other day, my trainer (who is a woman because, yeah, I admit I'm just more comfortable with that) called over the big-boss-man to ask for help working out this jumping muscle issue I was having. He put his hand full on my pelvis between my hipbones (God, his hand was large, like a baseball mitt) and it felt far too close to my vulva, even though it probably wasn't.

He was just measuring something because he calculated a few things and moved his hand around, and then he pressed into a particular spot on my upper thigh. Wouldn't you know, the tiny muscle in my lower leg stopped twitching immediately! That part was kind of cool.  However, the fact that this guy that I didn't really know (I had talked to him a few times before and he seemed nice) was all up in my private business kind of freaked me out.

It reminded me of my first year in college, before I came out, when girls would grab at my boobs or other body parts at parties. There was one girl who would constantly sit on my lap and slip her bra off underneath her tank while hovering her breasts in front of my face (at multiple parties) all as an act to get guys to pay attention to her. (I didn't mind her so much as she never groped me, just sort of got into my personal space) There was this unspoken rule that we were all girls and our bodies were all communal property. If it enticed a guy into a bedroom for one of them it was even better.  But gay or not, it's not any more okay for a random girl to grope me than it is for a guy. If I don't like you, if I don't know you, it's an unwanted advance.
Sometimes I can meet a person and get comfortable with him/her/z in less than five minutes.  Other times it takes weeks, months, years, and occasionally I never get comfortable with that person.  Some people have a vibe that I can never quite get over. Some strangers never feel like strangers, and some people I've known my whole life still give me the creeps.

The point is: my breasts, my body, is my property, and the ability to touch it is not a right you are entitled to, it's a permission I give you. It's a trust I bestow you with.

Don't abuse it.

Oct 1, 2012

Lez Get Real

Okay, I want to talk about something that I'm not sure many people talk about, mostly because it's a little uncomfortable.

Do you go the restroom in groups?

Seriously.  The whole taking-other-people-with-me-to-pee thing is sometimes necessary to avoid becoming a social outcast, but I have never felt comfortable with it.  The whole idea of someone being able to hear every move I make in a stall half an inch from someone else is a little creepy.

When I was ten my best friend liked to come into the bathroom with me (like the ones in our houses) and would fiddle around in front of the mirror while I tried my hardest to ignore the fact that she was there and simultaneously keep her talking so she couldn't hear me pee.

Those were some of the most uncomfortable moments of my life.  But I loved her in the way only best friends can (the sleep in the same bed for three weeks straight, borrow clothes so you wouldn't have to go home, and cry when your parents ripped you apart after a month and forced you to sleep alone in your own bed type of love) so I let her do whatever she wanted.

However, I still get bladder shy when I feel like someone is listening in.  Is this normal?  Men's public restrooms have urinals, no stalls necessary!  They just whip it out like "whatever" and it's fine, but if I feel like someone is within 30 feet all urge to pee just dissipates.

So lately whenever I visit my mom, I've noticed she'll linger outside the door of the bathroom when I'm inside.  She'll answer a text message or write a note or talk to herself or god-knows-what else, but I feel like I'm on Vomit Watch 2012.

Never mind that I've never enjoyed throwing up and my issues with anorexia are totally different than bulimia, but I feel as if she's purposefully keeping an ear out for me.  Which, naturally, makes it hard to find time to pee!  I don't care if she's my mother, I still have this weird aversion.

Am I nuts?  Is she really just there by chance?  Is she coming from a good and helpful place? (I don't doubt this one at all.)

More importantly, do you feel this way?  Or do you invite your friends into the bathroom with you and one person straightens her hair while you pee?  It's not about being naked.  I don't care if friends are in the room while I shower- it's the privacy of the act that I wish to keep intact.

P.S. Someone explain full parameters of NSFW- is it only sexual, or is it stuff like this?  Because I'm never sure but I thought I should give fair warning if you don't want your boss to know you're reading about some girl's insecurities about being in the restroom with other people.