What’s missing? I catch a lot of shit because I don’t buy it. I felt like a broken record when I talked to anyone about teaching a 5/4 load. There goes the guy who teaches a 5/4 load haha, but I mean, really, it’s hilarious to remember the faces made by folks at a conference on…

The best kind of parties to crash are the ones where you feel thrills, while the best party crashers are fun and don’t spill (much) on the floor. But there’s always that one guest who talks too loudly or is wearing a terrible sweater and that’s really a great fear of mine, to be that dude. And I’d say it’s a particularly masculinist move to walk into someone’s home and track mud, ESPECIALLY when they’ve been working so hard to make everything look nice, when they’ve opened their home and said welcome. I should be more careful. I love that you love the hula hooping. I think hula hooping is a wonderful and powerful image, precisely because the grace and wit one needs to keep the hoop moving is easy to dismiss as nothing special. But that shit takes work and is so complex and if nothing else makes everyone who can’t hula jealous. Cul-de-sacs make me think of moving away the summer before third grade and I got my ass kicked by fifth graders on the bus that year. It’s a dumb memory and I have no idea why I can’t shake it. Try as I may I just can’t come up with a way to let go. A common refrain. 

As far as labor goes, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about it. If I’m honest I’ll own that I talk the way I do about the job I have—that I am lucky enough to have—because I’m angry and in it and trying to manage. We talked the other night about feeling better this semester, and I do, and I was touched you could tell. It’s always so hard to gauge if the shit we write here translates or not.  But, yeah, the job is a bear and It takes it’s toll on me in very real ways. There’s a lot of great things, but there’s a lot of not-great things. The biggest not-great thing is that sometimes the grind of the job feels so intense that I mistake intensity for value and act superior because I think I work harder or that the work is somehow more important. I think we all know how dangerous that kind of thinking really is. Remembering how wrong I sound is always so much easier after the fact. Recognizing how to be a better listener always happens after I, well, sort of blow it.  

I’ve fucked a lot of friendships up. I’ve been a pretty terrible partner at times. I keep my distance. I hold on to those things in the way only a child of divorce does. Over the years, as I’ve moved or dug in somewhere lonely, I’ve made some good goddamn friends through the internet. I like the time I have to figure out how to be and then positively love getting all effusive out in space when we meet. I also like that I seem to be a pretty good judge of character. I like the fact that I’m drawn to honest, smart, creative, and responsible individuals. I like to have difficult conversations. I like to be wrong. I respect these friends because they tell me. I want them to respect me too. I want to be liked, effusively, because that’s where it’s at. I think we all want that at some point. Sometimes though there has to be room for everything else and I get that too. 

I’m amending this post to reflect the complexities at work:

So much there. I’ve been struggling to articulate all the things I felt over the last few weeks. Ambivalence isn’t correct. The emptiness is there. The lack of respect is there. But again, it’s hard to tell because like, in order to not respect someone you have to actually acknowledge an other. I’m not necessarily talking interpersonal although there is that too, but perhaps, the trope of looking down at your paper and not once looking up at your audience is too real to ignore here. By and large no one looked up, looked out, looked around. I too only saw a few presentations and felt all the things I think we’re being told we should feel but quite frankly, I’m a bit too busy trying to be a person in the world to worry about how well I’m performing my anxieties for others. What a shitty thing to say out loud but y’all, the only way to tip the flow back toward joy is to turn it off once in a while. Turn it the fuck off. You can still be smart and you can still be important (if that’s what matters) but you can’t always be a good person because to be a good person you have to say yes to an other in the moment, you have to acknowledge that you owe your audience. Listening is a debt. 

I met some folks I know from the internet and the moments we laughed about youtube videos or the moments we got ice cream or the moments we took selfies were the best moments. Who knows why. I mean, I have an idea. I told more than one person over the weekend that being around all those people made me feel theoretically out of shape, like, my theory wasn’t up to snuff. This is true in a lot of ways. I graduated in 2008 with my PhD in Communication Studies with an emphasis in performance studies. Jesus that’s almost 6 years ago. Depending on where you went to school performance studies means a few different things. I’m a sort of descendent of the Northwestern school of of PS and am fairly heavily invested in performance as text, interpretation and adaptation, performance as a method of making and understanding culture, behavior, and everyday life. I come at embodiment by embodying, by making or using performance(s) as a teaching tool. Performance as an everyday politics, performance writ small. I’m also heavily invested in philosophies of difference. So I come to any conversation with a particular perspective and I’ll be the first to admit that, like most everyone else, my perspective has its limits. So, like, why did I feel so out of shape? The more I’ve thought about it the more I feel like it’s a bad analogy. It’s real easy to internalize behaviors or attitudes and I think the anxiety I was feeling about being out of shape was more about me struggling with the way conversations were happening rather than not understanding the words being said. I’m still thinking about this. I’m still internalizing the shame a bit too because don’t we all want to feel like we’re sitting at the grown folk table? 

What’s missing? I catch a lot of shit because I don’t buy it. I felt like a broken record when I talked to anyone about teaching a 5/4 load. There goes the guy who teaches a 5/4 load haha, but I mean, really, it’s hilarious to remember the faces made by folks at a conference on labor when they were confronted by actual labor politics. But, like, that’s exactly what I think asymptomaticbanana was trying to get at. Something is missing. The vacuum is real. The vacuum of reality? Let’s not try to theorize our way out of everything. Forget the cul-de-sac—it looks more like a hula hoop to me.

Best of 2K14.




Last nite I slept hard and, I think, deep into my self. Today was the last day of training at Ali Forney and I met some people in the house I’ll be working with. They were immense. They were fucking flawless and fabulous. I attended part of Living Labor yesterday and watched Liz deliver a great fucking paper. I have eaten ice cream and walked in Thompkins Square Park and soaked in the entire sky. I broke into a beautiful we-aren’t-supposed-to-be-here reception hall with 100 other people for a misplaced premiere afterparty. I’ve listened a lot and felt profoundly humbled. I felt simple. I feel simple yo. None of my shirts fit. I got a haircut. Honestly this change in weather, the seasons, is echoing throughout my brain and my body and I feel so electric it’s almost uncomfortable. Maybe I’m falling love with myself. Like, I’ll give you light if you let me. It’s just that time again.  One of the icebreakers we used today was asking one another if there was only one party you could attend ever what kind of party would it be. You know the kind of dance party where it’s dark and hot, almost humid, where none of the specifics are ever very clear after, where it all kind of blurs and slides around for days and days, but your shit is sore, your legs ache, you have ten different songs running all over your ears and you can taste someone when you lick your lips? That’s it. That’s my party I think.   

I have really great teachers of feeling.

bravenewwhatever via randykachel.

(via tremblebot)

I’m in DC and I’m rolling in the deep.

There’s always a flipside to this romantic train shit. I’ve been sitting outside Birmingham for three hours, wavering, unmoving. My hair is wilting. The sun is setting.

This is Mike, my lunch mate in the dining car. He is a fucking badass. He made the chain he’s wearing and his frames and some rings which you can’t quite see here. He’s from California heading to Tampa way of NOLA to DC. He has a partially seized spine and, like me, hates to fly. He has had 9 new hips put in. He loves tomatoes and we talked about our favorite stretches of track in the US. When I took this picture he asked me to email it to him with the subject heading MUSTACHE or else he feared it would get swallowed by his spam folder. He is the living breathing embodiment of everything I love about traveling by train in the states.