24 April 2007

don't ask me about my friend--it's really not your business

"When I started meeting regularly with Christina [a transgender teenager]] and therefore talking about her to non-transsexual friends, they would often ask, “So, has she had the surgery?” This is a very personal question and not my place to answer—as I don’t make it my business to talk about anyone’s genitalia without their permission. Still, it’s an understandable question. Everything in our culture pushes us to be “completely” male or female. It’s in the language: a transsexual is either “pre-op” or “post-op”—the “operative” being presumed and nonnegotiable. But contrary to mainstream imagination, there isn’t one way to be a transsexual—there isn’t a fixed trail of body modifications you undergo, leading to the genital surgery. Rather, there’s a range of physical alterations you can make, depending on your financial situation, how permanent or temporary you want the change to be, your patience with the lengthy process, your tolerance for risk, and what you want to look like in the end."

Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers by Cris Beam

23 April 2007

she said

she said, "sometimes i want to stop living this lie. sometimes i just want to start over. i want to be something else. i want to be someone else. like, you see that red lipstick? sometimes i want to smear it. smear it all over my lips, in a thick and sexy way. like something i'd never do. and i'd look at the mirror, and think, 'who is this?' and it wouldn't be me. so i'd do things that wouldn't be me. like i'd finally go home with my pizza man, smearing my red lipstick all over his face and all over his pillows. i'd flirt with bus drivers, drink cafe lattes with extra foam. maybe i'd even smoke cloves again, like i did when i dated that painter for two weeks in college. i'd wear all black, strappy heels, laugh in a sexy manner. i'd be someone else. it would all be to the red lipstick. but in the end, it would be me. the me i want to be. the me i need to become. and i'd really be me all along, and i'd buy that red lipstick by the case, and i'd never stop being the daring me i'd always wanted to become."

22 April 2007


"i can't dream for us all."

so dream. go ahead. dream. create those outrageous dreams. one day, they will come soon.

21 April 2007

George Mallory, 1922

What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy l ife. This is what life means and what life is for.

18 April 2007

where's cherie going next?

on the internet today, i stumbled into a website, where's cherie, and thought, hey, that's me. not really, but it's another cherie who has a deep love for travel. it made me happy.

i'm trying to decide where to go next. i can only afford (plus i don't get much vacation time) one trip a year. my eventual plan is to quit my job (this is several years down the road) and extensively travel throughout latin america and asia. so i'm not sure if i should go someplace else...

t and i talked about going to bali, but he may not have money. that may not happen, as love is like an egg sitting on the side of the bathtub. still, that's what i'd like to--no, LOVE TO do most. but my backup plan is turkey--egypt and morocco have also captured my interest heavily, as has finland, and so many other places. when i do my big trip, i'll have plenty of time to explore the places i really want to go--india, tibet, russia and nepal. so three weeks someplace that i can spend a lot of time...i need to think about it. but i'm leaning towards turkey.

i also want to take a very short (5 days or so) trip at christmastime. my family is psychotic, as are all families, but i think i would be happiest if i were away from them christmas. really, you're not supposed to cry hysterically at christmas, and if i didn't this year, that would make me very happy. i've given up on the idea that my family will give me happiness--so that will be a short (hopefully cheap) trip. i'm thinking mexico city, costa rica, belize, panama...i'd love to go to cuba, but i'm not sure about that. but, oh, i'd really love to go.

any ideas?

16 April 2007

the art of losing isn't hard to master

things that have been last in the past few days:

  • my sister's cat. eden's been missing since fri! they saw her once but she ran away.
  • my really nice pendant (one of two really nice pieces of jewelry i own); i suspect luna swatted it somewhere around my apartment, but am also checking her poop just in case she ate it. yuck.
  • my bracelet that was handmade that i bought from a native amazonian

11 April 2007


saturday morning, 6:50am. i'm out there, fuel belt, running clothes, running over the pulaski bridge--not even at .5 mile. a cyclist passes me, and says, "wow, you're a real runner." yep, it's 35F or so. i tell him, "i'm running 20 miles." "you're hardcore." i know--and i'm proud of it.

luna's birthday party

luna enjoyed hiding under the futon, watching the action; she did not like tina, gwendolyn's kitty. meow!

08 April 2007

the samba drone

although i missed carnaval in rio (i was in salvador which was totally nuts!), i was able to witness the samba winner's parade. i got cheapish tickets to the samba drone and went with this supersweet ozzie girl, jenna. it blew my mind--the amount of money, time and energy that went into the creation of the floats and the costumes and the routines--it's just nuts. i can't even describe it properly so i'll include some photographs to speak for me.

rio de janiero

rio. rio. if i could go anyplace again in brazil, hands down, it would be rio. i fell in love with this city, so much that i could picture myself living there. it is SO beautiful--a major city, plus beaches, plus mountains! although there were dangers, things were sketchy, etc, i still loved it. i spent as much time as possible at the beach (something prized in rio, which is a terrific reason for me to want to live there)--i read don quixote as the waves crashed by, and people-watched. i ran along the water, which i very much prefer to the congested streets and sidewalks of new york city. i went to sugarloaf, christo statue, hanggliding, too much! i had so much fun and was so sad leaving. my taxi driver to the airport noticed my lump and played all sorts of brazilian axe for me. i miss brazil, esp rio.

05 April 2007

kissing, salvador, carnaval

now let me explain the kissing.

kissing at salvador is as standard as caipirinhas--and i don't mean kissing your partner. i mean kissing strangers. this came as a bit of a shock to me--yep, this shocked a new yorker.

the men would come up to you--"posso eu beijo-o." i would reply, "no falo portugese." then they would say, "english?" "sim." "you are very beautiful. can i kiss you?" for some of them, this was the only english they knew. if you said, "no," they would ask you why. if you had a boyfriend, well, unless he was right there in sight, that's not a good enough reason. "don't you want to experience a real brazilian kiss?" they were very persuasive, and aggressive. they didn't take subtle or nice let-downs, but kept trying. "kiss meee, kiss meeee."

the gandhys (according to the guys i talked to) were started in the south of brazil to protest racism and to promote peace. now, "gandhys believe in peace and love. especially love." if you see the blue beads in the picture above, they would exchange a string of beads for a kiss--and really would try to get a kiss out of every woman that walked by! meanwhile, they were dressed with turbans, long white outfits (white skirts and these tied white tops) and sandals. they were bizarre but funny.

kissing is this weird element of carnaval. people will just grab each other and make out. i couldn't believe it--suddenly, my friend is next to me, the next minute she is making out with some random short brazilian guy. and then he's gone and she's saying to me, "let's grab another caipie. mine's almost done."

what else could i do but the obvious--get another caipirinha. i didn't need an excuse, and if my friends want to celebrate or ignore a kiss, well, drink up!

author's note: i did not kiss this man in the photo. i had some random person take it. i did not even speak to him. being a gandhy, i knew he would happily pose. he didn't even try to kiss me--very un-gandhy-like. i also succeeded by leaving carnaval without kissing a single gandhy--not something many carnaval-goers could brag about!

04 April 2007


i wake up your in arms. i'm warm, feeling good all over. the cat is purring, sleeping, at our feet. your breath is soft and gentle, caressing my neck. a breeze, gentle, comes in through the window. i do not want you to ever wake up because i want this beautiful moment to last forever.

i shift, the cat meows, and you wake up. your eyelids flutter, big blue eyes sleepily stare into mine. we don't waste time with small talk; we never did. we always were deeper than that.

and you kiss me.

you kiss me.

it's the kiss i can feel in my toes, the kiss that makes me lose control--were we standing, you would have to hold me upright because i would not be able to support myself. i taste you, i taste myself, i explore sections of your mouth i swear i never knew existed. your fingers run up and down my back, my fingers comb through your blonde curls...

i kiss you back.

02 April 2007

carnaval in salvador, brasil

i went to salvador for the infamous carnaval. it was all that and more. i can't describe it with words because that is all it would be: just words. i cannot even begin to explain the insanity...the intensity...the energy...the fun!

each day is a party...here would be a typical day for me...because i am crazy, wake up at 8am to go for a run (marathon training!). come back, shower, eat. maybe take a nap. walk around in the afternoon with friends, watching local bands storm the streets with their instruments...maybe do some reading or relaxing or chilling with other people in my hostel, or sit outside and watch the musicians parade by, or walk along the pelhourino or campo grande circuits, enjoying the music, jumping up and down to the music, following the trucks like the popcorn we are...in the evening, shower again (so hot!) and start getting ready...if in a camaroche or bloco, try to modify the shirt so it isn't SO ugly, put makeup on (because it's carnaval!), grab something to eat (a major task at times for the vegetarian!), get a capirinha (honestly, is there anything else to drink in brazil?! i probably had more capies than water!)...head out in a cab to the barro-ondina circuit or walk to the campo grande...join up with my friends, get some capirinhas, chat with the locals...avoid the gandhy guys trying to kiss me ("i have a boyfriend!" "where is he? can he see us?" wtf?!), toast each other...have too much fun...when it's done, you have the saddest feeling but know you just had one of the funnest weeks of your life.

01 April 2007


one of my wish bracelets from salvador came off--now my wishes will come true!

my cabbie

my cab driver last night was talking to me about dating and romance among other things. "you like your boyfriend?" he was very, very shy, and when i exited the cab, he asked, "do you have any-any friends you could set me up with?"

so i gave him your number.