On writing “Revelations”

Share

 

To say that I just wrote this chapter is a bit of Creative License a lie. I actually wrote the first draft of it in February of 2008, within a day or two of the actual events taking place. I wasn't trying to craft some larger narrative or thinking about tone and audience. I was doing what I should always be doing – journaling. In fact, there's probably a copy of the original somewhere here since I uploaded the "My Other Blog Is A Pinto" archives a while back.

A dear friend messaged me last night to say that she thought I was brave to have written this piece. My response to that was " there's nothing brave in writing/talking about the moments you got RIGHT. It's writing/talking about the moments you get WRONG that takes chutzpah." and I can tell you without a doubt that I'm going to need a lot of chutzpah going forward, but this chapter, this moment that it captures is absofuckinglutely one of those moments I got right. Out of luck perhaps or shock or the blessing of knowing more transgender people than most parents faced with similar situations. 

 

 

Share

As the ending credits rolled on Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers,” my son G.T. leaned in close, and whispered, “Well? How many?” It is the question he always asks, and I love that he still cares enough about my opinion, to ask it.

You see, I am a bleeding-heart pacifist, cohabitating with a miniature warmonger. There are nicer ways to express this, but none of them demonstrates the political and ideological divide that separates my 14-year-old son and me. For a while, I figured it was one of those phases he’d grow out of. I even gave in to his choice of Summer Youth Programs, and sent him to Camp Pendleton for 10 days, in hopes that a taste of Boot Camp might change his mind. It didn’t. More than ever and more than anything, he wants to be a soldier.

The whole thing might well have become unmanageable, except for the Saturday Afternoon Truce, instated more than a year ago, and resulting in the shared experience of according to my Netflix account history 62 war-related films. What history teachers left out or glossed over during my educational years, this teenaged historian is all too delighted to teach me. So much so that I have to hide the remote, so he can’t pause every few minutes with trivia. “Do you see that plane there? We only used those in the Pacific Theater.” “Wow, OK. Can you hit PLAY again?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Reel Gurl Reviews “V For Vendetta”

Share

There’s no easy way to say this, so please forgive me for being blunt. It has, however, become glaringly apparent that the Wachowski Brothers do not like you. Oh they might let you buy them dinner at some swanky restaurant, and will most probably smile and nod as you praise them endlessly for “The Matrix”, but when you excuse yourself to pay the check, just know that they’re rolling their eyes and making lame jokes at your expense. Please, don’t take it personally, because it’s not just you. In fact, judging from their adaptation of Alan Moore’s “V For Vendetta”, Andy and Larry Wachowski don’t think too highly of any of us.

I tell you this, not out of spite or some unfulfilled desire for an ugly scene, but because I want you to go armed into that swanky restaurant, fully prepared to call them on their dismissal of the audience as sappy, unsophisticated, and more comfortable with grandiose explosions and spurting blood than with difficult questions, complex characters and ambiguity. To that end, I shall outline for you their three most egregious sins. (I’d say “four sins”, except that sheer clumsiness is probably more of an unfortunate fault than an outright sin.) Read the rest of this entry »

Reel Gurl; The Broken Heart of Brokeback

Share

t's lucky that I chose to see "Brokeback Mountain" alone, in the pouring rain of last Sunday morning, at the ungodly movie-viewing hour of 10:30 a.m., with a few dozen strangers scattered throughout the theater. I don't think I could have managed a casual after-the-movie conversation with anyone at that point. Also, a companion might have noticed that my face and neck and both sleeves were wet with tears, rather than rain, which is, I suppose, my way of saying that the film wrenched my heart right out of my chest.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reel Gurl; Walk The Line

Share

I remember distinctly, where I was and how I felt when I first heard that Johnny Cash was gone. Standing in the archway between our living room and kitchen, twisting a dishrag in my hands as I watched the news scroll across the bottom of the television screen, my heart sank. It's one of those things we all accept but can never quite explain; how the passing of an icon can affect us on a deeply personal level.

Later that night, Remy and I sat out on the porch with a bottle of whiskey, listening to the most haunting track of Johnny's final CD, his cover of Trent Reznor's "Hurt" and trying to figure out just what it was that set him apart, and what manner of magic he possessed, lifting him to legendary status and compelling two California kids like us to take his passing so damn personally.

Two short years later, we were lined up at the box office, paying homage to that magic. Who could resist? Especially when they put attractive "now" faces on legendary "then" icons, and tempt us with a glimpse of a black boot, a guitar held like a rifle, and that odd, half-mouth grimace behind a microphone. It's a rare thing to sell three generations of America on a film with a mere 30 seconds of shadows and hinting. It is rarer still to follow up such promises with both substance and style. Thankfully, "Walk the Line" delivers on both.

Read the rest of this entry »