I have thought a lot about Orlando and all of my LGBTQIA+ friends and loved ones

I don’t think I have ever outrightly said so but this is my blog, so I guess the three people that read it will now know for sure: I am bisexual. I have been bisexual for the majority of my life, although when I was younger I had no idea (well, I had some very conflicted feelings and dreams about Scully/Tank Girl/Wednesday Addams/Christina Ricci in general). I have never had a “REAL” relationship with a woman, but I have had a few dalliances, a lot of crushes, and a lot of complicated friend feelings. Many times I have felt cowardly for not coming out fully, and to everyone, for a long time, and I guess it’s because the culture I grew up in, claiming bisexuality never felt like I was claiming anything. So many people I know are staunchly for one team or another, and I felt like I wasn’t strong enough because I just felt: why-not-both

Being bisexual, I sometimes feel embarrassed, and it’s just because that society has made me feel this way. I shouldn’t feel bad I’m not completely heterosexual or homosexual or any sexual orientation. I was teased enough that I loved some girls when I was younger, but “hid” behind a boyfriend. I didn’t want to affirm that sometimes it felt like that, least of all to myself. I have been thinking about mentioning it to people, but I’m not sure I am ready or properly prepared to answer all questions about bisexuals, which people are wont to do when they meet one. But I see things like this:

jess-fink-bi-tweetAnd it makes me feel a little less alone, and that I can treat this silly at times. Yesterday I watched To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar – something my sister and I have watched since we were very young – and not only did I pick up on things I almost always have (that whole freakin’ town stands up for the drag ladies because they are wonderful people), but even moreso on the danger that has always trailed behind (that sheriff threatened to bring their CORPSES to the police station) the community, just for living.

I saw an article yesterday that the massacre in Orlando has prompted people to come out and while the whole thing stuck with me, this bisexual man’s quote rung very true to me:

“ ‘If I’d been in a relationship with a man or a trans person I would have been immediately visible as part of this community but it feels very invisible to be in a straight relationship. That’s not to say that it doesn’t come with privilege, which it shouldn’t do – but it certainly is a factor in terms of wanting to be seen.’ ”

I felt that this would be the time to say that as a bisexual woman, I stand with my community – a community I have always lifted up but never felt quite fully a part of – and my fellow humans.

This isn’t all I really want to say, and I know I could have said it more eloquently, but I needed to get this out of my chest because I need to fill it with more love and less fear and embarrassment.

Lady Stories I’ve Been Holding On To This Week

I had some sort of contact with three ladies this week that I cannot get out of my head. I met one, saw one briefly as she crossed the street, and passed one while hiking both up and down a mountain.
I wanted to hang out with all three and possibly become friends, but for now, I just need to describe seeing them and get them out of my head. Let me just say, I am writing about my accounts of these interactions, just what, to me, was going on.

We shall start with the first (duh), a visitor at my office. she had recently moved back here, and after some relationship Hurdles with a capital H, she was looking to start new, just her. She was 51, her kids were grown. That’s about all the backstory I feel comfortable giving, but I definitely connected with some of the points she hit on about her former loves. So I talked with her at length about the “old” Phoenix area, about great places for unique food, and the best places in town to try and rent a place. She ended up giving me a hug and that sealed the deal. I wanted to be this lady’s friend. I didn’t want to come off pushy, so I just gave her my card and told her if she wanted to talk – about the area or anything in general – to email me. I hope she does.

The next was a woman I saw in the briefest of passings as I was at a stoplight, but I cannot stop thinking about her “aura.” Semi-tall and lean, her big cobalt blue topknot added to her height. She was wearing some cute outfit, but I don’t remember it that much because I was looking at her face. She was walking across the street, holding the arm of her beau, and eating an ice cream cone. It was about 5, so it was before the dinner hour – just an ice cream for ice cream’s sake. Her face is what seared her into my brain this week. She had the happiest, self-satisfied look on her face. She was strutting because she had some love, some ice cream, and she was looking and feeling great. The happiness that bounded out of her hit me and I felt her joy, and it felt gooood. Also, I wonder what kind of ice cream it was…

The last was a girl, maybe early 20s, hiking in a full face of unmistakably non-hike makeup. Not that I think hiking with makeup is a crime, to each their own; I have been know to reapply eyeliner and lipstick before lacing up my boots and slathering on sunscreen. Her makeup was meritorious in perfection and color theory. Hair slicked back in a ponytail, which works for any activity, really. Very bold eyebrows, arched and darkened accordingly, and the deepest, plummiest wine lipstick. Soft pink off-the-shoulder tee and black leggings. I wanted to stop her and crown her the “Goth Queen of Trail #44,” but she seemed determined to neither want to sweat, or be there after dark.

Quote of the Week

“I’ve known women who plodded through life…but the women I knew did their plodding on the pavement, not the soil. I know very little about the simple life. I’m a product of crowded places and jammed-up emotions, where right and wrong weren’t always clearly defined and life wasn’t always sweet, but it was life.” —Barbara Stanwyck

I thought I would formally welcome you to the last couple weeks of Noirvember with a quote from one of my favorite noir ladies, Barbara Stanwyck. For the same reason I love bitter chocolate and black coffee and stale cigarette smoke alleyways, I love film noir.

I kicked off the month watching The File on Thelma Jordan, starring the above femme fatale. I have made it few only a few new ones (Night in the City, You Only Live Once), and several old ones (Detour, Kansa City Confidential), before this month got a little busy. But I like to carry noir with me all year long, so I make no qualms about Noir Christmas/New Years, et al.



Turntable Tuesday: My First Vinyl

So, I was thinking back to the first tunes I heard when I was little, ones I remember that have stuck with me through the years. Thankfully, my parents had some pretty good albums that my little tiny ears first heard.

One of them was News of the World. And while I loved those songs and sang along – even with the vacuum blaring in the background – I was completely frightened of the album cover.


WHY WAS THE NEWS OF THE WORLD THAT THIS ROBOT KILLED QUEEN?! I think I was maybe 5 or 6, and since then, those similar-looking robots instill an uneasy fear in me. How dare they live while Freddie Mercury is gone.

Sidenote: I have no idea why I never looked it up before, but the story behind the cover confirms my fears: science fiction robots!

Anyway, Queen good, lifeless automatons bad. vintage-robots

The second one is Tina the Ballerina. I have no idea where the album came from, but it was in the collection. All little people have the “dancer” stage, right? Luckily, your mind and body (for the most part) are fluid when you are young, so you can imagine being a dancer just as much as you can imagine having ice cream for dinner that night.

I was convinces if I spun around on my tippy toes enough, I too could become a prima ballerina. Alas, after taking ballet for a few years, I realized my natural clumsiness got in the way of these particular dreams. Don’t be sad for me, there are far better – and worse – things that happened to me than being crushed by a ballet dream.

Pretty Excited About New Albums Day

I got an email from Karen O.

I mean, it wasn’t personally addressed or anything. But still. She wanted to tell me to pre-order her new album and I blinked (blunk?) hard. New Karen O? Yes please with a side of right now!

Not 20 minutes later, I found out Dan the Automator had a new album with M.E. Winstead (together called Got a Girl) just released and my music gaskets just about blew right there.


So, needless to say, I am as happy as 2006 Jess with my YYYs frontwoman and 1/3 of Lovage putting creative and simply brilliant new music into the world to listen to this autumn. So stoked to ride around the neighborhood, blasting I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now and Crush Songs in my ears.

Links for the Week

Last Friday got super crazy around here for me, so I saved these links so I could talk about them this week.

Elvis’ hairstylist has some super tips, and captivating stories about his time with The King and his coif.

♠ I have been receiving updates and toying with a “PepperGazette” for a few years now via Newspaper Club. They have just begun a beta that is even more up my alley: PaperLater. “PaperLater is a new service, brought to you by Newspaper Club, to help take stuff you don’t want to read on screen and print it as a newspaper. It’s quick and easy and only £4.99.” I imagine it will be a little pricier across the pond, but I am still willing to pay to print out all these articles I have stacked up, print them into a newspaper, and read it while sipping coffee in a cabin on vacation. Or a hammock in my backyard…whatever.

♠ An interesting read about western psychology’s neglect of male tribalism

Rare recordings of famous authors.

♠ Have you ever tried drawing from a source…upside down? I have learned it helps quite a bit with focusing on lines and contours, rather than how your brain sees it.

♠ Friendships after 50 and the 5 Types of Friends Everyone Should Have. Included with that, I would like to add this amazing friendship after 50:


♠ It is the first post of this series, but I am already invested in the “Half Assed Meals With Jena” on One Part Plant. Yum!

♠ I do love a good challenge! Especially when it comes to working on my photo game.