Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lodging in Portland

I've added two links to the Portland Visitor's Bureau site for those who may wish to spend some time up in the big city before/after the event. Look on the side bar, third list down...

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Ms. K and the girls have been putting their heads together to think up some sort of bachelorette party scheme. Upon consultation with me, the idea of going to a drag review has been more or less settled upon.

Why do brides and drag queens go together? Because they are both about hyped and jacked-up femininity. Frankly, I love drag queens. I think they serve a very useful purpose to womankind; they de-essentialize femininity. If a man can come off as more feminine than any 'natural born' woman, then it just goes to show that femininity is not about some inherent biological quality, but about cultural trappings. As far as I'm concerned, that relieves the pressure. So what if I can't undulate doing Nia like the other girls (although, I have to say, I do it better than a lot of them)? It's really no reflection on the degree to which I am a "real" woman, clearly.

Of course, if I really want to be stereotypically feminine, me and my gal friends will all dress up in bedazzled t-shirts indicating our roles in the bridal party (mine will say: "the Future Mrs. Munoz" or "Property of David"), and we'll go out, get tight and kick about the streets yelling "woo HOO!" out in high-pitched gurly voices.

Ms. K and I considered that for a moment, then moved on to drag queens.

Monday, May 18, 2009


For the past four days, I've been laid up in bed with some gawd-awful illness that is not swine flu, but between its hard edge and my low tolerance threshold for feeling ill, might as well have been. I've managed to stumble back into the classroom today (I've promised two classes tests today, and I don't like disappointing the kidz), but am still hacking and wheezing and people are throwing their hands up in front of them with feigned displays of horror to ward me off whenever I come into sight. I feel so loved.

But back to being laid up in bed... . Sometimes during teacher in-service days (when the teachers are not necessarily "in-service," I've learned), spring break or summer break, David M. has a thing for turning on the noon airing of old 'Perry Mason' reruns. There is something about that sound that takes me right beck to staying home from school sick with some sort of hacking cough and fever. It starts a whole chain of remembrance: "Perry Mason' comes on; I visualize myself as a child lying sick on a sofa in the family room; I start to feel a remembrance of feeling flu-ish; the file drawers in my mind open, spilling out theme songs and sound-bites I cannot control -- 'Dialing for Dollars', 'Let's Make a Deal', 'Dark Shadows', 'Love That Bob'. I have a sound-track for childhood illness.

I may have created a sound-track for adulthood illness over the past four days, and it involves design shows on HGTV, and reruns of 'The Beverly Hillbillies', 'America's Next Top Model' and 'Say Yes to the Dress'. I could not bear to turn on 'Perry Mason', of course, because that would have just made me feel sicker, but I don't think I did myself any favors with the programs I picked. Or perhaps I did. Is it really acceptable to ever say you watch 'America's Next Top Model' other than when you're sick? I do, of course, and I'm not in the habit of apologizing for it. Why do that, when I can intellectualize it? As a colleague of mine recently noted upon her return from a conference in Norway, teevee really provides quite a rich source of data for content analysis portions of one's field research methodology. I'm an anthropologist interested in popular culture. Of course I watch bad teevee. Wanna make something of it...?

What all this teevee watching did during the course of my bed rest, however, was to make me literally sick of those shows. I've finally had enough of 'Say Yes to the Dress', or so it seems at this particular moment. I may be back in mid-season form by next Friday's new airing, and I'll even be willing to make book on it, but right now, the thought just sends me into a coughing frenzy.

It could be that, or it could be I've thought and said just about all there is to think and say about the Wedding-Industrial Complex. Surely not. Surely there is much more to go into, many more levels of analysis and interpretation with which to engage. I'm going to guess that my interest peak has been reached, rather than my stupendous brain with its stupendous powers of interpretive analysis tapping out the subject. I'm pretty much just personally done with it.

That said, it could just be that I'm now having anxiety dreams about 200 guests showing up (the house maxes out at about 75-100, and those RSVP postcards begin to look like a mighty high stack when the "# in party" spot is filled in with the number "2" or "3" or "4"), and am, consequently, so finding the idea of a small, quiet affair with one witness and presided over by an Elvis impersonator in everybody's favorite Sin City rather appealing.