My Face for the World to See (Part II):
The Diary of Sherilyn Connelly
a fiction

December 1 - 10, 2003


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Wednesday, 10 December 2003 (t.b. sheets)

Since I can't completely escape from mainstream pop culture, I try to filter it as best I can; Fametracker and Salon come in handy. Meanwhile, I've never seen an episode of American Idol and never will, but even if I were to never go online I'd still have to venture into public, so I can't help but be aware of the manufactured celebrities it, um, manufactures. (If you put a gun to my head, I might be willing to admit that I think Kelly Clarkson is cute. Otherwise, never.) All of which is leading up to saying that this meme has been around almost six months, but it only caught up with me now. From an interview with Test-Tube Famous Person Clay Aiken in Rolling Stone back in July:

I think cats are Satan. There's nothing worse to me than a house cat. When I was about sixteen, I had a kitten and [accidentally] ran over it. Seeing that cat die, I actually think that its spirit has haunted me. I wasn't afraid of cats before. But now they scare me to death.
Because of a traumatic accident with one extremely unfortunate member, he condemns the entire species as Satan. Um, sure. That's perfectly fair. Yeah, I know, it's been blown out of proportion, but it would be a little easier to write if off as a joke if he wasn't a born-again xtian. So I guess he knows a thing or two about Satan.

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Tuesday, 9 December 2003 (through a hole in the air)

Election day here in the Big Bad City. Well, back across the Bay in the Big Bad City, since I'm currently in Sausalito. I voted before I left for work, and per David West's suggestion, I taped my ballot stub above our doorbell so the Get Out the Vote people don't waste their time. Such a good yet obvious idea, I'm embarrassed it had never occurred to me before.

Excerpted from an email Kirk Read sent out last night, encouraging people to vote for Matt Gonzalez:

Lastly, in Februrary I watched dozens of police beat the crap out of a bunch of gay people in front of the LGBT Community Center. It was a Gavin Newsom fundraiser and we were outside the building. Newsom and his wife went inside, unrecognized by protesters until they were safely behind the doors. Until then, it was a low-key, fairly boring protest. Even the Center admitted that the police were completely out of hand. Later that night on television, Newsom justified the police bloodbath (they broke one woman's teeth with their billy clubs) by saying that we'd physically attacked his family. This was a brazen, bold-faced lie. I saw the entire thing. Nobody got anywhere near them. I was stunned by his total fabrication and the way he looked right into the camera as he said it. This town needs to be a place where people can express non-violent disagreement in public without getting bashed by the police, especially in front of the LGBT Center!

It's been remarkable seeing how this race has galvanized the leftist/queer/arts community. With the obvious exception of the war, there hasn't been anything else like it in my nine years—or, at least, not in the last couple years that I've been paying attention. I really wish I'd brought the camera along over the last week so I could get pictures, a reminder of what we're capable of.

My personal favorite was the film loop being projected from the apartment window at 19th and San Carlos onto the side of the building across the street. I'm not sure what the actual footage was from, but the words "VOTE FOR MATT" had been scratched onto the film by hand. Speaking as someone who's worked with Super-8 quite a bit, I know it took them a while. The Fillmore-style election posters were pretty neat, too. I admittedly didn't travel into the more affluent parts of town to find out, but I'll bet the Newsom people were nowhere near as creative. Here's hoping it translates into votes today.

As always, if anyone asks, I voted for Bush.


I originally found this on Gavin Newsom's painfully ugly website, although it's originally from the so-called liberal media:

SAN FRANCISCO - Former Vice President Al Gore, whose presidential ambitions suffered when a Green Party candidate siphoned off liberal votes, weighed into San Francisco's turbulent mayoral election Tuesday by endorsing another moderate Democrat who also faces a challenge from the left.

Gore, whose defeat in the 2000 presidential election has been attributed in part to support taken by the Greens' Ralph Nader, endorsed Gavin Newsom, a county supervisor fighting his way through a tougher-than-expected runoff against Green contender Matt Gonzalez.

"I'm here because I'm passionately in favor of Gavin Newsom. I want to see him become the next mayor of San Francisco," Gore told an audience at what was ostensibly a public policy forum but quickly turned into a full-fledged campaign rally with cheers and signs.

And it goes on from there. Notice what's missing from the third paragraph, though? A line about how Gore would be president now if not for that darn Green party, like in the first two. I mean, god, it was evidently so important the writer had to bring it up twice. Never you mind that unpleasantness in Florida—it's the fault of a third party! Hey, wait a minute. Gonzalez is a Green! He must be responsible for Gore losing the election! I swear, if the spin was any more obvious it'd be a fucking whirlwind.

Feh. It would have been bad enough just to know that Gore (for whom I did not vote) supports Newsom, especially after he regained a little of my respect by backing Howard Dean for president. Not that I'm necessarily a Dean supporter, but in doing so Gore pissed off his former running mate Joe Lieberman, and that's always a good thing.


52.6% to 47.4%, Newsom. That is not a mandate. At least we tried, and what's more, I'm not going anywhere. Like with every major election, I heard people saying (usually half-jokingly, which means they're still half-serious) that if the bad person wins, they're going to move out of the city/country. Frankly, a Newsom mayorship means this City needs us more than ever. It's really time to fight the good fight.

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Monday, 8 December 2003 (the beauty of sorrow)

I think we're all in agreeance (renewed TM, Fred Durst) that dolls are creepy. Up until last night, I thought the creepiest kind were Time Out Dolls. Thanks to Heather Gold, however—and by "thanks," I mean "I can't unlearn it, damn you"—I am aware of a new standard of skin-crawliness: My Twinn Dolls. Wheee! Pre-adolescent narcissism is fun! Combine them with face-painting and puppets, and, well, don't be alarmed, that clomping sound you hear is simply the Horsemen approaching...


There was an art opening before the play on Saturday night, and for reasons known only to the curators and their deities, mimes were involved. In spite of my recent comments about face-painting, I have nothing against mimes. Quite the contrary. Lord knows I did my share of whiteface back in the day. I have no regrets about it, I might add. It's where I was at the time, it made me happy (or at least not as sad), and it felt right. Sometimes I miss it.

In any event, I have to respect anyone who has the intestinal fortitude to be a mime in this day and age. I mean, I do spoken word, go to open mics (it's also an element of Wicked Messenger), act in regional theater, co-produce a cable access show, not to mention one of my best friends just published her third book of poetry, and then there's the all the gender nonsense. Quite possibly the only thing lower than any of that, to the general public, is being a mime. My oh-so-pretentious beret is off to them. The mimes, that is. Not the public.


After seeing it pasted up outside a construction site or two around town, I think I've finally figured out why this poster is so disturbing: her eyes. Or, rather, the lack thereof. They might as well have been gouged out. Her character is a dancer in hip-hop videos, which I guess explains how she's dressed (do you think they ever considered, for even a half a second, a picture which didn't emphasize her abs?) and her terribly awkward position. She's no doubt in mid-move, but like most fluid motions it doesn't translate well to a single frame, the net result is that she looks like a poseable doll. Which, for something ostensibly marketed as a "girl power" movie ("Her dream. Her terms."), speaks volumes.


Wanna know what I hate about being in a good mood, as I have been for much of the day?

The inevitable crash. It always ends.

I guess that's why I seem to deny myself most pleasures. The crash.

And I'm not saying I prefer to be in a bad mood. Neutral usually suits me just fine.


A night at home, with no obligations and nowhere to be. This is the first one of these Maddy and I have had since she got back almost a week ago. And we don't really have anything planned until the next performance of Hitch-hiker's on Friday. How weird.

sometime after midnight

We watched Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead tonight, for the first time since it was released in late '99. (Maddy wasn't quite up for The Last Temptation of Christ, my first choice.) Beautiful, beautiful film. It's the kind I wish I could make.

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Sunday, 7 December 2003 (tonight is what it means to be dumb)

K'vetch was great this evening, as was the play last night. Sometimes I feel very fortunate to be living this life.

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Saturday, 6 December 2003 (attic dwellers)

It was a neat one, too, a wire tail which wrapped around my waist, covered in black electric tape. My fellow mouse Cameron and I liked how they looked, as did Erin, but Jim hated them in a big way. He was willing to concede, but we gave them up, since he's the director. On the other hand, he'd wanted us to have drawn-on whiskers, but I've balked slightly at that, and thankfully he hasn't pursued it. I obviously don't have a problem with makeup. Face painting, however, is just plain wrong. It doesn't help that my throughout my entire life, I've found myself in stores (from that hobby shop in Fig Garden Village in Fresno to Other Avenues, our neighborhood organic market) which for some reason carry this fucking book. Words cannot adequately describe how much I hate that cover. I wouldn't even know where to begin, though I'd feel compelled to point out the scrunchy thing she's doing with her mouth, often used as a universal symbol of "comedic surprise." Or something. Never quite sure. I only know the feeling it causes in me, which can best be described as pure loathing. If someone told me I had to get painted up like that for a role, I'd probably walk, regardless of how much I wanted to do it otherwise.

Anyway, it was a bummer to lose them out. They never even made it as far as rehearsal; Erin made them on Thursday afternoon, and by that evening the veto took effect. I wore mine for a while as I was working on some other things. Especially combined with my plaid bondage pants (I didn't get into costume until after the play began, since I was busy and am not on stage for the first act anyway), it made me feel like c0g. Which is not a bad way to feel at all.

Though the dress rehearsal on Thursday was a little bumpy, but our actual opening on Friday went much smoother. Not without some problems here and there, especially since we changed some cues in an attempt to tighten the pace, but better than it was. Still, though, I was conscious of every goof and every missed cue, and when Jim came backstage afterwards as we were collectively changing back into our civilian clothes, the huge smile on his face came as a great relief. He was really happy with how it went, and almost more importantly, so was the audience. Sure, there were a lot of friends and family in the audience, but the laughter seemed genuine. I can only hope.

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Friday, 5 December 2003 (here to go)

I lost my tail.

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

sometime after midnight

"Sid said Shane was Sean outside Spanganga tonight."

Say that five times fast. Or once.

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Thursday, 4 December 2003 (au revoir petit chat)

We got shooed out of Spanganga shortly after rehearsal last night; seems a Canadian teevee crew was going to be taping a sex party, a private version of Darkness Falls. I can only hope there aren't used prophylactics lying around the next day like after the last Darkness Falls, but I'm not holding my breath.


Dress rehearsal mit audience is tonight, and we open for real tomorrow. I've nailed my role pretty quickly, I think (all five minutes of it), though as a result I wasn't quite as on the ball backstage. Missed a couple cues. Urk.

I got chewed out backstage on Tuesday by one of the actors. There was a bit of stage business which was in the script but had been lost out in the last few run-throughs, and when I pointed it out to him, he flipped. Seems he didn't appreciate me telling him what to do, and essentially said that he didn't have to listen to me. ("If Jim wants to direct me, he can direct me!") That sucked. A lot. Can't say I was entirely surprised, though.

He apologized a few minutes later. And again and again, about four more times. Followed by once more the next night. I guess he probably means it. Doesn't mean I won't be flinchy in his presence.


I wonder how many times in my life I've thought, "Fuck it. I'm just not going to talk anymore. That way I won't say something stupid and/or get myself into trouble." Many, many, many. Never seems to take.

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Wednesday, 3 December 2003 (too many hands)

Poor Maddy. She was back home from the airport for all of an hour (if that) before we went running out into the world again. First to Kinko's to make Wicked Messenger fly0rs, and then to Spanganga for Hitch-hiker's Guide rehearsal. Unfortunately, since we spent longer than anticipated at Kinko's, we didn't have time to stop at Herbivore for the vegan shawarama she'd been craving. Needing, really, after two weeks in the Midwest, where she managed to avoid eating meat, but otherwise made her fair share of dietary peccadilloes. It's very tough not to out there. I know I did last time.

Nor did it help that her paternal grandfather was constantly giving her shit both about being a vegetarian and having changed her name. For no good reason, he's very angry about her new name, so much so that he will only use her birth name. It's not like she's changed her first name or her gender or anything like that, and his surname is even still in there, though not as a last name. And yet, he's all pissy about it. Still, he's out there and she's back here, and she didn't put on any weight during the trip, so, as the kids like to say, it's all good.

Anyway, a tofu burrito helped make up for the missing shawarama. She needed the energy, since she was put to work almost immediately, helping with costumes and sets. In fact, though she'd originally agreed to simply work the door, she's now going to be hardcore behind-the-scenes girl.

I've also been sorta promoted. Although I was actually quite happy to not have to act when I start doing the assistant director thing, Erin approached me last week about being an understudy, which in this context means "taking over a role if the actor flakes." Nobody in Night of the Living Dead got an understudy, but that's because nobody seemed likely to flake. In this case, though, the guy simply never showed up, and as of eight last night he was declared a lost cause. So, I am now officially playing Frankie Mouse, the protrusion into our dimension of one of two vastly hyperintelligent pandimensional beings, the other of course being Benjy Mouse.

The practical upshot of all this is that I'm playing a boy. A mouse, sure, but a boy mouse. One in a pin-striped three-piece suit, no less. (We'd briefly discussed making the character a girl, but the it's never really addressed in the dialogue either way, and Frankie is a non-gender-specific name anyway, and the wardrobe already existed and the show opens in a few days, so I'm rolling with it.) I tried it on last night, and while it fit better than I expected it to considering it was bought for someone else, damn, it was weird. It felt very, you should pardon the word, stiff. Didn't really like it at all. As my mother will attest, I always hated having to dress at all formally when I was growing up. I think the only other suit I've ever worn was a tux for my prom, and boy oh boy, that was the sux0r. I never wore a tux again, and probably never will, unless I think I have a chance in hell of pulling off a Dietrich. Which I really don't.

But it's all okay. It's a costume, and it's supposed to represent the character, not me. That's what acting is, after all. More than that, it's drag, something which I don't feel I've ever truly done. Even when I would wear female clothing before I transitioned, it never felt like drag. In retrospect, that's what the aforementioned tux and even the few occasions I had to wear a tie were. Presently, Jim asked if I was sure I'd be okay with the cross-dressing the role would require. What the hell. It's all for the theater.

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Tuesday, 2 December 2003 (inside passage)

Maddy returns home today. Remarkably, her flight is on schedule.

We are the threat to nature, not the other way around.

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Monday, 1 December 2003 (beacon light)

Sometimes I'm surprised I'm not left-handed. I don't strike myself as the right-handed type. Actually, I really I wish I was ambidextrous. That must be the coolest. I imagine my entire sense of physical orientation with the world would be different if I was left-handed and/or ambidextrous. It's a fascinating concept. To me, anyway. these are thoughts that go through my head...


This appeared in my work mail:
Subject: melon excused
From: "Marina Tse"

agnes adenosine craved tartar corresponded pneumatic bottomed aaron crossovers at&t bois arrhenius council matins accidental counterproposal crappie everybody booklet accessibility meditates humored bonfires plowing admiralty evidences meriting

teens bluish hotshot howsoever euthanasia teamwork identifies expulsion australia exclusion immediacy howdy meddler possess tall searching saviors aileen adjudicating tally polluted administrators plural bothersome bergland excursions cribbing

melamine bateman excepts bennington measurement adkins hydrophobic exaggerates act tastes hyperboloid tailwind poetry tacky adoption evaluative cramps boxtops plumbing accidently metropolitan correlative mile creep both teahouse 6th

textural plumb couples sea polar counselor admonition humidification boarder hydrofluoric posting bolo plough technological iceland coupon taunt alfredo adult bombarding positional admonished plundered creasing beowulf porter courtyards adoration crater accosting talkers scription bowlines sapiens crayfish crosser exposition bart exploding countries excitation midspan plots mercuric tenuous milker accepts course adjustor auschwitz

blunt militia corresponding abbott plots scattergun material horsely powderpuff plutonium scaup medicinal mental courtesy potted adulterously albuquerque scene hosting accustomed temperateness crawlers taught screens pluton mendelevium correlates

Now, I have a pretty good idea of what happened—spammers have been putting random words at the end of subject lines rather than the usual gibberish in an attempt to circumvent filters, and someone fiddled when they should have faddled, resulting in their word file accidentally getting dumped into a message—but, still, it's a thing of beauty, isn't it? Burroughs lives! Poetry is everywhere, if you just look for it.

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