tim: Mike Slackernerny thinking "Scientific progress never smelled better" (science)
So, I had stage II of my surgery (link goes directly to probably-TMI details; do not pass Go, do not collect $200) and everything went fine, except that, unfortunately, there will be a stage III. I meant to do a post-surgery summary post, and then horrible complications happened, and I wanted even more to write a post explaining what happened and why I had no regrets anyway... but anyway, that hasn't happened yet. But, I still want to write up everything that happened post-first-surgery!

This is not that post, though. So, I had IV sedation, which means you're sort-of-conscious during surgery but can't really feel anything. You're not supposed to remember things that happened while you were sedated, either, but I do, both from this time and the previous one. This time I was pretty awake for what I'd guess was the last 20 minutes of the surgery, not feeling any pain or anything, but able to listen to my surgeon talking to the nurses. They were talking about Portland for whatever reason and the doctor was describing a poster he saw when he first moved to Portland, and how it showed this guy standing with his back to the camera while opening his trench coat (which, it was implied, there was nothing under it) to a sculpture. And also, the guy was the mayor of Portland at one point. Then he said what the caption of the photo was. I don't remember what he said, but it was wrong. So I said "actually, it said 'Expose Yourself to Art'" and he was like "oh, you're right". (Possibly after that they gave me more drugs, I don't know :P)

Moral of story: I won't pass up the opportunity to correct someone who is wrong, even while they're literally operating on me :P (It's this poster.)
tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
"Whenever I hear some white queer talking about moving to Portland, I assume it’s because they want to be among their white brethren, because there are more white queers in portland than there are people of color. I wish them good luck in their separatist project in getting away from the rest of us. None of you white people INTEND to do this, but it’s what it amounts to and it’s sort of hilarious whenever I hear one of you say that you’re committed to anti-racism, and you also wish you could move to Portland, thus making the blinding whiteness of that city even more pristine.

This is pretty much common knowledge about Portland, isn’t it? When I was growing up, Portland was where the racist skins came to visit from and beat up people. And even Wikipedia says: “While Portland’s diversity was historically comparable to metro Seattle and Salt Lake City, those areas grew more diverse in the late 1990s and 2000s. Portland not only remains white, but migration to Portland is disproportionately white, at least partly because Portland is attractive to young college-educated Americans, a group which is overwhelmingly white.”

IT’S GETTING WHITER ALL THE TIME! I am not surprised you couldn’t find any trans women of color."

-- Coxy Rawr Michael, commenting on PrettyQueer

An equally awesome reply:

"I haven’t ever commented here, but I have to just AMEN this comment about Portland as a white queer haven.

As a queer woman of color, I am consistently astounded by the way that white queers who flock to Portland loooove to talk a good game about their anti-racist credentials, all the while never acknowledging that their voluntary migration to an incredibly white and super racist city that I have NEVER heard a good thing about from my queer POC friends might be part of the problem.

I mean, I get it – people hate to take macro-level responsibility for the potentially oppressive impact of their individual choices, but god damn. Once in my life, I would love to hear from a white queer who claims anti-racist politics what the draw is…"

-- PissyQWOC, ibid

Southbound

Oct. 2nd, 2011 02:38 pm
tim: 2x2 grid of four stylized icons: a bus, a light rail train, a car, and a bicycle (travel)
As I drive from your pearly gates
I realize that I just can't stay
All those mountains, they kept you locked inside
And hid the truth from my slighted eyes

I came to you with a half-open heart
Dreams upon my back, illusions of a brand-new start
Nashville
Can't I carry the load
Is it my fault?
I can't reap what I sow
Nashville
Did you give me half a chance?
With your Southern style and your hidden dance away
And you dance away and you dance away

All these voices, they whisper through my walls
They talk of falling fast, they say I'm losing it all
They say I'm running blind to a love of my own
But I'll be walking proud, I'm saving what I still own

I fell on my knees to kiss your land
But you are so far down, I can't even see to stand
Nashville
You forgot the human race
You see with half a mind
What colors hide the face
Nashville
I'd like to know your fate
I'd like to stay awhile
but I've seen your lowered state today
I've seen it today, honey
I swear I've seen it today

Now I'm leaving, I got all these debts to pay
You know we all have our dues, I'll pay 'em some other place
I never ask that you pay me back
We all arrive with more
I left with less than I had

Your town is made for people passing through
A last chance for a cause I thought I knew
Nashville
Tell me what you are gonna do
With all your Southern style, it'll never pull you through
Nashville
I can't place no blame
But if you forget my face
I'll never call your name again
No, never again
Oh, never again

I fell on my knees to kiss your land
But you were so far down and I can't even see to stand
Nashville
You forgot the human race
You see with half a mind
What colors hide the face
Nashville
I'd like to know your fate
I'd like to stay a while
But I've seen your lowered state today
I've seen 'em today, honey I swear I've seen 'em today
I'm running away, I'm running away
I'm running, I'm running, I'm running away


-- Amy Ray
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
When I say Portland is segregated, this is what I mean. Unfortunately -- and contrary to my intuition -- Boston is only somewhat better. The two cities I'd most like to add as adopted homes, New York and LA are... somewhat better still, I guess that's all I can say. Thanks to [personal profile] techstep for the link.

Fuck!

Apr. 3rd, 2010 04:33 pm
tim: "Bees may escape" (bees)
Things we learned from a seven-member grand jury yesterday:

- Vegan, bike-riding cops can do no wrong.
- Expect to see more instances of the "Two shots to make a guy drop a knife, two more to make sure there's no trial" strategy in 2010.
- When approached by a guy who's been attempting to kill himself with an X-acto knife, it's perfectly appropriate to reach for your gun first despite being equipped with a baton, a taser, and pepper spray.

But most of all:
- If you're mentally ill, you're disposable. If you're homeless, you're disposable. If you're both, a jury of Portlanders will work as hard as they can to let you know that your life doesn't matter.

good/bad

Feb. 13th, 2010 11:08 pm
tim: protest sign: "Down With This Sort of Thing" (politics)
Good:
City Liquidators. OMFG! I can't believe I've lived in Portland for almost three years and never gone into this place before. Like Ground Kontrol, it's the kind of place that I thought literally existed only in my dreams (the while-you're-asleep kind of dreams). There are two warehouses, one huge and full of things like elementary school desks and IV stands, and the other even huger and full of almost everything you might need except food. If you want a neon "No Smoking" sign or acres of teapots or ladles or pliers or shelving units, it's the place for you. Even if you don't need anything -- perhaps especially so -- it's worth going to. I don't think I need to go to Target ever again (at least not while I'm living here); it's great to have a locally owned option for that sort of thing. I needed a bookshelf, and I found one (actually, I found about twelve, but one sufficed). There's a sign reading "We put the FUN in NO Refunds" and a cashier wearing a scrolling LED nametag who answered a customer on the phone asking how much furniture they have with "a crapton".

Bad:
"I ♥ Haiti" T-shirt in the window of a trendy vegan clothing boutique. Look, people, nobody loves Haiti. That is how Haiti got this way. If you want to show your love for Haiti, it's probably a better idea to send your $25 to Partners in Health rather than spending it on a T-shirt where $2 goes to Haiti and $23 goes to making yourself look like a douchebag.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
- Election '10 (This Time, Why Not Ask Corporations To Pay More Than $10?) update: last night: 100 calls, one reasonable conversation with an undecided voter. Today it only took 40 calls to get to that one reasonable conversation. There's nothing like the satisfaction of fulfilling one's civic responsibilities. Coming back on Friday.

Overheard from another volunteer: "So I told him if it was Communist, it would be *tanks*, not a *tax*."

- Muddy Waters has changed, but their open mic night is still as crappy. Or maybe they just need to realize that you don't need to turn the volume up to 13 when your venue is the size of my apartment.
- - Oh my god, the "poet" on stage just rhymed "Pentium" with "millenium".

- Tonight I can say, if nothing else, that I'm Massachusetts by birth but Oregonian by choice. (Hey, at least I live in a state that has two Democratic senators.)

- ETA (link thanks to [personal profile] juli): Thank $DEITY that white people can use overpriced crap to make their way to safety while stepping over dead bodies without needing to inconvenience themselves by helping. Truly, it's good to know that in these troubled times, white people are doing all right.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
I promised a write-up of the Ursula Le Guin/Margaret Killjoy reading I went to at Powell's tonight. Someone official-looking was videotaping, but I don't know whether the video will be online anywhere.

The reading was to promote the anthology _Mythmakers and Lawbreakers_, a collection of interviews with anarchist writers that Killjoy edited. The book includes an interview by Le Guin, and it was pretty clear that the event was about the anthology and Le Guin was there to lend a "name" to it. But that was okay. She started by apologizing for not being able to sign books afterward, because "when you and your husband get to be over 80, some things are more difficult." She read brief passages from _The Dispossessed_ and _Always Coming Home_; both in her reading and in her responses to the questions lately, she was very assured and very not about drawing attention to herself. I liked an aside she made while reading from _The Dispossessed_, which was something along the lines of, "The character, Chevek, is a scientist, but I'm really also talking about artists here and about anyone else who has a job to do and knows it's their job."

After that, Killjoy talked about the anthology and gave "an anarchist PowerPoint presentation" -- which meant a flip-chart with magic marker cartoon drawings -- about anarchist writers in history. Then they did a joint Q&A session.

Like any overtly anarchist event (especially in, well, Portland), the crowd was mostly early-20-something white people with dreadlocks and hoodies, and the questions reflected that. Lots of people asking earnest philosophical questions rather than, yanno, anything in detail about either of the authors' *writing*. Oh, well. Le Guin answered most of those questions either briefly and amusedly (for example, the subject line of this post, which was an answer to the question "what do you think is the difference between libertarianism and anarchism?), or by deferring to Killjoy (who tried to address the questions with as much earnestness as with they were asked). In general everything she said was very economical and no longer than it needed to be. It's enviable.

So yeah, I wish there had been a more satisfying discussion (and there was an unfortunate moment when Le Guin tried to make a pro-copyright-law pitch in a crowd of anarchists), but I was glad to get to hear Le Guin read while I still had the chance. By which I mean while I still live in Portland, of course.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
My roommate, who has been a fine roommate to me for the past year, is moving out, and I'm looking for a replacement. If you know of anyone looking to share an apartment in Portland, please pass this on to them. Thanks!

As seen on http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/roo/1533627195.html -

1 bedroom available February 1 in a 2-bedroom apartment on 50th and E. Burnside, two blocks from the 20 bus line, about a 10-minute walk from the 19 bus line, 5-minute walk from a 24-hour grocery store (QFC), 15-minute walk from either the Hollywood or NE 60th MAX stations. The apartment is generally pretty quiet. Rent is $360/month; electricity tends to be $18-$35 a month for each roommate (it runs higher in winter because heat is electric). If you want to share wireless Internet service, that's another $12.50/month. This is a modestly sized room, so no couples, please. The living room/kitchen/dining area are spacious. There's a balcony overlooking a courtyard that's pretty nice to hang out in during the summer (with lawn chairs/barbecue grill/etc.) Off-street parking is available. Space for bikes inside the apartment is also available. Apartment is on second floor with no elevator.

About me: 29-year-old queer guy, PhD student / research assistant in the computer science department at Portland State, amateur singer, volunteer tutor, vegetarian, feminist, agnostic Quaker meeting attender, native New Englander, ex-Californian, socialist. I'm car-free and ride my bike to work every day. I have two rabbits. Cats are allowed and I'm a cat lover. Non-TV-watcher, non-smoker, non-drug-user, and I don't drink at home aside from the occasional glass of wine. (Smokers are OK as long as you smoke on the balcony or outside. 420 is OK with the same rule as long as it's not a big part of your life.) I'm in the office roughly 10am-6pm on business days, and I would prefer someone who works the same hours or who leaves for work earlier than I do. I'm quiet; if I listen to music, it's with headphones. The exception is that I'd like to practice music before I leave for work in the mornings, so someone who leaves for work slightly before I do (so, before 9:30 AM) would be ideal. I have friends over occasionally, and have been pretty successful keeping common spaces clean in this apartment. I'm the kind of roommate who will wash a dish again if I find one that hasn't been cleaned enough, rather than complaining about it, and would like to live with someone who would do the same for me. I'd prefer to keep the house meat-free, but we could talk about that. I plan on living in Portland no longer than three more years, and thus in this apartment no longer than three more years.

I'm kink-friendly, trans-friendly, fat-friendly, and poly-friendly (though most of these labels aren't a big part of my life). I'm not home a lot and would like to have a roommate who isn't my BFF but with whom I can carry on the occasional polysyllabic conversation. To that end, I'd prefer to live with a student, professional, activist, artist, or basically anybody who has an inner life consisting of more than beer and video games (those things are cool, but if they're your entire life, we probably shouldn't live together). Please be either between the ages of 25 and 50 or ready to persuade me as to why your compatibility with me makes up for your age. If you're a libertarian, a religious fundamentalist, an anti-religion atheist, someone who "doesn't see color" or blames racism/sexism/homophobia/transphobia/other "-isms" on bad individuals rather than systemic biases, or politically apathetic, then we probably won't get along.
tim: protest sign: "Down With This Sort of Thing" (politics)
Well, I got to help subdue a random loud and obnoxious pro-forced-pregnancy heckler at a reading by Judith Arcana that I accidentally stumbled into. Sort of, anyway.

You see, Arcana was one of the members of JANE, a group that helped women get abortions before they were legal in the US. Her reading had not much to do with this fact; it was about the relationship between political rhetoric and poetry, and why you ought to bother to write *well* if you're writing to persuade. But naturally some of her writing touched on her work in this group, and Mr. Pro-Forced-Pregnancy in the audience managed to derail the whole Q&A session, starting with asking whether Arcana was "glorifying" the abortion work she'd done; going on to talking about why women have the gift to be able to create life and therefore they're obligated to give birth; and, when a woman in the audience said, basically, that she had just taken emergency contraception and was going to have an abortion if that didn't work, and that she wanted to remind him that he wasn't just talking about an abstraction but about real people's lives, he ended up (after the Q&A session more or less got shut down early because it was impossible for anyone to start a discussion on anything else) trying to persuade her not to have an abortion.

So she, and a couple of other women, were doing a pretty good job schooling him. But when he got to the old chestnut, "and how do you know who your [embryo] is going to be, why, it could end up being someone who'll make a difference in the world and you'd never know," I got up, and said, "you know, I think this woman might be able to make a difference in the world herself if she can go on carrying out her life plans without having to drop them to raise a kid she doesn't want."

The guy had no response to this.

Which didn't mean he actually stopped talking, but it was still a moral victory.

On the one hand, let it be said that in Portland, Oregon, on a freezing night in December of 2009, strangers didn't hesitate to engage each other about political questions of great concern, and thus, democracy still lives on. On the other hand, in 2009, women's civil rights just should not be a matter for democratic debate. So, you know, I don't know. And even though it wasn't even what I had planned to hear this evening, I wanted to hear more of what Arcana had to say, and it was a shame that someone who has insights to share that I haven't heard before got effectively shut down by a white guy with an entitlement complex parroting simplistic received moralism that I have heard before, all because some people believe that freedom of speech means you get to make people listen to you regardless of who was actually invited to give the lecture.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
As of yesterday, I have been a graduate student at Portland State for longer than I was a graduate student at Berkeley.

That also means that I've been at Portland State longer than I've had any other job.

Shooting for thesis proposal by my 30th birthday (December 2010) and graduating in 2012, btw.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
On my first day back at work today, I tried taking the Green Line to PSU, ostensibly because I had a lot of heavy stuff to bring to my office, but really because omg MAX directly to PSU.

Timeline:
8:25am: leave my apartment by bike
8:31am: arrive on the platform at Hollywood TC
8:39am: train leaves Hollywood TC
9:04am: train arrives at 5th and Mill
9:08am: I arrive at FAB loading dock
total: 43 minutes
time it would have taken me to bike directly to PSU: 25 minutes

Also, in the worst case (if I'd just barely missed the train), it would have taken me 50 minutes -- twice as long as biking.

On days when I can't bike, it would still be just as fast to take the 19 bus to PSU. MAX traverses downtown so slowly ("transit mall" notwithstanding) as to negate the benefits of higher speed on the east side, combined with it taking 15 minutes longer for me to walk to MAX than to 47th and Glisan.

When are we going to have public transportation that's faster than a bicycle?
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
My roommate, Jenny, may be moving out of our apartment come October 1, which sucks because she's the best roommate I've ever had. But, my loss may be your gain! If you're interested in living in a 2-bedroom apartment in between the North Tabor and Mount Tabor neighborhoods in Portland's east side, minutes' walking from a 24-hour grocery store (QFC) and the 20 and 19 bus lines, or know someone else who is interested, let me know. Walking distance from MAX and the Hawthorne/Belmont and Hollywood neighborhoods, cat-friendly, and the best part: only $360/month plus utilities. Vegetarian roommate preferred (or at least someone who's willing not to bring meat into the house).

I'll know for sure whether the room is available by the end of August. If it is available, and you want to move in sooner than October 1, that may be possible to arrange, because I'm going to be out of town 8/27-9/16.

If you know any queer-friendly folks looking for housing, preferably 25+ years of age, please pass this along to them! Thanks!

Jesus wept

Jul. 22nd, 2009 11:29 am
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Last night I saw a car with a bumper sticker that had the same graphic style as this well-known one:

only it said "Keep Vancouver Normal" instead.

:-(
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Today I went on two of the three World Naked Bike Ride events in Portland. The message of WNBR, besides that biking naked is hella fun, is that cyclists are always naked, because we face vulnerabilities that people encased in sheet metal don't.

I arrived at the 2pm ride at Glisan Circle with just enough time to take off my clothes before we headed off. There were about 100-150 people for most of the first half of the ride. We rode all over the inner east side; highlights included Hawthorne, Broadway (butts over Broadway!), and Alberta, where we ended up riding through one of the Pedalpalooza events. On Broadway, my friend Kenny, who was bringing up the rear (so to speak), got hit by a car; the driver, who I guess was late for their manicurist appointment or whatever, deliberately hit him (at slow speed). Kenny was OK, the bike wasn't, and enough information was obtained that the perp will presumably be brought to justice. Some hints, folks: (1) deliberately hitting someone with your car in front of about 100 witnesses is a bad idea; (2) claiming you didn't see a naked cyclist in broad daylight is probably not going to hold up in court. Other than that, the ride was almost amazingly free of hostility. Most people we passed by were supportive. I heard reports that a few parents covered their kids' eyes, which is not exactly sending a good message. But on the whole, it was a peaceful and fun event, and when else do you get to overhear things like "His penis is painted green!"

After Alberta, a bit less than half of us continued downtown over the Steel Bridge bikeway. We rode by Saturday Market and the Pride festival and then up to Pioneer Square. I ended up not-particularly-willingly leading the ride briefly because seemingly no one else knew how to get to Pioneer Square from Waterfront Park (?!) I wanted to ride by the Park Blocks, but we took the Hawthorne Bridge back to the east side after that. My second suggestion, Lloyd Center, also got vetoed, and from the Eastbank Esplanade we returned to Glisan Circle by way of Salmon, 21st, Stark (starkers on Stark!), and 28th.

Then I rode home and finished writing up my final exam.

The Official Ride(tm) was to leave from NW 22nd and Nicolai at 11:59pm. Around 10:45pm I rode from SE over to the site with some folks who I'd been at a party with. We took the Hawthorne Bridge and then the Waterfront Park trail all the way north to where it connects with Naito, and then to Front. I didn't know that the end of that trail was open now; last time I was on it, when I used to live in Goose Hollow, it dead-ended at the Steel Bridge. The sheer numbers of people on the official ride were amazing, but it was a bit anticlimactic compared to the daylight ride. A lot of the fun of the earlier ride was watching people react to something they weren't expecting, but the second ride had people lined up along the edges who knew what they were in for, as if it was the fucking Boston Marathon or something. Also, the cops did some direction of traffic to allow us to keep flowing smoothly for the most part, which is ok, but effectively kept us off the bridges, which wasn't so ok. Never assume you are getting a free lunch from the cops. After going almost all the way down Burnside but not across the bridge, we looped back north through the Pearl and ended up back at the starting point around 1:20am. At that point the people I'd come with decided to ride home and I headed home too (wearing NOTHING AT ALL underneath my reflective vest).

It's interesting how friendly the drivers were, particularly on the earlier, more spontaneous ride where they weren't expecting it, compared to Critical Mass rides I've been on in the past. Being naked makes all the difference, I guess -- I'm tempted to try commuting naked. I'm also glad to have given the world a little bit of exposure to what trans bodies look like, even if most people who saw me may not have realized they were seeing a trans body. It was nice to get a reminder of why having top surgery in two weeks will be a good thing (riding without a bra, much less shirt = bouncy, though it was less uncomfortable than I'd feared it would be), but also nice to get some sun on my entire body for the first time as far as I can remember and probably for the last time before it gets reconfigured. It was fun. Try it next year!

ETA: Someone took some pictures of the daylight ride. I'm in one of them, but good luck finding me.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (oregon)
I had a hard time finding any info on the candidates, so here are the few things I did find. I think I'm not going to bother voting in the uncontested races (I think this may be the first time in my life not voting on a specific contest). In my district, at least, there are three contested races:

- Multnomah Education Service District, Director, Position 2, At Large. I almost wasn't going to vote in this one either, because the best candidate seemed like Sean Schafer, the incumbent, and why vote for an incumbent? However, candidate Eric Holmes seems like enough of a douche that I decided to vote for Schafer just to make sure he doesn't win. The third candidate, Chuck Moffit, doesn't seem too bright; plus, I don't really want a former accountant and member of the military making decisions about schools.

There are audio transcripts of a community forum that featured most of the MESD candidates, but I was none the wiser after listening to them. If you're wondering just what the MESD is, their mission statement won't clear things up. The Willamette Week explained it more succinctly: "Oregon has 20 education service districts, which act like co-ops for area school districts to pool services like special education, health programs and, more famously, Outdoor School." (The Willamette Week also has endorsements, possibly most useful for voting against whoever they endorse. Same goes for the Oregonian's endorsements, though they've only endorsed school board candidates and not MESD candidates, so far. The Merc hasn't bothered to endorse anyone or cover the election, as far as I can tell.)

- Portland School District #1JT, Director, Zone 4. When I read the Willamette Week's comment, "[Steve] Buel’s bomb-throwing has zero appeal to anyone but the Bill Ayerses of the world," I figured this was probably the guy I should vote for. After a little more research, turns out I was right: he's a longtime activist for school desegregation with strong progressive creds. He is also very much in favor of de-emphasizing testing. Buel is the only candidate in this election who I'm particularly enthusiastic about supporting.

- Portland School District #1JT, Director, Zone 5. I was lukewarm about both Pam Knowles and Scott Bailey, but picked Bailey because Knowles is a leader of the Portland Business Alliance, the last two words of which generally make me reach for my gun. Bailey has some nice things to say about art and music education, school libraries, and redressing inequality; who knows if they'll actually be realized, but he's got to be better than a business leader.

Community & Parents for Public Schools Portland has school board candidates' answers to various questions.

All right, enough civic involvement for today!
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Hello interwebs,

Those of you what are in and about Oregon should come hear the Oregon Sinfonietta, a fine ensemble in which I play cello, a week from tomorrow, January 25 at 3:00 PM. The concert is free and at the Sunnyside Seventh Day Adventist Church, 10501 SE Market St. in Portland.

The program:
* Gade – Echoes of Ossian Overture, op. 1
* Appert – In the Similitude of a Dream
* David – Concertino for Trombone
* Haydn – Symphony No. 104 “London”

All good stuff.

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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