Help! It’s A Naked Breast, Xtra West #340, Aug 30, 2006

It doesn’t take a lot of deep thinking to understand that the right of women (and other folks with breasts) to be topless is a queer issue, that it’s part and parcel of our larger fight to be out and proud. That women who are trying to cool off or breastfeed or feel the breeze on their skin–or women whose outfits just look better with exposed breasts–should be able to go ahead and take their tops off.
Read the whole column on the Xtra website.

Kaddish, Geist #60, Spring 2006

When my mother Midge got Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of fifty-three, my rabbi taught me the prayer that Moses said to God when God struck his sister Miriam with leprosy: El na refah na la—Heal her, Lord, please heal her. I said the prayer on and off for the next seven years even though there was no possibility of healing.

Download the pdf of the whole article here.

Toy Romances

A couple years ago I started picking up random Harlequins. They have the best sentences in them! These are two small dog romances based on one of my favourites.



Full e-text coming soon…

My Mom Got Sick and Died: The Zine

This is the first multi-page comic I did, I think. It is a collection of journal entries and drawings from when my mother was sick with Alzheimer’s, from about 1998 to her death in 2004. I put it together in a few days in August of 2005. The last few pages ended up in the UBC non-fiction journal, Fugue. I might put them up here soon. There are other things in the comic that I don’t think I would want online, though, like sketches of my mom as she was dying. Things like that, you look back and you can’t believe you actually did them. I mean, maybe it was a weird thing to do. And how could I even hold a pencil at the time?


Grammar Tip #1: Lay vs Lie

Do Not Misuse Lay and Lie (even though Booker Prize winners have done so with impunity)

The best way to remember the difference between lay and lie is to know that lie is intransitive (no object) and lay is transitive (object).* Like so:

She lies in bed. (no object)
She lays the doll in its bed. (the doll is the object of the verb lay)

The reason people get confused is that the past tense of lie is lay (and also that everyone around them is confused!).

Here is how to conjugate the two verbs:

Present: She lies in bed.
Past: She lay in bed.
Past perfect: She has lain in bed.

Present: She lays the doll in its bed.
Past: She laid the doll in its bed.
Past perfect: She has laid the doll in its bed.

The following sentences are INCORRECT:

The dog lays down when I tell him to.
Lay down, Rover!
Just lie the book down over there.
She just laid there like there was nothing wrong.

If you misuse lay and lie, you are in good company. See G by John Berger, The Hours by Michael Cunningham, Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon and many more (though I think the real culprits here are publishing houses who don’t prioritize editing). Sure, all these books are fabulous and have done very well. But don’t make that an excuse to continue in error. Learn from the mistakes of others!

*There are other meanings of “to lay” that are intransitive and don’t tend to get confused with “to lie.” For example, one could say, “the hen lays,” which would mean that the hen produces eggs. A hunter can also “lay for deer.” And of course there is the verb “to lie” that means to say something untrue. But this is all a bit outside of our discussion for this week.

A Trip to the Gynecologist, Xtra West #337, July 19, 2006

You think of yourself as this great big out and proud dyke. Your family and everyone at work knows you’re queer and you hold hands with your girlfriend in public and people stare at you and you don’t care. Then one day you find out that you have this problem with your uterus. It’s not life threatening or anything, just serious. Serious enough that you have to go to a gynecologist.

Find out what happens next on the Xtra website.

Challenging the Ritual, Xtra West #333, May 25, 2006

Tis the season. I just mailed my RSVP to my cousin’s wedding saying that no, sorry, my partner and I won’t be able to spend thousands of dollars to travel to Colorado for the event. It makes sense to me: I’ve seen my cousin twice in the last 30 years and I know nothing about his bride-to-be. My family thinks I’m making some kind of anti-marriage protest. But honestly, I just don’t want to spend the time and money to go. I haven’t attended any other events in my cousin’s life. So why a wedding?

Read the rest on the Xtra website.