Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Mary Jacobsen’s “The Morning Show”

Always thoughtful, interesting, and kind, Mary Jacobsen interviews fascinating people on “The Morning Show” every week. A recent episode featured Dr. Gretchen Sorin, discussing “her book and PBS documentary, ‘Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights’ which explores the history of restricted movement for African Americans dating from the era of slavery past Emancipation into Reconstruction and beyond to the present. The car, Sorin explains, opened up new possibilities for African Americans to enjoy the open road, and thereby prompted the creation of what she describes as a “parallel, unseen world of black motorists, who relied on travel guides, black only businesses, and informal communications networks to keep them safe.” These guides included the famous Green Book, which helped grant black Americans that most basic American rite, the family vacation. Sorin also addresses the pivotal role cars played in the Civil Rights movement, including their role in the success of the Montgomery bus boycott.”

Mary in the Morning, you get one pingy-dingy! Thank you for your unfailing interest in this big beautiful world, and for introducing us to people and topics that make our lives so much richer!

Link to audio version: https://soundcloud.com/ncmhub/morning…

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Ahead

I don’t drive much these days, and today, whilst dropping off some queer books for my dear queer friend, my car died. Neighbors were called upon, and one of them came through with a charger. After trying to get him to tell me what kind of cookies he likes so I could drop off a gratitude gift (he demurred, so bashful), I decided to take the ol’ Femmemobile for a nice long drive to fatten up her battery, so off we went, onto the highway, tirra lee, tirra loo.

At one point, we passed a sign reading “Ahead”. Nothing more, just “Ahead”.

Yes, and isn’t it the truth? So much mystery is ahead of us. There is nothing really to guide us but our own wit and wiles, the wisdom we’ve picked up along the way, and our ability to situate ourselves as comfily as possible in the ever-ticking present.

I’ve lived in this area a long time. When Seth was a baby, he wouldn’t nap unless I put him in the previous Femmemobile and drove. Without quite meaning to, I found myself retracing our old Nappy Drive Route. It seemed like a good time to send him my love and my prayers.

I’ve lived in my body for nigh on 59 years. I’m still learning to listen to, cherish, celebrate, care for. Out there on the highway, pocketa pocketa, it seemed like a good time to look inside and send myself my love and prayers.

I don’t know what’s ahead for Seth, for me, for the two of us, or for you, dearest femme sisters. I know you are managing and negotiating through these almost-Solstice days, handling everything from disasters to miracles. I am so glad to be in your company, and to know there’s a femme bond that connects us as we carry on. And just about now seems like an excellent time for me to send you my love and prayers.

You wonderfuls, you beautifuls, you marvels!

Here we go!

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

Published in: on December 14, 2020 at 4:27 PM  Comments (1)  
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Femme Friday – Alaina Lavoie

Alaina’s super-adorable picture caught my eye in the summer issue of Boston Spirit, with her sweet smile and marvelous style. Turns out this nonbinary femme is super-accomplished as a journalist, an editor, communications manager, writing coach and more. In the Boston Spirit interview, she was asked, “How does being part of LGBTQ communities impact what you do?” to which she answered:

            It impacts everything I do. Throughout my life, I’ve gone from being ashamed and afraid to being openly queer to completely celebrating my queer identity. I’ve written extensively about LGBTQ+ communities and identity, and I put a lot of effort into making sure the work we do at WNDG (We Need Diverse Books) is LGBTQ-inclusive, from suggesting we change the language “preferred pronouns” to “pronouns” to making LGBTQ+ book recommendation lists for our followers. Being LGBTQ+ affects everything I do, in work and life, even when I’m not conscious of it. (Boston Spirit, Jul/Aug 2020).

Deep gratitude, Alaina, for your celebration of your own and others’ beautiful queerness, and for all the generous, hard, inspiring, loving work you do for our community and beyond. Check out her website here:

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! Sometimes I talk about books, too…

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

Published in: on December 11, 2020 at 5:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Bite the Road and Frank Strona

WHO is that adorable queer in the picture?? I was just innocently batting around the internet looking for a recipe I’d read about somewhere, and up popped this lovely fellow! Turns out he not only offers up recipes, but has a TEDX Provincetown talk about being a Daddy Bear, creating community and more, and does a bunch of other cool stuff to boot.

Frank Strona, you get one pingy-dingy! Thanks for the love you give, the yummy recipe, and the sweet and meaningful TED talk!

https://bitetheroad.com/pastel-israeli-spiced-meat-pie/

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

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Published in: on December 9, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Comments (2)  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – “Closed Until Further Notice”

Small pandemic scene: on the grounds outside our local library, two long-time tai chi practitioners, all bundled up, go through their moves. The dog and I stroll slowly – he’s a tri-paw, and elderly —  crunching through the thin scrim of snow covering the grass. After our walk, I tuck him back in his seat with a treat, then make my way up to the library for my contactless pickup. But the library is closed until further notice.

Turns out someone who works there tested positive, so they need to shut down for a while, but I didn’t know that until later. At the time, I just took it in my covid stride, even though I really wanted my books. I have books at home, believe it or not, and I figured there was a good reason for the shut down. That’s what we do, these days, isn’t it? Turn on a dime. Make do. Try to hold things lightly. Be more grateful than ever for health and well-being.

Just like the small pandemic scene, this is a small meditative offering. To say I’m with you. Thinking about you, sending you love. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I hope you may find, here and there throughout your day, vibrant, meaningful connection to others, to the world, to your own hearts and souls. You, queer femmes, dearest loving creatures, you are so precious. This post is in celebration of you.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

Published in: on December 7, 2020 at 7:35 PM  Comments (2)  
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Meditations for Queer Femmes – At Capacity

Last night I dreamed that everyone in my life had spontaneously stopped wearing masks and that we were going about our pre-pandemic business just willy-nilly. Every so often I stopped to marvel that no one was wearing a mask, me included, and then I went back to whatever dreamy thing I was doing.

Even in the dream, though, I knew that what we’d decided to do was recklessly dangerous, and that’s the feeling I woke up with, despite how lovely and nostalgic it was to be going around sans face covering.

Last week, I suffered a great disappointment having to do with my writing career. When I got the news, I completely lost it and started sobbing, and the sobbing went on for days. I’m pretty tough when it comes to rejections – writers have to be — but this one broke me wide open. At some point, I realized that I was sobbing my heart out not just about this particular rejection, but also about everything that’s going on and has been going on, from the deeply personal family stuff to local to regional to national to world.

I’ve just been at capacity, and I think I really needed to let some of that grief go.

What do you do, sweet femme sisters, when you’re so full up with despair that you maybe don’t even realize it? Don’t realize it because we’re so good at carrying on, at getting the job done, whatever that might be, at showing up for others and sometimes forgetting to show up for ourselves?

Like so many towns, ours didn’t allow door to door trick or treating, so we missed the yearly fun of sharing information with Tex’s mom about costumes at the end of the night. (Last year, she got a Santa and we got a gumball machine.) Instead, we parceled out candy into 6 little bags, Tex whipped up some water color cards with mask-wearing pumpkins hollering Happy Halloween! and I put on my mask and delivered them to the 6 kids in our immediate neighborhood. Everyone was doing candy search inside, and I even got to wave at a couple of dressed up toddlers (a skunk and a cat, so cute!).

Reverse trick or treating: a quick little idea that we might have dismissed if we’d caved into the general angst. A quick little idea, but it brought a lot of joy. Is there some small connection you can make today, oh, my darlings? To pull you back into sweetness, laughter, love, and delight?

Even if it’s wee, a daily reminder of the positive side of being human can go a very long way. I am going to try and remember that, try to recognize those impulses in myself, and not be so quick to dismiss quirky ideas as silly or impractical. Sometimes silly is exactly right!

May you discover a pround, silly little idea today!

(I know I wasn’t going to post until I got my carpal tunnel sitch taken care of, but I’ve missed you and I’ve missed this practice, and we need each other right now, so I put on my splints and sent you some sugar! Might do it again sometime soon, too… MWAH!!!!)

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

Published in: on November 2, 2020 at 4:36 PM  Comments (2)  
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Thursday Means I Love You!

Darlings, hopping back on briefly to let you know about Serenity By The Sea, The Provincetown Roundup:

SERENITY BY THE SEA Provincetown celebrates its 33rd year of recovery, unity, and service for the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gender, Queer, Questioning) community and all of our friends. Provincetown, Massachusetts is the idyllic backdrop for this amazing 5 days of 12-Step meetings, workshops and activities. Provincetown offers a dynamic setting for our exciting, friendly, and diverse weekend full of recovery, growth and spirituality. Many folks come early and stay late, so come spend the week in Provincetown.

https://www.provincetownroundup.org/

I’ll be there! Virtually this year, but I’m grateful for the community whichever way!

Love to you all!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) Right now I’ve got a bit of a carpal tunnel sitch, so stand by for regularly scheduled programming to start back up after my November/December surgeries!

Meditations for Queer Femmes — Be Soft, Be Sweet To Yourself

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Dearest darlings, here we are, where we are in this tumbling, shimmying space and time and how are you feeling? How are you treating yourselves? Do you get very stern and strict with your every thought and move? I know I have that perfectionist tendency — like if I’m super hard one myself that will somehow make up for what I absolutely can do nothing about in the bigger-events-of-the-world realm. Anxiety ramps up. The horizons narrow. I just got off the phone with the hand surgeon, a lovely, confident, butchy dyke, and I am going to let her be the expert. Finally! For years, I’ve tried to control and contain my on-again off-again carpal tunnel, which is now, after tons and tons of typing, very, very much on on on. I’m going to let her help me, and until I get surgery, I am going to take pressure off of myself by limiting my typing to only the very essential — my schoolwork. Last week, I took a break from this blog because I was mourning my Dad. Starting this week, I’m going to take a break until my hands are healed, so that’s where I’ll be, healing and trying to be gentle with myself about all the ways my body has changed, the world has changed, opportunities have changed. Trying to wrap myself in love as I navigate those changes. Sugarplums, can you, too, be gentle with yourselves today? Where can you take a break — I mean in the that way you think about your responsibilities. Because it turns out that some of those responsibilities might just be tasks you pile on yourselves for padding or protection rather than necessities. And lightening the load might bring you space for unexpected joy. Something flung down by angels that you found because you stopped looking so hard elsewhere. Sisters, give yourselves space and light. Shift into a more healing space. Be soft, be sweet. I will see you there. Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women. At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

Published in: on September 28, 2020 at 10:40 AM  Comments (2)  
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Queer Femmes Respond – Remembering My Father

My father died a year ago today while I was in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. I’m remembering him now in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. He would have been so interested in what’s going on now! He was always impressed by the extremes people will go to – extreme sports, extreme beliefs — and was himself what he called “a health nut,” and driven in so many ways. Until he became too confused because of Alzheimer’s, he ran every day, even if it was more like a shuffle as he approached the age of 80. He once wrote an entire book in 7 days, a chapter a day. His very last book, he wrote non-stop, night and day, getting chilblains in his feet.

Once when I was visiting my folks, I was startled when I turned on their car and Rush Limbaugh’s invective blared out of the radio – my dad liked to keep an eye on extremists. Trump would have fascinated him. And as someone who wrote a science fiction novel in the 70s in response to overpopulation titled Reduction, he would also have been fascinated by COVID. What will happen next? He would have wanted to know! He was unfailingly curious.

He was also a very loyal friend, and an eclectic but loving parent. I never doubted his love for me, for which I am so grateful.

My dad’s last years weren’t at all what he expected. He didn’t expect to lose access to certain parts of his giant brain, the parts he relied on his entire life up until then. He didn’t expect to die without his family gathered around him at the very end.

As I let myself cry today, just whenever the tears come (they are here as I write), I know this is how I’m responding to the pandemic, to the march of time, to life. “Now he can be with you as his complete self,” my mother-in-law told me when my father died, and that is true. I can remember him as he was when I was small and we went up the block to the library, me on my tricycle. When I was a teenager and he would kindly look up and make time and room for me when I invaded his study, desperate to talk about how fucked up everything was. As a young adult when, again, he would patiently listen to everything I was discovering in therapy, apologizing for past mistakes, agreeing, giving me space to learn and grow. As an adult when we worked together on editing projects and read and critiqued each other’s writing. And as a parent when he went on adventures with my kids and supported me through an incredibly stressful divorce. I was just getting to know and accept him as he was at the end of his life when his life was over.

Even though I still feel guilty for not being there with my father when he died, I know he forgives me. I know he knows I love him.

My response today is to forgive myself for not being able to fix everything, certainly not what’s going on in the world, certainly not what happened in the past. My response today is to remember the things I’m grateful for. I had – have – a great father. Imperfect and human, but wonderful and vibrant and full of the joy of life.

May we all respond with joy and love and forgiveness today.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

Published in: on September 18, 2020 at 9:13 AM  Leave a Comment  

Pingy-Dingy Wednesday – Serenity By the Sea, the Provincetown Roundup

In gratitude to the spiritual healing I’ve experienced from being a member of Al-Anon, I want to give a shout-out to the wonderful Provincetown Roundup, now in its 33d year. Tex and I were lucky enough to be able to attend two years ago; this year it will be online. I love Al-Anon just in general, but the opportunity to be surrounded by other queers in recovery is a true gift. See you there?

Serenity By the Sea, you get one pingy-dingy! To everyone who works so hard to make this beautiful event happen every year, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Thank you for surrounding us with so much love.

https://www.provincetownroundup.org/

I’m a typewriter whompin’, card catalogue lovin’ white girl from back in the day, and I yearn for a time before the covers of trade paperbacks were all squidgy, so you can imagine that I don’t actually understand what a pingback is. I do know that it can in some way be part of spreading the love, and since that’s what I’m all about at The Total Femme… every Wednesday, I pay homage to the laughter, love, and inspiration to be had elsewhere online.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

Published in: on September 16, 2020 at 12:25 PM  Comments (2)  
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