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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Diary #316

As I predicted, the Desiree Alliance conference was a blast!  Vignette, Jae & I flew down on Sunday, and as I explained in Friday’s column the trip was very tolerable for me despite moderate turbulence.  “Moderate”, that is, for any normal person; if not for my Valium-Zofran one-two punch I’d have been puking and sobbing.  But thanks to Better Living Through Chemistry, I instead passed the trip tweeting and writing and arrived in my home town only slightly Valium-dopey.  Dinner and cocktails with Kaytlin Bailey, Joy de Vive and my traveling companions soon set me to rights, and by the time Grace arrived via motorcycle I was feeling just grand.  The next day was dominated by socializing, cocktails, a performance of Kaytlin’s new show “Consensual Business“, and a very memorable dinner with her, Grace and Tara Burns in which we got Grace to eat octopus, Tara scored us a free round of cocktails and Kaytlin googled “Maggie McNeill naked” on her smartphone to show the waiters.

On Tuesday, I took a break from the conference to visit my gynecologist, my cousin Alan and my friends Frank & Olivia, in that order; Grace took me on her motorcycle and we didn’t get back until about 2:30 in the morning.  On Wednesday Allena Gabosch and I bummed around the French Quarter; I bought two new dresses from my friend Solomon and a print of this beautiful Tara McPherson painting, which I like more every time I look at it.  We then had cocktails with Matisse, and later Matisse and I hung out together and talked, which we’ve both been too busy to do with each other for the past few months.  Then on Thursday evening the two of us, Savannah, Stacey Swimme and another lady were taken to dinner by a lovely and generous gentleman, and the party which followed…well, let’s just say absolutely nobody knows how to party like whores.

On Friday Vignette and I walked around the Quarter while Jae, Matisse & Savannah went to lunch together; I bought another dress from Solomon and some souvenirs from the flea market.  The flight home was just as endurable as the one down, despite even more turbulence, and that, my friends, means I am air-mobile again!  I plan to start limited touring, so if you want me to visit your city and can spring for a plane ticket, just drop me an email and we’ll go from there.  If you can’t afford my travel expenses but would still like to see me, no worries; just keep your eyes on this space, where I’ll announce each trip as soon as I start planning it.

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Air Stream

I usually write my columns at my desk.  I’ve done some in hotels, and some fragments in coffee shops or other such places; I even wrote part of one at a party once, and a whole (albeit short) one while sitting in my car on Bainbridge Island waiting for a ferry.  Also, I usually write my columns dead sober, though I have done a little editing and preparation of news columns while slightly drunk or waiting for an edible to kick in (they’re legal in Seattle, remember?  And I’ve discovered I like them, so there.)  One column in the past month I edited, illustrated and scheduled while quite stoned (no, I won’t say which, and I’ll bet you can’t guess because I did an excellent job if I do say so myself).  But today I’m doing something new on both counts: I am writing this on an airplane in flight, on crappy, slow wifi that Alaska Air charged me TWENTY FUCKING DOLLARS FOR even though it’s horrible compared to the wifi I got for free on JetBlue in May.  And I’m doing it while under the influence of 10 mg of Valium and 4 of Zofran, because that’s the way I roll when I have to fly.  My first test of this new meds combo was when I flew to LA in May, but that was a smooth two-and-half-hour flight; this is a FOUR and a half hour flight across the Rockies, and let me tell you it is NOT SMOOTH.  Normally, I’d be crying and puking right now, but I’m actually OK despite the frequent rumbling and shaking.  The Valium seems to be controlling my nerves and the Zofran my stomach, so let’s hope that continues.  My computer’s clock says it’s 13:31 (Sunday) right now as I type this, but it’s 15:31 in New Orleans and presumably 14:31 below us in Colorado (though by the time I figured out how to take this screenshot on my Chromebook we were at the border of Colorado, New Mexico and Texas and therefore crossing into Central Time.  I would’ve used my usual screenshot program, but it’s been goofing up lately & I don’t know how to fix it.)

Screenshot 2016-07-10 at 13.37.19

But anyway, when I was at the airport earlier talking to Allena Gabosch (who’s on the same flight as Vignette, Jae and I, though in  different row) I told her that I’d finished my blogging through Thursday, and I had a brainstorm: what if I wrote one on the plane?  Since I’m dopey as hell right now (though the first Valium’s probably wearing off since I took it at 10:00 PDT, I only took the second one just before I started to write almost an hour ago), I thought the results might be interesting.  Speaking of results, I am still not panicking from all this bumping (the seat belt sign just went back on), nor am I sweating, flushed, queasy or any of the other symptoms that let me know I’m about to be very sick indeed.  And yes, I would knock wood if there were any in this plane.  But if things keep going like this on subsequent flights, I might actually be air-mobile again, which is pretty cool.

This is not to say I actually LIKE flying; it’s a wholly awful form of transport and I hate being on a freaking bus in the sky, even when the plane isn’t bouncing around like a ping-pong ball.  And if that weren’t already bad enough, I despise having to deal with the blue-gloved morons.  Today I had the misfortune to be behind an eedjit who believes the propaganda about security theater (I told him statistics proved him wrong but I wasn’t going to argue), then my luggage was “selected” for “extra screening” because it contained “a large amount of organic matter” (a dozen copies of Ladies of the Night).  That explanation sounds entirely bogus to me; do people with lots of cotton or woolen clothing get “selected” as well?

selfie 7-12-16Anyhow, my brain seems to be getting fuzzier (getting only three solid hours of sleep last night followed by two intermittent hours probably has something to do with it.  That and the Valium) .  And I somehow screwed up the map that was showing our remaining time to New Orleans, though obviously we must be over Texas because it’s almost 16:30 Central Time and we’re supposed to land in something like 75 minutes.  And once we land we need to Lyft down to our hotel on Canal Street, where we’ll be meeting Kaytlin Bailey for dinner (and I hope Grace is there by then).  So I guess I’ll finish up and try to figure out if I can upload this selfie I took a little while ago.  When you read this I’ll be getting ready to return, so maybe I’ll make a comment when I’m on the flight back.  And I hope not being sick.  And noticing that I use a LOT of parentheses when I’m doped up.

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Diary #315

Desiree 2016So much has happened since the last Desiree Alliance conference three years ago!  Besides returning to full-time work and becoming much better known than I was then, I’ve become very close indeed to a number of the people I first met in person at that conference (take a look at that last link for some names you’ll recognize).  So this will be a very different experience for me than the last one; then, I was just beginning to come into my own as an activist, and nervous about being far from home.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and though I hid it well I was very deeply in pain about the dissolution of my marriage (when Matt left me at the conference hotel in Las Vegas, it was to be the last time I’d see him for almost a year, and the third-to-last time I’d see him while we were still technically married).  But this time, I’m going home to New Orleans, accompanied by a number of my friends; I’ll be meeting many people I know online, and I won’t be surprised by being treated like a celebrity.  Grace will be there too, and I’m making time to visit some old friends.  Maybe I’ll even make some new friends, too, though this time I will definitely not be open to any new romantic attachments.  So all in all, I think it’s going to be a blast; I’ll tell you all about it next week!

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I think when people give money to the city to help the homeless they fully anticipate that’s what those funds will be used for.  –  Cathy Alderman

Are you surprised to see the Links column appearing on a Friday?  You should be, because it’s only happened twice before, both over three years ago.  But it was either that or post the Guest column on a Friday (which I didn’t want to do) or the news columns only two days apart (which I also didn’t want to do), so here it is.  Besides, I don’t want y’all to get too complacent.  The video is of a piece of music that really wowed me when it came up on my Pink Panther Pandora station one night while I was not anything like sober, but I don’t think you need to be in that state to appreciate it.  The links above it are from Cathy Reisenwitz (“children”),  Tim Cushing (“government” and “protect”), Amy Alkon (“ground”), and Lucy Steigerwald (“together”).

From the Archives

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Diary #314

waterfall 6-25-16Weekend before last, I went on another long professional date, this time to a lovely cabin near Mount Rainier; we did a little sightseeing and a little hot-tub-sitting and a little dining and a lot of relaxing, and all in all it was quite a pleasant way to spend the weekend.  Oh, the exploitation!  Oh, the humiliation!  As I’m sure you can guess, I spent the entire time crying and praying for the cops to smash in the door and “rescue” me from the terrible monster who was spending a generous sum to take me on vacation.  I’m not honestly sure why so many of these extended gigs seem to take place in the summer; it’s not like either they or I have school terms to worry about.  Anyway, we’ll be heading to New Orleans for the Desiree Alliance conference on Sunday, so if you live in the Big Easy and want to see me, now’s the time to let me know!  And if you live anywhere else but would like to take me away for a weekend, or fly me to your city for an overnight, this is to remind you that you can do that.  I still don’t like flying, but at least now I know I can drug myself into managing it.

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We’re obligated to provide the same level of service, the same billing the same everything, for every patient we encounter.  –  Mike McLaughlin

We know that the US government can produce powerful, effective propaganda; we’ve certainly seen it in the “sex trafficking” hysteria.  But a lot more of it is ludicrously bad; take a look at this video contributed by Tim Cushing, the intention of which seems to be convincing Americans to maintain psychotic levels of paranoia when traveling abroad.  Tim also provided “more” and “proof”, and the other links above the video are from Franklin Harris (“RIP”), Cathy Reisenwitz (“robot”), Nun Ya (“laws”), Jillian Keenan (“snacks”), and Scott Greenfield (“TSA”).

From the Archives

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I’ve been slowly getting used to being a minor celebrity; for example, two weeks ago I didn’t even bat an eyelash when my doctor’s assistant said, “Oh, I saw you in the New York Times!”  So I wasn’t surprised when MTV News asked me for an interview, and I’m glad to report that the resulting article was quite good, certainly a lot better than that garbage Rolling Stone started the month with.  The article had a rather funny side-effect, though, mostly because computers are, as Isaac Asimov once called them, “high-speed morons”; they do whatever they’re told to do, very quickly and thoroughly, no matter how bloody stupid it is.  Well, apparently someone at a website named “The Celebrity Auction” figured that anybody mentioned by name in MTV News must be a celebrity, because the night after I took this lovely but wholly gratuitous selfie, Google alerts sent me a message from that site urging me to “Get the latest Maggie McNeill news and hot Maggie McNeill gossip!”  I ask you, readers, how could I resist?  I wanted to hear about how I’d been spotted stumbling drunk out of a swanky Manhattan club at 3 AM, or how I had been romantically linked with that one guy from the TV show, who was also in a band, probably.  Or maybe that actress who’s so funny.  Definitely her.  Ooh, or maybe an article about my beauty secrets, and how much plastic surgery I’ve had, and how I get my body “bikini ready” every year!  Alas, I was to be disappointed; it was just this link to a quote from the MTV interview.    Oh, well; at least I’m officially a celebrity now, so I can stop wondering; I reckon I should’ve seen this coming after I got my own IMDb page.  Can a Wikipedia article be far behind?

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