Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Let’s be totally real and personal about some facts.

Let’s talk about Friday.

1.  Friday, I BEGAN Pride Weekend hungover, which left my Tuesday state of being a little off the charts.  I wouldn’t know what to call it.  Those words aren’t invented.  Friday, 8am (opening time), was the earliest I have ever been at MoKaBe's.  I walked there.  I was not fully healthy.

2.  IN BETWEEN Friday and Tuesday, lots of things happened.

There was so much:






Apparently my surroundings are so queer that it doesn’t faze me a whole lot when suddenly everything is covered in rainbows and assless chaps. 

It’s hard to remember which day was which day and where exactly I went, but it started pretty headache-y and toasted on Friday, and it ended rather crispy and nauseous on Tuesday, when I tried to eat some Kashi.

I felt like there was A LOT GOING ON the weekend of Pride.  I feel like there is A LOT GOING ON in general amongst the friends I know from MoKaBe’s, but when I said to Reeny…

ME:  Reeny…I feel like when I come in town, I think there’s a LOT GOING ON.  And then I think…is it always like this?  

REENY:  It’s always like this.

Dear Liza,
It’s always like this.

PRIDE weekend brings out some stuff I think.
Firstly, it brings A LOT of homos to Tower Grove.

I haven’t even seen some of them before!

Secondly, it brings a lot of DEBAUCHERY.  (I’mnotsurehowproudIfeel).

This year, MADDY says that she feels that PRIDE meant a little more to her.  Suddenly, it came to light for her that the whole world isn’t a gay parade.  There are times on this planet when the people of South Grand are not on South Grand, and sometimes, it’s shockingly dicey. 

There aren’t always open arms to androgyny, homo-hand-holds, and asymmetrical haircuts. 

Maddy reflected on spending time out in St. Louis county, feeling like she was being judged.    

On Tuesday, Mo handed me some casual wisdom about the progress of gay and trans rights.  It might seem now that things move slowly, but relative to racial conflicts in this country and civil rights in general, equality for those of us gathered at the sunny Sunday parade are zooming along. 

But let’s get back to debauchery.

This year, for me, Pride was a lot of time out and about on blankets, dancing (Icallthatdancing), and...Jameson?  No.  That was red wine.  Wait.  Newcastle. 

And a lot of time explaining to my mother that my new light bulb (ohmygoddon’tsayhipster) tattoo was not a symbol of lesbianism, gay pride, or woman sex in general. 

(Semi unrelated)

Mom:  Is a strap-on a kind of bra?
Me:  Can we talk about this after dinner?
Mom:  No. 
Me:  I can’t talk about this right now.
Mom:  Is it the opposite of a bra?

What is the opposite of a bra?  And is there anyone who would feel comfortable in this moment?  And is there anyone who would give their 4’11”, eighty-pound red-haired mother a genuine answer?  To that?  What kind of thoughts would that put in her head?  NO THOUGHTS THAT I WANT IN MY MOTHER’S HEAD.

So, to go along with the clown show that is messy, the puzzles that mix our heads, and discomfort, let’s talk about Saturday.

I don’t remember which parts of Saturday were different from Friday, but there was a Midwestern Monsoon and I stood on the patio of Novak’s (ten dollars poorer) barefoot, slugged by skinny elbows, wading in several inches of water. 

Inside (it took ten minutes to get to the dance floor), there was some dancing and creepy-watching some people dancing on the bar.

Ummm okay, so dirty water but more important…key word…creepy.



I can celebrate that!  I am pretty sure that no conversation I had this weekend did not include people calling themselves not creepy.

You know?

"I went to the mall because I am creepy."

"All of my friends are creepy.  And.  I’m definitely a part of that.  People do creepy things to me.  There are people who say they they’ve come in to MoKabe’s, not knowing who I was or anything about me, and just watch me.  You.  Were one of those people." 

"I just go up to them and say…come here.  Come here.  Come here.  Give me a kiss."

"You were created to marry a man, love that man, have sex with that man, and only that man.  Homosexuals are abusing themselves and will not inherit the kingdom of heaven."  


"You can put my picture next to something that says creepy."

Messy, creepy, debauchery.


And you know something?  When Jared told me last weekend “I puzzle my mind to mix my head,” I didn’t understand him.

But then there was PRIDE weekend.

My mind was puzzled, my head was mixed, messy, flooded, dizzy, and creepy. 

Let’s talk about things that are embarrassing.

1. How creepy am I?  (See second blog post for evidence).  I even wrote a song on the ukulele about my own creepiness.  

2.  The general amount that I think about certain people is assuredly, positively, absolutely 100% creepy.

3.  Wait…did you just…catch me…looking…at you?

Why are we creepy?  And does this coffeehouse contribute to our opportunities to creep?

I have a lot to say about creepiness.  I think that we are extra vulnerable creatures in these parts for a million reasons.  I think by trying to save ourselves some shame and forwardness, we shame ourselves in NOT forwardness.  We creep.  We go to the mall.  We learn things about people that we should NOT know.  WE SHOULD STOP BUT WHY SHOULD WE STOP?  SOMETIMES IT WORKS?

And this week, I realized another secret of the universe.

Being creepy isn’t always good for us.  And we ALL DO THINGS THAT ARE NOT GOOD FOR US.  We all do.  No really—I really think you do them and it’s not even insulting.
We puzzle our minds to mix our heads.
We ask our daughters what strap-ons are at dinner.
We protest gays on GAY PRIDE.
We learn everything we can about people we’re creeping on even when it just feels like getting hit in the head with a brick that was recently in an oven. 

We drink too much, stay out too late, don’t eat enough, eat too much, brood lonely in our heartbreaks, pick the people we know won’t be good for us, stay in relationships that we know don’t work, don’t save money, analyze, indulge, judge, wait, pine, ponder.

EVERYONE does (some of) these things.



Why?  You’d think we’d all keep ourselves busy with happiness…whatever that means.  (Consult post below). 

I certainly did a lot of things this PRIDE TIME that in the long run…or the short run…may not be so good for me.  (Superdehydratedstill). 

But with the mess and the mixing head and the creepy, didn’t we all have a good time?

I had a great sunburn flood head-mixed creepy Pride.  I don’t think it should have been different.  We can do things that are maybe not so good for us because we have a good time.  And we only get one official PRIDE TIME a year.

So I think we should be as puzzled and creepy as possible.  

Friday, June 17, 2011




And people have been talking and dancing in its presence.

Question for Jared:
“What do you think stands between people and their ideal life?”
“The Clown Show is becoming a Circus.

Fact #1 about life around here:
The clown show is MESSY.

Of the six people that I’ve interviewed in these first ten days of filming, not one has not dealt with some sort of personal mess at Mokabes.

Regarding money:
“I must be missing the secret to life.”

Regarding relationships:
“I bought a house for the bitch.”

Regarding a first time at MoKaBe’s:
“I think I scared her.  She was reading and I was like…can I sit here?”

Regarding barista dating (or break-ups):
“We made everyone miserable.  Everyone here, and everyone walking in the door.  We’d be slamming refrigerators, crying, and yelling.  Well, mostly I’d cry, and she’d yell.”

Regarding queer life:
“And people say bi, trans, gay, but we’re just queer.  We’re all one queer community.”

Regarding friends at MoKaBe’s (social life of this world in general):
“Everyone I’m friends with?  I met at Mokabe’s.”

And FOR all the messiness of the “Clown Show.”  (Term used wisely by Jared.)…

People are happy.

What?  Happy?  People are Happy in Missouri?  People are Happy here?  Histoplasmosis, dirty river, gang activity, murder capital, syphilis capital, the arch!

I don’t know how to do math and I haven’t done any statistical research, and I don’t really know EXACTLY what I mean by HAPPY, but I’ve noticed…I think noticed…that when I ask people what would be the happiest life that they could imagine…it’s very much like the one they already have.



Are the queers of South Grand weirdly happy?
You wouldn’t think it.
I really would not have thought it.

For example, I think I was pretty sad for an entire YEAR when I was coming into my queer identity.
So…sometimes when I think of people of any age grappling with (or just existing in) their homosexual identity, I think of:
Angst, stalkerish tendencies, proclivity for dramatized storytelling, chain smoking in the bathtub, pet ownership as an attempt to mitigate loneliness, and...crying in restaurants.

Apparently, just me.  (Or was).
At MoKaBe's, often (really often), Ronnie says:
"Liza.  Why are you smiling?  Liza.  Stop smiling."

Because it seems the ‘mos at MoKaBe’s.  Are like…pretty okay with their lives.
They especially love their friends.


And St. Louis?  It’s so for real.

“This is St. Louis.  This Shit Is Real.”

I will say that I’ve seen three people from this community cry in the past five days.  (One on camera).  It seems to me that since I've been back in STL with my tiny camera, smelly TOMS, and really out-of-control-long bangs, a lot has happened.  Things don't change, but everything moves fast.  I don't get it.  It's been eventful, fun, full of dancing and touching my face in moments of discomfort. So while the CLOWN SHOW IS BECOMING A CIRCUS…

Who doesn’t like the circus?

So…as for mess part of the circus…here’s the title of the week:

“If there was a film made about your life, what would it be called?”