Skip navigation

Tag Archives: lesbian

Apparently, Einstein’s Theory of Relatively is all relative. Scientists are claiming they have clocked neutrinos – tiny particles smaller than atoms – travelling slightly faster than the speed of light.
I don’t know what neutrinos are but they sound like a healthy snack food.
According to Scientific American (which I am surely not), a Sept. 23 physics collaboration clocked elementary particles called neutrinos making the underground journey from a lab in Switzerland to one in Italy. The neutrinos made the trip 60 nanoseconds faster than they would have traveling at the speed of light.
Now this is causing scientists to have a cow since Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, and a neutrino traveling faster would blow Einstein’s whole theory – meaning that all that babble, from black holes to the big bang, everything we know today as physics would have to be rethought. Which is fine by me because I never understood it anyway.
The only thing I do know about physics is that an 80 pound 9 year old on a zip line travels slower than a fat dyke with more body mass. I proved this theory on vacation this summer when I agreed to a zip line canopy tour. What was I thinking? When the topic came up I should have said “no” in a nanosecond.
But back to neutrinos, which sound like curiously scientific breath mints.
Scientists are skeptical. Even a little pissed. One professor of physics at Surrey University in England said: “The scientists are right to be extremely cautious about interpreting these findings. If the experiment proves to be correct and neutrinos have broken the speed of light, I will eat my boxer shorts on live TV.”
Omigod. Like daily life with Snookie isn’t reality enough?
But here’s what I want to know. If the neutrinos traveled faster than the speed of light, who the heck saw them? Clark Kent? Nobody could, so how do we know this is true?
Obviously, my limited understanding of physics was the reason Bonnie managed to convince me to go on that ridiculous zip line ride in the first place. And as I read about scientists all over the world accusing the neutrino experiment scientists of making an “embarrassing gaffe” in claiming to have recorded particles breaking the speed of light, what I do understand is the meaning of “embarrassing gaffe.”
Picture this writer dressed in a mountain climbing harness and helmet, trying to get into the van to take me up the mountain. The adventurers in front of me (including that 9 year old) just took a big step and hopped up into the back door of the van. You think I could take one giant step for mankind? No. I had to sit my butt on the van floor, swivel around and crawl into the bus on my hands and knees. Clue that zipping wasn’t an AARP activity? I did wonder why there was no senior discount, or an old-lady step stool to get me into the bus.
Have you ever zipped? Of course not, it’s insane. A 20-year old guide who looks like Big Foot attaches you to a canvas harness on a block and tackle pulley system, stretched on a cable between teeny tiny platforms on trees.
“If you feel yourself spinning right or left, simply turn into the spin, like a car turning into a skid in the snow,” counseled the guide. Crap. Physics again. I never understood that concept.
“I can’t do this,” I said to nobody in particular.
“You have to,” said Sasquatch. There’s no other way down.”
I hit the air, the harness locked to the cable and I was off, swifter than a speeding neutrino, screaming, arms in the air, hanging by my thighs and crotch. What part of the word zip didn’t you understand, you moron? God, don’t let me pee!
I started to spin, helpless to right myself, zipping backwards toward the tree platform. “Incoming! Incoming!” I howled, sure I’d wipe out the unfortunate mountain man poised to snag me.
What beautiful tree canopy??? With my eyes shut I could have been zipping over chicken coops in Gumboro. Zooming into the next outpost, hands in a death grip at the harness holds, praying I wouldn’t kill anybody, I wound up suspended in mid air, swinging like a fresh side of beef.
So you see, theories of physics elude me. And as I read more about this neutrino controversy (Neutrinos, good or bad?) I wanted to text Dr. Stephen Hawking and ask WFT?
One scientist wrote “Any physicist worth even a fraction of their weight in neutrinos will be shaking their head, knowing intuitively that the result is simply wrong.”
If I’d been able to calculate my weight in neutrinos I might have reconsidered that whole zip line thing. Was I proud I survived it? Yes. Would I do it again? No way. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.
So here’s my connection to the neutrino caper. If this discovery means the end to the most famous equation of all time, and E actually does not equal MC squared, it means that time travel might be possible.
Holy Michael J.Fox. Time travel. And if so, I’d go right back to the awful day in August, when Bonnie asked me to go on the zip line with her and I’d say “Have a great time, kiddo, I’ll be waiting for you here at the snack bar, having me some supernovas and harmonic convergence.
Evading the zip experience = Me Completely Square, but it would have been worth my weight in honey nut neutrinos.

For Frying Out Loud by Fay Jacobs
Book: For Frying Out Loud – Rehoboth Beach Diaries
Author: Fay Jacobs
Publisher: A&M Books

Oh, jeez, where do I begin?

It seems like every year there’s some movie, album, or book that captures the world’s imagination, and suddenly it’s everywhere. Everyone rushes out to watch, listen, read, or recommend it to anyone that even remotely looks like they might care – and more than a few that clearly don’t.

There’s Oscar buzz. There’s Grammy buzz. Ooh, yeah, there’s that coveted spot in Oprah’s Book Club.

I find, more often than not, that when this mass adulation occurs, I should run the other direction as fast as my size 6 1/2s can take me. Why? Three Words: Glengarry. Glen. Ross. Yeah, that’s the “astonishing”, “spectacular” 1992 Oscar nominee that starred Pacino, Lemmon, Baldwin, Arkin, Harris and Altman.

It’s also the cinematic marvel that conscripted more than 100 minutes of my life into the darkest trenches of Hell, and convinced me that I’d rather play patty cake with a methed up badger than sit through one single minute of it again. Ever.

So, imagine the emotional roller coaster ride I went through when Fay Jacobs sent me a truly lovely email saying she’d read the blog, and wondered if I’d consider doing a review of a few items from A&M Books. It went a bit like this:

Fay Jacobs sent me an email (whoot, fist pump)
Oh, God! She wants me to review her book (Munch’s Scream face)
Everyone says it’s great (happy dance, booty shake)
Everyone says it’s great (Glengarry Glen Ross scream face)

It went on like that for another stomach sloshing two and a half minutes, but ultimately I knew I had to read her book and give Ms. Jacobs a fair and honest opinion.

I also knew it probably wouldn’t hurt if I started planning a post book review blogging life . . . maybe something safe, like chicken sexing.

For Frying Out Loud – Rehoboth Beach Diaries by Fay Jacobs is a jaunty little collection of essays and soliloquies that covers her day-to-day life in Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach and the world beyond. No topic or bodily function is sacred, as she takes on politics, intolerance, LGBT history, technology, transportation, rendered meat products, demon dog sitting, simple home repair, NSAIDs, and chilled adult beverages. Each entry, regardless of its subject matter, is approached with refreshing honesty, a healthy dose of self-deprecation, and enough mirth to make your face hurt from smiling by the time it’s done.

I am impressed with Ms. Jacobs’ mastery of colloquial writing. That is to say, her ability to tell each story in a simple, engaging way that makes the reader feel like she’s sitting across the table sharing stories as the margaritas flow faster and faster. The essays are tight, focused, and refreshingly didactic without being judgmental or haughty; and the subject matter is often familiar, because many of us have had the same general experiences, observations, and conversations – we’ve just never managed to do it with the wit, flair, and je ne sais quoi that Ms. Jacobs and her merry band of Rehomos achieve time and again.

So, admittedly, going into this, I was more than a little nervous that For Frying Out Loud was going to be one of those books that didn’t live up to all the hype and hoopla. However, I can assure you, that thinking is completely off base. The book is fun and fabulous, it’s classy and heartwarming, and it manages to remind us that we’re all in this together.

Now, if I can only convince Fay and Bonnie to hire me as their dog walking, Cosmo shaking, GPS translating, Cabana girl . . .

So, everything you’ve heard is true – Fay Jacobs and For Frying Out Loud are a two-for-one American treasure. In my opinion, the madcap Ms. Jacobs deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Mike Roykos and Dave Berrys of the world. For Frying Out Loud gets a lip-smacking 5.4 out of 6 on the Rainbow Scale – it’s delightfully bent and bawdy, and chock full of whimsy, but a girl can still learn a lot from it.

Posted by Salem West at 11:11 AM Email This
BlogThis!
Share to Twitter
Share to Facebook
Share to Google Buzz

Labels: A and M Books, Fay Jacobs, For Frying Out Loud

On the first weekend in June we revved up the RV and headed to Pennsylvania Dutch country to camp with a group called RVing Women. I’m sure nobody’s shocked that all previous knowledge I had of the Amish came from the mostly forgotten musical Plain & Fancy starring Barbara Cook.
And despite how it sounds, it also won’t shock you to know the weekend also included Intercourse. No, it’s not too much information. I assure you the only naughty thing I did was sit around a campfire and enjoy it.
We set out on Thursday with the Schnauzers and enough food and drink to feed and anesthetize the Israeli Army. After a couple of hours, amid an area littered with tattoo parlors, tractor supply stores and hog farms, we saw the sign. Paradise,3 miles. I don’t think so.
But a mile on the other side of the self-proclaimed town of Paradise we found our destination – the Old Mill Stream Campground.
Literally, down by the old mill stream, we hooked up the RV to electric, water and sewer and went exploring. In the campground pavilion I found the leaders of this RVing Women troupe – the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of a national organization, preparing food and activities for the weekend. We got a hearty welcome and saw that they’d scheduled a book reading and signing for me on Saturday. Would I survive until Saturday without Friday night in Rehoboth and with only outdoor activities to entertain me?
There were at least 30 rigs, some smaller than ours, but many waaaay larger, and they were all piloted by women, many with partners, and most with pups. Moxie and Paddy got to meet Lady and Pepper, two lithe female greyhounds, a charming boxer, several Bichons, a Toto-look-alike and numerous mutts, They all brought their friendly human companions along, with a bounty of booze and munchies. No fear of starvation between the three daily pot luck buffets.
For a woman out of her natural habitat, I adapted well. We sat around a campfire, a sprinkling of women in chairs, many on the turf, and a sprinkling of dogs on the turf, but many of them in chairs. I feared being made to sing Cumbaya, but frankly we talked politics and gay history. I was in my element again if you discount the embers and mosquitoes.
The reading and signing was a blast and on a walk up the road we made the very rustic discovery of the Tanger Outlets, which we happily avoided in favor of a game of redneck horseshoes. What’s happening to me???
Some women played Pickle Ball, a combination of tennis, ping-pong and delicatessen. But the action stopped with the arrival of the Amish Pie Man, his horse pulling the wagon, his wife handing the transactions and his pies beckoning us all. As we chomped down on our goodies I fully understood the origins of the name Shoo-fly Pie. (sing it with me: Down by the old mill stream, where I first ate shoo)

One great thing about these RVing Women – if you need assistance, look out. Somebody said “Let’s start a fire,” and a woman came bounding out with an ax. While Lizzie Bordon split logs like Abe Lincoln, other gals dispensed RV lore. We had twelve gals with tool holsters offering opinions and a bunch willing to slither under your rig and check for whatever ailed you. Wow, that sounds naughty, too, but I’m really just talking about load levelers and pump-outs.
For sheer contrast, our mechanical behemoths stood on one side of the old mill stream (had to say it again) and on the other side, an Amish farmer tilled his field with a plow drawn by a pair or horses. I’m sure if he had needed help our women with axes would gladly have leapt the stream to assist.
For this novice camper, the RVing Women put out the welcome mat and gave us reason to join the group. They are organized, they sure can cook, they encourage traveling canines and share a wealth of RV info and stories….and they don’t even mind when somebody asks “What kind of engine on your rig?” and I say “the seats are beige.”
By Sunday it was time to explore and of course, I had to visit Intercourse and photograph the city limits sign. It wasn’t easy, requiring me to balance on a steep hill, watching out for fast-moving buggies. I had to deal with horse shit and not the verbal kind I am used to. An Amish family spending Sunday on their porch went inside while I did my photographic circus act. Bonnie said they didn’t want to be in my picture but I think they didn’t want us to see them laughing at the dumb tourist stepping in horse manure.
We traversed the countryside from Bird-in-Hand to Intercourse to Paradise, repeating the RVing Women mantra: “not all who wander are lost”. For me, it was “not all who RV know how to wield an ax”. We were careful not to take the RV through any of the 28 covered bridges in the county. That would have been ugly. And everywhere we went, we wound up behind a horse and buggy with the “slow moving farm vehicle” red triangle on the back.
By the time we finished up the Amish bakery items and campfire cocktails, I was a slow moving farm vehicle myself, needing a butt triangle and load levelers. I’m an RVer and I like it. Go figure.

With my book publishing business I can go from sublime to ridiculous in a flash.
Since my three books all started as Letters columns, I feel like I’m talking to family when I report how things are going. And they are going great. The reception I’ve gotten here at home for the new book has been wonderful. Books are flying out of my garage warehouse from sales, both online and inline at local bookstore signings. I’m humbled and happy.
But possibly to ensure that my head doesn’t bloat I have been treated to some matchless experiences hawking the books – and a book tour, however delightful New York, Chicago or P-Town can be, has its ups and downs.
Literally. I’ve traipsed up and down creaky staircases lugging cartons of books until I’ve actually screamed “for frying out loud!” And I’ve survived readings for a just a handful of hardy audience members, filled out, fortunately by my own blood relatives.
And all the travel isn’t exactly glamorous. Thank goodness for GPS when I found myself careening through the narrow streets of Staten Island, NY, seeking a tiny GLBT bookstore sandwiched between Household of Love Church and Our Lady of Pity Ministries. Loved the owners, loved the crowd, can’t say much for the neighborhood.
Not that I’m having an Our Lady of Pity party. It’s been a real blast networking at book conferences and meeting readers in bookstores, signing and selling lots of books. Gay Days at Disney was a hoot, and at some readings I get laughs like I was doing stand-up. Of course, Women’s Week in P-Town was grand.
Then again, it’s sobering to be partying with readers and selling books Saturday night to find myself reading on Sunday in a dark, dank, mostly empty bar, still reeking of the previous night’s beer blast. Oh, that would be the bar reeking of beer, not me. Then again, it was Women’s Week P-Town, so it’s tricky to judge.
But it wasn’t hard to be judgmental about a book fair in Dover at the Delaware Agricultural Museum, a place, as you can imagine, I had no idea even existed. It houses antique tractors, cotton gins and all manner of rural artifacts. And it sits across the street from the NASCAR track, which might have been a clue for urban me.
I arrived to discover I was to set up my display in front of the museum’s goat breed exhibit, which I found instantly hilarious and appropriate. After dragging a six-foot folding table, lawn chair, and book cartons from the parking lot to the door I felt pretty much like an old goat myself.
As I unpacked, I noticed I was underdressed. There were authors in full Civil War garb, writers who appeared to be dressed for a White House state dinner and a couple of women who might have been palm readers and/or still dressed for Trick or Treat.
The man next to me boasted of having published 30 different volumes about Hessian soldiers in the Revolutionary War, though his plastic spiral-bound books seemed to have been published by Kinko House.
I was surrounded by authors peddling badly bound copies of books with titles like Last Chance for Jesus and Sex with Unicorns – How I Talk to God.
A young woman came up to my table, read a blurb about A&M Books and asked “What exactly is a feminist press?” I sized her up. She seemed to have most of her teeth and wasn’t dressed for a Rebel encampment so I took a chance.
“Actually, it’s a lesbian press, but in the 70s no printer would touch a lesbian book,” I answered. The woman said nothing but actually took a giant step back, apparently afraid to catch, as Rachel Maddow says, “the gay.”
Once everybody was set up, a dribble of patrons came through the doors. People would walk by, pick up my book, smile at the cover and turn it over to read the back. I could tell the exact moment they got to the word gay. They plopped the book down like it had cooties.
Instead of twiddling my thumbs waiting for somebody to come up and insult me I spent time checking out the goat display. Goats are kept for milk, meat, or hair, and some are also kept as companions. All goat breeds are very hardy, curious, and intelligent. Hey, maybe they’d like to read some essays or at least eat the book cover. Nothing else was happening.
One woman flipped through my book, stopped, looked up and said “You wrote ‘pray for Obama Care’, I really can’t talk to you, you’re a Commie.” She slammed the book down as if it contained Anthrax. It made me want to back up and get in the pen with the intelligent taxidermied goats.
One bright spot had a man picking up the book, oohing and ahhing at the photo and then saying ”Wow, that’s a beautiful dog. Cocker Spaniel?” If he couldn’t tell the difference between a Cocker and a Schnauzer, what hope was there for his understanding a lesbian smartass?
I was buoyed by a man making a beeline for my table but it turned out he wanted to read about Nubian Dairy Goats. Then I got nervous when the Civil War author unsheathed his sword brandished it about for people to admire. I’d only been there two hours, and had a stupefying two more to go. I considered grabbing the sword and falling on it.
Finally, a lady came by, picked up the book, turned it over and read the entire back of the book and said “For Frying Out Loud. Um….Is it a cookbook? What do you fry?”
Exit cue.
I came back to Rehoboth to discover that while I was sitting on my butt trying to peddle books to homophobes and religious zealots, I’d sold 20 books here at home at Proud Bookstore. It’s so nice to have a niche to come home to.
Next, I’m off to Giovanni’s Room, a GLBT bookstore in Philly. I expect my experience there will be a welcoming one. While we can’t always count on patrons or book buyers to be in good moods, if anybody is grumpy or gruff, at least I’m fairly certain nobody will be Billy Goat Gruff.
At least I hope not.