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explosion into this world

Mel and me in the pre-concert dimnessAni DiFranco rocked the CrystalWarning: when you turn 21, your birthday never ends. On Friday, almost a full month after the twenty-first anniversary of my explosion into this world, my girlfriend Mel treated me to an Ani DiFranco show at the Crystal Ballroom. We went out to dinner beforehand to an LC favourite: Thai Peacock. Half the kids who live in my building just so happened to be there, and the waitress just so happened to seat us right next to them. Way to kill the romance, Thai Peacock lady.

walking to class is the slippery variety of dangerousThe Thai Peacock crew all just so happened to be going to the Ani show too. LC students (including Mel and me) formed a respectable block of enthusiastic swayers near the front of the crowd. Anaïs Mitchell, who in my opinion does lovely guitar work ruined by whiney vocals, was the opener. Ani, in her usual unpretentious white tanktop and baggy khakis, materialised onstage, and the crowd (as Dith would say) went cuckoo bananapants. Ani played a solid set, including a revitalized version of an old folk tune called Which Side Are You On.

It was too dark for actual photos at Field of Screams, but here’s the publicity flier my buddy Jason designedthe tree outside my window continues to morph.Pirates versus ninjas versus… pink.This play, written by my friend Katrina and starring RL Blogger Jon Wash was called The Woeful Tale of a Fallen Balloon.On Saturday, a chartered bus – the kind with its own on-board bathroom – deposited a passel of LC students at Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch. We shivered our way through the line for the Field of Screams Haunted Corn Maize, then screamed our way through the ear-y paths. (Haha, get it? What a corny pun.) It was terrifying and wonderful. A man in a swine mask chased me for awhile, which was unfairly scary because I used to be really afraid of pigs when I was a little kid. When we were squishing down the homestretch, we heard a chainsaw in the distance. “There’s always a psycho chainsaw murderer at the end, always,” Ashley said, and just as I was explaining how “I’ve never seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so chainsaws don’t really scare me,” chainsaw man leapt out of the corn on my left and swung his monstrous machine through the air above my head. I ducked and screamed for probably a full 60 seconds. Protip: Don’t talk about what you’re not afraid of, because it will take the opportunity to prove you wrong.

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? One of Tessa’s live stuffed animals, obviously.the last Once Upon a Weekend play made me glad it’s not Christmas photo time yet.Momo & the Coop doing their thingPostcard-making party! Mess included.When we got back to campus, I claimed my spot in line for a Once Upon a Weekend seat. OUAW, a series of hilarious theatrical one acts, takes place over the course of a single weekend each semester. This semester, the theme was Saboteur. Students wrote and submitted short plays relating to the theme – everything from pirates versus ninjas to a Christmas card photography set going wrong wrong wronger – and directors and actors had just two days to cast, memorise, block, and rehearse, and then everyone is on stage, fumbling and improvising. This year was the tenth anniversary, so LC theatre alum were invited to act and direct alongside current students. Between performances, three of our a cappella groups performed. Section Line Drive was wearing Wheat Thins paraphernalia (”Because it’s Once Upon a Wheat Thin!”), Momo & the Coop dressed crazy, and the Merry Weathers handled their sometimes pointy-heeled shoes admirably. (Click here for five videos!)

Sunday S’mores, as seen from the second floor balcony in Hartzfeld BNon-homework events on Sunday included postcard-making and s’more roasting. Now that some of the students in my building are fire safety certified, we can use our fireplace anytime we like! Bring it, winter. We’re ready for you. We will take you down with our marshmallow power.

The monkeys in Random Acts of Kindness club hid inspirational pumpkins all over campus to get us through midterms.Mel’s nephew Matthew, one of my favourite almost-four-year-olds!this fallen leaf is bigger than my head!I have been working relentlessly to write a really solid application for a SAAB grant. I’m planning on bringing Athens Boys Choir and Katastrophe, two spoken word and hip-hop trans activists, to campus in mid-November for Trans Day of Remembrance. The trick is to slate the event, a combination workshop and multimedia performance called F to eMbody, as academic in nature and supplemental to the Gender Studies curriculum already in place at LC. I think I’ll be able to pull it off. I will keep you posted.

I’ve been doing a ton of research about intersex for my Anthropology of the Body class. I just read a mind-bending (although not quite blowing) memoir called Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) and I’ve been plugging away at the ten or twelve intersex-related articles I’ve extracted from a handful of academic journals. It’s amazing how tiny the intersex community is. The same names keep surfacing in my research. Statistically, more babies are born intersex than are born with cystic fibrosis, but which condition is the average person more familiar with? Politics, privilege, and a paradigm of normality all contribute to the obfuscation of intersex issues. I’m really enjoying digging into the scientific dirt surrounding intersexuality.

Bryce preparing the pumpkin trebuchetpumpkin explosion! So startling I almost dropped my camera, hence the not-so-level photo.pumpkin launch wreckageI started typing this blog later than usual today because I stopped by the Physics and Chemistry Department’s annual pumpkin launch and demolition. I was rather underwhelmed by what the trebuchet could do to a lineup of jello-filled and dry ice-filled pumpkins, but then a guy in a lab coat brought out a pitcher of a sodium compound, the exact composition of which I have forgotten. He poured it into a hollowed-out pumpkin filled with water, retreated to the sidelines, and we all waited, fingers corked in our ears. The forthcoming explosion was awesome! The entire pumpkin literally vanished! Hallowe’en is magical. I enjoy pointless destruction on occasion.

I’m on duty this weekend, which means I’m doing rounds in costume, and I’m armed. With candy. To give to ghoulish revelers. I’m disguising myself as the dinosaur extinction, because I have an unreasonable number of dinosaur toys and a fondness for conceptual costumes.

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30 October 2009