trish bendix

I like reading a book without a last page

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on October 22, 2008

I recently signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo, which means as of Nov. 1, I’ll have 30 days to write 50,000 words. I am a pretty quick writer when it comes to non-fiction and my short fiction stories, but a novel is going to be, uh, a little different, I’m sure.

My dad asked me what my inspiration was, when I told him I was ready for the challenge. Since then, I’ve come to the conclusion I’ve been really inspired by my neighborhood lately, from this house just around the corner from me that I just discovered, hidden behind condos, and the alleyways that intersect, serving as a crossing path for several of those who live in on the streets between Division and Milwaukee. I’m already visualizing where the people and places will fit in, from the bakery to the man who worships his five feet of grass and garden he has next to the city sidewalk.

I didn’t mean it to be, but I think it’ll end up being very Chicago-driven. This is all before I’ve written a word. I can’t, that would be cheating.

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Not quitting my day job

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on October 22, 2008


Unless, of course, you know any companies hiring professional Sharpie pumpkin decorators. (This must be why I got a C in high school art class.)

It takes a while to grow anything

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on October 17, 2008

In the past couple of weeks I have learned a lot about change. I’m seeing it as a positive thing — more than I ever have. It started right around the time I went in to speak to a class at my alma mater, Columbia. A former “boss” of mine, Dan Sinker (who used to run Punk Planet) asked me to come in and talk about digital journalism to his Intro to Journalism class. I did my best to not be boring and speak as slowly as possible (not so sure how I did on the latter).

It’s funny, though, that I was telling them how it all works, how I run the blog, how my daily routine is. Later that day, things change — we switch everything up entirely and a new blog is born. It leaves me a lot more time to write, and a lot more time to deal with good writers (minus a few, who had to be cut short, but whom I hope to keep in touch with). And that is some good change.

It was a month of birthdays, too, so there was a lot of celebrating the changing of age — my sister, my mom, four good friends. It makes me wish I was born in autumn. (I remain a lowly December baby; always so close to Christmas.)

But my birthday coming up is change enough. 25! That’s a quarter of a century. What does it all mean? (Philosophical questions start here.) I’ve been thinking a lot, which is probably because I’ve been reading a lot — especially about the change coming in this country. I’m trying to change the way I handle my own finances. I’m becoming the adopted lovechild of Rachel Maddow and Suze Orman.

And until Joan Didion‘s next book comes out (not soon enough!), I’ll re-read her latest essay in hopes that some day I can change into someone whose writing resembles hers.

These were not entirely unpredictable developments.”

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on October 10, 2008

Searching for a home

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on October 1, 2008

This weather is perfect for coffee, candles and jackets. This is my kind of season. It really works out well with my being a homebody and wanting to go to bed early to read (presently: The Time Traveler’s Wife, after much prodding from Jamie who keeps saying “You have to read it before the movie comes out!”)

So far, I enjoy the book, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I know the places Henry and Clare are visiting. I live in Chicago, and I grew up in Michigan. I’m familiar with South Haven, where Clare is from and I’ve been to the venues and museums and streets that they walk.

Unfortunately, these places won’t be the setting for the film, which was filmed in Toronto. Oh, Canada.

I read a study not too long ago that people most enjoy films that are set in their home city. I could see how this might be true. After all, I really can’t explain why I liked My Big Fat Greek Wedding enough to purchase it (OK, well I can, but I don’t think anyone cares, to be honest). But it occurred to me, while watching Stranger Than Fiction the other day, that I do enjoy the tie to my city. When I lived in L.A., I especially felt the need to watch films set in Chicago. I missed it so badly.

But now I’m here, so watching a movie because it is here, too, doesn’t really have the same kind of nostalgic feeling it had when I was attempting to do my own time travel back to the Midwest in 2003. It must be some kind of weird validation, like hometown pride.

I’m basically one of the Cubs fans at Daley Plaza, going insane over the prospect of being recognized as good enough by other people from elsewhere.

Strangely, I never felt this way about Michigan. I never had to watch 8 Mile to fill myself with joy. This must be home.

Well wouldn’t it be nice to be Dorian Gray?

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on September 30, 2008

Over the weekend, Jamie and I went to the Green Lantern to the The Gits. The filmmaker and producer were there for a Q&A afterward, which was made a little awkward by the presence of beer and some of Mia Zapata’s “friends.” I thought it was done very well, but ultimately leaves some questions unanswered. Lucky for me, I have Google.com.

The director was, understandably, quite defensive about her choosing to keep out of Mia’s personal life, which can be difficult when that person is your film’s subject and happens to have been a real person. It must be difficult to want to put everything you can into a project like that and feel like you still can’t tell the entire story without leaving things out or pissing people off. I have yet to really feel that pressure in any kind of story I write, but there have been a few minor instances where sources have backed out or decided they didn’t like how I wrote the truth.

As narcissistic as everyone can be, I think they’d all like to have control over how they’re interpreted. That’s fair, but ultimately impossible, short of hypnotism. People are going to have their own ideas, whether they are valid or not. That is something I’ve definitely learned as a writer.

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on September 22, 2008

You’re boring, you bore me

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on September 19, 2008

Wow, how cool — a book of illustrations done by musicians on the road. Hmm, odd how all of the bands (except for two) have only male members.

I’m guilty of this, you should know this

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on September 18, 2008

Jamie asked me the other day, “Why haven’t you updated your blog?”

The honest answer: the only things I’ve been doing are working, watching fall television, keeping Lola from falling off the couch during her naps, and working out at my new gym. I’m pretty much the picture of boring when it comes to blog-worthiness.

Yet, I’ve come up with some stuff that I might actually care to read about myself one day, looking back on what I was doing in September 2008.

The first installment of Queer Women to Watch is up on AfterEllen today, which is exciting because it’ll be a regular story each quarter featuring super talented queer ladies. For this go-around, I profiled Cameron Esposito, Von Iva, Cristy Road and Megan Holmes, all of whom I’m a fan of. (Cristy will be reading with Michelle Tea in Chicago next week as part of Estrojam Decibelle, which I hope to make it out to.)

The lovely and talented An Horse have signed a record deal in America, which makes me extremely happy as their Company EP is on my top 10 list of 2008. From the press release:

Australian indie duo An Horse, comprised of Kate Cooper and Damon Cox, have signed to mom&pop via Sara Quin, who met the pair during one of Tegan and Sara’s Australian tours. “Kate’s lyrics about love, relationships and the tendency to fixate on disabling neurosis in oneself have become my mission statement,” said Quin, who will A&R their full-length debut, scheduled for January 2009 release. “I get goose bumps, electrical currents running up my arms listening to them – I love this band.” An Horse just wrapped up a series of Australian dates with Death Cab for Cutie and will play October 22 at 205 in NY, NY as part of the 2008 CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival. The duo will launch a U.S. tour on October 20 in Arlington, VA.

Incredibly exciting. Speaking of Tegan and Sara, I did an interview with their creative director, Emy Storey, who is not only multi-talented in the way of art, but a wonderful conversationalist. I think the story will be a good one.

Since I recently did a Tegan interview as welI, think my boss assumes I have some sort of Quin obsession of sorts, but really, it’s just worked out that every lesbian they touch turns to gold. No wonder so many young gays want to touch them.

But just because it’s already been so T&S related, I’ll include a hilarious video from Spinner (courtesy of My Girlfriend is a Homo).

Then they’ll know that we’ve been loving each other

Posted in Uncategorized by trishbendix on September 10, 2008

My boss was interviewed for this Radar article on bisexual chic, which is cleverly titled “Girls Gone Wilde.”

The good:

Though Warn doesn’t report on closeted couples, she says, “Lindsay and Sam are in a sense giving people permission to write about their relationship by not denying anything.” She adds that the very banality of the paparazzi shots is what makes them so fascinating. “I don’t think Lindsay’s just doing this for the press.”

That said, Warn does fret that straights may see the relationship as “just another example of Lindsay going off the deep end—a negative thing, like drug use. I joke that there are some people we don’t need on our team. I think of the game red rover—like, ‘Please send Lindsay back.'”

The unexplicably yet predictably awful:

“Some people think Tila represents a media apocalypse,” notes Diane Anderson-Minshall, editor of the San Francisco–based lesbian magazine Curve. “But for better or worse she does increase visibility.” In fact, Anderson-Minshall says, “a lot of current lesbians are women who at one time were those Girls Gone Wild girls. That’s how I was. The fact that men get off on it—well, it gives you a convenient outlet to explore how you feel.” While Katy Perry’s song may be kind of dumb, Anderson-Minshall adds, “maybe some girl in high school who is a lesbian will say, ‘What the hell. I’ll try it.'”

We don’t need high school girls to “try” kissing others just because. Just like Tila Tequila, it takes away from credibility of same-sex sexuality. It’s kind of like calling being gay a “lifestyle.” Try it on for size! (I wonder why some people get the idea we have an agenda…)