Wednesday, April 30, 2008

East Coast Tour :: New York, New York

DIPSTICK: After meeting my partner's mom for breakfast, Lipstick and I left the rainy Catskills for New York City. It was a beautiful drive, but Lipstick missed most of it because she slept. We listened to our new favorite musician Nedra Johnson, who also happens to be my friend Retts's roommate.

LIPSTICK: Nedra has a great bluesy sound. Now Dipstick and I have one more artist we can listen to together.

DIPSTICK: And then I put on the new Ferron album because I thought Lipstick was asleep, but she woke up and actually said she liked it. It was a great soundtrack as we drove into the city. We arrived at the apartment to find this amazing view of the Brooklyn Bridge from our window. How cool is that?

LIPSTICK: I really wanted to see Ground Zero, so we walked over there from where we were staying, which is just a few blocks away. It was very surreal, as we were making our way over there, realizing that where we were walking had been covered with dust and panicking people fleeing just a five years ago. It all became very real to us. I snapped this picture of one of the airplane windows found in the wreckage.

DIPSTICK: We went to the 9/11 memorial. There are pictures and names of everyone killed in the attacks. I snapped this picture of gay hero Mark Bingham's name. He's the one Melissa Etheridge wrote the song "Tuesday Morning" about.

LIPSTICK: They're rebuilding the towers, so you really can't get that close to the actual site, but below is what it looks like now.

DIPSTICK: After that sobering experience, it was time for some New York City fun. We walked up to Soho where we met my colleague Ramon Johnson for drinks and dinner. Ramon gave us a tour of all the gay areas, including Greenwich Village and Chelsea. Lipstick, of course, had to do some shopping at Filene's . Can't take them femme anywhere without her needing to pull a credit card out.

LIPSTICK: Don't even start, Dipstick. Just because you're wearing the same underwear from 1992...The thing I love about New York is how alive and vibrant it is, even late into the night. I could live in this city and easily get lost in the chaos and hustle and bustle. And I loved Ramone. What a sweet guy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

East Coast Tour :: Catskill + Woodstock, NY

DIPSTICK: As you can see, Lipstick and I were in Woodstock, NY yesterday. Yes, home of the 1969 Woodstock Festival which put hippies on the map! At the Woodstock sign, I asked Lipstick not to take her clothes off and not to light the joint right there on the side of the road, but that femme just never listens. She does what she damn well chooses with no regard to anyone else. I was able to wrap this rainbow "Peace" flag around her before the cops arrived and I managed to talk her into keeping her pants on, but she still got several honks from passersby.

LIPSTICK: Oh geeze, Dip, you're such a square. What she's not mentioning, dear readers, is that she was wearing a tie-dyed tank top on and round blue sunglasses. Also, I'd just snuck a hallucinogenic mushroom in her omelet at breakfast without her knowing.

DIPSTICK: You stuck a mushroom in my omelet at MOD? It was such a delicious breakfast, too, and Mary and Dana were so sweet. Bu now I can stop worrying about those little leprechauns that followed me all the way down main street in Woodstock.

LIPSTICK: Leprechauns? I saw enormous squirrels. You're right about one thing today Dip, and that's how fantastic breakfast was. Before we hit the road in our magic bus for Woodstock, we had an amazing meal at MOD. As mentioned yesterday, MOD is a gourmet cafe in downtown Catskill owned by lesbot couple Mary (aka Mo) and Dana (aka Bret Michaels from drag show). See the photo of them in their open, organic kitchen. I had a Mediterranean omelet and Dipstick and something equally as yummy.

DIPSTICK: During our day in Woodstock, where is was raining torrentially all day, we both had our tarot cards read. My reading was mostly positive and said that my next big project is going to be a huge success.

LIPSTICK: Mine was all positive--the woman said people rarely draw all positive cards--and she said I'm surrounded by love and prosperity and that I'm on the right career path. My favorite card I drew was the "Fool" card (left), which means I'm a huge risk taker. (I already wear this as a badge of honor.) Good news, huh Dip?

DIPSTICK: Yes, good news. We had dinner with Retts at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Woodstock and then called it an early night. Lip and I are headed to Manhattan in a few minutes. We are so excited that our friend Alix's daughter is hooking us up with an apartment to stay in. While we're there we'll be doing a reading at Oscar Wilde tomorrow night. It's at 7pm. Come see us! Details below:

April 30
Oscar Wilde Bookstore
15 Christopher Street
New York, NY

Monday, April 28, 2008

East Coast Tour :: Catskill, NY

DIPSTICK: Yesterday, we had breakfast in Syracuse with my family before blowing out of town. We ate at this cute little lesbian-owned cafe called Sugar Pearl.

LIPSTICK: I love that name!

DIPSTICK: Me, too. Hands down, they have the best coffee in Syracuse.

LIPSTICK: Yes, all French Press. Yummm.

DIPSTICK: After b-fast, we drove up the Thruway and arrived in Catskill, NY. Lip and I were excited to learn that we have agreed on yet another artist to listen to in the car (because of our juxtaposed musical tastes right now, we only listen to Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheride). Jewel is now a featured guest on the road with us.

Once we arrived in Catskill, we met up with my old friend Retts. She was kind enough to let us stay with her and was hosting a drag king tea dance at the local gay bar, Doubles II, owned by gay stallions Sam + Michael. Lip and I made it just in time to change clothes and head over to the party.

LIPSTICK: Dip and I emceed the show, which included four local drag king acts. The first was Dana doing Poison's Bret Michaels. See photo. She rocked the house. And there will be more on her later. The second act was Retts, who did a fantastic Frank Sinatra. When she sang New York New York, it brought down the house (she is pictured here with her Frankettes). The third act was a woman who did a skewed version of Bob Dylan's Lay Lady Lay. The fourth act was Depeche Mode (see little video below).

DIPSTICK: We met some amazing people last night and nearly sold out of books. We saved five of them so we'd have something to sell in Boston. Some of the highlights included seeing mother of all lesbians Alix Dobkin (who has her arm raised during the L & D Lesbian IQ Quiz on stage--see photo), Colton, budding writer Chris (pictured here with us in teal shirt), Deborah (good luck with the fuzz!) and Faye, and Mo and Dana (also pictured below), who own a really fantastic gourmet cafe in town. More on that tomorrow.

LIPSTICK: I have to say, I just got back from a run this morning and I really like this little village of Catskill. I ran along the Hudson River as it poured rain down on me. There is something really sweet about small town life and by the turn out last night (85 dykes!), the queer community is alive and well, too. More tomorrow about our day today...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

East Coast Tour :: Syracuse, NY

DIPSTICK: What a time we had in Syracuse! After spending several days with my family, Lipstick and I finally had our reading here in Syracuse. Here is a picture of one of the owners, John, introducing us.

LIPSTICK: In all, we guessed about 25 people showed up at the Lavender Inkwell, which is an adorable queer book shop thats in an old Victorian house. Those that showed for the reading included one of Dipstick's old college roommates who she hadn't seen in 15 years and Dipstick's old track coach, who she used to taunt because she was a lesbian. Funny how things come around full circle, eh?

DIPSTICK: Well, we didn't actually taunt her. We just used to sing "I love you, you love me, homosexuality. People think we're just friends, but we're really lesbians."

LIPSTICK: Ahh, that sounds like taunting to me.

DIPSTICK: Whatever, we were young, thought we were straight (ha) and no harm was done. She came to the reading and bought a book, right?

LIPSTICK: True. Hanging out with Dipstick's family here in Syracuse was such a rich learning experience. I was privilege to two family dinners. One at her folks house where her mom made her signature shrimp curry. Went back for seconds. The last night we were in town, her brother, Tom, and sister in law Karen, hosted a BBQ. The weather didn't cooperate, but the burger and leg of lamb sure tasted good. Here is a picture of me with those from Dipstick's family who came to the reading. Her parents are in the back and her mom made the whole room cry when she talked about how much she loves her lesbian daughter and how she came to terms with it being a religious woman.

More to come.....

East Coast Tour :: Rochester, NY

Dipstick and I arrived in Syracuse on Wednesday and took the night off. We had a BIG family dinner at the Belge household--Dipstick has 8 siblings. Lipstick was a little overwhelmed by such familial chaos. They were all so delightful, however, and made me feel like I'd grown up right along side all of them.

Yesterday, after a long run on Syracuse University's campus, I hit a sushi joint for lunch and caught up on work yesterday. Dipstick spent the day with her neices and nephews and her twin sister. She'll be blogging about that later.

In the afternoon, I stopped by my sorority house Kappa Kappa Gamma and snapped this picture. Man did it make me feel old!

Her sister Mary and her girlfriend Meg picked me up late in the afternoon and we headed to Rochester, NY, which is about 80 miles from Syracuse, where we're staying cause Dipstick is from here.

We arrived with plenty of time at Equal Grounds. After meeting John and Randy, we went next door and had a slice of New York style pizza for dinner. The reading went great and many dynamic women from the Rochester community showed up. Although we didn't count, we guessed there were about 20. A big THANK YOU to all that showed up.

As we were leaving, two sweet lesbians who own Hedonist Chocolates. They gave us the most delicious gift basket of chocolates that didn't make it back to Syracuse. We ate them in the car on the drive back. Before we hit the road, however, we had a beer with one of Dipstick's oldest friends, (pictured here). Bill and Dip (including Dip's twin Mary) reminisced about the good old days while Mary's fabulous femme girlfriend, Meg, and I chatted about shopping, love and our favorite movies.

We are doing a reading in Syracuse today and then headed to one of Dipstick's brother's houses for another big ole' Belge din din. I'll be sure to snap pictures this time and give you the lowdown...

Friday, April 25, 2008

We Love to Hear From Readers

We got this email from some readers in the UK yesterday and thought we'd post it here. It's always such a pleasure to hear from readers, so keep the letters coming, especially if you've got something nice to say. :) Here it is:

Hey ladies, i've just finished reading your brilliant book (lipstick and dipstick essential guide) and it was brilliant. I couldn't put it down. I laughed so hard and at the same time received brilliant advice from the both of you. My name is Nad and i am from Wales in the United Kingdom. My partner Gemma is now reading your book after a bit of persuasion from myself. Your book was great, I can't stress enough how fab it was, definately the best book i've read EVER. I could relate to so many things in your book, like me and my partner have been together 18 months and like everyone else we do argue an have very nearly broke up, your book told us how to get through these times an now we're getting married. Your chapter on marriage was great, i thought i was the only butch out there who wanted to wear a tux on my big day but reading your book i found i am not the only one, woohoo. Thanks for giving me a fantastic read and i think your both awesome.

Thanks Lipstick & Dipstick

Nad & Gemma

Thursday, April 24, 2008

East Coast Tour :: Buffalo, NY

Hello from Buffalo!

Dip and I arrived at the crack of dawn (well at least it was in the Pacific Northwest—we took a red eye) in Buffalo, New York yesterday and rented a car. We loaded up our little tin can (the heap with no automatic anything was all Hertz had at the time even though we wanted something bigger) and had to play Tetris to get all our luggage in. (Side note: Butches travel with as much stuff as the femmes, maybe more because of their hair products. Like Dipstick always says: all a butch has in her hair.)

We went to Dipstick’s friends Adjoa and Christy's house (pictured here with their adorably old and blind Ruby) and dumped our stuff before heading off to Niagara Falls. And wow, what waterworks! Odjua snapped this shot of Dip and I. Supah cool, but the tourist area was surprisingly sleepy.

Before Niagara (and I know I’m talking out of sequence, but I’m still a bit touched by the lack of sleep—roll with me), we stopped for lunch at the original buffalo wing restaurant called the Anchor Bar. Apparently, it’s where those little fried fuckers dipped in blue cheese got their start. The Story. Hence the name “Buffalo” wings. For those of you also touched by lack of sleep or otherwise, it’s not actually buffalo meat they fry, but chicken. I have to say they *were* some of the best wings I’ve ever had. Check out the drumstick hat Dip bought. She ended up wearing it to dinner that night, too. I told her it looked kind of funny, but that butch just didn’t care. She’s still wearing it today. Her head hardly fit into the car...

Anyway, after we both stole naps, we headed to Talking Leaves, the big queer bookstore in town and met the owner John. We weren’t sure if anyone would show—I mean we’re 3000 miles from home for christsakes—but DAMN did the dykes of Buffalo show Lipstick & Dipstick some love. It was packed! And the crowd laughed in all the right places (it’s kinda awkward when people don’t think we’re funny) and we had a really spirited Q & A afterwards.

A very BIG thanks to all the ladies who came out to support us in Buffalo. We really appreciated it!

Our next reading is tomorrow night (Friday) in Rochester. Spread the word!

April 25th
Equal Grounds Coffee House
750 South Avenue, Rochester NY 14620

Other Upcoming East Coast Readings:

April 26
Lavender Inkwell
304 North McBride Street
Syracuse, NY

April 27

4-8pm (show at 6pm)
Doubles II
29 Church St.
Catskill, NY

April 30
Oscar Wilde Bookstore

15 Christopher Street
New York, NY

May 2
75 Warrenton ST
Boston, MA

May 3
North Hampton Pride
North Hampton, MA

May 4
Pride & Joy Books
20 Crafts Avenue
North Hampton, MA

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Sweetest Comment Ever

Look what someone wrote on our My Space page:
"I know that I'm a little late on the book, but that didnt stop it from helping me in any way. It has helped me so much in my relationship. I dont know how I could ever thank you for this book and all it has done for my girlfriend and I. We were having problems and I couldnt seem to find any solutions, so I figured what the heck, buy the book it cant hurt anything at this And I was so glad that I did. You saved me and you saved us, thank you from the bottom of my heart. ~*Areonda*~ "

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mombian Book Review

Are you a parent? Have you read our book? Neither Lipstick nor I are parents, but in writing the chapters about being in relationship with someone who has kids, or deciding whether or not to have children, we consulted our friends with children and read up on the lesbian mom experts, like one of our favorite blogs Mombian.

So, we were honored when Dana Rudolph from Mombian offered to review Lipstick & Dipstick’s Essential Guide to Lesbian Relationships for us from a parent’s perspective. In part, here is what she said:

Although neither Belge nor Daggett is a parent, for the most part their advice is sound. They first tackle the issues that can arise when you are dating someone who has children. “You gotta like kids,” they observe, but note with honesty, “They don’t have to like you.” Learning to share time and space with children is key for those who suddenly find themselves in a household with them. They advise taking things slowly, and not being hasty to move in or take on a parental role towards your new love’s children.

For the most part, she loved our book. She did have one little quibble, though. In an answer to a quiz about whether or not you’re ready to have children Lipstick wrote:
Oh, dear dyke, you are going to be the PTA Mother of the Year and your child will be a straight-A student and a stellar concert pianist. You’ll raise her well and she’ll go through life with her head high, fighting for her rights as a straight ally.

I guess this hit a sore spot with Mombian. But she does have a good point. Children of queer parents aren’t really our allies, they are part of the LGBT community. Read on.
She’s exaggerating, and that’s fine, but she also makes some potentially offensive assumptions about the children of LGBT parents by calling the one in her example a “straight ally.” Statistically, some children of LGBT parents will not be straight. We should not ignore or marginalize these “second generation” LGBT individuals for the sake of avoiding the old stereotype that homosexual parents always lead to homosexual children. To use the example of a straight child in parallel with being a top student and skilled pianist implies that the opposite would be to be a poor student, with no musical skills—and gay. I don’t think that was Daggett’s intent, but it comes off that way.
Furthermore, many, if not most, of the straight children of LGBT parents do not view themselves as allies, but rather as members of the LGBT community, as Abigail Garner has shown in Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is, and on her blog. “Ally” implies an outsider, however supportive. People who grew up in LGBT households, learning the lingo and the in-jokes, attending Pride marches and other LGBT events, and sometimes bearing the brunt of anti-LGBT prejudice as much as, if not more so, than their parents, deserve to be members of the community in which they were raised. They are “culturally queer,” as Garner puts it, even if they are straight.

Thanks Mombian for the review and a bit of education about our community.

Read the full Mombian Review

Friday, April 18, 2008

Gearing up for the East Coast

Dipstick and I are excited about upcoming East Coast Tour, which starts early next week. If you live in any of the below cities or have friends on the east coast, please post and pass along the below information. Drop a line if you have any questions:

April 23

Talking Leaves Bookstore

3158 Main Street
, Buffalo NY 14214

April 25
Equal Grounds Coffeehouse
750 South Avenue, Rochester NY 14620

April 26
Lavender Inkwell
304 North McBride Street, Syracuse NY

April 27
4-8pm (show at 6pm)
Doubles II

29 Church St.
downtown Catskill
Kingston, NY

April 30
Oscar Wilde Bookstore
15 Christopher Street, New York NY

May 2
75 Warrenton ST Boston
Boston, MA

May 3
North Hampton Pride

May 4
Pride & Joy Books
20 Crafts Avenue, Northampton MA

Monday, April 14, 2008

We Ho + San Diego Recap

Lipstick forgot the chords to her camera for their California tour, so I'm just now able to unload them onto my computer. While super short, we had fun in West Hollywood for the 18 hours we were there. Afer our reading at A Different Light (thanks Albert!) next door to East West (home to Shannon Kampa's PLATINUM, a sophisticated women's night on Thursdays), we got to catch up with old friends--my ex and her girlfriend--as well as our publicist Deborah Brosseau with Spinner PR. We had dinner and drinks at the Abbey.

In San Diego, we read at the Rubber Rose, a great sex shop owned by Carly and Leah. What a great sex shop; it's super friendly, cozy and well-equipped for all your needs between the sheets.

When it was all said and done, Dip and I were exhausted. We're glad to be home, but grearing up for more book fun later this month when we kick off our East Coast tour. See the side bar here--UPCOMING EVENTS--on our blog for more details of our stops along the way...

A special thanks to Kimpton for giving us a smoking rate at their gaslamp district property Hotel Solamar. It had a great roof top bar!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

For two people who are so incredibly different, Lipstick and I get along pretty well when we’re on the road. There is, however, one major exception, and I don’t know how we’re going to resolve it.

Music. We both came on the trip with our ipods fully loaded with great driving music. Since I was driving first, I let Lipstick pick the songs. “How about some mellow stuff to get us started?” she asked. Fine. The she proceeded to put on some weird mix with Air Supply, Kenny Loggins and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” I mean, who has “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” in their ipod?

“How about something a bit more upbeat?” I asked. Sure, she said and put on Carol King. Carol King? Upbeat? Oh, sorry, Lipstick apologized and then put on Jewel. WTF? “Grab my ipod out of the back, I’ve got a great driving mix on there,” I commanded.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” by Queen “Goodbye Stranger,” by Supertramp, “Let it Bleed,” by the Stones, “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield. I mean the classics. Lipstick rolled her eyes at the Queen song. Asked, “Who is this?” to the Stones. Uh, the Rolling Stones, Lipstick, only the best band ever. Things got ugly when Elvis Costello’s “Watching the Detectives” came on. Lipstick just turned the music off. “Oh, it was driving me crazy,” she complained. Like non-stop Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw were keeping me sane?!!

Finally we came to an agreement. The only music we’re allowed to listen to while driving is Melissa Etheridge. Her first album. We’ll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 WNBA Draft: Dipstick’s analysis

1. Candace Parker. Ace is going to Los Angeles. A perfect fit. Not only is the girl going to bring championships to LA, Hollywood is going to make her a star. I see so much potential for Candace Parker. She’s beautiful. She’s athletic. She’s heterosexual. She’s going to be a big star. More power to her.

2. Sylvia Fowles to Chicago. Sylvia has been one of my favorite players to watch all season. Not only can the girl dunk, it’s her shot-blocking that has me in awe. And did you see what she wore to the draft selection show? That was one hot suit and pin striped fedora. She was quoted on as saying, “My best friend told me I should pull it out, because it makes me look fly." Sylvia Fowles is one hot stud. Who was that woman she kissed on the lips on her way to the podium? Do tell!

3. Candice Wiggins. Candice famously cried when her Stanford team made it to the final four. The tears were in my eyes when she was picked number 3 in the WNBA draft. The girl moves me that much. I haven’t been as excited about a player coming out of college since Jackie Stiles in 2001. Can you say “Rookie of the Year?”

Here's a video I shot of Candice Wiggins when I was in San Jose for the Pac 10 Tournament.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lesbians Everywhere

So, yesterday was the final blowout pool party and boy did those dykes let it all hang out. Some of the highlights included this butch below with her beer holsters--have you ever seen anything like this? Miller Lite should be having hot chicks walk around the pool parties with these holsters selling beer. Genius. We ran into readers/fans all weekend and one in particular took the cake. Dipstick and I were walking out of the White Party (see photo of White Party below) when all of the sudden we heard a chick scream. She was drunk, maybe on some sort of hallucinogen and super excited to see her favorite advice columnists.

"Oh my god," she yelled, "It's Lipstick & Dipshit." I kid you not! DIPSHIT. I literally doubled over in laughter and so did Dip. The woman was really embarrassed and tried to chalk it up to some sort of Freudian slip and has since apologized twice at the pool party, but I am holding on to this one. It will go down in history.

The pool party at the Doral Hotel was equally as crazy, so we hear from our fellow Palm Springs sorority sisters (aka those we are living with in this modern ranch-style rental house). They snapped a picture of a vagina walking around (no joke, it looks like a giant mussel) and apparently our friend "Georgia" dove into it. Evidence is coming soon. Come back for this pic later today.

Last night, after a long day in the sun, we laid low and went to a late sushi dinner with all the girls in our Palm Springs "sorority house." I was telling Dip that it's just like old times for me to be sharing a house with six other dykes, where we come and go, wear nothing by bikinis and always have a cocktail in hand. You can see some of our "sisters" in the pic here.

Dipstick will be writing more later about the things she did, which beyond hanging at the pool with me, included the L Word Press Conference, the L Word Be Scene event and some good ole' dyke Final Four basketball watching with our friend and publisher Frances Stevens. More later.

So, we bid Palm Springs adieu today and push off for West Hollywood, where we have a reading tonight.

COME SEE US! It's at 7:30 at A Different Light Bookstore (8853 Santa Monica Blvd.)

For more photos, go HERE.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Butch in the Sorority House

Five femmes and me in this Palm Springs rental house. I never knew you sorority sisters were such slobs! All weekend I’ve been picking up your empty beer bottles, Kit Kat wrappers and fast food containers. Which begs me to ask, how do you ladies stay so thin with a diet like that?

While Lipstick and her girls had their “Sorority Girls Gone Wild” weekend, this butch was much more subdued, playing the part of serious lesbian journalist. The highlight of the weekend, of course, being The L Word Press Conference with Rachael Shelley (Helena), Alexandra Hedison (Dylan), Elizabeth Keener (Dawn Denbo) and L Word creator Ilene Chaiken. (Note in picture where Keener’s hand is… I think she felt really at home at Dinah Shore!).

While Lipstick and her girls sucked down beers at the bar. (Again, how do they stay so skinny?!) I went to what was probably the funnest event of the weekend, the “Be Scene” event where women acted out scenes from The L Word. One of the girls in the house portrayed Helena in the scene where she loses a bet and has to sleep with that rich skank. Melissa did a great job, down to the accent. Celebrity judges Kate Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Rachael Shelley were very impressed and the team took third place in the competition. Unfortunately, somehow those photos got accidentally erased from my camera. Very strange.

This butch must have partied too hard all weekend, because on Sunday I woke up with a roaring head cold. After a few hours at the pool, I headed home for a long nap. I did wake in time to catch the first two games of the Women’s Final Four. Franco, our Curve publisher and “Daddy” and I cheered our Stanford girls to victory. Dionne and Franco tried to drag me to the closing night party at Hunters, but with my voice giving out and my nose stuffing up, I returned back to the sorority house and crashed almost immediately, tired, but with a smile on my face.

For more photos, go HERE.

All photos by Kathy Belge, except Kate Moennig, courtesy of Club Skirts

Dinah Photo Album