Dinah Liveblog Day III: Fear and Self-Loathing in Palm Springs

Hellooooo friends, and welcome to Dinah Shore 2011! Your intrepid Autostraddle editors will be scampering about Palm Springs like the cute little Chuck-Taylor-wearing sunburnt drunk internet kittens we are, and we have left an equally intrepid and adorable team of interns to communicate all of our adventures to you in the meantime. We’ll be hitting all the events, shows and parties of Girl Bar’s Dinah Shore Weekend 2011, and we want you to be there with us in spirit! Here’s a map of Dinah AutoHQ, courtesy of Design Director Alex Vega:



And check out our schedule of all the Dinah action happening this weekend! We’ll be at Girl Bar events Thursday through Sunday, and you might think you’re ready but you’re not ready. But we’re doing this anyway! Here we go!


Saturday April 2, 2011

11:34 am: Everyone is awake with coffee and toast. This is surprising, because here is what the Girl Bar cocktail party yesterday looked like:And here is what Rachel wrote around midnight: At the girl bar cocktail party,  which is sponsored by ketel one THANK GOD

Alex, via email: My best purchase yet here in Palm Springs. Look, it is an awesome mug!I am not sure if it’s a tiny mug or if Alex just has big hands, speculate in the comments, please.

12:00 pm: Rachel via email: Someday every day will start like this, we will all wake up together and then a man with a weird haircut will bring us breakfast in bed while we write the website

12:09 pm: Laneia via twitter:+

12:55 pm:

Rachel via email:

Vega has gone off somewhere to pursue a career in being tanner and prettier than anyone else, and the rest of us are working on recovering from an exciting and exhausting series of adventures last night. This is what the bathroom looks like after four gay girls and two days.



1:07 pm:

Rachel via email: Team meeting!



1:32 PM:

Hello Autostraddle, this is Riese! I will be live-blogging for you for the next several hours for reasons which I will disclose after I take a shower. BRB

2:42 PM:

Hi! This is Riese again! I’m such a bad liveblogger! Julie & Brandy & Haviland & Jess R just came by. Hang on I have photos one sec!

2:43 PM:

Wow, we’ve got some serious Ansel Adams shit going on here. It’s almost like you’re RIGHT THERE in the middle of the ACTION.

As you can see from the picture, that girl is wearing some kind of Pocahantas-Meets-PacSun situation, or maybe is a mermaid of some kind. Also, Tracy is pulling off white pants and Stamie has a significant rack.


Here we have some girl probably named Britney, obviously her trip has been sponsored by Mandees. Or is that the same girl? Whatever. I want a butch fashion show.

Look, a pool!


Rachel is fighting the patriarchy — never stop fighting ladies, the war isn’t over! TAKE BACK THE NIGHT AND ALSO THE DAY!


Anyhoo, Rachel has instead shared this photo. Are you familiar with flagging? Apparently it’s a complicated coding system where you put a bananda in your ass to let people know what kind of situation you want in your vagina. Like if you’re single but looking, or if you’re poly, or if you want to do it up the butt, or if you want to do it in a tree, or you want to do it with bois and boys also. I don’t know what Brown means. Maybe it’s related to Scooby Doo:


Hi. Back to the bikini contest. I don’t know who won, but these girls are all wearing these headbands around the tops of their headpieces and I feel like it’s some kind of Alien thing. What do they win? A wet t-shirt?



Alex says: “This is weird but also attractive but also, this is Dinah Shore.”

The real contest here is who’s the better cameraphone photographer — Rachel, Alex, or Sarah?

Stamie: Are you having fun?
Model: Yeah this is awesome!
Stamie: Why are you so committed to this profession?
Model: Cause modelling is amazing! And bikini week is awesome.
Stamie: Awesome.

Alex says that this is the Bikini Week Mascot:


3:00 pm: Alex via email: “The Truck Stop Girls (“Girlz” but I refuse to spell it that way) came by and did a dance for us”:


4:06 PM

Rachel: “We just met an older Jewish dyke wearing a yarmulke and a rainbow button down in the elevator, I want her to adopt me.”

Also I’ve been sent this photograph of Alex, it’s called “Alex Vega is a Boy Scout”:


4:15 PM

What Happened Last Night

by Riese

Hello Autostraddle, this is me, Riese. Let me start out by telling you two things that are important to my overall sense of self-worth:

1. I handle and am in control of my shit.
2. I know what happened.

By “2” I mean that I’ve been keeping records of what happened (letters, diaries, writing) since I was two, which’s when my Mom started writing my first diary (I dictated to her, she wrote). A few years back I actually LIKED ambien for that reason — I wanted to be free of the burden of remembering everything. I wanted to not see so much all the time. I’m over that now. Haven’t even had an ambien in six months. So I’ve just gone gamely forward with my well-recorded existence.

So to say that I’m probably not the best narrator for “What Happened Last Night” feels like I’m eroding from the inside!

Last night, I’d had 1.5 drinks (later, at the hospital, they tested my blood alcohol level and it was .08, which is totally fine) and a teeny tiny bit of a ‘smoke’ and we’d just eaten dinner and we were going to the VIP Cocktail Party thing and when I got there I wanted water so I got water and not a drink. Then we walked outside and Julie and Brandy were there and Julie was wearing a white hat like Eminem. I was wearing my YOU GOT THE STYLE EILEEN MYLES t-shirt and everyone started talking and I started feeling weird so I was thinking in my head I had to go lie down maybe and was thinking of how I could get out of there without anyone doubting aforementioned item “#1.”

Then I couldn’t see Laneia and Sarah anymore because they were covered in black splotches and I couldn’t see anything, because everything was black. So I decided to make my exit except I guess that I didn’t, because my next memory is being somewhere else, like being carried. Someone told me later that I’d just passed out but Julie caught me before I hit the ground because she’s butch/changes the tires, etc. Then a lot of voices, a lot. Then the paramedics. Then hearing my blood pressure and thinking ‘what the fuck’ , it was like 45 over 65 (nobody can remember, Laneia remembers 72 over 48, earlier I thought one of the numbers was 54 for sure) I felt like I was in a teevee show about a person with a blood pressure of 45 over 65 (or 72 over 48) going to Seattle Grace. Then the ambulance where the bed was hard and then the hospital where the bed was soft. I hear I changed color (blue), which is ironic considering this whole incident is precisely what’s stopping me from changing into the color I WANTED to turn into this weekend, which is “tan.”

It’s important to me to be in control (see “1”) so I do my best to be stealth/non-intrusive when I get sick from drinking or food poisoning. But I remember thinking ‘I give up, someone has to fix me, I can’t do it myself.’ Then from here I have mostly what other people told me so I don’t know how to tell it. Everything hurt, unlike anything I’ve ever known. I would pass out I guess and then I would come to and then pass out and then come to.

This sounds so dramatic and cheesy and maybe precious or sentimental and I realize that, but I don’t know what else to say because I didn’t want to say anything at first. But I guess it’s important that sometimes we stop worrying about appearing to be anything but “together” and “perfect.” Because it’s not all girls in shiny bikinis, you know. Life. It’s also hospital waiting rooms.

Everything was terrible and was the worst. Also my period pains got out of control, like Black Swan was stabbing my uterus with a shard of glass. What happened was something about heat and being dehydrated and exhaustion and a Biba Syncopal Episode.

In the hospital Haviland was with me and called bcw for me. My family was in the lobby; Laneia, Alex, Rachel, Sarah, Jess. Then Alex came in and brought me Tinkerbell, and then Laneia came in and when the guy asked me if I had health insurance when I was still in the throes of it I wailed ‘this is so inhumane’. Then everyone went home and Haviland & Ashley stayed with me until I was better and they pumped things into me and there were lots of needles and IVs, etc.They had to pump water into me to get my blood pressure up, or like saline or something. There was so much of it, I felt like my veins were all cold water.

We got home at 3AM or something. Then this morning Julie & Brandy & Jess came by to see me and everyone has just been very nice to me. Ashley took a photo of Haviland in my little area of the hospital:

Now that’s over and it’s done and I’m ok and so I’m here in this live-blog as clearly I cannot be trusted to remain conscious. I have the best friends ever. I just ate an orange for the first time in like two years, oranges are so good!

Oh but earlier, when I was being carried out on a stretcher by the paramedics, Brandy noticed that some bitch at the party was wearing the same fucking white dress as her. What the fuck, right?

4:57 PM: Hello this is Rachel. We are getting ready to go to dinner, except I can’t decide what to wear to dinner until everyone votes on it and no one is voting. Did everyone notice above that Riese is no longer allergic to citric acid? Also I think Laneia just found the tampons. Things are really looking up.

5:10 PM: Wait nevermind we’re all just in a menstrual hut

5:53 PM: Rachel via email: Now this hotel room will be Camp Autostraddle/You Do You forever

6:47 PM: What does this even mean.

6:50 PM: Raise your hand if you want Brandy Howard to sexually harass you.

6:54 PM: I had a brief moment of confusion when I didn’t recognize the person in this picture, and I was like, I can’t add this until I know who it is, but then I re-read my emails and I have the answer: IT’S CARA FROM COFFEE BEAN! THANKS FOR THE DRINKS, CARA!

A;ex and Cara from Coffee bean

6:57 PM: Um… Here’s another picture telling you to smell your pillow. Carolyn says “This is for the liveblog. I have no explanation for it.”

6:57 PM: Brandy Howard is yelling “wet vaginas” down the halls at this hotel

6:59 PM: Things are getting interesting, I’m finding it hard to multi-task now with all these tweets and pictures and stuff. This is what’s happening right now: Brandy and Jess R. and maybe some other people are in a cab and they are going to have sex later, possibly with the cab driver, I wish I wasn’t picturing an elderly male cab driver right now. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a female cab driver?

7:19 PM: Jess, via email: Briana Stockton of “Work Out” fame just rolled up and Brandy is
screaming “Jackie Warner!!!” at the top of her lungs. Also, apparently, she is yelling “wet vaginas” as well down the halls in the hotel. Oh, Brandy.

7:25 PM: omg you guys.

Jess, Julie, Brandy, Haviland, Croce

8:37 PM: Rachel finds heteros!

and this:


also, 8:37 PM:

The Team (Riese, Alex, Julie, Brandy, Laneia, Rachel, Sarah, Jess R) and The Tribe (Alex and Jess and Croce and all their ca-RAZY Los Angeles Friends who have very nice outfits) have dinner at Hamburger Mary’s. Brandy yells at everybody.

Rachel via email:

1. Nbd, we’re just in Vegas hotel room discussing boyshort/boxer brief strategy. We decided fruit of the loom are the best ones for wearing
2. We just fit every lesbian on palm springs into one restaurant and.then ordered every beer. All of the beers.

8:47 PM: Rachel, via email: We are finishing dinner and going back to the hotel. I am just so excited to see Estelle I really just can’t even tell you

9:06 PM: Rachel via email: #wtfpalmsprings

9:34 PM: Awww! I feel a sense of community.

10:18 PM: Rachel via email: We could go to the show tonight or we could just look at a retrospective of Riese’s haircut


10:37 PM: Red team is ready for Estelle. Born ready. Born this way. Blue team is “getting ready” which I mean really what does that even mean, I just want to hear about American boys

11:00 PM: We have made it to the place Where The Girls Are! These are the Truck Stop Girls again and I guess they are dancing to Burlesque? Like I guess the fact that this Girl Bar event is named Gurlesque is not a coincidence is what I’m saying. Also look at these ladies, they are good for looking at. Laneia says these were the best thing to happen all weekend.

11:30 PM: Rachel via email: Oh no, Vega found the Salsa Room and now we’re never going to get to see Estelle

11:58 PM: Laneia via email: This dancing. This dancing. It is a thing. Haviland + Alex. A thing .Rachel knows the words. Alex is amazed. Literally everyone is dancing. Haviland is amazing.

8:30 AM: All the livebloggers got drunk and/or fell asleep last night, but here are some delayed pictures of Estelle and blurry shapes!

8:58 AM Sunday: Hi everyone this is Rachel! Last night we went to Gurlesque, where the Truck Stop Girls had an intense and exciting dance-off with the Gurlesque Dancers. We felt it was sad that two groups of strong, empowered women had to be set against one another instead of working together to end the patriarchy, but they were very good dancers who did many sexy things with chairs and we were very impressed also. Estelle is a talented singer, and it was inspired of her to change the lyrics of “American Boy” to “American Girl” because at Dinah Shore we are mostly concerned with those.

Since it has turned out that today we are all just heading back to LA because our various Transportation Situations are such that we unfortunately cannot stay in Palm Springs any longer, we are hereby concluding this “live blog,” which to be honest We think could’ve been a lot better. I mean, the interns could have tried a little harder to actually make their own jokes and not just copy-paste emails into a wordpress document. They will all be smacked later.

But this is not the last you will hear of Dinah Shore 2011! We have lots more photos to share with you, expect to see those soon! We love you, thank you for everything, good night and good luck!

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  1. Big hands or tiny mug?
    I’m not sure..
    But if her fingers are that big, she’ll be one popular lady this weekend.

  2. this morning my girlfriend took me and her mom out for breakfast, and i was thinking in the car “i wonder what’s going on at the dinah?!?” and then i remembered that california is two hours earlier than it is here, so it was like 7 am. and i was like “everyone is simply sleeping off the drunken debauchery. :(“

  3. Gaydies, that IS a lot of stuff. Wow.

    I think that the cup is just small, because it looks like it’s made for a tiny person. But it might be a little of both. If Alex has long piano player fingers I can only imagine her popularity at Dinah.

  4. small cup? I’m in the library reading data sets in the journal of political economy. this is so depressing. I want a lesbian spring break type thing. take pictures!

    • And a top given from the positioning…

      I suspect this person either has a sense of humor or doesn’t know what brown hankies mean.

      But HEY WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT (just not with me, oh jesus christ)

      Also, those girls are too skinny.

      • Or they’re actually into scat. Which, I hear you can get parasites in your brain from uh certain acts with scat, but um whatever you’re into.

  5. …now you guys are really making me jealous….pretty ladies in very thin bikinis struttin’ around in heels on stage….

    …okay..Dinah Shore 2012..calendered…countdown has started….366 days to go….

    Party on and let the debauchery begin!! and send Video!!!!

  6. Oooh, can y’all visit Laurel Holloman?

    @nalamommy Laurel Holloman
    im in tent by pool. staying at sep. hotel
    1 minute ago via txt

  7. Im at the club skirts pool party. It’s fun enough, but the girls that are singing right now are terrible and I’m not attracted to very many girls here

  8. RIESE! I’m glad your ok!! And just to make you happy, I want you to know that I just referenced Autostraddle for a paper i wrote about inequalities in sports for my Sociology of Sport!

  9. Glad you’re ok Riese, and that you have awesome people taking care of you. Very glad. Obvs they’re about the best family ever.

    • X4

      I definitely just freaked out like that happened to a close friend and not a person I’ve never met. You’re a special lady, and I need you to stay healthy.

      • I’ve met Riese and she has gills. So if things don’t work out for her on land she will take all of the oranges and dive into a sea (not of lesbians) and live happily ever after. The sea has Wi-Fi but no formspring.

        • I want you to narrate my life, perma-link, but I think Riese is the only one who deserves to have her life narrated by you.

  10. My God, Riese, just read your post…I am glad you are ok!! You’ve got the best support there to help you…take good care of yourself…

    in all seriousness…you are precious and your health is the most important priority…..

    All my love,


  11. Riese! Oranges are good and also I’m glad you’re ok! I have also been asked if I have health insurance a lot lately and it’s scary and it makes me sad to have to keep saying no and I feel inadequate and now I have all these payment plans. Please drink lots of water and make sure Tinkerbell doesn’t put anything in anyone’s beverages!

  12. Oh damn, I’m glad you’re okay and I hope you drank a lot of water today. Why do bad things happen to editors at Dinah Shore?

  13. Dear Riese,

    I do not comment on articles as often as you deserve, and I know you don’t know me, and I know you will probably never know me, but I am happy that you are alright. I hope you recover swiftly, and still get that tan you were after.


  14. Riese you poor love! What a fright that must’ve been. Please take care of yourself – we need you healthy.

  15. Riese! I’m glad you’re okay! Stuff like that is super scary :/

    When I read through all this my reactions were:

    Oh shit, Riese passed out
    Okay, she’s alright now

    but obviously you survived to post this, so I think we’re good. <3

    feel better! Take it easy!

  16. Aww Riese. I know that you just want to do you, but I’m glad that you let other people help you. Having helpers and friends is part of doing you. =)

  17. Riese, we hope you are ok! When you feel better/return to Oakland we will have to walk through a drive-through together.

    (Also, look, we are commenting!)

  18. I totally read ‘banana in your ass’ at first, rather than ‘bandana in your ass’ and was scared to scroll down and reveal the entire picture. Panic over

  19. oh my gosh that picture of everyone sleeping in a pile!! I just want to be in the middle of it, snuggling Julie Goldman.

    also, dearest dear dear Riese – please take care of yourself and I love you a lot.

  20. Riese! That is so scary! I’m glad you’re okay; what an ordeal. That totally blows.

    Also, this made me think of that one post on Hyperbole and a Half where Allie writes about her own adventures with surprise sudden low blood pressure and the resulting hospital visit. Then I started laughing, which made me feel guilty.

  21. Riese, hope your back to 100%. Thinking of you. Some DS inspired debauchery here this evening…..take care

  22. Riese that brown bandana’d girl will not nurse you back to health! Bad! Things! Will! Happen! You would feel a lot better of you found a pink bandana on the left!
    (I’ve memorized the hanky code. Avoid yellow, also. Bad! Things!)

  23. Is rude to admit the real reason I clicked this post was to see the adorable picture of the kitten on the beach in higher resolution? I’m not even a cat person, but this website makes me love kittens.

    I googled the hankerchief code. The brown one is really, like, not discreet at all. Some of the colors would take some memorization. The brown one? Not so much. Yikes.

  24. oh no, take care riese!
    (also this liveblog is more entertaining than anything in the world)

  25. I’m grateful that when you are out of my sight, you are still with ‘family’.

  26. Oh Riese, I am happy to hear that you are well now. Hope you are still having fun! I am so jealous of all you girls!!!

  27. btw, on the hanky code, wiki has a very nice table de-coding the colors:


    Colors can get very subtle: probably don’t want to confuse dark pink, magenta, fuchsia => tit torture, likes to lick armpits, spanking

    Call me an old fashioned romantic – but half the fun is taking a sweet girl by the hand, looking her in the eye and figuring out what she wants…..

    • I will now avoid bandanas at ALL costs – even when working in my own private yard behind my own private fence because that chart kind of scared me! LOL!

      Riese, I am SOOO glad you are ok!!! An Autostraddle without you as a part of it would just be wrong!! :)

      • Ha, made me laugh. I had a similar reaction – made me wonder if I had gone out in public giving signals I never intended!! I do hiking in jeans and boots and sometimes have a bandana in my pocket to wipe my hands or face…need to check their color now….

      • Ha, my feeling exactly!! I checked my bandana collection that I use when I go hiking, working in the garden and other stuff where I might need to wipe my hands or face and I have a couple of light pinks, light red, blue and orange bandanas. Which means I was signaling, unintended either: likes / wants: “dildos, fisting, anal sex or few limits”.

        Ughh….when did being a lez get soooo complicated! :)

        • OMG! Lindsey, your bandana collection had me LOL! That’s just fabulous! I’m just going to stay away from bandanas period – then life as a lez will be a lot more simple! LOL!

          • I didn’t know how complex this bandana situation was. My bedtime prayer will be sending an apology up to my recent and to all my other long gone, great dogs. I’m sorry!!!

        • Wait, I thought light pink was “breast fondler” or “breast fondlee”? I’m confused. I THOUGHT I KNEW THE HANKY CODE SO WELL.

          • I thought that was implied by lesbian? Are there lesbians that shy away from fondling boobs? I think those ones should wear a bandana.

  28. I just want to say that the group nap on the bed (7:25pm) is about the sweetest, most adorable picture I have ever seen. I want to blow it up to poster size and label it “the lesbian nap”….and put it on my wall.

    hugs to all

  29. Hope you’re doing ok now Riese. You guys always have an adventure at Dinah! Through highs and lows you’re all there for eachother and sharing it with all of us means A LOT.

    Forget the skinny models, TEAM AUTOSTRADDLE get my vote EVERYTIME – SO MUCH HOTNESS I CAN’T EVEN…

    Did the inflatable shark make an appearance?

    • sadly, the inflatable shark was unable to come to palm springs this year because he is lost in my garage somewhere and i don’t have anyone to move the big boxes around.

      i’m still pretty upset about it.

        • All I need to see is “Laneia” and “box” in the same sentence and I’m so there.

          • Damm the land and sea that divides us. I’d be there with a box of extra soft tissues, arms to comfort and move boxes with, in a heartbreat.*sigh*

  30. Wow! That was scary :( but I’m really glad youare feeling better now!

    I hope your trip back is better than your Amtrak trip!!

    PS. I’m happy those oranges were helpful :)

  31. Hello, everyone! Thank you for reading this and supporting us on our very dramatic journey that was the Dinah…yay Riese is alive, I met lots of AS people I had never met IRL, and we had lots of fun dancing our gay asses off. Many plans were made this weekend, and you are all going to be very happy with them, as they ROLE OUT.

    x to the izzo

  32. Thank you everyone for the love and affection and good wishes of health and happiness. I did not get a tan this weekend. NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM

  33. Tiny mug AND big hands is the answer to the Alex mystery. Writing “smell your pillow” on the mirror in red lipstick was Brandy’s idea. I’m almost certain that she’s the funniest human alive.

  34. 6:57 PM: Brandy Howard is yelling “wet vaginas” down the halls at this hotel


  35. Hoo boy Riese I am glad you’re okay; this story is very relevant to my recent life, a few weeks ago I just passed out in a public situation for no reason at all that I could figure out! (I’d felt suddenly nauseous, then that I had to sit down, then that I couldn’t move my legs, then that I had to go find a bathroom, then I stood up and passed out.) A buff roller derbier caught me so I didn’t get too banged up and I wasn’t out for long, but holy cow, it is confusing to feel that your own body is so totally not under your control. As someone who takes way too much pride in her ability not only to handle her own shit/know what happened but also to never get seriously sick, this was terrifying.

  36. This definitely seemed like it was epic, looking forward to the Dinah next year. In the meantime I shall be waiting for aquagirl here in MIAMI in may!!

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