Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's time to do the right thing.

I have a friend who is grappling a lot lately with his mother. She constantly seems to be playing hot and cold with the fact he is gay. One minute she seems okay with it, another she seems to draw needless hurtful lines in the sand that only create a further distance between her and her son.

I had the opportunity to mentor a lot of young gay folks when I was in college. And one truth was apparent: the parents nearly always come around to accept their child and love him deeper for the secret that no longer stands between them. It may take years, and years, but most eventually become their kid's greatest allies and fiercest defenders. And in the few instances where they didn't, the gay person went on to be happier for being who he is, but he went on without his parent(s). And its cripplingly sad, but he is the one who moves on. The parents never really do.

I just want to take this mother and shake her. Do you realize how much you are going to regret all of these petty little fights? All the times when you hurt your beautiful son? I am confident that she will one day come around, and I want to tell her to do it soon. There is no "gray" in love. You either do or you dont. You support him or you dont. You want him in your life or your dont. And every time you make some petty-ass decision to let something come between you and your son, you will regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not even soon. But someday you will look back: perhaps you will then have a greater understanding of what an ass you were or perhaps you will simply wonder why you dont have a better relationship with your son. And here's the answer: you didnt love him enough. So its time to cut the bullshit. Its time to let it go, see your son for the magnificent young man he is. Someone who is kind and caring, funny and intelligent, driven and, most importantly: happy in who he is.

Be happy for him. Be happy with him. I guarantee that it will only make both your lives better.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Top Chicago Pride Moments

* Studying flashcards while driving so as not to get frustrated with Wisconsin drivers

* Having a road race at 105 mph the moment I crossed over the Illinois border

* Listening to the absolutely AMAZING new Coldplay CD, Viva la Vida (I don't even like Coldplay!)

* Rolling into town, getting frustrated with parking, so just illegally parking long enough to grab a beer at my favorite spot, Roscoe's.

* Hanging out with my oldest friends in the world, Pete and John

* Laughing til I cried with my lil sis about Arrested Development quotes

* Eating a crazy good thai lunch with the aforementioned sister and admiring everything she has learned about child rearing

* Cooking a rather nice dinner on the grill and then throwing a dance party at Justine's place

* Helping certain friends get laid/find new dates ;-)

* Listening to Justine go on an on about Warren Buffet and Mars and wondering if I was the only crazy one who didn't think purchasing a planet was a good idea

* Staying out til 4:45 am and then walking a 1/2 block back to Justine's fantastic place

* Getting Mojitos at 12:30 in the afternoon and watching the Gay ROTC and Kimberly Locke with my two favoritest people in the world

* Wondering "Would it look too gay if I danced?" And then remembering that I was at Pride... In Chicago... At the Kimberly Locke concert...

* Taking a "gay break" and watching Wall-E with the only person who could truly enjoy it with me

* Spending a relaxing night in to rest for the following morning... asleep 15 minutes into the movie

* Experimenting with eggs on the grill, then eating a fantabulous brunch (try sweet-potato hash-browns some time, they're killer!)

* Catching up with D and remembering some things never change. Which is awesome.

* Seeing Kim's new hair!!!

* Screaming at the Log Cabin Republicans "You're all F'ing Idiots"

* Dancing in the rain (a little Salsa with D, a little Cha Cha Slide) during the parade delays

* Seeing Kim do a Marilyn Monroe

* Eating egg rolls that some random stranger offered me because Chicagoans are AWESOME! Amazing!

* Float-hopping with some amazing chick in a purple wig

* Sitting on the ground with a couple pot-smokin drag queens as cops strolled by

* Arriving back in Minneapolis to a friend who knows exactly what I need to hear. I'll miss you Joshie!

* Coming home to find a guilt-ridden note from my aunt "Remember to cultivate loving relationships with all the people who love you. Accomplishments in this life are worth nothing if you can't share them with the people you love." I couldn't agree more! Thank you to all my wonderful Chicago friends!

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Strawberry Swing" Coldplay,
Viva la Vida

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tendering my Notice

So today I gave my landlord my notice to vacate my apartment at the end of August.

It's so funny, I've spent the last two+ years bitching about how I just didn't "feel" the community in the Twin Cities... Just didn't feel very well connected to anything outside of law school. There were times when I swore I was gonna get out of here as fast as possible. And now that it's getting to be time to leave, I really really know that Im going to miss this place.

It's weird how this shit works. In a little over two months Im gonna have to pack up all my shit again, put it into a storage facility somewhere and patiently (not so patiently) wait to receive my placement in Wisconsin. Im sure I will eventually get really excited about wherever I get to go, to practice law, to establish a new community, but for right now all I have is the "leaving" part. My darlin little sis got all excited on the phone yesterday with me about the prospect of me moving closer to her. And that will be great, but I just couldn't share in her excitement in that moment. Cause all that means for me right now is that I am giving up everything here. Rough.

In a way its really good that I am getting out of here for a few days to go do Pride in Chicago. If I were to stick around here for our Pride it would likely only amplify my desire to stay put.

I've lived in this apartment building for about 3 years and it is seriously going to break my heart to leave this building and to leave the friendships that I feel only now are getting fortified. Its these transitions that challenge us. And at least on the plus-side I have the bar to focus on. Ick. THAT's my plus side. Haha.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Age Six Racer" Dashboard Confessional,
Swiss Army Romance

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To my Grandparents:

Jon and Jane,

It is apparent from the card you recently sent me that you don’t understand how angry I continue to be at the two of you.

I asked my father to have a discussion with you about this, and I am not sure if he did or not, but I found out sometime this winter that you both signed a petition in Florida to have the state constitution amended to permanently ban gay marriage.

Believe what you will believe. I can agree to disagree. But what you did in this act was to sign a public document stating that you never want to see me as happy as my other cousins, that you never want me to be considered equal. My father has always taught me that love is an act, expressed over and over again. Your act was anything but loving. I don’t even know how to describe your action, but it was not loving.

I have accomplished much in my life, supported by many individuals who have loved and helped me along the way. And I have come to be very proud of who I am, including the fact that I am gay and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But in my short life I have learned that I don’t need people around me who will hurt me. I am returning your check. I don’t want your money. I would sooner drown in my own debt than accept money from someone who would turn around and sign a public document stating that they don’t see me as an equal. I am better than that.

I hope that you both live long enough to hear about the day I get married. It will be among the happiest days of my life. That will be an act of love.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Remembering the Titans: Clinton and Obama Style

Being Saturday night, I took a break from studying to watch "Remember the Titans," which has been on my Netflix cue. For someone who hates sports movies, that truly is an amazing movie, and an amazing reminder of our history. There came a point in the movie that I had to remind myself that "this" was just 60 years ago... The abject and outright hate that tore our country apart was just 60 years ago.

It amazes me that we were at that point in our history... There is simply no denying that it is one of our more shameful historical moments. But, as Coach Carter did in this movie, we need to look to the past and let the blood of those before us inspire and teach us. To love beyond race, beyond gender, beyond nationality, and, quite frankly, beyond ourselves.

Today, Sen. Hillary Clinton announced that she was suspending her campaign. In many ways, this reminds me of Coach Yoast in this movie: she had every right to fill the "head coach" position. She should have been our "Hall of Famer." But there is a rift in our country that needs to be filled, a wound that still needs to be healed, and progress that needs to be made, and there is someone else who can better help to accomplish that goal. I am so very proud to think that Barack Obama could be our next president. Will be our next president.

It was Coach Carter's unbridled audacity and influence that transformed that Virginia town into a vibrant example of integrated, fair, decent society, slowly teaching its citizens to love and respect one another despite their differences. But in the end it was both he and Coach Yoast (the white coach) who learned to work together to make the team everything that it could be.

This is not my pitch for making Sen. Clinton the VP candidate. Quite frankly I think that would be a political mistake. Rather, I think that our party, our people, have the potential to gather around this new leader of our party and create a new reality. Taking one more step forward in a society that has learned many lessons in our short history.

These are some titans to remember.

The (Second) Worst Summer of My Life

Well, I don't know about you, but I was up until about 11:30 last night. Friday night that is... Studying. Yup. Practice Bar Essays, Outlines, Flashcards and whatnot. And here it is, 8:20 am on one of the only Saturdays until August when I DONT have a 9am class, and I'm back studying again.

Its funny: I have heard from about 6 different lecturers that we should consider this summer, the summer of Bar Prep, to be the worst of our lives. Finally one of the lecturers on Thursday conceded, "Well, unless you have had a close family member die or have served in Iraq." Phew... Well at least maybe this will be the Second-Worst summer in my life.

I think it is hard for most people to understand what a big deal this F'ing test is, and how excruciating it is to study for. Two solid days of testing over the intricate details of at least 15 different areas of law (including something called "Commercial Paper," whatever THAT is), in both essay format and multiple choice. But wait, there's more: one day you are being tested on the laws of a local jurisdiction (WI for me), and the next you are being tested on general law principles which often directly contradict your state's laws. Great. Oh, and also, in the long run your score is being "scaled" against the other test takers, so this F'ing test is on a curve as well. Yippee.

Oh, and if you fail, you will be disappointing your school, losing any potential job opportunities you had for at least 6 months and will have to do all of this again.

I was talking to a fellow bar-taker about the fact that people don't seem to get what a big deal all this is. I proposed passing a law: "All persons in preparation for taking a bar exam, within two months of taking such exam, are excused from any social obligations that might be expected of them, including anniversaries, birthdays, and things like Father's Day. This assembly recognizes that they need to fall off the face of the planet for a little while and should be allowed to do so with impunity." Or something like that.

Also, because I started to get entertained by this yesterday, here is just a sampling of the "status messages" of some of my friends who are studying for the bar right now:

Chris is going to run away and live at Greenacre.

Deepa is re-living the nightmare of first year property.

Leyla is realizing she didn't learn a darn thing in law school.

Suzanne: my brain has already reached its max...oh mf.

Ryan wishes he had an "easy" button.

Meg is contemplating a life on the pole rather than continuing to study for the bar.

Jake is Bawws deep in Con Law.

Dee Ann doesn't even want to be a lawyer.

Jenny feels like she'll never stop studying...

Karen's fortune cookie just told her she would make a good lawyer...hmmm...

John is flipping a coin between attorney and box car hobo.

Good Times.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Transitions... Again

It is kinda a humid, stuffy day today in my office. It is, in fact, my last day here. After two years clerking for the Public Defender I have to say goodbye. I'm having a bit of trouble with it, to be honest. I will certainly miss the people, the work, the atmosphere... This job has been an unexpected gift from God. And it sucks to walk away from it.

So here's where I am at: I graduated law school magna cum laude. My adoption article was published by our law journal earlier this month. There was a TON of drama this year at law school (one very good reason I wasn't writing). I also wasn't writing because I largely didn't feel I needed to. I had enough outlets around for my occasional venting. Writing seems a bit more necessary now.

It looks like I am going to be working for the Wisconsin Public Defender, which is fantastic. Our office here had its funding cut, so there was no job potential here (we kinda knew that was going to be the outcome), so it is super nice that I have this job offer keeping me sane. On the downside I won't know where I will be living until about October, once bar results are announced. So until then I am studying for the Wisconsin bar, staying put here while many of my friends move away, and then figuring out what to do with the months of August and September (I have already applied to a local grocery store for a position re-stocking shelves... Im also thinking of standing next to the road begging with a sign that reads: "Graduated with Honors from Law School - Can't get a job").

Its kinda funny, because the ONLY thing I have to get done today is a rather simple memo that I am really just putting off. I may try to get it done over the weekend. I just am not quite mentally ready to be done.

Personally I am at a bit of an awkward point as well. On the one hand I want to grab at every opportunity with my various friend groups to spend as much quality time with everyone as possible. On the other hand I have this deep desire to hole-up, divest from relationships and quietly slip away.

A large part of all of this is that I have WAY too much free time at the moment. I have been running at about 150% for the last three years: full time school with sometimes two other jobs, running the social apparatus for the school while on law journal and creating all sorts of problems for the school along the way. Now it's just me. No job. No school. No social structure. Just me. Wow. That's kinda a scary thought.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gays Behaving Badly

Well, this is interesting... Its being reported that one of the defendants in the Michael Sandy murder trial just had his lawyer "come out" for him in opening statements for the trial. The idea is, "It couldn't be a hate crime, cause I'm gay too." Except, as I have often pointed out, closet-cases are a breed of a whole different color.

I can't help but notice that us gays are in the news a lot lately for some rather stupid shit. (Hey, we had nothing to do with O.J.'s latest.) And while I, personally, see it all as a result of the dark and twisting nature of the closet, I recognize that this is a fairly educated and nuanced view.

Anthony Fortunato didnt steal from people because he was gay: he did it cause he was a maladjusted idiot. Senator Craig didn't seek out bathroom sex because he is gay: he did it because he was a fucked up closet-case (as are most bathroom-sex-seekers). Catholic priests aren't diddling little boys because they're gay: they are doing it because they have the sexual maturities of 12-year-olds and because of repressed sexual urges that the Vatican won't even acknowledge.

In the end, I suppose "no news is bad news" to some extent, in that the more that gay people are acknowledged (even if occasionally emphasizing the crazies) the more the general public will have to acknowledge our presence. And maybe, just maybe, people will start catching on to the underlying issues that are harmer both our community and the general populace: repression and discrimination.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Post-Fest 2007

Its been a heavy news time, and I definitely need to get back in the saddle in regards to writing, but here's to a quick start.

First the bad:

HIV resurges among young gay men in New York. Shameful. Truly. What the fuck? How idiotic can we be? Use a condom, EVERY TIME. No if, ands or buts. This is a sad, but unfortunately more common phenomenon. Fear just aint working any more (of course, I said that back in 2003). Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea, mobs are murdering or burying alive women with AIDS. Lawmakers there are also considering planting tracking chips in those with AIDs... Backwards much?

Oh yeah. And scientist predict polar bears will be wiped off the face of the earth by the end of the century. Looks like Coca-Cola will have to find a new holiday image. So sad.

Then the good:

A former University of Wisconsin (Madison) football player is giving half his estate ($1 million) to the UW's LGBT center. Wow. Seriously.

Students in Nova Scotia are wearing pink shirts to stand up for a kid bullied for wearing pink. These kids are freaking awesome.

Unity08, an internet campaign to put a Third Party ticket on the 2008 ballot that might not be quite as much of a partisan hack. I had thought that the whole idea behind Unity was a liberal-dream of "why can't we all get along" politics. But, as a recent study shows, the following is truly about as bi-partisan as you can get. People all along the political spectrum are buying in. And the money quote on issues: "Gun ownership, abortion rights, and gay marriage came in dead last in the rankings." Its time for the discussion to move on. Agreed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Incredible Guys

Well that was fun!

As a favor to an old friend, for the last two nights I have housed and entertained (somewhat) 4 guys who are traveling around the country in an RV creating a documentary about people who have really pursued their passion. It is, ironically enough, called Pursue the Passion.

I got to know these guys pretty quick, and they were 4 incredibly different personalities, but all the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. It was also good to distract me from some of the shit that has been going on in my head, which was somewhat important yesterday. In particular, I bonded with Noah, a writer and rapper from Tucson, who I just had an awesome connection with. It was kinda like: "Wow. We could be good friends!" Given how hard I have found it to connect to people in the Cities on exactly that type of level, I was certainly sad to see him go. We had gone out last night with his bus-mate Zach to the 19-Bar, and just had too much fun talking politics over far too much beer.

I also just noticed that they mentioned me in their travel blog regarding a conversation I had about the concept of "vacation" in our culture. They call me a "passionate public defender." I like that. Good stuff.

And as much as I love my job, I've gotta admit that I'm more than a little jealous of the trip they continue to have ahead of them.

Below: a clip from one of the many press interviews they have had

Interesting Campaign

I have had this website open on my desktop for about a week now, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it (not that it matters since the campaign looks like it ended last December). I think the idea of making people aware that they might be carrying HIV (or any other STD) without knowing it is a good notion, but I do remember a less educated time when people thought you could get HIV from a water fountain or pool... And this PR stunt originated in South America, where education on these issues still havent reached the level they have here. So a campaign based on "I got HIV through someone touching me..." has some problematic potential.

Still though, props for creativity. I hope that there is enough education going on along with this effort.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thrilling and Scary

Last night I went to pick up my roommate from the airport. She was late because her plane had been circling the city as there was continuous heat lightning for a good couple hours when they were scheduled to land. Apparently getting hit by lightning while landing isn't a fun experience.

But just as we left the airport the heat lightning broke and became a torrential downpour. I'm not sure I've ever seen a storm quite like that. Or, for that matter, driven through one. We had flash flooding coming up to the top of the wheels, and lightning that felt like it was right on top of us. I thought I could literally see my skeleton, like in the cartoons. We made it back to our apartment safe and sound. My roommate was relieved. I, on the other hand, was just a little disappointed that I didn't get zapped and end up with super powers. That's just me though.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Hundred" The Fray,
How to Save a Life

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Okay. Wow. That was a fun weekend.

To be honest, and not to get all melancholy, but I have been getting a little depressed here in big ole Minneapolis. I don't have the friend base that I have grown accustomed to, and have had problems meeting people... I don't know quite what the deal is, but I'm finding this city just not that friendly. People don't like talking to strangers. I had a really rough week last week trying to make connections with friends who either canceled, ignored or otherwise shrugged off my attempts to find people to hang out with. I mean, seriously, how hard is it just to find a friend to go to a movie with? And I try not to, but at a certain point, I can't help but take it personally and wonder what's wrong with me... Well, nothing. And I knew that all along, but I just needed to get out of here for a bit to remember that.

I took a last minute trip to Chicago to spend some time with my oldest and dearest friends. J, probably my best friend from college, just bought an incredible condo 1 block off of Boystown, and I stayed in "Christian's Room" as she has dubbed it. It was just incredible to be hanging out with her, and meeting up with several other friends who I know I can always count on.

I took Friday afternoon off and ended up renting a car and driving down there with a buddy from work, who was likewise going to Chicago to visit his boyfriend. Once we got there, J made me dinner and after gawking at her unbelievable new home, we went out on the town. First to SideTrakk, which is MUCH the better than it's Traverse City version (the only gay bar in my home town: literally a double wide trailer). Within minutes at that bar we happened to bump into a couple from Traverse who have served as my friends and mentors since I came out at age 17. Quite incredible to see them out, and I was thrilled to catch up with them.

And here's the thing: when we went to the bar to grab some drinks, random people just started talking to us. Maybe it was unique to MarketDays, which was last weekend, but it was amazing to have people strike up a conversation! I can NEVER get people to do that in Minneapolis!

From SideTrakk J and I moved on to Hydrate to meet up with one of my childhood friends (known me since 2nd grade) and his new wife. Let the flood of people wash over us there for a bit, then over to Buck's for pool. Again, people just randomly chatting with us left and right. We lasted to bar close, and then made our way home.

The next morning, J and I got breakfast, then walked around Market Days, collecting condoms and flirting with random guys at random tables. About noon we met up with another friend (also from 2nd grade) and his ex-girlfriend, who I adore. We ended up drinking outside straight from noon until 7:30. J and I actually forgot to eat, and were making ourselves quite happy drinking Bacardi's canned Mojitos.... Quite yummy. But by 7:30 I was dancing shirtless in the street and motorboating complete strangers (see photo), before I passed out neatly in my room.

I woke up about 2am, roaring and ready to go. "What the hell?" I thought, so I hit the streets, looking for some fun. As I was walking up Halstead, a small Filipino guy, Danny, approached me:

"Hey, how you doing?"

"Good." I said, wondering what he wanted.

"Are you straight?" he asked.

"No, why do you ask?" I responded.

"Good. Let's go get a drink." And just like that, I had a companion at Buck's where we chatted til about 3am. He was even super nice after I made it clear that I wasn't interested in going home with him. After Buck's closed, Danny directed me to Hydrate, where I proceeded to dance til about 5am, stopping only to make out with Paul, a publicist from D.C. Then home, playing in the rain along the way.

The next morning, J and I met our friend D (another awesome friend from college) for brunch at Orange. The wait was excruciating, (as we hadn't eaten real food in roughly 24 hours) but it gave us ample time to catch up and the food was well worth the wait. After that, we walked around Market Days for a little while longer (saw one of gay porn's biggest stars, Matthew Rush, walking around), and then I picked up my buddy from work, and we made our way back to Minneapolis. It had been a weekend of amazing friends, shirtless guys and just feeling wonderful about myself again.

It was, indeed, just what I needed.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Spit on a Stranger" Nickel Creek,
This Side

Thursday, August 09, 2007

This scares the hell out of me...

A recent article was printed in the New Yorker regarding the CIA's "Black Sites" and their interrogation techniques. I don't think that it will shock anyone in its content, but the thoroughness of the analysis creates a picture that should truly make you appreciate the absolute horror of the way we have allowed our government to treat people. It is lengthy, but certainly worth the read.

I am not a terrorist. In fact, I am a bit of a pacifist. But my personality has always been one to get in people's faces, cause problems, and confront establishment. Just ask my various school administrations, including a high school principal who still dreads seeing me. I now have a job where I quite literally fight the government on a daily basis. So the question becomes: "Who do I have to bug/cajole/expose/politically threaten/deviate from/scare in order for someone in our government to decide it is time for me to 'disappear'?"

It is unfathomable that the CIA or the US Military would spy on domestic groups. Wait. That has already happened.

It is unfathomable that our government would raid an apartment to "disappear" a terror suspect (somewhat like the Pinochet regime in Chile, really), and hold them outside of due process and torture them. Wait. That has already been happening as well.

It is unfathomable that the US Government could scoop up a well-meaning but politically threatening journalist/lawyer/activist to silence him.... How long will it be before this "unfathomable" event comes to pass?

It truly scares the hell out of me. If I were made to disappear, my family would have no idea what to do, no idea where to turn, and the devastation this would cause makes me cringe.

Where did the moral superiority of the United States go? When did it become okay to not only hit the low ground but to explore it and dwell in it? To become the rogue nation that feels it is above international law and need not comply with, well, simple morals?

I have a feeling I know what the Founders would say: unfathomable.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One more reason...

... that I am so very ashamed of the Bush administration. Reuters is reporting that the former Surgeon General was muzzled by the Bush Administration on scientific issues to suit their political purposes. And this was one of their OWN APPOINTEES!! Public welfare? Not important. Public safety? Ehh. Scientific integrity? Certainly a non-issue.

Thanks Towleroad.

Minneapolis #1 in Volunteerism

While I'm not altogether sure that I didn't just make up that word,
here's the story. Go us! Not a bad credential to add to your city's resume.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thailand: The Epic Journey

Okay, I have put this off long enough, and it is time to get this down in writing... So much went on during this trip, and I'm sure that I'll continue updating this for my own sake as memories reappear to me, but here's my first go at it:

Friday, July 6:
After an abbreviated work week (although I had bartended Tuesday) I went out for a couple drinks with co-workers on Friday and then made my way to the Minneapolis airport via lightrail and boarded my 7pm flight to Chicago. Funny enough, I bumped into a good friend (and law journal partner) from law school, Dave and his girlfriend. It was nice to have someone friendly to talk with, if for no other reason than to alleviate some of the pre-trip stress that inevitably sets in before a trans-continental voyage.

Once in Chicago, my oldest friend Pete and his new wife Jennalee (were fantastic and) picked me up at the airport. I had gotten a hotel room with the intention that the Guy was going to meet me out there for a night together, but that wasn't going to happen, and I became increasingly grateful for the time I got to spend with Pete and his wife. As I (perhaps drunkenly) pointed out later to Jennalee, I'm extremely glad that Pete married someone cool, who can hang out with us at Hooters (our now-traditional post-airport stop; also where Pete first introduced me to her) and let us still have our fun together without getting annoyed. I am still a little bit nervous about my friends getting married (more on another friend later) but at least with these two I'm growing more and more confident that they are really ready for each other for a lifetime.

Well, anyway, after Hooters and buying a t-shirt there (great for the irony, if nothing else), we went to another Roseville bar, where Pete and I had some fairly good conversations about things I can't really remember but seemed deep at the time. One thing for sure is that Pete has a little trouble understanding my job defending both the guilty and the innocent, and I feel like I finally made some headway there. We drank for quite a few hours together before we decided that it was finally time to get me to my hotel, and I hugged them both and snuggled into a big, comfortable, (if lonely) hotel bed.

Saturday, July 7:
Although I had tried to keep myself up late to pre-adjust to the 12-hour time change to come, I woke far too early due to nerves and ended up watching a Jennifer Lopez movie to pass the time. At that point, partially due to the sappy love story on the screen and partially because of my errant thoughts, my mind inevitably went to the Guy, and how much I wanted him with me. I hadn't heard from him as to why he no-showed, and really didn't want to hear the excuses: it was becoming more and more apparent that things simply aren't going to work out. I had come to the city where he was staying, rented a hotel room, and still nothing from him... While in the end he had a reasonably valid excuse, I started off this vacation thinking about how I needed to move on, and ended it having finally done so.

Eventually I boarded a hotel shuttle to the airport, getting a call in to my sister along the way, and then quickly found my check-in station. Because I had booked my ticket with my traveling companion Nate, I waited for him to come before checking in. In what felt like an excutiating period of time, I went through a couple of magazines and just watched time go by until I finally saw him coming up. His tardiness was not that extreme, nor was it a problem of any sort, but I had arrived early, and was already more than anxious about just getting my ass in the airplane seat. I became a little terse at the moment, and immediately wondered if this was going to be the start of a very painful 15 days traveling together. (It was not. In fact, quite the opposite).

Once we had checked our things, I bought a carton of cigarettes and we had McDonalds lunch, and got through security. Nate and I then walked around terminal to stretch our legs while we could, both walking the wrong-way down the moving walkways (always fun) and spotting a statute labeled "Male Sin" (which I promptly decided I needed to "get into"). We finally heard our flight called, got into line and were ready to go. At that point an elderly Asian, perhaps 5 feet tall, cut directly in front of me. My response: a mumbled "Honey, just because you are below my sight-line doesnt mean I can't see you..." She didn't hear me, and I let it go. Let's just get on the plane already!

Turns out Korean Air is absolutely splendid. Both Nate and I got aisle seats next to each other, and we spent most of the flight watching among the 25+ movies you could select on your personal tv-screen, playing video games, and tracking our flight. The food was pretty damn good too, and I was longing for those Korean Noodles on every flight thereafter. Also, they give you socks to wear. How can you beat that?

After an otherwise uneventful flight, we landed in Seoul, North Korea at 5pm, Sunday July 8th.

Seoul: Will, Kenny, Mai (depart 8:30pm), couples in matching outfits

Phuket: arrive 1am (taxi haggling, dark-dank three-person bed)

Monday, July 9: Phuket, Chinese breakfast, hang around, food, Transformers, beer garden, AIDS discussion, bathroom massage

Tuesday, July 10: travel Phuket --> Surat Thani --> Ko samui --> Lamai (party that night: rainy beer, 12-year olds)

Wednesday, July 11: beach day, massage (icy-hot), crickets, corona commercial... food, tailor? (tailor fetching me on the beach)

Thursday, July 12: day trip to national park... dreadful sea-kayaking, stair-climb, rock/rope climb, photos on plates, ... leg rash, Harry Potter

Friday, July 13: anticipated departure, delayed departure, beach day

Saturday, July 14: boat to Ko Tao, bungaloo on the beach, settling in, really bad enchilada, hanging out that night

Sunday, July 15: Will robbed, morning reading, Scuba re-training, that night?

Monday, July 16: change hotels, early morning diving: two sites - shark island and twin peaks, genuine Thai curry, saying goodbye to Ryan and Betsy, night to party... first gay man. Buckets of Red Bull and vodka, fire twirlers, hit my head. (injury #1). Deep conversations.

Tuesday, July 17: chill-out day, "Fracture", reading, killing time, Kenny's sandals, night boat

Wednesday, July 18: -->Krabi ... tiger cave, 2km stair (1200), mangrove tour: bite from shark-like-fish, amazing cave, rubber glove, night market, hanging with Irish, O'Malley's ... goodbye to Will, Kenny, Mai

Thursday, July19: unreal rock climbing

Friday, July 20: sea-kayaking (take 2), fresh-water lake, playing cards with Irish

Saturday, July 21: Nate still drunk, packing up, haphazardly catch bus to Phuket (nicer bus), back to same guesthouse as before (room upgrade), Harry Potter (again), Lady-Boy show (lame), late night Denzel Washington.

Sunday, July 22: early morning Denzel, hanging around, souvenir shopping, man returns money, couples massage, run out of money, friendly cab driver, incredible night sky, Phuket airport 8:40pm (horrid airport) --> bangkok 10pm (amazing airport) pizza before getting on 1am flight to Seoul.

Monday, July 23: Seoul 8:45 am, noon to Chicago, arrive 11am... quick intake into US, switch to earlier flight, 1:15 to Minneapolis. fight with reporter. roommate picks me up. home. yeah.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hello Again!

Well Hello!

It is once again 4:30 in the morning, and due to the time change from Thailand I am wide awake again. I havent been the best at forcing myself to readapt to the Central Time Zone. Which then results in me going to bed at 9pm and waking at 4am. Well, worse things have happened.

The trip was amazing, full of fantastic friends and phenomenal experiences. Over the next couple of days I will try my best to detail the trip in a separate posting, but for right now I will just comment that it was the perfect combination of relaxation, partying, culture and adventure. The photos from everyone else's cameras will be drifting in soon, so I'll be posting those too.

A lot of thought was put in during this trip about the Guy (the Nigerian, to clarify). Before I flew to Thailand, I had a one night layover in Chicago, where he is currently staying with relatives. I had hoped that we might be able to spend a romantic evening together, but the stars just didnt align, and we weren't able to make it happen. Before I had left I had been rather refusing to acknowledge that I was once again "single" (most markedly noted by my posting "It's Complicated" on my Facebook relationship section... I know... Lame.). But what I realized on this trip was that it is time to move on. It is time to give another whack at finding "the one." It's hard to give up on what we had, but it is time to do so. Maybe there's a future with Him, but until I know that I need to put myself out there again (and to my credit, since I have been home I have had one date and two hookups: Ive been home three nights; I didnt get any action in Thailand, so I came back a little... wound up). There were all sorts of situations in Thailand that I thought "It would be so nice if He were here." But he wasn't, and I suppose it is time to find someone who could be.

Now that I'm back, I feel like I have a million things to take care of, and it all seems a little overwhelming, especially coming from an atmosphere where I didn't have to do anything all day. Before I left I signed a 1Br apartment in my same building, and now have a little over a month before I need to pack up my shit and move. I also need to (once again) re-edit my Adoption Article to be resubmitted for publication. Im coming up on my third year of law school, so it is also time to start looking at potential employers around the country. Yipee! Add to that the simple fact that I have no groceries and need to get back into my work-out routine, and I'm feeling a bit behind.

Its funny. Before I left, a friend who had just returned from Vietnam told me, "Make sure you take mental time and energy to readjust to being back. Because you are not going to want to be." She specifically noted the depression that sets in after leaving such a paradise. And while I am always glad to be back on U.S. soil, she was damn right. I spent the first day not wanting to eat American food, not wanting to acknowledge that I had things to do, places to be. I came home and even felt poorer, not only because I have to face my credit card bills but more because I'm not spending the Bhat, which has a great exchange rate to U.S.

Im getting over all that... I have a great weekend to look forward to (Bikers with Big Hearts for Camp Heartland) and plenty of friends to keep me distracted. That's the stuff. Til I adjust, I guess I'll just keep waking up at 4am. Smile.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Black Balloon" Goo Goo Dolls,
Dizzy Up the Girl

Friday, July 06, 2007

Where I've Been, Where I'm Going

Well, I guess it is fair to say that blogging hasn't been high on my list of priorities lately. I've been busy with my day job (more than usual: four murders on my desk at once), picked up a bartending job at a kickass club, and been finishing work grading the "write-on" competition for the Law Journal. It's not that I don't have things to say: be it volleyball pants and blind people or things a bit more relevant (read: the irrelevance of the Bush Monarchy) there have been a lot of things bouncing around inside of my head.

But even now that I am motivated to get some writing done, I still don't have the time, and am now leaving for Thailand until the end of the month. I'm sure I will be doing a lot of writing there, but all by hand and I'm sure little if any of it ends up online.

Wish me safe travels, and I'll write again soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy Moments of the Evening

*** Sweating my ass off as I worked out watching the Best Week Ever podcast on my iPod.

*** Seeing a swarm of about 50 skateboarders who had taken to the street pass me by as I walked home.

*** Excusing myself to pass two Sheriff's Deputies and a Parole Officer who were blocking the sidewalk, mentioning, "We wouldn't want to be Interfering with Pedestrian Traffic, would we?"

*** Seeing two people patiently help a handicapped man out of a city bus.

***Being allowed to exchange a pair of pants I had bought at Target OVER A YEAR ago and never worn for a new size. (One more reason why I f'in LOVE Target)

*** Watching an episode of West Wing from the new boxed set I recently purchased while eating one of my favorite meals and then a cup of Caribou Caramel Swirl.

Some days it's just the small things.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Because the Night" 10,000 Maniacs,
MTV Unplugged

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Incredibly (un?)Justified Fear of Shoe Shiners

See, maybe it's that I'm a guy who buys cheap shoes... I had a friend the other day laugh at me when I acknowledged that most of my shoes have come from Payless. But only recently have I been wearing better shoes that might be worthy of taking care of. Shoes that deserve a good shine.

I'll admit it: I never really learned how to shine my shoes. My Boy Scout troop was all para-military, but that was never something we had to do. So now, in my adulthood, I face a dilemma: I must either go out and buy the materials (shoe polish, brush, etc.) to figure out how to shine my own shoes, or I can pony up the $6 to have one of the many many shoe shiners in Skyway do it for me.

Except: they scare me.

I don't know where this comes from, but for some reason I am really uncomfortable about the prospect of someone else shining my shoes. Perhaps its because I always think that the guys sitting up in those chairs reading the Wall Street Journal look like pompous asses. Part of it is that it is SUCH a subservient role for the person doing the shining, and I'm not particularly comfortable about that. Part of it is also that the fag in me doesn't want a professional judging my footwear thinking to themselves, "Well, maybe he didn't get these at PayLess, but he certainly could have."

Well, earlier this week I decided to face my fear. I went and paid my money, sat in the chair, and listened to the crazy Zydeco music playing at the little shop where the guy nearest my office sits. He seemed to be quite experienced, and I tried to make polite conversation with him so as not to feel like a pompous ass in the process. (I left my WSJ on my desk.)

But here's the problem: he FUCKED UP MY SHOES!!!

They now look worse than when I started: black sole paint on the leather, scuff marks on the top!

Now I am not only scared of shoe-shiners, but have a fucked up pair of shoes to legitimize my phobia.

Maybe its "do it yourself" time. Fuck.

My First Smile of the Morning

Now that I'm back to my normal day job, I have to be at my desk at 7:30 in the morning. This normally means that I am up at 6:15, and don't have the most leisurely morning routine to get out of the door. This morning wake-up comes altogether too early, especially since I have not yet gotten into the habit of getting to bed early enough to provide me with my requisite 8 hours of rest (plus last night was hot and sticky, so I didn't sleep well). Anyway, I realized this morning that throughout my morning bus ride and walk to work, I have a fairly dour expression on my face. "Seriously, I have to do this again?" (And this is when I LOVE my job, I can only imagine how painful it would be if I hated it.)

But I also realized that there is always a moment of the day that gets me back to my cheery (who are we kidding) self.

Every morning when I walk in the door of the building I am greeted by (Juan). (Juan) is our custodian, and every morning when I walk in the door we greets me with a big ole smile. He's this cute little guy and he's always working his butt off. For a while last summer when he would see me he would dart over to push the handicap-button on the door so it would open for me. I would always laugh and thank him, but finally told him he really doesn't need to do that for me. He is perhaps the hardest working guy in our building and he certainly doesnt need to play doorman for me, the ... not hardest working guy in the building.

I can only presume that since (Juan) works for the government that he is legally in this country. He's very obviously first generation Mexican immigrant, and lives here with his wife and very young daughter (he loves showing pictures). They all go to English classes together.

I couldn't help but think of (Juan) and his family and their efforts to make a better life for themselves here when I heard a recap of Tom Tancredo's racist, xenophobic bullshit at the Republican primary debates. His idea of halting all immigration (legal and otherwise) until all current residents in the U.S. have been forced to assimilate to (white) American culture is pure bullshit. At the debate he actually said that immigrants must "cut ties" with their country of origin and even their families in those countries. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!! Since when has that been a requirement to be American? To my knowledge we still have St. Patrick's Day parades in just about every city in the United States.

Tancredo also specifically referenced his spite at phone lines that make users "Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish..." This I totally don't understand. NO ONE IS MANDATING such phone options! What Tancredo is bitching about are U.S. companies who have seen a market for goods and services and are trying to fill that market as best as possible. What's more American than capitalism? What Tancredo, and many like him including my grandparents, fear is that the culture of America will (once again) change, through the efforts of those who live here.

I'm sorry, but the "I was here first" argument just doesn't hold water: otherwise we'd all be speaking Navajo/Algonquian/Iroquoian.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Follow You Home" Nickelback,
All the Right Reasons

Monday, June 11, 2007

Taking the Lead

Damn this is sick. I mean really. To take any amount of joy out of someone's death (besides Jerry Falwell's). I'm truly a sick fuck.

But it does mean that I am winning.

Some of my law school friends started a "Dead Pool." Essentially, you create a list of the top ten people you think will die by the end of the year. The person with the most points at the end of the year wins (points are allocated based on the 100 minus the age of the decedent, that way betting on a geezer is worth less than betting that Paris Hilton dies from teeth chipped from hungrily attacking her jail bars).

And with the death of Republican Senator Craig Thomas last Monday, I pull ahead! I now have 26 points, SWEET!

And my most sincere condolences to the Thomas family. Really. Nothing Personal. Please don't hate me for betting on a man with Leukemia. Oh my God Im going to hell.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Hear Me Out" Frou Frou,

Good Damn Weekend

Well, the Guy has officially left. We got to spend one last glorious night together last week, fed by the passion we have developed together and the longing we knew that we will have as we part ways. Asi es la vida. In some ways it helped that we had that break-up a few weeks back, because I had already divested some from the relationship, but I'm certainly glad that we had gotten back together to spend what little time we had left together to truly remember how good we are together. Or were. Or will be. Who knows?

He left me with a little plastic ruler, which now sits at my desk reading "No one measures up to you." Ahhh.

The last week of work saw me wrap up my "top secret" project that I had been focusing on for a few weeks. It was controversial, heated, and I just tried my best (sometimes not so well) to stay above the fray. Well, my part has been played, now I just get to sit back and watch.

Friday night I went out with the folks from work. Predictably, we we ended up having too much fun, kinda crashing a Bachelor/Bachelorette party bus, obliterating a few styrofoam coolers along the way when we all fell cascade-style on top of them when the bus braked suddenly. Good times. Took my mind off the stress of the week, for sure.

Saturday I started training to bartend at Karma. They started training me at about 11pm, and had me out the door by midnight. Sound a little abrupt? It was. The thing was that the guy training me asked, "Do I need to train you to mix drinks?"

"No, I've been bartending since I was 18."

"Well, do I need to show you how this computer system works?"

"No, I used the exact same system at my last bar."

"Hmmm... well, let's just let you go at it then."

So, I bartended for about an hour, getting filled in on the particulars of the bar and the way things work there, and then the guy decided I was good to go. So then I meandered my way down to the Saloon, met a couple of friends there for a few drinks, then made it an early night home.

Yesterday went for a glorious brunch with my Roomie and her friend. Great brunch at Campiellos. Then literally laid around and napped away much of the day. Wow. That's a nice way to spend a weekend. It just felt incredible to not have any major work hanging around my neck.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Open Your Eyes" Snow Patrol,
Eyes Open

This should help me get a job.... Definitely.

See about 6 Minutes in... Oh to be a nationally famous porn addict. Too bad Mom's not around to be proud.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Once Again I Bartend!

Well, as I noted briefly last Monday, I was offered a job at a club that I had been hanging out at. Ironically the job offer came from me being a sassy drunken bitch to the bar owner:

As we were leaving, he asked our group, "So did you guys have a good time tonight?"

My response: "It would have been better if your bartenders didn't suck ass."

We got into a quick discussion about what was wrong with the bar service, and he ended up telling me to call him about a job. Sweet.

So I went in and talked to the bar manager, and will be starting this Saturday. I will be working for the gay nights they host about once a month, which are always kick-ass parties, and possibly some pick-up Saturday shifts along the way.

I have seriously missed bartending. It's a great social outlet, and a great break from have "the law" be the only thing interesting going on in my life. It's hard to believe that it has been over a year since I left BOOM!. Not that I entirely miss that place in particular.

So here's where I'll be:

Now I just need to start studying my Drink Flashcards again. (Im not kidding.)

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Everybody's Leaving" Elkland,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Made my Morning

Im not a huge Enrique Iglesias fan, but you have to give amazing esteem to any man who is this comfortable with his sexuality. This clip taken at G-A-Y Club in London (honestly one of the best dance clubs I've ever been to).

Thanks Towleroad

Monday, May 28, 2007

What is it about having a Boyfriend?

Well, first of all, the Guy and I are back together. That happened about a week ago when we both put the little conflict we had had behind us. So we are back together. That is, until he moves out of the state/country/continent.

And I always wonder which came first... It seems like every time I find myself coupled up with someone, guys swarm like bees. Is it that I am more confident when I know I have someone to come home to? Perhaps. Is it that I'm not giving guys the "please sleep with me" look? Could be. I really don't see either of those things though.

Friday night, I got a "booty call" which I had to pleasantly reject. Last night, I had guys buying me drinks, was offered a job at the bar, and then at the end of the night when I was passed out on a friend's sleeper sofa after an after-bar bonfire, some guy tried to crawl into bed with me. All very flattering. But why doesn't this stuff happen when I'm single? Seriously, I can go through crazy "dry spells," and not have a gay man in the world look at me. Then I'm off the market and *poof* desirable. What's with that?

Maybe the lesson is that I need to forever operate as though I do have a boyfriend. Who knows.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Frozen Foods" Quietdrive,
Unknown Album

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Worth Reading. Worth Saving.

This is the text of the speech that Bob Hattoy gave at the 1992 Democratic Convention. He was the first openly gay man to speak to that sort of audience, and certainly the first person with AIDS. He died a few months back, but I still want to mark this as something to remember.

BOB HATTOY: Thank you. I love you. Thank you, California. Thank you, Gay and Lesbian community. Thank you, Congresswoman Pat Schroeder. Thank you, Aretha Franklin, God.

I am here tonight because of one man's courage and conviction, one man's dedication and daring and yes, one man's true kindness. He's my boss, Bill Clinton. (Applause)

You see, I have AIDS. I could be an African American woman, a Latino man, a 10-year old boy or girl. AIDS has many faces. And AIDS knows no class or gender, race or religion, or sexual orientation. AIDS does not discriminate, but George Bush's White House does. (Applause)

AIDS is a disease of the Reagan-Bush years. The first case was detected in 1981, but it took 40,000 deaths and seven years for Ronald Reagan to say the word "AIDS." It's five years later, 70,000 more dead and George Bush doesn't talk about AIDS, much less do anything about it.

Eight years from now there will be 2 million cases in America. If George Bush wins, we're all at risk in America. It's that simple. It's that serious. It's that terrible. (Applause)

(Chants of "No second term!")

This is hard. I'm a Gay man with AIDS and if there's any honor in having this disease it's because it's an honor being part of the Gay and Lesbian community in America. (Applause)

We have watched our friends and lovers die, but we have not given up hope. Gay men and Lesbians created community health clinics, provided educational materials, opened food kitchens, and held the hands of the dying in hospices. The Gay and Lesbian community is an American family in the best sense of the word. (Applause)

President Bush, we are a million points of light; you are just too morally blind to see us. Mr. President, you don't see AIDS for what it is - it's a crisis in public health that demands medical experts, not moral judges - and it's time to move beyond your politics of denial, division and death. It's time to move George Bush out of the White House. (Applause)

We need a President who will take action, a President strong enough to take on the insurance companies that drop people with the HIV virus, a President courageous enough to take on the drug companies who drive AIDS patients into poverty and deny them lifesaving medicine. And we need a President who isn't terrified of the word "condom." (Applause)

Every single person with AIDS is someone worthy of caring for. After all, we are your sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. We are doctors and lawyers, folks in the military, ministers and priests and rabbis. We are Democrats, and yes, Mr. President, Republicans. We are part of the American family and, Mr. President, your family has AIDS and we're dying and you're doing nothing about it. (Applause)

Listen. I don't want to die. I don't want to die. But I don't want to live in an America where the President sees me as the enemy. I can face dying because of a disease, but not because of politics.

So I stand here tonight in support of Bill Clinton, a man who sees the value in each and every member of the American family. And although I am a person with AIDS, I am a person with hope, because I know how different my life and all our lives could be if I could call my boss Mr. President.

Martin Luther King once said that our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Fifty thousands people took to the streets in New York today because they will no longer be silent about AIDS. (Applause)

Their actions give me hope. All of you came here tonight; millions more are watching in America. Obviously, we have hope and hope gives me the chance of life. I think it's really important to understand that this year, more than any other year, we must vote as if our life depends on it. Mine does; your could - and we all have so much to live for. Thank you.

(Standing ovation)

Act Up. Fight Back. Fight AIDS. Thank you.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Please don't tell me I'm becoming one of "those" people

Wow. I've been working for the Public Defender for too long... My distrust of all things "institutional" is growing.

Last night I went to a "screening" with my roommate of the Extreme Home Makeover that aired, which featured her non-profit, Camp Heartland. It was a really nice testament to the work that they do, and helped focus on some of the shocking discrimination that still occurs against people with HIV. The ignorance that continues to exist on these issues still amazes me (and, true enough, one of the people at this party, as nice as he was, asked at a point, "So, how is HIV spread?").

But at a certain part of the show, a teenager started to speak about how she was kicked out of her CHURCH on EASTER by her pastor. Holy Lord. While I was also kicked out of a church in my youth, having it done because of a disease you are already suffering with somehow makes it seem so much worse. And yet why? I was just reading this blog post (try to read it and NOT get sucked into the comments...) about the cruelty of growing up gay in fundamentalist families.

One of the guys I mentored in college as he came out grew up in a family like that. He was terrified of what being gay meant for his soul. When this article was published in our student paper, he contacted me for guidance. After he started to come out, and was doing rather well with the process, his evangelical pastor kicked him out in front of the whole congregation at their summer picnic, the event where he knew that this young man would set the best "example" for everyone else in the flock. Why this even shocks me though is beyond me. The Catholic Church is still forbidding contraception in Africa, because it can't see past its own nose on "birth control." So it is letting people die.

How quickly faith and reason get lost in religion.

And then, this morning, I was listening to this story on about the American Center for Voting Rights. It essentially was this fake advocacy group that used anecdotal (and often false) evidence to push forward legislation to stem the tide of big-bad-voter-fraud that was overtaking our country. Except, there was no such epidemic, and the advocacy group, low and behold, was serving as an instrument of the GOP, targeting Democratic districts to pass laws that would largely disenfranchise Dem voters (poor, elderly, and/or minority). This also ties in nicely with the Justice Department firings of AGs who wouldn't pursue cases of voter fraud against Dem candidates, particularly because those AGs didn't think there were merits to the cases.

So here, once again, it seems that we have the GOP trying to pull one over on the American people (and largely succeeding) by creating a fake scandal. It becomes one of those "trust no one" societies when even our voting turns out to be manipulated.

The truth is out there. ;-)

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Fire and Rain" James Taylor,
The Best of James Taylor

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dancing Heartbroken

I promised myself that I would stay for two drinks.

I hate that bar.

Of course, before I could even get my first beer, I saw the Guy. He had talked a few nights ago, and settled everything out. So now... now. Now it was just pure desire to be back in each other's arms. And he held me. Held me in those arms that are like big ol tree trunks. And I just wanted to give in.

We had both had enough to drink to make it excusable. I had been at a Margarita party, and tequila notoriously makes me do naughty things. But tonight I couldn't be that naughty. I just couldn't. It had been hard enough, without adding this. If I took him home, we would be amazing once again, but disastrous in the end.

Since we broke up, I have engrossed myself in every possible distraction. But there I stood, no distractions available, just him and I, and he pulled me close. I resisted. I didn't want to. I kissed him. I didn't want to. But how I wanted to.

He's leaving in less than a month. Got to keep that in my head.

Down boy.

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"All Wrong" Down the Line,
Welcome to Flavortown

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tragically Uncoordinated

You know those times in life when you simply just have to laugh at yourself?

Yesterday I had one of them.

My family's lack of athletic ability is something of legend in my hometown. While my father bikes, my sister swims, and I run, that is because those are things that we can't muck up by missing the ball/fumbling/generally making idiots of ourselves. For a good while in my childhood I had tried soccer, baseball, basketball, even football (eek, that one lasted about two days). Each one a bit more tragic than the last.

Well, some things never change. I went to the gym yesterday with a buddy of mine and followed his work out, just to mix things up a little. A good way in, we moved to the abdominal board, which he put on an incline. He grabbed a 12-pound medicine-ball, and showed me how to do a sit-up-throw-catch exercise. I watched and threw the ball while he did his first set, and then I got on the incline to do mine.

He threw the ball, I started to sit up and *WHAM* the 12-pound medicine ball hit me square in the left eye and knocked me down to the board.

After the tears of pain cleared from my eye, we could only laugh as I said, "Have I mentioned how uncoordinated I am? Sitting up and catching at the same time might not work for me."

Even better was the super hot guy working out next to us who I'm pretty sure got a good laugh as well.

(P.S. I ended up getting the hang of the exercise)

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"Fall" Kepano Green,
Valley Drive

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Uninsured American

It hit me yesterday, as I received my bill from the dentist, as the personal trainer at my new gym gawked at me, and as I scratched the continually-present (possibly fatal) spider bites I got in Chile: I am one of America's uninsured.

I just aged-out of my father's insurance this last birthday. And I won't be eligible for insurance with my job for about 18 months (assuming they give me a job).

When I had last gone to the dentist, the hygienist tried to get in my face (get it: "get in my face"! she's a hygienist...har!) about my continuing refusal to floss. "How about for next time, your goal is to floss twice a week?" she proposed.

"How about for next time, my goal is to graduate law school, get a job, pass the bar, and get health insurance, so that I don't have to pay out the nose to hear you lecture me about my mouth?" I countered. She didn't like that much.

Yesterday I went to go sign up for a new gym membership closer to work. The trainer: "You can get 20% off with your insuranc..." I cut her off. "Thanks, but I'm not insured." She was positively aghast. "What are you thinking?" I don't possibly know.

And then I looked online, wondering why the spider bites I got almost three weeks ago in Chile are still itching and how long I should expect it to last. Here's what I found. Gee... Possible kidney failure? I should go see a doctor about that. Wait. No I shouldn't. I should wait til I start seizing so i can go to the emergency room so I won't have to pay.

The honest truth is that I have now found myself among the 46.6 million Americans (that's 16%) who are without health coverage. And it's already cramping my style.

This is why this man horrifies me!

"In the Republican debate, Mitt Romney said he'd like to see the size of Guantanamo doubled: 'I am glad [detainees] are at Guantanamo. I don’t want them on our soil. I want them on Guantanamo, where they don’t get the access to lawyers they get when they’re on our soil. I don’t want them in our prisons, I want them there. Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is we ought to double Guantanamo.'"

Thanks Towleroad.

Counting Blessings

I just finished writing my Thank You Notes from my birthday. My mother was always an extreme stickler about sending notes out, and, although they are a tich late this round, it has become important to me as well. Sometimes it is less about the action of thanking the person than just generally being thankful overall. Reminds us of exactly what gifts we have received (both birthday and otherwise) and to be grateful for each of them.

To be honest, last year's birthday sucked worse than any I can remember before it. It was a law school thing, and it was just horrid. But this year couldn't have been better. I took the initiative to get my butt to Chile to be with my sister. And let me just say that no one can do a birthday quite like my sister. There she treated me to a deluge of tasty treats, an incredible meal of Tapas in Valparaiso (Poblenou: try the apple and honey roasted chicken or the pork tenderloin with saffron risotto, both amazing!), and her host mother had a little celebration that included seafood empanadas which were incredible! Carey took me out shopping, and we just spent a wonderful day together.

Then, when I got home, my father presented me with a ceramic tile piece he had bought in China with a cool fish design. He took me out for a couple of great meals, bought me a new power drill and a case for my Mac book. Quite generous.

There have been times in my life, ESPECIALLY with my father, that I have neglected everything he has given me (sometimes out of envy for what my sister has received). It's important to see that he has also been consistently generous with me as well.

It was a good birthday. And I am getting more mature (or at least older).

Musical Fodder for my Writing:
"When All is Said and Done" Trapt,