On One Hand

November 29, 2003

Holidays

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:48 am

The holidays are always an awkward time for me. I enjoy that time of year, with all the time spent with my family and an upcoming break from school, but there are some unhappy memories associated with the late winter as well. When I was twelve years old, my uncle fell into a coma in mid-December and died on the twenty first. They put hepatitis on the death certificate but my aunt, a nurse, would tell you that his death was really from complications of HIV. I didn’t really know my uncle that well, but it would have been nice to have an older person in my family to talk to about being gay. My parents and grandparents are supportive of me but it’s obvious that it bothers them when I talk about anything sex-related, especially relationships. I was only twelve when my uncle died so didn’t realize what I was missing out on until years later. My uncle had never told anyone in his family that he had HIV. We didn’t find out until it was all over.

A little less than a year after my uncle died, just a few days before Thanksgiving, my twenty-one year old cousin was killed in a car accident. There was no preceding prolonged sickness or coma so the news was much more of a shock than the death of my uncle. I remember how drugged-up and zoned-out his mother was at the funeral, realizing, later on, how ridiculous it is for observers or police to suspect someone of murder because they “didn’t react to the death the right way.” It is beyond me how such critics could have so much hubris as to decide how someone should or should not be acting after a close family member has been suddenly wrenched from this person’s life. Some people don’t mourn in front of others, and some people don’t mourn on the surface at all. It doesn’t mean they aren’t mourning. My aunt lay on the floor and didn’t walk or eat for three days after my cousin was killed, left utterly unable to function as before. Because of my aunt’s need to always appear strong and composed in front of others, that’s not what everybody saw.

I’m always finding some new relationship interest around Thanksgiving and Christmas time. The cozy evenings of my extended family’s get-togethers are so often marked by a strong desire to get home and get to bed so I can call some guy as soon as possible the next day. Last year it was a closeted Abercrombie & Fitch enthusiast who was paranoid about anyone finding out about his bisexuality but still eager to invite me over so we could cuddle on the couch. Out of fear of being caught he abruptly ended the relationship right after Thanksgiving, but I had my hopes set on a new guy I met at the club by the time Christmas came around. Despite my present romantic drought that has lasted from February until now, I’ve come to expect something to start developing over the next few weeks, and would be reluctant to say that the stars aren’t already alligning themselves to soon give my social life a much needed kick in the pants.

It was over Winter Break that I had finally accepted myself as a social deviant, during my sophomore year of high school. I emailed a guy from New York over the internet, and for the first time ever I typed the words “I am gay,” which still required far too much effort for me to be able to say it out loud. With the chilly weather outside and the gentile fluffy snow clinging to the window glass, the scorching fires of Hell seemed more remote than ever and the thought of being punished by God for my sexuality was out of my mind. Early winter was a time marked by lust and love, hope, aspirations, and a celebration of what was possible.

Over Christmas time one year my interest in New York City became a mad love affair. New York represented freedom, energy, un-repressed sexuality, and a powerful youthful spirit that captivated my thoughts and dreams for the future. I would stare for hours at pictures of the Manhattan skyline, and taped countless images of the city on my books and bedroom walls. As I often describe my interest to my friends, I looked at pictures of New York City as wantingly and as desperately as fourteen year old boys look at porn.

These many vivid memories come to mind often whenever I catch a glimpse of a Christmas wreath or the smell of anise oil from the pizzelles my parents made the night before. My mind flashes from the cozy warmth of family and a tree ornaments to the image of two boys having sex without guilt in a forty story high-rise apartment, the icy crowded streets far below lit by strings of electric Christmas lights. With the right attitude, the thoughts of death and mourning almost completely fade away.

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November 27, 2003

Mental Beast

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:40 pm

My family and I went to my grandparents’ houses for thanksgiving. We went to my dad’s parents’ house in the morning and my mom’s parents’ house in the evening.

My great-grandmother has Alzheimers. My parents, my grandmother, and I went to pick her up at her assisted-living center and she didn’t recognize me when I came in. For someone whose mind is slowly deteriorating, she seems to have a very optimistic attitude. Everything is beautiful and exciting in her eyes. As we drove her from her nursing home to my Grandparents’ house, she kept pointing at the mountiains and saying how beautiful they are, talking about how she loves the flowers in the spring but that, “after that, they just, you know, have to go away.” I can’t decide if she seemed like a little kid or if she acts more like an adult on some very nice drugs. She spends a lot of time sitting quietly, smiling, with her hands in her lap, thinking about the conversations that everyone is having around her. She can’t really join in because of her condition, but she occasionally looks back and forth at whoever is talking, and seems to enjoy herself. Whatever she was thinking, I wondered if thinking is worthwhile at all when she will never have a chance to pass those thoughts on before they fade away completely. I’m glad she is so happy. If I were in her situation, I would be terribly depressed.

After a few hours with my Dad’s family, we were off to my other grandparents’ house. My mom’s big Catholic family always overwhelms the observer with activity. There are kids everywhere, bickering, screaming, laughing… whatever. After eating, everyone over the age of sixteen gathered in the living room as the older adults chatted about their shared childhood. For the most part, it was the same stories that are told and re-told every year. I love hearing the stories. They’re hilarious, but it’s sad that there is no one to write them down. I wasn’t there when everything happened so it’s not like I could ever tell them as well as my aunts and uncles can, and my aunts and uncles don’t really write. I imagine that, like the thoughts of my great grandmother with alzheimers, the stories will be lost when all of us are dead.

While I take some comfort in the fact that many of my experiences are turned into knowledge that can be passed on, I know that the vast majority of my thoughts, activities, and encounters are never made use of. I suppose that is the main reason I want to have a soul mate; that close bond with someone gives everything meaning. I remember being a kid, when life was less stressful and I could enjoy things more, when I would look at something and really appreciate it. I would sit on the roof the night before the Forth of July when the neighborhood was filled with illegal fireworks launched off of everyone’s driveways. I remember watching the miniature displays, thinking, what is the point of looking at this; there is no one to enjoy it with me. I was about fourteen years old at the time. Whenever I sat on the roof and watched the fireworks, I would resolve to have someone with me when I do it next year. It never happened, but with each successive new year I maintained the same naiive optimism. I don’t really look for that perfect moment the way that I used to. I have been disillusioned and lost my idealism, and in any case, I don’t look at fireworks the same way. It’s an interesting question to ponder, though – is anything worthwhile if it can’t be used to make people happy? Are my experiences worth having if I don’t pass them on? Most people are likely to tell me that such thoughts are ridiculous, that I have to live for my own happiness first and foremost, and that the answer to my question is unequivocally yes. I know in my gut, though, that the answer, for me, is no. The concept of needing some greater purpose is very intrinsic to my self (or soul, personality, being, mind, spirit – whatever you want to call it) and no one is going to convince me otherwise. Hopefully I can get the pieces to work together someday and finally achieve the meaningfulness I need. In the mean time, I’ll try to be optimistic and appreciate what is already available to me.

I just like the picture on this one

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:42 am

40-50% Horny
If It Comes, Your So happy, its such a privelge to
make love to someone you Love, Your Horny only
because you need to feel that emotion called
Love. Your 40-50% Horny

How Horny Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

To the writer of this quiz: IT’S Y-O-U-‘-R-E! Got that? Let’s say it again, Y-O-U-‘-R-E. Why-Owe-You-APOSTROPHE-Are-EEEEE. One more time now: YOU’RE. Not “your.” You’re=you are. Your=you, posessive. NOT THE SAME THING. ARGH.

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November 25, 2003

L. Acidophilus

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:01 pm

I must say I am incredibly impressed by all the fantastic products produced by leaving beverages on top of the radiator.

As I have described earlier, a cup of orange juice I left on the radiator a few days ago has turned into alcohol. To be more specific, it smelled like wine, and when I lifted the lid, I found that the liquid had turned clear. There was another cup that had something inside, so I took the lid off to see what I had left in there. It was filled with yogurt. The week-old milk didn’t smell awful as one might expect, and there were no mats of mold or slime on the edges of the cup. The substance smelled like yogurt, looked like yogurt, and if I would have tasted it (which I didn’t) I’m sure I would have found the flavor to be strikingly similar to that of plain, white yogurt. To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I ran down the hall to show Lorelei and ask if she saw what I saw. She thought it smelled like plain yogurt too. I don’t know what any of you would think if finding a cup of yogurt on your radiator, but as for me, it just really made my day.

The source of heat in my dorm is a long, painted unit that stretches the length of the room and, I imagine, goes through the walls to span the length of the entire hall. The top of the radiator is perfectly flat and on the front side is a series of slits punched in the metal so that the heat can come through. I often set my drinks on top of the radiator when I get take-out from the dining hall, and, more often than not, forget them there.

Next I think I’ll try grape juice. Maybe I’ll try milk again, except this time put put a spoonful of real yogurt in the milk so that I’ll know for sure that the resulting creamy substance is non-toxic. Maybe I’ll leave it there for a whole month and see if the yogurt turns to cheese. I could make vinegar, sour cream, whiskey, cottage cheese… Oh, the possibilities are endless.

November 24, 2003

All By Myself

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 7:34 pm

The cup of orange juice I left on the furnace in my dorm about a week ago has turned to alcohol, but I don’t think it’s the kind you can drink.

My roommate is so awesome. I came to school this year hoping he’s not homophobic (I heard he was a jerk from someone who went to his high school), giving him the benefit of the doubt but being nonetheless very nervous about the possibility that he hates gay people. He turned out, instead, to be really cool. I had a few minor issues with him in the beginning; his dad would call me to tell me that I’m doing something wrong rather than letting Jeff tell me himself. Later on I decided that I don’t think that Jeff even knew that his dad was doing that.

So yeah, he’s awesome. He’s the perfect straight guy. We rarely talk, but I think we are both fairly comfortable around each other. He nods to me occasionally, saying “whuddup” if I ever pass him in the hall, and he’s very tolerant of my eccentricity. I am not unhygienic but I do leave my stuff in a clutter often, and he’s tolerant of that as well. He went home for Thanksgiving today, and left a note on my computer telling me that he won’t be back until monday and that he hopes I have a fun break. He closed the note with an enthusiastic “see you in a week! -Jeff” Awwww.

Even though I like my roommate a lot, I’m glad I have the rest of the week to myself. Having a cool roommate is fun but living with someone is always brings up at least a few inconveniences. I don’t go home until Wednesday so I’ll be alone here for three days. Among other things, here are a few benefits of having the dorm to myself:

1) I can masturbate

2) I can stay up late or go to bed early, rather than waiting for Jeff to finish up his homework to turn the light off

3) I can walk in my room without finding a horde of straight guys playing “halo” (a group video game) against another group of guys in a room down the hall, yelling and screaming and blasting their sub-woofers every time someone gets killed

4) I can play music loudly or plink around on the guitar without having to first ask Jeff if he’s doing homework

5) I do not have to watch “The Man Show”

Alone for three days – this is so great. I am going to start taking advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible. I’m sorry I can’t write more; I have to fire up a porno, grab my guitar, and turn on Hannity and Colmes. I will catch up with you all as soon as I can.

A new low

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:28 pm

Ok so it’s 2:14 Monday afternoon, and I haven’t eaten all day. I got up at 7:30 for my 8:00 class, went back to sleep after class, got up again for my 11:00 and have been awake in my dorm ever since. I have my 3:00 telecommunications class in 45 minutes. I’m debating whether or not I will go. I’m hungry, but I’m too lazy to go to the dining hall to get food.

Yeah, so I’ve reached a new low in my life – believe it or not, I’m actually too lazy to get food when I am hungry. I am usually only slightly lazy, at most, but I am becoming more apathetic with age I guess. Maybe it’s not so much that I’m lazy as it is that I am apprehensive. I’d much rather walk than drive, so I’m not lazy, but I won’t start walking until I know where I’m going. Apprehensive means I have to think about something again and again before I can do it; it’s hard for me to be spontaneous. I change my mind quickly, so I seem spontaneous, but in my own head, I’m very rational. There is always a change of mind before a change of pace.

November 23, 2003

I_am_a_douchebag@aol.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 7:39 pm

What the heck is the deal with all these gay guys on the internet? Are they at the maturity level of fourteen year olds? I keep getting these instant messages from random people who want to learn everything there is to know about my life, ranging from what my dick size is to what is wrong with me that I’ve never dated over the internet. In particular, they like to ask what kind of guys I am into. Since they are often overweight and relatively non-attractive to me, I decide to focus on the non-physical, and say that there isn’t really a certain type I look for. (I don’t want to be an ass and say “Oh, I like guys who don’t have acne and are thin.”) I am usually busy researching a topic for a class or writing something down, so it always takes me a while to answer the guys’ questions. Because of my apparent lack of interest, the online attention-leeches never fail to get impatient with me, saying that I “should learn to give people a chance.” My only thought to this is dude… you live in [insert distant state or province here], and I’m not about to hop on a plane and fly over so I can marry you. Seriously, give people a chance at WHAT?

There is a wide range of variation to where these conversations go, but they all stick to the general theme of me being somehow immoral because I am not willing to drop everything and meet some strange guy on a whim. “Why not give it a go,” he’ll say. “Do something crazy, live a little.” It’s ironic that the creepy guy begging for my attention is the one telling me I need a life. If I warn a new guy from the beginning that we are not likely to meet, I’m accused of not giving him a chance. That’s especially true if I decline all the pictures he wants to send. If I humor him by letting him send me five year old high school senior pictures where he unfailingly claims to have “lost a lot of weight” or “look a lot better in person,” I am guilty of “leading people on” or “being a superficial jerk” when, after seeing the pictures, I still don’t want to meet. Mind you that those who do not ask for an impossible romantic relationship tend to think of me as a very nice person. It’s not like I’ll refuse to ever meet someone I talk to online. I just admit that it’s probably not going to happen, and say I’d like to take some time to decide if I like somebody before making arrangements. I just can’t manage to come across as anything but a wicked bitch to those who conclude that I am the perfect guy before I even have time to type, “oh, hey, what’s up…who are you?”

November 20, 2003

Application

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:24 pm

I have to answer four open-ended questions on my application to be an RA (Resident Adviser) next year. Guidelines for the requested resume are vague, but it’s the four questions on the application that stand out as exceptionally ridiculous. All questions are to be typed and double spaced, and can’t add up to be more than a page printed.

Personal Awareness: Describe a situation that required you to multi-task, and something that unexpectedly happened. How did you handle this and what did you learn?

Ok um… how the heck am I supposed to answer that? First of all, what exactly are they they asking? I mean, people multitask all the time. Practically every academic essay I have written since coming to college I wrote while listening to music, talking to people on Instant Messenger, and turning around periodically to see what my roommate is watching on TV. The real question should ask what I have done without multitasking. And what’s this crap about learning something by doing it? How am I supposed to learn anything by doing something I do all the time? That’s like asking, “what do you learn from chewing up your food before you swallow?”

I have until December fifth to get this all done and turned in. Seems reasonable enough, except for the fact that I never manage to get started on questions that are as incredibly vague as these are. The other three questions aren’t as bad as the first, but they aren’t much better: Diversity Awareness: Describe your own personal journey around diversity awareness during your experience at CU. To answer that, I think I’ll start off by telling the story about the man who walks on the beach with Jesus, than realizes there is only one set of footprints in the sand because Jesus has been carrying him the whole time. Then I’ll go on to add “and there were footprints for Buddha, Krishna, and Muhammad too, and I realized the value of diversity on the long journey of life we are on at CU.” Out of respect to Atheists I guess I could throw in the presence of Bjork or Carl Sagan or some other famous non-believer. To further enhance the sense of radical diversity I’ll talk about my thoughts after discovering that Muhammad was actually transgendered and Jesus was part black. All this may seem like a phony response, but that’s what the school gets for asking about “a personal journey.” The story will come to a climax when the six of us, after hours of walking across the beach and then into the inland hills, reach the top of Mount Olympus to find only a photograph of myself – a symbolic representation of some profound moral lesson on the meaning of life. I’ll make my response stand out above the other applicants’ when I staple my interpretation of what the photograph should look like to my application.

After I finish my part of the forms, I need to talk to my own floor’s RA and get him to fill out a critique about how good of a resident I have been. Hopefully I will get a good recommendation for the job from him, but I could always go up to the RA on the third floor if my own RA doesn’t give me the answers I want. My concern has to do with how much I need this job if I want to stay on campus next year. My parent’s aren’t going to pay for room and board all four years, so from sophomore year on I’ll have to find some other way to avoid having to move back home. As an RA, I can stay on campus for free, plus I get a small amount of money to cover any other expenditures I come up with.

Like I mentioned before, all this isn’t due until December fifth. As always, I’ll procrastinate, and use the inevitable rush of last-minute anxiety and panic to boost my ability to concentrate on the questions the night before they’re due.

November 19, 2003

Cost of War

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 7:19 pm

Cost of War in Iraq

November 18, 2003

Damn Boulderites

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:02 pm

OK so I am officially NOT BONDING with the people on my floor. I still think it’s mostly related to how I fucked myself over in the beginning of the year, but it doesn’t really matter what the reasons are. I still haven’t managed to find any people I can really click with. (Maybe the potential is there, but it just hasn’t happened.) There are cool people scattered around campus who I can talk to and hang out with, but I’m at odds with almost all of the people who live within 100 feet of my door.

I hate to be the type of person who sticks around and tries to come to terms with people who don’t really like me and wouldn’t want to take the time, so my alternative is to get out of the immediate area more often. Sure, I could just become a complete recluse and spend hours on end writing and reading in my room to avoid the people on the floor, but I would much rather have a life and maybe do something interesting to write about. That’s what my goal in life is going to be for now; I need to accumulate a good grouping of experiences that can come in handy when I’m writing later on. I have these urges to get up and walk around Boulder, but I don’t really know where to go or what to do when I get there. I just want to find people who are different. I wish I could befriend some severe heroin addict or prostitute; that would be fucking awesome.

I miss my old friends. As difficult as my relationship with April got to be at times, it was a hell of a lot more fruitful than anything I’m having with anyone here, and I love the people she brings along with our group. She finds these people who I would never in a million years start talking to. They’re unusual for some reason; either they have a really strange intellect or they’re psychotic or at least have some awkward tick. I can laugh at them and love them for being different, without having to make the impossible effort of finding common ground or starting a good conversation, because they come along with April and can bond with her instead. I can just listen and enjoy all the crazy shit that happens when we’re in a group. I miss that a lot. I can’t invite her to hang out with me here because I really don’t have anywhere to go with her around Boulder that wouldn’t bore us both to death.

OH, WOULD THAT I HAD MORE APPRECIATED NERDS! They’re so easy to love, so accepting, so fun to laugh at. April’s not a nerd, and neither is Kristen, Whitney, or Mallory, but all of my fag hags were people who appreciated differences and didn’t usually mind getting to know the good ol’ geeky intellectuals I love. Alas, April goes to the community college, Mallory is taking a year off before moving in with her boyfriend (and hopefully coming to school in Boulder), and Whitney has just announced that she will be attending the School of Mines next year instead of coming here. The people from my high school who did come along to CU are the exactly the types of people that I am finding here on my floor – the ones who I don’t really care to know. They’re probably cool people, they make polite conversation, they smile and say hello and offer to help me when I look like I need something, but they hardly go above and beyond the obligatory etiquette. I feel like they don’t like me and I’d rather just have them say it outright so I’m not wasting anyone’s time. OH WELL – shit happens, this is the Karma that I have dragged with me from a past life, and I will learn to cope with this difficulty as I have with any other stumbling block in my life. YES, FOLKS, I’m on the road to a better living experience!

Well, as they always say, writing it down makes you feel better about bad things. And it worked. Hmph. I wanted to be mad for a while.

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