On One Hand

July 31, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 1:25 am

What is your stand on…..

Abortion?: I wrestle with the issue; I tend to think it’s wrong but support women making an informed decision, vote pro-choice, and respect any non-condescending opinion on the issue
Death Penalty?: I am very much opposed
Prostitution?: I don’t believe in legislating people’s sex lives
Alcohol?: Have fun but don’t get addicted and don’t put others in danger
Marijuana?: Should be legal, especially medicinally
Other drugs?: Depends on the drug
Gay marriage?: I support
Illegal immigrants?: I understand the practical reasons for limiting immigration but think that most anti-immigration attitudes are ignorant and based on racism/xenophobia
Smoking?: It’s an individual choice
Drunk driving?: BAAAADDD
Cloning?: Not passionate about the issue
Racism?: Racists never see themselves as racist so it doesn’t do any good to say much. Obviously racism is bad
Premarital sex?: There’s nothing wrong with it, but I respect people who choose to be abstinent
Religion?: Can be good or bad; I tend to respect it
The war in Iraq?: Immoral
Bush?: Immoral
Downloading music?: Not passionate about the issue
The legal drinking age?: Should be 18, but I’m not that passionate about it
Porn?: Porn is fine
Suicide?: A selfish choice, but I still have sympathy for those who do it

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July 22, 2004

Identity Theft

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 6:01 pm

I caught somebody on facethejury.com using my picture on his profile as if it were a picture of himself. Other people have done that to me in the past, but it hasn’t happened for a while now; no one that I know of used my pics as their own when my hair was long. The identity theft was an interesting find, and I don’t know quite what to make of it. I feel a bit violated, I suppose, but maybe I should be taking it as a compliment that he would find me attractive enough to steal my appearence. I figured out who this particular guy is and realized that I probably sent him the picture he used when I was chatting with him online. Rather than do anything vindictive, I just discreetly added him to my favorites on facethejury and then went to all his favorites and added them as favorites of my own. When those people realize that someone new has added them and eventually find their way to my profile, our dear identity thief be exposed and embarrassed. It will all happen in its proper time, and I can just forget about it now to let Karma take its course.

I wonder how many pictures of me are floating around the internet used by people who feel like they’re too ugly to get attention using real pictures of themselves. It’s happened enough that I’ve been made aware of it from time to time. What’s more, I wonder how many pictures of me are floating around the photo sections of Kazaa and WinMX and other filesharing programs, to be used by various voyeurs and internet perverts to get off. I’ve downloaded porn made by other people, so Karma would say that my own pics should also be used in that way. Even though my own pictures aren’t porn per se, some artistic pictures I have taken have been somewhat revealing, and I’m sure one or two of the people I have shared them with have betrayed me and passed them on to others. That’s probably how most of the pictures and amateur video clips on Kazaa and WinMX first got into circulation. It only takes one leak into the general population and it will continue circulating as long as nerds continue to have sex drives. I don’t like the thought of being lusted after by strangers, but I can get over it; that’s just the nature of the Internet in this interconnected world we live in now, where private things just run away from you out into the wider culture and exist forever beyond your control.

July 19, 2004

.GIF

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 11:32 pm

I was thinking that perhaps my usericons are due for an update. I cut my hair short a few months ago, and everyone likes it better this way. I’m also more tan now because it’s summer. On the other hand, I kind of like the 70’s college look that the current icon pictures have. It seems so… intellectual, classic, whatever. I may be much more “attractive” now with my clean-cut look, but I was much “cooler” with the mophead. Besides, as much as I might think my icons need to change, I just don’t feel vain enough right now to actually sit there for however long it would take to make another moving .gif image of my face. Maybe I’ll make the switch sometime in the upcoming few weeks, but for now I think I’ll stick with what I’ve got.

July 18, 2004

Livejournal Surveys are Dumb

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 3:16 am

See the Survey

July 13, 2004

Changes

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:46 am

I was just noticing how the tone of this journal dramatically changes every three months or so. Over the winter, every entry was written with a comical, upbeat attitude, and the majority of the comments I got were from people who wanted to tell me that something in my entry made them laugh. Last fall I was writing primarily about my political frustrations and thoughts, as I probably will be doing again this fall as the November elections draw close. Now I’m writing with a philosophically authoritative attitude, talking about how I view life and how my recent experiences relate to a generally broader line of thought. I suppose with each new transition I’ll accumulate a new audience and lose some of the old readers who can’t put up with all this weird shit I’m talking about all of a sudden. I suppose the versatility is a good thing, as it will probably come in handy if writing as a profession is something I really want to do.

July 11, 2004

Maturity

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:10 am
Tags: ,

When I look at an immature sixteen year old who so undiscriminatingly and so quickly falls romantically for an impossible person the first chance he gets, I assume I’m seeing a child who, with no experience with love, is letting his feelings pull the rug out from under his sense of reason – which should surely be telling him to slow down. My inclination is to assume that as he matures, he will learn to temper his feelings, to be more discriminating and conservative about who he likes. I assume that my own life is taking me in a similar direction, teaching me to be withdrawn and jaded by the bitter realities of love.

Instead, I only become more and more willing to wear my heart on my sleeve as my hard experiences make me into a stronger, wiser person. For a moment in the aftermath of some lamentable revelation that a perfect romance is naught to come this time, I may find myself despairing, but with each new plunge into the emotional abyss of rejection and abandonment, it becomes easier for me to climb back out, and easier for me to yet again take the plunge with someone new. I know the deep, all-penetrating ache of heartbreak, but as I recover from it I am eager to try again, to take a dangerous stand in spite of all possible consequences.

I like an analogy I was taught as a child in Sunday School to explain why humans must experience pain to mature: The human soul is like a raw ceramic bowl – brittle, grimy and porous. Yet with each new painful journey through the searing heat of the kiln, the bowl becomes stronger, more fortified, and more complete; it is now much more able to capture and experience the love that pours into it from a higher source. So when I first lock eyes with a new, wonderful person who is to become much more than a friend, and I realize that my feelings are not more withdrawn and frightened but instead much more intense and more quick to give affection than ever before, I know how stupid my old standard for what made a mature person really was.

Remember that sixteen year old boy who once stared blankly at the empty ceiling for days in despair after being dumped – I remember him because he is me – he did not feel more love or more pain than I do now at just three years older. He was much more dramatic about his situation, true, but his emotional intensity was in fact not nearly as strong as mine is now. I may tone my outward reaction down, but inside it feels better and hurts worse. Someday in the face of all the heartache that boy will realize that only by loving more liberally, more intensely, and more dangerously will he find light at the end of the tunnel, to achieve the true bliss he seems to have forgotten for now.

July 4, 2004

Independence Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:16 am

Such a nostalgic time for me, this weekend. On July second, two years ago, at about two in the morning, I came out to my mom. I can remember sitting on the couch and telling her “you don’t know what I’m dealing with!” after she insisted that I explain why I spend so much time reclusively talking to secret friends late at night. She seemed to have known what I wanted to say at that moment, but beat around the bush because the reality of the situation was too remote and extreme to tackle head-on. “What, are you bi?” she asked, with a sharp sarcastic tone. “No, not bi,” I answered. “Do you think you’re gay?” she asked me next, after a pause. “I don’t think it,” I replied, slowly. And then she knew. “You’re gay,” she said. I nodded.

July third is my parents’ wedding anniversary. The day after I came out to my mom, my parents went on a date to celebrate the culmination of exactly twenty years as a married couple, and my mother reportedly cried the whole time. My dad didn’t know what was going on and obviously had a few questions about it, but my mom didn’t tell him what was making her so upset for two more days until the fifth of July. During those first few days after I came out, I had a lot of sympathy for my mother’s disillusionment and shock. My initial attitude came in crude contrast to the later total impatience and frustration I would feel toward my mother during the coming years, when she would spout out the same insistence day after day that I am a selfish person for refusing to hide my sexuality forever by marrying a straight girl who had been raped and was therefore jaded by heterosexual men. For the first year I was selfish for not finding a victimized girl, and the second year I was selfish because I didn’t like the fact that my mother was saying a rosary every day on my behalf, persistently petitioning God help me find the one woman who could make me straight and guide me back to the Roman Catholic Church I had grown up in. By declining to celebrate her praying, my mother’s reasoning went, I was choosing to ignore the possibility of becoming straight and therefore forfeiting my right to say that being a homosexual was not a choice for me.

Every year on July third, since I was about fourteen years old, I have lay on the roof to watch the sky. Each year on this day I used to face West, barefooted on the slanted rooftop, promising myself that this is the last year I would be here like this alone. Next year, I would resolve, there will be someone here with me. Every year I said the same thing to myself, and then the following year there I would be again, alone on the roof, swatting mosquitos. Last year I broke tradition, going to the gay club and actively trying to meet someone rather than sitting in one place and wishing for it. Tonight I was up on the roof again, but without the same yearning. This time I was on the phone with a guy who I actually wouldn’t mind dating, and I think he may feel the same, but obstacles have come up so we’re taking it slow.

And then came the Fourth, always my favorite day of the year as a child. When I was thirteen, the city launched the fireworks from a different place than they do now. That year my family was gathered by an open field near the park, and my uncle surprised everyone by bringing back from the gas station a bag of less-unhealthy pretzels for the kids instead of the usual circus peanuts and tootsie rolls. I remember being upset that my cousin, then three years old, was asleep and would miss the fireworks. I remember pulling out an eyelash as I sat on top of the minivan waiting for the show to start, wishing as I blew it into the air that by the end of the month I would no longer be gay. I found out a little while later that you only get to make a wish when someone else picks the lash off of your face. No matter; about a year would pass before I would give up on wishing to become straight and start wishing for a boyfriend, like I did on the roof of the house each July eve for so long.

July 2, 2004

Coupling

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 2:04 pm
Tags: ,

After years of bitching and moaning about how much I wanted a boyfriend, I have now come to the conclusion that the reason why I never got one had much less to do with whether people liked me or not and much more to do with the fact that I was, and still am, terrified of it. To be responsible for not only my own emotions but now a second person’s emotions, and to bear the posibility that I could hurt this person no matter how hard I try not to, is an overwhelming idea.

At the beginning of the summer, I was actually quite happy being single. I was meeting a lot of people and realizing that romantic compatibility is about a lot more than thinking someone is smart and hot and in my league. Then I started to get some real interests, one in particular, with a guy who, as I decided, lives too far away, what with me going back to Boulder in the fall with no car and a very busy schedule. As it turned out, he was thinking almost exactly the same thing about the situation. So why not just go for it and have a relationship that lasts as long as the summer? Initially, it sounded like a good idea, but then when it gets to the point where I have to get on the phone and tell him how I feel about us, I’m terrified. We talked about it anyway, but he was the one who brought it up. I’ve never been in this place before, and contrary to my previous expectations, the transition between being single and being part a couple doesn’t outline the expansion of my own consciousness to include the experience of the both of us. Besides, we are very different people. It’s odd that we should feel like we’re so different, because our thoughts and attitudes are very similar at this point in our lives, and sometimes I feel like I know him completely just by knowing myself. Something else, beyond personality, like some sort of an energy or a drive, makes us very different, almost incompatibly so but not quite. But we aren’t boyfriends and we aren’t officially dating so I don’t really know what to make of the situation that we have. If there were any goal I’d like the experience to fulfil, I’d hope that I could learn a lot from him and he could learn a lot from me.

And no, I don’t want any advice about this.

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