Thursday, June 26, 2003
College at 37, who wudda thunk? Well, I'm not sure that I can recommend it. The first time around for my bachelor's degree, I was young enough to let a lot just slip by and not bother me that I might not have done all the reading or looked at all the nifty hand-outs. This time around I realize that I am one of those old farts that used to be in my classes...night school people who took a semester off work to finish up their degrees more quickly...the one who has to read everything, finishes the papers on-time and perhaps even early, participates in a most animated way with a strong opinion in every discussion, and is trying so hard to do well. I am such a geek. I do ALL the reading. I write and write so I can be done early...I am one of those old farts. I'm happy though. Student teaching begins next week. Not scared yet. I have a two week break in August for a little R&R before the big event in September. The dreaded first day of school. I'll be fine.
Add to all this that for some unexplainable reason I have converted to celibacy. I am actually enjoying not playing the field. I have turned my attentions to the teaching thing...that is the priority. I think that a man or men in my life would just cloud the issue and distract me from the thing that I don't want to be distracted from.
This weekend in gay pride. So not interested. So uninspired to be a proud gay man. I'll go to the parade, I'll try to join in, I'll see all the drugged out desperate faces, I'll lose interest, and then I'll go home. Pier Dance? Done it, bought the t-shirt, gave it to Salvation Army, someone else bought it, did it, gave it to Goodwill, someone else bought it and wore it to death. Nah. No Pier Dance. No "Susan", No "JUN-IOR!", none of that. Somehow maturity, self-control and a need for a quiet albeit interesting life has superceded all of that. I'm happy. It took a lot of hard work to get to where I am now and this is just the beginning of something really good. I see the future that I was looking for for so long. Dancing with a bunch of snooty, white, priviledged, sweaty, fucked-up, aging faggots is not going to make me happy...so I'll let it pass. It doesn't want me anyway.
Sunday, June 22, 2003
I'm back in New York. I feel really good about it. It is strange because I am oriented in a different manner this time than I was for the past five years. I'm in a different neighborhood. I have a different "job" (it is actually still called pre-service training) so everything seems different. It is exciting to be back though. Everything comes at me so fast and I am glad to have to act quickly after the almost six months of quiet suburban life. The best part of it though is that I just jumped back in running. I feel like I really have my head on straight this time. I'm not really interested in going out every night. The only thing that is missing right now is a gym membership. That will come though so I'm not really worried. As a matter of fact the school I'll be at has a gym in it that I've been told that I can use so maybe that is the solution once school starts.
I'm tired but happy. I'm really looking forward to the new experiences that are just around the corner.
Sunday, June 08, 2003
This post begins with the sound of a soapbox being dragged front and center followed by my two feet being planted firmly and squarely in the center.
Ahem...could someone please explain to me what the fuck is going on with the United States. It is becoming more and more obvious to me that we are living in a very divided, segregated, non-thinking, closed-minded, elitist, dangerous, DANGEROUS country. Those that have for the most part tell those that don't to go to hell daily, that they are less than because they are not successful capitalists. Religious fanatics are becoming the majority and trying to wedge their gods into every aspect of the US government. They truly believe that our country was given to us by god and that we are better than other countries in god's eyes. (yes, god is in lowercase on purpose). Whites still hate blacks and on the flipside blacks disdain whites. Education is not valued. Working hard is never for the greater good, just to increase all that is mine...mine, mine, mine. The president is acting like a monarch, he might as well, he did steal the throne in a sort of a coup. You can't dissent. You are ridiculed in the media, you are alienated from "good" Americans, you have to explain yourself. So many people have the "how dare you" attitude. "How dare you not support the war." "How dare you say that President Bush isn't doing a good job." "How dare you doubt that the economy is about to bounce back." "How dare you insinuate that real estate prices are over inflated and keeping the middle class out of a good section of the market." It is crazy.
I believe that humanity is the concern of government. Making the world a better place to live. Dealing with human issues. We are meant to have a government where all are equal and justice is blind. We can't let that change. On the other hand, I believe that those things that concern a person's belief in whatever god they choose is the concern of the clergy. It should not be part of government IN ANY FORM. It should be personal, not legislated. Separation of church and state should be total and permanent. We need to separate it more than it already is.
Recently, I read text for a new Pledge of Allegiance. I liked it and I am going to try to promote it. It goes like this:
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution
of the United States of America
And to the Republic that it established.
One Nation out of many Peoples,
with Liberty and Justice for all.
(For those of you not in the States, children recite the pledge every day at the beginning of school while facing the flag with their hands on their hearts. Currently, the words are:
I pledge allegiance
to the Flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
with Liberty and Justice for all.
Pledging to a piece of cloth and putting us all under God should be changed. The new pledge addresses that. Not all Americans believe in a god. Not all believe in the same god. It is not for government to define that our nation is functioning under the belief of a god, although in private most people do. That is fine. I also think pledging to the constitution has more meaning...it has weight. It has value.
I think the US can be a really great, open, welcoming, intelligent, mindful society. We aren't there yet, and if things don't change, we'll never get there.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
When I was in high school and college, I always assumed that I would eventually be wildly successful with lots of money, a great job and a great life. Well, things have never really worked out that way. I am not especially good with my own finances and, well, I have been notorious for either leaving, or being laid off from, any high paying job I have ever had.
Recently though, I started to realize something. I am successful, just not in the materialistic way. The major success of my life is most probably that I have always enjoyed relatively good health. I can rely on the fact that I will most likely be well enough to do those things that I need and want to do on a daily basis. I take this for granted. I shouldn't. I just found out that a guy that I went to high school with is fatally ill with a rare form of cancer. He and I were always friendly but never truly friends. At my 5th or 10th reunion, he and I actually had a really nice conversation about growing up and realizing what is important now... among which is the need to treat other people well. It hit me that he had really grown up since high school and I felt that I could really like this guy as a friend. It turns out that he had lost a child at 9 months old. It made him realize what was important in life and how fleeting it is. This guy also lost his own father when he was 11 years old. I think to myself, why does he have to endure so much in this life? I also think to myself, what do I have to complain about.
So what is success? Is it money? Is it fame? Is it anything material?
Monday, June 02, 2003
Just a general post to announce the arrival of June and therefore the impending return to NYC. I interviewed with two schools this past week, so I spent a whirlwind two days in a city hell bent on having a nice spring day. It was gorgeous to be there. It was fantastic to see a couple people I love dearly. It was too quick and I hated to leave...so I know that I am making the right decision.
Back on the homefront, I dread leaving my impossibly adorable parents. Over the last 6 months I have come to realize that they are really starting to show their ages and it makes me sad to think that their younger days are gone for good. I also realize that I need to get back on my feet and regain my independence so that at some point they can see me as a truly self-sufficient person again. I fear that the day will come when they are both gone and I will still be struggling to make it. I want them to see me get there. I want them to be proud of me. I don't think I ever realized this. Leaving them is going to be very difficult and I know that I will get teary but it is good to know that I truly love them, as they are, flaws and all, as people who happen to be my parents.