badness, family, goodness, life, manfolk

Jobs, jobs, and oh yeah, I’m bi

I’ve been avoiding writing a new post about what life has been like lately because there’s so much to report, and it’s not all good, and why would I intentionally, slowly, and in excruciating detail relive that?  Because that’s what this blog is for: my life.  All of it.

I need a full-time job.  So applied to the JET Program and got rejected.  I applied to AEON and got rejected.  I’d like to teach here in Los Angeles, and I’d like to travel, but really, I need a full-time job.  I heard from the host teacher at the ESL school where I volunteer that I might be offered evening classes as a substitute teacher, which would be a fantastic way to get my foot in the door, and get some real teaching experience.  Meanwhile, I had an interview at the journalism school at my university which sounds fun.  The woman I interviewed with was great, and we got along really well.  She mentioned that she might hire for the position I was interviewing for internally, but that that would mean another opening in her office.  I told her, “I’m not married to this title.  If I can work full-time in this office with people like you, that sounds fantastic.  I would love to work here.”  We chatted very briefly about anime, manga, cosplay, and martial arts (her best friend does Hap Ki Do, wtf).  She really seemed to like that I had gotten my master’s in teaching English as a foreign language.  Overall it went really well, and it would still allow me to be available in the evenings to potentially teach.  All good.

I got hired to work the Renaissance Faire this year!  All my weekends will be booked for the next six weeks or so (brutal).  I’ll be selling steak on a stake and sausage, which I’m going to be hawking in my best improvised, filthy Elizabethan (when we practiced during orientation, I shouted “Good day, m’Lord!  You’d like a hot sausage in your mouth, wouldn’t you?”  Once my mostly-teenage coworkers stopped laughing, our boss said, “But… make sure there aren’t any kids around if you’re going to say that stuff.”).  I ran into a friend from Office Job there, who invited me to work beverages instead, which I would love to do, so maybe that’ll happen!  I went to her place that evening to socialize with the beverage people, all of whom are older than me, and a total fucking hoot.  Working with them would be a blast.  I hope it works out.

I got drinks with a new friend from Office Job who used to work at an LGBT center at a conservative Christian university.  We chatted about gender and sexuality, and decided we should hang out, which we did last week at El Carmen.  When I went to the bathroom for the second time, there was a pretty girl sitting on the bench opposite the bathroom door, waiting her turn, whose face lit up when she saw me, and greeted me with a warm, “Hi.”  We flirted for a while, she took her turn in the bathroom, and when she came out we flirted some more, during which she called me gorgeous twice, we hugged, and before she left I said, “Wait, so, can I get your number?”  “Yeah!  Yeah…”  So.  I totally got some girl’s number for the first time ever.  I texted her a couple days later to see if she’d gotten home alright from the bar and don’t expect to hear back.  It doesn’t really matter.  I got a girl’s number!  Woot!

But what made me do that?  Hanging out with my new friend that night, we had been chatting a lot about sexuality, so it was at the forefront of my mind (plus I had a pretty solid buzz going after 2.5 happy hour margaritas).  I told her a I was bi, and we talked about that for a while, and she said, “Have you told your family?”

Cue record scratch.

My face dropped.  “Oh.”  It never occurred to me that I might have to do that at some point, unless I brought a girl home.  I don’t feel closeted, so I never felt the need to come out.  But she asked, and it got me thinking, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.  So when I hung out with Sister a few days later, I told her about this girl I had hit on.  “She was just so cute, so I asked for her number, and she fucking gave it to me.  Ugh.  So weird.”  Sister squinted a little during the whole story, but listened patiently with a hesitant “Ok…” here and there.  Afterward she said, “Wow.  So.  [my full name].”  We both laughed.  Then her boyfriend came in and the topic shifted to my graduate school graduation party.  However.  A couple days later she IM’d me over Gchat:

hey [tigerlilytoph]!
good seeing you last night and jumping on the invitation business
i want to talk to you about a conversation we stated earlier in the evening maybe next week

ok
I’m free most evenings I think
busy tuesday
and friday

ok cool 🙂
i have [friend]’s bday dinner wednesday

Monday?
or Thursday?

how about monday

okies
ugh now I’m kinda nervous
GROSS

about what?
me wanting to talk to you?

yeaaaaaah

llol
don’t be you goose
i’m just concerned your not happy that’s all

oh?

yeah so i just wanted to share with you my thoughts and be a good big sister

thanks 🙂

nothing to feel gross about silly [tigerlily]

well ok
i’ll stop throwing up now

llol
ew

right?

you going to hear [cousin] play tonight?

I am not going to [cousin]’s show tonight, but I definitely want to go to another one of his shows
His group has a good sound, and he seems really happy with them

So that conversation wasn’t a total disaster, and I think it’s going to be ok (of course it would be better if she hadn’t canceled to spend time with her friend who just broke up with her significant other, because now I’m all nervous all over again).  Now I’m mostly worried that she saw my hitting on that girl as evidence that I’m not happy with Boyfriend.  Blerg.  I can’t handle her judgement.  I want to hear her opinion, but if she could give it without all the fucking judgement, that would be just super.

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badness, life

It’s past time we had a chat

Marriage equality is an inevitability, regardless of what’s happening in Russia right now (why are they hosting the Olympics again?).  But at least progress is happening in California.

Still, I’ve never had a logical, productive discussion about marriage equality with someone from the opposite camp, and feel as though my experience of this social phenomenon is diminished as a result.  Even if we disagree, I’d like to hear an intelligent dissenting opinion, if one exists.  So I went to the Protect Marriage website and submitted the following:

I have yet to have a productive discussion regarding marriage equality with someone who believes, as your group does, that marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman. Instead of having pointless Facebook discussions (that typically consist of someone quoting religious texts as a justification for secular law, or end with someone leaving the conversation in a huff) I figured the best thing to do would be to contact a group of people who have a clear idea of why they believe what they believe, and are capable of having a logical, productive discussion on the topic.

With that in mind, I’ve gone through the “Who We Are” page on your website, and am unclear on a few claims there.

Your website says that “children are most likely to thrive when raised by the father and mother who brought them into this world.”
-How did you come to this conclusion?
-Are adoptive parents (of any gender) therefore inferior?

Your organization claims to want “to protect and preserve traditional marriage…”
-How far back are you extending the word ‘traditional?’ 50 years? 100 years? 1,000 years?

Your website says that our government has “protected marriage to ensure that it exists to conceive and nurture healthy children that will sustain civilization,” and that “procreation is intrinsically connected to marriage.”
-Should the infertile (of any gender) receive the same government protections?
-Are relationships between couples who choose not to procreate inferior in any way?

When you say that children “sustain civilization,” I’m not sure I understand what you mean.
-Do you mean that they maintain the status quo, or that they maintain the same morals and laws that they inherited?

How will same-sex marriage “further [weaken] the societal norm that men should take responsibility for the children they beget”? How did you come to this conclusion?

How will same-sex marriage “corrode marital norms of permanence, monogamy, and fidelity”? How did you come to this conclusion?

Your website quotes Judge Stephen Johnson Field: “marriage is the foundation of family and society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.” This statement was made in 1888, eight years before he voted to uphold racial segregation.
-Do you contend that this man’s opinions on social norms (125 years later) are still relevant?
-Please define what you believe he meant by “progress.”

How does an opposite-sex couple’s ability to procreate make their marriage superior to one (made up of any gender combination) that cannot, especially if members of an opposite-sex couple choose not make use of their ability to procreate?

I look forward to hearing back from you.

I’ll post here if they respond.  I’m expecting total radio silence, but remain optimistic.

Meanwhile, here’s how I feel about people who think marriage equality will degrade the current (horrendous) rate of successful marriages between straight couples:

divorce, the silent killer of a full 50% of straight marriages

divorce, the silent killer of a full 50% of straight marriages

 

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goodness, life

The great American tradition: change

Still pretty excited about the death of DOMA.  Plus, this announcement that Californians don’t have to wait the usual 25 days after a Ninth Circuit Court ruling to exercise their right to marry.  In fact, the LA Times reports that ” Los Angeles County and some local cities are offering special procedures and extended hours Monday to meet heavy demand” for marriage licenses.

we need more of these

we need more of these

I’m not sure how to express my excitement over this, since it is, at its core, a depressing statement of my country’s lack of empathy for one another.  We’re all pretty excited, but what should I say to a gay/lesbian couple?  “Congratulations!  You are now considered human in the eyes of the law!”  I’m desperate to find a way to let the LGBT community know that they have support in the straight community, but Facebook status updates and an equality magnet on my car aren’t enough.

I’m volunteering at an ESL (English as a Second Language) school four days a week for a few hours per day, and try to make time for a ‘free question time’ before we start class.  I try to encourage the students to ask about language, news topics, anything really, and that day one of the students asked about DOMA.  I explained the ruling, the structure of the supreme court and the history of prop 8.  I gave no indication of my personal opinion about the ruling, but finished with a quick mention of why it’s good for California economically: more weddings = more money for the state!  The students didn’t offer their opinions, even when I asked if anyone wanted to contribute anything before we moved on.  But many of the students are religious (Christian), so I felt I could assume that many of them would be displeased with the ruling and didn’t want to start the day by highlighting something about the US they might not like, especially given the depressing nature of that day’s topic (funerals).  Still, I tried to leave them with a positive impression of the ruling without imposing my opinion on them (which would be an abuse of my power as an instructor).

My coworkers joked last week that in two years, the divorce rate will jump, given that there are probably plenty of couples getting married because they finally can (again), and are trying to be legally joined before their right to do so is revoked (again).  But I’m too happy to worry about that, so here are some of my favorite pro-marriage equality images that have been floating around the interwebz:

cats: official mascot of the internet.

cats: official mascot of the internet.

"conservative/religious/republican/crazies devastated?  GOOD."

“conservative/religious/republican/crazies devastated? GOOD.”

Boyfriend plays Ryu in Super Street Fighter IV rather well.  he's so talented.

Boyfriend plays Ryu in Super Street Fighter IV rather well. he’s so talented.

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badness, work

Grow some ovaries, ladies

I’m in charge of social media in my office, and occasionally get tips from less technologically adept coworkers that I try to implement without letting my eye twitch too much.

For example, today, when I posted an article about how our university is attempting to make gay athletes feel more welcome, Hollywood Coworker told me to “tread very lightly when you post LGBT stuff” because the parents who visit our page are not all as “advanced” as we are on the topic.

my immediate non-verbal response

my immediate non-verbal response

I could tell she assumed this would turn into a disagreement (as her suggestions about what to do with social media often do), so I used my most soothing voice, and said something like, “Well, we can’t cater to every opinion, and even if we could, our job is to inform them about the university. This is happening right now. It’s a fact.”  Her hands came up in a ‘don’t get me started’ fashion, because we both strongly support the LGBT community, so she thought I was preaching to the choir. But I wasn’t, because the topic wasn’t about the LGBT community, it was about deciding whether or not we would do our jobs right, or be cowards.  She honestly believes that I should watch what I post about the LGBT community, especially anything demonstrating support of said community. Why? Because it might offend some parents. As if our job is to:
1) Cater to bigots
2) Lie by omission about university policies
3) Neglect to inform the other parents for fear of offending a few
4) Any of the a-fucking-bove.

This is an amazing university. I’m proud to have gone here, and delighted to be working here. So I’m left wondering: What does Hollywood Coworker think our social media is there for, if not to inform our constituency? If there’s a bombing on campus, we’d post about that too because our job is information distribution, not whatever-makes-you-comfortable distribution.  Remember that newspaper that published an article about the first gay marriage in a small community, and caught all kinds of grief for it?  The owner of that paper wrote a great reply to all the negative feedback: “The job of a community newspaper is not pretending something didn’t take place or ignoring it because it will upset people.”

This bothered me quite a bit, so I mentioned to Little Mole Boss that I had published this article, and she winced.  I asked why she had that reaction, and she said that some parents are prejudiced.  So I asked, “So should we not inform parents because some people might be offended?”
Little Mole Boss: “No, let’s just see what the reaction is.”
me: “Ok… I just want to make sure we’re not avoiding posting stuff because some people don’t like it.  We’re not posting opinions, these are facts.  Our page doesn’t have an LGBT agenda…”
“I know, of course of course…”
“So what’s our policy on this?”
“We don’t have one.”
“Ok.”
“I guess if it’s already up, it’s up.  Let’s just see what the reaction is.”
“Ok, sounds good.”

really?  REALLY?

frustrated kitty is frustrated

So there’s some work to be done in the “do the right thing without being a big fucking baby about it” department.

So I’ll keep working on it.

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badness, life

On Christopher Jordan Dorner: We might’ve been friends

An ex-cop named Christopher Jordan Dorner wrote an 18-page manifesto that I felt compelled to read for some reason.  He’s killed three people so far.

The majority of the suicide letter (let’s not mince words here) lists the specific people who have wronged him and acted unjustly in the past (including a high school administrator who lied to him in 1996).  A lot of it sounds legit.  He discourages anyone from coming after him, saying they will not survive if they try to pull him over or arrest him. He talks about his experiences with racism, and the need for better gun control laws: “Who in there right mind needs a fucking silencer!!!”

pictured: murderer

pictured: murderer, victim, human

Then at the bottom of page 12, he starts thanking people for being good friends, honest politicians, talented doctors: “I’m sorry I’ll never get to go on that moose and bear hunt with you. I love you bro.” At this point, I wondered how many people had written letters just like this, and, upon realizing that the list of wonderful people in their lives they would miss spending time with was surprisingly long, got up from the computer, called one of them and made plans instead of going on a killing spree.

Like most manifestos, this one goes off track once he stops being quite so angry, and starts lauding the people he admires (“Off the record, I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama”) and the things he loves (“Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is the greatest piece of music ever, period”). While it’s fascinating to see inside someone’s head without a filter, I can’t give this guy too much credit. He’s killing people. Some part of his brain is broken.  Still, I can’t help but think of Shan Yu, the fictitious “warrior poet” quoted for claiming that we can only really know a person when they are pushed to the brink.  I wonder if manifestos like these seem crazy because we never really know each other; as a result 18 pages worth of raw honesty and what this man considered truth comes across as proof of insanity.

In the order they appear, here are the parts of the manifesto that jumped out at me for their candor and silliness.  I am shocked by how much I agree with him on so many topics:

Thank you for the superb surgery you performed on my knee… I never had the opportunity to thank you for allowing me to live a life free of knee joint pain. Thank you.

I thank the unnamed women I dated over my lifetime for the great and sometimes not so great sex.

It’s kind of sad I won’t be around to enjoy the Hangover III. What an awesome trilogy… World War Z looks good and The Walking Dead season 3 (second half) looked intriguing. Damn, gonna miss shark week.

Hillary Clinton.  You’ll make one hell of a president in 2016… Chelsea grew up to be one hell of an attractive woman.  No disrespect to her husband.

Gov. Chris Christie. What can I say? You’re the only person I would like to see in the White House in 2016 other than Hillary. You’re America’s no shit taking uncle. Do one thing for your wife, kids, and supporters. Start walking at night and eat a little less, not a lot less, just a little. We want to see you around for a long time.

Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhuman piece of shit… You are a failure of a human being. May all your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you.

Ellen Degeneres… You changed the perception of your gay community and how we as Americans view the LGBT community… Oh, and you Prop 8 supporters, why the fuck do you care who your neighbor marries. Hypocritical pieces of shit.

[Redacted] Church, may you all burn slowly in a fire, not from smoke inhalation, but from the flames and only the flames.

Cyclist, I have no problem sharing the road with you. But, at least go the fucking speed limit posted or get off the road!!! That is a feasible request. Livestrong you fraudulent assholes.

Cardinal Mahoney, you are in essence a predator yourself… May you die a long and slow painful death.

Charlie Sheen, you’re effin awesome.

My opinion on women in combat… Many want to see you fail. Remember everyone of you is a pioneer. There was a time when they didn’t allow blacks to fight the good fight. This is your civil rights. Don’t quit!!!

It’s time to allow gay service member’s spouses to utilize the same benefits that all heterosexual dependents are eligible for.

Mr. Bill Cosby, you are a reasonable and talented man who has spoken the truth of the cultural anomalies within the black communities that need to change now.

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badness, goodness

America is not impressed

If Obama hadn’t won, we wouldn’t have this picture.  Isn’t that reason enough?

you voted romney? hmmm. that’s too bad.

I’m kidding.  Gay rights, people, amirite?

I’m still jazzed about Obama winning a second term in office.  Maybe the right word is relieved.  I’m very relieved that Obama won over the latest Republican maniac, Romney.  What a loon.  I was frightened to think what Romney might take away from women in this country.  My right to have an abortion (a terrible last resort, but a necessary option that shouldn’t be decided upon by men), having birth control covered by health insurance (do they want us to have unwanted children?), funding for Planned Parenthood (cancer screenings and sex education for all?  Yes please).  As a woman, I worried.

As a straight white person, I worried for my friends, for people I’ve never met.  I thought to myself the other day, “I don’t have that many gay friends…”  Then I started counting them.  Oh yeah, that person.  Oh yeah, I forgot about her, and her too.  Oh yeah, I have a ton of them, and I love them all.  Let’s not even get started on immigration.  The vitriol Romney could barely conceal when he talked about “illegals” was scary.  Don’t get me wrong, if you’re here illegally, shame on you, pay some taxes already.  But you can’t tell people desperate to escape a violent country to have a better chance for their kids that they should just fuck off, cus too bad you weren’t lucky enough to be born here, so GTFO.  As a straight white citizen, I worried.

There was a lot on the line this November.  I’m relieved America made the smart choice.  We were unimpressed, and in the end, disapproving of any other candidate (see above photo).

touched by his noodly appendage

Here’s what I can’t figure out: Why is the Republican party walking backwards?  What are they so afraid of?  In particular, why all the misinformation about rape?  Don’t they have wives, daughters, sisters?  Haven’t they thought about what kinds of options they would want the women in their lives to have if something awful like rape happened to one of them?  I have to conclude that they must keep the concept of rape in a hypothetical, airtight box which is what makes it so easy for them to take a purely hypothetical stance on abortion that demands that even a woman who is raped take the pregnancy to term.  It’s insane.  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

Thank FSM that Obama won the election. Where would we be without him?  I loathe to imagine a Romney/Ryan America.  Scares the shit outta me.

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uncategorized

Human rights: a new anthem

I probably cry more at work nowadays than anywhere else, since it’s there that I read articles about the state of the world, and find videos like this.

Upworthy is right: equality just found a new anthem.

But now what?  What can I do?  Watching a video, clicking ‘like’ is not enough.  What now?  What do I do now?

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