Monday, December 31, 2012

Soundtrack to 2012

I look forward to the end of the year for one main reason: compiling a playlist of the year’s best songs. And while I would love to share that entire playlist, 187 songs and descriptions of them would make an incredibly long, and tiresome, post. Instead, here are 10 highlights for me from 2012, in no particular order.

1. "Cuckoo" – Adam Lambert

As a proud Glambert, I was elated when Trespassing came out, and even more elated to see Adam perform “Cuckoo” at an outdoors summer concert. 2012 only cemented my allegiance to him.

2. "Leave My Body" – Florence + the Machine

I had the privilege of seeing Florence + the Machine perform live in April. And when the goddess-like Florence Welch sang this song…chills.

3. "Forrest Gump" – Frank Ocean

Coming out on Tumblr, releasing the epic Channel Orange, and receiving six Grammy nominations? It’s been a pretty good year for Mr. Ocean.

4. "One Foot" – Fun.
“I put one foot in front of the other one/I don’t need a new love or a new life/Just a better place to die”

5. "Part of Me" – Katy Perry

(I was gonna put a line or two from this song, but I ended up wanting to put all the lyrics lol).

6. "National Anthem" – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey was a staple for me throughout 2012. Her album Born to Die has some of the most plays in my iTunes library. And while some tracks have come in and out of fads, “National Anthem” has consistently been a favorite of mine.

7. "Bad Girls" – M.I.A.

Banging beat. Empowering lyrics. Dope music video. Greatness achieved.

8. "Same Love" – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

This pro gay anthem that went viral in fall thrust Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis into mainstream pop culture. The rest of their album, The Heist, does not disappoint fans.

9. "Fear and Loathing" – Marina and the Diamonds

“There is no crime in being kind/Not everyone is out to screw you over/ Maybe, oh just maybe, they just wanna get to know you.”

10. "Disparate Youth" – Santigold

“Now we push right past to find out/Oh, how to win what they all lost/We know now we want more/A life worth fighting for”                                                           

And of course, Demi Lovato, Imagine Dragons, and Nicki Minaj must be thanked for their contributions to 2012. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oh yes. 2012

It's the end of the year.

When I'm not organizing my schedule around work, I turn nocturnal. It's always a pain when vacation ends, and I'm trying to head it off early this time. I didn't sleep yesterday in the hope that I'll be able to fall asleep early this evening. That is the state of the brain composing this post. Could be worse.

I've been watching The Pacific this week. War. Sixty-five years ago my ancestors were killing my neighbors' ancestors and vice-versa. There was a scene with a little baby that reminded me of the kindergartners I was Santa for and also the niece I used to babysit. They're so small.

Between episodes I worked on my Navy application. The December selection board had a fifty-one percent pickup rate for my area; the March board, my board, may be a little higher or lower. I still want to go.



I saw kabuki in Tokyo. It was gorgeous and I understood not one word. We looked at Tokyo from the top of a skyscraper before the show.


I spent a nightmare week at home with the flu. If that wasn't the worst week of my life to date, it's right up there. And then girls gave me chocolate.


I finished my first full year as a teacher and gave chocolate to girls.


Cherry blossom festival down by the river (if I'm lucky I'll be able to see the blossoms one last time this year before I fly home) and . . . True Blood? Something TV bingey. I got my tax and health insurance bills, and I was poor.


I went to China. I was swindled out of a moderate amount of money that seemed like a very large amount of money first because it was in Yuan and second because I was still poor from April. I danced with an old friend in a nightclub at two in the morning and walked in empty wide Nanjing streets at three. Later I jumped ticket taking machines with a giant bag full of shoes (not mine) to catch the last train of the night.


Nothing happened in June.


My parents came to visit for the second time, and I went to the onsen with my dad. My mom went with a teacher friend of mine. We ate soba and tempura. I stopped going to kendo.


I climbed Mt. Fuji. I watched handfuls of sunrises, including one at the nature preserve and orchard down the street where I can see clear to the mountains and everything is gold at five a.m.


Teaching was fierce that month. So many full schedules.


I think . . . there was drinking? Or something? With people? And I distinctly remember this as the last month that I had a clean house.


I scored well on the Navy officer test. Kyle came to visit, and we went to Kyoto. After he left I crashed from exhaustion, but it was worth it.


I turned twenty-four. There were Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. Santa. The one year anniversary of me giving up porn, and also of my older brother telling me I'm not welcome in his life. On Christmas day I went to the dentist and got good news.


This year was satisfying. This next year will be too maybe.

This next week's post will also be satisfying, at least for me. I think it goes back to what I was saying in the muzzle post. When you have something to say, speaking is oh-so-satisfying.

I'll be speaking about / responding to Clive's post, and possibly other posts in that series in the coming weeks. I think he's got an important point in mind, but he's going about it wrong. Like . . . trying to bite open a suitcase, or something.


To finish: "She was right in regarding all arguments as nonsense in comparison with that smile." (War and Peace)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friendship Is Invaluable

A few weeks ago I got my feelings hurt. I had every intent to never talk to the culprit again, heck I even deleted him from my FB. While whining to my mother she simply said to me “friendship is invaluable”, commenting on her relationship with my “uncle” Steve. Her and Steve had been friends for as long as I can remember and now they talk every single day and have helped each other through so much. So I got over it because my mother was right; friendship is invaluable.
But when I came to college I hadn’t really planned on making friends. I figured I would stick with Satan and maybe find myself a husband. Who would have thought that Satan would ditch me and I would maybe end up wanting a wife? And I never thought I could make friends outside of high school where we are shoved together for 8 hours a day but surprisingly I HAVE A BEST FRIEND! (Granted, I noticed that my three closest friends are from where I worked so maybe I DO have to be shoved into an environment for long periods of time to make friends.)
The point: I have a best friend. She’s fantastic. I remember when I first met her. Lee was actually the one to make our introductions, simply saying “That’s Dupree, the anti-social one” and pointing to me lounging in the hammock. I checked her out, thought she was too goody, and moved on. Later I discovered that I was starting to like her more and more and then one day, while Lee and I were discussing our posts for the week, she piped up that she read the blog. After that it was a fast friendship of listening to music in the shower, yelling each other’s names when we entered the kitchen, and talking about boys and watching the stars and having ice cream picnics on top of Rici. Somewhere in the midst of summer work, I made a best friend.
She asked me in the fall what happened to the friendships we made at work. I told her that if people put in the effort then they were true friendships. After that I promised to put in effort and it’s definitely paid off.
Anyways we’ve heard a lot about R and how much I love her. But this Christmas she completely out did herself.
After not being able to see one another for what seemed like forever we finally got to have a sleepover tonight (like seriously I am writing this post with her right next to me as she peruses the internet). But with this I got my Christmas present, she got hers, we made a bunch of food, and watched Pitch Perfect and Perks of Being A Wallflower. For my present she created a Sadness Emergency Kit complete with Nutella, Chocolate Cake, two books that look awesome, a stuffed dog (it’s the cutest), and the greatest mixed CD ever (which is hilarious considering my gift to her was a mixed CD).
The CD was seriously the highlight. There were quotes that gave hints to the songs and it was awesome to go through the whole CD trying to figure out the artists. It started off with Lover’s Eyes and I seriously freaked out (I mean how did she know that that was my favorite song of the week?) It was all spectacular.
I guess the point is that my mother was right, friendships are invaluable. Around this time of the year I always feel completely alone but then I have my friends that just randomly are like hey I love you. And yea… it’s great. I’m sure I could more eloquently express my appreciation for her when it wasn’t 1230 and she wasn’t sitting right next to me and we weren’t getting ready to start another movie before maybe finally crashing.

Love to you all!

And I hope you had a more than miserable Christmas and have plans for an exciting New Years.

Monday, December 24, 2012

How the Grinch Survives Christmas

“I-iiiiiiiiiiiiii don’t want aaaa lot forrrr Christmas”

I groaned, ignoring the “what’s your problem?” looks from the people in that coffee shop. Admittedly, even I had to check myself. I mean, it was only November. And it was the first instance of the holiday season where I was hearing Mariah Carey’s popular “All I Want For Christmas is You” (though now my count has reached the 30s, all thanks to radio and department stores).

And that’s when I knew I wasn’t feeling Christmas this year.

Jingle all the way? More like whining all the way as I went about my December activities. Not even shopping or donating to a homeless shelter could lift me out of this funk. It got so bad that I even began to sympathize with those melodramatic tales from people not having that “special someone” to go do December-y things with: gift shopping, hot cider drinking, snow frollocking, and ice skating. Typically, I respond to such lamentations with a big LOL and a “that’s ridiculous.” But this December, as I put on my happy face and thinking cap to buy presents, it took all I had to bite my tongue and withhold cynical points of criticism at the slowpoke couples standing in my way of that last scarf.

And as I went about December, I couldn’t help but wonder if other people were experiencing the same thing. Are there others who don’t like the holidays? Do the typical December activities turn off some? Is loneliness a widespread feeling during December? How do people get into the spirit of the holiday season?

Now, with it being Christmas Eve, I feel resolution as I sigh relief go and realize I have made it through the holiday season. Now comes the easy part: nom nom-ing on delicious food my parents make and unwrapping the clothes I helped cast as my presents in the production of Christmas Day.

But as soon as Mariah starts singing next November, will I be in the holiday spirit?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

With Apologies

I'm not sure what to post on today. I probably wouldn't post, but I feel bad about not blogging last week. In my defense, I'd just finished finals, and spent a pleasant day with my cousins shopping and watching Lord of the Rings and I didn't really feel like doing anything else. Now I'm over at my parents' house for the next three days, hoping everything will be okay. It probably will. I'm still anxious about it, in spite of reassurances and the fact that it is only for three days.

I'm glad it will be a white Christmas here in Utah. That should be nice.

Christmas is sad because traditions are supposed to remind us of how everything is the same. But nothing is the same here; we're watching home videos and I'm up on the screen reading two poems I wrote where every line ends with "because of the baby Jesus." I'm like 11. It's adorable. And long and silly and kind of weird. We were cute kids. So I guess there's that. But now we're all grown up and sad. And it's kind of sad.

I feel bad that I don't have anything else to say. But I hope you have a pleasant holiday, whatever you do or do not celebrate. Either way, here's a poem by ee cummings about christmas, but also about being sad and lonely, so it can apply to multiple circumstances.

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel" 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

He's jolly and foreign, what more could you ask for?

A week or so ago, I was Santa. First at an elementary school, for the special ed class. Lots of ho-ho-ho’s and hand shaking and “merry Christmas!”s, and then we played bingo until all thirty kids won and got a present from Santa. One kid was super energetic and friendly. As we finished class, he came up to me, patted my pillow-enlarged belly, and asked (in Japanese), “Santa, are you pregnant?”
Costume held together with safety pins. Classy.
No buddy. But if I were, I hope my kid would be as awesome as you.
Second was a kindergarten. Four very brave tiny children asked questions like “How many reindeer do you have,” “Why do you wear red,” “How do you get in houses,” and “Where do you live?” (Nine reindeer; it’s a bright and happy color; magic; and Finland.) Each kid came up and shook my hand and got a present, and then we took a class picture.
And then in the teachers’ room the principle gave me coffee and cake, an origami Santa ornament, tangerines, and a flower arrangement from the PTA. Unexpected, but pleasant. Add to that the fact that both days I was finished with “work” by eleven a.m. and I had an extremely satisfying Santa experience.
It makes me think a bit. It’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t have happened in the states. If I’d kept on my pre-Japan path I’d be living in New York and still thinking of myself as far too young to be a suitable Santa. I’d be missing out on so much. 
Or maybe not, maybe I’d be doing equally awesome things in the states. Kinda doubt it, though.


For the holiday itself, I’m going to stay indoors where it’s warm all day, but for the twenty-fourth I’m going with a friend and her friends and family over to the coast, to a town called Fujisawa. We’ll go to a nondenominational Christian service that’s completely in Japanese (I didn’t understand a single word last year) and eat a fantastic dinner of excellent chicken (though not KFC, which is seriously what most Japanese people associate with Christmas) and sushi. And wine, because the dad of the family is a connoisseur. We’ll sit on cushions around the low heated table and I will try very hard to participate in the conversation. I swear, being social here is like taking oral exams every day.
I like this. Aside from my mom’s rolls, I never really liked Christmas dinner in the states. Christmas sushi may become a tradition for me.


Christmas lights: I miss them. There are three houses I know of in my city that have lights up, and they’re all awful, garish, and tacky.
Christmas songs: I don’t miss them. This year the only ones I’ve sought out are “Boots” and “Joseph, Better You Than Me,” both by The Killers. That’s enough. I’m sure I’ll hear all the others next year. And the year after that. And so on.


Next week will almost certainly be full of reminiscences. For the week after that, though, I have something more . . . contrary? combative? in the works. Some things were said in the moho blogs recently that I strongly disagree with and think are important enough to write a handful of posts about.


Chances are you’ve seen this already, but in case you haven’t: The year's best autocorrects. Guffaws and tears. It’s that funny.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End Of The World and Suicide (A Post Of Interjected Parenthesis)

So today is December 21. Where are the bombs? Asteroids? Jesus? Aren’t they all supposed to show up on my door and demand penance? Or something? I mean today was supposed to be cool. The coolest thing to happen to me today was the chance to deep clean the drink machine (I have a serious obsession with cleaning projects in my work place’s dining hall… IDK maybe I’m secretly disgusted at how nasty they are or maybe I just really like easy work). Either way today was supposed to be something out of the ordinary. I even used my senior yearbook quote on this (Don't take life too seriously: none of us will survive 2012). I never truly believed that this would be the end of the world but maybe I was secretly because I am apparently disappointed that it didn’t happen.

In other happy news, guess who was suicidal again?

Yep me. And probably other countless students who had to go through finals in this dreary place. And while I don’t want to hash out all the details (because let’s face it, we’ve been there) I want to share something that was different this time.
Usually when I get to these places my mind is crowded with all the things I should do. How should I do it? Where should I do it? Do I leave a note? Where would I leave the note? Who do I even write a note to? What about the people I left behind? How will they feel about this? Should I clean my room? What about packing up my stuff? Could I leave that to my mom? What about my bills? My student loans, she shouldn’t have to deal with those….
Seriously it just goes on and on. But when I went to my not-so-happy place this time I asked myself another question, one that (even though I’ve contemplated suicide since I was eight and thought 10 Ibuprofen would kill me) I hadn’t asked myself yet. What will death be like? Not so much dying but what happens after? It shocked me to realize I had never asked that and also that I was so far gone that I would even ask that. So I seriously thought about it and here is what I came up with.

Numero Un: The cynics are correct; nothing happens. It’s just a dark abyss of absolutely nothing.

Numero Dos: I go to hell. I mean I killed myself right? That’s a sin right? I’m going to hell. Not to mention the happy fact that I’m gay and I’m generally not content unless I’m “sinning” in one form or another. Really by most doctrine I’m straight up damned. Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth is the (after) life for me. Awesome.

Numero Twa: I go somewhere. Maybe not heaven, but just a place that we go. One of the Mormon doctrines that I really liked was talking about how the spirit world was actually earth and spirits are just roaming here. I spent the most time contemplating this one and I’m (almost) ashamed to say I was really drawn to it. I mean I can imagine my welcoming party consisting of my grandma Sandra, Uncle Skip, my cousin Stephi… maybe even my grandpa would show up even though I’ve never met him (my mom says we would have gotten along well). I would run up and give my grams a hug and tell her how much I missed her and how much mom and Mikey miss her as well. Skip would ask me what I learned in my experiences at Earth (as is the way of Skip. He used to ask me every day when I got home from school what I learned that day.) Grandpa Sam would probably introduce himself and maybe make a comment on the years I spent taking care of his wife (like I said, never met the man but I did look after his wife (my great grandma Sarah (and yes this is a parenthesis within a parenthesis (paran-ception))) so maybe he’d have something to say to me). I would also bombard Stephi with questions. Why she did it? Does she reject it? Could any of us have helped?
After I got settled I could imagine my afterlife…
I could imagine Stephi and me going to different museums. She could teach me how to paint (she was the first person who introduced me to art) and we could travel the world painting random landscapes. And have a never ending art supply. The world would literally be our canvas. It could be amazing.
I could imagine going to concerts with my grandmother. She could introduce me to all the songs that were the background to my childhood and I could introduce her to bands I’d think she’d like today (mainly Deadtooth but she might have some appreciation for Mortigi Tempo… my grandma’s a hard ass). We could have private chats with all the dead greats (as unoriginal as it may be I kind of want to meet Kurt Cobain) and sneak into live shows. Hang out backstage and listen in on their jam sessions. It would be like being a groupie but without all the promiscuous sex.
I could imagine my Uncle Skip joining my grandmother and me for our musical education. I could imagine fishing with my grandfather. I don’t even know if he used to fish but I can imagine it would be something we would enjoy doing together.

My life could be pretty damn swell if I was dead.

But that’s not how I should be looking at it. Yes I can appreciate that death could be awesome. Could be. But who knows what will actually happen. And right now I need to live my life. What about all the things I would miss if I died? Like having kids and getting married and owning a home. Those things sound so 1950’s America but I’m kind of drawn to them. Or what if I hopped in a RV and traveled the states or hitchhiked to South America or caught a boat to Europe to backpack some more. I could do so much and most of the time I can tell myself that and not worry too much about being constantly suicidal but this time…

I guess what scared me the most this last time was that I wasn’t just running away from everything… I was trying to run toward something.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Personal Hell

Hey Guys! Checking in so that I can talk a little about me and religion.

I mean, the doctrine can be silly sometimes. Like the choices they give gay people (4% of men, so not a huge focus of the church I suppose). But also look at the tax exempt statement and the clear political stances of the church. Look at... well, a lot of things.

Also want to say how frustrating this church can be. For me. I lost the one man I have ever really loved (I always claimed that I didn't really know what love is but, looking back, I think the word might be appropriate). And I lost him because of the church. He couldn't choose between me and the church for three damn years. So, I made the decision. Not for him, but for me. Friends tell me I made the choice for us, so we could both live better lives. But, in the end, I'm not that holy of a person. I'm not that nice. I made that decision for me. He is in just as much if not more pain for this, but I know I can (and mostly have) move on better than he can. I caused him pain for me. Unnecessary if the church had not been a factor in life.

So, I lost someone who wants to be Mormon and can sometimes pretends he isn't gay. Not to bad, right? But what if I also said I lost UCLA due to the bullying that I went through to go to BYU. Yes, my mother had the best intentions in mind. But, how does the saying go? "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." This is suppose to mean that people just never got around to doing the right thing but, in my case, this saying means that, yes, my mother had good intentions but the road she paved lead me to Hell.

However, BYU isn't  Hell for everyone. Some people thrive here.

Similar, Mormonism isn't a Hell for everyone. Even gay people. Some people want to be gay and embrace the church. Just because I can't doesn't mean that other people are wrong to do so. Mormonism has just as many flaws as other religions. And people need spirituality. So let them have what they will. I just don't want old men (notably, not woman) to tell me what to do. But other people do. Other people see their wisdom.

Enjoy your life. Guilt has a point and even if I believe that the church puts a little too much emphasize on this idea doesn't mean anything. Just means other people embrace copious amounts of guilt similar to how a masochist embraces pain.

So, even if you wish to remain Mormon, please, enjoy your life (doesn't mean be morally ambiguous, just means be yourself). That is more important than the Mormon God himself for even he claims that man were made that they might have joy. (See! I can still quote scripture!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

When a Donkey Teaches You About Life

A message from my professor with an announcement for class, 40% off my next online purchase, and – gasp – there it is: the dreaded forwarded chain email. But while they may be incredibly annoying, the sentimentality and cheerfulness of some chain emails are often too sweet to ignore. And I’m not referring to the “email this to 10 people or your grandma will lose a bone in her leg” emails. I’m talking about the ones with loving words and life lessons, accompanied by pictures of kittens, blooming flowers, and smiling suns. Anyone who denies the feel-good nature of these emails may be questioned on the existence of their own soul.

One of these emails was too good for me to pass up. Remember that no matter what the trial, it will always make you a better person.

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well.
At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off! 
MORAL: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

I am currently in finals recovery: the period after taking final examinations where my brain is too fried to do anything but lounge, eat junk food, and watch tons of Netflix. Hope the rest of you are staying warm, dry, and happy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guys aren't a priority I guess.

So, about that guy. That soldier. The one that I like.
Enlisting in the Navy is a significantly faster process than applying for an officer commission, so even though I started talking with my recruiter back in August, I’m still working on my application while the guy has finished his and started basic training. I haven’t signed any contracts, so if I were really serious about having something with him, it would still be possible. Part of me says that that’s what I should do: Leave off the paperwork, stop pestering my recruiter, and start looking at schools around where the guy will be stationed. I’ve thought it through a hundred times, and some of the possible ending scenarios are quite nice.
When it comes down to it, though, I’m not in love with him, and I would probably need to be in love with him—and know he were in love with me, which is also not the case—before I started arranging my life around him. I’m going to continue with my officer application. I hope that I’m commissioned, even though that will make this particular guy off limits.
This is something of a pattern in my life, choosing X over the possibility of a relationship. At BYU I chose to adhere to the honor code; later I chose to not date a certain friend until he came out and broke up with his girlfriend, which he didn’t do until after I’d moved to Seattle; I chose to move to NY to pursue my editing career instead of staying with the guy I was dating in Seattle; I moved to Japan to clean my palate instead of staying with the guy I was dating in NY. The point is that I guess I’m not in a frantic hurry to find The One, as it seems to me many people with Mormon backgrounds are.
Or I’m afraid of commitment? Or something?
To me this soldier situation seems like another entry in the pattern. Seeing if something with him might be awesome isn’t a priority now. Great as he is, there are other great guys. I still believe I can have it all, dream career and dream family.


The next thing is a background check. Tomorrow I’ll be plotting out every address I’ve lived at since I turned 18 (a double handful) and getting contact information for someone who knew me at each location. Plus all employers. Plus all immediate family. Then an FBI agent will talk with each of those people and make sure I’m a quality guy. They don’t kid around about this stuff.

This week I’ll think about Christmas. It’s that time of year, even in Japan.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Autonomy Interferring WIth Me Getting Help, Again

Ever had such strong emotions about something that you can't keep them bottled up? But you can't tell anyone you know? Not that you don't want to tell anyone. You want to tell someone, but you can't bring yourself to? This is the case with me.

First, I realize this is finals week and stress is at a max. But, I know myself. I don't stress enough on my finals. I try to put pressure on myself but pretty much the only difference between me pre-finals week and finals week is zero video games and this insane desire to clean everything.

Anyways, what I want to tell people but I can't.

This blog is about breaking the silence. And I wish that I had some cool, clever username and could be completely anonymous. Instead, Dupree knows me and reads my stuff. Tif, MJ, Jo have met me in person and can put a face to me. Two friends (both names starting with E) read this blog and talk about my posts with me and each other. Jay, my ex-boyfriend of three months, reads this blog. Hell, if my mother had the mind to, she could read this blog (but doesn't normally, mainly because I think she has a hard time remembering).

Admitting my feelings, my thoughts, can be quite difficult. It is almost like I only reveal my feelings selectively rather than with complete honesty. Everything I say is completely true but not everything I want to say gets said. So, realize that admitting to anything can be difficult because I'm not completely anonymous.

So, I'm taking a bit of leap when I say this. I'm starting to have doubts about my half-asian. Not because I don't think he's wonderful. Not because of any mistakes he, or I, have made. But because I'm stressed, not able to sleep and just getting insecure about my life and future.

I'm graduating in December 2013. That is a year away. And when I graduate in 2013, I want to get away from this forsaken land. What was the one futurama quote about Utah? "Well, in those days, Mars was just a dreary wasteland... much like Utah. But unlike Utah, it was eventually made livable... in 2636." I want out of this place, and I can't drag Half-Asian around with me. He's stuck here with his mother.

And this moving thing is really grating on me. But...
- He has acknowledged this problem well before I did. And hence why he didn't want to get too close because I could be leaving soon.
- He brings this problem up often, noting that he wants me to make my own decision, uninfluenced by him.
- He assures me things don't work out no matter what the present might say, calling on his experiences with his ex boyfriend that he had for over a year. He assures me that just because things might not work out doesn't mean one of us did something wrong.

Basically, he is giving me plenty of opportunities to call quits because of my schooling, letting me know that it wouldn't be my fault. So, no pressure at all is being put on me by him. All the pressure is purely mine.

Unfortunately, I think the reason why this is so... difficult... is because I like him. Way too much. I love his facial expressions and how he thinks he's so good at lying and covering things up. I love the way we can make fun of each other, no harm done. I love how cuddle time often devolves into competitions of insults and humor and stories of our pasts. The way he uses metaphors to understand the world around him. How he sees the world as simplistic in places I see it complicated. His ways of trying to prove to me that he is my equal, almost like he doesn't believe that I do see him as more than an equal. Just, I love SOOO much about him.

But there is so much more to life. I want him. I want to leave Utah. Around Half-Asian, I would choose him any day. Not around Half-Asian, I've recently been flip-flopping. And I'm conflicted.

Maybe this is a phase. But I want advice from people. I want to tell people this so I can get outsiders opinions. But I can't bring myself to tell people my problems, probably due to my pride in remaining autonomous. So, let me hope this post will help me tell people so I can discuss this more. If my confliction is a phase, I want out of it. If it isn't... I REALLY want advice, opinions. And either way, Breaking the Silence is the best way for me to deal with my confliction.

So, here is the post.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Like Riding a Bicycle...

It was as if someone took a hammer to my kneecaps. I could feel the stinging scrape on my elbow. The cold, wet street pressed against me. My backpack, weighted with textbooks and my laptop, kept me face down on the ground. After riding a bicycle to and from class for two years, I never managed to have any serious bike accident. Even a fender bender was rare for me on the bike path. But no matter what my experience or skill, it could happen to anyone, myself included. And that night, it happened to me.

I didn’t think about any of this when I flew over the handlebars of my bike, however. Instead, I thought, “Get up. Keep going.” And I couldn’t have been on the ground for more than ten seconds before standing up, picking up my bike, and riding the rest of the way home. Sure, I was sore all over and scraped up, but I had no choice; I had to get home.

Weeks later, it amazes me that I was able to get up so quickly and continue home to write a paper, as if my accident was no big deal. Why can’t all problems I encounter be similar to this incident? In emotional matters and conflicts of the mind & heart, why can’t I just “get up and keep going?” What is it about my physical body that makes it much more capable of overcoming struggles than my mind and soul? Are the tangible me and abstract me different in this regard?

What I do know is this: On that cold, rainy night, I could have chosen to stay on the ground. I could have cried, thrown myself a pity party for everything wrong in my life, my accident and the rest of the mistakes I’ve made, how this would ruin my night and the days following it, and remain in the road until I didn’t want to deal with the approaching cars. Knowing me, I very well might have done so. Instead, I bypassed all of that. I told myself to get up and keep going. I think the same can be said for any other issue in my life. It has become increasingly apparent to me that everything is a matter of perspective. While we may not be able to change the events life throws our way, we can control how we view them and respond to them. And maybe instead of falling into emotional slumps, I need to “get up” and “keep going.”

PS: Thank you to the car of bros who asked if I was okay. I am, and will continue to be so. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I woke up early this morning. I can't stress enough how infrequent an occurrence this is, especially during the last week of school. I can't even remember the last time I woke up at 7:30 unintentionally. Anyway, I woke up because I was having a nightmare, which, in contrast to waking up early, is a very frequent occurrence. Oddly enough, the nightmares have been calming down lately, maybe because I've been so tired. But tonight's was a fun one. Bear in mind that I watched Easy A last night, which makes the public shaming make more sense.

I dreamed that at BYU, before General Conference, this special church man had to come around and verify that everyone was going to watch all four sessions of conference. This man was named Brother Skinner and was actually the guy from the X-Files who is in charge of Scully and Mulder and tries to help them sometimes by telling them to conform. Anyway, I morally objected to having to sign a paper saying that I was going to watch 8 hours of conference, so my professor helped me hide in the ceiling t avoid signing it. Alas, Brother Skinner found me hiding in the ceiling and dragged me into his office for questioning: aren't I a good Mormon? Why was I hiding, then? Don't I plan on watching all the sessions anyway? Why not sign a paper saying so? What am I so afraid of?

Anyway, I got out of signing the Official Conference Contract and went over to my cousins' house to write a paper. However, Conference was on in the background, and several people started giving talks about how evil I was, saying I didn't sign the paper and I wasn't a real Mormon and I was a bad person. The closing prayer was all about how they hoped I could repent and become a better person and sign the contract that said I was willing to be a good Mormon by watching Conference.

This led to me being livid and also panicking, and I called my mom to try to explain the situation to her. She was skeptical, told me I was a bad Mormon, and refused to listen to my side of the story. After all, she'd heard it in Conference, so it had to be true!

I then proceeded to write a letter to Feminist Mormon Housewives invoking a variety of Harry Potter metaphors to explain my innocence, which they rejected on the grounds that they were too rambly (alas, like most of the seminary papers I'm supposed to be working on right now). My uncle then was persuaded to go to church with his friend and informed me that someone in church had already given a talk on how I represented a particularly bad type of person, was a liar, and should be kicked out of the state immediately.

Then I was so panicked that I woke up. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal--actually, it's kind of funny. Compared to my frequent nightmares about rape and murder, it shouldn't be too bad. But I was still freaked out enough to wake up. I'm guessing this particular dream has to do with my dread about going home for Christmas Break. I was going to go to church with my family on the 23rd just to make an appearance; as my parents have frequently informed me, the whole ward knows of my exploits, including being liberal! advocating for abortion rights! dating an "older man" that my parents don't approve of! All of this, of course, is my own fault--everyone in my ward knows this because of facebook, and not because my parents have talked to seemingly everyone about my supposed exploits, leading me to encounter a variety of strangers that are connected to people in my ward about what a terrible daughter I am. Again, this is not my parents' fault, as they've told me many times! It's my own for being willing to swear on facebook, leading ward members to come to my parents in tears asking what happened to me!! And my poor defenseless parents of course have to agree with them about how evil I am because coming to my defense would be completely ridiculous!!!!

The nightmare thus indicates that I'm panicking about going home to my home ward because I'm worried that everyone has been gossiping behind my back and believes already that I'm a terrible person--which is the reason why I wanted to go, frankly, to hold my head high and show them that I'm the same smart, nice person they thought they knew so well when I was a kid. But the terror of going by myself and encountering all the girls I graduated with and knowing the whole time that my parents are scrutinizing me to make sure I'm paying attention--why is she writing in her journal instead of paying attention?? Is she TEXTING?!?--means it might not be worth it.

Still, I'm tired of my supposed ignominy in various circles. Friends moving out because they think I'm evil. Having to conform to my roommates' expectations because they assume I'm just as Mormon as them--though the new Packer and Beck quotes on the fridge might be to counteract all the gay literature and anti-bullying slogans we have on the fridge. This isn't necessarily my roommates' fault; why do I care so much anyway? If I were less insecure I could just be my own brand of Mormon or non-Mormon, as the case may be, and not worry about what anyone thought. But I'm stuck here at BYU, and I've gotten very good at policing myself, and I've gotten very good at conforming.

I don't really have anything else to say. This isn't meant to be a diatribe against the church; I still consider myself Mormon in a lot of ways, and I agree with the most central tenets of what Christ (and every prophet from Mohammed to Buddha) taught, which is that above everything else, we need to love each other. Which is what makes staying in the church so hard--I don't feel that love coming from, well, anyone, frankly, including my parents, who are supposed to be such! good! Mormons! Just like I should be!!!

Sidenote--can you tell I'm freaked out about staying at home for four days beyond just feeling like I have to go to church with my family? I'm already idolizing the knives they keep in the kitchen. Just going home for dinner on Sundays makes me depressed out of my mind. But, of course, I can't talk to my parents about any of this, because they've already said to my face that the fact that I feel uncomfortable in their house is, obviously, my fault. It's because I feel guilty about what a sinner I am, which is obviously why I don't want to go to church anymore! If I could just be less evil, then my parents wouldn't have to be disappointed in me! Because the fact that they're disappointed in me is completely my fault, and they bear no responsibility in making me feel bad! But they're sorry that I'm suicidal, and are more than willing to help, so I should definitely feel more comfortable calling them than my nice, helpful boyfriend if I'm ever feeling bad about myself, because that makes perfectly logical sense! And of course I'm not going to bring up any of those gay things around my poor, helpless, younger siblings, right? I have to watch my mouth, young lady, and make sure that I don't corrupt those poor high school-age children!

I didn't mean for this blog post to degenerate into a huge rant. I kind of wanted to write about the huge things that have been happening in the gay blogosphere, namely the new "mormons and gays" website ( and the two cases going to the Supreme Court that will likely decide on the future of gay rights in America, which I am both excited and apprehensive about.  I guess my personal anxiety about going home is trumping that, which I'm sorry about. I'm still not sure if I'll go home for church in the 23rd. It's not like I owe my home ward anything, and it's not like I have anything to prove. I shouldn't care what they think of me--but I do. A lot. So I guess we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, it's starting to just lightly snow outside, which is nice. I'm listening to the Princess Mononoke soundtrack and thinking that it's more than time to watch my favorite Miyazaki movie again. I'm going to a friend's homecoming, which might be the reason for some of this anxiety, but I'm actually excited to hear him talk about his experiences and then go eat some food at his house and watch the snow. Maybe I'll wear my rosary and bring my Koran to feel better about sitting through Sacrament meeting, but I'm pretty sure it will be okay. And then, of course, it's back to the daily grindstone of the final weeks of grad school, which means working on my paper about human rights and forensics and the imperial West, even though I'd much rather be watching an episode of Supernatural. Or Psych, which has consistently gotten me through a variety of hard times. Go figure.

I'm off to go get ready now, and scrounge up something warm to wear. I hope you all have a pleasant Sunday and a nice week. Here's the poem of the week, as usual. Happy Sunday, everyone.

Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you
 and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.