Don’t give in; it can only get better from here…right?

I’ll admit I’m not always the most sensitive or informed individual. I can be crude, I can be rude, I can sometimes be pretty tactless. But some lines even I don’t cross. Lines involving privacy and the right to find happiness in just about any form you choose.

Not too long ago, Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi threw himself from the George Washington Bridge in New York. The decision was made after his roommate Dharun Ravi supposedly posted that he was going to live-stream footage of Clementi being intimate with another young man. This would have been the second time Ravi would have done so. Instead of getting a “free show,” Clementi instead cancelled his plans for that night (whatever they really were) and worked towards his suicide.

That’s the story as far as I know it. Of course, I can’t say for sure how much of this is factual and how much is assumed. But I do know this much – if it is true, then this is a disgusting example of the kind of treatment homosexuals receive in this country. And that truly saddens me.

I’ve always been incredibly vocal in my support of homosexuals. Not just because of my interest described in a previous post, but because so many of my friends are in some way connected with homosexuality. Whether they were homosexual, bisexual, or just had friends/family who were, it didn’t matter. The connection was there. I even have a cousin who’s a lesbian. And from all my experiences with them, the only difference between them and me is their sexual preferences. And sometimes it’s not even sexual. They’re just happy with someone of  the same gender.

What’s so wrong about that? Don’t they deserve the chance to pursue happiness? That’s a right laid down in our Constitution isn’t it? So why is it that homosexuals/bisexuals/etc. are treated so…inhumanely? I want to know why they are given second-class citizenship. It might not seem like they are at first glance, but I don’t know how else to describe the ostracization and degradation of this fairly normal group of people who just happen to like the same gender.

So can someone please explain it to me? Because I can’t understand this desire to single out those who are different. To target them for mockery and humiliation…and much, much worse sometimes. Why?What are they doing that’s so wrong that they deserve that? It’s not like they’re smuggling drugs into the country or molesting children or a thousand other things I could think of that are far worse.

Music

What is it about music that just sparks something within? Why can just a snatch of melody turn into a full-blown karaoke moment at work? How can it speak to so many even without words? Where does the inspiration come from?

I’ve recently considered becoming a composer. Is that surprising? It was to me. I’ve always had a passion for music; it’s played a pretty major role in my life. From infancy onward, there’s always been some sort of music around me. My mother’s lullabies, music from today and generations past, being part of band and choir – you name it, I’ve probably dabbled in it at some point.

Except composing. I don’t know, it just never occurred to me before this year.  But I suppose I could do something with it, huh? In a way, I’m composing on a regular basis. I think the only reason I don’t is because the inspiration usually strikes when I’m at work or otherwise occupied. Kind of hard to create a musical masterpiece when the song comes when you’re too busy to put it down or record it – and disappears before you have the chance to.

Is there a serious career in composing? Could I live off of it? Or should it just be a hobby?

Land of Nod

Sleep is a wonderful beautiful thing. You can go anywhere while you sleep, yet you never leave the comfort of your bed – or wherever it is you’ve happened to collapse for your jaunt into the Land of Nod. You might not always remember everything, but that’s just fine. Because along the way, you’ll see all sorts of odd and fantastical things. They range from skyscrapers the size of Jupiter to horses no bigger than your pinky nail to…well, a Jabberwock or a Minotaur. Places that were/are/will be and that never were or will be are ready to be explored and the riches – and terrors – are yours for the taking.

Well…at least if you can actually get to sleep. Which is something I’ve been having a hard time doing lately. I could be physically exhausted from, say, an hour and a half long walk to the Blairs Ferry Target but not fall asleep till around 3:30 in the morning – with a random return to wakefulness at 5 before dozing off again. And then miss the first 20 minutes of my shift for Dining Services because I never heard my 6:00 wake-up call.

Not exactly an auspicious start to my week, huh? Let’s hope it improves from here.

Inspiration

Ever been mindlessly working at a task – one you know you’d better get done now if you don’t want to get in trouble – and your brain decides it’s high time to throw a creative fastball straight at your face? Or were you just sitting there, staring off into space, when an entire musical score slammed its Happy Face sledgehammer into you? It’s just loads of fun, isn’t it?

A lot of ideas hit me at the most inopportune times. When I’m in class, for instance, or at work. I wrote an entire parody song for my Improv group during one of my classes today. Poems tend to crop up when I’m trying to take notes. Or worse, they nag at me when I’m trying to get a task done for my work-study job. I’ve even composed entire songs while slicing meat and cheese in the Blairs Ferry Target’s Deli.

But when I sit down to try and work on my novel or a role-play post – or any number of other creative activities – more often than not, the muse dances at the edges of my thoughts. Sure, I can entice it into the open with music or by looking at related images. But on the whole, it just laughs at me and goes on its merry way.

This wouldn’t be quite so frustrating if I could actually stop and take note of all the ideas and songs that I come up with. Most times, I can’t. No paper and pen to write them down, no instrument available to work out the exact notes and length thereof. But whenever I can? I think some of my best poems were written while just standing at the register in the cafeteria – when I’m half-asleep because I’m not a morning person at all.

Maybe I should drag myself out of bed at 6:50 AM every day so that by the time 8:30 rolls around, I can write some pretty fantastic pieces. Or I could just curl up under the covers a little more tightly and keep right on dreaming.

An Odd Obsession

I’ve got this very odd obsession. Well, I don’t think it’s odd, but most of the people I know do. When I sit and think about it, I completely understand why it might be odd to others. But I personally think it’s not. It’s simply a part of who I am.

I’m obsessed with gay men. They just…please me to no end. I love them. I think they’re fascinating and fun and just plain awesome. There’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. I just do. But I don’t just love gay men. I love just about everything about them. And I mean everything. Like I said, I find the whole thing fascinating. Whether it’s in real life or in a story, I’m attracted to it. It’s at the point where I’m a fairly avid reader of yaoi – known in Japan as boys’ love – and occasional bara – another Japanese term, for gay manga that’s targeted towards gay men as opposed to women interested in gay men. The term boys’ love is a bit of a misnomer, though – none of the male characters are actually boys. They’re all 18 and older. If they weren’t, it wouldn’t be yaoi; it would be called shotacon, which is just wrong if you ask me.

But I’ve wandered from my train of thought. I suppose the whole point of this was to give some background into something I’m interested in. And maybe explain why I’m interested. The background is easy. The why? Not so much. Sometimes, even I don’t know why I like yaoi. It’s not as if the relationships in yaoi are actually realistic – more of an idealized imagining of relationships between attractive, often effeminate, homosexual males. Occasionally, the story gets somewhat graphic but not so much that one would consider it pornographic. The vast majority of yaoi is about the relationship between the uke (literally “receiver” in Japanese) and seme (literally “attacker” in Japanese). In this instance, I’m into the story for character development. Why, specifically, do I seek out yaoi character development as opposed to another source? I’ve read many other novels that created astonishingly well-rounded and realistic characters – and some not so realistic – that I could turn to if I wanted. Yet I perpetually find myself drawn to yaoi. I read it, fanfictions of it, I watch it, I look at drawings of it. I like yaoi. There’s just a part of me that is inspired to a rather wild fervor over it. Which has developed into an interest in homosexual men in general. I love hanging out with them, talking to them, etc.

It’s become a long-standing joke between my friends and me that I’m actually a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Whether anyone can seriously believe that, including myself, is up for debate. But I’m not gonna deny the possibility. I wouldn’t be the first person in the world who decided they were born the wrong gender. Of course, the other possibility is that my brain’s just wired very differently from most others.

This whole long post basically boils down to this: I like yaoi for yaoi. I like gay men for themselves. I’m not 100% sure of the whys and wherefores, but that’s okay by me. I see nothing wrong with my attraction to it and if you do, I’m afraid you’re going to have to a) get over it or b) stop associating with me. Because the only way my interest will ever change is if you were to brainwash me quite extensively. But that’s a moral quagmire for another post.

Stormy beauty

I love storms. Not so much the aftermath, but there’s something simply ethereal about a storm. I find them beautiful, despite the danger they represent. And I always wind up being torn between wanting to curl up in front of a fire with a good book (and a cup o’ hot chocolate) and running out to dance in the rain. Not much dancing happens, sadly. I’m ultimately a creature of comfort, after all. But some days…some days it’s hard to resist. Today was one of those days. And all that’s keeping me inside right now is the fact I have homework to do. Sad days.

I suppose I’ll just have to settle for watching through the Busse skylight right now. All while enjoying the thunderous melody of the storm. It almost makes the whole day perfect. Almost.

From college to university: Hello MMU!

I chose to attend a college because I liked the idea that I’d actually get to know my professors and be really comfy with asking them for help. That’s not typically something you get at a university. You generally get a huge campus, with thousands of students and you’re just one of a multitude. I’m not that into faceless throngs, thanks. Hence my choosing Mt. Mercy College. And while it wasn’t perfect (nothing is), at least it felt like a community I wanted to be a part of. All the changes going on here are so far removed from what I hoped to get from attending here, I confess myself sorely disappointed. Instead of more parking or better computers/servers – or just a few more decent, NEW printers – we’re getting a new University Center because now we’re officially a university!

Really? We’re going to exacerbate the problems the campus already has by taking away parking, by keeping the same tired old computers/printers/servers – by making what are, to me at least, fairly useless changes? Yeah, we’re getting more space for classrooms and the ACE center and the newspaper and who knows what else. Awesomeness and all that. But look at what else we’re losing. Honestly, I’m greatly displeased with the moves that are being made. And while it’s being trumpeted about and heralded as an amazing step for our historic college, the community involved in it would probably have a more mixed response to that idea. That’s the overall impression I’ve gained from my discussions about the changes. Especially with the students.

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