Monday, December 31, 2007

Salt Water Fish

"I'll run in circles all the time, I'll gather up all that is mine. Into the room inside my head - the walls are black the roof is red"

On friday and saturday I had this amazing sense of anxiety of feeling the need to break down and to freak out.
At first I thought it was to do with Monster Squad.
And then I thought it was because I was hosting a dinner party and had to go to another party after.
And then I had no idea what it was about.
I called my bestie and left a message and finally afer several hours of not talking to her, we talked.
She made a lot of sense.
What she suggested was occuring was that I was finally feeling the repercussions of my family, and christmas and what not.
This was a relief.
I think she was right, and that I did not have to worry that Monster Squad and I were not doing well or that I was making a mess of things, I was just feeling.
It was strange that my reaction was so delayed in terms of my emotions, but it was also nice to know that I was sorting my feelings out and that my body was just being convoluted about it.
I felt better after my talk.
And I actually had an amazing night on saturday.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I love me some John Tesh

Not me personally.
But I had a patron today who is probably working his way up to stalking Mr. Tesh.
I have had a few interactions with this man, getting onto the internet, etc. He seeemd nice enough.
Today he approached the desk with an inquiry about the computer classes the library offers. A typical enough question, however the classes the library offers are very basic indeed.
After explaining to him the classes we offer, I suggested he try the TDSB continuing education classes. I showed him the course outlines and he seemed interested, but there was something still lurking there.
So I used my superior reference interviewing skills and began to enquire about what it was he was hoping to do with the computer, what where the skills he wanted to learn?
I should have realized from what he said next that this was a bad idea.
"I am looking to find out more stuff on John Tesh"
Uh huh was my slowly released response.
"What about John Tesh?"
It turns out that he listens to Mr. Tesh's radio show while driving in the car and so does not have time to write down the Shaman's sage advice. So he was looking for ways to find it online, amongst other information about Mr. Tesh.
Uh huh.
So I suggested that he contac the radio station for transcriptions of his shows, since sometimes they do that.
He then hinted that he was looking to get in touch with Mr. Tesh and wanted to be able to find his address and phone number on the net.
I jumped in and informed him that his best bet was most likely contacting the radio station or looking up the transcripts on his website.

Then I ran.
And Mr. Tesh if you are reading this - I suggest you do the same.

Monday, December 24, 2007

in the story of my life

A lot of events have been occurring as of late and I have been avoiding blogging about them until I had them straight in my head. Or at least figured out slightly better than when they first occurred.
Here are the details: It was decided by my Aunt and Uncle who are hosting Christmas this year that Monster Squad is not invited. I was told this by my sister. I was needless to say, not really all that impressed.
I thought about this un-invitation for about a month and decided that this was not okay, as poor as my relationship is with my family – to allow this to happen and to not say something goes against my moral code.
So a very angry letter was written and mailed off. I hesitated in putting the letter into the mailbox for fear that once again I was messing things up, and then decided that my relationship with my family is messed up and that this letter would at least allow me to have my say in things. I sent the letter and as usual, heard nothing. Typical.
One day several weeks later talking to my sister she informed me that my Aunt was very unhappy about the letter and was working on a response. I took this information to heart and called and left a message saying that if she wanted to talk about the letter she was certainly free to do so. She did not call me back.
I received a letter from my Aunt AND Uncle a week later. The letter did a very good job of telling me what a bad person I am. Here is the letter in a nutshell:
The family is not impressed with how I have handled telling Grandma that I am gay, stating it was “disastrous”.
They do not want me to talk about politics at family gathers.
They don’t think that anyone needs know I am gay aside from close friends and relatives; that the rest of the world only needs to accept me for who I am.
They feel that I have broken ties much earlier than I think I did and that was when I went off to university.
The reason Monster Squad was not invited was because a they do not have a relationship with me, and therefore do not have a relationship with him.
They said that I only attend family gathers to ignore all of them after an obligatory greeting of “Hello.”
They told me that I am an adult and that I can make my own decisions, but that I need to grow up.
They told me that I am certainly welcome to come to Christmas but only if I want to mend fences and leave politics at the door (I am assuming that by politics that they mean being gay).
They also suggested that therapy was not working for me since I seemed to bitter and angry.
The letter also said that there are certain social rules that must be adhered to by me since I am a homo. These rules were not stated but it was insinuated that the rules meant not discussing, referring to, or talking about being gay in any format.

This gave me pause for thought.
The letter did a very good job of convincing me that I am a bad person. That the reasons for the strained relationship with my parents and family began with me and that it is my responsibility to fix them.
In the letter I suggested that my parents suffer from depression, which my Aunt and Uncle insinuated that would be because I am gay, and suggested I hook them up with literature or a support group for parents of gay and lesbian children.
I thought about the letter for a long time.
I discussed the letter with Monster Squad, Fabers, The Tofu Pirate and a few others. In the end I realized that once again I think my family is wrong and that they are passing the buck and responsibility over to me.
My logic for this was that for the first time in my life I am happy. Things are still difficult and I am still working on things, but at least I am happy and engaged with my emotions.

Here is my response to my Aunt and Uncle which I have yet to write to them.

Why would I come to Christmas when you clearly do not want me to be me? You want the most socially acceptable version of me that apply to your aesthetics of how I should behave. I disagree with that since then you are not actually spending Christmas with me but with a performance or a caricature. The reason I did not talk to you historically was that the whole family, especially my parents made it very clear that they did not actually want to talk to me. You ask for me to leave politics at the door, but how can I? Those politics are who I am and they are what I am interested in. Asking me to leave them out is asking me too much and it leaves me with nothing to talk about and I think that they same patterns will repeat of me saying nothing to you, since in my opinion that is what you are asking me to do.
Your letter states that you have never ridiculed me for being gay and this is true, but you have not shown any form of acceptance – only tolerance. There is a huge difference between the two. Tolerance still leaves a great deal to be desired as it does not allow me to be me. Acceptance would be letting me say what I want to say, and not asking me to leave things aside.
I don’t see how my telling Grandma I was gay in a letter was disastrous. She did not die, no one got hurt, and all it did was challenge her. As a family you all coddle her, but she is an adult and I feel fit to treat her as one. If she does not like my being gay then she could have written me back, called me, etc. She did not follow any of those social rules of communication, so why would I do a follow up when I have not received any response to my letter? If she can not be bothered to tell me how she feels about me, then why would I continue to communicate with her in what would most likely be an in vain measure.
The family also seems to negate my abusive childhood, adolescence, and teenager years. But those experiences make up who I am and I find it very difficult to face my father and to not want to be yell at him or defy him for the way that he treated me and my sisters and my mother. I also find him repulsive, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. I am not sure if he is someone that I want to have in my life. I am disheartened that he is excused for his behavior and that I am disliked for mine – but a great deal of my behavior is a direct reaction to what he did with me. I do not think that it is asking too much for time away from him in order to heal. But the family must also know that I may never forgive him for the horrible things that he did. I hate it that as a group you all ignore his behavior and pretend that it is okay by not expecting him to face up to his actions.
I find it fascinating that since I am the one expecting change that I am the one being vilified. I have tried my best with my parents to engage them in me and to open some form of communication, I have done this since I went off to university and it has all been wasted energy. The message being very clear that they do not want to know me for me and that it is just easier to play the familial concern game. I do not want to play the familial concern game. If these people are going to be in my life I want a relationship that goes beneath the weather and my job or schooling. I want how I feel, who I am, what I am writing, what I am reading, what I am listening to, who I am dating, who my friends are to be included. All of those things make up who I am. They are all important aspects of my life. And with my parents and to a great extent the rest of the family all of those things are ignored.
The main theme that I see in your response to my letter is what evoked me to write the first letter. Homophobia. To expect me to leave all these things to the side when I am in your presence is unfair. You say that only close friends and relatives need to know, does that mean that you adhere to the same rules? Do you not tell your co-workers about your marriage, your children, your family vacations, etc? Do you not wear your wedding rings unless you are in the presence of close friends or family who know you are heterosexual? Do you not discuss your family pride or family concerns except with close friends or family? I don’t think that you do.
By asking me to not discuss the things that I am interested in is akin to asking you to not discuss the things mentioned above. It is heteronormativitiy at play here and in my opinion that is the same thing as homophobia.
The reason I wrote you my first letter stating my anger with you not inviting my boyfriend is because I felt that you were treating me and my relationship as second class. You don’t seem to think that you are, but the undertone and subtext of your letter makes me disagree with you. Homophobia is expecting me to act or behave any different than you do in terms of family closeness or personal behavior. Do you really think that you are treating me the same way that you would want to be treated?

And although that is not all I want to say, it is the main gist of it.

Although this does sadden me and makes me wonder if I will be estranged from my family forever it also confirmed one thing for me. That I am finding my voice and finding strength in myself, and that is much more important to me than playing the familial concern game with them.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MEME thing from Tofu Pirate

1. Go to the Wikipedia home page and click Random Article (on the side menu). That is your band's name.
2. Click random article again; that is your album name.
3. Click random article 15 more times; those are the tracks on your album.

Band Name: Walnut Ink
Album Name: Birtamod

Album tracks:
1. Intermedia outdoors
2. Live at 25
3. MV Hyundai Fortune
4. Teo Bee Yen
5. Marble Slab Creamery
6. Terry Freer
7. Lawrence Cunlife
8. Kurt Joachim Lauk
9. Strategic Environmental Assessment
10. Mayfield Dairy
11. Victor de la cruz
12. Michael Parenti
13. N-acetylgalactosaminoglycan deacetylase
14. Husiatyn
15. Mercy Lewis

Wow I think that with these songs I would win a Schmemmy!

Monday, December 10, 2007

File under: Heeelarious!

There is a straight porn star who goes by my name.
How weird/funny/ironnic/ any other adjective that fits is that?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Am Afraid

I am afraid of the dark
I am afraid of the day
I am afraid to walk outside
And of what people say

I am afraid to drink too much
Because of what I might do
I am afraid to speak my mind
And of being with you

It's not that I'm not strong
It's just that I'm not strong enough for you
It's not that I'm not brave
It's just that I'm not brave,
It's just that I'm not brave,
It's just that I'm not brave enough for you

I am afraid to be unloved
I am afraid to be forsaken
I am afraid of doing wrong
And to never be forgiven

I am afraid that you will find
I'm not the man you think I am
I'm not afraid to be alone
And of the unknown

It's not that I'm not strong
It's just that I'm not strong enough for you
It's not that I'm not brave
It's just that I'm not brave,
It's just that I'm not brave,
It's just that I'm not brave enough for you

I am afraid to laugh out loud
Or to stand out of the crowd
I am scared of loving you
I am scared to lose you

I am afraid to lose control
I am afraid of growing old
I am afraid to die
But it's something I must do

It's not that I'm not strong
It's just that I'm not strong enough for you
It's not that I'm not brave
It's just that I'm not brave,
It's just that I'm not brave,
It's just that I'm not brave enough for two

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for this important news...

Wow, I can actually post to this place again! (Hi, Cam!) There was craziness for a while there, and then I didn't try posting for a very long time, until I got bored today, and decided to see what would happen.

Anyway. Hi. It's been a long time. I am the almost non-existant partner in crime to No One Asked Us, here. Woo. I have no idea if I will show up as emily (the old name this site used), or emiline (the name it seems to want to use all the time now). We'll see. It doesn't really matter, as I answer to either one.

I have no segue...

I love Christmas. Not for any religious reason, as I am not religious whatsoever, but more because people seem to be happier, and more open to actually caring about people (both whom they already know, and those they don't), and the decorations, and sometimes, even the music (I am more of a fan of inappropriate Christmas songs, though, like "Fairytale of New York", or "Merry Christmas (Sgt. Kraulis)." [Or maybe it's "(Merry Christmas) Sgt. Kraulis" - too lazy to check.] They tickle me). And the lights up everywhere make coming home when it's pitch black a little more bearable.

I've decorated the house already, for the most part. Just have a couple of things to hang, and the Christmas tree to put up. I might get around to that today - I'll watch Charlie Brown's Christmas, decorate the tree, and drink white hot chocolate. (The other good thing about this time of year is gingerbread flavouring! And adding it to white hot chocolate. YUM!) Sounds like as good a plan as any for spending a Sunday afternoon.

I also like to hear about people's Christmas (or Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, or Chrismakkuh, or Festivus, etc...) traditions. What do you love to do this time of year? Included in mine: watching Charlie Brown's Christmas, sending cards to friends and family, making sure there's a specific candy in the Santa head candy dish, and hanging the ornaments daily on the advent calendar my grandmother made (which reminds me, I'm already behind on that! Ah, there we go.)...otherwise, I can't really think of anything else. Oh, I guess making something, whether it's chocolates, fudge or cookies.

So, lay it on me. What are your holiday traditions?