Friday, January 30, 2004

Do we really ever understand someone else?

It's 3:30am. I awoke from deep sleep with an insight.

I think it's difficult for me to understand other people because I have not lived their experiences. For example, with BC, with both had similarities in our childhoods: for example, we both were sensitive and had a difficult time with peers, being called "fag" at times and not feeling like we really fit in. But on the other hand, our childhood was extremely different. I had a strong family and felt very loved by them: whereas he had a terrible family life, grew up with an emotionally dependent single mother who leaned on him, and had an absent, alcoholic and womanizing father who was emotionally distant. I don't think I'll ever understand his experience and how it affected him.

I was treated by my family, peers and teachers as though I was very talented and bright. BC didn't do well in school, wasn't considered bright by his teachers and I doubt that his parents ever made him feel like he could be accomplished at things. While I had and still have my own lack of confidence, I realize now it is quite minimal compared to BC. I rarely feel intimidated by other people in any way, whereas BC I realize, with hindsight, often felt less than others. He would have anxiety attacks and never felt comfortable being himself with his co-workers. If he had to speak in a group, he literally would freeze.

I always admired BC because his skills were so different from mine. He knew how to fix cars, do carpentry, repair household appliances, be patient with others, and was capable of being methodical and consistent. I held his skills and abilities with high regard. I'm not very impressed with academic and worldly knowledge - having lived in that world for so long, I think most of it is hot air. I'm more impressed with someone who knows how to replace windshield wipers (I bought new ones five months ago but don't have a clue how to put them on) than I am with someone who has a Master's degree (I did that, have been there, and it means very little, other than you know how to play the academic game).

But perhaps in BC's mind, and in BC's world - everyone he grew up with, including his family were uneducated and it was taken for granted that you knew how to do carpentry and fix cars. It was as simple to him, as doing research and writing papers was for me. BC, I now realize, didn't value his ability to do blue-collar type work, as much as I did. He probably didn't realize how highly I valued his skills, because to him they were common.

It appeared that his mind worked a lot more slowly than mine at times, but I honestly think it was because he obsessed a lot about what other people thought of him at work. BC hid his anxiety, and it was only until you got to know him very well did you find out that this was going on in his mind. He had difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep because he went over and over his behaviour, his problems, how was he going to resolve this problem or that problem without getting anyone mad at him. I never bother to obsess about other people's feelings. I assume that people like me, are fine with me, unless they tell me directly otherwise. Even then, I don't take a lot of responsibility for other people's feelings about me unless I've done something obviously hurtful that is against my own value system. Then I apologize sincerely, do my best not to repeat it, and then I'm over it.

The other aspect that made BC seem 'slow' is it took him a while to figure out how he felt and thought about things. This made him very non-reactive, which is a positive quality, but it also made him very unclear about where he stood on issues. Because he cared so much about what other people thought of him, it made it difficult for him to disagree with others, or hold a different opinion for them, for fear of not being liked. If a transaction happened between him and someone else that upset him, he didn't realize it while it was happening. He would just feel confused. So he'd spend the next two days trying to figure out why he was feeling confused and anxious. Then he'd realize he was angry and spend the next few days trying to overcome his anger (internally), and trying to come up with the perfect plan, that wouldn't offend anyone, and would resolve the conflict. Finally - sometimes it would take a week, a month or a year - he would talk to the person about the situation in the kindest and gentlest manner possible, so that often the other person with whom he had the conflict didn't understand the depth of his feelings about the situation. And he received very little resolution.

On the other hand, I always know how I feel and stand on an issue. There is no lack of clarity. If I think that someone has stepped over my boundaries, been obviously unkind and it is important to me - I know right away. I've taught myself to try to think it over for a few hours at least to make sure I'm being as objective as I can be, and then I directly speak to the person. Most often, I tell that person right away that they have crossed my boundaries. If it's a situation that has happened once or twice, I usually am very calm and kind about the way I do this. But when it happens more than twice, then I'm not kind. I'm direct and don't mince words. If someone has been insensitive to me more than twice, I am not sensitive to their feelings. I don't care at this point if they're hurt or angry with me.

I realize I never truly understood BC. I have some insight now. A year later. I tried to support him, make him understand how I admired him, and valued his talents and skills. I listened to his feelings and cared about them. But I guess it doesn't matter. If he didn't value his own talents and skills or his feelings, how could appreciate that I did? On the other hand I probably didn't value his feelings and needs, because he wasn't able to express them to me clearly and directly. When he tried to tell me, it was often so long after the fact, that it didn't seem relevant any more. And BC was always conflicted and confused about how he felt and what he thought, and it took him so long to be able to figure it out. And by the time he did, his actions were hurtful to me.

He stayed with me so long because it took him so long to figure out how he felt about me. As I have written before, I was incredibly happy with him, we had great times together, there were so few conflicts and I had no idea there was anything wrong in our relationship. Then out of the blue, he broke up with me, using the excuse, "We're not having enough sex." He hid his whole thought process with me - he did it in his own head, until he awkwardly came to the conclusion that I wasn't right for him. In the meantime he was loving, present and generous.

I have some empathy for BC. But ultimately, do I like the way he handles things? Do I admire his obsessive concern with other people's feelings about him...which causes him internal confusion and inability to make decisions and be clear about where he stands?

No, I don't.

And to be honest, I don't have the patience to abide his process. My impatience mades me uncaring and unkind.

So, I guess this is what happened.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Is blogging dead?

See my last post regarding the above issue. I did a google search and found some comments from other bloggers on this issue. Interestingly, most of them were posted within the last few months. Here's a sample:

So, is the Blog dead? Well... no. The Blog will never die, just like reality TV.

is the blog dead? have we outgrown it? worked out our early-twenty-something growing pains in public, and are now busy with the details of the lives we've created? ever since i was a kid, i've had this narrator stuck in my head, this extra voice that put a quick spin on everything i was thinking, seeing, doing - the blog was just the first way i found of working that narrator out of my head and into a format where i don't just look like i'm mumbling to myself. so I'm not folding yet, anyway - i've just had a lot on my mind and it's been hard to focus my thoughts into anything coherent for a while.

Is the blog dead? I hope not. Maybe we could have it frozen like Ted Williams.

the blog may be dead...and the dolphins will be soon too if we keep forgetting to feed them.

Is blogging dead? So it's over now. Dan James thinks the Next Big Thing is cuisine.

In reply: Food is dead, too, Peter. Get with the times.

I hear rock-and-roll is dead too.

Man, I don't feel well for one afternoon and suddenly blogging is dead ;)

No longer being an exciting novelty and being 'dead' are not the same thing. People don't talk about how great the moving picture box is anymore, but only because it's been assimilated into our lives. One can't say that blogging hasn't been overhyped, so naturally there will be a bit of a deflation of interest. People don't call each other on the phone to talk about telephones, for blogging to mature, the main subject of discussion on the vast majority of higher-profile blogs needs to move beyond the art and practice of blogging itself.

"Is blogging dead?" Is it just my perception, or is there a real spate of bloggers deciding to quit or reduce their output? Is the blogging phenomenon over so quickly? Or is this just a pause that refreshes?

I think it's like any new fad...everyone jumps on the bandwagon at first, then a lot get tired of it once the "shine" wears off. That's sort of happened to me. I thought it was cool and wanted to try it. Now, I'm not into it so much and am not really sure why I'm doing it. I think I'll stick around, but I need to rethink stuff. Seems that's what a lot of people are doing.

Life circumstances, personally. When caught in the whirlwind of chaos...i tend not to write. It's also very difficult for me to find the private time to do so. Even though I love writing.

Hmmm... I get the feeling that there are greater and lesser "ebbs and flows". I think blogging is still alive, but we're at an ebb point.

What do you think?
Is the Blog Dead?

I've just checked through all my links to other bloggers and discovered how many are no longer operating, and how many are inactive. It feels a little sad...I was inactive for several months myself, and I'm sure many thought I had quit altogether. Perhaps some bloggers will come back at some time, yet others seem to have given up altogether.

After the initial enthusiasm of blogging (which lasts several months for most) many bloggers lose the energy they received from writing it. The enthusiasm comes from the pleasure of keeping a journal, having your journal read by anonymous others, and you feel like you become part of a community of bloggers - some of who you hear from, keep in touch and perhaps even meet. But once the novelty wanes and you no longer hear from other bloggers, the original impetus - that of keeping a journal - is lost for some.

Some of my favourite bloggers have ended their blog, and others have become inactive. I can only hope that they will return and that there are new bloggers of interest to take their place.

One of my new favourites is cunegonde. He's a chef. I love reading about his cooking endeavours - it's like 'watching' food tv, but in blog form.

I admit, my own blog has not been very interesting lately. At first, I got off on writing stories, talking about my sex life and other scintillating tales. Lately, I haven't had sex, haven't been interested in it and so a lot of material has dried up. My interest will come back again, once spring arrives. It ebbs and flows like the seasons.

But I the blog dead? Was it just a trend, a phase - one which has withered into obscurity, along with the scooter? Has it had its heyday? Even some of the first bloggers who initiated blogging as an artform have folded up their blogsites, with philosophical goodbyes, or some without nary a "see ya later."

For now, I'll enjoy blogging, simply as a journal, one that is archived and doesn't take up my own computer space, so I can look back and remember all that has happened before.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Wow, I had a major hissy fit today. I probably lost a lucrative and prestigious job as a result.'s worth it, for the moral value. Isn't it?

How can I explain to you the situation in simple terms, so that you can understand it, without giving away details? I'm not sure. I'll try my best.

Well, I don't think I can at the moment, unless I give away everything. So I'll wait until tomorrow to describe the sordid situation to you. In the meantime...

Here are the answers to the Blog Grammar Quiz:


1. You are standing among a group of ninth graders.
WHY? Use between only when you are talking about 2 things; use among when you are talking about more than 2 things.

2. I think that hamburger was cooked badly.
WHY? Badly is an adverb to describe cooked. Bad is an adjective and it cannot modify a verb.

3. May I go over to David's house, Mom?
WHY? Use may when you are indicating permission; can refers to having the ability to do something.

4. Hawaii is much farther away than I thought!
WHY? Use farther to indicate a measurable distance; further refers to a greater degree, extent or quantity, or it can mean "in addition to."

5. Can you believe the number of people in this elevator?
WHY? Always use number if you can count the items. Use amount for bulk items such as sand or water.

6. Please don't burst that balloon in here!
WHY? The word bust is colloquial and does not belong in standard English. By the way, the past tense of burst is burst.

7. Your jeans are different from mine; they're baggy!
WHY? The preferred form in standard English is different from.

8. For a beginner, you really drive well.
WHY? Well is an adverb, modifying the verb drive. Good is an adjective and cannot modify a verb.

9. That chameleon is shedding its skin all over the place.
WHY? Its is the possessive form of it. It's represents IT IS. Be careful on this one! You'll see it misused everywhere!

10. I need to lie down until this headache is better.
WHY? The verb lie means to recline. The verb lay means to set something down somewhere. The past tense of lie is lay. (Yesterday, I lay down for an hour until my headache was better.) The past tense of lay is laid. (I laid the money on the counter.) This is one of the most common mistakes we see in usage.

11. The reason a mushroom is a good date is that he is a fungi.
WHY? Simple. The reason is that the word because is never used in this context in proper English speech or writing. NEVER! When you say, "The reason is ... " you are already implying the word "because."

12. Mary is the girl who helped me study for that test.
WHY? Use who or whom when referring to people. Save that for inanimate objects.

13. I make sure I floss my teeth every day.
WHY? The difference between "everyday" and every day" is subtle, but here it is:
"Everyday" implies "ordinary" or "routine," as in "Rain became an everyday event while I was on vacation." Another example would be: "Riding my bike is an everyday exercise for me." As you can see, it is used as an adjective.

"Every day," on the other hand, suggests "each and every SINGLE day." Example: I make sure I floss my teeth every day." Or -- "Every day I walk the dog to the park and back." Here the words are used collectively as an adverb, telling "when."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Grammar Quiz

Just a few comments before I give you my blogger grammar quiz.

I taught tonight. It was fun and my students are brilliant. There's no one who I find really attractive though - except for a 21 year old Brazilian guy. But then aren't Brazilian guys always f-ing hot? I probably find him attractive, simply because he's Brazilian and speaks Portuguese. Maybe it's because I've watched too many Kristian Bjorn porno videos so my objectivity is deluded. But so many Brazilian men seem to have an inborn sexiness, a comfortableness with their own body and an engaging flirtatious charisma. Brazilian men have an odd dichotomy - they flirt with men, but are also macho and homophobic. They're willing to play with guys, but only so far. Yum.

On the FoodTv channel, I saw an episode in which the chef went to Brazil and took viewers on a food-tasting trip. Most of the food looked revolting. I wouldn't be able to eat most of it - whole baby fish with all their body parts dipped in flour then deep fried. Disgusting soups made of unidentifiable animal parts, including organ meats and brain matter. Yeck. But all the men from Brazil looked hot!

Anyway, here's the Gramma Quiz. Answers will appear tomorrow.

Select the correct word to use in each sentence:

1. You are standing (between, among) a group of ninth graders.
2. I think that hamburger was cooked (bad, badly).
3. (Can, may) I go over to David's house, Mom?
4. Hawaii is much (farther, further) away than I thought!
5. Can you believe the (amount, number) of people in this elevator?
6. Please don't (burst, bust) that balloon in here!
7. Your jeans are (different than, different from) mine; they're baggy!
8. For a beginner, you drive really (good, well.)
9. That chameleon is shedding (its, it's) skin all over the place.
10. I need to (lie, lay) down until this headache is better.
11. The reason a mushroom is a good date is (because, that) he is a fungi.
12. Mary is the girl (that, who) helped me study for that test.
13. I make sure I floss my teeth (everyday, every day).

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

On Singing

I've watched the new American Idol auditions for the last three evenings. It's hilarious. I've never watched them before. I can't believe who attempts to audition - haven't they ever recorded themselves on tape and listened to themselves? I think they must be desperate for their 2 minutes of fame, no matter how they embarrass themselves and look like fools.

I've had friends who were tone deaf and thought they were good singers. That is a very tricky situation to find oneself in. Their singing is almost painful, but they look like they're enjoying themselves so much, and you don't want to hurt them by saying, "You two sound like dogs howling at the moon."

I decided to lend them my kareoke machine so they could sing on tape and listen to themselves. It worked. They were shocked at how horrible they sounded, and never uttered a single note again.

I do feel for them - I am empathetic. This is why....

When I was a child I sang in the choir, like all good Lutherans. I believe I had a good voice - I was very loud, and everyone complimented me on my singing voice. My mom and dad always said with a big proud smile, "We heard you in choir and you sounded wonderful!"

In grade 5 (or was it 6?) our singing teacher had us sing "I'm leaving, on a jet plane..." I remember singing loudly and beautifully, with just the right vibrato at the right points. Then the asshole who was my classmate said to me, "You sound like a girl." That shut me up for the next several years.

Then at age 11 or 12 my voice changed, and I became tone deaf. It didn't help that didn't bother practicing. But I didn't give up hope, and decided to learn how to sing again. I've taken singing lessons from about four different teachers. None of them were good, except for my last teacher, who taught me about breathing and how sound is related to the chakras.

She helped me to become aware that each tone reverberates with your chakras - all 7 of them, and if you pay attention, and breathe deeply from your hara (the middle of your belly) and send the breath up your spine, make a sound - you know you're making exactly the right sound when you can feel it reverberating within your chakra. So after a year of practice, I finally became tone perfect. The other thing I worked on was how to shape my mouth in order to create the right vowel. This too takes a lot of practice. There are certain ways to shape your mouth and tongue in order to make an "a, e, i, or u." It's a little unnatural, but when you shape everything right, the sound that comes out is crystal clear.

Then I also worked at singing from my belly - the hara. Imagine that there is a central point within your lower belly. Imagine that all breath is inhaled from this point. When you connect with this point, then you feel the song. You experience the emotions. Then the emotions must be expressed through your 7 chakras, by breathing up your spine. I know it sounds a little complicated, but only this singing teacher manager to get a beautiful sound out of me. It really works for me.

I think I'm a good singer. Here are some nice moments.

When I was taking acting lessons, we had a class where the students could do anything they wanted - bring in a monologue, sing, or do a movement piece. So I decided to sing a song by Barbra Streisand (okay, yes, I know what you're thinking) called "Some Enchanted Evening." I was so nervous - I've got major stage fright singing in front of other people, but I thought I should do it to get over the fear. At the end of the song, about 50% of the audience were crying (I think it was because the song was emotionally moving - at least I hope so). That make me feel good. Also, where the song gets loud and passionate, I actually saw everyone in the audience move back, as though my voice had hit them in the face. One woman said, "I must have you sing at my wedding."

Another good moment was when I auditioned for a singing group called, International Gospel Group. It's a well regarded group here. At the audition, there was a pianist and a director. She had me sing some notes that the pianist played, first, and she said, "Wow, you ring with the notes." I could actually hear my voice resonate with each chord of the piano. It even blew me away. The director appeared quite fascinated with my voice.

Then I sang (believe it or not) Madonna's "The power of goodbye." It was a new song at the time, so not highly recognized. When I finished the song, the auditioners outside clapped and cheered and hollered. She asked me who the song was by, and I said, "Madonna." Her jaw dropped. She didn't know what to say. But she loved it. I did get accepted into the group, but after attending two rehearsals, I realized I wasn't ready to commit my time to the group.

I've also auditioned for musicals, for which I got accepted. I didn't go through with them for a variety of reasons. One audition was in a dance studio, with loud music blaring away in the next room, and I actually sung above the noise. Another one...I had to audition after a brilliant male vocalist, who used lots of vibrato and stuff - I was totally intimated, but they told him "no" because he was too stylized. They disliked his vibrato. I sang without one. So I got to do the second audition where we danced. Anyway, I couldn't do it after all, because it interfered with my work.

So that's my sad career as a singer. A psychic once told me that I was a famous singer in my last life. So perhaps it's not to happen in this life.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

*Sigh.* I'm a pathetic gay guy right now. Still trying to get over an ex, even though it's a year ago, or more. Some of us gay guys take a long time to get over an ex. Others, take no time at all. I'm not one of them. I've had two major dreams about BC in the last month. Perhaps because it's our "anniversary."

The first was a simple dream. I saw his 6'2" body cuddled up against mine, face to face, naked. I felt his warmth; his long legs kneeled against my body; his hairy chest pressed against my hairless chest. He was nuzzled into me, totally comfortable and entirely connected to me. You know that look - comfy, intimate, sexy - he had that. I felt his soul. Then I woke up and realized it was a long time ago. Over a year. So I spilled a tear or two, in the middle of the night. Tried to forget, and go back to sleep.

*Sad.* Isn't it?

Then I had another dream in which we were *buddies.* The details escape me. But we did our escapes to the Gulf Islands, in bed and breakfast inns, waking up together, sharing our day together, joking with each other in those private but significant ways. Feeling like buddies. Gosh, gee, it felt great!

So I woke up, felt all those deep memories of being buddy-boys, then after a few minutes of revelling in those feelings, told the feelings to fuck off - once I realized how sentimental I was being in my dream.

He's gone. He's passed on. I need to move on. It's over! I'm glad it's over. He wasn't what I needed. My intellect turns on. It's odd, isn't it, how the heart and the head are in conflict... I wish they were more in congruence. But I told myself, I don't want more dreams like this.

Maybe my dreams are a reminder of what I can have with a man. With someone who does love me.

It's hard to love someone, who doesn't love you back.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I've been so busy with work, doing urgent, last minute freelance jobs. It's fun though, but after a lazy Christmas holiday I'm unused to such a frenetic pace. I'm doing work now for a big U.S. company, which is great for my resume.

I did have time to watch Donald Trump's reality tv show "The Assistant." It seems like a good concept. On tonight's show, the winner of two teams (the women's team, not the men's team) got to see Donald Trump's apartment in the Trump Tower. My gosh, does he ever need a Queer Eye Makeover for his apartment! It proves that money doesn't buy taste. It's the epitome of 80s excess and Neo-Rococco decoration. It's all gold, marble and faux Greek statues. Apparently Yvonna designed everything. And Donald Trump's haircut...'nice' comb-over job, man.

I read Toddo's comments about wanting to live in a large urban city, where there are policy makers and things happen. I used to think I wanted that, when I was in my 20s, but my opinion has changed immensely. I've been to New York City once, but I wouldn't want to go again. Especially after watching "The Assistant." Even Vancouver is getting a little too big for me. I love the West Coast lifestyle. It's more layed-back, less fast-paced and fortunately the city doesn't overwhelm nature. I can't be without the mountains, oceans and cedar forests. I still have a fantasy of moving to San Diego. Or some other beautiful community on the West Coast, other than LA or San Francisco.

Remember the roommate I had? The guy who just moved from Australia? Who I thought was cute? Well, he turned out to be very un-cute. After a month or so, I realized he was fairly homophobic. He thought he was gay-friendly, based on the fact that he had a gay roommate in Australia. But I found out, eventually, that his gay roommate wasn't out.

His roommate had just realized he was gay in the year before, after being militantly heterosexual the rest of his life. So he didn't hang out with other gay people, didn't understand gay life, didn't exhibit any typical gay culture or characteristics and didn't understand anything about being gay, other than he liked to suck dick. So my un-cute roommate thought this is what gay people are like.

I'd have to say I'm fairly conservative, overall, and wouldn't do anything to intimidate a heterosexual, but in comparison to his last roommate, I'm a flaming queen. For instance, when Joe Millionaire was on tv, I decided to download the Fox image of David Smith, in a cowboy hat, shirtless, as a screensaver on my desktop. This freaked my roommate out, he became red-faced and uncomfortable, and defensively said, "Yeah, I should download a screensaver of Bionce on my computer." He always felt the need to defend his heterosexuality if there was any hint of my gayness.

We also had a couple of arguments over sexuality issues. He didn't believe me when I told him that there were many straight-identified men who had gay sex, occassionally. He argued passionately against this, almost in fear. He has a very fixed, one-point perspective about life, which is based on his own straight and very sheltered life.

I also found him to be very opinionated about design and a variety of other things which he simply doesn't have the education or life experience on which to base any opinions. And yet he had a snottiness to his opinions. Very unattractive.

It was odd, because it appeared on the outside that he was open-minded, easy-going and comfortable in his skin and sexuality. But once he was confronted with anything outside his comfort zone, he had a hard time maintaining his pretenses.

He left in December, and I've been living on my own for the last couple months. I should try to find a new roommate for February to help with bills. Having a roommate, I'm discovering, is very difficult. It's hard to find the right combination of personalities. My first roommate, Ahmed, from Scotland, was perfect. He was all about having a good time, being positive, getting along with people, partying, making good friends and enjoying hiimself. And spending a lot of time at school. My second roommate turned out to be bizarre, and my third, Mr. Un-Cute, quite unpleasant. So, I'm not sure if I need a gay roommate (this has its own problems) or a gay-friendly roommate (also more potential problems). I guess it involves experimentation and experience. In my life I've also been a roommate, and had a couple of good experiences, but mostly they were difficult and very temporary.

So, we'll see.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Chemistry between two guys just happens. There's no scientific reason for it. It just is. I felt chemistry with this guy, the first time I saw him, about one year ago.

Yesterday I went to my favourite deli, just across the streeet, to get some grub. I bought Vegetarian Lasagna, and Shepherd's Pie. When I got home, I ate the Lasagna, but I tried a bite of the Shepherd's Pie and it was way too salty. I like salty things (he-he) but this way over the top salty, and couldn't eat it. I saved it, and decided to bring it back the next day, to trade it for something else.

So today I went to my bistro, to return the overly-salty Shepherd's Pie, and the guy was there. The guy I'd seen about a year ago. He's very cute, very young...he reminds me entirely of Tobey McGuire. Now, normally I wouldn't be attracted to a guy of this type, but there's always been "energy" between us, whenever we've spoken. I said hello to him, and told him of my complaint. So he offered me some other deli food. I said, "I haven't seen you in a while." Tobey said, "I was away for six months while going to school, and just came back to work." I said, "Oh, where are you going to school, UBC?" Tobey said, "No, I'm going to ______."

"No way, I teach at _______. What are you studying?" I asked.

"I'm taking computer science."

Anyway, there was a lot of sexual tension during this interchange. I've never had a boyfriend younger than me, but maybe it's time... especially since I've turned 39. I'm not even sure why I'm attracted to him. He's not muscular, not a gym bod. But he's got the sweetest, most innocent, natural and open face/body that I've seen in a long time. He must be 21. I surmise this because only at his age can you look that sweet, open and innocent. There's also something deep about him. He's has depth in his emotions. The combination is what attracts me to him. Anyway, that's what happened tonight. I'm not sure what I'll do.

Am I old enough to play daddy or something? Is that's what happening?


Friday, January 09, 2004

I don't know. Maybe it's just self-pity.
On my birthday, today, I've only received one acknowledgement - a phone call from my oldest sister. I also have two parents and two other sisters. Plus a 'wife' and supposedly other close friends. But no one has called me, emailed me, mailed me, to acknowledge this. Is this part of growing older, or just the fact that no one cares about me?

Oops, the phone is ringing, hold on...

What I'm thinking of, at the moment, are the times that were significant and important to me in my life, with past ex-lovers. They have depth and meaning. But I guess they don't with them/him.

It was my oldest sister calling me again. She seems to remember.

I have so many wonderful, important memories with ex-lovers. But none of them seem to share these memories. Why are they so important to me, and not to them? That's a question I can't answer. Unless my ex-lovers were so far more important to me, than me to them. There's so many to mention. That means I'm such an ultimate loser.

Actually, that's the conclusion I'm coming to. I must be such a big loser. Because none of my ex-lovers has ever contacted me to say I was so important to them. While they were very important to me, and I hang onto our memories, none of my ex-lovers has ever contacted me to say how important I was to them.

That's the brutal truth.

Bye. Happy birthday to me.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I've been a very bad instructor. Well, maybe not... why don't you decide?

I decided to take off this term from teaching the full-time course. Instead, I decided to teach only two evening, part-time classes. This is because I didn't feel appreciated from my new Assistant Dean, who is in charge of the full-time classes. AD (Assistant Dean) took on the job last year, and has been on everyone's ass, asking all the instructors to do things according to policy. He has no previous experience being a teacher. He has no idea what we go through. After teaching for four years, I found that the whole department suffered from AD's military-type demands, and all of us were on each other's asses, trying to find fault with everyone else. I don't like this. It was no longer a positive atmosphere to work in.

So, I told AD that I would take a sabbatical. I didn't like AD, and I didn't feel appreciated by him. AD hired someone else to do my job. As it turned out, he hired a person he had worked with before, who hadn't even applied for the job, but AD encouraged him to apply for it.

This new guy turned out to be a major flake. He had no skills, either in teaching, or his profession. On the first day of class, the new guy had a panic attack while facing 64 students. He left the classroom and found another instructor who hand-held him back to class.

The new guy/instructor had little experience in the profession, so his notes, his lack of back-up material and his teaching ability was so bad, that all the students rose up against him, after the mid-term exam, and insisted that the department fire him, and get someone else. That's how bad he was.

I was told by students that he gave no handouts, no overhead examples, and often got so frustrated that he'd leave the two hour lecture or lab for an hour because he was so frustrated. He'd freak out, leave the class, and leave them on their own. He also came onto female students a lot.

So the AD who disrespected me the term before, gave me a call, and asked me to come back and "save the term." He offered to pay me an extra month in advance. He totally sucked up to me, and ate his shit. I agreed, so now I had 64 new students, in addition to my 35 evening students, making it a total of 99 students.

This means I have 99 new projects to mark. I had to grade 99 Project 1's, 99 Project 2's, and 64 new final exams. Unfortunately, none of them are multiple choice, so I have to go through each one, give comments, make judgements, and give marks.

After marking 64 Project 1's, 64 Project 2's and 64 final exams, I was exhausted. Yet I still had to mark 35 Project 2's. So I avoided doing these until after Christmas and New Years. I just couldn't face doing more marking. I needed a break.

So I've spent the last three days finishing up my marks, after students started emailing me for the past three weeks, asking me where their projects were and what their finals marks are. I managed to get them all done in three days, but it was tiring and exhausting. Students can be very irritating. I'd get up at 5:30am to mark projects.

Anyway, I did get them mostly done, although there are still 7 outstanding Project 2's. I had to call them all, or e-mail them, and I told them they'd have until the end of January to hand it in before I give them a failing mark.

Fuck! I'd rather be a student. It's much easier.

I thought I'd give you an instructor's version of events.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

It's been so long since I've blogged that I keep forgetting how to sign in, and what my user name and password is. So it took me about 10 minutes to figure it out! I must do this more regularly.

I was inspired to do some more writing after coming across ShaneXtopher's site, which was mentioned by It's an "improv message board" and contains the most brilliant blog called, "See how much ass I get?" Here's the URL: (sorry, I'm too out of practice to create a link.) It's witty, insightful, sexy, funny and touching. I highly recommend it. I wish ShaneXtopher was doing more writing... does anyone know if he has his own blog now that's he's done with the Improv Message Board?

I'm thrilled to see that Cool Relax is back online writing...although it's under sad circumstances. My writer friend, P., told me that most people start writing journals once their relationship has ended. She's actually ending her own relationship (I think, unless she changes her mind for the 10th time).

P. has been seeing this sexy, handsome, brilliant university professional, who's about 6'5", charismatic and has a house in West Vancouver right on the water for the last two years. He teaches the psychology of criminology. Unfortunately after all this time and emotional investment, it's not really working out. He's lovely, giving, sweet, affectionate, and gives her lots of attention, but simultaneously he's one of those guys that with his charm always gets his way, and then acts surprised and hurt when you suggest that he hasn't been thoughtful about you. Yes, he serves her breakfast in bed, and they have awesome sex - but when it comes to anything important to my friend P., such as her writing, her career, her schedule and time needs - it goes in one ear and out the other.

He's one of those guys with thousands of friends. He loves socializing with anyone. He's friendly and outgoing. He's connected with a huge range of important people. (He's Gemini.) He's completely non-reactive (at least outwardly), never gets angry, touchy or displays anything but genuine concern. But while he says all the right things, reacts properly in the moment, he doesn't follow through with P.'s simple requests. He's always calling her, asking her to come over to his house, but never offers to visit her at her apartment in Vancouver (it's a long drive to get to his West Vancouver home). My friend P. teaches at a fancy private school, and if she stays at his place, has to get up an hour and a half earlier in order to get to work on time, whereas if he occassionally offered to stay at her apartment, she'd only have to drive 20 minutes. I know this sounds stupid, but it can be exhausting after two years.

P. has just finished writing a novel, and gave it to the professor to read it. But when she talks about it later, he can't remember what he's read. He just gives her pleasant banter about it. Meanwhile P., heavily edits all his papers and articles and research thingys, remembers every detail, is helping his career, while he can't seem to offer her the same attention.

That's because his attention is spread everywhere, with everyone. It's because he's "such a nice guy" that he's always thinking about everyone's needs, and doesn't have any special attention for P.

The professor has tons of dinner parties and get-togethers, and P. always acts like the penultimate hostess at them. She's beginning to feel like a pretty little thing who hosts parties, is available for sex, and providing career advancement, while she's not getting anything substantial from the relationship. Sure, she could marry him and live the life of "Riley" in a beautiful million dollar ocean front home, share tons of assets (he's good at investments), meet fabulous, talented and famous people while hosting his chic dinner parties. But P. is more than a pretty face. She's as talented and important as him, and doesn't feel appreciated for anything other than her perfect looks and wonderful social ability. Also her assumed availability.

I guess I relate to her situation, because this situation is far too familiar to me, in some aspects. BC somehow always managed to get his way - not by being confrontational (like myself), but by acting so sweet and non-reactive and so shockingly surprised when I was unhappy with him, that I felt like I was the 'shit.' I always ended up feeling guilty, because I would be angry when he did something "unthoughtful" yet BC was never angry in return. He always looked and acted innocent.

For example, he was always at least 30 - 60 minutes late. I'd be waiting to meet him somewhere and end up waiting a long time. Or BC would invite me over, then when I came over to his place (after organizing my evening to be on time, making sure I had my work done, finished dinner, laundry or whatever) he'd be in the middle of renovating his kitchen, or making dinner or doing his laundry. Somehow I always ended up waiting for him to be finished his chores. And he was S-L-O-W at accomplishing things, because he's a perfectionist and talks non-stop while doing them. And being the sweet person that I am, I'd end up helping to clean his house, fold his laundry, fry the oriental vegetables or clean his dirty dishes. Help him install new kitchen cabinets. I did this so he could finally take a shower, shave and do his hair (which took forever!). I can get ready in 10 minutes - that means a shower, shave, hair gel and comb, and get dressed. It would take him 50 minutes to shower and get dressed. By the time he's done, I'm irritated, it's two or more hours later, and I just feel like I've wasted my entire evening. Does anyone relate, or am I just being a 'shit?'

Thanks for inviting me over to help you out with your life! Did BC ever help me clean my house, do my laundry (okay, he once bleached a few items), help me with renovations (okay, he did a bit), help me make dinner (no), help me with my career (no, but I helped him a lot). But these were once or twice in a year, while it seemed like I did this for him several times a week. And he did nothing to improve my intellectual ability. Wow, what a bitch-fest this is turning out to be.

My point is...I think it's important that a relationship is based on PARTNERSHIP. It's not about one person helping the other more than the other. Keep in mind that BC was bi-sexual. Meaning, he had lots of straight attitudes about partners (i.e. women). Women are subservient to the overall importance of his life. Women don't have a life - they're here to serve the man. Not that I'd call myself a woman, but this is his understanding of relationships, and they don't work well when being with another man. P. has been feeling this way with the professor.

I want equality in a relationship. Perhaps this sounds very 60s, bra-burning and feminist. Very un-Dr. Laura. But heck, I'm a man too, and so are you, and we need to be partners.

P., too, is very enlightened, and not interested in being a president's wife, if you know what I mean.

Are relationships based on domination and submission? Are they ever equal? Should P. and I shuddup, be submissive, then divorce a few years later and get 50% of assets (remember, I am Canadian and can get married), then go on to fulfilling ourselves on our own?

Should we learn to be dominant?

By the way, my birthday is on January 9th. Capricorn. Let me just say this brings up a lot of negative memories. Why don't I share them with you? BC gave me a horrible birthday card the first year, that showed a cartoon of some male ass, pushed out on the front cover, and said something about "taking it." I was totally insulted and disgusted, and ripped it up in his face, and told him never to give me a card like that again. So in the second year, he decided to totally ignore my birthday. No cards, no gift, no celebration.

Also, since I'm on a "fuck-you" kind of track, my previous lover David, decided to go away on my birthday. He was out of town, but "promised" to be back in time to take me out for dinner. I said to him, "Are you sure you'll be back in time? Otherwise, I'll make other plans with friends." David said, "Yes, definitely, don't worry." So it is January 9th, at 9pm, I'm waiting in my apartment for him to call and he hasn't. Then it is 1am and he still hasn't called. I'm sitting at home, waiting. The next day he calls and "apologizes" - he said his plane was late and wasn't able to call.

Well, fuck-you Dave.