Monday, July 18, 2011

Proto, Pardon, and Positivity

"For there is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so." -Hamlet

"Jam temp' esta'! [The time has come!]" -L.L. Zamenhof (from a proto-Esperanto hymn)

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return!" -Christian, Moulin Rouge!

Well, I have two options. I could hang my head in shame at being a terrible blogger, OR I could forge ahead in a surge of positivity.

I don't know about you, but I like some positivity.

So, quick update about my life in the last six and a half months:

-I officially committed to attending Chapman University
-I had a significant other, and (albeit briefly) got to experience romantic attraction from another for the first time
-I took IB exams and died a thousand deaths
-I finished my fourth and final year of formal French education

Really, it was dealing with these things that kept me from both studying Esperanto and blogging, so... [commence guilt trip] ...... [guilt trip over]

Moving on.

So, have you spent the summer catching up?

Yes. Sort of.

I've been working on two plays about an hour from where I live since before I graduated, and even when school was over, my entire afternoon and evening till 10 PM was dominated by The Pajama Game (still is, actually) and Hamlet (just finished on Saturday).


Last year, on my first "I'm learning Esperanto" kick, I watched a video by Swiss psychologist and prominent Esperantist Claude Piron, in which he asserted that a person could devote a mere ten minutes a day to the study of Esperanto, and be conversationally fluent in a matter of three months.

I've read some of Piron's articles on his website, in both English and French, and I did not see a hint of kookiness in him, so I think it's safe to trust him on this one.

The task seems much less daunting when it's only ten minutes a day. There's so much flexibility within that. It could be ten minutes reading posts on the forums (Esperanto, not English). Ten minutes of Esperanto Hangman. Another lesson in the "Ana Pana" correspondence course for beginners. There are days when I retain more or less than others, but overall it's a pretty easy schedule to keep.

You've made progress?

YES. It's a challenge (starting out again, I found the reverse of the issue I was having at the beginning of the school year; I knew the French word and thought that that would be similar to if not identical to the Esperanto), but I'm doing it. I'm almost done with the Ana Pana course, and even though I still apologize for errors constantly, I've lost my fear of posting in the Esperanto forums. The people are very understanding and helpful; a Frenchman even sent me a private message to politely correct the French on my profile and told me that he would be available in case I needed any more help with either French or Esperanto.

I'm grateful that I've found a community of infinitely patient people, who know that it's hard to learn a language, but are so excited that you're learning that they'll help you or forgive you for your mistakes. It's lovely to be in such a non-judgmental place.

And with that, dear readers, I must conclude. My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile the-

Whoops, sorry. Too much Hamlet.

What I mean is, I'm sleepy, and I still need to get my studies in for the night.

If you're interested, here's the Claude Piron video:

Ĝis la revido, amikoj!

Monday, January 31, 2011

And here we are

The January Blog Challenge comes to an end tonight. It's been quite a ride!

January's been really eventful, and I anticipate the rest of my senior year will be just as crazy as this month. I got cast in a play, two dear friends became a couple, my best friend moved around the world, and I've been making new discoveries about myself.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to the *cough* actual point of the blog soon. But life is just getting wilder, so we'll see what happens.

Thank you so much to everyone who's been dealing with my daily randomness. You're all amazing people.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


It's a beautiful thing.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Grrr. Curse my lazy butt. Also, theatre!

Yeah, I forgot to update yesterday, but the blogging challenge is almost over. *sob?*

It's been a very interesting experience, trying to think of something to write about every day. I think readers here got to know me better this month than in all the others I've blogged.

Yesterday was a lovely day. I was CAST in the children's show (yay!) as the "saucy bartender". Hey, it's a western, you gotta have the girl running the town saloon. I'm so excited to be back in theatre. I haven't auditioned since June, and I really missed it.

Theatre is something I've loved since my first school play in eighth grade. I played Ethel Toffelmier, a small speaking role, in The Music Man. I got hooked, and nearly four years later, I'm still here, on the stage, making people laugh, cry, and (hopefully) think. I've been a talking bear, a dying old woman, a housekeeper, aaaand now a bartender.
I love theatre. All of it. I've met several kids who are pretty much theatre princesses- it seems that to them, theatre is about looking pretty on stage and getting attention. They may have actual talent, but I'm skeptical that they'd actually be willing to scratch up their arms cutting chicken wire, or spend hours bent over a set piece, painting every inch of it, getting your hands and face covered in green or black. But for me, that's part of the fun. It ties me to the production more than simply standing in a spotlight and speaking someone else's words. I've worked in the prop department of a local professional theatre for one of their shows, did running crew for the same show, helped to write another... I just like breathing the air. It's my hope that I can continue to act and work in theatre for the rest of my life.

I'm really looking forward to this play. I'll get to do what I love, and teach my younger friends some new skills, sharing my love with them. I can't wait.

Bragging moment: The seemingly random photo above is a tea tray I painted for a production of The Secret Garden. Yes, painted. It started out white. I turned it into that. This is still one of the most awesome things I've done in theatre.

Edit: Remember my friend who moved to Japan? I heard from him, and he explained everything. We still aren't sure when we'll see each other again, but we're staying in contact and he's going to try and visit. He's been hired at a modelling agency, so I may or may not post photos here of him from jobs, if he and the photographer don't mind. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quick Post

Day Two of auditions! Awesome!

GSA! More awesome!

Overwhelmed by my friends' gayness! Ultimate awesome!

Goodnight, all. <3
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"Are you saying that you used to be a woman?"

Had a better day today. The one major bummer was that the guy I asked to Tolo isn't able to go. Luckily, he would have loved to if he could, but he has a really legitimate reason not to go (his brother's got his Eagle Scout Court of Honor). Ah, well. Time to ask teh gayz! Or an Anti-Tolo. That way I can be with my friends who hate dances.

But that was pretty much overshadowed by a lovely happy known as THEATRE.

Yep, now that my drama teacher is back after several months of dealing with a ruptured L-4 in his back, we started having auditions for the annual children's show at my school! Every year, Mr. Henderson (my teacher) chooses two or three seniors to write a one-act play geared towards kids, and it's performed not only in the evenings, but during the day as well, and the elementary schools come and see the productions while the students in the show get to skip school all day.

I've never had the chance to be in it before, so this year, I'm giving it all I have to get in. :)

I'd forgotten just how much fun auditioning with your friends really is (I haven't tried out for a play since June). Today was the first day, and everyone let loose, cheered people on, and had a great time. I can tell that this is going to be an excellent show. It's hilarious.

Here's hoping I get in! *crosses fingers*

I missed theatre.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I must always remember...

...that I'm not alone.

I knew my best friend was travelling to Japan for a few months. While we weren't really able to see each other or contact each other much before he left, I figured, "I'll see him when he comes back in the summer".

Yesterday, I saw he had announced that he was "moving" to Japan. Surprised, I asked him if he was coming back.

This morning, I checked my email, and I saw I had gotten something from him.

Oh sure, he's coming back. Eventually. Maybe not till September. Because he's only coming back for college. It's not really "coming home".

September. The month after I leave the state and start college in California.

What do you do when you don't know if you'll ever see your best friend again? What do you do when he left you and all of his other friends with little more than a "Goodbye, America, ily"?

This morning, I chose to cry. Really, what else can you do when you just woke up and the world as you know it has moved away?

I'm sounding a bit melodramatic. I should probably explain what this guy means to me.

We've known each other since eighth grade. He was there when my friend was suicidal and I couldn't handle the strain of giving him hope. He was there when I was trying to understand and come to terms with myself. We took pictures together, laughed together, loved together, and for a few brief minutes, shared a stage together. He came to as many of my shows as he could, and I to his. He was the first openly gay kid I'd ever met and befriended, and it was because of him that I learned to be as understanding and accepting as I am. He was one of the first boys to tell me that I'm beautiful.

All of this jumbled together in my mind; one of the most important people to me in my life has just up and left and didn't stop to really say goodbye. And I don't know when I'll ever see him, hug him, kiss him again.

I fear the future. And I cry.

I miss you. I'll always love you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Oh noes!

I didn't make a post yesterday! Bleh. Le sucke.

I'm in a music-sharing kind of mood. Enjoy the songs that I think are fabulous. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quotes of the Day

"...if you took the W in answer, the H in ghost, the extra A in aardvark, and the T in listen you could keep saying "WHAT?" but no one would hear you because the whole word would be silent!" -from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

"You're like the Salvador Dali of c***-blocking..."'s a picture I took in Florence!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Seven semesters down, one to go...

...until I have OFFICIALLY graduated high school.

Finished my finals, and then spent an immensely awesome Friday with previously mentioned friends, Chris and Reese.

By the way, you seem to-

Throw around the term "f*g hag" a lot? Yeah. I do.

I don't think it's a flippant term, though. My mother finds it degrading, but personally, I think it's something to be proud of.

I'm not just a f*g hag because I have lots of gay friends (even though I do). I see the role of f*g hag as beyond being a friend; I see it as being the closest confidant, the guide, the girl with whom a guy can discuss his deepest darkest secrets. He can trust her like he can trust no one else, and if she knows a lot of other gay guys, she's learned their lessons and can pass them along.

And in turn, she gains a close male friend with whom she can be completely intimate, yet that intimacy is nearly completely free from sexual tension.

I wrote yesterday a little bit about how blessed I feel to have my gay friends. And I still feel that way. I feel that way every day, because not long ago, none of us would be as open and fabulous as we are.

Today, in Starbuck's, Reese gave Chris a very tender kiss while we were sitting together. Nothing happened. Nobody made a fuss. Nobody screamed "FAGGOT". Nothing. A man in a cowboy hat left immediately afterward, but that was about it. I sensed, very deeply within myself, that not only was this an adorable moment between a very caring couple, but that the act itself was a tiny miracle. They are free to express their affection for each other, without fear of retribution.

And that's the most beautiful thing in the world.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Almost done!

My last two finals are tomorrow, and I'm really not worried about them.

Today went well, though I really am looking forward to spending time with my friends tomorrow. I mentioned them last week on here, in a very sentimental-bordering-on-sappy post after one of them came out to his parents.

These are my friends. :) I took this picture of them today and I felt like posting it.

I joke a lot about being a f*g hag, and among my friends, I like to say that boys don't talk to me unless they're gay, but honestly, it's times like these that make it all worth it. To me, there's something miraculous about two boys or two girls who are unafraid to come together and say "Yes we care about each other, yes we're going to kiss each other in public, DEAL WITH IT." It's just incredible to me, and I love it when it happens, because in high school, it's so rare.

Thank God for the gays, because they have courage where no one else does. Thank God for my friends.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finals Week! Grrrr!

My most challenging final is tomorrow, so that sucks. :/

Also, I scraped a car in the church parking lot. Go parking skills.

But when my day kinda sucks, I remember how much love there is in this big ol' world of ours.

Then I feel better. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A good day. :)

I got accepted at my top university today. Into the theatre major. With a $20,000-a-year scholarship.

God has blessed me indeed. :D

P.S. Also, apologies for lack of blog yesterday. I got caught up in studying for finals (ah, that time again!).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Pass-Around Story

Start one with your friends and see where it leads!

I went to a swing dance tonight, and 'twas very fun. My feet hurt like crazy, though. Ah, well. Painting and finals studying tomorrow!
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Occasional Adventure

(Quick post, as it's close to midnight.)

Spent the day in Seattle, and despite missing our bus and being stranded in the international district (which none of us knew) at 10 PM, it was an enjoyable day.

Coming soon- maybe tomorrow, maybe not- will be my next installment of the Global Citizen series!

Until then, readers!
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Friday, January 14, 2011

(belated Thursday post!) It's one of those days...

...that you hope you remember for a long time after it's gone.

Two of my friends kind-of got together (it's high school), and one of those friends, after a certain complicated chain of events, came out to his parents, though not mentioning that "There's a cute boy in my life and we're thinking of going steady."

Coming out to family is intense. You don't know how they'll react, you don't know what to say or not say. My friend, as with all things, dealt with it with courage and wisdom beyond his age. I'm dreadfully proud of him.

I've been a part of this romantic comedy craziness since the beginning; heck, I was there when these guys met. I feel blessed to have been able to be a witness and a guide to my dear friends, and I wish the absolute best for them in their coming adventures. Much love to R.M. and C.U. <3

(I wrote this out late last night on my phone, but for some reason, I had no internet connection, so I had to wait until today to post it.)
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Problem with Being a F*g Hag


Ugh. I can't handle it.

Then again, it's not like I'm doing anything to avoid it.'s some Margaret Cho:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sex vs. Gender

This is everything I've wanted to say whenever someone mixes up "gender" and "sex," and assumes there's only two of each. I just needed to let it all out.

“Say No to Gender!”

Such were the words which spawned a great discussion/debate on my friend’s Facebook page recently. There seemed to be a great deal of confusion over what gender even was, much less whether it was important to preserve or just eradicate completely.
In my years as a budding gay rights activist, I’ve learned a fair amount about what gender truly IS, and, based on my friend’s discussion and the confusion of other friends and family, I’d like to take this time to explain my understanding of…


No, not that kind of sex. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Isn’t gender just male and female?

Nope. That’s sex. And even sex isn’t limited to the binary of “male” and “female”. That excludes the entire group of people known as “intersex” (you might know them as “hermaphrodites,” but that term is falling out of use in the queer community).

The issue with explaining gender and sex is that, for the longest time in Western society, there’s been a binary. You’re either male or female, masculine or feminine. More specifically, you were either a masculine man or a feminine woman. Anything else, and you were a freak. At the very least, shunned by society, but often worse.

Neither sex nor gender fits into a binary, and it’s important to allow one’s mind to stretch to accommodate the great variety of ways people define and express themselves through their gender presentation.

Okay… so what’s the difference?

SEX is biological, genetic, and hormonal. You have a certain set of sex chromosomes at birth, be they XX, XY, XXY, XYY, or any other combination (of course, XX and XY are the most common). Also, when you’re a fetus developing inside your mother, certain hormones kick in at a particular point in the pregnancy which, usually, cause you to develop all of the biological aspects of your sex, aka, your man- or lady-parts. During a pregnancy, many things can happen wherein a person’s mind develops as one sex but their body is another, or they are genetically one sex but develop physically as another. These are the people who are classed as “intersex”.

GENDER is how one presents oneself in relation to their sex, society, and self-perception. Common genders are masculine, feminine, and androgynous, but there are others, as well. Gender and sex *sometimes* match up (masculine males and feminine females), but other times, they really don’t. Sex only determines a person’s gender to a point, and sometimes, it doesn’t at all.

A sex/gender disparity is more common than you think. I’ll use my dear sister as an example. She’s straight and female, but her gender is neither particularly feminine nor particularly masculine- she’s androgynous. (I, on the other hand, am a feminine female- my sex affects my gender enough that there’s little to no disparity. I do enjoy presenting myself in a more masculine manner on occasion, but I am on average feminine.) It’s perfectly normal, and it in no way affects her sexual orientation.

Why is this all so complicated?

This is probably why the binary was so rigidly enforced in the past. Once male/female and masculine/feminine are shown to be the tip of a convoluted iceberg, one wishes that life was simpler.

It's just that, as people become more open about their unique sex or gender, it becomes clear that the binary is artificial, and sometimes even harmful. When your options in life are masculine male and feminine female, that leaves anyone who falls outside the norm to be an outcast. It's like when people could finally be open about their sexual orientation (if it wasn't straight) and all of a sudden we're realizing that there's no black-and-white. You're not fully gay or fully straight. More often than not, you're a mix of both.

What is one to do with all of this information?

Think about it. Reflect on it. Maybe it'll help change your perspective, or maybe it'll just confuse you more.

Regardless, I encourage all of you to do research on this. The difference between sex and gender is a huge deal in the transgender community, as well as the queer community at large. The more we educate ourselves, the easier it'll be for others to be educated in the future.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The challenge of the blogging challenge... that I can't write out longer, more impressive entries more often.

I will, however, provide a preview for tomorrow's entry: a sort-of essay on the idea of sex, gender, the difference between the two, and the importance of each.

Until tomorrow, then, check out my new favorite "It Gets Better" video from Dan Savage's anti-gay suicide campaign:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Once more into the fray...

and thus, another week of school begins for this blogger.

it sucks that i cant capitalize or use more punctuation when blogging from my phone.

stupid phone. xp

A Global What-Now?

Instead of quotes this time, I just want to say this: Never did I believe that we'd reach a point in 21st century America that a man would go out and shoot a congressperson, her aides, a judge, and innocent bystanders at a political event meant to bridge the gap between politicians and their constituents. It made me sick to hear about Rep. Giffords' near-assassination. I was very impressed to see how Keith Olbermann used the incident to start a dialogue on the increased usage of casual threats of violence in politics, and their unintended consequences. I feel a bit better now. Also, I baked brownies.

I started out this blog with the idea of, as it says above, "chronicling my journey towards becoming a global citizen".

Well, what exactly does that mean? What does it MEAN to be a citizen of the whole world?

What does Wikipedia say?
The final authority on everything has a fair amount to say on the idea of global citizenship. Two things stand out to me. The first is a quote from British author Thomas Paine:

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

I like that. It's snappy.

Second is what immediately follows, the part of global/world citizenship that interests me:

When translated into participatory action, global citizenship entails a responsibility to reduce international inequality (both social and economic), to refrain from action which compromises an individuals' well-being, and avoids contributing to environmental degradation. (emphasis mine)

It seems simple enough, but so many people have this issue where they can't even think beyond their own wants at home, not really realizing how much is going on outside in the big world.

So what's your take?

My understanding of global citizenship is actually closer to what some critics call "global-oriented citizenship". I believe that all of us, as human beings, have a responsibility to not only support and improve our own nation and society, but to help others in their quest to becoming more perfect nations and societies. All of our cultures have faults, big or small, which we need to eradicate; sometimes it takes an outsider to point it out and help to solve it.

Now, I'm not suggesting what the US likes to do, which is butt in on people's business and take away their cultures altogether. I believe with greater global interaction (such organizations like the Peace Corps and Doctors Without Borders are great for this), we can all experience a little bit of each other's culture, and find what moves us, makes sense to us and betters us. For example, I was impressed by the Italian attitude of il dolce far niente (the sweetness of doing nothing)- the understanding that it's important to take time to rest and not do anything for work or school, but just to have some classic R&R. I think countries like the US, with a "work now, play later" attitude, or Japan, where people are supposedly literally working themselves to death and dying at their desks, need to incorporate this into their culture. It's simply healthy.

Now, I'm not saying that Italian culture is infallible- there are some awful sexist attitudes that have gotten in the way of justice in the past. But that's when they can learn something from, say, Scandinavian countries, where women are socially and legally equal.

My point is this: global citizenship is the ability to teach others and simultaneously learn from those you teach. It is the ability to acknowledge that everyone on this earth has something to contribute to a greater human race, and everyone has the right to be a part of the human race.

It is, in a sense, the ability to love and cherish indiscriminately. And that's what I find beautiful.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Thank GOD It's Friday

I know, I promised a substantial blog post today, but it's almost midnight and I need to catch up on my sleep.

BUT, I will say what tomorrow will be about!

I'm going to begin a semi-series on the concept of the "Global Citizen". What it is, what it isn't, and why it's so important to try to be one.

Until tomorrow, readers, goodnight!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quote of the Day

"The true language of God is Love itself." -Davey Wavey

I'll make a legit post tomorrow, I promise!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"You are not allowed to get sick!"

Such is one of the ten commandments for actors.

But alas, dear readers, I'm ill. I've been drinking tea all afternoon and I need to get to bed soon, so this is going to be quick.

Enjoy this video of Jon Stewart's Auto-Tuned speech at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

P.S. I was at a satellite rally that day in a nearby city. It was so awesome being a part of something like this. :D

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Show and Tell: "Love Rescue Me"

In Glee Club today (yes, my school has a glee club, and no, we're not trying to imitate the show... completely), we were thinking of more music we could perform which could be found in a choir-friendly arrangement.

Very quickly, I thought of this song, "Love Rescue Me" by U2. I had seen it performed in a documentary called Playing for Change, which covered various musical groups and individual artists working to bring about understanding between peoples through music.

The choir in the video below, the Omagh Community Youth Choir, is one such group. Founded in Northern Ireland, the director's mission from the beginning was to bring together Catholic and Protestant kids, in order to break down the prejudices and stereotypes which have divided them from each other for who knows how long.

This is taken from Playing for Change, and it is the Omagh Community Youth Choir's rendition of U2's "Love Rescue Me". Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Blogging Challenge

"Kiss me goodbye, I'm defying gravity!" -Elphaba from Wicked

"Pura Vida!" -Unofficial national motto of Costa Rica

"There is only one race- the HUMAN race!" -Gandhi, among others

Kiel vi fartas?: Mi estas TRE okupita. (I'm VERY busy.)

Dear Readers, I have taken on a challenge- blog every day for the month of January. If nothing else, it will give you plenty of (hopefully) interesting reading material. This idea was proposed by the lovely Addie Gecas, and I thought it'd be worth it to give it a go.

That being said, I obviously can't write every day about progress in Esperanto. That would get extremely old, extremely quickly. So, instead, I'll just do everything from posting interesting videos/photos to writing about things which fall under the more general umbrella of "becoming a global citizen". What does that mean? Can ANYone do it? (hint: yes)

So how are you going to start this off? know, I really don't know. It's the first day back from winter break, and I'm already exhausted. I guess I'd just like you all to wish me the best in this merry excursion into insanity.

Ooh! Here's some awesome news!

Back in mid-December, I competed in a poetry slam with other young writers in my school district (including the lovely Michael Abraham). After reading two of my favorite compositions, and hearing everyone else read (and skillfully, might I add), the judges announced that the winner was... me!

Shocking, no? I never win anything, but somehow the judges took a liking to my politically-charged words and wanted them published in the local paper. That, I thought, was pretty awesome.

Well, good for you!


Okay, I'm going to get off before I trail into jibbering randomness.

But first, I would just like to say that though my blogging is scant, I really do enjoy writing when I can, and I can only hope that you enjoy reading what I write.

Until tomorrow, readers!