Jun 26, 2009


So I've started watching the new Mike Judge show, The Goode Family. For about the first 4 or 5 minutes I was a little put off by the over-stereotyping, and thought that Judge wasn't bringing what he brought to King of the Hill, which is a biting understory filled with against-the-grain social commentary. However, I then hit the moment where the mother of the family goes into the organic grocery store with her daughter for the first time, despite the fact that they can't afford it. The mother looks up at a sign in the store, and...well...it's fantastic. See 5:40 to about 6:00 in that link. Wow.
I'm still the only person I know who liked King of the Hill, something I seriously do not understand considering how funny and poigniant that show was. Maybe with this series people will come around and see the genius that is Mike Judge.

Jun 24, 2009

I'm gay, but my boyfriend isn't.

I was thinking about grad school applications the other day, and what I might put in my personal statement. The one thing I know I'm going to have a lot of trouble with is providing the story of my life. So my idea is to use this blog as a starting point for thinking about my history, digging a little deeper into what makes me the me I am today. Each post will consist of a look at one of my personality traits, strong beliefs, etc., and hopefully through this I'll be able to come up with a more coherent framework for my life story.It's day three of Pride Week here in Toronto, and that coupled with the fact that I just finished listening to a lecture series on the sociology of sexuality has got this whole notion of homosexuality on my mind of late - more so than usual. Therefore, I'd like this first post to be about why I am (not) gay, and what this term means to me.

I consider myself, today, to be what some people would refer to as a "bisexual". This means, at any given point in time, I like both boys and girls. Horray. Except the one thing that I've learned over the years is that its simply not that, well, simple. For example, the term suggests that the bisexual person is attracted to both men and women equally. This is certainly not the case for me. With every year that goes by, I find I have been attracted less to the idea of men in general, and more attracted to the idea of women. I say "idea" because I really think that it is more about the concepts than about individual people. In other words, I'm not only attracted to the way women *look*, but the very *idea* of women. It's difficult to explain but since I understand what I mean I won't expound on it any further. :)

To complicate (because as a lib arts student I love "complicating the narrative"...) this further, when I *am * attracted to someone of the male sex physically, it tends to be because he is exceptionally "manly" looking. There is absolutely nothing I find less attractive than a male who looks androgynous or even frankly feminine. Even skinny jeans on guys make my nose wrinkle a little. But, show me an androgynous female, and I can almost guarantee you I'll find her attractive. Figure that one out. Not that I'm only attracted to boyish looking girls. For the most part, the more curvy a girl is, the better, in terms of her actual physical body.

Another highly disconcerting thing about the concept of bisexuality is the sheer amount of BS you have to put up with from *both* straight people and "totally" gay people (of which I believe in about as much as unicorns, btw). The (straight) girl I sat beside at the Pride Parade info session the other day was telling me how many of the "lesbian" girls at that info session were very concerned about having to march with the "bisexual" girls. They wanted them to be in seperate groups. Seriously. This, to me, is like black people voting for Prop 8. It's the same kind of tender love and care for your personal minority identification, but then you get another equally disenfranchised group and somehow these minorites forget all about the crap they've been through and go right ahead and hate on the other minority group. Bisexuals are not "real" gays. Well what the hell is a "real" gay person? Or a "real" straight person? When you look at the variety there is out there in reality, these convenient labels we use to categorize individuals into strict groups just don't hold up. And then, of course, all of the "straight" people think (at least if you are a female bisexual) that you're only kissing girls to taunt the boys and get their attention. This is made much worse due to the fact that virtually no one is aware that you, quite frankly, can be totally straight one minute and totally gay the next. That's number 2 in the top 5 reasons I loved The L Word. They really showed this like nothing else I'm aware of (however, that being said, the number 1 reason I didn't like The L Word was because of their treatment of the "bisexual" characters on their show which was frankly horrible).

So, essentially, the whole "bisexual" thing doesn't work for me on a number of ways, and I'm increasingly uncomfortable using the term. But these feelings of discomfort and confusion remind me quite a bit of the rest of my life, to be honest. I can remember when I was about 10 years old, it was the late 90's and absolutely every girl had posters of all of the Backstreet Boys, the guys from N*Sync, and even some pictures of those gents from 98 Degrees up on their bedroom walls. They used to go on endlessly about how "hot" they all were, and who was their favourite, and all of this typical tween age stuff. And then there was me. Me? I loved the Spice Girls. I remember sitting there and listening to one of my friends (who is now, to illustrate my point about the L Word, actually a lesbian) blabber on about how hot Nick Leshey is and me thinking..."why don't I feel like this". I can't tell you how many times I asked myself that same question. Of course, I had never seen a lesbian, and really had no idea that that was even an option. I do think that some women are completely hardwired to like women and only women, and even if they had never been introduced to the concept would be forced to think it one way or another, but (maybe unfortunately) I'm not one of them.

Now, just because I didn't like boy bands doesn't mean I was "born a lesbian" or whatever, I only introduce this little memory because it's the first time I can remember really sitting back and realising that I'm somehow not like these other girls. Later on, in my early teens, I became intermittently obsessed with women like Portia de Rossi and others, but I never thought of dating the girls in my class or anything, as, like I said before, this just wasn't an option. When I look back at my friendships from my early teen years on, I realise that there were at least two or three girls that I genuinely liked and I have to say that that's probably the most upsetting part of this whole thing, that I constantly feel like I've missed out on half of my life. Missed opportunities, possible missed loves. It's really too bad.

This brings me to highschool. In the four years I was there, I dated a few people, all male, and let's not get into that please. haha. I fell in love, with a male, and I was generally content with this and content in my knowledge that I was certianly not gay and even that the idea of two women together was kind of icky. I also won't get into why this was my automatic response, I know the reason, and while it doesn't involve physical abuse or anything horrible like that, it involves a moment where someone very important said something to me when I was very young. This stuck with me all the way until what I now consider to be the turning point in my life, at least as far as my sexuality goes. One of my friends, someone who I and everyone else in my highschool considered pretty much the nicest person ever, came out as a lesbian. I knew she was gay for some time before she told us all, but her actually saying it for some reason was the real game changer for me. Suddenly, in my world, for the first time, it was possible for a girl to be nice, honest, caring, and just an all around good person and also happen to like the ladies. This..."normalising" of lesbianism made something in me click, really, just like a light switch. And then, once it happened, so much of my life that had been completely confusing and just generally messed up finally made sense. I owe a lot to this person, although I've never told her that. And today it is the main reason why I believe so much in being open and honest to other people about what makes you different. This includes me being an atheist. It's just how like if someone who's religious, and has been told their whole life that people who don't believe in god are angry, mean, sarcastic jerks who only want to criticise and belittle you. Then, the religious person meets someone and sees that they're totally nice and just like everyone else, and then finds out that they're an atheist. If they don't run screaming for the hills, chances are they're going to end up disagreeing with what they've always been told. Maybe they won't become an atheist, or realise that they always were one, but they will still be more understanding and think in less absolutist terms.

And this also forms the basis of why, despite my dislike of parades, I support the gay Pride Parade and what it hopes to achieve. For all of those young girls out there who feel like the just don't quite understand why they're so different, and what that means, or just for people who think they're "totally" straight, maybe seeing this parade will open up their world just a little bit. Maybe they'll meet someone nice as they pass by the parade on their way somewhere else, or they'll sit at home and think about what it means to be "gay" or "straight" as they see commercials for Pride week on CTV. If this happens even a tiny fraction of the time, I think it's worth it. So happy Pride.

Jun 17, 2009

komputer welt

hello computer world. Soooo, lets see. Today I handed in both of my final essays for my two classes (or at least I will by the end of tonight). The essays went pretty bad, on the whole, but I've been doing really well in both of the classes besides that.
I'm currently debating about whether to sleep for a few hours or watch a movie before class, sipping a coke I shouldn't be drinking, and wondering why firefox thinks that all words with an apostrophe in them are spelled wrong. It never used to do that...

oh well. I have my one and only exam this Monday, and then I have a little while off until my next class starts. I'm going to balance my free time between packing/cleaning the house and doing various volunteer things.

Pride parade is on the 28th, and I'm organizing the atheist contingent. My friend Roy is making a banner for us, which is awesome, and I'm also going to get some t-shirts made up so we all look the same. I'm pretty excited...every year since I've been in Toronto I've missed Pride for some stupid reason like I have to work, or I'm away at the CFI student conference. Luckily, I don't have to worry about either of these things this year.

I'm also going to start volunteering for the adult literacy program put on by the Toronto Public Library. Basically you just go in for a few hours a week and help one adult out with their reading, writing, or speaking skills. You get trained and everything, so I don't see why I shouldn't do it. I was hoping there would be some more directly-related library volunteer positions, but I think that helping with adult literacy may be even better than that. On my application I'll be able to say that I help with access to information and literacy, help foster our multicultural society, and help the comunity in general in a way that the iSchool should really be able to appreciate. Much more than shelving books, I think.
I'm still going to apply to work in the library system at school, as well, as its pretty integral to have direct experience like that.
But that's all the easy stuff. The hard part is getting the grades I need to even be considered.
And, with that in mind, the second thing I really need is a serious backup career plan.

Jun 11, 2009

quick update - 5 things

5 Things:
  • yesterday I saw a really old lady getting off the subway with a big hoodie on. The hoodie had the number "69" written all over it.
  • Harbord St. west of Spadina surprised me the other day by actually being a very beautiful street with lots of fancy little cafes and cool bike stores. It also has a *gigantic* high school, and my favourite place to get my hair cut: the totally unpretentious GLAM.
  • I'm currently confused by this eHealth "scandal"....the CEO spent tons of money on contract stuff and consultations. And I'm wondering...what exactly do people think the government spends their money on? It's all stupid stuff like this. They also don't seem to understand how a consultation works, and they assume that all of this should be done free somehow. -rolls eyes-
  • we got a confirmation on our moving out date of July 31st! Only downside is that the head office document has a bunch of things in it that are totally illegal. haha.
  • saturday is J and K's engagement party! Pretty exciting. The only thing I regret is that we have no money to get them any thing. This move is going to be really expensive.

Jun 3, 2009

The Good Life

ok...so apparently "asap" has taken on an entirely new meaning in the world of M. Well...this ends now.

What have I been up to? Well, I started summer school, for one. I'm taking two classes this semester, and one the next, and so far its going pretty well. I had a midterm today in Impressionism (FAH 346), and it went quite well, I think. Then I had my other class in the evening, "Effective Writing", which is going even better. The instructor is currently marking our first major creative paper, so I'll wait until then to think more about this whole thing.

I've also been planning things for the new house. My significant other and I are moving at the end of July into a condo. I am way too excited about this. My hope is that over at least the next 5 years I can overhaul the decorating scheme and make it a completely modern aesthetic - steel, sheer class, dark stone, the works. It makes me think again about going to college for interior decorating.....but I won't get a job. At least, I'm pretty sure. I'd end up selling curtains, I know it.
Now that I'm close to finishing my undergrad I've become a lot more level-headed when it comes to future plans. I'm not the type of person who can just "wing" the future and hope for the best.
Which brings me to the other thing going on in my life right now, namely the epic quest to become a librarian.

In order to succeed in this quest, I must attain at least a 3.3 GPA in my last 10 courses of my undergrad (aka, my full last year), and have all the standard stuff like volunteer work, letters of reference, english and computer profeciency, and the like. This means in my fourth year I have to find a library that will take me on as at least a volunteer, or at most a paid part timer. And I have to hole myself up and study so hard my ears bleed a little. Aaaand I need to find two profs at UofT who will back me in letters of reference. Joy.
But, it will all be worth it if I get in. Then, I can keep working hard and in three years I will be an accredited librarian and I can work for the rest of my life around books, search engines, online journals, and clueless patrons who think me and my highly educated colleagues just wandered in off the street because we like silence and tight buns. Love it. Eventually I want to run my own public library in some small-ish town somewhere in Ontario. And possibly work on issues of anti-cencorship and access to information in my (hopefully almost non-existent) spare time.

Well, that's the world as I saw it today, I'll be back with another post...asap.