Archive for March, 2003
No, not the lottery, but its almost as good.
What have I won?
The battle of the laundry. Yes indeedy, while there are still a few dirty stragglers holding out hope in my hamper all of my clothing is clean. I think this is about the only time I’ve ever had this happen.
I’ve learned a few things though:
- I own way too much underwear (they’re the gay man’s equivalent to women’s shoes, what can I say? I need variety!)
- I also have way too many socks. (I went on a buying spree after being forced to wear the same pair for about two weeks.)
- While I’ve won one war, I’m now fighting the battle of storage, where the hell do I put all this? (sigh, you see war never is a good thing.)
Okay just a fun little jaunt into my psychotic world!
I’m broke. Broker than I’ve been in quite a while. The extent of my fiscal liquidity is the change that is upstairs in my change tray. Pathetic? yes I know.
So in the spirt of my underpaid collegeness, I’m accepting donations. Please only donate if you enjoy reading this, if its meaningless or just annoying, don’t feel a need to. While donating doesn’t get you any special services (except maybe a surprise on your credit card statement!) it does make me a bit happier and gives you the satisfaction of helping out a future leader.
So how can you do this you ask?
I accept donations one of two ways:
- Via PayPal – they’re snazzy, will accept your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or even debit your bank account! Plus they’re easy to use!
- Via Amazon.com, you can get me something off my Wish List or a Gift Certificate.
If your wanting to donate via another method, drop me a message and I’ll get right back to you.
What is the meaning of Life? Of course many people fail to realize this is a trick question. Its not something that someone else can answer. There are as many answers to the question as there have been people. (Therefore there are several billion different answers)
The real question to answer is what is the meaning of my life?
I honestly don’t know. This is the question I’ve been pining at for quite a while in different ways.
I know I want an answer, concrete and unequivocal. That is my logical plodding side at work, always trying to come to an answer that is concrete and meaningful.
Of course this is as productive as attempting to find the right pair of glasses by walking up to people and trying their glasses on. You might get the right prescription but by that time your eyes will be so tired and worn out that they won’t matter.
Okay lets back up a step. Why does there have to be meaning to my life? Why can’t I just be one of the mindless automatons wandering through this world, a working stiff? Instead I’m stuck with the curse/gift of being a philosopher.
Why is it that we “find meaning” in our lives? Isn’t it possible to create meaning? I dunno.
I know Charlie Kauffman, William Irvine, and Susan Orlean would argue that meaning is finding something to do and doing it passionately.
I’m reminded of the scene from Adaptation Susan Orlean and the gardner create a dial tone together over the telephone each by humming the 1/2 of the bitonal sound. Strangely enough this is one of the most powerful scenes in the movie. Two people in such inexplicable simple means, but intertwined and at that time inseparable.
Is it a pathetic denial of my potential to say that finding someone to be the other half of my dial tone is the meaning I seek in my life?
In some ways I feel like Heidi from The Heidi Chronicles constantly and consistently asserting “I believe everyone has the right to fulfill their potential.” as an empty and hollow refrain. In the end to constantly search for meaning through degrees, the woman’s movement, and whatnot only to find it in adopting a child. Hmm food for thought.
Why the hell am I programmed to want and desire one person or one cause to be devoted to?
So I’m stuck with a paradox. I’m set up with a set of urges that in the end hurt myself emotionally.
While I’ve said in the past its the risk that makes it worth it, I’m not so sure. I wanna say no reward is worth this risk. I’d rather habitually play the lottery, it is less stressful with more predictable losses.
Love seems to be the only thing where you can lose more than you put in. I’m not sure I want to make the investment again.
I just sent the following email to Lambda Union’s advisors and executive board:
To whom it may concern:
This email is to inform you of my revocation of any and all assistance that I had been providing to Sean Sandefer, Lambda Union’s Webmaster, in learning the ropes of and maintaining Lambda’s website.
It is unfortunate that I must do this, because I had quite enjoyed assisting Sean in properly learning the ropes of the website. I am doing this in response to the removal of the link to my personal web page from the nicholasbarnard.html file. This link was properly flagged with the university disclaimer.
As the current executive board has seen fit to completely expunge any conflicting views, I must stop providing any support to Lambda Union, even the limited support I was providing Sean. This is especially disheartening given that the organization saw fit last year to award me with Plaque signifying my commitment to Lambda Union’s Mission.
In the best of all theatrical traditions I wish Lambda Union the best of luck.
In regret that I ever cared,
Well, thats it. Lambda Union has done the last thing I think they can do to piss me off.
Damnit, I want to be associated with them, but well there is nothing like just getting kicked even when you’ve gotten out of the way.
Sigh. well nothing like caring and getting hurt for it, I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
If you asked me ten minutes ago where I was going in life I would’ve said nowhere or maybe I would’ve said circles.
But, I just read my journal from my New England Immersion. While I wouldn’t say I’m a totally different person I am no longer the confined 17 year old boy that I was.
I was so closeted back then at least two journal entries dealt with being gay. I had forgotten that I cam out Junior year.. I usually say senior year was when I came out. That is when I came out to my parents, but I was partially out at school junior year. To this day I’m amazed that it didn’t spread like wildfire across campus.
The thing that is most amazing to me is that I am amazed at how scared I was to be myself, to be out and be open. While in all actuality I don’t proclaim to the world all my interests (thats what the PeJournal is for) But to those close to me and who I know won’t use it against me I will tell about anything. I’m much more open than I used to be.
I also got that picture of a teenager desperate for connections to people. That Still really hasn’t changed, except I would say I’m looking for meaningful connections.
In looking at my journal I would say that it was a seminal time for me in my life.. I see there the decisions and observations that I made that shape the man I am today.
I need to know that I am moving forward, even when it doesn’t appear to be so; I am moving forward.
When I first set this eJournal up I had a small argument with Shawn as to what to name this. I insisted on calling it an eJournal and he insisted on calling it a blog.
This blog concept interested me a bunch so like any good college student I went to the library to find stuff to read. I came up with We’ve got blog a collection of articles and blog entries published on the net concerning blogging…
This is an eJournal – and not a blog – I’m definitive about that now. One of the recurring themes in the book is that links are the driving force of blogs (hence why its derived from the older geek speak web log. i.e. the log of where I’ve been on the web.) My eJournal, while containing links is not driven by them. My comments are not subservient to the link, the links are subservient to my comments. Therein defines the difference between weblogs and eJournals – whether the links or the comments are subservient. If the comments are subservient to the links its a weblog, if the links are subservient to the comments its an eJournal.
I’ve been pulling my stakes up, yanking myself away from lots of things. This is the first time that I can think of that I was so deeply involved in something or so many things and I voluntarily started pulling up stakes. Usually I want to keep my stakes in the ground my contacts intact for as long as possible. But in this situation I’ve been packing – pulling up as many stakes as possible. I am now divorced from WSU the institution, I’ve separated from PFlag Dayton (Despite the fact that I’ven’t told them) and I’ve pitched Lambda out of my life, and I’ve even stopped seeing my counselor.
I’ve burnt out from my life lots of things that were zapping my energy. I’ve done this after realizing the situation I was in wasn’t working for me, and I’ve embarked upon a path of self exploration and self discovery. I’ve decided to dye my hair blue, revitalize my web presence and focus on me.
But I know that I don’t have the ability to remove myself from people all together. an interesting Quote from A Simpler Way: “When we link up into others, we open ourselves to yet another paradox … while surrendering some of our freedom, we open ourselves to even more creative forms of expression. This state of being has been described as communion … the means of who we are changes through our communion with [others]. We are identifiable as our selves. [sic] But we have discovered new meaning and different contributions, and we are no longer the same.”
The question is: is this – or was the person I was who I wanted to be? I would have to say no. I’m someone while I’ll thrive for excellence I will not go too far above and beyond what is expected of me unless there is a clear incentive to; just doing the work excellently is not enough in and of itself.
I guess herein is one of my problems – I live for others not for myself, well not true but when functioning in the world I go for meeting expectations not exceeding them, unless I get something for it.
But back to the point. I don’t like the person I’ve become at WSU – sliding in trying to get enough to get by but not trying for excellence.
If you look at life as creating a building I’m knocking down the old one and placing in the foundation for the new one. I’m hoping this time I can get a skyscraper, or at least a nice sized office building instead of the grocery store/shopping mall that I’ve had.
Over the past few days I’ve decided that I’m going to remain single (barring any really cute, intelligent, romantic guy falling in my lap.) for a while… probably till I leave Ohio.
I’m still amazed how hung up I am on him. I was talking talking to Tommy on my lunch break. He’s on his way to meet his ex for the weekend either to fuck or get back together (one of the two — he’s not sure.) but he kept going on and on about how he was so happy. the funny thing was the more and more he talked the more and more depressed I became. I guess I’m experiencing disschadenfreude: displeasure derived from other’s pleasure.
But back to the issue at hand. Taking off from dating and remaining single.
My reasons for this are what I’ve come to call “The Shawn Standard” for lack of a better name. But some history is in order.
My first real sexual attractions were over the net — no not chatting that wasn’t on the net proper yet. [IRC yes, but I didn't use it - 3/10] The thingy about porn is its the top 0.5% of guys – both in looks and positions and it doesn’t tell very much about emotional states and the people — you just get an image to objectify.
So naive me when I first started dating I was wanting my porn ideal. I’d for some reason assumed that we’d be able to build a meaningful relationship.
Well then I started dating and from about the first date on my standards have been on a general downward trend with the exception of the last year where the guys I was dating were just mediocre and all decided not to date me. I was more than happy to stay with any of them and date some more, but in hindsight I was making do, settling for someone because he was better that no one.
And then came Shawn.
I spent a long time while I was dating Shawn saying that I didn’t deserve him, and the people around me fed into my delusion by saying that “its always that way with the one.” And me deluded by hormones and lots of emotions believed that. Not only was Shawn someone he was someone who was more than just filling the void of “no one.”
So here is “The Shawn Standard”. The person I’m going to date is going to be as right for me and as Intelligent, kind, cute, caring, funny, dorky, and intellectually curious as Shawn. As self-centered and well narcissistic as that may sound I deserve someone with those qualities. If I accept someone of who isn’t “the one” then I’m doing myself a disservice and honestly I’m doing the other person a disservice by lying to them and distracting them from their search.
So thats where I’ve got “The Shawn Standard”
P.S. Follow Marshall’s and Dorian’s advice — especially number eight — Don’t turn every date into a “Will this be the one assessment.”
Well All I know is i’ve got a lot to learn about dating.
What is it that divides us from each other?
While we all have different backgrounds and different stories we all have the ability to connect to one and other. We all have struggles, good days, bad days, childhood struggles and things that we’d like to change about ourselves and others.
This all comes from our history which shapes who we are today by the by the experiences we have had both directly by remind then using as a guide and indirectly via experience.
I had a conversation with a sixty some year old African American woman who I work with. We’re friendly but don’t talk much because of the nature of the job. But today we sat in the break room together and chatted.
We had genuine laughs and connected as people.
I then started thinking what keeps us apart? In actuality nothing. I could throw out a bunch of bullshit answers and then explain why they’re false but I’ll spare you the philosophical exercise.
Then the question is if there is nothing dividing us what is there dividing me and a terrorist/guerrilla/freedom fighter? Well language and location separate us but those can be overcome by modern technology.
What separates us are artificial divides placed by people for some reason usually for the advantage of a military or leaders.
The basic steps are simple: divide and dehumanize; a more insidious version of divide and conquer because while your enemy with divide and conquer is still someone you in theory can know, in divide and dehumanize by definition the enemy cannot be known because they are not human and not on “our” level.
Look around its used a lot on Soviets during the Cold War, Germans during WWII, homo-attracted and bi-attracted people for a long time, terrorists, drug dealers during the “war” on drugs, African Americans pre-civil war/pre-civil rights/pre 3/11/03. (oops, did I just imply that we’re pushed not to see African Americans as human?)
So whats the way to get out of this? Make people human by talking with them one on one or in groups.
So to answer Rodney King’s famous line “can’t we all just get along?”
Yes. If we talk.
How do you know what love is?
I had someone break up with me after three weeks of dating because I used the word “love” in reference to him.
I’d been backdooring the “l” word in by using it to describe specific qualities that he had.
So I used the “l” word and three days later we were “Just Friends.” How can someone decide something like that that fast? I just don’t really know.
God this still hurts on a much lower level like hell.
So now I’m at a point that I don’t want to date because I don’t want to invest my energy in closeted ohio guy just to get hurt.
Fuck it just boils down to that I want Shawn I want him to reconsider to try again.
Hell I’d give my left nut for a second chance (and my left nut is the one I value more!)
I have been searching to figure out why I feel a need to find some good man and settle down and start a family. I’ve not been able to figure out why this exists within me as far as I can tell its a priori – it is in and of itself. Evolutionary psychology doesn’t help in explaining it. It just is.
Its great how things are set for me to just hurt myself. I know this will take an adjustment on my part.
Of Course I’ve previously said what makes it worth it is the risk.
I don’t want to risk this again.