Monthly Archives: July 2011

Nummus

Let’s pretend for one glorious albeit ephemeral moment that money does not exist. Where would you be? What would you be? Who would you be? I know a world cannot exist without money, as it is the biggest bargaining chip humanity has when bartering with one another, and I know I am not the only person who wishes this, but I really, honestly, truly wish that money did not exist. It’s the cause of countless problems, from innumerable amounts of debt and melancholic homelessness to avaricious greed and ostentatious displays of wealth.

I would be the happiest person on the face of the planet without money. I would have everything I need without the problems of finding out how I’m going to pay for gas, insurance, and the payment for my car; school loans would disappear. I would be able to surround myself with the ones I love, the ones who love me, and we could be truly happy, simply enjoying the presence of one another. I wish I could do that, but I have so many incessant financial worries. Will I be able to pay this one month? What about the next? 

The power of that damned dollar is beyond fathomable, and I know that my wish is impossible to conceive or even try to make possible; I understand the importance of that damned dollar and why we need it. (They say that it’s love which makes the world go ’round; I think it’s money.) But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. That damned quarter, dime, nickel. That damned…

…penny.

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I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things are finally starting to come together, and my stress level has gone down considerably. Financial aid is a monster, and if I were to advise any incoming freshman about it (ahem, you might want to pay attention to this, Katie Poule), I’d say make sure you have everything you need figured out before the next semester because financial aid offices, especially ones located in money-hungry universities like mine, like to play the “have you talked to this office yet” game. It’s terrible. Nobody can ever give you a straight answer; they redirect your call or email countless times, and by the time you get an answer, you’ve forgotten the question. All I’m saying is to be prepared for roundabouts and games. It’s the prerogative financial aid offices think they have. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it is. 

My financial aid is finally in the process of being finalized. I had to apply for a loan by myself (terrifying!), but everything worked out and now it’s being finalized through my university. I should be hearing from them soon, and then the disbursement begins, which means a lot of things. First and foremost, my final semester as an undergrad is covered, the relief of which I can’t even begin to describe.

 Second, I can purchase a new laptop, one that I can trust and rely on to actually turn on when I want it to. I’m switching to Mac. I have no good reason for it, but I think they’re a lot more trustworthy, faster, smarter, sleeker… and sexier, which puts a lot of bonus points on their side in my opinion. I’m going Mac, and I ain’t going back.

Third, I’ll be able to have a small financial cushion for my monthly bills. With the Pell Grant that I found out about and the leftover loan amount, I’ll have some money left to cushion myself in case I don’t make what I need while working because of limited availability. I’m actually really looking forward to having this cushion; it’s something I’ve never had before, and I hope I can use it wisely. Keep your fingers crossed.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and now all I need to be completely happy is a more gas-efficient vehicle. That was supposed to be examined today, but that fell through. I randomly got the bug up my butt to look at cars yesterday to trade in my Jeep for a smaller, more gas-efficient vehicle. I found one at a dealership for which my uncle’s friend works, so he and I went to look at it, but it was already gone. It just wasn’t meant to be. Something will come along. I just have to keep my eyes open.

The light is getting larger, brighter, blinding, but I can’t wait to be out of the shadows of the crises of my life. Bring it on. I’ll keep my…

eyes open.


 

 

 

 

First Gay Marriage in NY: 24 July 2011, 12 am EST

As of midnight, July 24th 2011, homosexual couples can legally marry in New York. See the post on The Gay & Lesbian Task Force Blog here: http://thetaskforceblog.org/2011/07/24/task-force-celebrates-ny-marriage-equality-as-couples-begin-to-wed/

On an emotional level, here’s a YouTube clip of the first gay wedding in New York: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGegTRa5TWk&

Their story: Gaitley and Jim Stevenson-Mathews were married in a religious service before 200 people at St. Paul’s Chapel on the Campus of Colombia University on May 7, 2005. The service was officiated by Rev. Mitties DeChamplain and was followed by a reception and dance held on the campus of St. John the Divine.

On May 7, 2010, the couple joined another gay couple and a lesbian couple and were legally married in Connecticut. Many from Glen Cove, Long Island traveled with the couple to witness the ceremony attended by over 70 family and friends. Couples (gay and straight) were invited to renew their vows as part of the celebration.

On July 24, 2011 at 12:03 am the couple were finally married in their home state of New York by Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi. This was New York State’s first same-sex wedding. Our heartfelt congratulations to the couple and to the many couples who have waited so long for this historic day.

President Obama Certifies DADT Repeal (And Responses)

After hearing from senior military leaders that repeal posed no threat to the armed forces, President Obama certified the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  His signature of the certification sets in motion the open service of lesbian, gay and bisexual troops.  The certification step was part of the legislation he signed in December and now after a 60 day period built into the law, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be a relic of the past. View the full story here: http://www.hrcbackstory.org/2011/07/president-obama-certifies-dadt-repeal-certification/

This has already started gaining feedback, especially from Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who Friday welcomed the news that President Barack Obama and the Pentagon have certified the U.S. military is prepared to accept openly gay and lesbian troops. In a statement, Baldwin said troops that have been discharged under the policy deserve an apology. View the full story here: http://www.gaypolitics.com/2011/07/22/baldwin-discharged-troops-deserve-apology/

I think Rep. Baldwin has a point. To suppress a person’s sexuality just so they appear to fit the typical role of a soldier is not only disrespectful, it tarnishes everything upon which our country was built: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Doesn’t everyone, especially these soldiers, who, gay or straight, risk their lives every day, deserve to live as they choose, the liberties that everyone else enjoys, and to pursue whatever (or specifically in this case, whoever) they want without worrying about bigotry and disrespect? Think about it.

Ieiunium

If food be the music of love, eat on. I know, I know; that’s a terrible play on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but damn, I can’t even think about food right now. It’s been a really long week, especially the last few days — what with the death of my horse, Phoenix, on top of the miserable heat — and today in itself was exhausting. If you’ve never served at a restaurant before, don’t take it for granted. It can definitely be excruciating, but the money is usually worth it at the end of the day. Making over $70 in three hours sure made it worth it. The downside, though, was that I did not eat anything from the minute I woke up until the minute I got home except for a small Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

Work was great, but seeing one of my best friends was even better. We had texted last night and made fluid plans to get ice cream today, but I was so excited that they didn’t fall through. A lot of plans I try to make seem to fall through, and it gets really frustrating. But I can always count on her, even if she was feeling pretty sick today. It was, nonetheless, fantastic as always to see her.

And I got my hurs did. Yes, my hurs did. While I was waiting for my friend, I called my grandma, who owns her own hair salon, to see if she was there and free to cut my hair — or, hur, as I like to say when I feebly attempt to speak ghetto. Anyways, I did get my grandma to cut my hair, then I met up with my friend for ice cream, and then I drove home to find out that my dad was taking us to dinner.

Red Robin… yummm!! It seems to be my parents’ place of choice, and for good reason. We had an excellent server, and my burger was to die for. Maybe it was the fact that I hadn’t eaten anything all day, but that BBQ burger tasted amazing (and so did the two raspberry margaritas, haha!). Afterward, though, I felt, as I mentioned on the phone with Katie Poule, like a beached whale. My pooch — or food baby, whatever you want to call it — was very, very content with the evening.

Requiescat in Pace

My horse died today. This is my letter to him:

Hey dude,

What they say is right: “You don’t really know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” I know the passion I once had for horseback riding faded a long time ago, and I know that I haven’t spent much time with you since I graduated from 4-H, and I know that you probably didn’t even know who I was but rather stupidly let me pet you because you just wanted to feel the attention, but all that aside, Phoenix, I love you. Next to Copper, who I hope meets you in Heaven, you have always been my best friend. 

I remember your trip back to our house, which would be your home for thirteen years, and the dilemma with which I was faced in trying to find a name for you. It was fall; the colors were spectacular, as they always are in a Midwestern autumn, but I also remember passing one of the countless cornfields and, in a feeble attempt to name you the first night, I ran the name “Cornstalk” by Mom. “What are you going to call him for short?” she asked, suppressing a laugh. “Corny?”

Scratch “Cornstalk.” I don’t remember how we got to the name “Phoenix,” but I remember the nicknames you were quickly given, and how perfectly they fit your personality. “Feeny,” “Beeny,” and “Beanhead” were ridiculous and dorky, but somehow suited you wonderfully.

We were dorks together, you and I. From the moment you first stepped into the show arena at the fair, you were quirky and stubborn. We never won much of anything, but you won my heart. I was frustrated, but mostly with myself because, even then, I knew I wasn’t putting as much into our relationship as I could. But it was still there. It was small, barely flickering, but it was there. The first time I tried showing you in barrel racing, I remember that even though during practice you could run like the wind, that day you decided to walk the entire pattern. A whopping 72 seconds later, I could do nothing but laugh. You were ridiculous. And I loved you.

I still do, buddy. I may not have shown it until these past couple of days when you were the sickest, but I still do. It’s hard to imagine you not out in the pastures playing with the other horses, despite my not being out there as often as I should have. I always loved you; I still do love you; and, Phoenix, I promise you I always will.

…rest in peace.

LGBT Lawmakers Make a Difference

USA TODAY’s Susan Page reports on the growing number of openly LGBT candidates running for public office, and how they’re able to effect real change on equality issues once they’re elected. Read more at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2011-07-19-gay-candidates-politics_n.htm

 

After reading Susan Page’s article, I’m stricken with the feeling that every quote Page includes within it is a quote that creates a more “duh-like” feeling. For example, she cites Paul Maslin of Wisconsin: “‘At some point, you reach the what’s-the-big-deal stage of all this,’ says Paul Maslin, a Democratic strategist based in Madison, Wis., part of Baldwin’s congressional district. That day isn’t here, but he sees it approaching.

‘These candidates, if they’ve been in office a long time and grown in terms of stature and credibility, are now being judged for lots of other reasons than sexual preference,” Maslin says. “It becomes not meaningless, but a relatively unimportant consideration.'”

This is something gays, activists or not, have been trying to get the rest of the world to notice: That homosexuality is not something that will hinder the progress of American values. A person’s sexual preference is unimportant considering the intensity of other, more exigent, issues such as the national debt, homeland security, etc. etc.

Page also cites Donald Haider-Markel of the University of Kansas, who answers, “clearly yes” to her posed question, “Does having openly gay elected officials affect governmental policies?” This, again, should have been obvious from the beginning, and if more openly gay politicians gain credibility and force in office, it should not be too long before we see public policies that include equal rights for homosexuals.

Page continues with Haider-Markel: “‘It helps push these issues forward,’ [he] says. ‘There’s also the role-model aspect of having legislators see openly gay and lesbian legislators in their mix, and basically seeing that they’re just like them. It makes it hard to frame or portray gays and lesbians as really bizarre human forms that don’t look anything like us when legislators are introducing their partners of 20 years and talking about their relationships and their adopted children.'”

The stereotypes with which homosexuals are faced every day seem to be fading into nothingness as more and more become active and credible politicians. I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, everyone. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see true equality in all forms in the near future. 

What are your thoughts about the article?

 

 

Per Volar Sunata

I apologize for not having blogged in a few days; it appears that my laptop has decided to only work when it feels like it. In other words: It’s probably acquired some sort of lethal virus that will destroy its three-and-a-half year old hard drive, which I guess is a pretty lengthy age for a Dell. Secretly, though, I am truly hoping it is dying a painful death because I have had  nothing but problems with it since the beginning, but more importantly: I really, really, really want to buy a MacBook Pro. I just hope this flimsy old Dell can make it through until I can afford to replace it.

That said, my blogs will now only come when I have access to my laptop. Despite my continuous Internet access via my parents’ desktop, there’s nothing like blogging from one’s own computer. It makes me feel independent, like I’m writing my own words instead with my own medium instead of the ridiculous notion that my parents might censor my words, even though I know they could care less about why I’m on their computer. So until this Dell finally dies (its cause of death more probably being thrown off a bridge than actually going kaput on me), I’m at a loss.

For some reason or another, too, because of the loss of my own computer, I’ve had a lot less motivation for productivity. Maybe it’s the feeling of sheer and utter loss and hopelessness at the prospect of being without a laptop (Dell or otherwise) for my final semester as an undergrad. I haven’t studied for the GRE in two or three — maybe even four! — days, but I have officially registered for it. (There went $80 spiraling down the toilet for a test that’s only required to be required. Fuck high-stakes, standardized testing. Fuck it in the ass. I apologize for my vulgar digression…) In any case, I’m really hoping that I can get a phenomenal writing sample conjured as well as amazing letters of recommendation, that way when I do horribly on the GRE, which is bound to happen as I’m a terrible test-taker, I’ll still have a chance of getting into the school I want.

I was looking at how quickly the summer has flown by, and how little of it remains, and I came to the disappointing realization that this summer was supposed to be about me making money so I could save up and have a financial cushion going into school. It didn’t happen. I see all the ones, fives, tens, and twenties going into my pocket after work and watch as they disappear into either my gas tank or bank account for my plethora of money-sucking bills. It’s just really disappointing knowing that I can never get ahead. It will happen, though, one day, and I will look back on all the financial hardships of watching my bank account be in the negatives more than the positives and watching every dollar I make go toward some sort of bill, and I’ll be thankful that I had to endure it. I’ll be thankful that I did not have someone to pay for everything. Pain and hardship build character, right? This neverending circle of hardships that I’ve become the locus of will, in the end, show me that I can endure anything, that I was…

…born to fly.

Michigan Sees More Openly Gay Politicians

Though Michigan continues to lack many legislative victories that are seen as important by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, the state is also seeing the rise of more openly gay elected officials on the local levels.

Read the full story here: http://michiganmessenger.com/50945/michigan-sees-more-out-gay-politicians