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The Literary Exhibitionist

Even when your home is ravaged by war, there is always hope that there might be balloons.

-- CCII --

So Julie is trying to convince me to decide to stay in the chorus after June.

She totally understands my need to get the hell away from committees. For the record, being on the Board only or being on the ADC only wouldn't nearly as overwhelming to me; it's the attending a meeting for one committee or the other up to four times a month that's getting to me.

I suppose it should be noted that by the end of this month, although each committee will have had two of their own regularly scheduled meetings, I actually did not attend the first ADC one -- but it was because I was sick, so it's not like I was getting much of a break there. I would have preferred the meeting to that, actually. And besides, given the Board meeting we had during rehearsal last week, I will still have attended four meetings by month's end -- three Board and one ADC. Only Julie will be able to lay the same claim (having not been to the first Board meeting we had, but having been to the first ADC meeting). She hasn't been doing both committees for two years, though . . . yet.

Anyway, as I was saying, she agrees it would be best for me to get off committees, in any case. She's trying to convince me to "just sing," although she conceded that if I did that then I would still want to keep up the newsletter (which would far more than fulfill my obligation of at least two hours of volunteer time per concert prep period). Problem is, I'm still leaning in the direction of needing a break from the whole thing.

I have not yet made a firm decision, however.

The most significant contributing factor will be how involved I get in SIFF. I'm guessing that January is there biggest "downtime" month, and that must be why I haven't heard back from them yet; I plan to email them today to ask for confirmation that my volunteer form was received. That endeavor could go either way -- I could end up very heavily involved or it could go nowhere; I just don't know at this point. If it goes nowhere, then I might still sing (although I must stress the desire I have to actually watch an SLGC concert again). If I get heavily involved, I will probably take an indefinitely break from the chorus -- and whether "indefinite" means "a season or two" or "forever" remains to be seen. If my life needs a shift in focus then that's the way it is; if nothing comes of this SIFF idea then I guess it wasn't mean to be.

It should also be noted how dedicated I am to paying down my credit card debt, and remaining in the chorus is a bit of a road block there. $21 a month doesn't seem like much, but when you have a $7000 credit card debt and you think about the fact that $21 a month is $252 a year, you begin to think there might be a more useful place to put that money. I'm not comfortable with the waiver idea either, because technically I can actually afford the dues payments -- I just want to start funneling that money into my credit card. That $252 a year, by the way, is not to mention things like $10 for a gift for Wally here, $10 for a raffle basket there, $100 for retreat -- by the end of it all, we're talking upwards of $400 a year just to the maintenance of the chorus. $400 over 12 months isn't a lot to some people, but on my budget and with my debt, it makes a huge difference.

It's not that I have no desire to support the chorus, mind you. It's just that minimizing personal debt is, in fact, a little more important. And continuing to sing without making any such contributions would strike me as totally unfair to the chorus. I'm much more comfortable accepting other people being on waivers than me being on them at this point because other people probably need them more than I do. I don't talk about these things because I'm too poor (although that's certainly an element), but because my priorities have shifted.

Last night while we were walking over to the Rock Bottom Cafe, Matt asked me, "So how long will it take before I regret nominating myself for the ADC?" (There is an open position.) I told him he probably won't regret it -- as long as he doesn't read all the stuff I keep writing about how tired I am of it all. I'm quite confident his experience would be far different from mine, anyway: he's not on the Board. Besides, I rather hope he ends up on the ADC because he appears to have a decent amount of musical knowledge ("decent" meaning, in this case, a fair amount more than I do -- at least he can play piano).

-- CCII --

Ho-Fish Round Up!


Apparently several other people went out too, they just didn't join us. This was because HD rehearsed for a bit when the rest of the chorus was let go early, and the rest of us didn't want to wait another 25 minutes for them all. The people I knew who were not in HD but interested in going out were mostly people without cars, which was why I did not suggest the likes of Charlie's on Broadway, and when I asked Kristina if she had a preference she said, "Not Cheesecake Factory." So I suggested the Rock Bottom, and everyone else I spoke with (not including most HD members, as they were detained) was fine with that.

I quickly told Julie we were headed to the Rock Bottom, she said okay, and the four of us walked over. When Julie finally arrived, we found out that she was apparently asked to join the other group in spite of the fact that she'd already said she'd meet us. It would never occur to me to do something like that and I knew it wouldn't occur to Julie, either -- you don't do that to friends, say you'll meet them somewhere and then not show up. Why anyone would expect any such thing from her completely escapes me.

I happen to like the Rock Bottom because I can get a side of fries for two bucks. At the Cheesecake Factory it's more than double that. On the other hand, I've always liked the free bread at the Cheesecake Factory. I think people are getting a little too militant about this anyway.

Maybe it's time to decide we just want to eat wherever the hell we want to eat, and certain smaller groups of people can go wherever they want. Sometimes people don't come at all because they think the crowd is too large anyway.

The five of us had a rather nice time of it, in any case. Matt coined the term, "pisscentric," which was very exciting. It was in reference to me, actually -- "Your life has become very pisscentric," talking about Peng and his peeing on my bed. Fact of the matter is, though, Batty has vomited every day for a week now, so my life is not so much pisscentric as it is pukecentric. The piles of puke seem to be getting progressively smaller, though, so perhaps that's a good thing. Maybe soon he'll downgrade to mere retching.

Sometimes fewer is better, yo.

You know . . . I have a strange affection for using slang words as long as they are currently considered passe (yo). I thought of this yesterday when I saw an article on the Seattle P-I website about words that have overstayed their welcome. It also references Lake Superior University's banished words list, which includes the likes of "bling bling" and "metrosexual" (neither of which do I ever use). Gabe often uses words like these because of the kids he works with in Tacoma (his latest favorite phrase: hold up your left hand and say, "Talk to the left 'cause you ain't right"), and he has a particular fondness for "bling bling" (which once got Suzy to hang up on him because for some reason she thought it was some sort of lude sexual reference).

I have to admit I do use "lol" a lot in chat programs, although I doubt I use it the same way as most people -- I use it exclusively when I actually do laugh out loud, and I don't see the sense in repeatedly writing the phrase, "I'm laughing out loud!" Otherwise I don't do much abbreviating at all, actually (with the occasional exception of "brb").

For some reason, I have this excessive affection for continuing to use the word "yo" in a faux-ironic fashion, which probably always just sounds stupid. But I don't care, yo. I wonder if that was ever on their list? If so, it probably appeared a hell of a long time ago.

-- CCII --

-- CCII --

Naturally and as usual, Julie and I sat in her car in front of my building talking for a while after she drove me home. That was when she tried convincing me to stay in the chorus. She did say, "Who's going to be President of the Board for the next year and a half, and who will make sure you get your announcements?" (so I don't have to attend meetings in order to maintain the newsletter). That's not necessarily accurate, though: Julie is only President, technically, until June, when we elect new officers and then decide again who will hold what position. I'm not really expecting anyone to take her place that soon, but it the elections should still be kept in mind.

We do need to figure who the hell has terms ending this year. I know that both Amy #1 and I do, as we were both elected to two-year terms at the same time, in June 2002.

In other news, Julie also still thinks this is "the year" for me and actually getting a date (I told her I was on one date in 1999 and one in 2000, so I've got both decades covered so far). I've said this before and I'll say it again: being so androgynous puts me at a decided advantage. Gay men don't want someone who looks anything like a woman, and although the older I get the more (much to my disliking) masculine I get, I'm still pretty, you know, swishy -- and then there's the hair, the makeup, the fingernails, blah blah blah.

Gay men are attracted to men. And when it comes to what they are attracted to, I don't quite qualify.

Being so repressed, of course, simply compounds the problem. When I had dinner with Gina and Eric and Andy that night a couple days after Christmas, Gina was talking about how aggressive she had to be in her pursuit of Eric. By the sounds of it, Eric was just as clueless as I tend to be, and Gina had to be incredibly persistent. Sometimes I think my only hope is for some guy to take a liking to me and be the way Gina was with Eric. Chances are pretty slim there, but whatever.

One of these days I guess I'll have to grow some balls and take some definitive action of my own. Admitting a crush to someone in the fall of 2002 was a huge step, but it was at a point when I couldn't take it anymore and just knew I had to say something. I have yet to encounter that again, although I have seen potential for it in more areas than I might have otherwise expected.

My lack of action is clearly the biggest problem. I want a life-long partnership with someone. I want a marriage, I want a wedding, I want children. I want virtually everything a traditional man might want with a woman (or vice versa), the only difference being sexual, and to me sex would be nice but it's secondary. I want a romantic history with someone. But what have I done about it, really? For Christ's sake, I've never even been kissed.

Sometimes your past has a lot more direct hold over your present than you consistently lead yourself to believe. And I'm not sure much progress will ever be made on my part until someone comes up and clubs me over the head.

-- CCII --

I've witnessed enough to get a fair understanding of the way love tends to work between people. Gabe alone is a particularly good case study, at least for a decent human being who is sensitive (although Gabe has a history of being over-sensitive).

I have every confidence in the world that Stephanie is right for Gabe right now. And I have every hope that it's not just "right now," but always. Stephanie complements him in a way no other woman ever has. She softens him and makes him stronger all at once, and I think her presence in his life makes him a better person. In any event, he was a lot more annoying before he met her.

And they met because of me!

Someone needs to do me the same kind of favor, god damn it.

-- CCII --

EDIT: When the fuck will I learn that "pursuit" does not have an E in it? God damn it again!

Current Music: Rufus Wainwright, "Harvester of Hearts"

1 transmission complete or positive energy please