Thursday, June 19, 2008

Saying Goodbye

A couple of days ago I took off work and headed for Rhode Island; the place I went to college and the place where my heart feels at rest these days. I met a friend and we walked like 10 miles on the Newport Cliff Walk (ok, more like 2 miles but it felt like more). We drove around and looked at the houses, passed by beautiful picturesque scenes, talked about life and had some good laughs. Then we went to this river she knew of, and inlet to the Narragansett Bay. After a somewhat quick change in the car on the side of the road under the guise of a towel I was ready for swimming. Well, it was more like wading in the mud. After all the rain, the silt was all soft and I pretty much sank as I tried to walk in the waste deep water. I didn’t last too long there and we decided to go to the tide pools instead. The tide was coming in so I could swim around and find creatures. The water was a little chilly and I hyperventilated a bit (due to the cold and the initial idea of sharks and other creatures below). But it was a nice swim and more good conversation. Then dinner with some more friends at a favored watering hole. And then lying on a blanket on the quad…talking some more and drawing out the inevitable.

You see, my friend is leaving. She is beginning a new phase of her life. And for a change, I am not going anywhere.

I’ve said goodbye to friends and loved ones before but somehow it’s different when I am the one going away. There is a preparation ahead of time…a rehearsal in my mind of the last hug and kiss. And I can get use to the idea over and over again with each departing. Plus there is the excitement of change. But when someone else leaves there is no rehearsal. It’s a one-time deal. And a hard realization that I am staying and she is going. And although we will miss each other, moving on to good things is bitter sweet no matter who leaves.

It’s like when I move away to other countries. There are people I wish I could take with me and experience life with. And maybe they will visit for a few weeks (that never happens) but I always want to share those moments with people who are special to me. Which is probably why I write.

This friend of mine…we will keep in touch…talk on the phone…visit over breaks and someday, who knows, we may even live next door to each other. But for now, I am in CT and she is out in the big world and it was simply hard to say goodbye.

But life goes on…and I can count on that.

Today I left work early because I caught a cold/the plague. So I did some work at home…I took a nap (I love naps), I watched a movie, ate some good food, blew my nose a bunch, took a shower and drank lots of healthy tea (I love tea). Thank heavens I have AC. And I am certainly glad that all I have is a cold…because it could always be so much worse…

On that note…off to do some more work before bed and another early start tomorrow to do it all over again! Oh the routines in life!

Monday, June 16, 2008


As a kid I always liked a good maze! I had this ability to look at a maze and figure it out with relative ease and speed. It was soothing for me and a way to be engaged without blowing a gasket. Somewhere down the line I stopped doing them but I don't think I ever fell out of practice. I remember that once I finished the actual solution I would go over the maze again and see if there was another solution and if I was feeling really crafty I would make my own maze for someone to figure out.

Now as an adult I find that I am intrigued by the mazes that I come across in life. From the walking / meditative labyrinth, to the many options that one could chose to get to a certain destination, I always search for the alternative. A regular on "the road less traveled" I often find myself on adventures...sometimes spontaneous and always though provoking I enjoy taking the path that is different.

Now that it is summer, I take the long way to work on the back roads and even take random days off. Tomorrow I will go explore a new place and soon I will make some decisions in my life about those "next steps".

As I ponder what it is to follow a path or go off the beaten path I find myself looking at that maze and viewing all the possible options knowing that they are all "good and important". To some, a maze is daunting and uncomfortable just as change is difficult and often avoided. But sometimes stepping into the unknown is like watching David Bowie in a movie...a bit weird, so very interesting and oddly perfect.

(PS: please note that although I really stink at spelling, the word Labrynth / Labyrinth as two, if not multiple spellings. I had to look it up. Just like the time I had to look up the word program vs. programme which is the British spelling)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sweet Summer Sunday

Today I had a great summer (pre-summer) day with my friend...mi esposo (aka my work husband) Miguel. We went swimming in the pool at sweet authentic Mexican food (al pastor con pina rocks my world) and then we went to Diane's Pool which was pretty sweet. It's where the river runs in the woods and there are these little pools formed and some water falls and rapids and people swimming and sun bathing (in the nude). After the Pools, we got stuck in a thunderstorm with rain like Latin America and when it let up, we went bowling! Two games and Guelito beet me both times! Only once in a while I rock the bowling alley...namely on my birthday (yahoo for 5+ birthday celebrations in Salvador).

After I dropped Miguel off at his house I went home to cool off AGAIN and then I ate grapes and mangos and read!

This all equals one awesome day!

On a side goose now has FIVE babies. I don't know where the other two came from since the last "goose report". Plus, their soft down like feathers are almost gone and they have a black head/neck now! Ahhh the joys of nature!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Classic Conversations

Just the other day I had a brilliant conversation with a kindred spirit over a long lunch. As you may know, long conversations that really click are pretty much my favorite activity ever! I love sharing moments with people and exchanging ideas…not feeling like I have to hold my tongue and at the same time there are no feelings of judgment. I think that when people are comfortable with who they are and the process of life that they are engaging in, then even the heaviest versions of these conversations can take on a heartfelt form of mutual learning…keeping in mind that there is a base of trust and mutual reciprocity. I think that when you have people like that in your life they will not only hold you accountable, but also be open to the changes that occur inside them and in you. Because after all, we are all a work in progress…

At any rate, the conversation the other day was a nice melt of film and culture critiques mixed with a bit of real life with snippets of heart felt searching/sharing. To sum up, we talked about a recent South African lesbian film that we had seen as well as a shorter German film that preceded it. (

Now if you don’t know, June is Gay Pride Month and in CT there is a film festival. My friend and I talked about our pride activities, and the reoccurring themes within the film and the larger LGBT community. Maybe in a later blog I will go more in depth….but for now lets stick to this classic conversation. Now because neither one of us are “small talk” kind of people, critiquing these movies only went so far and eventually the real “stuff” in our life became our subject.

My friend had just finished a human sexuality class that she was taking for fun (I wondered how she even had the time). Throughout the semester we had visited different topics within the class but during lunch we talked about the larger idea of a “sexual revolution” that needs to take place.

I will just speak from my own thoughts and say that there is way too much judgment going on about “what” people do in the bedroom, in relationships and with their life in general. I will admit that I do not understand “why” people make certain decisions but I really do work on refraining from judgment, knowing that I am also scrutinized by others as well. This realization helps me feel more open towards people and their different ideas and I am more in a place of compassion and learning.

Now judgment is one of the reason why I think there needs to be a “sexual revolution”. I think that society has been operating under this status quo of how laws of attraction and sex should be. But the LGBT community doesn’t fit into that norm for so many reasons. I mean, even the marriage conversation aside, individuals in society make a big deal out of things that really shouldn’t bother them…but for some reason, they do. And for the record, this rigidity doesn’t just affect the LGBT community but even heterosexuals who live in a different paradigm and refuse to uphold the status quo.

I’m not going to pontificate any further on what I think this revolution might entail but I want to ask some questions to provoke thought….in you (and even I me).

Questions to ponder…
In this modern era of technology, are the people you meet on the Internet “real” relationships?
Is internet foreplay/sex real? Is it OK?
How do you feel about toys, props, outfits and theatrical roles? What about role reversal?
Is it ok to entertain thoughts or even flirt with someone you attracted to if you are married/committed?
What about open relationships? Are they OK?
What if the person you are attracted to is older…younger?
What if the person you are attracted to changes his/her gender?

Ok…I think you get the point. Now if you were engaged in the conversation that I had with my friend the other day then you might get my answer to some of these questions. And if you’ve known me for a while you might realize a change in thought, which is my larger point here.

In reality, I think people are in a process. Which is why I think the status quo really needs to be busted. There are a lot of people that who don’t want to challenge society, religion, self or partner…but there are a lot of us out there who base their life on the constant flow of change. I think being open to that change in you and in others is not only healthy but fulfilling.

Ok…enough that…lets update a previous blog about my geese babies.
So yesterday morning..there was mom, and babies like always. I got home from work and the mom goose was walking all over the place squawking but the babies were nowhere to be found! I was alarmed…thinking they had been killed…or goose napped by some suburban kid! But then today I got home from work and 3 babies are back (one missing). I’m confused…because these guys don’t fly yet. So where did they go and where is #4? hmmmm

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


A few weeks ago I had a rather large argument with my father. He opened a can of worms with me by bringing up a subject that he thought we felt the same way about. Yet it only took seconds for him to realize that his assumption was wrong. With tears streaming down my face I yelled at him as he continued to speak. I think he was caught so off guard that all he could say was, “I didn’t know this meant so much to you.”

Certainly, what we fought about still remains an intensely personal topic for me but the larger conversation and argument we had was probably even more heartbreaking. In some ways, the thing we argued about represented a handful of other personal issues that I am pretty sure he had no intention of surfacing…but it happened.

As I’ve mulled over this experience, I came to the desperate realization that my father is not who I perceive him to be. And in some ways I think this is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of a child’s life.

To realize that your parents are not who you want them to be is…tough. Especially when you have held them on a pedestal for so many years. As the man who raised me…through a lot of difficult times, he certainly deserves an award….but the picture I painted in my mind about him changed.

As children our parents mold us. I became a small clone of my father in some ways with subtle improvements here and there, mixed with the spunk, intelligence and creativity of my mother. But everyone knows, I am my father’s daughter.

But those “subtle” improvements are more like larger gaps in our relationship. As a result of societal changes, culture, the life I had growing up I now have a different outlook than my father ever will and maybe that is just the way it is going to be. Bur for someone like me…devout…loyal and generally optimistic…it’s hard to find bridges with such important issues.

As I’ve learned in life “learning to agree to disagree” is sometimes the best option. Accepting that people evolve at different paces is important to live. And realizing that you can’t change anyone is a difficult realization to put into practice.

My father is liberal, compassionate, caring, funny, open minded, faithful and loyal.

I am all of those things as well in a different generation. Let it suffice to be said that I evolved from the base that my father created but he didn’t necessarily follow too far behind.

As I write this, I realize how cryptic this really is. But I think the general theme is…I will always love my father unconditionally. And I am grateful that we can disagree on something and it doesn’t end our relationship. But disagreements and arguments of such degree chip away at our hearts…and these days I am more interested in “heart preservation” rather than defending why.

In the end, my father decided to go against what I thought was right even though he felt he was compromising. To fight him any more would have been the real self-sacrifice

Monday, June 02, 2008

Parent Orientation

Parent Orientation:

Today I had the lovely experience of mingling with parents of incoming freshman at the University of the Richest State in America. The experience was another of the many tasks one engages in if he/she works with college students. Nevertheless, representing the broad spectrum of Student Activities, my department, at such an affair is certainly noteworthy in the ebb and flow of summer college life. Which is probably why I jumped at the chance to get away from the office.

Dressed in my navy polo shirt (made in a Honduran sweat shop) with department emblem on the left side, and nametag on the right I became an extrovert for about 2 hours. I initiated conversations like: “How you doing? Is there any activity that your son or daughter is particularly interested in?”

This is usually followed by a few different responses…
1. Yes, my son/daughter will be doing sport _____________
2. Yes, my son/daughter does everything.
3. I have no idea…(a typical response for shell shocked, almost empty nested parents.)
4. Well, he/she is interested in a lot of things but he/she is here for the academics first. (My favorite response) which is usually followed by my comment “well we usually find that students who are involved with other things in college tend to be better students and manage their time more efficiently…” (Insert inside voice: “and they meet good people to party with later on…”)

At any rate, those are how the typical conversations went today. Except for one.

A father and mother walk up to our table and I greet them with the usual jovial attitude that you might find during the holiday season…something in between genuine and genuinely tired. The mother proceeds to glance at the array of pamphlets, printed in full color and a damn good waste of resources (not to mention the newly cleared land from the trees that the paper came from).

As the mother stuffs her bag with paper, the father engages me in conversation. “Our daughter is interested in sports (I can’t remember which one…my guess is rugby).” As I hand him the brochure about club sports he proceeds to lean in closer and ask, “do you have any rainbow alliances?” This is the cautious way of asking, “where are the gay people?”

Well, being the good informed employee that I am, I smile saying, “Oh yes, we have a very active Rainbow Center and several groups to chose from as well!” At which point the mother turns around to join the conversation that her husband prodded. I have now become cornered by two parents, who have created a small intimate circle with their bodies, lowering their heads to my level and their voices to match as they begin their assortment of questions about this said “rainbow group”.

The husband says something towards the effect, “we don’t want to intrude” which is code for “we don’t want to assume you are gay but…” at which point the wife stops him, points to me and says, “well obviously is (referring to me)”….meaning that yes, I am gay and obviously I know where the gays are.
(Note: at this point I am laughing out loud in my head and I even stop for a moment to wipe away the tear that is forming out of amusement or even excitement that these parents are taking such interest).

At any rate, I explain to these now rather relieved parents that this campus was once one of the most homophobic back 10 years ago when I was a freshman but today it has been rated as one of the most accepting and active for LGBT students. They were pleasantly surprised and asked why. I explained that it probably had something to do with hiring good, open people and creating excellent programming. They were so happy…like little country pigs in shit.

I went further to say that I myself asked about the level of acceptance on campus when interviewing for the job and was pleasantly surprised. I told them that I frequent the Rainbow Center often (they have a stellar library, DVD selection and award winning people) and that I would be happy to introduce their daughter, as I handed my business card over.

Let me tell you, they were so relieved as they walked away from our table. I even patted the father on the shoulder as he left, as if he was my own father.

Man, times have changed.

Now parents are asking these questions just like the students are. Kids are coming out earlier and they are choosing a college based on how accepting they are. How revolutionary!

Even though the whole encounter was really funny (I was so type cast for my role as Rainbow Center Ambassador) I was really glad I was there today.

I later commented to a coworker and Rainbow Center staff, that next time I will wear my “celebrate diversity” pin but for some reason my “inner butch” was shinning forth today. At which he commented “ ‘Inner Butch’???? Honey, it's showing on the outside with that swagger and short haircut!!!”

Ahhh…you just have to laugh. Gee it’s great to be gay! I so love my job...