Meme of 2016

9 Dec

1 – What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before13321623_10208490502953986_1763097738809133880_n.jpg

+ Went on OKCupid dates, and continued seeing the first one I met for a couple months
+ Indoor rock climbing
+ Went to Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls, and Nova Scotia)
+ Attended a zouk congress
+ Danced in the spray of Niagara Falls
+ Rode on a party bus and danced on a pole
+ Demonstrated blues dancing in the middle of a restaurant–on two different trips
+ Lived out of one piece of luggage for over a month
+ Had a romantic getaway
+ Fulfilled someone’s boyhood fantasy13557665_10208771541059763_4680145626634309087_n
+ Fulfilled someone’s dream of going to NYC and played tourist
+ Introduced to a lover’s family
+ Sexting
+ Long distance relationship

+ Went to Germany (Frankfurt and Berlin), England (London), Italy (Venice, Milan, and Rome), and Spain (Barcelona and Figueres)
+ Visited the Vatican
+ Took a prohibited picture of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel
+ Stayed and danced in an 18th century Italian mansion
+ Danced in an Italian convent
+ Went sailing14292419_10209322498353351_1158685201466479023_n
+ Met a corgi in a top hat and bowtie
+ Sunbathed on a beach in October
+ Took a tango lesson… in Italian
+ Went to a flamenco show (and was moved to tears)
+ Took a train between countries
+ Visited the childhood home of Goethe
+ Visited the hometown of Salvador Dali
+ Ate gelato
+ Learned and spoke Italian (albeit VERY little)
+ Danced bachata
+ Danced at a show on a boat

2 – Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Having been dumped on 12/30/15 from a very unhappy relationship, I wasn’t in the mood to make NYE resolutions. I stayed in to marathon Luther and completely missed the countdown, and I was satisfied with that. However, for the rest of the year I was better about checking out when things got to be too much, and not kicking myself too much over it. I had to acknowledge that there are days when pushing yourself costs too much.14089110_1579338649036655_4572925902567329744_n.jpg

3 – Did anyone close to you give birth?

My friends Paul and Erin had their first child, Emilia Rose Tyler. I’ll be quite pleased to meet her when I can.

4 – Did anyone close to you die?

This year has been one of heartbreak. Who can be closer than the artists who have helped shape you and bring you joy? David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Sharon Jones, and more. http://www.syracuse.com/celebrity-news/index.ssf/2016/01/celebrity_deaths_in_2016_famous_photos.html

5 – What countries did you visit?13466392_10208628433242157_8437276448847291095_n

Canada (x3), Iceland (only for a flight transfer), Germany (x2), Austria (only passing through by train), Italy, England, Netherlands, and Spain.

6 – What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

More space on my phone. A camera.13116416_10208261108459267_4145213756399909951_o

7 – What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

So many to choose from… April Fool’s Day, I suppose. It was the last day of my job at Life Alive and other reasons.

8 – What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Making connections abroad. More importantly, finding travel companions and hosts.

9 – What was your biggest failure?

Budgeting.

10 – Did you suffer illness or injury?

I fell ill when I was in London, which put a damper on the week. Didn’t do much exploring as a result.

11 – What was the best thing you bought?

Passes to dance events around the world.

12 – Whose behavior merited celebration?13417403_10208612859972835_8120309392536517429_n

+ Claire, an amazing and generous roommate, travel buddy, and friend.
+ My mother for always having my back.
+ Julie, Amos, Laura, Karsten, Elisa, Will, Henry, Gareth, Gunnar, Ditta, Khaled, and so many others that hosted me, explored alongside me, and made me feel welcome.
+ Jose, Danielle, Dana, Carlos, Inna, Tommie, and the whole zouk crew for being so kind and instructive.13043409_10154181267454301_542222724599864266_n
+ Jen, Chooch, Steve, and all those that offered to lend me a hand in finding work.
+ Chad for his help during my time of unemployment.
+ Teddy for being so accommodating and supportive with my financial stressing.

13 – Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I had a fight with an ex. He was right to be upset with me and how I handled things, but it felt justified after everything.

Trump supporters.

14 – Where did most of your money go?

Travelling and dance events.13494861_10208673187160977_2243378479942314667_n

15 – What did you get really, really, really excited about?

EUROPE

16 – What song will always remind you of 2015?

Tonight You Belong to Me by Eddie Vedder

17 – Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?

Happier. Much, much happier. Even though the world around me is going to shit.

ii. thinner or fatter?

Don’t know. My mother pointed out that I’m getting more definition in my thighs and my ass is in better shape.

iii. richer or poorer?

I had to ask my mother to help cover my rent. Do not like.14233211_10209331096008287_4419500127111483242_n

18 – What do you wish you’d done more of?

Zouk dancing.

19  – What do you wish you’d done less of?

Mistakes with a financial impact. Losing my EUrail pass, failing to find subletter, failing to sell weekend dance pass to DJX/Dance Alchemy event, etc.

20 – How will you be spending Christmas?

Always the same. Christmas Eve with my paternal family, and Christmas Day with my mother.

21 – Did you fall in love in 2016?

Maybe a little. 🙂

22 – What was your favorite TV program?

Brooklyn 99 and Community helped when I wasn’t feeling well.

23 – Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

A bit.

24 – What was the best book you read?

City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff Vandermeer… It was the only book I read to completion this year. I’ve been slacking like whoa.

25 – What was your greatest musical discovery?13495130_10208730715239143_1447168170164929465_n.jpg

I really liked one of the DJs at Old World Recess. I think he was local to the location?

26 – What did you want and get?

A trip to Barcelona. I wasn’t going to do it at one point, but things happened and I did it.

27 – What did you want and not get?

More dance skirts.

28 – What was your favorite film of this year?

Guardians of the Galaxy or Deadpool.

29 – What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?13872864_10209058580395567_2489967966838344188_n

For my 31st birthday, I spent nine days in Nova Scotia to indulge in a summer romance. On the day of my birthday, we had breakfast in the B&B his father had booked for us, went raspberry picking, drove around to visit various destinations, and had ramen for dinner.

30 – What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Bernie Sanders winning the election.

31 – How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Can I dance in this?13913547_10154416544942888_7113213928955111861_o.jpg

32 – What kept you sane?

Dancing, though it’s gotten to the point where I bring it up so often that I question that.

33 – Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ryan Reynolds for being a saucy li’l minx. Seriously, they did a marvelous job promoting Deadpool. Elizabeth Warren for being badass. Obama/Biden, bromance for the ages.

34 – What political issue stirred you the most?

So many awful things going on this year, but I’m afraid the election makes me fear of what’s to come.

35 – Who did you miss?

I thought a lot about what it would have been like to have Amos accompany me while I was in Europe. Especially Venice.13528791_10157124980540083_703539390167367459_n

36 – Who was the best new person you met?

I don’t want to pick one, so I’m doing this my way…
+ Elisa! She proved herself to be a delightful person during our time in Bergamo, and I can’t imagine my week in Barcelona would have been as fun without her.
15094296_10209934819580999_227022504742781649_n.jpg+ Amos! The first dance weekend I had gone to had been hard on me, so it came as some surprise that my second one would be such a different experience. On my first night in Montreal I was immediately enthralled in what would evolve into a summer romance. We were both aware it would be short-lived due to being in different places in our lives… and countries, but I am grateful for a very special summer and a connection that continues to thrive in another capacity.
+ Teddy! What can I even say? Though there was something of a month-long hiccup at the start, I am thrilled that we got past all that because I have been incredibly happy on a personal level since then. I feel like I’ve found something I’ve been wanting for a long time.

37 – Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

If you’re very forthcoming about your feelings and concerns, you’re going to find out very quickly who actually gives a damn. That and indefinitely long distance relationships are largely built on pretending. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; just remain cognizant of it.

38 – Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

There have been so many different stages this year that I honestly can’t think of a song to sum up the magic, grief, joy, worry, adoration, and betrayal of this year. If there is one, it probably doesn’t have lyrics.
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Meme of 2015

3 Jan

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
10152528_10205291387618102_3859241543457454398_n

+ Dyed my hair pink, purple, and blue.
+ Bleached my hair.
+ Went to San Francisco.
+ Napped under a palm tree.
+ Dated someone I met on a train on a whim.
+ Attended an air guitar competition.
+ Attended a swordsmanship lesson.
10991176_10205163178252948_7572382741700305640_n (1)+ Skinny dipping.
+ Rode a bicycle through the city.
+ Ran topless on a public beach.
+ I was dumped!
+ Ate pig heart. Off of an arrow.
+ Went to a burn–Playa del Fuego.
+ A roughly 72-hour cuddle session.
+ Enjoyed the revelation that is waffles and fried chicken.
+ A little experimenting with certain forms of intimacy.
10984543_10206144528151974_1977732487089920418_o.jpg+ Danced Brazilian zouk.
+ Danced kizomba.
+ Went to Philadelphia.
+ Enjoyed a spa day.
+ Attended a dance workshop weekend.
+ Tried kombucha.
+ Worked in a restaurant.
+ Watched someone get trained to be a pony. (Thanks Kinky Tiki Camp!)
+ Attended a kinky sex party of sorts. (So grateful to be in a community where I am included in events but feel no pressure to participate.)
+ Rode on a motorcycle across a bridge, and an iconic one at that.
+ Was an unrepentant jackass and went on overlapping dates.
+ Froze on stage and forgot my speech–Eek!
+ Attended a ballet lesson. (I want to do more but Thursdays are hard!)
+ Hosted a concert.
+ Hosted clothing swaps.
+ Went caroling. For reals.
+ Attended a handfasting.

11063781_10205911654044375_6122047245615619664_o2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

“Be bold” has been something of an intermittent mantra this year. I wanted to push myself to be a little more outgoing in certain ways. That kind of fell apart over the summer, but then I got bitten by the dance bug and my focus shifted.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

More babies, but no one terribly close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, but I was surprised to learn how closely tied one guy was to my family. I had no idea until I was *at* his funeral.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just my own. Sorry, Canada. Next year.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

My living room media equipment to be set up in a convenient fashion.

7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

There is no single date that stands out in my mind. There were a handful of days that involved great shock and/or hurt, and I connect them more with the events than the dates anyway.

11745851_869525866468635_559619840101720899_n8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Pushing past my partner dancing anxiety.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not making healthy decisions in light of stressful situations.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing noteworthy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Sennheiser headphones!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

+ Jen for helping me find a job and being amazing in general.
+ Ron Hod for PDF and other randomness.
11393113_10205941005338139_6283202154527829890_n.jpg+ My brother, always.

+ Clayton for inadvertently helping me push myself to pursue things that had always been of interest to me.
+ Ciaran for mounting the mirrors at Fanari Inn.
+ Claire, Ari, Dimitri, Dillon, Lisa, David, Jeff, Kelsey, Dmitri, Chris, Bun-Hong, Naavah, Steve, Ron, and everyone who helped host and/or chauffeur me.
+ Claire for facilitating many dance nights.
+ All the people who have taken the time to give me pointers while on the dance floor.

I feel like I’m forgetting a ton of stuff. My friends are so kind to me!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Mostly certain members of my family, but also Adrian to an extent.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Travelling.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

New headphones. Learning new stuff.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Maybe not the year, but a certain moment…. Jealous Guy by Hurray for the Riff Raff will now remind me of sharing a laugh with Adrian as we’re breaking up. Not that the message was entirely on point, but because we heard, “I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m sorry that I made you cry. I didn’t want to hurt you,” in the midst of our talk.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • happier or sadder?

Ended on about a similar sad note.

  • thinner or fatter?

Thinner, apparently. I didn’t really believe Betu when he mentioned it until I tried on some clothes I haven’t worn since earlier in the year.

  • richer or poorer?

I took a hit being unemployed for 5 months this year.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Dancing. Always. Reading, too.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Neglecting my sleep schedule.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I usually spend Christmas Eve with my paternal family and Christmas Day with my mother. Very chill.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?

With Steven Universe! A part of my wishes I had started it sooner to help combat the doldrums of summer, but it was also terribly helpful when I did get around to it. So lighthearted and charming!

22. What was your favorite TV program?

See previous answer.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. Actually, I’ve warmed up a little to some people that had previously made me wary.

24. What was the best book you read?

I’m not a terribly fast reader, especially as I like to savor, but I’ve definitely been neglecting my reading these past couple years. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik was a delight, though.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I went without new music for several months, needing something familiar and comfortable. There are a several new artists that I’ve been introduced to but none that truly stuck out to me. However, I did get Stop, I’m Already Dead by Deadboy & the Elephantmen stuck in my head for a significant time.

26. What did you want and get?

Headphones!

27. What did you want and not get?

A book and ice cream tour in Toronto.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Skin I Live In — what a mindfuck! Don’t read ANYTHING about it before you watch.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

For my 30th birthday, I bounced between parties and then settled at the one I hosted at my place. There was dancing, food, and many cuddles. Not bad and certainly reflective of the indecision I had been wrestling with all year.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not to have spent my summer feeling like an exposed nerve?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Colorful!

11016822_10205216125696601_496747742100965153_n32. What kept you sane?

Running away and distracting myself. Thank you for facilitating this, friends!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Fancy the most…? Hmmm. I’m drawing a blank.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

More fucking shootings.

35. Who did you miss?

Largely my older friends, so I was pleased to get to spend time with some of them this year. It has been a year of extremes in terms of loneliness and connection.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

My roommate Claire! Even if that came about in an odd way.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.

Enough. Your time is your own. No one is entitled to it without your say.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“Can’t go home alone again; need someone to numb the pain.” – Habit by Tove Lo

Speaking of pushing myself, I’ve dated more in the past two years than I have ever before, though that’s not saying much. I feel that I am terribly far behind in my experiences. Not just in the sexual realm, but simply being in a partnership and developing communication. I fear becoming stagnant more than loneliness. I am very familiar with loneliness and I don’t know if it could serve me any further purpose.

Meme of 2014

3 Dec

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?kayak

  • Dressed as a flapper
  • Sat on a panel at Arisia
  • Hosted a symposium
  • Visited a naval shipyard
  • Kayaking
  • Multi-day roadtrip in a RV
  • Brought two dates to a wedding! (Almost to two weddings, too!)
  • Visited Los Angeles/California
  • Visited the Pacific Ocean
    phd
  • Visited Virginia Beach
  • Hung out in Dr. Horrible’s laboratory
  • Was a “groomsman” in a wedding
  • Tried scallops
  • Tried shrimp
  • Climbed a working lighthouse
  • Asked someone out for a first date
  • Flew on an airplane by myself
  • Dogsat
  • Fainted
  • Rode in an ambulancehorse
  • Wore false eyelashes
  • Received a horse riding lesson
  • Saw Louis CK
  • Hosted a cuddle party
  • Attended a blues dancing lesson
  • Attended a swing dancing lesson
  • Swam in a rooftop pool
  • Photo-scavenger hunt
  • Visited Central Park/Guggenheimpool
  • Sleep No More (and took one of the actors out to dinner [read: 3am hot dogs] afterward)
  • Helped patch up a hot air balloon
  • Found an optometrist on my own (For someone just shy of 30yo, I’ve been ridiculously spoiled.)
  • Is it still considered hitchhiking if you technically spoke to the driver online first?

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I wanted to be more open and present. I’ve been getting better at communicating what I’m feeling, more honestly.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

So. Many. Babies. And there are a few more that we’re expecting very, very soon.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Two uncles passed and one acquainta-friend from back home with whom I had a connection through shared grief.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just some of the USA. 🙂

cali

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Hmmm… There’s not much that I wanted and didn’t get for myself… Probably a sleeping pad for camping?

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I can’t say that one date in particular would stand out in my mind over the others as a lot went down this year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I managed to get to every important event I said I would attend, no matter what wrench was thrown in my plans. Fuck yeah.

paul wed 2

9. What was your biggest failure?

Nope. Sorry, I’m counting it all as a win. =P

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Weird fainting spell at the end of July. Best guess is that I may have been pushing myself and not eating enough. (The shirt will only make sense to Fanari Denizens.)

faint

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Disregarding all the tickets that lead to amazing things, I’m most happy about getting a projector. What a great way to bring people together.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

  • My brother, Mike-a-Don. ❤
    donny
  • Fiona, Sparr, and Steve for all the rides.
  • Sara for allowing me to vent.
  • Kel for dropping everything to fly out to CA to attend a stranger’s wedding with me.
  • Danielle and Mika for dropping everything with one day’s notice to drive out to VA to not only attend a stranger’s wedding with me, but hang out with the family and friends for a few days. #topsnobottoms
    fun table 2
  • Aviva, Ben, John, Steffy, Paul, Erin, Danielle’s aunt and uncle, Shannon, Dustin, Ray, Dillon, and Lisa for their hospitality and friendship.
    tim fae steffaviva
  • John for introducing me to Kel and also accompanying me on the Californian adventure. I still can’t believe he actually went up to the mountains with us for the wedding–Sorry Paul and Erin!–thus putting himself in an even more awkward position than Kel as the uninvited guest spending the weekend with strangers (Kel and John handled it beautifully). I was pleased and grateful, my friend. Again, thank you for your hospitality, friendship, and affection.
    dill
  • Ronny for driving to and from NYC so that I could spend the 4th of July weekend with my friends.
    nyc
  • Me, actually. I’m rather proud of myself for the lengths I went to to ensure that I got to be there for my long distance friends. Not to mention the fact that three days before boarding a plane, I had sewn my own dress for Paul’s wedding in a day (while a good portion of my friends were at Debauchery, might I add) after I failed to procure one (several times over–fuck you very much, online shopping) in the month I had to prepare. I’m totally willing to give myself a pat on the back.
    poles 3
  • Thank you for letting me borrow your sewing machine, Dmitri. It was super helpful. 😉
  • Edison for his kindness and generosity.
  • David, Marianne, Russell, Karen, and everyone involved in the multi-birthday extravaganza.
  • Ari and Naavah for their many kindnesses and easy-going nature.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Katrina, Steffy, Natalia, Sparr, Dmitri, Kelsey, David, Jeff, Ronny, Fiona, Aaron, John, Magpie, Christian, and Jess. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID! My father, Adrian, and ummm… one other that I feel too foolish to even name.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Traveling and Sulu.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Valentine’s Weekend with the Wolfpack, the Californian wedding, the Virginian wedding, Dimitri and Julka’s visit, my birthday, Louis CK, and Fanari Inn Presents…
hedwig

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

The soundtrack of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?

This year had many ups and downs, but definitely sadder overall.

ii. thinner or fatter?

I’m just going to remove this question from now on as I generally maintain.

iii. richer or poorer?

Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being late to work.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I am assuming that I will spend Xmas Eve with my paternal family and Christmas Day with Sulu and company. I’ll go to the Darmans’ at some point and hopefully enjoy a soak in a hot tub with friends. 🙂

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

They didn’t allow pictures to be taken at the show, so you’ll just have to imagine Neil Patrick Harris in nothing but hot pants and sweat.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I watched a decent amount of television this year thanks to Netflix! Favorite, though? Archer, perhaps.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No.

24. What was the best book you read?

Daaaaamn. Um um um… The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Glass Animals and Wet. (Thank you, Justin and Marianne.)

26. What did you want and get?

I got pretty much everything I wanted, for better or worse.

27. What did you want and not get?

A python. 😦

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Lars von Trier won my heart all over again this year. Antichrist was delightful and Nymphomaniac was quite thought-provoking.*

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

  • Brunch with my roommates.
  • Ignite! A fire and street food festival.
  • Lovely party at MiniBaD with a dance space in the basement and a cuddle puddle on the roof.
  • Cuddles and pastries with a visiting Canadian friend.

I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth. 😉

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More time off to spend out of state. I need to get back to California!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Second hand. Also, self-made, bitches!
dress 2

32. What kept you sane?

My community.

community

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Please see #21.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Ferguson.

35. Who did you miss?

Please see #13.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I met this woman at a New Year’s Eve party. We had this one great, intense conversation where we really seemed to click, and the next thing I know she’s swooping in to my rescue. I mean, this lady– THIS LADY! With a month’s notice, she volunteered to fly across the country, play chauffeur, and share a cabin with two complete stranger’s and their families through a weekend and wedding… for a woman she barely knew. Thank you, Kel! You’re a goddess and an indispensable friend. ❤ I don’t want to fathom what this year would have looked like without you by my side.

fig kel

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Asking can be a form of giving as well.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“I don’t wanna play anymore, thank you. Not here, not now, maybe never again. It’s hard when it hurts and you have to say it doesn’t. You don’t have to say it doesn’t.” – Pool Party Fun by Born Ruffians

*SPOILER ALERT FOR NYMPHOMANIAC – DO NOT READ FURTHER

Is it safe?

Okay, so I enjoyed Volume I more than Volume II. I just liked the way that it was put together, and how Seligman had illustrated the similarities of Joe’s methods to fly fishing. It was beautifully done. However, it was Volume II that branched out to more “deviant” sexual appetites than promiscuity, which is more likely to stir conversation among my friends. Not only did it mention pedophilia (and in a sympathetic light, which happens… never), but also asexuality and rape. Yes, something of a big reveal is that Seligman identifies as asexual, so it was a surprise that he would attempt to rape Joe.

As an asexual, you’d think that this would be a cause for concern, but the ending was my favorite part of Volume II all together. Why? Because it illustrates that rape is not about sexual appetite. Seligman identifies as asexual; he wasn’t consumed by lust when he slipped into Joe’s room as she slept. He smiled at Joe kindly as if to reassure her, “it’s only me,” when she awoke. It. Wasn’t. About. The. Sex. It’s about privilege and power.

Seligman didn’t understand how Joe could sleep with thousands of men and yet deny him. He didn’t see that it’s her choice. He saw a woman who didn’t value herself, and so what was it to her if he did as he pleased? Hell, he probably thought he was better and therefore more deserving of this chance to experiment because he cared for her.

Yes, it is far too likely that this could be read the wrong way, demonizing asexuals as unfeeling robots or devaluing sex. Only… I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as a very human act. And while we’re at it, it also demonstrates that being an asexual doesn’t make us castrated.

Meme of 2013

31 Dec

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

+ Went to Chicago.
Image
+ Attended a multi-day music festival. (I don’t count things like Solarfest.)
+ Went on a multi-day road trip with friends.
+ Stayed in a hostel.
Image
+ Picked up a hitchhiker (and their dog).
+ Attended an educational class paid for by my company.
+ Attended a yoga class.
+ Attended a kung fu class.
+ Moved in with a virtual stranger.
+ Lived without a single family member.
+ Snuggled with a boy in my bed. I honestly don’t know how that has never come about before. I mean, I’ve snuggled with a boy in my parents’ bed, but not my own? However, there was about four years that I didn’t even have a bed, so… there’s that. Girls,on the other hand… old hat.
+ Featured on the cover of a newspaper.
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+ Made an out-of-state trip for the sole purpose of seeing a play.
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+ Made a planned out-of-state trip for the sole purpose of seeing a play with the Wolfpack, and no one flaked. o_O
+ Made sushi.
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+ Hosted a housewarming party.
+ Decided to do something that ALL of my friends that knew me best thought was a terrible idea.
+ Wore rope bondage.
+ I Skyped for the first time ever! I felt like a Jetson! And then it became something of a regular thing, so I suppose I then *truly* felt like a Jetson.
+ Had a meeting over Google Chat.
+ Designed and crafted office decorations.
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+ Worked in an office until 11pm (and nearly had a panic attack).
+ Ate a (chicken’s) heart.
+ Saw skinned bodies on display.
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2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

This year was about impulsiveness, so why not make important life decisions on the fly? It’s been phenomenal so far.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Heather gave birth to her son, Jacob.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandmother passed away this July. She was 96 years old.
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5. What countries did you visit?

We were right there by the Canadian border, but I was the only one carrying a passport. I may still be a little sour about that.
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6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A television or projector would be nice. I want to host movie nights, damn it!

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 6th, when we buried Marie.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Moving?

9. What was your biggest failure?

Reading. I did so little this year! I think it’s a combination of the lifestyle changes and new position at work.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I could say the Pitchfork tickets or the Hedwig and the Angry Inch tickets, but… Pat C.’s couch!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

+ My brother, Mike-a-Don, for always, always, always being there.
+ Tim J. and Alex H. for entertaining/distracting me when Steffy and Marianne were in the hospital.
+ Marianne for being there for Steffy.
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+ Charlie Joe for keeping strong, and Patrice for her own strength.
+ Steve W. for being so generous.
+ Steve A. and the Atherton House crew for continuing to be as generous and amazing as ever.
+ The Wolfpack, just for being them.
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+ Thomas for being such a good and reliable friend.
+ Steve A., Gian, Julie, Maddie, Nick, Jeff I., Pat C., Ari T., and Naavah for helping me move my things.
+ Katrina, Steve A., Steve W., Adrian, Brit, Marianne, Steffy, Sara B., Rick N., Corey H., Gian, David D., Sparr, Laa, Dio, Dana F., Stephanie S., Aaron G., Gram, Fiona, Peter O., Jesse S., Emily C., James P., Lisa H., Jeffrey S., Michael L., Jeanne, Ari T., Jon B., Naavah, Charlie W., Joshua R., Zach, Jared F., Kas, Karena, Joan, Heather S., Chris A., Drew, Craig, Dana D., Julia G., Pat R., JJ, Rachel D., Rob D., Kiran, Katie B., and anyone else that has sheltered, fed, driven, or helped me this past year. Thank you, thank, you, thank you. I’m not sure how I could make it from day to day without your unceasing kindness.
+ The New England Aces for all they did in putting together Asexual Awareness Week.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I’d rather not stir the pot any further.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Moving to a new apartment.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Pitchfork. Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Sarah Kane plays cropping up EVERYWHERE.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Royals by Lorde, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, and It’ll Do by Rachel Yamagata.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?

Happier. I didn’t know it was possible, but you sure do know how to treat a girl well, folks.

ii. thinner or fatter?

*shrugs*

iii. richer or poorer?

Poorer, even with the promotion and raise. I’ve spent so much money this year. :/

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Reading! I have been slacking off like whoa this year. Very unlike me.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Not getting into work until after 9am.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I went back to my hometown for Christmas Eve. It was good but uneventful until afterward when Donny rushed us back to Grandma’s house to give Rob a hand in proposing to his girlfriend Jess. Congratulations, you two.

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21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Every time I hear Darkside’s album Psychic, I’m projected to an astral plane of aural ecstasy.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I hadn’t been watching anything regularly until Sara and Steffy sat me down to watch Orange is the New Black. I’m almost done and it has been entertaining.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate is a strong word. There are a couple that I am wary of.

24. What was the best book you read?

*sighs*

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I will give you Ólafur Arnalds because we literally did just happen upon him playing in Millennium Park. It was beautiful.
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26. What did you want and get?

A shorter commute to work and social life.

27. What did you want and not get?

Didn’t get to meet up with Paul or Shannon while they were visiting.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I had a great deal of fun watching the Cornetto Trilogy.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

A.) Went out to dinner with Steve and Rachel. Afterward, we met up with Gian for ice cream, and then the lot of us met up with more friends and danced.
B.) I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth. 🙂

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More restful sleep.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Umm… More skirts?

32. What kept you sane?

The Wolfpack, funnily enough.
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33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

No one comes to mind off the bat. Except Stephen Fry. We’re going to be best friends one day. It’ll happen. Just you wait.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Ugh. Nope. Not gonna do it. Moving on.

35. Who did you miss?

When my grandmother passed away, I wanted to be with my family something fierce. It was almost a physical ache.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

What an unfair question! This year has featured a number of new people in my life that have been so lovely and warm! Natalia not only indulges my love of creepy movies but shares it. I may be a little in love with Justin for his taste in music. Sparr, Jamie, Corey, Joshua, Zach, Aviva, and many others have been a delight to get to know with quite interesting conversations. And it would be remiss of me not to mention the lovely and cuddlesome Adrian who has given me further reason for introspection.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

It may be a mistake, but it’s still yours to make. And you never necessarily know where it’ll take you; either right away or later on down the road.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Wooooooorking is NO PROBLEM! Just as long as I keep my MIND! — Working is No Problem by Pylon

Definition

19 Jun

I’ve been listening to some talks by David Jay, and he brought up a problem of which I am guilty:

There’s something, actually, that kind of makes me a little bit depressed or down or upset about seeing asexual people talk about relationships like we don’t get to have them. Like, I saw a lot of people this week sort of being like, “I’ve never really been in a relationship. I don’t know if that’s what I want, and I guess I’m okay with that.” And I think that that’s really doing ourselves a disservice because what we’re doing there is taking someone else’s definition of a romantic relationship and accepting it, and saying, “Look, that definition over there– That definition of traditional romance– I don’t want that so I’m gonna not really spend any time or energy thinking about it.” I think that’s the wrong thing to do. I think we have to– Rather than focusing on what we don’t want, we have to focus on what we do want. We have to focus on how to define the kinds of relationships that we’re looking for and then talk about how to explore them and how to build them and create them.

The problem is that I don’t have a clear idea of what I want, and some of things that I do want can be at odds with one another or my own habits, so I’ve been falling back on utter disinterest as a default because it’s a simpler explanation and it really isn’t a priority to me. However, David is absolutely right to say that doing so is a disservice. Not only does it close doors for potential explorations of romance in my life, but it limits other people’s understanding.

So, what do I want?

I know I want to be involved in a tight-knit group of friends, even though I often struggle to maintain the necessary level of consistency of presence.

I know I want the sort of companionship I have long since held with my brother in that one never has to ask the other to accompany them to a funeral or family function, only extending further to include couple-associated events like weddings, company parties, couple outings, etc.

I know I want to be affectionate with my friends, but I cannot offer the same level of affection toward everyone and I have very little understanding of how this works. (For example, I could comfortably spoon with Fiona, Steve, or Muff, but it would be weird to do the same with Dillon, Pat, or Cathy.) Some people I feel instantly at ease with, and others may require more familiarity and/or expressed boundaries of what is and what is not permissible. Sometimes that takes years and other times I never reach that level of comfort.

I know I want to share a home with someone I can talk to about my day or some article I came across, even if they tune most of it out. I know they tolerate it because sometimes I need that outlet and I do the same for them.

I know I want someone who can remind me not to eat the same thing every day because I find planning, preparing, and eating meals day after day to be a ridiculous hassle.

I know I want the sort of home (and relationships) where friends can come and go as they please.

I know I want each of us to have one room for our use alone. I’m just not yet sure if I want them to be bedrooms, like my grandparent’s had done.

To be continued upon further reflection… but I’d like to know what you want from your relationships, and how you’d define a romantic one.

Please Forgive the Self Indulgence

6 Jun

Sulu and I were discussing all the bands we’ve each seen in concert, and I had a lot of difficulty thinking back on my concert history. I was surprised by this and it kind of bothered me, so here’s an incomplete list I came up with in the last half hour:

…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
30 Seconds to Mars
A Perfect Circle
Active Child
Adult.
Atreyu
Audioslave
Belle & Sebastian
Björk
Black Label Society
Black Sabbath
Blood Orange
The Books
Born Ruffians
Break Horses
The Breeders
Burning Brides
Bury Your Dead
Chairlift
Cradle of Filth
Crazy Town
Deftones
Devildriver
DeVotchKa
DILYSI
Dimmu Borgir
Dir En Gray
The Distillers
Disturbed
The Donnas
Dresden Dolls
Drowning Pool
The Duke Spirit
El-P
Elizabeth & the Catapult
Evanescence
Faun Fables
Fleet Foxes
Flyleaf
Foxygen
Garbage
God Forbid
The Great Ak
Green Day
Guster
H2O
Hatebreed
Hot Chip
Incubus
Jane’s Addiction
Joanna Newsom
Judas Priest
Jurassic 5
Killswitch Engage
Kings of Leon
Kishi Bashi
Korn
Queens of the Stone Age
Lacuna Coil
Lamb of God
Lil B
Linkin Park
Liquid Shadow
M83
Mac DeMarco
Marilyn Manson
Mechandise
MIA
Mudvayne
New Found Glory
No Doubt
Nonpoint
Otep
Ozzy Osbourne
Papa Roach
Phosphorescent
Rubblebucket
Savages
Scarecrow Hill
Sevendust
Sky Ferreira
Slayer
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Slipknot
Solange (overheard but no direct view)
Stone Sour
Taproot
Throwdown
Toro Y Moi
Trivium
Tsunami Bomb
TV on the Radio
Twisted Method
The Used
Waxahatchee
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yo La Tengo

Meme of 2012

12 Dec

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

  • Spoke at a public Q&A.
  • Dressed as a zombie.
  • CANstruction.
  • Attended a bachelorette party. (Not my first drag show, though.)
  • Visited the Met.
  • Danced and cartwheeled in a public fountain and through the city streets (in Boston and NYC).
  • Shaved my head.
  • After years of foiled attempts, I finally attended the Pride Parade.
  • Went to a restaurant with the express purpose of eating by myself.
  • Attended an asexual meet-up.
    bald

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I could never be bothered with that tradition.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No one close enough that I felt compelled to visit them in the hospital.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Despite their sometimes reckless behavior, everyone is accounted for.

5. What countries did you visit?
This question always depresses me. I never left the country, but I did manage a trip or two out of the state. I would love to visit a foreign country, but I have other priorities.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
I have a job and a bed again. What more could I ask for? A house, perhaps? I doubt that’ll happen in a year’s time.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 27, 2012, the wedding of my friends Dillon and Lisa. That whole week was something special. It was really great to have so many old friends coming together, either for the wedding itself or to greet returning friends.

wedding

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I found our new apartment! However, maybe that’s really a win for Michelle since I had to recruit her when no one responded to my attempts of contact… Okay, I repeatedly threw myself into situations where I would be well out of my comfort zone, and with an overall positive result.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hookey Day. Man, did I drop the ball on that one. I’ll have to try again, but hopefully with a concerted effort from friends. Actually, I think we should have Hookey Day at least once a year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I missed out on the annual Mt. Washington hike due to an ear infection. I must have picked it up from that trip to Revere Beach. I couldn’t hear out of my left ear for days.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Xbox 360? Oh gaming consoles, it’s been so long!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

  • Thomas has been hospitable and wonderful all year, even though he has faced some hardships.
  • I would have been very disappointed with Dimitri if he had missed Dillon’s wedding, but he made it out from Poland all right.
  • Brendan and Demi for getting hitched and throwing an awesome wedding. In fact, pretty much every event they put together has been Good Times. Thanks again for hosting Friendsgiving, guys!
  • My brother for his unceasing help and support. What would I do without him?
  • Jeffrey, Pat, Corey, Sean, John, Roger, and Emily for being such sports.

Brendan & Demi Harvey from Rising Dog on Vimeo.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Avoiding the more personal what-the-fuckery that I cannot comment on directly… Several Republicans for the asinine comments we had been bombarded with all year. This has been par for the course, but what was up with their attitude toward women’s rights? Why the preoccupation with establishing second class citizens?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Moving to a new apartment.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Did I mention Dillon and Lisa getting married? Because that was a thing that happened. Plus all the hanging out that accompanied the event.

fire

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Gangha– *ahem* Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Happier. For the most part, this year has been a high note.

ii. thinner or fatter?
Same size as far as I can tell.

iii. richer or poorer?
Poorer, but with potential for a richer future.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Proper planning. I *know* it’s a thing. People do it all the time! For example, I could have handled the NYC trip better than I did.

ddp nyc

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I’m pretty satisfied with how I’ve done things this year. I can be easily overwhelmed by crowds, but I made an effort and I think things went pretty well. I’m glad that I pushed myself, and I’m even more grateful for all those that made me feel welcome. I’m always wary of putting others at an imposition.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Outside of Christmas Eve with the Karklins, there’s nothing else planned. I probably won’t be making rounds with my brother, so I’ll likely sleep in and watch movies with Sulu.

tree

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Oh yes. I’d steal her away, but I don’t think Thomas’s roommate would be pleased.
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22. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family has been a solid show? I really do need to catch up on QI, though.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Pretty much any fool who opened their mouth to spout ridiculous nonsense about their views on women’s rights and left out the WOMEN’S RIGHTS part.

24. What was the best book you read?
I can understand how some may feel that House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is a pretentious book. It’s convoluted in every sense and therefore not the most approachable, but that’s precisely why I picked it up. I thoroughly enjoyed puzzling it out.

On the other hand, I fell in love with Catherynne M. Valente’s The Habitation of the Blessed. The world she created was so rich and immersed with the fantastical; plus it’s not everyday that I ponder physics while reading fantasy. Reading its sequel, The Folded World, was like placing a heavy stone over my heart for it’s clearly the beginning of the end. I do not look forward to the final book in the trilogy, but I know there’s no way I could do without it.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Well, I’ve been very active in sharing music this past year, but mostly I’ve been obsessing over great cover songs. It’s all thanks to turntable.fm.

26. What did you want and get?
An apartment with better access to the city… with a bedroom for moi!

27. What did you want and not get?
I can’t think of anything, so I must be spoiled.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
There’s no one movie that stands out to me, but rather a collection of great movie moments: When Albert and friend wear dresses and they’re visibly uncomfortable in Albert Nobbs, the best “sex scene” I have ever seen (courtesy of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) in Crazy, Stupid, Love,  and Tom Hardy’s voice in The Dark Knight Rises (not to mention Anne Hathaway as the best Catwoman in Hollywood ever).

dress

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went to Excess on August 8th, so I was dancing when midnight struck. Also, Sulu made me chocolate cupcakes. I am now 27 years of age.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If the summer never ended? That would have been ideal. Not that this autumn hasn’t been just as packed with happenings, but… this summer rocked on so many accounts.

sunrise

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
I procrastinate too much to go shopping, so about half my wardrobe has been given to me by someone. Every morning I’m reminded that I don’t particularly like a lot of what I wear. I should probably do something about that… Maybe tomorrow.

32. What kept you sane?
What fun is there in that?

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Amanda Palmer + Neil Gaiman = adorbs

palmer-gaiman

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Legitimate rape? Really?

35. Who did you miss?
When are you coming back to Boston, Paul?

santas

36. Who was the best new person you met?
There have been so many new people this year. Facebook’s Year in Review feature informs me that I added 100 friends this year. 100! Okay, many of those are old friends I’m reconnecting with online, but many more of them are new! They’ve been kind, welcoming, interesting, and just a great pleasure in general.

Stephanie, Dana, and Dio made me feel at ease at a party I was having some trouble settling into. Charlie, Patrice, Robin, and MT were beacons of concentrated cool on the sweltering day of the Pride Parade. Gian kept me company until the wee morning hours after I had slept through half of the Atherton Halloween party. Lisa, James, Mike, Aaron, Nick, Molly, Rachel, V, Steve, and many more…

You guys– I can’t even– *hugs*

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
When presented with what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you dance in the fucking fountain. Even if that means you’ll be going to work the next day in the same damp, slightly funny-smelling clothes. It’s worth it.

fountain 1

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“This is fucking awesome!” – Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis