Your husband? But you're a guy!

Friday, January 28, 2005

I got a job as a technical support rep for a telecomm company. The work is ok, I'm in training right now. I'm still looking for a job in software development, which is the area that most interests me. But this pays the bills, so it'll have to do.

Anyways, during the training we were explained the security policy of the company. He said that we could only divulge confidential information to an account holder or to his or her spouse. The instructor then cleared up that in the US there are some states where homosexuals can legally wed (which is false... there is only one, Mass. Vermont only has civil unions). Anyhoo, he said that we should be careful and not always assume the spouse of a person is of the opposite sex. This was quite nice to hear, that corporations are adapting to the ever-evolving social makeup of the world.

Sadly, he added that if someone simply refers to himself (or herself) as a "life partner", we couldn't give them squat. Only "spouse". Sorry.

Oh well. This is close enough. What a world...

Forgotten victims

Sunday, January 23, 2005

This is the new site that was made by Zach. It's dedicated to male survivors of sexual abuse. Give it a look, even if you (fortunately) don't fall into this category because it also provides "the tools that non-survivors need to help support and understand the survivors in their life."

http://www.forgottenvictims.org/

Great work, Zach!

Licence to thrill!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Oh boy, I got my very first driver's licence today. FINALLY! And I'm only 24, hahahaha. Yeah, what a loser. But let me explain... context is everything, darlings... hehe.

Ok, when I tuned 16 (the legal age to get a license) I really had no interest in driving. My parents took me everywhere I wanted to go, I really wasn't interested in impressing any girls and I was in no mood to take on any new responsibilities. My brother got his license (it's a hetero thing, totally) and he turned into my ride to anyplace I needed to go.

When I turned 18, I eventually went to get it. I passed the written test (SOOO easy) and when I did the practical driving test (a ride around the block), the guy turned to me and said "Sorry, you didn't pass". And I was all like "WHAT?!?!? I'm not THAT bad a driver! We took a fucking drive around the block!!!" There were a few moments of tense silence. He wanted me to say something else. What he wanted, I later realized, was a BRIBE! Well, FUCK THAT! I wasn't gonna hand him one red cent (not that I had any at the time, mind you). I went home, furious, and vowed NEVER to return. (Ok, I must admit I wasn’t THAT good a driver at the time. I hardly ever practiced and wasn't kind of arrogant... I had NEVER failed a test before... DAMMIT!). My ego was hurt...

Then I went off to college for almost 5 years and since I didn't even have a damn car, I never even worried about getting my license. I know, I know, bad excuse.

Now, a year after my graduation, I finally got the strength to return to the Mexican DMV. I made my line, did my written test again (wow! computer based testing system.... nice), took my photo (wow, it's all digital now, cool) and finally came the dreaded driving test. To my utter horror THE EXACT SAME GUY who flunked me the time before got into my car and asked me to turn on the car. OH NOOOOOOOOOO!!! He asked me to first drive around the parking lot. Then, he got off and said it was over. I was all like "Huh? That was it?... THAT WAS IT?!?!?!?!?! HOO-RAY!!!!!!!". And so I proceeded to pay the charge, pickup my license and YELL AND JUMP FOR JOY!!!! =D

Oh! And in the afternoon, while I was running an errand for my mom, I left the keys in the car. TYPÏCAL!

De-Lovely

Ok, first off, I must admit that I did not see this movie in the best of moods. I was worried about my HIV test, my ex-bf was leaving, I'm unemployed, etc, etc, etc. So, with that in mind, read on.

This film is based on the life of Cole Porter. He was a very famous composer-lyricist in New York in from the twenties all the way through the fifties. I saw the trailer and it featured some famous pop stars singing some of his songs in the flick (kind of as background noise almost), so I figured it would be a "flick with music" kind of thing. But I was wrong. This is a full-fledged musical. No doubt about it. Everybody sings. Sadly, even Ashley Judd (no, she did not inherit her mother and sister's vocal talents). I found it a somewhat unbalanced film, and ultimately unsatisfying.

It's actually gets to a fantastic start, you see Porter staging his life as if it were a stage musical, he's in the theater and it looks as if they're rehearsing. The first scene in which Ms. Judd magically walks from the stage into Porter's life is just gorgeously conceived. Sadly, it gets kind of boring from there.

There are a few things I just didn't get from this film. First of all, WHY on earth does Ms. Judd's character love Cole Porter so damn much? I mean I think they never really build their relationship. They meet, walk around a little, fuck and WHAM!, she wants to live with him in spite of his being, sadly, REALLY gay. Hahaha. That's just bizarre (i.e. not believable). And if the central relationship never works, then the film fails to make sense. Being the undaunted show queen I am, I had read about Porter's life before and I honestly found it sort of depressing and in no way material for a movie or musical. This movie kind of proved my point to me. Kevin Kline is amusing, as always, as Porter. Ms. Judd is pretty good also, you just never understand why her character goes through so much heartache in the first place, but that’s not completely her fault.

Some of the musical numbers are quite nice. Alanis Morrissette ROCKS in her tune; also, the whole "So in love" sequence (in which Ashely Judd's character is too ill to accompany Porter to the premiere of "Kiss me Kate") is just heart-breaking and BEAUTIFUL! If only the rest of the movie was this involving. Others are total duds, like Sheryl Crow's and the one on the movie lot.

One thing I'm glad this movie does- sort of- convey is the fact that Porter's lyrics were absolutely astonishing. They were miles ahead of the rest for they class and sophisticaction. During his Hollywood years, you see L.B. Mayer ask Porter to "dumb-down" his lyrics for the masses. Typical! I invite you to hear the music from his shows and experience what being a master songwriter is. I had the luck to cath "Kiss me Kate" in it's last New York revival and it was a trully enchanting experience. Cheers to you, Cole!

The importance of punctutation

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwhich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

"Panda. Large back-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoot and leaves."

So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter or life and death.



Taken from the back cover of Eats, shoots and leaves. The zero tolerance guide to punctuation by Lynne Truss. A GREAT book. It's not a grammar reference per se , more like a reflection on the structure and history of English grammar. Quite fun.

Vow

In his second inaugural speech, President Bush vowed that he will fight for freedom in every nation with the "ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

So this means he's going to resign then? Or is this just another empty promise?

Sheesh, politicians...

But if baby I'm the bottom, you're the top!

Ok, this is an interesting topic. Yes, it’s sex. But not just sex. It's sexual politics; which are even MORE interesting than sex.

Between a man and a woman, things are pretty clear (or so we think). The guy kind of traditionally takes the lead and the girl has something done to her. Simple as that (ok, not quite, but for argument's sake, let's leave it at that). This dynamic has always had very serious implications in the way men, in general, view women. This is probably where the "weaker sex" image has it's real root.

What happens when we have two guys going at it? (Zach, you can turn away now, haha). Or, say, two girls doin' what comes naturally? (to them, at least, haha... I bet you're looking now, aren't you Zach? Ha!). The roles are not so clearly defined. In fact, they're not defined at all. Potentially either partner can take "the lead". They can even take turns (hypothetically). This usually means that sexual politics in homosexual relationships are much more volatile than is heterosexual ones. What does this mean?

Well, it means that either one can be considered the "weaker sex" (i.e. the girl). I'll take the case of two guys (guess why? ha!). The one who gets banged (the "bottom") is "the girl", the one who does the banging (the "top") is "the guy". Simple as that (or so we think).

Ok, now let's talk about the implications of these seemingly innocent labels. Being "the guy" is cool. Being "the girl" sucks. I love my eloquence, don't you? hehe.

I grew up in Mexico, a predominantly Roman Catholic country in which the masculine role is very dominant (traditionally) over the female one. I recently spent a few months in the UK, and things were quite different. Here in Mexico most gay guys consider it kind of inferior to be a "bottom" during sex. You're "the girl". And this is bad. Most guys won't admit they're "the girl". This was pretty normal for me. Status quo . Then I went to the UK and I realized that a LOT of the guys were "bottoms". Weird. In Mexico this was not a good thing. In the UK they were pretty much indifferent and just wanted to get banged, haha. This sort of led me to believe that people in the UK and Mexico aren't really that different in their sexual needs. It's just that in the UK being a "bottom" doesn't carry the same stigma that it does in Mexico.

What does this mean? Well, for starters, it takes us back to the Chauvinistic idea that being "Girly" is bad. Which is kind of disrespectful to women. Second of all, people in the UK have more fun than people in Mexico because they're freer of silly ideas that make no sense. These "silly ideas" are our idiosyncrasy. And it kind of sucks. I call for a change in Mexican sexual politics. To arms!!! “Bottoms” everywhere (in Mexico), I absolve you!!!

Hehehe.

Anyways, I'll leave you with the lyrics to a song called "You're the top!" by Cole Porter (yes, that really gay guy from "De-Lovely", haha). Enjoy!

Eternal sunshine

Monday, January 17, 2005

I am so bummed that my favorite screenwriter Charlie Kaufman was denied yet another award.

He was nominated for a Golden Globe last night for his screenplay of "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind". And he lost! To those dorks who wrote "Sideways". Ok, they have a lot of buzz behind them, but his screenplay was BRILLIANT!!! You've got to be kidding me. "Eternal sunshine" is basically a romantic comedy. Nothing more, nothing less. But he makes it an intellectually challenging experience, wonderfully poignant and endlessly creative. What more could you want?

I suspect he'll be nominated for an Oscar but will probably loose, again. The outrage!

I liked his screenplay for "Being John Malkovich". It was wildly imaginative, almost too much so. I mean you honestly had NO idea where this flick was heading. I LOVE that feeling. Sadly it was nominated against "American Beauty" which I have to admit was superior only in the fact that it created an equally unpredictable tale out of a most ordinary circumstance: a dysfunctional American family. Oh well.

Then came "Adaptation". Now this movie I REALLY loved. It was the most remarkable achievement. This guy adapted a book to the big screen, but he completely reinvented it. And not in the conventional "re-imagining" sense of the word; in the "turned it upside down, destroyed it and then put it back together, transforming it into something completely different yet tightly related to it's source material" sense. I was left speechless. That movie is a narrative gem. The complexity and sheer wit of it's structure (how he includes the details of the original book, his own trials and tribulations adapting it, a homage to Hollywood clichés, his own criticism of conventional stories, etc), it's enough to leave one spellbound. As it did me. Sadly he lost the Oscar for this flick also, and to "The Pianist". Give me a break.

Will Hollywood nominate and again snub Mr. Kaufman? Probably. Will this deter his creative energy? I sincerely doubt it. Cheers to you, Charlie!

Love laws

I was reflecting on the arbitrary nature of the status quo when I recalled Indian author Arundhati Roy's "Love Laws": The laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And How much.

Even though she was referring to the caste system in India, I feel the oppression of the "Love Laws" every day. I feel that a long time ago somebody, somewhere arbitrarily defined how people should act. And it sucks. Fuck you, "Love Laws".

P.S. Roy's Booker-Prize winning novel, "The God of small things", is indeed one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Highly recommended.

3 months later

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I took an HIV test on Friday. It was 90 days after. It came back negative. I'm very happy and relieved. I still have to take another one 6 months after, but it is much less likely it will come back positive.

It's also been 3 months since my boyfriend (now ex) left London, deported. And my world fell apart. Wow, time passes by rather quickly. He left for London today actually (yes, the irony). I'm not as sad this time. Yes, we broke up and all; but we spent the last couple of days together and it was almost like old times (just with condoms and stuff, haha). He was with me during the HIV test, for which I'm very grateful. I still love him very much, that doesn't just go away. I just think we're not meant for each other.

Have a safe trip, Pooks.

Six degress of separation

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I'm reading the play "Six degrees of separation". This was turned into one of my favorite movies ever. It's quite an interesting film. It's very funny, sad, tragic and uplifting all the same. The structure is very interesting (sort of covers many places and times in one spectacularly choreographed chaos), the themes it touches are very profound (friendship, identity, social criticism and ultimately what gives meaning to life) and it has some beautiful dialogues.

The only BAD thing about the flick is that it stars Will Smith in a very central and important role. He's not very good... not TOO bad, but just not very convincing as the enigmatic Paul. Still, the rest of the movie is SOOOO good that you end up forgiving Mr. Smith's shortcomings.

I really recommend this one, either the movie or the play (I prefer the movie, tho.. the music is just gorgeous!). Enjoy!

Decency

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I spent the night with my ex boyfriend. And it was in my room. And my parents were home.

Is all decency gone? You bet. ;-)

Ok, I have some explaining to do... but it will have to come later.

The green monster

My twin brother came to Tijuana for New Years. This means he didn't spend Christmas at home. For the first time since he was born. He travelled on December 16 (as I was arriving in San Diego from London), to his girlfriend's graduation. After that he spent a week in her hometown (and X-MAS!). Then on the Sunday after Christmas, he arrived. With her.

Ok, this girl, Mary, has been with my brother for nearly four years. She's not knew. It's just that things between them are getting ever more serious (now that they're both finished with school). Let me just mention that in early 2004 we moved away from each other, for the first time ever. Since then I saw him for 4 days in July and then the week he came for New Years. This is quite a change. From spending every day together. Well, not ALL day together; but seeing him every day, I mean. Now we talk on the phone and chat on the internet, but, guess what? It's not the same.

So, the very first day he arrived, even though he was very glad to see us and all, his attentions were frequently directed towards his girlfriend. Very frequently. I can sincerely say that I was so overcome with jelousy I had trouble looking at them (her, in particular). I mean I get to see so little of him, and here was this girl (a gril!) monopolozing him. The gawl!

I guess this is part of real life. Real adult life. And it sucks. My brother and me eventually have to grow apart. We can't be the most important people in each other's lives forever. His partner has to take that role. It just hurts to see it happen before my eyes.

¿Español? ¡Nunca!

I recently made a trip to Walmart. This conglomerate has the image of hiring minorities and old people and paying them ridiculously low wages; this particular store was no exception. I was looking for the Customer Service desk (yes, I was returning something) and I saw one of the employees in close proximity and decided to ask her. I saw her name tag and it read "Elma".

Let me just give a little background information. This Walmart is quite close to the border with Mexico... so, as you can imagine, it's PACKED with Mexican people and Americans of Hispanic origin ("Latinos", as we are all also called). You hear Spanish being spoken in all the aisles, in the parking lot, in the checkout lanes, everywhere. Most of the employees are Hispanic and they normally speak to you in your native tongue. It's pretty easy to tell if someone is Hispanic, especially if you're one of them. Here in Mexico we say that when someone has a "cactus on their forehead", they look VERY Hispanic, and couldn't hide it even if they tried. Which they do, sometimes. Which is sad.

As I approached Elma, I instinctively concluded that she was Hispanic. She had light brown skin, dark hair, brown eyes; she looked about fifty years old and seemed friendly enough (I used to have a thing about talking to strangers, never mind, long story). Having inferred her Latin origins, I spoke to her in Spanish, I mean she obviously knew how to at least converse in it (even though Mexican-Americans speak nasty Spanish, they all usually understand it perfectly). Anyways, I asked: "Disculpe, ¿dónde está el Servicio a Clientes?". Translation: " 'Scuse me, where can I find Customer Service?". Ok, even before I finished my fucking sentence, Elma began shaking her head. As soon as I finished she said: "Sorry, don't speak Spanish". Darlings, I had to make a great effort to not burst out laughing in her face. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON'T SPEAK SPANISH? HONEY; THE FUCKING CACTUS COMING OUT OF YOUR FORHEAD ALMOST POKED MY EYE OUT!!! Anyways, I chuckled in front of her ("Yeah right!). And I thought... Ok, you wanna play dumb, Elma? You picked the wrong spick. And said, in the absolute WORST English accent I could muster: "Umm.... return.... to return. Where can I return?", using my hands to mimic me holding a box of some kind. Of course Elmita immediately knew what I was talking about (although she did give this pretty fake "puzzled" look for about 2 seconds, HA!). And she directed me to the Customer Service desk. What was the best part? Since she "didn't speak" any Spanish, Elma used her "mother" tongue of English to guide me; and it was spoken in the heaviest, most ghetto accent you could imagine. I chuckled again and said "Gracias". Darlings, this is what we call a SAD case.

Why are they ashamed of knowing Spanish? Does it make them feel more American? To be ignorant? Do they feel more "High class"? (Elma, you work at fucking WALMART! Gimmie a break!). Was she offended I could tell she was Hispanic and immediately thought she could speak Spanish to me? It is quite hilarious to encounter people like Elma, but it is also quite sad. I mean seriously, it's just fucking sad. One time I was with my mom at a department store and she wanted to make a payment on her charge card from the store. She told the lady at the counter, in Spanish, that she wanted to make a payment. The lady, again with a cactus the size of Mount Everest sticking out, politely responded that she didn't speak Spanish. My mother looked her straight in the eye and just repeated the exact same Spanish words she had uttered a moment earlier. The lady got all nervous and then suddenly, by some freak miracle of nature, understood what my mother wanted and even the exact amount she wanted to pay. My mom said "Gracias", then turned to us and said, in a loud and clear Spanish voice: "See that, kids? You have to be bilingual. People who are not bilingual are just never going to get anywhere beyond the service counter". This is one of the reasons I LOVE my mother. And also why I'm a little scared of her. Ha!


P.S. Ignore the irony of this story being writen in English, will you?

Books, books, books

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Speaking of the library, I just wanted to say how much I LOVE libraries. I mean it’s a fantastic concept: learn stuff, for FREE!

Here in San Diego, Mexican citizens can get library cards (sure, they charge a little extra, but it sure is worth it!). You can get all kinds of books (in Spanish even), CD’s (tons of original cast albums! Yippie!) even videos and DVD’s! I love libraries! (hey, that rhymes… neat).

I don’t mean to say any of this in a geeky way (although you can’t really deny the geek factor when professing your love for libraries, haha). Truth is, I was practically born in one, haha. Honest! (well, sorta). My mom was really, REALLY pregnant during the last months of her masters and frequently took trips to the SDSU library; she even said that she felt us kicking while she was reading, hehe. That has to be my favorite library in all SD. It’s HUGE and has so many books on theater I could just live there. Really. You also get to see cute college guys all the time… what more could you want?!?!?! =P

Elephant

I went to visit an aunt in San Diego recently. Both her daughters where not home for Christmas this year. Boo. My brother wasn't the only one spending time with the significant other this year, I see.

As we walked into her living room there was this movie on the TV. It showed this distraught gorgeous black-haired guy talking to an equally cute blond guy. I immediately thought: "They're both hot.... and I bet they're gay characters". As it turns out, they were! Haha. And in the next scene the raven haired Adonis was with his mother (Jaclyn Smith) and came out to her. Then he was flirting with his boyfriend, unbeknownst that his dad was watching. Next, the dad beats the shit out of the boyfriend. And during all this, we were all in the living room, acting as if we were not noticing what's going on on TV. It was a classic "Elephant in the room" moment.

And that's how I felt. How much longer will I have to keep up this charade? Do they know and are just ignoring the obvious fact? How long until I'm that single uncle nobody likes to talk too much about? Oh boy...

The movie? "Danielle Steel's Family album". I think I’ll pick up the book next time I go to the library. Hehe. ;-)

Closer

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

On Christmas Day my family has a mini-tradition of going to the movies. There are plenty of new releases on the 25th and also there are almost no people to cross into San Diego and at the movie theater (99% of the stores are closed and stuff).

We went with my cousin and split up: my mom went to see "Ocean's 12" (I'll catch here in Mexico, thank you... or maybe on video, haha) and my dad, cousin and myself went to see "Closer".

"Closer" is based on a play I had heard of a while back. It premiered in London and made it's way to Broadway. It seemed interesting: a bleak, modern look and relationships and infidelity. When I heard they were making a movie version, I was happy. When I heard about the cast, I was thrilled. It's top-notch: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and this lesser known Brit hunk, Clive Owen (King Arthur from the recent shitty "King Arthur" flick).

The movie is actually quite absorbing. It's basically about love and how these people betray one another (repeatedly) and how they hurt each other in all possible ways. Message? People are not only flawed (and deeply), they're also mean. Good dialogue (wonderful lines and very explicit references to sex), some neat shots and a lot to think about when you leave. I recommend it, but only if you're feeling intellectually stimulated. It's nasty. But good.

Sverige

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I FINALLY sent my Swedish graduate school application last week, and it arrived yesterday. Cool! Now comes the waiting... shit.

I'm also applying to Barcelona and Dublin (I was gonna apply to Madrid, but they cancelled the damn scholarship program I was aiming for, FUCK!). Why so far, you may ask? Europe is fun. Nuff said.

I'm not sure how likely it is I'll be going to any of these schools. Hopefully I'll get into all of them, but the scholarships will be a bit trickier. In Sweden, university is free; so as soon they accept me I'll buy my ticket, hehe. The other schools are NOT free, and thus require a lengthy scholarship process.

If, for any reason, I don't get to go to graduate school this year, I have a few options available:
a) Keep working and save up some more dough.
b) Apply to schools in the USA and Canada (I got the damn TOEFL already).
c) Apply for Canadian citizenship (or at least start looking for a Canadian husband! hahaha).

Decisions, decisions, decisions... all in due time, my pretties, all in due time...

Another year, another journey

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Whoa, long time no blog. Well, X-Mas came and went. Uneventful. My brother came with his girlfriend in tow and it was "interesting " (I´ll talk about this later). New Year´s Eve was quite fun and enjoyable, my entire family got together here at my house and it was great. Generally.

My brother left again today. It was sad, again; but this time I held up better, so that´s good. He left a lot of ideas in my pretty little head. I still have to ponder them a while. I just have to remember that I can do anything. Really.

Happy New Year! =D