Thursday, December 25, 2008

Attention Winter Drivers!!

So it is Christmas, one of my favorite times of year. I was fortunate enough to have a white Christmas this year. However the snow also brings out the worst in drivers. For some reason people seem to think that the snow is no different from asphalt and will haul ass down the road in their Taurus or similar vehicle. Even worse the same guy who clearly thinks he is Mario Andretti arctic edition feels the need to offer his thoughts on my safe and prudent driving.  Now I am not a 5mph kind of driver but I am also not gonna practice my routine for the automobile stars on ice either.  After totaling my car a mere 3 weeks ago on a sunny and clear 65 degree day (not my fault mind you) I am not gonna take my chances on a dark 22 degree icy road. It just isn't worth it. Not to mention that just a few days ago a man was involved in a fatal accident with a semi because of an icy road way. Even the driver of the semi was listed in critical condition. Some poor family is without their son/brother/husband this Christmas because of ice on the road. So to all of you driving in icy conditions please be safe get home to your loved ones in one piece and help others to do the same. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The pains of suburbia

   So I have recently made a move from San Francisco to Reno Nevada. I know what you are thinking. "WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYONE DO THAT?!?" Well in todays economic disaster this was the most beneficial direction for me to take. If you have been following my blog you will see that I just recently graduated school with a degree in Fine Art. While I expected my field to be challenging  and competitive when I started school I never could have imagined the GLOBAL economy to tank quite as hard as it did rendering my field not just competitive but also next to impossible to gain an entry position. So living in one of the most expensive cities in the world suddenly became not such a high priority on my list. Which brings me to Cold Springs Nevada. Cold Springs is a quaint little, umm development, hamlet, umm let's just call it a neighborhood. While living in the country really is the "grass is greener" ideal for city dwellers being isolated from major metro areas really is painful. I discovered this the other morning when I woke up and desperately just wanted a bagel and cream cheese. Alas there was a serious bagel drought in my kitchen. Normally I would have just thrown on a hat, coat and shoes and made my way down the three or so blocks to have a plethora of choices both in bagel and its accompanying cream cheese. This however is not the case in outer suburbia, which might as well be akin to outer Mongolia. For me to even get a frozen Lenders bagel and a tub of traditional Philly cream cheese would consist of me getting dressed, starting up the car and waiting for it to reach a drivable temperature of ass frozen to the seat degrees,  driving the 30 minutes to town, navigating the sprawling acropolis that is the supermarket, having a selection of 2 or 3 types of frozen bagel and then making the return trip of another 30 minutes through the snow and cold. ONLY to have to toast it myself, and spread the cream cheese MYSELF! I realize this makes me sound lazy but really I pay for the service I might as well enjoy it! 

   Additionally I have found that people who live in smaller areas are less accepting of people different from themselves.  I personally don't see the need for driving lifted trucks with tinted windows, monster truck wheels and a set of testes hanging off of the tow hitch. Nor do I feel the need to consider anyone not driving this kind of dino-eating monstrosity a pansy ass sissy. I don't drink PBR or even own a pair of Carharts. This it seems makes me a prime target for some well misplaced and rather uneducated criticism. (I would say hate speech but that is a term that is being WOEFULLY misused these days.) I have a reputation that precedes me. I am a fashion designer who has lived the last several years in San Francisco who yes also happens to be gay. I have a multitude of hobbies, interests and thoughts to contribute, but the simple fact of my sexual orientation makes me a social pariah in this town of God fearing folk. The very thought of my company has made grown men shudder in fear. Men who are willing to sit bareback on a bull who's little bull parts have been clinched in a rope vice and try to hold on for a full 8 seconds. These same bad ass boys are afraid to come within a fifty foot radius of me and are sure to sit as far away as possible after having had my company forced upon them. I don't know why I strike fear into their hearts more than a 500 pound and very pissed of bull but I can only think that they are afraid I might exfoliate their skin or style their hair. Both of which I only do on the rare occasion that I will be anywhere other than in my work studio. It is almost humorous when on the rare occasion I do meet one of these roughnecks who has sucked up enough courage to say hello. (Most likely due to the fact that their girlfriend who is hoping to pick up some fashion tips has threatened to withhold sex if they don't play nice.) At first glance they are surprised at my lack of purse, glitter, swish or lisp. They further go into near cardiac failure when they find that yes I can change my oil, fix a flat tire and shoot the eyes out of a target with a hunting rifle. 

   I don't understand the mindset of suburban dwellers. For so many the whole purpose of life is to get a job (any will do) get married and have kids (though in doesn't always fall in that order). There is an apparent lack of desire to venture out and away from the comfort of home. Clearly the call of exotic places, foods and cultures doesn't reach over the mountain or beyond the desert. Instead HOA's, recreational toys and the comfort of knowing that Mom is just a few blocks away have a  vice grip like hold on their hearts shielding away any possible seduction from foreign lands. 

    Even beyond the extraneous outside world simple things like quality materials are lacking in cities of humble population. Fabric stores for example are incapable of carrying a fabric made from a decent wool fiber or one that is not emblazoned with either John Deere or a sports team of some sort. Why is it that JoAnne's Fabarics is where fabric goes to die? I miss the simplicity of being able to walk into any art supply store and be surrounded by paints, canvases and other tools of beauty that even the Renaissance masters would approve of. Now I have to wade through piles of rex lace and latch hook kits just to find a paintbrush. 

   I miss my city life and pray to whomever will listen that Obama does us right and I will not be sentenced to a lifetime of small town torture. To those who love this life of rustic living and country charm, bless you. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of happiness and the best of luck in your next quilting bee. However I for one am ready to return home to 3am Indian food, overpriced shoebox apartments and never being able to find a price to park and leave my fantasies of simple of a life to be just that, a fantasy. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Memoirs of another college grad

Last night marked the closing of a very reluctant chapter for me. I finished the last final in the last class I am required to take for my bachelors degree. It is a very bittersweet thing. Four years ago I started on this crazy roller coaster that at the time I thought would never end. What has been countless number of sleepless nights, multiple threats at a nervous breakdown and the addition of a few vices to my life has finally come to a close. It is with great joy that I can turn the page and move on but it is with a heavy heart that I say good by the the school that I have loved and hated, revered and despised. Through it all I have made some great friends, suffered through heartache and even been able to walk among the stars! It was a hell of a ride and one that I am not looking to do again any time soon. Well maybe, grad school can't be any worse can it?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In defense of the H8

 As a first time blogger, I like so many, wonder who will even read it. After reading countless blogs I have decided I don't really care who reads it. If someone does and learns something then excellent. If someone does and teaches me something then excellent. Mission accomplished. 

 With that being said I move on to my first topic of discussion. Proposition 8. 

OK hot topic I know, and before you get all defensive for one side or the other let me just say everyone has the right to their own beliefs. This country is diverse and full of opinions and ideals. We will never be able to be 100% in agreement with one another but we can listen to and appreciate views that differ from our own regardless if we agree or not. 

So here are my two cents on the subject. If you feel the need to comment I appreciate it but please allow me to have my opinion as I allow you to have yours. 

   Prop 8 in my opinion was not about the preservation of marriage. It was about one group of oppressed people fighting for their basic human rights and another group of people who have felt oppression in the past reminding the world who is still in charge. It seems to be the nature of human beings who are oppressed to then oppress others to establish their own superiority.

Let us stop deluding ourselves on the principles of which this country was founded. This country, beautiful and wonderful as it is was NOT founded on the teachings of the bible. It was founded by people who wanted to believe and act according to their own principles so much that they were willing to wipe out an entire race of people. They did not succeed but they certainly did do a pretty good job of messing things up. 

   Religions were tolerant only IF you were a Christian and even then it was a NARROW acceptance. Christian groups have been fighting amongst themselves for centuries. How can a group of people who cannot even look past their own differences even begin to have acceptance for others outside of their faith? So much turmoil rages within Christian sects it is amazing that they haven't killed themselves off over time. 

   Those who wish to "defend" marriage claim first that gay marriage is immoral. In the same turn these "Christians" (I will get to why that is in quotations later.) lead far from moral lives. I can say this with certainty because I was raised in a very Christian home. I went to church, seminary, Sunday school the works. Never in my life have I ever found a group of people so willing to disfellowship, gossip and all around speak ill of their neighbors as I did in church. My family wasn't particularly active in my church but at the age of 14 I made sure I was. I went to church often by myself and sometimes with my siblings in tow. The whole time I was trying to listen to the lessons for the day I heard whispers about my family behind my back by the adult members of the congregation. Those in my peer group were even more bold, refusing to let me sit in the same pew as them or saying hateful nasty things about me with the intent of my hearing them. Not very Christian if you ask me yet these people claim to be as true blue dyed in the wool Christians as any other, hence the quotations.

 I did however learn a lot from church. I learned that people are mean and hateful by nature but I also learned how to forgive. I learned that people are selfish and unforgiving which in turn taught me about charity. I learned that people are unwilling to accept anything they perceive to be "different" which in turn taught me how to love. I will forever be grateful for the lessons that I learned both about human nature and how to overcome it. 

If we are to believe the teachings of  Christ we also believe that he teaches love and tolerance as the founding commandment. This commandment is not negotiable.  Love and tolerance means just that, there is no grey area here. If we are going to base denying the right to love freely on the grounds of morality then those casting that ballot against such love best be living perfectly moral lives. This would include honesty in all your dealings, being true to your word, honoring thy mother and thy father, and the whole myriad of other actions that constitute a perfect Christ like life. As Christ said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. 

Arguments have been made against gay marriage because it is against the teachings of God. Are Gods lessons also not to include the part about not judging or the one about loving as he would love? Other arguments state that we must protect our children and give them the best possible home to grow up in. What better home than one that teaches diversity, tolerance and love. So what if the parents are of the same sex who cares as long as there is love in the home? Fears of homosexuality and gay marriages being taught in school as early as second grade are another that arise. Well I went to public school and I never learned about heterosexual marriage why pray tell then would gay marriage suddenly be taught? Besides children that young have no concern with who marries whom all they care about is what is for snack and when is recess? Is teaching our children about diversity and the acceptance of others such a nightmarish thought? Heaven forbid we create a world that allows for tolerance, love and the acceptance of others differences . Who will start the wars once the dividing lines are erased? 

Proposition 8 wasn't about protecting marriage it was about protecting ones right to pass judgement. If proposition 8 were truly about protecting the sanctity of marriage it would have also included a clause to ban divorce. Work that into the law though and I promise you that righteous Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Jews and any other group holding onto this sanctity of marriage thing would have voted NO ON 8. This world is made up of a plethora of belief systems each one unique and beautiful in their own right. We all need to get over our desire to force one another into a mold that makes us comfortable and instead learn to see the world for the beauty and difference it maintains.