What’s Up (10/3/16)

Planned Parenthood
After a bit of an absence it feels really nice to have Planned Parenthood people back in my life. There was some fundraiser back in May, or so, but since August things have been a little more regular, and last week there were two events back to back; a debate watch on (9/26) and then a little s’mores and cider Autumn-themed party. Can’t say I’ve had that much to drink on a Monday/Tuesday  back to back before, but it was all for a good cause, and it’s been really great just to have like-minded people surrounding me again

Lucifer
Speaking of things that are coming back into my life… my guilty TV-pleasure, Lucifer, is back again too. With season one ending on (4/25) and season two starting on (9/19) fans of show, both real and slightly ironic like myself, really didn’t have to wait long to get more Lucifer. Is the writing any worse? Heck, it’s kind of hard to tell with this show, but I’m still ‘enjoying’ it? Glad to have it back, especially as we enter Autumn, and I need crappy TV to keep me occupied while I ride the stationary bike.

Autumn
And speaking of Autumn; that of course, is back and I’m liking it so far. Can’t say I come out of Summer with any regrets really. If there’s any year when I used every day of nice weather to my advantage, it was this year. I ran a lot. I’m almost coming on the 1-year anniversary of dedicating myself to a better, more exercise-filled life, but more on that (10/10). I kind of wish Autumn would **** or get off the bucket though, I hate these days that are 50 degrees in the morning and 70 in the afternoon: how are you supposed to dress for that?

Formula 1 
Finally, if there’s one more thing that’s really defining what’s on my mind on a week-to-week basis, it’s Formula 1. With only 5 races left this year, Nico Rosberg is in the lead with 23 points after an amazing Singapore and Malaysia Grand Prix. As a fan of Nico, I can’t really relax because a lot can happen in 5 races. Heck, actually, it’s possible for him to lose that lead in just ONE race. Still, I’m rooting for him and looking forward to a good fight.

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What’s Up? (2/17/16)

Vagina Monologues 2k16
I’m sitting here on my day off, listening to Janelle Monae’s Electric Lady, and things are pretty good. They’ve been pretty good for a while, I think. You only need to go back to the end of January to see where things turn around. Let’s take it from Saturday though…

Pitt’s Campus Women’s Organization presents The Vagina Monologues

I haven’t seen The Vagina Monologues since 2014. Last year as a part of the board of directors, I worked the ticket sales desk both nights, so I only saw bits and pieces. As a part of the board I also was invited to the cast after-party, which was very much one of those formative life experiences? At once, one of the best nights of my life, and also this very validating night.

And I think part of growing up is like, taking that validation, absorbing it and moving on. So I had a fantastic time just watching The Vagina Monologues this year, cheering on my friends in the show, and walking out the door. Someone asked, and maybe even encouraged trying to go to the cast party, but I felt alright not going. I wasn’t part of the show this year, after all. 30% of my brain probably would have loved to gone, but the rest realized that, what happened last year was special, and that injecting myself into the same thing a year later would have been different. Besides, there was something amazing to look forward to on Sunday.

Valentine’s Day 2k16 
I spent Valentine’s Day surrounded by the lovely people of Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania. In a lot of ways, I feel like this is the next chapter in my life as a feminist seeking the company of others. I love my people at CWO but our schedules seem so incompatible. The same way the Vagina Monologues cast party was validating in 2015, I feel like this PPWP dance party at Spirit Lodge was validating this year, and validating for different reasons. In 2015 I realized I had made it as a male feminist, I guess, like I was welcomed into the rebellion. In 2016 I felt validated just as a person? Like it really is this easy to meet new friends, dance, get a little drunk, and have an amazing time. This transition from Student-to-person has had lots of ups and downs, and the perks of not being a Student are becoming more and more apparent.

Plus I got a little peck on the cheek, and I blushed like a kid. 

What’s Up? (4/5/15)

Pride Week
I was just thinking before writing: “Man, nothing’s changed since I last wrote. I’m still coughing. I’m still stuffy from time to time. Being sick is still holding me back.”
But then I remembered I had an amazing Pride Week from beginning to end. On Monday I saw the amazing Laverne Cox who gave an amazing speech, touching on topics of gender, bullying, and perseverance. On Tuesday the Campus Women’s Organization had another great meeting, this week on reproductive justice ( maybe one of my last meetings ever :c ). On Wednesday the Fourth Wave feminist magazine had its last meeting of the semester, complete with pizza. On Thursday there was of course a Condom Casino, where I heard of an opportunity from Planned Parenthood, met up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and walked away with fist-fulls of condoms.
And that brings us to Friday, the night of the 15th Annual Drag Show, which was amazing. Very talented people, very funny, and I had a chance to go backstage and become friends with a Drag Queen ( c: ).

So am I still sick? Yeah. My throat is still sore from time to time. I’m coughing pretty badly.  My nose gets stuffed up.
But I’m having a good time.

Class
In trying to think about how to write my Senior Seminar project, I think I’ve come across a route that I like: Drinking and Sophistication. See, it’s hard to drink with an ounce of sophistication in a college setting, I think. For starters, if you’re underage and in a dry college dorm, you have to keep it on the down-low. When you are of age, you find liquor stores filled with adults buying booze for kids, stocked with cheap liquor. You find bars that don’t have cocktail glasses because they’re too expensive and too delicate to give to drunk college students. When you live a mile from the nearest place that serves you a drink in a martini glass, you have to do it on your own. A martini glass was probably one of the first things I bought from the University of Pittsburgh store after books, and when I got off campus it was a low-ball glass and a stainless steel shaker. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but the arc is a little like this: at college you’re surrounded by cheap easy choices, and I chose the sophisticated path.

What’s Up? (2/14/15)

Friday the Thirteenth, Twenty-Fifteen, may be up there for top five best days of life ever.” – 3:36 AM, 14, February, 2015.

The Vagina Monologues
Last night was epic, a word I seldom use without cringing afterwards. When we filled 360-ish chairs for the Thursday night showing of The Vagina Monologues, I was impressed, shocked, and proud…

Then we filled 500+ chairs for the Friday night performance. Then we had to turn away another 100 people who wanted to get in. Then we raised over $2,000. I was ecstatic, hard to contain. Triumphant, face-distorting smiles, and shouts of joy. I was so happy to be a part of this, and I’m glad the show ended with smiles on my friends’ faces. If anything stressed me out about the show the last few days, and the last few weeks, it was so far away in the rear view mirror–that, that… I don’t know! We were flying down this road and the white dashes mixed with the blacktop and became a gray blur.

So I packed my tote bag, Skyy Vodka, lime juice, shaker, ice, and martini glass, and arrived at an after party. And the drinks were good and the conversation kicked ass–“Come on Eileen” was played–and I struggle to finds the words to describe this moment but I must…Because well, there was a moment where most of my friends and acquaintances were just topless and free and I realized this is me. This energy, what it stands for, I love it, and I love them.

What’s Up? (1/5/15)

Last First-Day-of-Class
I guess I just had my last, first day of class, ever. So, how’d it go? Well it was cold. Music 0100 was so, well, nothing happened so I can’t really judge it. Intro to Poetry, better. We did things. Wrote poetry, talked. I know somebody in Poetry which is very important, and exciting. Really helps the class not feel, isolated? Of my morning teachers so far, Kazumi > Nathan. Then there was a nice 2-3 hour break wherein I made lunches for the future, went to Roman Civilization, found out it was canceled, and then got lunch for the day. Killed time, wrote a blog post that turned into a review for “The Interview” (2014). Afterwards I had “Intro to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.” As an introductory course I expected it to be full of first-year students who I wouldn’t know but instead I actually knew a few students. And two of them were ranking board members of Rainbow Alliance and the Campus Women’s Organization so, it’s not even that weird for very involved people to take an Intro course! Ending the day on this note was very important. Very hopeful. Very happy.

Broadchurch Returns
So the episode only just aired, so I’ll let everyone watch before I go spoiling stuff but… if anybody doubted Broadchurch Series 2 could be any good, you’re wrong! Because it is off to a good start, and I, oohhh… I can’t wait to write about it.

What’s Up? (12/10/14)

Finals Week
There’s only one-thousand words left between me and Winter Break. My level of productivity has been a huge boost to my energy. I suppose I don’t look energetic. I do feel optimistic as heck though. I just handed in what may be one of the better essays I’ve ever written about myself. And I just handed in one of my best essays to my best professor in all my time at the University of Pittsburgh. I am doing incredibly well.

I’m sipping down a small mocha. I’m looking out the window of Crazy Mocha. MSMR is softly humming in my ears. It’s cold out, but not unbearable. Sparrows are gathering on the roof across the street. They don’t care whether the roof is Joe Mama’s or Olio Trattoria’s.

I’m excited to finish this all soon. The last thing in my way is a research paper. If I’m lucky enough to find the right research today, I’ll finish the paper tonight. It’s not due until midnight Thursday, (12/11/14) but I don’t intend to use that much time. If I submit the paper a day early I can spend two nights relaxing. I can crack open some Bacardi and fire up Photoshop or Fruityloops.

You Are Nothing Without Feminist Art ♀
I just saw a student from the Campus Women’s Organization walk by Crazy Mocha. I never mentioned that we had a super cute pajama party last Tuesday (12/2/14). It’s true. I even met somebody who lives in the apartment below me. Life’s crazy. This semester with CWO was maybe less eye-widening than the first, but I feel like I got closer with a lot of the people there. I turned out to be more than a one-semester curiosity, and I think that made a big difference. I’m showing my funny side more often. I’m getting “likes” on Facebook from people I thought would never “like” my dumb jokes. It’s a weird thing to be energized by, but that’s what it’s doing. This positive attention is having a super positive affect on my life. I can’t wait to be on the Vagina Monologues board next year. The next semester at Pitt is going to be my last, and I’m excited to make the most out of it.

What’s Up? (8/26/14)

Life has been so different since August 21st, 2014, and I’m so happy for it. As I wished, it appears this last year of college really will be a reward and test of all the lessons I’ve learned since say, Senior year of High School. In short, hell yes I’m totally doing fine and I love how drastically different things have been in Pittsburgh so far. 

I’ve got to watch the Belgium Grand Prix somewhere, since I only saw the last 10 laps an apparently, the first 34 were the ones you want to watch. I’m also dealing with a wicked stuffy nose right now, not fun. I just walked away from the keyboard for 3 minutes sneezing and just feeling miserable. 

I need to get over this now, I have almost three hours of night class and then CWO tonight. I’m rapid-fire sneezing, what the hell? …15 minutes later, blew my nose, sneezes gone. Bitter about allergies. Wondering if I should do my laundry now, though I’d be cutting it close to class. 40 Minutes ago I could have… shit now I’ve got to wait until tomorrow. 

Laundry bums me out so much; so instead lets just remember that we have some cool new things in life, like Japanese Vinyl Records and naked e-hookah sessions. Feminist literature classes and quirky artisan shops. Bike-powered booze-mobiles and new faux-hawk haircuts. Teachers who remember that your hair was longer, and lettuces on Pittsburgh buses for some reason.