Monday, October 30, 2006

The Temple Guards Can Kiss My Ass

This year for Halloween my co-workers convinced me to go as a contestant on The Legends of the Hidden Temple. You may recall the program, it kicked major ass on the Nickelodeon network back in the days when we could enjoy quality programming such as Salute Your Shorts and The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Pictures of the glorious night follow; my compadre Bruce and I were the purple parrots. I'm the contestant with the glasses wearing the Pendant of Life. Purple parrots win; winning is what they do.

Friday, October 27, 2006

For no mere mortal can resist the evil of 80's music

Queer Student Union celebrated National Coming Out day with a dance again this year, and even though I said in the very beginning that while I was willing to help organize it, I wasn't going to spearhead it since it was sort of a task last year, I ended up doing pretty much that. No regrets though, and no self-martyrdom or anything like that. QSU is a really great group this year and I didn't have trouble finding help for anything. In fact, on the day of the dance I had a blast hanging out with Shaun most of the day as we zipped around grabbing food from costco and speaker equipment.

Since I had suddenly become in charge of the dance again, I figured that the path of least resistance would be to use the same flyer and music collection, and viola, we were having another 80's dance.

The dance went down without a hitch. The turnout was decent, the people who came had a lot of fun, and the room we used ended up working out really well for the event. The downsides were that all of my friends and co-workers, except for one, who didn't know about the dance except through my invitation and who promised me they'd be there all let me down. That kind of hurt. Some of them had legitimate reasons, but in the end I can't get over the idea of "all of them flaked but 1." Oh well. Another really shitty thing that happened, and I just found out about this today, is that a couple of people who sometimes attend QSU meetings and who were originally planning on going to the dance, decided to throw their own queer party in IV at the last second, and then decided to mass-text message a ton of people who were at the dance.

Turns out this is why there was a massive exodus of people long before the party was through. Finding out about that kind of sucked too. I don't know if these guys meant any spite out of it, maybe they just genuinely wanted to throw a party and didn't think that texting everyone of whom they knew were at a different party was sort of a shitty thing to do. Either they were being innocently inconsiderate, or they were just being dicks, and in either case I sort of keep expecting people to have outgrown that shit by this age (although one might point out that being a 3rd year grad student I'm not exactly in the same age group). I don't mean to arrogantly sit here and make it seem like I'm the only one who's allowed to have a queer party on a Saturday night, but when I think about all the work by a handful of good people that went in to putting it together, and when I think about how much all those people leaving within 20 minutes of each other really killed the dance...I really can't think of any word to describe it other than shitty. I wouldn't do that to another person's would be a shitty thing for me to do.

That paragraph marks the end of me dwelling on the bad. From henceforth I shall focus on the good, and that was that everyone who came, including those who stayed, had a great time, and in that picture of me and Shaun, between the Queer bomb shirt, the 80's rainbow suspenders, and the candy necklace, I look REALLY gay :-)

Video killed the radio star.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Feel It Simply Must Go On Record...

...that I'm lying here with my laptop, late at night, without power and riding the pirated airwaves of my neighbors wifi. My flatmate forgot to pay the bill again. Joy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

On the Proper Dealings With Undesired Guests

Crazy old man with a sign...came back! (yes, those are two separate links)

When he came the first time we had first thought that he knew about the Queer Pride Week opening rally and wanted to disrupt it, but we later learned that he travels California universities like some wacky one-man Broadway show, "I'm a Douche!", and that he had simply come on that day by pure chance. I wrote an opinion piece on his first visit (a column that outed me to my father, just an interesting little aside).

Anyway, as proof that he really does simply travel the state preaching hate and brimstone (hopefully taking some time off in between), he just recently came back to our school. While he didn't happen to strike on a day of an important rally, he sparked quite the debate from students as well. One student threw a pink Jamba Juice at him, and although I'm not really sure if I agree with that action (stooping to his level and all that jazz) is damn funny and I won't pretend or boast to being above such temptations had I been there with my 12oz cup of cold delicious pink and within ranged weapon range.

I was a little bit disappointed with his sign though. Follow the "came back!" link above to see what I mean. Maybe I should have had a dialouge with him design concepts, and why a sign with so much text and such a small font that you have to be within at least 5 ft of it to read is not the best way to advertise your product.

At least he wasn't using comic sans ms. Seriously, is anyone else tired of that damned font?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

National Coming Out Day

Today QSU held a rally for National Coming Out Day on the Women's Center lawn. After some brief panicking over a busted PA system, we managed to check out a second one from a neighboring campus organization (Thanks EOP!) and the show was on. This is the first time we had held it on the Women's Center lawn since I first saw the rally my first year at UCSB 4 years ago. For this kind of event, where we want people to feel as empowered and safe as possible so that they can share their stories, it really is much better. I learned that the lowered design of storke plaza was decided because back in the 60s when powerful political protests were common, a lowered plaza would be idea for exerting crowd control on unruly demonstrations. Suffice to say, it's not a very good place to get people feeling courageous enough to step up to a mic and bear their soul.

After an introduction we were treated to a great talk by our guest speaker, Professor Leila Rupp, Chair of the women's studies department. After that...well, basically for almost 3 hours people poured out their souls to the crowd. One after another people went up and shared their coming out stories and words of encouragement, some stories very happy and some very sad, and a lot of emotion in between. To hear my friends share their tales of hardships over coming out to their friends and their family, and then say through their tears that they think of us as their family and their strength here at UCSB was such a powerful thing, and I'm sort of getting choked up thinking about it as I write. The positive feeling of community even got me up there to share my own story, which I wasn't sure I'd have the nerve to do.

In addition to the open mic we had a large white cloth stabled to a plywood board that was meant for people to write on, be it a simple signature, a well-wishing, a poem or a paragraph. A lot of people came up to write on it, making it another big success of the rally. While all of the writings were funny, smart, and poignant, there was something on the board that struck a chord with me. Someone who signed their name only as "H" wrote: "not yet..."

I saw that and I thought, "wow, that's actually pretty deep." :-) Unless outed by circumstance or a meddling third party, we all come out on our own terms and at our own pace. I hope that whatever pace "H" chooses for him/herself, that when the big moment comes he/she has the same kind of awesome community supporting them that I'm proud to say I have.

Oh yeah, and we had rainbow sherbet!