Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Scent of Justice

I actually have a moment to blog this morning. I have the desire to write. I am even in the mood. I have no idea what I want to write. Good thing this endeavor is called ‘Ramblings.’ So, why am I not at school getting ready to educate the future generations of ramblers at 7:39 in the morning? I have to go to court this morning. It’s true. I will soon be convicted of teaching while gay. I hope they let me paint my cell. Maybe hang some taffeta from the bars. Actually, I am going to testify in a murder trial. While the first option probably sounds more believable, the second is the one composed of fact. It is my second time in a ‘citizen’s duty’ role in a court room. The other was ten years ago, when I was nineteen. Back then, you know, in the 1990’s, I was in the jury for a shaken baby case. The kid died. The mother was a lying coward. The boyfriend was convicted. Today, I have been subpoenaed to testify on the part of one of my old kids at the residential treatment center where I was a counselor and teacher. He was sixteen when he killed his friend’s father. He is being tried as an adult. He definitely did it. We always knew he would kill someone. We told everyone in legal system that he was going to kill people. He was certifiably nuts. Sweet, but nuts. Still, as per typical, our system we have in place to help children and those with disabilities took the ostentatious stand that it is cheaper and less stressful to simply eject a child from mental health care and structured support, release them into the wild and wait for them to act upon their natural inclination. Well, shit, who can blame our law makers and decision makers? A jail cell is a lot less expensive than paying a counselor like me my twenty-one thousand dollar a year salary. I doubt they will let him decorate his cell. While I have always been opposed to most who plead insanity to their murder sentences, in this case, it is factual, and the reason I am testifying. True, he is the one that murdered someone. However, if the powers-that-be had listened to us in the manner for which they hired us, we would have one less murderer, one less widow, and one less fatherless daughter. It will be strange to stand in front of a court room and my old counselee and proclaim him mentally crazy and unfit. However, that is precisely what I am going to do, both for the truth of the matter and some small justice that is owed to him.

Hold on for an abrupt and rather inappropriate transition coming up, brought to you by MSN’s health page this morning:

“Among all the odors tested, the combination of pumpkin pie and lavender produced the greatest increase in arousal (a 40 percent increase in penile blood flow).” Well, Duh! Pumpkin has always done it for me. It is my favorite scent. Favorite flavor of everything. Favorite color. It is perfection. However, I have never thought of combining it with the scent of lavender. I always combine it with other spice smells, cinnamon (which MSN told me yesterday that a teaspoon of a day increase some health aspect of some sort—in short, bring on the desserts people!), clove, etc. I am a little excited, and trepidatious. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any more sexually charged. . . uh oh! Hope Chad knows what he is in for. . . Maybe someone should warn him before he comes home tonight. Both in terms of me and all the spicy scents that will assaulting his senses (he likes cleaner sorts of scents—sometimes sweet). How’s that for too much information? While I have always known that pumpkin acts as a sort of Viagra for me, I must confess that it a titch worrisome. Pumpkin is also one of more wholesome edible commodities in our world. Most would say that the Apple has the honor of holding this title. Mom’s apple pies. Apples for teachers. Blah, blah, blah. Ever heard of a wily, sexy, little vixen by the name of Eve? She least she had the balls to be original in her corruption. While, I am sure, Adam was fucking hot, he was a bit of a douche. True, neither of them should have eaten the all mighty ‘apple,’ but at least Eve had the originality to do something inventive. I am not sure what my erotic obsession with this orange lumpy jack-o-lantern represents or says about my psyche, but I am sure it is not good and shows that I have penis envy and have unresolved issues around my long lost My Little Pony Daycare Center dollhouse. I had these adorable little My Little Pony twin babies. Sigh. I hope they are doing ok. . .

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

my sickness

Love. Joy. Passion. Excitement. Contentment. Serenity. Peacefulness. Hope. A wise man (or woman, or transsexual, transgender, for that matter) would pick any of the afore mentioned emotions to be their favorite state of being. He (or other more appropriate pronoun) would strive with all that was within him to reach that sensation as much as he could. Just to show that my prayers for wisdoms would prove to be ineffective, I apparently have chosen my favorite emotion to be guilt. Raised in pure, unadulterated fundamentalism, that should come as no surprise, I suppose. School has always provided an abundant source of guilt for me. Not really because I do anything bad or get bad grades. There is constantly something due that needs to be completed. It is a never ending cycle. Therefore, when I do something else besides whatever is due next, I feel a sense nagging guilt in the back of my mind that keeps me from fully enjoying whatever fun activity it is that is postponing the inevitable. I was excited to be done with that wonderful ever-present sensation upon the completion of grad school. As I sit to blog (a very short blog) and prepare to cuddle with the dogs and the boyfriend, I am coming to the realization that I have chosen a profession that continues the pattern of unquenchable guilt. Instead of blogging, I should be getting my lesson plans finalized for my students’ first day tomorrow. I should be crossing every t and dotting every i. Instead, I simply pretend that the alphabet is inconsequential to life and assume that my students (with emotional disorders) will not try to murder me when I show up and say, “Hello, I’m Mr. Witt [SHUDDER], and I have no idea what we are to do today, so we are going to sit here in silence until the day is over and I can go home and continue my self flagellation of guilt.”
In addition to guilt, I also get a perverted thrill in intentionally going against authority figures, know-it-alls, and overly-vocal celebrities. In short, I like to waste our natural resources. Its fun. True, global warming is going to cause the world to catch ablaze within the next decade or so. Probably. Maybe even the chicken-flu will reappear and wipe us out before we all get crispy. Let’s pray it be so. There is one area that I enjoy more than any other. I have no problem with Cheryl Crow. I like a couple of her songs. They are pretty. Sometimes. She has taken a stand on toilet paper usage. At least this is what I have read, probably on a bathroom stall somewhere. She is encouraging the public to only use one square of toilet paper per bowel movement session. Maybe this is prudent. Maybe this should be enacted as a law. However, it pisses me off (pun intended) when other people, government, celebrities, religious leaders intrude upon my behavior in my private bathroom customs and culture. Also, there are very few ‘straight’ male things about me. However, this is an area that I am all male in. One square ain’t gonna cut it. Trust me. I get such a lovely pleasure out of using ten or more squares at a time, especially those that are several sheets thick. Oh, yeah, baby. Bring it on. Hopefully, I will not get reprimanded at work for my gleeful squealing (very manly) when I am in the bathroom. Can I help my excitement when I am whirling the toilet paper dispenser so fast that it looks like the world is waving streamers in celebration of my excretion process? I give you permission to curse my name when the fires finally come due to our wasteful natures. I will be so enveloped in the ultra-thick sheets of cottony squares of pleasure that I will neither be able to hear you nor feel the heat.

Monday, August 13, 2007


(I am listening to Colbie Caillat, another CD you should rush out and purchase, and then make love to—or blog to, as the case may be. Both if you are really limber…) My last blog as a free man. Tomorrow, I am an honorably employed man. A beneficial asset to society. Helping to shape, form, and guide future generations. (Scream, Jerry Falwell, scream.) If I weren’t so nervous and so depressed about losing my freedom, I would almost be a tad bit excited. Almost. For my last entry as a man of philosophical leisure, I am trying on a new hat. I wish it were a hat that would make me appear six feet tall, or at least make me look like I have tan. Instead, it simply makes me look like Dear Abby. Although, if I do it right, I might end up looking more like Dr. Ruth (who is not as physically attractive as Abby, but she sure does have more fun). A couple months ago, I received an email from a friend on MySpace. She asked about my theory of patience. Her exact question was: How much patience and understanding should you have before you are compromising your own needs? Well, I am in the mood to be pompous and act more enlightened that those around me. I have my masters now. It proves that I am smarter. By smarter, I mean, I am able to blow smoke up people’s asses with the best of them. I just charge more. The patience conundrum is intriguing to me, however. It has been a theme of my life in some ways. Sometime, the abundance of; others, the lack thereof. Patience. It is typically the attribute people assume that I possess when they hear that I am a special education teacher focusing on students with emotional/anger disorders. I am glad people make this assumption instead of stumbling upon the truth of the matter, that I am just fucked up and I like the drama and have a touch of a hero complex that this career helps satiate. As I don’t really know what direction her quandary was pointing, I will do as my blog name entitles me to do. I will ramble. When I think of patience, the first thing I think of is God. He and I have had a very tumultuous relationship revolving around the theme of patience. When I was growing up, two of the things I prayed for most were wisdom and patience. Be careful what you pray for. Growing up (and remaining) a spoiled brat, I consider myself one of the more patient people I know, to nearly everyone—unless I am driving or waiting to be fed. This is counter to my actual personality make-up. It is a virtue that has been purchased with many tears on my part. For twenty-five years I prayed constantly, fervently, and whole-heartedly for God to release me from my attraction to other males. God did not see fit to answer that request. (Oh, my superiority in this arena also vanishes in the presence of those who say I simply did not pray enough, have enough faith, or did not really try.) I am thrilled that God did not answer that prayer. However, it was painful (understate much?) and lonely. I also think of supplications for healing for family members (Grandma). I leaned whole-heartily on specific scripture, prayer sessions, and proclamations of healing made by the spiritual giants of our community. Again, that prayer must have been sent with my list to Santa via Rudolf, and never made its way to the drop box nestled nicely within the Pearly Gates. During this time, my dearest friend asked me what would happen if the healing did not transpire and I had heard God’s promise wrong. Well, that thought was inconceivable. God would not lie. Therefore, it was easy to say that I would quit believing in Him. I trusted so much that it was an empty threat. Well, I still believe in Him, but I have never been able to see Him in the same way nor trust blindly since that day. However, I am much more patient and able to simply let the cards fall where they may instead of forcing my hand. The next thing that Patience brings to my mind is family and friends. I could go on for pages that would fill up a trilogy of novels on examples of this, but I will spare you that epic. I will cut to what I currently feel and believe. So many people are trying desperately to achieve the relationship with a parent that they have always longed for. Well, if they haven’t changed yet, chances are, they won’t (although, it does happen—for instance, I truly love my dad and have a wonderful relationship with him, something I never really thought possible). So many people expect certain things from their friends and are angry, hurt, and are willing to cut ties when things don’t go as planned. I have had plenty of time serving as a doormat to those ‘friends’ who I wanted to be close to. I have realized there is no reason to compromise who I am, what I believe, and what is right or wrong for me within a friendship or a relationship with a family member. However, I have also learned this in my quest for patience and real, genuine relationships: If you love someone, get to know who they really are—their strengths and weakness. Know their personality and learn what you can and can not expect from them. Then, decided if you can accept them for whom and what they are. If so, embrace them. If not, move on and quit bitching and trying to change them, you can’t anyway. Some parents may never be able to say ‘I love you,’ well, that sucks, but what other ways can you see that they are expressing that feeling without saying it? Some friends may always be late, never remember your birthday, and having annoying habits, but they are still able to ‘feed’ you in other ways. Know what to expect from them and don’t get your hopes up that they are going to morph into someone else. You won’t get disappointed, and may even be pleasantly surprised at times when they begin to change on there own (rare, but it does happen). The most obvious area patience shows up, I think, is in a relationship. I was involved in a two year relationship were few of my needs were met and were slaughtered in order to keep his needs met. It was hand’s down the most miserable and trapped feeling in my life. Better to be single and lonely than attached and miserable. The area of healthy relationships is new to me, but I think many of the things I have already stated are applicable. It is why it is so necessary to know these things about a person before making a commitment. Can you live with their weakness and flaws? Can they live with yours? There is obviously more reason here to address your needs and let the other person know what you are feeling and needing, be clear about it, without being blaming and aggressive. If these needs are not met, however, I don’t think the ‘move on’ strategy is appropriate. In both hetero- and homo- sexual marriages, I believe that the commitment (with a few exceptions) is a life-long agreement. Part of relationships is compromising your own needs as times. However, at times, it is about them compromising their needs for you as well. It is when it is one-sided that it becomes and issue. If that becomes the case, you continue to state your needs, continue to be loving and patience, but also stand up for the areas you need. I live by the motto, ‘pick your battles.’ Many battles do not need to be fought, and then, when it is time to fight, you will have the energy and passion to do it right. Well, I have no idea if I touched upon her intention of her inquiry. However, it was a glorious opportunity for dive into my ostentatious know-it-all, cavalier diatribe. An opportunity I rarely choose to pass up.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Iceburg Dreams

Written: 08.09.07;12:04AM
There is no reflection from the moon cascading over the waves outside my window. The sea is jet black. The sky is dark. Nearly. There is a thin strip of bloody burgundy at the horizon. I feel my insides swish with the swaying of the boat, with the rustling of the waves, making their way over the voice of Sara Bareilles singing over my iPod (get her CD, fantastic). I am on the final course of our Alaskan cruise (a graduation present for my little brother’s escape from high school).
It is the first time I have blogged in what seems like forever. Long enough that I have forgotten how to write, long enough for people to have stopped caring, long enough for my life to have changed yet again.
The most drastic life change? Yesterday, I finished a four day run-through of the final Harry Potter book. I will no longer be able to look forward to another voyeuristic voyage into the world of Hogwarts and Potterdom. Of course, I will, as with all of the other six books, continue to re-read and re-listen (on CD) to them at fairly frequent intervals. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and all of them have become steadfast friends, and I will not abandon our relationship simply because the fight with Voldermort has ceased. Deathly Hallows was a fitting final treasure.
In addition to friends killing vicious wizards, I have come out of what has been an insane month. I have finished grad school. I can’t believe how many pages I can actually type out in only a month’s time. It is done though. Nothing else to do for graduate level GPA and framed paper. Excited? Proud? Awed and Inspired? Nah. Just glad it is over. Glad that hoop has been jumped. Sad that I will have to go back to work. I start my teaching job in four days.
In some ways I am more nervous than I was when I finished my undergrad degree. I have had the luxury of living on loans the past year and now I am completely maxed out, and don’t really think I can create an adequate budget on my now ‘elevated’ salary. Oh, well, I can always sell blood. No, wait. Gay. Can’t do that. Sell my hair, it’s pretty. Too short. Sperm. I wonder if that is paid for per teaspoon or gallon….. have to check into that……
The scariest aspect of leaving academia? I have to go for it now. I will need a couple months to really get settled at my new school and position. Then, I have to go for it. I have to write the novel. I have to make it good. I then have to try to figure out what the next step of that process is. I know I can teach. I know I can work with people. I know I can take a pompous class and pass it with an A based on little more than my finger’s ability to strum out five-cent words and charm. I know I can do everyday life and survive fairly successfully. However, can I try to reach my dreams and fantasies now? Outside of choosing to embrace the real me, the Brandon I was born, the gay man, I have lived my life on the safe side, never truly taking a risk. This novelist and children’s book author/illustrator is terrifying. There are no safety nets. There are no guarantees of acceptance. I could suck, and suck royally. (Keep your lame, middle school humor to yourself.) I want to find out, though.
On another note, Chad and I have gone through our first trial as a couple. We have come out on the other side even closer than before. A few weeks ago, Chad had to have an emergency appendectomy and was in the hospital for a few days. Recovery took a couple weeks, in which I decided to have a little out-patient procedure of my own. We both learned much about each other. Chad is not a friend of needles, and Brandon has a hard time accepting help from others. Wow. This relationship stuff is scary as fuck. It is also completely amazing. Not counting my chickens (at least trying not to), but it is crazy when it just fits right. It is almost easy. Almost. I love it. I love him. I love us.
I have been blogging for nearly a year now. I have realized I blog best when I am hurting and pissed. I guess if poorer blogging is the cost of a happier personal life, bring on the duller blogs. I hope to continue the process though, as it acts as cheap therapy, a sounding board, and a muse. I will have to see how this next phase of life shapes up. Honest-to-goodness career, honest-to-goodness relationship, honest-to-goodness bills, honest-to-goodness grown-up. Wow. Bring on the mini-van.