Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No on 8

Dear Readers,

A little shameless plug for me and the love of my life...

Please see Red Stapler's blog post No on 8!

As election day approaches, my Juliet and I will begin to voice ourselves in the name of all the human beings in this country that were ever discriminated against.

It ends with Prop 8 - Californians, Vote NO on Proposition 8.

Respectfully yours,

--Sullivan

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For my Juliet

Dearest Juliet,

Because I was lucky enough to fall in love with you and find that you fell in love with me... because this song truly represents how lucky we are...

For you. I love you!



"Lucky" by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

Always yours,

--Sullivan

Time heals...

Dear Readers,

What's new? It's been the month from hell - picking up where we left off, making sense of the mess, looking over our shoulders, hiding under rocks, crying, cuddling, falling apart. Underneath the ruble, though is the truth: we love each other. We made a commitment to each other and here we are, making the most of it. It's not easy, but the reward is great: to see each other smile, to hold each other close, to breathe each other in, to calm each others nerves... to share a life.

Thornton Wilder said it best in "Our Town" - "people are meant to go through life two-by-two." What's the point of it all if you don't have one special someone to share it with? A witness to your life... someone to chronicle your every tear, your every smile, your every fart - LOL - someone who's seen your movie too, listened to the soundtrack of your life and made it with you.
Throughout this trying time - I won't lie - I've fallen quite low. But I didn't realize how low i had gotten until last week, when I gave my lunch back to the porcelain monarch. It wasn't until that moment that i stopped ignoring the chest pain, the moths (not just butterflies) in my stomach, and realized I need help.

I finally gave into the one thing i promised myself i would never give into: therapy. I would have sooner relinquished a limb than to have given into knowing that there was something i couldn't help myself with. But alas, when it gets to the point where you realize you just don't have the clarity to see what the solution is, you need to get help.

I've lost 22 lbs in 3 weeks. It's not only amazing, it's unhealthy. I look better than I have in years, but i feel horrible. My body is broken, weak, and in pain all the time. The chest pain is still not gone, the weak stomach persists, and the palpitations are far from over. The little flutter in my heart comes and goes... but, at least I'm not shaking my leg all the time anymore.

They say time heals... I hate that so much and yet it has proven to be so true... When i was 10, i lost my grandmother to time... and it took 3 years for me to recover. I'm hoping almost losing Juliet won't take 3 years... hopefully we can move on together, much sooner, but without rushing, without pressuring the people around us to change for us a minute sooner. They will come around; they just need time, like i needed time. To them, it's almost like they've lost us and coping is the hardest part. And to us... it's like we lost them and moving on is even harder.

But... time will heal things...

One song gets me through it: "Sa Jeunesse" By Charles Aznavour.


The song is about our fleeting youth and reflecting on our lives. The song reminds me to make the most of every day and to keep up my chin in anticipation of the day when i have the epiphany Monsieur Aznavour had when he wrote this song. On that day, I want to have no regrets about the things I did in my youth... including these few months. His music helps me through it. And my Juliet's smile makes it all worth it.

Wishing you the opportunity to know the love we share,

--Sullivan

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cookie Cutter Mold

Dear Lady Capulet,

My heart pains for you on a daily basis. On one hand, feelings of rage and hatred fill me. And on the other hand, I am so compassionate toward you. In my moments of compassion, i just want to go away and alleviate your pain. But my allegiance is not to you nor to my compassion for you. My loyalty is with your daughter. Leaving, would only hurt her, and I cannot bear to do that.

I realize you wish we could fit the cookie cutter mold you want us to fit in. For you, I wish the young Juliet was straight and in love with the perfect tall, dark and handsome man. For you, I wish our paths had never crossed, and that you would have never experienced the difference in life. But the fact is, that that's just not real. Like fairies don't fly around us, like the Easter Bunny doesn't bring us colorful eggs, and like Santa Claus doesn't come down your chimney, it's just not real that we would fit into your cookie cutter mold.

We are different. We were born into and developed differently than the perfect image you have in your mind. By chance, we crossed paths, and fate keeps us together. While you may not approve, never accept, never embrace, i will always forgive you. I will love your daughter every day from now to eternity. I will protect her, I will care for her, and I will bring a smile to her face every day for the rest of our lives. This is a promise I make to you, Lady Capulet.

With Love,

--Sullivan

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Let's Change the pace - My Biggest Critic

Dear Reader,

You might recognize that the over-zealous amongst us tend to be their own worst critics. But I have not ever been so fortunate to be hard on myself. Instead, I've had the pleasure of a lovely lady who has put me in my place - if yo will - every time i stepped out of it.

She is tactless in her ability to humble me. And yet, I am responsive. As raw as the form in which she tells me to get off my pedestal may be, I can see that she says it with love. I mean sure, there's no ignoring that there's a great deal of annoyance that she expresses when she tells me my ego has inflated. But if she didn't care about how others perceived me, she wouldn't care to goad me into bettering myself.

On that note, if you should find that my previous post was oddly reminiscent of wining and complaining - please know that the fair Juliet has already pointed it out to me and that I will do my best to be better next time. It's simply part of human nature, nonetheless, that in a trying time, we inevitably want a shoulder to cry on. Perhaps those moments of vulnerability are left best in private. But I've always tried to be an open book, so forgive me, fair Juliet and dear readers, if I made my woe public for you today.

I have a duty to you to keep my chin up and keep writing - so that I will.

She inspires me every day to be better than I was yesterday...

--Sullivan

Dear God, Why?

Dear God,

Why did you give me the ability to see things, this vision which can be so empowering and so debilitating? Why did you allow me to see the beauty in things, in nature, in people? And by the same token, why did you give me the ability to see the pain, the hurt, and the evil?

I demand to know why you gave me the inevitable ability to see the good in everything! It has hurt me so much to strive to identify it, to call it out in people, and to be the one to move them into goodness. It has especially hurt me when others have perceived it as malice.

Why did you enable me to witness first-hand how much awfulness there is in the world? Could i not have been spared? For that matter couldn't so many of us have been spared the awfulness?

Why did you make me different? Why couldn't i have been normal? Normal would have been easy. Normal is what people are used to and people aren't used to homosexuals yet; not enough of them, anyway. In giving me this lens, in making me different, in giving me the ability to love so deeply you have given me the ability to see it all - these lenses which give me vision beyond the basic material elements in our reality. Being different has allowed me to see the cruelty in ignorance and the beauty in compassion. But why must i endure the difficulty as well? Do you not think that I would appreciate what I have if you did not challenge me?

Why did you send me the perfect woman - the perfect partner - my best friend, my lover, my wife - she would have been. Why did you bring me the person who notices when a new beauty mark shows up on my face? Did you know, she watches them to make sure they don't change in shape or size? She hides my white hairs from me, tucking them behind my ear, so that I won't notice that I'm aging - something which she knows i dread. In the dead cold of the early morning, she'll stick her arm into the shower, just to wash my back as I prepare for work, because she knows I cannot reach it myself. She'll bind a leather book for me, and ask me to marry her with it. She'll rearrange the stupid tables at the wedding location, just so that my stubborn need to have the three spotlight used is met. Even if it looks stupid, she'll buy the three tiny branches instead of the huge dried tree for the guest wishes/notes. She'll map it out on the white board for me, when i can't spacially visualize what she's talking about. And the best part of all is that every morning she wakes up with a smile. Every morning she wakes up thinking it's a fresh new day, with a positive outlook, and a warmth that breathes life into me. And yet you gave me all of this that comes with an immeasurably horrible baggage - a mother from hell.

Why did you condemn me with the lady Capulet herself? She wants to kill me. She wants to rip me to shreds. She would have brought a shotgun, she said. She's antagonized my mother, my father, my grandmother, me. She's officially pissed me off. And yet, in her feeble and evil mind, she thinks that all this antagonizing will move me to cooperate with her. Why have you given me this challenge to choose between my family's safety and the person who will love me and care for me for all of my days? Do you not even think about how much I love her, my Juliet?

My heart is breaking. Every day she calls me, angry that I have not visited. And every day I have to plead with her, begging her to understand that I have to be cautious if I want to live. And every day she returns my excuse with the assertion that her mother will not be moved into violence. And every other day the evil Lady Capulet strikes again, calling another family member, another member of the community. She vexes us and slanders us all. It is unnerving. But somehow, we will endure.

How will i endure the push and pull between the family that says "save us from this mad woman" and the delicate Juliet that begs me to save her from that same mad woman? Why have you given me this challenge? And what is the right answer? Where should my loyalty lie? My family argues that it should lie with my family and the rest of the world seems to tell me to save the love of my life. The sad truth is, my heart tells me to save both and I'm not sure i see the solution to that. Experts tell me it's not my responsibility to save either - that i need to worry about myself. But I've never been selfish. the most selfish thing I did was allow Juliet to love me and to love her back with just as much commitment and passion.

Why God? Why?

--Sullivan

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

She strikes again

Dear Reader,

The Lady Capulet is quite relentless. Yesterday she paid a visit to the Montague grandmother. Once again she ranted on about how I brainwashed her daughter and switched her brain by being pushy and aggressive. Thankfully, my grandmother had the sense to explain to her that there is no way i could have convinced the fair Juliet to change her orientation. It amazes me, how in her simplicity, she is able to understand that. And yet, these oh so very complicated Capulets are puzzled beyond sense.

The amount of slander going around is so thick and dense, we would need an industrial die cutter to get through it. some say I'm to blame, some say the Montagues are at fault, others say no one is to blame, and others say the Capulets are solely at fault. More than anything, the consensus seems to be that Juliet and I should part. But we love each other, and if anyone has ever felt the bond of love, then they would know, that no obstacle is too great, no anguish is too painful, no duress too imposing to keep two people apart when they love each other. Love is strong. it is so strong. Stronger than i know.

Sometimes, in fleeting moments, I wish i never knew what love was. The old proverbial phrase comes to mind: "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." Truly, sometimes i believe that if i had never known what love was, i could have never missed it. But would that have been a life worth living? I'm still thinking about that one...

Pensive,

--Sullivan

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Another Day, Another Battle

Dear Readers,

The saga continues. Lady Capulet is relentless. She is going down her list of familiar and feeble family members, hoping to get through to someone, anyone who can influence me to "take my witchy clutches out of" her fair Juliet. Little does she know that the only witchy clutches in Juliet's vicinity are her own.

First she cornered my mother, threatening to set a curse of black magic on our Montagues if this relationship did not end by the end of the year. Then she tried to scare me by leaving me a death threat voicemail. When that wasn't enough, she showed up at my parents' doorstep minutes after the voicemail, screaming yelling, and threatening to destroy our family, to hurt us all, and especially to kill me. When that wasn't sufficient, she elicited the help of her minion nephew, who is married to my father's sister. And much to our grave surprise, the once Montague, now Capulet traitor sided with her minion husband, called me a whore and told me to stay away from her kids. may i note, at this key moment in the development of this social crisis, that i never had any association with her children, except when she invited us over and i would say "hi," "bye," and play monopoly with them, which was a maximum of 2x a year.

Needless to say, it did not stop there. The minion Nephew continued to try to harass me, my sister, fair Juliet, and our dear friend. But that's all documented in the police report, at this stage. And when all that did not suffice Lady Capulet, she proceeded to meet my father and antagonize Sir Montague. Luckily, he held his own, something i did not expect of him. He is an innocent and she is a malicious woman, trying to blame him for allowing our relationship to blossom in spite of the fact that homosexuality "is not natural," as she claims. But in fact, i have to argue, dear readers, that it is most natural in fact. But you don't need to take my word for it. Read on: http://blogs.webmd.com/sexual-health-sex-matters/2007/04/is-homosexuality-against-nature.html

What's next Lady Capulet? Who is next on your list of innocents to torture? When will you learn that only your minion nephew and his traitor wife will bow down to your feigned authority? The rest of us don't care about you, at all. And shame on you, for abandoning your child, for wrecking every chance of happiness she has ever had, because you could not allow anyone to love her more than you. You are selfish and greedy, and you know it. And what you do with all that negativity is try to project it on others. You have made me out to be the devil, calling me names and accusing me of things there is just no way i could have done. Gotten under you daughter's skin? Brainwashed her with flowers and candy? You are ludicrous! I merely treated her with respect and kindness, something which you clearly never knew how to afford her. It's no wonder she would rather be with me than with you. I offer her comfort, attention, support, help, tenderness, and humor. You offer her lectures, impositions, demands, oppression.

Someday you will learn that your role in life was not to control but to learn how to accept the things that are better than you. I believe. I believe in you, despite all your malice. I believe that you will see the light, and that the anciently aged indomitable rocks around your hidden heart will crumble to reveal a softer side of you. I believe you will come to terms with the fact that your child deserve to be happy too, even if it doesn't fit the traitorous mold you had to endure. And if i have believed this in error, then you will suffer the consequences, not I. you will feel the loneliness and abandonment that comes with rejecting your child's choices, as your child has felt it from you.

I pray for you at night, Lady Capulet. I pray not as you do - i do not wish you to turn into a snake, nor to leave us from this place. I pray that you will find peace in your heart and that you will prove to us all that there is a human inside of the monster you have shown us.

A prayer for Lady Capulet - may her heart find peace.

With hope,

--Sullivan

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

If you should someday stumble upon my blog, here is a letter I wrote you a year ago. It seems to resonate still today, as we are surviving this trying time together... Please read on when you have a moment to yourself.

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Last weekend you said something that hit very close to home for me. And I regret missing the opportunity to tell you that.
I don’t want to go through life knowing that you have no idea who I am. So, in an effort to avoid the Sunday morning teary-eyed conversation with my kids about how grandma and grandpa have no idea who I am, I am making a list for you.

I am a believer. I believe in love and good intentions.
I am a dreamer. My dreams are boundless and possible. I am someone who makes my dreams come true.
I am a romantic.
I am calculated.
I am passionate.
I am ambitious.
I am compassionate.
I am in love.
I am a child at heart, not in mind.
I am a deep thinker.
I am a philosopher.
I am an observer.
I am stubborn.
I am passive aggressive.
I am a writer.
I am a public speaker.
I am emotional.
I am sentimental.
I am sensitive to others.
I am a true friend.
I am committed.
I am faithful.
I am tired.
I am missing the support.
I am hurting.
I am angry at the world.
I am proud of my family for trying to overcome their instincts to reject me for being different.
I am angry at my family for making me feel like they’re rejecting me and my partner as a unit.
I am hurting because I feel like my family wants to sweep me under a rug and hide me.
I am angry that my family is turning a blind eye to the happiest part of my life, the most fulfilling part that I’ve been dying to share with them.
I am disappointed that the world cares so much about interfering in my pursuit of happiness.
I am so much more disappointed that my culture/community is so consumed with disrupting my happiness because it doesn’t fit their mold.
I am sad that the role I’ve played to fit in has so deeply hidden the person I am.
I am lucky. I am lucky to love and lucky to be loved, unconventional as it may be.
I am loved by a sensitive, kind, gentle, giving, committed, loyal, and loving person.
I am not alone in the world, though sometimes it might feel like I am.
I am part of a whole couple.
I am respected by my peers.
I am admired for being true to myself.
I am revered for sticking to my principles: every action I take is out of love and kindness.
I am a believer in the fact that I only have one chance to live and that I’d better make the most of it before my short time runs out.
I am a leader. I can make people dream with me.
I am sad that I haven’t been able to make my family dream with me.
I am excited to know that I found someone who wants to dream with me every day for the rest of our lives.
I am reassured to know that I found someone who will take care of me when I am old and gray because they want to.
I am thankful to have found someone who respects my principles, my family, my goals, and my ambitions.
I am grateful to have a partner in life who pushes me to follow through on my goals till I have accomplished them.
I am appreciative of the fact that my partner encourages me to have faith in my family, no matter how angry I get.
I am glad to have a partner with good morals.
I am aware of the challenges that I have faced and the challenges I am willing to continue facing.
I am not oblivious to the fact that my partner’s family is no basket of fruits, to say the least.
I am confident that we can endure victoriously and overcome all the obstacles put in the path of our love.
I am in the process of figuring out how to fight a bully.
I am welcoming allies and recruits for the defense I am building against that bully.
I am building an army of courage inside of me to demand of the world the most ridiculous thing: the right to my happiness, as if it’s the world’s to give.
I am someone who makes my own happiness.
I am not an activist.
I am someone who makes lemonade out of lemons; damn good lemonade too.
I am not a thief.
I am not an extortionist.
I am not a cheater.
I am not promiscuous.
I am not confused.
I am not rushing into things.
I am not stupid or naïve.
I am not unreasonable.
I am not possessive.
I am not manipulative.
I am not trying to rush you.
I am impatient.
I am nervous about how you are feeling.
I am worried about you.
I am worried about you and me.
I am NOT selfish.
I am certain.
I am the owner of a huge ego.
I am humbled, nonetheless.
I am a person who builds lasting relationships. And I want to build a lasting relationship with my family; all I need is a little reassurance that I am not alone in this desire.
I am desperately wanting to share my life with my family.
I am in admiration of my father, the role model who has taught me to fight for what I believe in.
I am eager to keep my sister close to me; she’s all I’ve got in this life.
I am someone who always wanted to have a close bond with my mother.
I am working on building bonds.
I am educated; I know too much.
I am wise; life has made me this way despite my age.
I am a trooper; I have endured a lot of pain.
I am independent; I have bared my own cross.
I am a sister; I give rides to parties and school; I waste my day hanging out at the back of the same restaurant to make sure she’s safe; I take her to movies; I worry every second that she’s not holding my hand; I am proud of her.
I am a daughter; I have worn the dresses, grown my hair long, gotten good grades, been on TV, written a play, spoken at funerals, graduated early, gotten a prestigious job; I have understood my parents; I have never blamed my parents for anything; I have come home every night, called every day, and kept my paranoid mother in touch so she worries a second less; I have not done drugs; I did not come home pregnant and bare-footed; I did not sleep around; I remembered every birthday, holiday, and anniversary, not because I was obligated but because I love you; I kept the messiness of the truth away to spare you; and because I love you so much, now that I’ve found the person that matters, now that we’re getting ready to settle down, I want you to be a part of that.
I am going to make this work, with or without your support, because I have dreamt that I can, because I want to, and because I know I will be able to. I would just rather do it with you by my side, but that’s your choice to make.
I am asking my father to support me, please.
I am begging for tolerance, hoping for acceptance, and dreaming of some embrace.
I am praying my father will give my partner another chance, a chance worthy of more than just an awkward, fleeting handshake.
I am hoping that my father will show me I’m not alone in the world.
I am asking that despite all the pressures of the rest of the world – that world which could care less about when your back hurts, when you’re stressed at work, when you’re unfulfilled at work, when you’re emotionally lacking – that my daddy will help me now that I’m asking him to, because it hurts me when his back hurts, because I stress with him when he’s stressing, because I want to help him find self-fulfillment when he’s seeking it, because I want to love him when he’s lacking love, because I love him.

Dad,

If ever there were anyone who would love you the most, it’s me. I know I’ve done a lousy job of showing it to you, especially in the last few years, but you have been my example, my role model, and my mentor. Everything I know and believe about decency, kindness, and love, I learned from you. And I would hope that at this time in my life, when I try to reach out to you for closeness, that you can look at me (although with some pain in your heart) and still be proud to see that while somewhat unconventional and challenging of the way the world is, I am decent, I am loving, and I am kind. And even if you never accept me for the choices I’ve made, I will always adore you for making me the wonderful person I know I am. I can never thank you enough for doing all the right things and instilling within me the values of family, responsibility, and love that guide me. As hard as this is, I know that someday you’ll stop hating me for the choices I made to be happy. I know this because we’re so alike. I’m sorry I put so much pressure on you to be the ideal dad. But honestly, it’s just that… that’s how highly I think of you. I never thought you were any less and it made me so angry when I saw you talk and act like you might not be the dad I know and need. And I should have never asked you to be something you’re not. But I’m a firm believer that it never hurts to ask. I need you to know that you are a phenomenal man, the best man I will ever know, and that I will love you, whether from a distance or close by, forever!

No matter what you decide, I’ll die believing you wanted to pick me over society… so no matter what you decide, please don’t crush that belief; please.>>

Sigh,

--Sullivan

What just happened?


Dearest Sympathetic Readers,

I have been absent, planning a wedding, planning a life. I hope you can forgive me. But upon my return, i regret to inform you that I have no wedding bliss pictures, no honeymoon tales, and no overall smiles to share. I have, instead, the woe and sorrow of a tragedy to tell.

It is with a very heavy heart that I write you this entry to announce that due to an unexpected turn of unfortunate events, the dream wedding we had so anticipated is off.

On August 19th, 2008 at 9:30pm, my Juliet's mother claimed that one of our friends arrived at her doorstep with one of our wedding invitations and presented it to her. Immediately after that, i received a call on my cell phone from a blocked number and didn't answer it. Juliet, myself and a friend were convened at another friend's house when the call came in. The voicemail that was left was a death threat from a very familiar voice who was trying to deepen their tone to disguise themselves. It was uncannily reminiscent of the "Santa Claus" voice that Juliet's mom used to make at Christmas for the children. At Juliet's heed, we marched to the Glendale Police station and filed a report. Within minutes, the crazy woman was at my house harassing my parents. After several threats to kill us all and vex us with black magic, we had to make the grave decision to cancel the wedding and part ways, in an effort to spare our lives.

Juliet and I love each other very much and are horribly devastated by the fact that we had to make this decision to protect the people we love.

We thank you all for your support. We ask that you are patient with us while we learn to cope with the life change we are having to make. As soon as we figure things out and stop hurting quite as much, we will provide you with a follow up of what we are to do next.

We do not know who gave the evil woman an invitation, nor are we certain that her allegation is true. We cannot imagine that anyone on on our guest list would have done that to us. But if it is true, alas, that person will have to live with themselves.

Please do not judge us for the decision we had to make to survive. We never imagined this would get quite so bad. We have no way of knowing if her threats are imminent or not and cannot risk the lives of innocent family members based on a hunch.

We just had to give each other up to spare each other's lives. This is very hard.

With a heavy heart,


--Sullivan

Monday, June 30, 2008

How my Juliet proposed

Dear Mar and other interested readers,

When it came to proposing to the die-hard romantic, my darling Juliet outdid me by far. You'd think it's important for the romantic of the two to have a magnificent proposal story. But in fact, it seems she gave the romantic the most memorable, knock-your-socks-off, romantic-est proposal ever!

Juliet and I had found a lovely "private" beach, as we called it. It was a 100-ft mini beach that the bay dumped into, overlooking Downtown San Diego. It was secretly nestled between Il Fornaio and a tented playhouse. Thinking we were the only ones ever to have discovered this secret spot, we walked down to our little private beach and people watched on our blue blanket.

Being that it was the day of our anniversary, my Juliet presented me with an anniversary gift. It was rectangular in shape, wrapped in navy blue crushed velvet fabric, tied with a gold tassel, with a red rose hanging from it. When I unveiled the fabric, it was wrapped in white paper. As I tugged at the white paper, i discovered a blue, leather bound book, with my nick name embossed on the cover in silver leaf. The binding read "The Early Works." She had compiled all my poetry, short stories, and articles and had them published and leather bound.

She made me flip through the pages, until I got to the point where the pages seemed to be stuck. At about the middle of the book was a page that included a very romantic inscription, at the bottom of which was a flap that read "Will you marry me?" When i lifted the flap, it revealed the engagement ring. She had a ring box built into the second half of the leather bound collection of everything I had written to date. Not to mention, the inscription leading to the flap made me cry, it was so cute. She not only eternalized my work, but made me a proposition I could not resist! Of course, I said "Yes!" And it was magical.

Loving her,

--Sullivan

Friday, June 27, 2008

Plans A, B, C and D

Dear Super Des and other Readers,

I thought it only fair, after sharing with you the actual proposal story, to share the runner up options which fell through.

Plan A:
Having been to the city of love/lights before, I could think of nothing better than to propose to my Juliet in France. She was graduating from college in June of 2007 and we had made plans to travel together for our 5th anniversary as a sort of double celebration. I kept pushing to go to Europe, thinking I could make it a most memorable trip.

Planning in advance, i contacted a florist in Paris that was willing to make me a floral arrangement in the shape of an engagement ring, which would hold a ring box in the center of the "stone" part. My plan was to arrange for us to go to the Eiffel Tower on the day of our anniversary, in the early afternoon. Among the crowds, I would ask my Juliet to take a seat on the bench under the tower, and wait for me to buy the tickets to climb the lift of the tower. While she waited, florists would come by to deliver her little floral arrangements and greet her with "Bonne Anniversaire Mademoiselle" until the last arrangement would arrive (the ring arrangement). The ring box would have a little note inside that said "Will you marry me?" at which point i would approach, kneel, and present the ring.

Plan B:
My Juliet began suspecting that i wanted to propose to her and jested to me that i would do something corny like propose under the Eiffel Tower. So i quickly began to amend the plan.

I contacted a friend who could arrange for a quartet to play along the banks of the Seine river, where the artists paint and sell. Once again set in Paris, I intended to take my Juliet to the banks of the Seine on the afternoon of our anniversary to have our portrait painted. While we "posed" I would arrange for the quartet to play the tango from Scent of a Woman (the song we danced to together when we were falling in love). Once again, I would have the floral scene play out as described above, at which point, I would once again kneel and ask.

Plan C:
George Bush and his ensemble ensured that the value of the dollar would drop, and it increasingly became nearly impossible to afford diamond rings and a lavish trip to France. So, i had to take the practical route.

Coronado Island happens to be the place where we fell in love. We didn't know it at the time, but the minute we became a couple, we realized that Coronado Island was the magical place that did it for us. So why not pop the question there?

I made reservations for us to stay in the deluxe suite at the Crown City Inn. We would drive down the day before our anniversary, and spend a 4 day weekend in our special place. I could not think of a better idea, than to have an insta-engagement. So i devised a "super secret" email to our most intimate friends, inviting them to drive down on the day of our anniversary (Friday August 24th) to meet us for dinner at The Rhino Cafe. The Rhino was a sentimental restaurant for us, one we had visited every time we went down to the island. It was where we shared our first glass of wine. The plan was to have them all seated for dinner, waiting for us to arrive. When we would get there, they would yell "Surprise" as if they were throwing us a surprise anniversary party. Once the excitement had settled, i would make a speech or announcement and propose to my Juliet. Poof, the surprise anniversary party would instantly become and engagement party.

Plan D:
The jerks at the Rhino cafe refused to accommodate a party of 12. So instead i thought of the next most sentimental spot for us: The Lambs Players Theatre. Every time we visited the island, our ritual was to see a play at the Lambs Players Theatre and have dinner at The Rhino. I had asked a friend to make arrangements with the theatre to do the following:

I would take my Juliet for what she thought was a Friday matinee. We would be seated in the front row of the dark theatre, after which i would excuse myself to go to the restroom. Prior to our arrival, our guest list of friends would have been allowed to fill the seats of the theatre. So unbeknownst to my Juliet, our friends would have been sitting behind and all around her. In the meantime, the stage manager would have directed me to the back of the stage, so that i may make an appearance on the set. A light tech would have shined a spotlight on me, and a sound tech would have played a song i had prepared. I had made a medley of all of our songs, ending with Peter Gabriel's "Book of Love" which ends with the line "I want to give you wedding rings." I would come on stage, do a little pirouette to the medley, get down on one knee and propose. After she said "Yes," the house lights would go on, and the audience would applaud. Much to her surprise, my Juliet would find us surrounded by our friends. Dinner reservations were made such that we could all have an instant-engagement party immediately after at the Hotel Del Coronado.

The history behind Plan E:
About a month before the "big day" I sent out an email to all our friends, telling them the super secret surprise engagement details. One friend replied to the email and added that we should get together for dinner soon. As stupid as i am, i replied and copied in my Juliet to ask if she was in agreement over the dinner date schedule. Much to my stupidity, the previous chain of emails were included, and the surprise was spoiled. she had seen the details of the insta-engagement plans included in Plan C. So to throw her off, i told her i was so upset at the misfortune of her having found out about it, that i was cancelling the whole thing. In reality i proceeded to plan out Plan D. Well, feeling bad that i had gone through all the trouble and then cancelled, she sent out an email of her own, inviting all the same people to try to surprise me on her own! Before we knew it, we had each invited all the same people, to the same place, for different reasons. Well, we found each otter out, and simply planned a joint engagement dinner for the evening of our anniversary and had planned to each propose to each other when we felt it was right - we just had to make sure we did it before the engagement dinner part! haha!

So about half an hour before Plan D was supposed to take place, i found out that our guests were nowhere near the island yet. So i was willing to abandon the "audience" factor of my grand scheme and rushed to the theatre at 5:30 to make my grand performance for my Juliet. At 5:25 my friend called to tell me that the lady at the Theatre called her to tell her that they didn't have a light or sound tech available. Fine! I would abandon all that too. Finally, she called to say they simply wouldn't be able to accommodate us anymore. So, spontaneously out of options, I thought that the beach front at the Hotel Del Coronado was the other most sentimental spot for us. I immediately texted all our friends, urging them to rush over there. I parked the car in a loading zone, grabbed the blanket out of the back seat (which was luckily there) and dragged my Juliet by the hand to the beach where... you can read all about it in the previous post on Plan E!

Still laughing about the fiasco,

--Sullivan

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How I proposed...

Dear readers,

I am ashamed to admit that when the time came to do the most romantic thing in the world, all my world-class perfect proposal ideas fell to flame and all I was able to do is the following:

In a rushed Plan E, I texted everyone to meet us on the white-ish sands of the Hotel Del Coronado on August 24, 2007. We were wearing the same outfits we wore exactly 5 years ago, when in a completely unexpected moment, we kissed on August 24, 2002.
We found 4 rows of white wedding chairs lined on the sand in preparation for a wedding rehearsal, and sat and waited for our audience to arrive. I laid down a blue fleece blanket on the sand, and the wind began to blow. My best friend, at the time, laid down her purse to keep the edges of the blanket from curling up. We each took off our shoes and lined the other corners and edges of the blanket. I took my Juliet by the hand and led her to the blanket. I gently got down on one knee and said:



"In this unforgiving world,
We seek to find
A smile, a glimmer, a breath returned
To call home.

And I - I’m lucky, because
Every time you smile back at me,
When I see that glimmer in your eyes,
When I feel you breathe…
I know I’m home.

I want nothing more than to come home to you
Every day for the rest of my life.
So if you’d like to come home to me too...
Will you marry me?"


She said "Yes!" :)


Still in love with my Juliet,

--Sullivan

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Lord's Prayer in Armenian

Dear Readers,

On the off chance that any of you might want to learn how to recite the Lord's Prayer in Armenian, here it is transliterated in English for you below.

A Phonetic key:
'i'-s have the long "eeeeeeee" sound below. 'tz'-s make the same sound you get in tsetse fly. 'gh' makes the same sound as the French 'r'. 'u'-s make the same uhhhhhhhh sound as in uncle. 'oo'-s make the same oooooooo sound as in "ooooooooo, ahhhhhhhhhh". And all 'r'-s must be rolled. "yoo" is pronounced like "you" with an 'n' or 't' tacked on depending on the word. 'o'-s alone make the long 'ooooooooo' sound as in oval. 'Ayl' is pronounced like aisle.


The Lords Prayer: Transliterate (English) - Hayr Mer (Our Father)
Hayr mer vor hergins yes;
Soorp yeghitzi anoon ko.
Yegeghtze arkayootyoon ko;
Yeghitzin gamk ko;
Vorbes hergins yev hergri.
Uz-hatz mer hanabazort door mez aysor.
Yev togh mez uzbardis mer,
Vorbes yev menk toghoomk merotz bardabanantz.
Yev mi danir uzmez ee portzootyoon;
Ayl purgya uzmez ee chare.
Ziko e arkayootyoon yev zorootyoon yev park havidyans, havidenitz, Amen.


Yours,

--Sullivan

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

They just can't be happy for us!

Dear Reader,

My dearest and I did a lovely thing this memorial day. We spun a huge web of lies just to surprise my family in Orlando, FL while on their week-long DisneyWorld vacation. My father had been very upset that I wasn't joining them on this trip. They seem to have removed all thoughts from their minds that I have a significant other and that we are progressing towards settling down together. Needless to say, when I told them I was saving my vacation days for something else, they got mad at me. They don't know that "something else" is our honeymoon. But, to smooth things over, Juliet and I did what we had to do, spent too much money, and surprised them for the long weekend. They were ecstatic to see us. They were so happy to have us with them for a few days that nothing else mattered. We were away from home, away from all the burdens, and enjoying that imagination and sublimation of the happiest place on earth: DisneyWorld!

It was great and we came back without them. We had the house to ourselves for a week so Juliet told her parents she was away on a conference for a week and stayed with me instead. It was wonderful playing "house" and living together as we will be soon. And nothing was more awful than when we had to finally part.

The last few days since my parents' return have been quite strange. I've been moody and she's been needy and in between us is our family. My folks have wanted to consume every minute of my time and so have Juliet's. They've driven her crazy at this point. And all the while, we struggle to get together for meals and share a couple of hours together. Unfortunately, spending that time at my house seems to be the worst thing, now that every one's back home. It was lovely while we were here alone, but now that we're back, my mother has started again with her heavy sighs and ugly faces. Juliet doesn't deserve that - and yet my mother can't stop hating her for being the one person to come in and ruin her complacent bull shit life! It makes me mad. We dine with our other friends at my house, and my parents praise their relationships and are overjoyed for them. And when they see my Juliet and I exchange a smile or a glance, they develop a look of disgust and follow it with those ugly sighs. Why can't they be happy for our affection too?

What's worse is that I'm now officially poised in the position where I'm about to crush everything in every one's lives by taking this huge plunge. And as D day gets closer, i get more and more nervous. I don't know how i can do it - to ruin so many people. My parents will be shamed by the lady Capulet. My grandparents, who are friends with the Capulets, will have their social circle destroyed. Their monthly gatherings will officially crumble because of us. The community will be in an uproar. And as much as I'd like to care less about them, the Capulets will be ruined. All they have is their one daughter and i am ruining all their hopes and dreams because I'm a woman. My Montagues will never get along with them and I have no idea what we got ourselves into.

I almost want to call it quits, run away, forget it all... but I can't! I adore her. I'm just not sure how I'm going to work out living with myself for the rest of my life, knowing i caused the heartache of so many people, albeit that they are narrow minded and un-accepting. This is the cross I bare, daily. And yet, I can't take it anymore; I can't stand not living together anymore. I'm ready to start my life. But what's the solution? How do I get around the mess? What do I do?

Readers, please comment with some suggestions. I'm losing my mind in this conflict between martyrdom and doing something for myself for a change!

Nervous and Confused,

--Sullivan

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sorry for not posting

Dearest readers,

After final examinations, I took a week to get everything else in life sorted out, and then we took a short trip to the east coast to surprise my parents in Disney World. So the traveling and the business of life has kept me from posting on the blog. But rest assured, I'll be back in business soon, following up on my last post about The Alcove.

More Soon,

--Sullivan

Friday, May 16, 2008

To the mystery woman from the Alcove

Dear Lady,

Should you happen to find my blog online, please know that your note of distress has fallen into caring hands.

Wednesday night, I found myself hopelessly muddled, sifting through pages of notes and textbook conundrums, studying for a final exam in my Communication Theory Seminar. I was sitting in the back room of the Alcove, in the Los Feliz Village. I was waiting patiently for my turkey sandwich to arrive, when a page from my notes fell to the ground. My fiancee, kind as she is, leaned over to pick it up for me, and found your note written on the back of an old receipt. Your note read:

"Life is far too mysterious at times. Unfortunately, my life is quite upside down at the moment. I'm sitting across a man who loves me for what i can be not for who I am... That's a tragedy. I'm in love with love... And I'm a mess."

Please know that I took your note, and replaced it with a note myself. I took an old receipt out of my pocket, and shared with you the threshold of mystery I am currently facing. Should you care to share this moment, you can find my note on the floor, next to the two-person table located in the back room of the Alcove in Los Feliz - the table that is located next to the only plug - across from the bathrooms.

I am honored to have had a glimpse into such a mysterious moment in your life. I wish you luck and offer my empathy. Please stay true to who you are and do not sell yourself short.

Good luck fair lady,

--Sullivan

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just a "heads-up"

Loyal Readers,

My deepest apologies, but I am unable to keep up with posting this week. As I continue to pursue a higher education, obligatory things such as "Exams" seem to take the priority.

More soon,

--Sullivan

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's the world coming to?

Hello my dear reader,

I'm stumbling on some thoughts of uncertainty this morning. And with all good intentions, I want to share them with you, but hope that you can find it in your heart not to judge me for them.

Wednesday nights I have dinner with my great aunt and uncle in Thousand Oaks. They live out there, in the Nation's safest city, and I happen to work near by. So it's the least I can do to visit my beloved grandmother's brother once a week and keep them company for dinner. Of course, they treat me like a princess: my aunt cooks up a storm, my uncle picks fresh fruits for me from the back yard, they open a bottle of wine, and we chat over dinner. They don't even let me set the table or pick up after myself. They're so excited to have a visitor, that they'll do anything to make it worth my while. They don't even know how much it means to me to get to see them every week. He's all i really have left of my grandmother (besides my mom, obviously). But my grandmother and her brother were very close. They are so much the same person, it's uncanny! So i have my own vested interest in visiting. But they don't realize that i just genuinely love them... I'd visit even if dinner wasn't included...

Needless to say, this post isn't so much about them. Rather, it's about something my aunt - we'll call her Alice in Wonderland - had to say. Albeit that she is generally an optimistic person, last night she painted a very dark picture for me. She said she feared the economy was going to be at its worst and that people would be in complete chaos. She said she feared that a major catastrophe could annihilate our computer system, virtually destroying every ounce of technological progress that is controlled by computers right now. She said she feared that if we lost our computer technology systems, we would lose access to everything we take for granted: water, gas, electricity - because, as she fears it, it's true, computers manage the flow of our water, the rationing of our electricity and the distribution of our gas. And it's not so much that I'm afraid that we won't have water, gas, or electricity, but that she might be onto something.

What she said resonated with me a bit, as I've been worried about where life is going. The current stream of politics is disheartening, as no one is passionate about what they're doing anymore. it's all feigned interest for the sake of capital gain. Yeah we have a female candidate and yes we have an "African American" candidate. But it doesn't really signify what it should. And regardless of the individual, the country is in bad shape and frankly, I'm not confident that any of the candidates can save us from a disaster.

Here's another thought: education. I'm a firm believer in the power of knowledge and the need for education. But I've noticed a growing trend. Every new generation wants its children to get educated and to take office jobs. What happens if Alice in Wonderland is right and someday our technology goes to hell and office jobs are no longer in demand? Who will till the land and grow the crops and do the man labor if every new generation is being groomed for white collar uniforms? Immigrants? Didn't we all start out as immigrants somewhere down the chain of our ancestry?

We've lost the value in having a trade. We master a subject area, get a million and one degrees to back it up and then... do nothing with it. We need to learn how to make things with our hands - things we need, not things we want. I say this because, likely just as you do, i take it for granted that there's an Albertson's two bocks away from me, where I can buy a box of fresh basil or a package of steak meat. I say this because I' ve never had to fish my own dinner or grow my own herbs - and i bet you've never had to either. I'm not talking about extreme camping trips either - you know, the ones you can get in your car and drive away from when you finally get hungry enough. No - I mean that down right necessity to survive! My generation has never felt it because everything is available to us on a PLATINUM PLATTER!

I'm not saying it's going to happen, and I'm not saying it's not... but someday we may have to re-invent the wheel for humanity and I would hate to be the one with a bunch of degrees under my belt and the incapacity to build a straw roof over my head. My new mission is to learn a trade that i can do with my hands. Call it my plan B. Anyone else in?
Pensively Yours,
--Sullivan

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The New Narcotic: FOOD!

Dear Reader,

I am confessing to you today about a secret addiction I have had all my life. I stayed away from the promiscuous sex, the dumbing alcoholism, and the emphasematic smoking, but I couldn't take my hands off food. I have eaten myself into oblivion and now I'm a pathetic fat blob.

Have you ever seen the movie Super Size Me? I think it was stupid. It completely missed the point of helping people in America realize how over weight they've become. Sure we learned about how awful McDonald's food is if you eat it every day. But did that not teach us anything about the way we're eating?

I can't help myself anymore. I love food. It's a self-destructive passion. I long for perfectly crusted potatoes Au Gratin and a tenderly grilled rib eye steak. All the while, my arteries are screaming in anticipation of the cholesterol attack they are about to receive. Of course, if I could, i would couple this delectable meal with a crisp salad and an ice-cold soda and call it a day well spent. And the morning after... well, let's just say the scale and I are not friends.

The movement toward organic foods has begun to upset me. American foods have so many preservatives and trans fats in them that it has become virtually impossible to stay away from those cardio-killers without starting a new branch of food: organic. Does anyone remember the days when you actually grew your own herbs? My grandparents used to "hunt" their own meat? Now adays it comes to us perfectly packaged, color added, chemicals and hormones disguised. And when we eat the organic foods, they taste weird to us. What ever happened to the natural flavor of foods?

Here's the problem: we have an over abundance of supply. Americans have the ability to consume, and they exercise that ability to its maximum capacity. Look at buffets for example. There is no logic reason why we need to display so much food. But we do it because we can and because a lavishly stocked table has come to mean luxury, opulence, and greatness. All the while, the American people are growing in size.

The Big and Tall-s and Lane Bryant-s of this world are enabling us even more. They're telling us it's ok to be so fat that we don't fit into mainstream clothing anymore. I'm not by any means encouraging the promotion of the anorexia we see displayed on TV. But let's be realistic... it's not even a matter of aesthetics anymore. I have chest pains at 24. I don't want to know what's causing them. That's my own denial...

What am I to do about this addiction? I love food. For me, it means reward, pleasure, opulence, happiness. How to I change that association? Any suggestions?

Join me, if you will, in a quest to free ourselves of the bad habit of eating. We should eat just enough to survive. I'm preaching like a hypocrite...

Hoping to set a better example,

--Sullivan

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Guess what I'm doing Right Now!?!

Dear Reader,

I'm very happy to share with you that on my lunch break today, i took a little file folder, placed it on the grassy walkway between our buildings, sat down on it, and blogged. What a wonderful thing Air Cards are! Not the Verizon ones, though. And may I add, that never has the grass looked greener and never have I been less terrified by bugs than in this very peaceful moment, when the freeway bustles to my right, the flag clanks in front of me, the wind blows behind me, and all I see are greens to my left. Life is good...

Please enjoy the view from where I'm sitting...






Yours,

--Sullivan

Our Childhood is Important

Dear Reader,


It strikes me ironic how little we know, when we're kids, that every minute of those precious developmental years will shape what we eventually call: Happiness.


I am fortunate to have found a mate in life who shares with me my passions and my woes. While we may not have shared fundamental moments in our childhood together, she appreciates the things i keep near and dear to me. That's exactly the kind of person i wanted to marry.


Growing up, I experienced a lot of things with my parents and as a result, their preferences became mine. It's no wonder that years into my adulthood, the things that make me happy are the things that remind me of pleasant events in my childhood. And it's funny to me, that we don't know that when we're young and we often miss it when we're growing up. So at what point is it that we transition away from merry-making that revolves around childhood memories?

It was the thing to do every summer, to pile into our sedan and drive down to Coronado Island, San Diego, CA for the weekend. We'd typically stay at the Glorietta Bay Inn, overlooking the bay and the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado. Some of my happiest childhood memories took place on that island. And without fail, the apple falling no further from the tree, as soon as I was old enough to do it on my own, my Juliet and I traveled to Coronado Island ourselves and stayed at the Glorietta Bay Inn. Of course, on that first trip... we weren't even dating yet. But you might say it was the weekend we fell in love, officially! :) Coronado Island is now the landmark of many happy memories and officially the place we go to just to get away from the hardships of life. We fell in love their, we claim our sublimation there, and best of all, we got engaged there.


As a kid, I often watched my father down cans and cans of Pepsi. Sharing a can was like the greatest reward. And it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite personal treats is an almost slushy can of ice-cold Pepsi. Or at least it used to be. But my love affair with Pepsi is worthy of its own blog post.


Disneyland leaves me a whole other bucket of happy moments. That's where my grandparents used to take me as a child. In fact, Disneyland and I had a love-hate relationship for a while too. As a child, it was the happiest place on earth for me, serving as a monumental bonding experience for me and my grandmother. In my teenage years, having lost my grandmother and being a lonely frustrated teen, I hated Disneyland. But when Juliet and I fell in love, suddenly, it was the place to go. It's funny how theme parks design rides such that they need to be enjoyed in tandem. It sucks to be left without a partner. Always go to theme parks in even numbers!!!! Having a mate in life really helps!


Dining out deserves a chapter of its own in the novel of happiness. As a kid, every holiday, every celebration, every reward, everything positive revolved around going out to eat. Lavish meals and a couple drinks around a big table, and that was the way to really enjoy life: good food and good company. Naturally, as a "youngster" in my twenties - you know, the money-squandering kind - it should also not surprise you that the number one thing I do to keep happy amidst the depressing insanity of our world is go out to eat. I spend almost 100% of my net earnings on food. What I don't spend on food I spend on clothes to make me look less fat and the occasional elaborate gift for my fiancee. Eating is that one most pleasurable thing next to sex that puts the icing on every positive thing. That's how we celebrated when I was a kid and that's how I celebrate now. And the price we pay for such indulging celebrations: The size 14 Calvin Klein jeans I'm bursting out of as I write to you today. But hey, I'm happy, right?


The thing is, that even though objects and activities like Pepsi, Disneyland, and eating out were things that I remember so fondly, trying to hold onto them and consume those American Dream commodities is not making me any happier. "Pillow Talk" in Juliet's arms after I clocked out of work yesterday was so much more rewarding than all the cans of Pepsi, all the trips to Disneyland and Coronado, and all the meals out I've had in the last 24 years of this precious life. And yet, it's pathetic, that my natural instinct is to ask my Juliet out for a fabulous meal at the end of a shitty day - you know, to compensate for the crappy day I put up with. Better yet, at the end of huge project, ask me what my department does to celebrate! We go out for ice cream. More consumption of that absolutely-addicting, not-yet-diagnosed narcotic: FOOD!


Did I mention I'm also crazy about the Disney classics I grew up watching?


Desperately trying to grow up,


--Sullivan

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Message to my Readers


Dearest Readers,

Your interest and comments are overwhelmingly positive. Thank you form the bottom of my heart for coming back to check up on new posts. I regret to admit that the last few days have rendered me exhausted and without enough time to update the blog with new posts. I promise to get back into the swing of things by Wednesday.

A big thanks to Red Stapler for sending readers my way. Please check out Red Stapler - blog linked to the left! The fabulous writer/blogger keeps me company from 9-5 in the adjacent cube and is responsible for my plunge into blogging. Should have listened to the fiancee ages ago... but... at least I'm here now thanks to Red Stapler.

More soon...

--Sullivan

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sullivan...

Dear Reader,

Many moons ago, I stumbled on a motivational book of romantic quotes. At the time I was dating someone whose name sounded like Sarah, so when I found this little quote/poem, I thought it was fateful, and clung to it tremendously. On a 4x2 mini page, it read:

"Sarah, my love for you is deathless.
The memories of all the blissful moments I have spent with you come crowding over me.
If I do not [return], my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, nor that, when my last breath escapes me on the battle­field, it will whisper your name."
--Major Sullivan Ballou

The last line captivated me so much that with that one line it surmised for me what I thought it meant to love someone. Imagine... to say their name as your last breath escapes you... how romantic!


Needless to say, I shared it, immediately, with my girlfriend of the time, and we agreed to assume the roles of Sullivan and Sarah. Teen-age lovebirds, we exchanged rings and had our pen names engraved in them. Years later, we saw it fit to part ways... irreconcilable differences, you know. But "Sullivan" stuck with me.

How noble a man who would profess his undying love with such candor and eloquence... that's everything I wanted to be. That's still everything I want to be. So i assumed the pen name: Sullivan.


I kept that ring for some time. It had a creme colored Cameo set in black onyx and surrounded by tiny little marcasite stones. It was octagonal shaped and had "Sullivan" engraved on the inside of the band. I used to wear it ever day that "Sarah" and I were still together, until the last few months of our relationship, when infidelity and resentment had caused a great rift between us. Eventually, I cast the ring aside, as it carried unpleasant memories.

Ironically, when my fiancee (we'll call her Juliet from now on) and I started dating, she found the ring among my jewelry and thought it was something i adored. Poor thing went to great lengths to try to find me a new Cameo set. My Juliet was quite crushed when I told her it wasn't the Cameo I was attached to, but Sullivan.

Major Sullivan Ballou happened to be an honest man with the ability to profess his undying love. Love is the one thing i have lived by for all of my 24 years and plan to keep it as my guiding light till the very end. To read the inspiration letter that prompted the little quote i stumbled on, please visit http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/12manassas/12facts1.htm

In the meantime, Sullivan seems to stay with me... a name, an alter ego... the man I would have wanted to be.

Romantically Yours,

--Sullivan

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We're Not Bad Kids!

Dear Reader,

It's funny when you think about everything we had to go through to get to this point. We're adults now, seemingly capable of managing our own lives. So why is it that at the age of 24, each time we screw up noticeably, it's like we're right back on daddy's lap, getting a spanking?

As if the spanking isn't bad enough, we get that look of utter disgust and disappointment. And for a few of us special ones, we even get the pudgy after-faces that come from having cried about what a disappointment we turned out to be.

Sex, drugs, and alcohol! Those were the things we were told to stay away from. And did we listen? Heck yes we did! We got good grades in school, we brought home trophies and awards, we participated in extra curricular activities (albeit mindful of our parents' schedules). We were stellar. Heck, most of my friends have never even jokingly held a cigarette between their fingers, much less smoked or even seen weed. And now that we've grown up, the days of worshiping mommy and daddy are gone...

We're overwhelmed with guilt about how badly we just don't want to be like our parents wanted us to be. There was no official pressure to be anything, really. But now that we are who we are... we're bad kids.

It's a bit of a secret, but about 9 months ago I came out to my parents (I don't talk about it much because they've begged me not to). The L word was too difficult for me to say, so the best I could muster up was "I'm not attracted to men." What a Glorious line! I think the words "I'm not" must have come out of my mouth at least a hundred times before the words "attracted to men" followed once and ended with silence. As traumatizing as the experience was for me, my trauma was nothing in comparison to what my parents are still going through. In the flash of a moment, everything I had accomplished by the age of 23, all the respect they had the humbleness to show me, was gone. Sure, they said things like "We still love you" and "this doesn't make you a bad person" but they've not once looked at me the same way again. That's not all, it got a lot worse than a couple comforting lines... but I'll leave that for another post.

By the Age of 20, I had been working for a Fortune 10 (not 500, not even 50, but 10!) company for over 3 years. Not to mention that by that point I was teaching ballroom dance, had written, directed, and enjoyed the production (handled by my now fiancee) of my own play. Might I add that I also had completed my BA from a prestigious 4-year university and with the commencement ceremony, I afforded my parents the greatest basket of bragging rights available. They were the "talk of the town" or at least our community. I had the family priest's blessing and all. But what good did that do me when I thought I was doing the right thing and decided to share the most honest piece of me with my parents? None. The words "Mom, Dad, I'm gay" never really came out of my mouth. And the load that everyone thought was magically lifted in the moment I finally said "I'm not attracted to men" was never lifted. It was quadrupled on my chest. Basket of bragging rights in ashes, I'm now the black sheep. And my sister, who otherwise could have cared less about being loved and accepted by our ever-judgemental family and community is now our parents' hope chest. I am now, the bad kid...

They look at me with tears in their eyes, angry as all hell because I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with a woman who adores me, a woman who wants to take care of me just because she loves me. That same woman, just happens to have the most unreasonable parents on the planet, who at the drop of a confirming hatpin, will make my family's life a living hell... just because I love their daughter. So, gay and in love with the Capulet heiress... I find myself in a shitty situation. My parents think I'm the bad kid. The Capulets think I'm the devil's own. Bush is laughing at us. Children are starving in Africa. Druggies are smokin out. Teenagers are having premature babies and dumping them in trash cans. There's still a huge market for AA meetings. And just because I found happiness with the Capulets' daughter I'm labeled as "The bad kid."

And I'm not alone. Sure I'm gay = I'm bad. But what about those friends of mine who didn't exactly shock their parents' world with similar news? I've got friends who were brought to tears for not choosing to take over the family business. "what do you mean you don't want to be a lawyer?" Better yet, I've got family who still asks me "What is co-mu-nee-caa-shen? Who you co-mu-nee-caat wid? Estra-terestreee-alssss? Don't you want to be a lawyer instead?" No. regardless of how it happens, I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for those of my friends who are still getting the virtual slap.

I can just feel the hot, wet, bamboo stick being prepared by Mother Superior Mildred, waiting for the opportunity to smack our baby butts with:


"What's the meaning of this bill?" WHIP!

"Have you put any money aside?" WHAP!

"When are you going to get married?" SMACK!

"I want grandchildren!" SLAP

"Of all those people you mingle with, how is it you haven't snagged a boy yet?" SLAP, SLAP, double SLAP

"What's the meaning of this? Do you know what time it is? Do you think my house is a hotel for you to come into and go out of as you please?" SMASH IN THE FACE

I think we could all use a break - not a break in the head, but a break from our parents. Life has enough obligatory pressures in it. Why succumb to the guilt our parents give us? Why? Because we love them. As much as we want to break free and be who we want to be... we love them. We; Us, the money-squandering, party-animal, no-grandchild-bearing, and even gay: bad kids!

Bad to the bone,

--Sullivan

Friday, April 25, 2008

Anti-Procrastination

Dear Reader,
There's nothing more thrilling than the rush of adrenaline flooding your veins when you're working on a project at the last minute. You've had it on your desk for a week and it was far more entertaining to make paper airplanes than to work on the project. I mean, think about it: they fly!


It's a problem; a serious problem. I can't put my finger on whether or not it's an issue of motivation, but i just can't commit myself to working on tasks as soon as I get them. It doesn't stop at work. Graduate school, housework, cleaning the car, doing the laundry, getting an oil change... I push it all to the last possible minute. And to what avail? None.

Older generations have lived suppressed lives of struggle and hard work. As a natural born citizen of the USofA, it never strikes me to struggle for anything. Frankly, I think I've had it fairly easy. I never had to stand in line to buy the only pair of shoes available in my town, only to settle for a pair 3 sizes smaller than I wear. Instead, I've spent every minute of my money-making years squandering every penny and taking for granted that the job will be there tomorrow, that I can play before I work, and that it's as easy as blinking to procrastinate doing anything and everything.

Last week, however, I drew the first line. I organized my desk - dozens of neat piles now make the fortress I call: My Cubicle. I'm exaggerating. I honestly tidied up and made the conscious decision to approach all new projects with immediacy. So far so good. As for the other areas of my life...

Last night I had a 20 page paper due. You would think I would have invested some time into getting it all done ahead of time, following the trend i set at work. No. I left it for the very last possible second. Not to mention, inevitably i had several other commitments scheduled for the day the paper was due. When it all came down, i made it into class 15 minutes before everyone wrapped, just in time to warm up a seat, turn in my paper, and call it a night.

My mission from this point on is to examine the stream of consciousness that occurs in every moment of decision-making where there lies the possibility to delay action. Translation: I'm going to figure out what's causing this issue with procrastination, and fight it. Every week, I hope to tackle a different area of my life with the saga against procrastination.

From this moment on I will be anti-procrastination!

On the path to productivity,

--Sullivan

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Day of Rememberence

Dear Reader,

On this day: April 24, 1915

An ancient civilization was robbed of its dignity when the barbaric members of a notoriously ruthless empire began the mass murder of their people. Children were stolen, women were violated, and men were murdered in cruelty.

In the Spring of 1915, 1.5 million Armenians fell victim to the hands of the Young Turks (Ottoman Empire). 93 years later, the modern-day Turkish government continues to deny what happened.

It is a day of mourning and a day of celebration for the Armenian people. Today they mourn their relatives and ancestors of the late century, who suffered through the Armenian Genocide. And today they celebrate their ability to have survived and prevailed despite the atrocity that attempted to annihilate their civilization.

A moment of silence in memory of 1.5 million Armenians...

And a smile in admiration of those who live on...


With great reverence,

--Sullivan

Enchante`

Dear Reader,

Years ago, I traveled to France and fell in love with the language, the city of love, and the infatuation of the historic European culture. Upon my return, I enrolled myself in 2 years of French language and literature from which I derived one of my favorite "phrases": Enchante`; enchanted. I'm enchanted to make your acquaintance and delighted that you have chosen to read my blog.

Each entry will be a new letter, a new chronicle, of the very human moments we often take for granted. And with every entry, I hope to leave you... enchanted.


Yours,

--Sullivan