Wednesday, April 30, 2008


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

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

Romantically Yours,


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,


Friday, April 25, 2008


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,


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,



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.