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Blue Cheese Blues (And Later, Rainbows)

Once again, I apologize for offending friend pages with my lack of a lj cut, but deal.

This is a coming out story. Like most, it's somewhat poorly written and clunky (not to mention corny), but hopefully humorous enough to cause enjoyment. I wrote it in like, an hour tops before my Creative Nonfiction class, which might be why it's of poor quality. try to enjoy. :P

Bleu Cheese Blues

(And Later, Rainbows)


            Bleu cheese has a distinct taste. It’s slightly bitter and sharp, the sort of no-nonsense cheese that might serve the community better as a literary critic than a salad dressing. Due to my and my mother’s undying love for this soft cheese, it should come as no surprise we were both greedily gobbling it down on a lukewarm day in the middle of August, 2006.

            I was in the Garden State Plaza at Ruby Tuesday’s, a restaurant I unofficially recognize as the king of bleu cheese. They have bleu cheese dressing, bleu cheese crumbles on their salad bar, and I was busy stuffing into my face into a blue cheese burger. My mother sat across from me, a pillar of politeness countering my eighteen-year old slothly slouch.

            “Josh, you know if you ARE gay, you could always tell us. It won’t make us love you any less.”

            My reply was somewhat garbled as drops of bleu cheese mirrored my self-confidence and swan-dove towards the plate. I had stopped keeping a running tally in my head after the first fifteen, but I was fairly certain this was the thirty-second “it’s ok to be gay” speech my parents had given me since I started high school. Looking back on it now, after thirty-two speeches, I probably should have realized they already knew. Parents don’t make the same speech thirty-two times on the off-chance that it might be needed.

            This time was different, though. This time I’d tell her. This time, I’d stand up loud and prou—actually, this time, I’d chicken out again. My mom went on to talk about my (ex)best friend Mike’s mother, who had been showing up at her church asking my mother to exorcise me or something. I had told my best friend my secret, he had told his mother, and his mother believed she was telling God to help. It was a fairly messed-up game of telephone we were playing, but the message of my sexuality reached my mother intact.

            I poked my fork through the half-eaten remains of my second salad and glanced doubtfully at the remainder of my cheese-oozing sandwich, dubious of my stomach’s ability to accept anymore bleu-cheese sacrifices. My mother still sat across from me, plowing on through her message of love unabated, if somewhat crestfallen by my reticent role in the discussion. At that moment, I felt ashamed of myself—not because of my sexuality, but because my mother had spent the past year and a half being accepting of it and trying her hardest to make me feel welcome while I acted like a teenager and kept my distance from her.

            I reached across the table and grabbed my mother’s hand, smiled, and said the “Mom, I am.”

            My mom, true to her words of acceptance, smiled at me. “That’s nice. Do you want to go shopping?”

            Ten minutes later, three bleu cheese salads, and two bleu burgers later(we’re both addicts), we were in H&M looking at scarves when my mother made a gay joke about me, and I felt that all was right in the world.


Nonfiction is my psycho ex.

I'm  sorry I can't LJ cut this, but apparently copy/pasting into LJ Cut boxes doesn't seem to work. So, it's being posted, and I'm sorry for offending friend pages with this and the next post.

This is a story I wrote for Creative Nonfiction. It's about dating genres. Srsly.


Nonfiction is my psycho ex.


V. I dated Romance once. It started with Jane Eyre, but the relationship hit a plateau there and we couldn’t go further. It’s not my fault though; I tried! It’s Romance that refused to change. I was willing to try others, but my constant perusing of Borders’ Romance section shelves made me come away with a bad taste in my mouth. I’m always awkward going out with Romance. She dresses like a Bratz doll, all purple and pink with wildly flowing script and too much flesh showing. Her stilettos are too long, and the men on her covers are all bare-chested and brawny. Romance is by no means a respectable, well-dressed woman, and her behavior in public embarrasses me. People who speak in dead metaphors always tell me not to judge a book by its cover, but I’m sure that idea came before Romance, or no one would have said it.

I read the other day that Romance is something along the lines of having a smart, strong, independent female lead, who later gets herself into trouble and the stronger, smarter, more independent male lead rescues her out of. Romance and I fought about this. Why were these strong, independent women so dependent on getting rescued by men? Why weren’t these strong independent women ever rescued by other strong, independent women? Why was there never a male in jeopardy (from something other than his commitment-phobia?) who was rescued by a strong, independent woman? In face of Romance’s blatant disregard to gender neutrality, we broke up. I don’t think I’ve seen her since.


IV. Nonfiction is my psycho ex-boyfriend. Once every few months, I get bored and take The Confession by Jim McGreevey off my shelves, where it otherwise lays nestled between The Starfighters of Adumar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. If I’m really bored, I find one of my quasi-sociological books and try to educate myself. I quickly grow bored, however. I feel bad for Nonfiction sometimes, but do I really want to read the official autobiography of Nicole Richie? I don’t feel there’s much to be learned from this that I can’t learn from logging onto Wikipedia, other than the fact that Nicole Richie paid for a mediocre ghost writer? It’s not his fault either; he’s just rather bookish. He’s boring. There’s very little depth or character development in his conversations; it’s mostly just boring rhetoric about people he’s never met. Besides, I see enough of Nonfiction at school; poking his head out of the undone zippers of other people’s backpacks and rearing his head when we have to cover Said’s opinions on Orientalism in Pursuits of English. We have a cordial relationship, but Nonfiction really needs to get over me and stop attempting to win me back every few months.


III. Poetry is the girl everyone tells me to date. I’ve considered it, but my attention has always been drawn away by the more rebellious, non-mainstream genres. My parents both insist she’s such a nice girl, with her rhyme schemes and extended metaphors, but my mom is lying through her teeth on that one. She’s as apathetic towards Poetry as I am. She seems like a good choice; she seems to be quite focused on knowing and understanding the world around her, and you have to admire that in a genre. It’s not her, though—it’s me. She’s soft spoken, but I can’t understand her all the time. Her sentences are broken, and her messages sometimes mixed. I read too literally, reading each rhyme scheme like it’s a sentence. You’ve got to admire a girl who is willing to tackle the hard subjects, though. Not everyone can talk about abortion one stanza and go into relationship problems the next. I just don’t understand the way Poetry works, and it’s not her fault. Maybe we’ll date more when I’m older.


II. Fantasy is my lover; a constant bed partner who never ceases to amaze me with new ideas and stories. When I’m worn out from reading and just want something simple, Fantasy lets me reach for the Harry Potter series and act like I’m thirteen again. When I’m in need of a laugh, Charlaine Harris and her southern vampires keep a chuckle on my lips. This isn’t to say that Fantasy is without his flaws, though; I’ve told him I’ll never again read a vampire, werewolf, or Eragon novel unless I’m positive it won’t be as cliché as the thousand that have come before it (unfortunately for Eragon, there’s no hope there). Fantasy seems to understand this, and not hold it against me, supplying me with a fresh supply of wizards and warlocks whenever I need them. I can easily see us growing old together.


I. Science Fiction is my mistress, my deepest secret. It’s Fantasy’s best friend—they share a section together!—and I’m not sure how happy he’ll be about me seeing SciFi. However, Science Fiction supplies me with everything Fantasy doesn’t alternate planets, crazy technology, and space are all among them. I’ve been seeing Science Fiction almost as long as I have fantasy; my first ever “adult” book was Star Wars X-wing: Rogue Squadron when I was nine years old. 72 Star Wars books later, Science Fiction might feel a bit betrayed by only having the title “mistress.” Regardless, I see my relationship with Science Fiction as having long-term prospects; I can easily imagine myself and Brave New World curled up in front of a fire together when I’m older.


Gay Marriage meets Roger Sherman?

  Gay marriage seems to be on the tips of everybody's tounges lately. (Well, except those of the people who really matter- the presidential candidates. Honestly, wasn't the last time they entered a good discussion about their marriage stance a time in which Jonathan Edwards was still considered a viable candidate?) However, rather than the normal "Lol I haz no problum wit da gayz" and "God hates fags" trash, the State of New York decided to actuall -do- something about it. Unfortunately for us, it was as half-assed as those pants from Spice World. (You all know the ones I'm talking about.)

  According to this article, New York governor David Peterson told "all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada." Sounds pretty sweet. Now, New Yorkers can drive a few hours up to Boston for a classy wedding and a trip to to the aquarium, fly across the country to get their picture taken with redwoods (possibly while having redwoods), or cross the border and get their nuptials nupped (no, that's not a word, it just sounded catchy.) Oh, and if they're really daring, they could go someplace sweet like South Africa for an exotic wedding. And, when they get home, they'll have all those nice pretty legal benefits in addition to bad t-shirts!

  However, the downside to the Gay Compromise (See, I'm catchy! I took something we learned about in seventh grade social studies and brought it back. Oh, I'm so punny), at least in my mind, is the potential for other states to follow New Yorks example in an attempt to appease both the radical gays and the squeamish conservatives, ending with 2 states out of 50 with gay marriages, and a lot of other states that recognize it. While this is a better alternative than no gay marriage at all (which is why we call it a compromise!), I definitely don't believe it should happen. 

  California, Canada, and Massachusetts, however, must like the deal. They will probably become hot tourist attractions. Assuming approximately 300 million people in the US, divided by the one tenth of the population that is the normal assumption for the homosexual population, they've now got 30 million potential customers. You divide that by the radicals who are against heteronormative lifestyles, the number of people already married, those who don't want to vacation in Massachusetts, and a lot of other variables, and you still have a hell of a lot of people with a median household income of 50k a year. 

  Yay, economics.


(PS: quixotic is a fun word.)

Picture Post!

Because it has been way -way- way too long. (As in, I haven't done this since I started a new livejournal!)

So, pictures.


The (actual) Writing Process.

Let’s all be blatantly honest- anyone with a brain and an eighth grade diploma has had “the writing process,” the bane of students everywhere, drilled into their brain like Stalin-love in Soviet Russia. “Pre-write, Rough Draft, Revise, Edit, Publish” or some variation thereof, is almost as likely to start dismayed groaning in a class room as the words “and now we’ll watch a movie about why your thighs are sticky when you wake up.”

For my part, I see this all as a load of crap. Writing an essay, a story, a memoir of a geisha, or any other form of literary gold (or literary cubic zirconia, for that matter) requires much more work than drawing a spider diagram and putting words on a paper. Thus, I have decided to make my own __ step process to show my feelings on what the actual writing process is. That is, it’s what my writing process generally is.



So, after a good two and a half years trying to figure just what I want to be when I’m finished procrastinating aging and chilling at the Community College of Sussex County, I’ve finally managed to escape to a less boring area of the world- Montclair state University. Now, in this institute of higher learning, I’ve managed to come by quite a few nuggets of knowledge I thought I could share with the (facebook) class.

First: Giraffe’s are horribly underrepresented in contemporary and classic literature. Seriously. When was the last time you read a good book with a giraffe in it. Even more seriously, when was the last time you read a bad book with a giraffe in it? If you’re like the rest of us (meaning me), giraffes have been excised from our brains in place of Holden Caulfield and suicidal lovers. This was, of course, realized in Creative Writing this morning, where we were supposed to write a story about something totally pointless and random. I decided on a purple giraffe. I normally would have chosen something like an Apatosaurus, but dinosaurs have become disgustingly trendy lately, which is sad. (Note: What also is sad is my choice of “purple” as the only adjective for my giraffe. Seriously, I could have used “esoteric” or “anachronistic” or any sort of fun adjective to describe my long necked friend, and I chose the fucking color purple. The only person who could be proud of that is Alice Walker. Or Oprah Winfrey.)

Second: I’m horrible at socializing, even though I love being social. Seriously. This realization came at dinner today, when all my friends abandoned me to partake in eating the fruit of knowledge in their respective classrooms (or, more likely, sleeping). Anyway, while grabbing my fifth cheesesteak of the week and a cup of soup du blande’(not actual French) in the cafeteria, I saw and talked with this awesome girl from my intro to GLBT studies class/ GSA. Once I paid for my food, however, I went and sat by myself in the corner, while she went and sat by herself, and the entire time I sat there berating myself for not making more of an effort to make new friends and eating bland soup. (It’s not that the soup was bad, it just wasn’t good. In fact, it was memorable in the fact that I can’t manage to remember what it tasted like, because nothing stood out in it. Disappointing.) Oh, and I think I managed to make myself look like an incompetent ass in front of the GSA last night, but whatever.

Third: I’m not talking to any of you anymore until you guys listen to “The Con” by Tegan and Sara and “Nights of the Living Dead” by Tilly and the Wall. Seriously, they’re almost better than sex. And, since sex is better than almost anything, the only excuse any of you have for not listening to the aforementioned songs is that you’re having sex, in which I’d like to remind you to use protection and listen to these songs once you’re done thrusting your hips. Oh, and don’t pirate. That’s bad, and you’ll get fined, and I’ll cry. Or make someone cry for you, since I botoxed my tear ducts shut in an attempt to reduce my 20 year old wrinkles. (Because everyone knows 20 is like, 452 in gay years).

Fifth: I forgot my fourth realization.

Sixth: New screename. “Prosetic.” (Prose+poetic, get it? Oh, I’m so smart and catchy.) Add me.