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I remember when I first heard of PostSecret– my roommate and stumbled on it after overhearing someone drunkenly referring to it at a party. We spent the next morning, a Sunday, curled up in bed reading that day’s secrets. And then we spent the following Sunday doing the same thing. It became our ritual, to spend hungover Sundays cuddled in bed reading those.

I’ve read them ever since, own the books. I’ve never had the gall to send anything in mostly because I don’t think any of my secrets are extraordinary. The secrets I have all seem to already be on there. It’s impossible to look at the picture of Frank surrounded by plastic containers full of secrets and not think that your secret would be in there.

I also save the secrets that I like the best into a file that plays as the screen saver on my computer. A friend was in my room last week as I was changing for one of our runs and laughed, saying “Are those all yours?”

nineteen

remember

moma

be-mine

 

This video was posted on Valentine’s day and I fell in love with everything about it. And I’m sure you guys are aware of it, my one of my new favorite Bloggers has a great Monday secret lineup. Sundays and Mondays are my new favorite days of the week…

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“When does compassion, when does morality, when does caring come in? I just hope that one day that people will realise that peace is a far better path to follow.”

My Opa always used to use the saying that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I thought of that saying a lot yesterday, though not used in the traditional sense.

As I was driving home from New York yesterday morning, I was listening to David Davies interviewing Desmond Tutu on NPR.  Tutu, Davies said, had been recently linked to a poll that had been conducted in America concerning the top humanitarian celebrities.

Now, if you don’t know much about Desmond Tutu you should do minimal research or read his books. Tutu has spent the majority of his life in dedication to protest. A line he said, roughly transcripted, was that in every case he was for justice, against injustice. He wholly opposed apartheid, brought together a league of churches to protest the segregation, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his related work. There is absolutely no way that you can see or hear him speak without being moved.

Davies laughed when he mentioned that Tutu had been placed third on the poll in which Americans named the top celebrity humanitarians. Ahead of him? Angelina Jolie and Bono. I felt a wave of embarrassment for all Americans when I heard that- how in the world have we named Jolie and Bono ahead of someone who spent years protesting segregation, oppression, and wicked customs? Someone who has been jailed repeatedly, had his family targeted, had his life targeted?

Now understand that I’ve had a long-standing dislike for Jolie. Aside from the fact that her acting is subpar (have you ever seen The Good Shephard? I cringe.) I hate the fact that I’ve heard “oh, like Angelina Jolie!” as a common response to saying that I want to adopt. I want to adopt an orphaned refugee, and have said that since I was six, and somehow that links me to her. A friend once argued that she brings awareness to the fact that children in other countries need to be adopted as well. That’s great, but the people that she’s swaying would only be doing it for image sake. Is that ever enough reason to adopt a child? A sudden wave of a thousand Lucille’s from Arrested Development?

I think that what I’m trying to say is that there are numbers of people that I would have placed on that list before Angelina Jolie and Bono. Kofi Annan. Nelson Mandela. Coretta Scott King. John Hume. Elie Wiesel. Woodrow Wilson. All famous names, all great humanitarians. And not known for making out with their brothers or keeping a glass encasement of their lover’s blood on a necklace. People that didn’t decide that they need an image other than “sexy but creepy”.

I read an article about two weeks ago in the New York Times that through me for an absolute loop. What with my life being a mess lately (flu, crew, classes) it slipped from my mind. But the other night driving home from class, I heard a piece on NPR about the same topic. I usually listen to NPR to calm down when I drive but the topic came up, and the next thing I knew my knuckles were white on the steering wheel.

The topic? Hurricane Katrina tours. Tours that, for a heady price, will lead people through the demise of a once beautiful city. I googled it the instant I came home, the first link reading “Hurricane Katrina- America’s Worst Catastrophe- Bus Tour Through New Orleans: An eyewitness account of the events surrounding the most devastating natural disaster on American soil!” For around forty dollars, you can take a bus to see the absolute destruction and turmoil that still sits in New Orleans.

I know that America is all about capitalism. We’ve gotten to a point where a celebrity’s private parts are exposed, and the next day the picture is being sold on a t-shirt. We capitalize on destruction; we thrive on violence. I’m so disenchanted with this side of America, this perverse obsession of finding monetary gain in something so horrible.

Maybe it’s just too soon, maybe it just doesn’t seem to have the depth of respect that I feel it needs. After all, we’ve turned Gettysburg and Chattanooga into historical landmarks. I’ve personally paid to walk where thousands of men were killed in battle. So where does the line get drawn?

“Bottom line is… we’re around each other an’… this thing, it grabs hold of us again… at the wrong place… at the wrong time… and we’re dead.”
-Brokeback Mountain

I feel as though every form of media has been infiltrated with every hypothesis, description, or interview that they could surmise surrounding Heath Ledger’s death. I can remember growing up and, as one of my best friends had her childhood crush on him, watching his movies back to back. I remember her eyes glazing as he glided down the steps in 10 Things I Hate About You, and I remember her pausing and rewinding A Knight’s Tale so that she could see him on a horse. I admit to tearing up every time I see Brokeback Mountain- including this past Sunday night when I forced Briface to watch it with me.

And while the entire thing is devastating, I feel fairly disconnected to it. There have been media tapes of people- most who have never met him- crying outside his apartment. People who know him only by screen, photographs, and the infrequent spotting on the street. I even cringed when I saw an email from my beloved uncle entitled “Re: Heath Ledger’s Funeral”. But the contents, a pdf and a link to the website www.godhatesfags.com, angered me. The PDF read as follows:

Westboro Baptist Church
(WBC Chronicles – Since 1955)
3701 SW 12th St. Topeka, Kansas 66604 785-273-0325 www.godhatesfags.com
Religious Opinion and Bible Commentary on Current Events
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NEWS RELEASE

‘Brokeback Mountain’ star
– Heath Ledger – is dead.
WBC will picl(et his funeral.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with
womankind; it is abomination.” Lev. 18:22.

“For because of these things cometh the wrath
of God upon the children of disobedience.” Eph.5:6.

Yes. WBC will picket this pervert’s funeral, in
religious protest and warning: “Be notdeceived; God is not mocked.” Gal. 6:7. Heath
Ledger thought it was great fun defying God
Almighty and His plain word; to wit: God Hates
Fags! & Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates the
sordid, tacky bucket of slime seasoned with
vomit known as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ – and He
hates all persons having anything whatsoever
to do with it.

Heath Ledger is now in Hell, and
has begun serving his eternal
sentence there – beside which,
nothing else about Heath Ledger is
rerevant or consequential.

I feel as though I won’t do justice to verbalize that anger. In the simplest of explanations, no funeral should ever become the breeding ground for protest. That belief extends to every single person. Death is something that will happen to every single one of us, and every single one of us will be mourned. We should at least preserve the sanctity for those who are grieving, even if we do not respect or agree with the life that they are mourning.

There are so many things that I want to say regarding the antipathy towards homosexuals, but I feel that it’s a useless battle. The people that created that website will never change, and their children will in all likeliness learn their hatred. My uncle typed two short lines in the email: “Why are they so furious? It is just love, after all.”

I’m terribly selfish and self-centered when it comes to this site; very rarely do I talk about things outside of my own little life. In the past year or so, this site has seen the likes of bad break-ups, fights with friends, fears about the future. In person I am highly political. I stand up for what I believe in and will argue it until police come and ask me to leave.

My friend FaveDave is currently living in Germany and it’s rare that we get a chance to catch up. Luckily we caught each other for a precious hour to talk yesterday and he sent me two links: one to Reason Magazine, the other to a Youtube video of a talk given by Naomi Wolf at University of Washington. I really urge everyone to at least read the Reason Magazine link, and if you have the available time to watch Wolf’s talk.

Last night the Iowa caucus took place, and although the results aren’t definitive of what will happen in Iowa, they provide a good guideline. I watched, with cocktail in hand, as CNN reported Huckabee and Obama to be the forerunners for their respective parties. Huckabee? We’re talking about the man who said that “It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations- from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia”, the man who said “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle.”

My friend Brian came over to drink last night and of course I was enraged. “Why do you care so much if a candidate is religious?” he asked. The thing is, I told him, it’s not a matter of whether or not he or she is religious. Almost every president to date has had their own form of religious observance. But using religion to condemn a group of people and to decide what is right and wrong for the country?

A few weeks ago a teacher was arrested in Sudan for having named the classroom bear Muhammad. As a country we were outraged, disgusted that the country would react so violently for allowing a religious taboo become a political issue. How dare they arrest her and attempt to penalize with forty lashes (which to many, is the equivalent of death)? Even now we feel that we have a say in what they condemn and don’t condemn. We mock them. The (albeit extensive) use of religion to decide both mores and laws within their country angered us.

tbmuhammad.gif

But here in the United States? We have a candidate who believes that laws should or shouldn’t be made because of what God thinks is right. Not just any god, but his God. We have not learned; our ancestors used the Bible to subjugate slaves, just as we today use the Bible so as not to grant equal rights to gays.

I can’t wait for the day when I get to explain to my grandchildren what this period was like, just as my grandmothers and parents retell stories of the Civil Rights Movement. And then I will put them to bed with their own teddy bears wearing shirts that say “I am gay” in rainbow print.

because this is what you do. get up.
blame the liquor for the heaviness. call in late
to work. go to the couch because the bed
is too empty. watch people scream about love
on Jerry Springer. count the ways
it could be worse. it could be last week
when the missing got so big
you wrote him a letter
and sent it. it could be yesterday, no work
to go to, whole day looming.
it could be last month
or the month before, when you still
thought maybe. still carried plans
around with you like talismans.
you could have kissed him last night.
could have gone home with him, given in,
cried after, softly, face to the wall, his heavy arm
around you, hand on your stomach, rubbing.
shower. remember your body. water
hotter than you can stand. sit
on the shower floor. the word
devastated ringing the tub. buildings
collapsed into themselves. ribs
caving toward the spine. recite
the strongest poem you know. a spell
against the lonely that gets you
in crowds and on three hours’ sleep.
wonder where the gods are now.
get up. because death is not
an alternative. because this is what you do.
air like soup, move. door, hallway, room.
pants, socks, shoes. sweater. coat. cold.
wish you were a bird. remember you
are not you, now. you are you
a year from now. how does that
woman walk? she is not sick or sad.
doesn’t even remember today.
has been to Europe. what song
is she humming? now. right now.
that’s it.

Marty McConnell– survival poem #17

I’ve written before about how I’m a huge fan of Postsecret, so much so that the screensaver on my computer flashes pictures of ones that I’ve saved on my hard-drive, ones that I’ve particularly liked. One of the things that I truly love about these cards is that every once in awhile you see your own secrets, your own confessions, in someone else’s handwriting. Someone else has the same problems. Someone else worries about the same things you do.

 

a-friend.jpg

I absolutely love my girlfriends. I love that they are brutally honest when they need to be, but that they would lie in a heartbeat if they knew it would make me feel better. They’re there for me through everything and I can’t imagine my life without them.

 

dance.jpg

I’m not really the wedding-minded sort; it’s just not where I imagine my life heading. But the one thing I’ve always known is that if/when they day comes, I want to dance with my dad. I remember once, while driving in the convertible, Twist and Shout came on. My dad and I were laughing, smiling, and he joked that it would be the song that we would dance to. That’s just us, we’re goofy enough to actually do it.

 

kids.jpg

I found out about two years ago that I probably would be unable to ever have children. I’m not really sure how I feel about that- I’m not exactly maternal, and I don’t have a fondness for children. Actually, the majority of children disgust me. And though I’ve always thought that I wanted to adopt, I’m not nervous that I at least want the option of choosing.

 

dog.jpg

Is that terrible? Everyone who knows me knows my obsession with my dogs. One of the best parts of my day is coming home to the two of them at the door, leashing them up and heading to the park. They are my center, because really, what’s better than coming home to a tail-wagging, drooling, smiling puppy?

 

affair.jpg

This is probably my worst confession. A few weeks ago I wrote about how I did something that I wanted to write about, but couldn’t. But here it is: I got involved with someone who technically has a girlfriend of several years. I feel horrible about it now, but I’m not sure if I actually regret having done it. We’ve had a rough time sorting out our relationship, if you could call it that. It’s happened on several occasions, and I’m worried that it’s going to happen again. We obviously care about each other, but what could even come from all of this?

 

fucklove.jpg

It’s probably my biggest fear. Men have no problem with wanting to sleep with me, but more than that?

Confession. I’ve been obviously watching a lot of the playoffs because, well, I am a sports addict. This is not my confession.

I’ve especially been watching a lot of the Red Sox, mostly because I have been seeing a guy who is a Sox fan and we make bets on their games (tentative confession: I think Red Sox fans are by far the hottest fans, mostly because of the passion, partly because they’re usually Irish and drunk).

So anyway my confession is that I’ve got a crush:

josh-beckett.jpg

“People can be lovers and enemies at the same time, you know. We were… A man and woman draw apart from that long embrace, and see what they have done to each other… In age we lose everything; even the power to love.”

 -Willa Cather, My Mortal Enemy, Book II, Chapter IV

blowhan.jpg

I stopped to pick up a coffee today from my favorite little coffee shop a few blocks away. In line in front of me was a mother on a cell phone, with her little son walking circles around her legs. I’ll skip my rant about how the mom was trying to care for the kid, order a coffee, and have a full gossip conversation on her cell phone at the same time.

Mom on cell: (to person on cell) …Oh my god, she was arrested AGAIN? I can’t believe it, some people can’t raise their children right. AGAIN?…..WITH COCAINE?

Her son: Who mommy, who?

Mom on cell: (to son) Lindsay Lohan, hon. (to person on cell) She needs to get back to that pricey rehab!

Son: (to barista) I loved Herbie: Fully Loaded. I like the car.

Barista: (to kid, while nodding head knowingly) Well, this is just like that, but more like Lindsay: Fully Loaded.