Monday, October 27, 2008

Diary Entry: David Sedaris, Blond's Strangled Laugh, Happy/Unhappy Endings

I've just gotten back from seeing David Sedaris live at the War Memorial Theatre here in San Francisco. This theatre houses the San Francisco Opera and Ballet. I've been there exactly twice before. The seats in the Balcony Circle are so steep I thought I was going to get a nosebleed and then take a header over red velvet cushions and theatre seats dressed in fake gold metal. I went with a friend of mine who loves theatre and so do I. This is our fifth outing together.

David says he keeps a diary and uses it to get material for his stories. I've read in interviews before that he's been keeping a diary for decades. I figure it can't hurt to write a diary entry down sometimes since things catch my attention all the time. Might as well write them here.

There was a group of five women sitting next to us to my left. While we laughed and laughed at David's stories they just sat there. I looked below us and the people there where cracking up too. People above us and to our right were laughing, loudly. Everywhere there was a sea of laughter except from these five women. I laughed so hard my lower right side was hurting. I laughed at a couple of offensive things David said. My throat hurts from laughing so hard. The blond woman sitting immediately to my left kept leaning forward and back. I could tell she was into it, but her friends just sat there. A couple of times she gave a strangled little laugh that would never qualify as a giggle to anyone's ears. I couldn't help wondering what was going on there. Did they just not "get" it? Were they having a bad time? Was there some creepy kind of peer pressure going on with the five that if one of them, the Alpha Bitch, doesn't find things funny the others can't laugh either? At first I felt sorry for them but then I got annoyed because I realized that these humorless women probably have active dating lives or even serious relationships when I have nothing. Let them sit there, stony-faced, while the rest of us merrily carry on.

I've been reading some very helpful online books by writer Holly Lisle about writing. She referred to "Basic Plots in Literature" at the Internet Public Library. I've heard about such ideas before but the two that caught my eye were the definitions for "Happy Ending" that is, the main character makes a sacrifice (a decision that seems logically wrong) for the sake of another. The definition of an "Unhappy Ending" is the main character does what seems logically right and fails to make the needed sacrifice.

This has me thinking. In real life we tend to go with what seems to be logically right so things go smoothly and so we preserve our situation. Needed sacrifices only take place during upheaval or when we're trying to break a habit or forge a new identity. Sometimes you make a needed sacrifice when you choose not to rock the boat such as at work when what you really want to do is punch someone's lights out for behaving like an idiot, but instead you choose to acquiescence and be "professional."

I can see how this works with my current crush. I'm experiencing an Unhappy Ending right now because I doing what logically seems right. For example, I'm not telling him I'm madly in love with him even though I know he likes me, or better yet throwing myself into his arms and shoving my tongue down his throat because he has a girlfriend, because if he really likes me he'll make the move, because, because. Taking that chance of throwing myself into his arms might be the sacrifice that's needed.

Then again it could be just one more incredibly stupid thing I can finally say "No, I'm not going to do it this time! I'm not going make a complete ass out of myself, again!" I say that to myself, but what I'm really afraid of is he will merely reject me even though he likes me. He'll tell me he feels the same, but he can't do anything about now or ever for that matter. I suspect this is the reason I'm holding back.

David told a great story about how he decided not to stay with an adorable man who lived in Italy while he was traveling there years ago before he got together with his longtime partner, Hugh. He said what it all came down to was cowardice. The only reason I'm not telling this guy how I feel is because of cowardice. I don't really care that he has a girlfriend. These things complicate matters in a very real way and I'd rather keep everything on the up and up, but they don't matter for horse shit, truth be told. My instincts tell me to take that chance, but I don't trust my instincts anymore so I do nothing for now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No on Proposition 8/A Note on Our Incoming President

It's time to get political again. For those of you who don't know what Proposition 8 is here's a blurb courtesy of Wikipedia:

"Proposition 8 is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election Ballot titled Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. If passed, the proposition would 'change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.' A new section would be added stating 'only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.'"

My personal feelings about same-sex marriage is "Hell, if people want to get married let them do it." I feel that same-sex couples can't do any worse than straight couples at making a marriage last. They may do even better than a straight couple. In case anyone has forgotten, half of all heterosexual marriages end in divorce and the percentage is even higher with subsequent marriages. Since another marriage for me would be number three (3) this means the likelihood of me ever getting married again are close to zero.

I once dated a guy who told me he was against "gay marriage" as he called it. When I asked him why, he told me it was because he was concerned about "where does it stop?" I told him that it certainly wouldn't stop when I finally decide to marry one of the penguins. My relationship with those animals run longer than almost all my other relationships so why not? Yeah, yeah, I know that animals are legally considered property by law, but so where women and slaves at one time.

I had an interesting conversation with my parents about same-sex marriage this past weekend and my Dad managed to hit the nail on the head for me. He told me his understanding is that many Asians see the issue as a civil rights issue so they tend to be for it, and many African American and Latinos see the issue as religious one so they tend to want to vote against it. For me the issue is hands down a civil rights issue. Legally speaking part of this issue's background includes the law that prohibited interracial marriage which was struck down by the California Supreme Court in 1948. My parents, an interracial couple, married a mere eleven (11) years later in 1959. They had difficulty finding a place to rent and when they went to buy a house, no one would sell one to them in a "nice" neighborhood until they found the house they live in now.

This kind of intolerance has all but disappeared today. The thought of someone refusing to rent or sell property to people based on the color of their skin, sexual orientation, etc. is inconceivable (especially considering the mortgage crisis going on - hey, greenbacks still work no matter whose wallet they're coming out of), but it wasn't that long ago.

I completely respect other people's opinions, particularly if they see it as a religious issue, but for me civil rights will trump religious beliefs every time. I think about it this way: how many times has religious beliefs deprived someone of their civil rights? History of religion, any religion, shows that the number of times this has occurred is as numerous as the stars above our heads.

I have voted already, and yes, I voted NO on Proposition 8. And I voted for Obama. And I can't stand Palin or McCain. The thought of Palin stepping in as President should anything happen to McCain is so repulsive to me that when I think about it I just want to retch.

A note on the incoming President of our United States: I can't possibly imagine why anyone would want to walk in as President to the pile of dogshit that is our U.S. Economy right now. Couple that with the Iraq War, this century's Vietnam, and I would get myself off the campaign trail so fast that the press wouldn't be able to record the whoosh going by them.

I keep hoping if we are lucky this terrible mess will force our next President to rise to the occasion and blow us all away with what could be his finest hour. Maybe even our country's finest hour. I hope so. I sure do because we need someone get in there and not do the best he can do, but actually be heroic. This is what we need and, damn it, we deserve it.