default, AOKP

Lawful (Gender) Neutral

Recently, I've been listening to the new Cracked Podcast, and a couple of the episodes have talked about how unreliable our memory is, especially for important events. This got me thinking about events I recall from my own life, and wondering if they really did happen how I remember them happening. Now that I'm back in touch with some people who were around at the same time, but haven't heard me tell this story (so, not biasing their own recollection), hopefully one of my former Eader classmates will read this, and let me know if this is something that I've exaggerated in my head, or if it happened as I recall.

It was sometime in Elementary school, probably third grade (and that's how I'll be referring to it for the rest of the story), and there were problems. Boys were bothering the girls during recess, and the girls were fighting back. Both genders were organizing into groups that the teachers were referring to as "gangs," and action had to be taken. In retrospect, I doubt things were actually as big of an issue as it was being made out to be. But, this was the same school that had a decent portion of our school time devoted to self-esteem and feelings, so both of the third grade classes were brought together to discuss the matter.

I don't remember all the details of the discussion, but basically the issue was brought to our attention, and we were asked for suggestions as to how to resolve it. (The fact that they were asking third graders how to solve this is one of the reasons I think this couldn't have been all that serious.) Various ideas were given, and all of them were shot down for one reason or another. Then someone suggested that we have a student "recess cop" of sorts, who would wander around and be someone that kids could report problems to, and make sure no "gangs" were making trouble. One of the two teachers there said, "Okay, but who is someone that wouldn't take sides that both the boys and the girls could trust?" And, as one, a large portion of the kids there intoned my name. It's one of the few times in my life I can think of where I blushed. Of course, the teacher shot down that idea as well, saying that it wouldn't be fair to ask me to give up my recess.

I don't recall how (or really if) a resolution to this was ever agreed upon, but the moment of being singled out as a potential neutral moderator of gender issues is one that always stuck with me. Although my best friends in elementary school were guys (Jimmy, Mike, Ryan and I were like the Four Musketeers), I was also able to be "one of the girls" when I wanted, and it was always important to me that both genders be treated the same. Now almost all of my Facebook friends from that time period are women, and hopefully one (or more) of them also remember this and can help clarify the details, or tell me if I'm spot on.
Worn out, South Park

Ramblings of a potential victim

Nothing ever happened to me. That's what I remind myself every time I think about or find out more about the Franciscan priest that ran the Santa Barbara Boys' Choir I was a member of for two years. Nothing ever happened to me.


Because there is always that kernel of doubt. I mean, for Christ's sake, I spent two weeks pretty much alone in Europe with the guy (one other boy was there, as well as Father Robert's friend, who everyone in the choir knew/assumed was gay), after the rest of the choir had gone home. One week in a hotel room in London, one week at his friend's house, and a couple of days in Amsterdam. Just the three or four of us the entire time. But no, nothing ever happened to me.

Now I read his "auto-biography" and it seems to confirm that nothing happened. I don't see any mention of the 1987 trip to Europe and anything happening, nor do any of the victims he describes resemble me. Reading over his descriptions of his victims, perhaps I was too old (my 13th birthday took place during the trip), perhaps I came from too stable of a home to be considered "safe" for him. So no, nothing ever happened to me.

But then, even he admits that boys have come forward and accused him of things that he says he doesn't recall, but sound like something he was capable of doing. Is it possible I've suppressed something horrible all of these years? Probably not. I was seeing a psychologist regularly at the time (the bullying I was dealing with at school was affecting me deeply). Surely she would have noticed a change in behavior when I came back, and gotten it out of me. So, nothing ever happened to me.

I hope that this doesn't seem like I'm trying to minimize the pain that the real victims went through. I empathize very strongly with those boys (now men) who suffered that fate. But, when something like this happens, even those who weren't directly effected can still be negatively influenced. Just look at me. I mean, all this worry and fear, but nothing ever happened to me.

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    The Uncomfortable Truth-Nneka-The Uncomfortable Truth - Single
blue hair thoughtful

The Forgotten Ones

What with being unemployed for nearly a year now, my life hasn't been going exactly the way I've wanted it to lately. When that happens, I tend to get nostalgic. So, as I've been thinking about varying people and events from my past, I've been writing them down, and felt I should start sharing them. This one is the first one that I wanted to share, specifically because it involves gaps in my memory that I would like to have filled in.

Important note: These are obviously hazy memories at their best, since they're all about people whose names I can't remember. So, if you were involved in these stories, and the details sound wrong to you, feel free to speak up and let me know what you recall. But please don't accuse me of lying or anything like that. I'm not deliberately obfuscating the truth; time has done that for me.

When I go through the women I've dated, the list goes like this:
Dana (sort of), Mary Kate, Jennifer, Amber F., Amy, Lauren, Sabrina, Megan, Riki, Amy (same one again), Vanessa, Myra. If you want the list of girls I've loved/crushed hard enough on to leave a large impression, a few more get added on to the list (and one or two probably get subtracted…). Girls I've gotten physically involved with, also slightly different. But, none of those lists are actually complete. Sadly, although I remember the following girls/women as significant events in my life, I've forgotten their names, so when I'm asked about my dating history, I tend to leave them out.

Unlike the women who actually get listed, after our relationships were over, I had little to remind me of them afterwards. No pictures, little to no contact with them or their friends after breaking up, or anything like that to keep them fresh enough in my mind to bring their name back to the forefront. But, they're still an important enough part of who I am that I feel like they should be memorialized somehow. So, here they are, in chronological order.

6th grade:
Technically, this would be my first girlfriend, I guess. She sat next to me in my core class (English/Social Studies, which was the first three periods of the day), and we often ended up parking our bikes next to one another in the bike lot, and so saw each other quite often. And so, in true Kurt (well, Dave at the time) fashion, I developed a crush on her. When Valentine's Day rolled around, and there was the opportunity to send an anonymous Valentine directly to her locker, I took it. For a few days, she wondered who her "secret admirer" was. Then, just a couple of days, at our bikes, she pretty much told me that she knew it was me, and I admitted it. We spent the next month or so holding hands and spending our lunch break together, but soon I realized that we didn't actually have anything in common, and broke things off with her. I seem to remember going to one dance with her, and spending as much time in the bathroom as I reasonably could to avoid the slow songs. Oh yeah, I was quite the ladies man...

Summer camp:
I can't even place the year on this anymore. It was probably the summer between 8th and 9th grade, possibly between 9th and 10th. I remember being full-on in my Asimov obsession, which I didn't develop until at least 8th grade. My family (minus my sister, if I remember correctly) went to a camp for a few weeks, each family sleeping in a cabin, and doing various outdoor activities and some arts and crafts and such as a family. There were a number of kids right around my age there, and as always happens, cliques were formed. Actually, there was pretty much one clique and one outsider: this girl. Tall, awkward, buck-toothed, glasses-wearing, red-headed girl. I'll be the first to admit that when she wasn't around, I joined in the mocking of her, in order to avoid being the outsider (for once). I'm not proud of it, but that doesn't make it not true. But, that didn't stop me from secretly crushing on her. And once or twice, we were able to spend time alone away from the rest of the group. We talked, held hands, and even kissed once or twice. But, we kept it secret from everyone else. She left the camp halfway through our visit, and although I got her address and phone number, I never talked to her again (she lived prohibitively far enough away that nothing was likely to happen anyways). I wonder if my treatment of her at and after camp hurt her (probably), and when I think of her, I wish I could find her and apologize for my childish behavior. But, since I can't even remember her first name, let alone her last name or what city she lived in, and don't know anyone else that might remember her, that's not likely to be happening.

Junior year: '77 VW Van, long hair, tie-dye shirts, protesting the (first Gulf) War: Oh yeah, I was in full hippy mode. So, when a Beatles cover band was performing at the Ventura Theatre, I was there, even if I couldn't find anyone to go with. But, while I was there, I met up with and hung out with a cute girl around my age who was there with her little brother. I was too shy to ask for her number or anything, but I had learned her first name and what school she went to (not mine, she lived in Oxnard), so after a week of not being able to get her out of my mind, I decided to see if I couldn't find her. This being the pre-internet days, I ended up going one day after-school hours to her school, found the library, and started looking through the latest yearbook. A friend of mine who used to go to that school (hey Steve!) went with me, and it was a good thing he did, because once I found her, he said "Hey, it's (whatever her name was)! I know her!" He was able to get me her phone number, and after a few more days of agonizing (even I knew this could be interpreted as stalkerish…), I called her. She was obviously very surprised that I had tracked her down, but appeared to be glad, as we talked and agreed to get together for a date. We went out, and while I don't remember exactly what we did on the date, I do remember us being in my car when she told me she had a boyfriend. She wasn't sure she wanted to keep seeing him, so we saw each other a couple of times more while she decided, but as you can probably tell, the boyfriend won out in the end. And so, another name eventually gone from my mental Rolodex.

Junior year (part deux): We had a great "meet-cute." One morning at school, a girl I'd never met before came running around from behind me, screamed out, "You!" then once she realized that I wasn't actually the person she thought I was from the back, said "Oh…" and walked away. The guys I was talking to at the time all laughed, and we wondered what that was about. That day happened to be an assembly day, and as I walked to the auditorium, I saw the girl in the crowd ahead of me, and figuring turnabout was fair play, I ran around and said "You! (pause) Oh…" and started to walk away, but then walked back and introduced myself. We sat together in the assembly, and then we started having lunch together with her friends (I didn't have a strong clique at the time). Very soon after, we started dating. I don't even really remember how we ended up getting together, but we dated for at least a couple of months. Turns out though, we didn't actually have much in common, nor was I all that attracted to her (nor her to me in all likelihood), so we eventually broke up. Not the great romance of my life to say the least, but considering how few people are on the list of "people I've dated exclusively," I feel bad that while I can see her fairly solidly in my mind, her name has been lost to the haze of history.

Senior year girl:
The fact that I can't remember this girl's name is amazing, since she affected a good portion of the first semester of my senior year of high school. My first instinct says that it's Amy, but I dated another Amy later that year, so I could be messing things up mentally. She was friends with the drama club kids that I hung out with (and thought myself the leader of, although honestly that was probably Allie and/or Rob F.). Although she had a boyfriend, my heart still went pitter-pat when I saw her. Looking back on it, this is probably the start of a pattern that I have fallen into more than I care to admit: trying to rescue women from the "wrong man." (Although Junior girl1 up above kind of fits in there too) From everything that I heard about this guy (I think I met him once eventually), he was a real dick. He had gotten her pregnant twice, and she had gotten an abortion both times. I know it takes two to tango, but in my Quixotian eyes, she was the victim here. In fact, when we first starting hanging out on a regular basis, she was under the impression that she might be pregnant a third time. I distinctly remember driving her home, talking in her kitchen about our feelings for one another, her excusing herself, and coming back from the bathroom, falling to her knees crying in joy that her period started. That same day was the first time we kissed, and we started "dating" from then on, although she continued to be with her boyfriend at the same time. I knew about the boyfriend (obviously), but he didn't know about me. Oh yeah, good times. Although our relationship did have its physical attribute to it (rounded second, and she got to third base, although I didn't), after the relationship was over, I used to say she had sex with her boyfriend and used me for emotional involvement (and rides to school after she moved to Santa Paula but didn't tell the school so she could continue going to Buena). Probably as accurate a description as any, as she spent most of our time together telling me about the horrible things her boyfriend did and how scared she was of what he would do if she ended things instead of him breaking up with her. Eventually, she decided to stick with the boyfriend, and drifted out of our clique of friends. She was the first girl I ever really "made out" with (beyond just kissing), there was tons of drama and pathos there, and yet, here she is, on a list of people whose names I don't remember. Unless her name was Amy. Then I remember her name, even though I'm not sure I do…

Unless you count Amy (the one whose name I actually remember, not the forgotten one I think might be Amy) who I dated during the summer between high school and college, this was my first (and only true) college girlfriend. A tall, awkward, glasses-wearing redhead (who knows, maybe she was summer camp girl all grown up, and neither one of us remembered…) She was a fellow drama student, but wasn't in any of my classes. We hung out some in the Green Room, and eventually, I asked her out, and she agreed. I don't remember much about our dating, but I do remember one instance that stands out, as it was indicative of the issues we had. During our first date, we ended up in my room, sitting on my bed, and we hugged. Just hugged, but for a very long time. Afterwards, I said "That was nice. I don't think I've ever just held someone like that for that long." She said, "Me either." After a few more dates, when I tried to move our relationship to the next level or two physically, I found out that while I meant I had never only hugged someone for that long, she meant she had never gone that far with anyone before. And that was as far as she was comfortable going. While I wasn't Mr. Experience, I did want more from a relationship than hugs, so I broke things off. I think I was kind of a dick about it and avoided her for a while before I officially broke up with her. Again, my memory's not the strongest around the relationship, but since it paints me in a bad light, it's likely true. I wonder what her memories are of me, and what's happened to her since. I've fallen out of touch with nearly everyone I went to college with, so my chances of finding out are slim, but you never know. (I just added a few college people to my Facebook friends due to this nostalgia kick, so chances have improved infinitesimally)

College (part deux):
If I believed in karma as an active force, instead of just a very general rule, this would probably be revenge for the last relationship I just detailed. I was looking to be part of a couple, and I mean actively looking. I had researched into Great Expectations (they thought 20 was too young for their service), I had all my friends on the lookout, the works. And one of those friends (really more of a good acquaintance) thought she found someone that was "perfect" for me. There was going to be a party at someone's house (friend of hers, no one I knew), and she was going to arrange for us to meet up there. I got to the party, and was ready to meet this girl. She wasn't there yet, but I knew a couple of people there, and was comfortable hanging out, drinking with people, and playing games like quarters and strip poker, so I was all good. After a couple of hours, the friend told me that said girl wasn't showing up, which depressed me somewhat, but I was having a good time with other people, especially this girl I was sitting across from (not the one that invited me in the first place), so I took it all in stride. This third girl (the one who's actually the thrust of this story) is someone who was also in the Drama department, but was a year or two ahead of me, so we hadn't interacted much, but she was very much my type of the time: tattooed, black clothes and makeup, purple streaks in the hair. This girl and I ended up on the couch in the living room, making out…heavily. Body parts out, tongues everywhere (well, not everywhere, but close), you get the idea. We were both fairly drunk, although I was still modest enough to suggest that maybe we continue what we were doing somewhere more private. She told me she'd rather stay here, and we continued making out for a while, and ended up falling asleep together. We woke up the next morning, and she told me she needed to go. I kissed her goodbye, and told her I'd see her Monday (it being Sunday morning at this point). When I did see her on Monday, she was very aloof and avoided me. I tried to talk to her, but a friend of hers intervened. Turns out, when I suggested we "continue this elsewhere," what I meant was actually continue exactly what we were doing, but away from people watching us. What she thought I meant was "let's go somewhere else and fuck," and now that she was sober, she felt I had taken advantage of her, and would have basically date raped her had I gotten us alone. I can see her point of view, but anyone who knows me knows that isn't something I'm capable of. But, I couldn't convince her of that (although I think the friend believed me), so she never spoke to me again. Although I was hoping for more from her, that's the closest to a "one-night stand" I ever had, so I guess it's kind of appropriate that I can't remember her name anymore.

So, there they are. Just as I was about to post this, someone else came to mind and got added into this list, so even it might not be complete. If anyone can think of someone that I've completely forgotten, either named or unnamed, please remind me, and I'll add (however poor they may be) my recollections of them as well.
  • Current Music
    Missing Time - Matthew Sweet
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blue hair thoughtful

What price, beauty?

This morning, before leaving for work, I wrote this via Twitter:

"It snowed about two to three inches last night/this morning. It's gorgeous out."

First off, I'm given to understand that I'm way off on how much it actually snowed. Maybe an inch total at the most. It was still very beautiful; I wish I had a good camera (ooh, Christmas is coming soon. Something to mention to the parents!). But, as it turns out, also dangerous.

I made it almost all the way to work, only two blocks or so to go, when I came up to a stop light, with a truck in front of me. I was only going 10mph or so; I slowly pressed on the brake, and heard a grinding sound. The car was not slowing down at all, so I pumped the brake, as I learned in driver's ed. Still nothing but a sound of metal skipping across metal. And slowly, but surely, I rear ended the truck. Had it been straight bumper against bumper, both vehicles probably would have been fine. But, no, it was bumper against tow joint, so the truck is absolutely fine, but my car has a hole punched through the front license plate and bumper cover. So, that's probably going to set me back 2-300 dollars getting that fixed. Whee!

In more fun news, My Chemical Romance released their new album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Awesome! I recommend getting the deluxe version through iTunes for an extra song, a free music video, and behind the scenes pictures and video.
  • Current Music
    Destroya - My Chemical Romance
blue hair thoughtful

A long overdue update

It's time for another in the infrequent "life of Kurt" updates.

Work: Still at the debt collection law firm, using the computer to fill out the forms necessary to file suit on those who refuse to pay, and have some sort of verifiable asset we can possibly garnish (a house, a job, etc.). Not the most glamorous job, but I get to spend most of the day typing while listening to my iPod, I just got a raise recently, I enjoy most of the people I work with, and most importantly, my managers are being very understanding during my health issues, so it's good for now.

Health issues?: Yeah, health issues. I had been suffering from insomnia quite a bit (waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason), and thus waking up very tired (or at least, I thought the insomnia was the cause). So, having health insurance, I went to the doctor, and got a checkup. She prescribed Trazadone for me, as well as having me go in for bloodwork. The Trazadone for the most part seemed to be working, as I was sleeping through the night much more regularly, but I was still usually very tired throughout most of the day. Well, my bloodwork came back, and it turns out my thyroid is underactive. Also, my cholesterol is right above the "danger" threshold. So, now I am on Levothyroxine, as well as taking fish oil capsules. In mid-December, I'm going to go back to the labs and see how the medication is working. Fingers crossed on that one...

The rest: Other than that, I'm enjoying my life quite a bit at the moment. I've got a couple of groups of friends that I'm hanging out with on a regular basis. shironiku, you'll probably be jealous at this: I'm currently in five different RPG games, each in a different system; D&D 3.5 (that's the one I run), 4e D&D, Pathfinder, Serenity, and Scion. No romantic life to speak of, but I've put myself out there, and I'm sure it'll happen eventually. Oh, and this weekend, I made a change...

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Sorry the picture quality isn't that great. My computer's webcam is the only camera, digital or otherwise, in the house. Anyways, I'll be curious to hear what people think of it...I guess it's probably time for me to make a new userpic.
  • Current Music
    You, Now - Greg Laswell
Jeremy (told many many people)

Yeah, it's a meme...what of it?

If you read this, you're tagged (if you want to be...). Take a picture of you in your current state, no changing your clothes or quickly putting on makeup. NO PHOTOSHOP. Show your f-list the real you!

Topless Kurt

That's right ladies...No shirt.
(I'm about to go to bed, and doing some last minute computer stuff...)
  • Current Mood
    sleepy sleepy
blue hair thoughtful

Off the grid

I've got 5 hours of battery life that needs to last for the next 3-5 business days, so I'm going to be mostly off the grid for next little while, since my external power adapter got friend. I'll check email once a day or so, but probably not LJ or anything...I'll be back as soon as I can, though.

blue hair thoughtful

Fore! Closure?

So, yesterday while I had a couple of friends over before going to the D&D game I'm running, there's a knock on the door. I figured it would either be Jehovah's Witnesses (a fairly common occurrence on the weekend), or someone knocking on the wrong door (once very common, but getting less so). But, it was neither. It was a woman whose job it was to inform all of the residents of the townhouses in our little "complex" that the property is being foreclosed on. She handed me a packet of information, took down my name, and moved on to the next door.

So, on January 11th, the property is going to be sold at public auction. For now, this actually doesn't mean a whole lot. I'm to continue paying rent to my current landlord, although I'm allowed to inform him in writing that I would like to use my deposit to pay my rent (which I will do). So, that means that basically I get my full deposit back. Also, whoever buys the property has to provide at least 90 days notice if they want me to move out. So, the soonest I would have to move is April of 2011. But, unless they're tearing the place down to build something new, most likely the new owners will want to keep whatever paying tenants they already have. My rent amount might change, which could either be good or bad (if it gets bought for a low enough price, they might be able to lower rent and still make a profit), and if it's bad enough, I'll definitely be moving. But, for now, things continue as planned up here. Just a interesting little hiccup in an otherwise peaceful weekend.
bright blue in shower

Pity party fail!

So, I wanted to post a picture of this birthday cake I was given at work, with a single lit candle and me sitting alone in the dark next to it. But, searching around the house, I came to a realization...I have no matches, and no lighter. I've got tons of candles, but not a single source of flame to be found in the place (stove is electric, not gas). So, instead, you just get the cake (but you can't eat it! Hah!).

Birthday Cake

Thanks to everyone for giving me birthday greetings over at Facebook. As I said over there, it was very much appreciated.

I'm off to Tacoma this weekend to pick up my parent's birthday present to me, which is my grandmother's car. At 94, she decided she was no longer able to drive around safely, and since my current car is a piece of shit, my parents decided to gift me hers. It's a 98 Ford Taurus, which is what I have now, but this one has 110,000 few miles on it, and was actually taken care of by it's owner, as opposed to the people who had my current car before me...