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Well here I am. Another bout of sleeplessness despite being exhausted all day. I'm so tired of this and I'm not sure how it'll get better when James moves in. But at the same time I want him to move in - both for myself and for him.
In his case, I want his stress levels to go down by not living with his mother or keeping everything in a backpack anymore. I'm hoping this will reduce or all but eliminate his auras and partial seizures. For myself, I'm hoping that with his better state of mind it will stop causing me this emotional rollercoaster. It'll also be a test, in my book, to see if moving in with him next August is a good idea.
Today I felt the entire spectrum of emotions toward him and it's exhausting. Last night he was sleepwalking due to stress and urinated in the sink. That disturbed me for most of the morning and when I pointed it out to him via text, he had no recollection but cleaned the sink. He also responded that he was "fucked" for that and I spent the rest of the day in tatters expecting a difficult conversation. At the happy hour for Kathy's departure, he arrived at my building and we joined the others. Any time we spoke with someone else, he became the dominant force in the conversation where I could barely get in a word edgewise. This has happened several times before and frankly I don't care if it's a coping or compensation method for his social anxiety because I get tired of feeling shoved into the background.
When we did get back to Morningside, we went to Bulldog for dinner and he negotiated for an extra beer - again. I don't know what to do about that because I feel like exerting my power of the decision makes him sad but I get tired of the negotiations when we're dining and alcohol is around.
The sleepwalking conversations wasn't the deep, difficult thing I was expecting but instead was him stating how and when it happens (stress, just like the seizures) that he doesn't remember anything. He then asked if I was okay and that was that. I just said yes and he stressed as in the morning texts that he didn't want me to feel like I had to be his caretaker. Stupidly I said nothing instead of asking his thoughts on strategies to minimize that happening. So that conversation topic ended swiftly and he spent the rest of dinner rambling on about happy things while I nearly fell asleep at the table, which was real. I was sleep deprived and bored but it was too late. He both chided me at the restaurant for wanting to leave when he wanted a second beer and I had to wait for that to be done and then AFTER WE HAD ALREADY GONE TO DINNER apologized for deciding to put forth those plans.
I could have and should have said no, so I'm not blameless, but really? I'm getting sick and tired of having to go through all these things like alcohol negotiations, hearing the same anecdotes over and over, and having extended dinners I didn't ask for just to preserve his mental stability. I feel like I can't ask for alone time or say no to plans without him pouting and trying to negotiate what he wants to do to make himself feel better or happier even when I have things I need and want to get done.

And then things continue and I feel happy again once we get back and I decide that homework isn't happening at all. Instead we hang out for a bit while James makes lunch and has a cigarette and then we watch Orange Is the New Black. While I like the show, it's a bit weird to me that he is constantly suggesting it unless he needs to talk. He's also not pursued sex in almost two weeks. I know I haven't wanted to have sex all the time, but it's very weird to me that all of a sudden his sex drive seems to have bottomed out and there has been no initiation from either side.

My major thought of the day was - will this be the rest of my life? I don't want it to be, but I don't know what to do. I feel trapped because of Greece and I feel trapped because of the potential consequences of what breaking up with him would do to his already precarious mental state. And then I have stretches where we are happy and I don't know what to do. It feels like they always get cut off by something.

Tonight I did get short with him over something insignificant but it felt nice to cut him off to bring him back to what I was trying to say. Sometimes I wonder if my lack of ability to make myself heard has given him a slightly different picture of me than what is real which makes me more "perfect for him" in his head than what I'm actually feeling. I also feel like he wants me and he wants a specific path from life and is trying to mold me to that.

I feel like I can't talk to anyone about it without coming everything coming across as one giant complain-fest but I also don't want to start the James-hate-train.
 
 
 
 
 
 
January 6th was the first snow, both of the New Year and this Winter season. Usually there is at least one snow in December, but this year was nothing but flurries.

Tis not a significant Life Event for me, but I like to document the first snow for my own amusement each year.


In other news, here's a secret for LJ! I am trying to make at least 1 Vine everyday for 2015. So far I've done it for a week and shall hopefully continue. Other than that, nothing much is currently happening, but a lot is coming up soon:

-my community college Java programming class
-many transit council meetings
-some follow-up doc appts
-YA-Rise mtgs
and hopefully lots of friend plans!

To the New Year!
 
 
 
 
 
 
It took until this morning, but the spiraling hole of loneliness and melancholy I had felt since Saturday seems to have finally passed. It’s strange to me that a slash fanfiction was the catalyst, but I believe it was the crystallization of my isolation and cabin fever that began with the death of my grandmother at the beginning of December and has mostly continued without respite due to the violent winter this year. I tried to combat my feelings by spending time with friends and family, and while I am forever grateful for their love and support, my despondency would return as soon as my isolation began anew or even if my mind wandered while in the company of others. I also found myself desperately seeking a romantic interest in any of the people passing around me (at least on this past Saturday) to fill this void. However, I recognized this and kept it in check because desperation is the worst foundation for any kind of partnership.

Today, however, I woke up with a feeling of lightness and have been in a fantastic mood all day. The spiraling black hole below my heart is no longer there and I hope it does not come back. My purpose in documenting this occurrence is two-fold:

1.) to remind myself of these feelings in the future
2.) to revel in the fact that I have stopped numbing myself to unpleasant feelings.

In re to 1.), I wouldn’t necessarily classify this episode as depression, or else any depressive spells do not manifest for me through inactivity. I was quite productive all weekend:  taking care of AC Transit Council things, filling out my new lease, gathering papers for taxes, cleaning my current apt (+ dishes), cooking, calling people far away, going over my bank statements.

2.) Prior to the deaths of two of my grandparents in December 2013, I had been numbing myself to unpleasant or negative emotions for a long stretch of years. I thought I was being the strong, stoic, stable one amongst other people having their lives in a mess or falling apart in an uncontrolled whirlpool of emotion. Going through the past few months has broken down the walls I had erected to keep feelings out, and taught me that feeling things is healthy and ok. I can feel things and have visible emotional reactions to things without letting those emotions take over. I can retain control and stability and still feel. And it’s good to feel; I feel more in tune with myself, more in touch with my relationships with those around I care about, and filled with hope that I can stay engaged should I pursue any romantic avenues in the future.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today was probably one of the longest, busiest, most wonderful days I have ever experienced and I hope to capture it while the memories are still fresh.

I began by waking up around 6 am so that I could get to work before 8 o’clock. This was necessary because I needed to get my supervisor’s desk phone number for an apartment application. I threw myself out of bed, scarfed down several spoonfuls of peanut butter and chocolate chips as a weak breakfast, ran around my apartment like a crazy person gathering everything for the remainder of the day, and sprinted out the door to the T platform. When I arrived in Downtown, I decided to take the tunnel between Steel Plaza and the US Steel (not UPMC) building, which proved fortuitous because not only was it much warmer (although a bit longer) than going outside right away and crossing Sixth Ave, but there was a PNC ATM at the end of it. I needed to withdraw the cash to pay for the credit check for the apartment application (this application is becoming quite the running image!). Through the glass in the Steel (not UPMC) building, I saw a P1 sitting at the red light waiting to pull up to the stop outside and made it onto the bus in plenty of time.

Once at work, I finished my application at my desk without removing any of my outer garments, and dashed from my office building (aka converted warehouse where I sit in a dusty basement) the two blocks to the apartment management office. I had to call to find the entrance, because it was in a courtyard off the main road, but once inside, the person working the desk confirmed my complete application and I was on the way back to work. I had a number of things to check once back at my desk, but nothing overwhelming. I also got some free cookies due to today being a co-worker’s last day before moving on to UPMC. About two hours later, the rental management office called me to say my application had been accepted and the lease would be coming in the mail in a few days! (No more 50 minute commutes come May!!!)

Around 11:30 I had to dash out of the building again for the Allegheny County Transit Council executive committee meeting of which I am secretary (for those who don’t know already). We only had about half of the committee in attendance, but had a solid discussion about questions for the guest speaker at our next general meeting and projects coming up in the next six months.

After that I dashed back to work, where I made it just in time for the Send-off with Cupcakes for the departing co-worker, and I spend a large part of the rest of the day having fun conversation with many of the people in my group around the work I was getting done. But I had to leave by 4:45, because…

At 5:15 I arrived at Bar Marco in the Strip District for a Green Building Alliance: Emerging Professionals event. This evening was a group conversation with the two-person sustainability team from PNC. They told us about their career/education paths and what they do at and for PNC with questions and discussion after. It went much better than the previous GBA:EP event I had attending and I felt that I mixed better with the other attendees this time around. One of the two PNC sustainability staff is just as enthusiastic about Excel spreadsheets as I am, so we struck up a conversation about that!

Immediately after this, I went to my first MeetUp event with the Pittsburgh Gay UnScene group. It was a games night at a coffee shop two blocks away from Bar Marco (mercifully so). I played Guesstures, Left-Right-Center, and Apples to Apples with five other men of varying ages, and the crowd was about 25 LGBT (though probably mostly LG) persons between 22 and 75 years of age. Everyone I met was quite pleasant, and no one was creepy, awkward, or unnecessarily flirty. When I left, I realized I had forgotten about offering to help my cousin with Calculus, so I walked to the nearest T station in downtown and got home around 10. We got on Skype from there and worked the questions he had on his review packet for an upcoming exam. Finally I took a shower and got a bunch of thoughts out of my head about all these groups I’m now a part of. I believe this all bodes well for the rest of 2014!

PROSiT!!!!!

 
 
 
 
 
 
The weather, being social, and slow alleviation of class work/stress has put me in a rather bouncy, happy mood. So I have some observations I'd like to relate while they are on my mind.

1.) I have noticed the senior walk-and-talk a lot lately. It goes like this:
-A senior sees someone in passing
-Greeting and conversation ensue
-All relevant details are relayed as quickly as possible
(sometimes the senior converses without a pause in the walking)
-The senior then finishes talking while walking away, sometimes without true words of parting.

This can be true for juniors and underclassmen as well, but seniors tend to do this even if they are on their way to sit in their apartment and surf the internet as a break.

2.) I had a small breakthrough with my senior project. My task was to figure out how to create images in my choice between 2 software packages, figure out how to label them and then remind myself how to code images into my project. I am a Mathematics major and we do not write our projects in Microsoft Word or some other comparable word processing software. Instead we must code our stuff into a document markup program entitled LaTeX. We also use Mathematica for calculation and, at times, images. I have spent weeks dreading how difficult it would be to code a picture I need properly so that Mathematica will return it to me, and then label it. Fortunately, after 30 minutes of searching through help pages, I discovered that Mathematica has a tool to place text on things. Now I don't have to repeat lines of code over and over again so that my project can have a wealth of visual examples.

3.) I am continually reminded that I do in fact love Pittsburgh, my home city. Tonight they had "Pittsburgh sandwiches" at the one dining hall, which are really imitation Primanti Bros. sandwiches, but they make me happy nonetheless. If I were to find a job around Pittsburgh, I would definitely be happy with that, I just would like to be more choosy about where around Pittsburgh I would live. A suburb with no side walks, very little to do in walking distance, and situated in just the right location to not truly be serviced by public transportation is not my cup of tea, regardless of where I'm living.

I had a 4.) but I have forgotten in typing the others.

Until next time!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I couldn't think of a title for this post that didn't sound too strange or vampiric, so I shall just leave it blank.

Tonight was the first truly warm evening of 2012. Despite not having a true Winter of snow and cold temperatures, it's still nice to feel a warm breeze with the smell of Spring on it. Whenever this happens, I usually feel a strong pull to just be outside. There's something about warm evenings and warm nights that just call to me. Spring and Summer are my preferred seasons mostly because of this.
There's just something so peaceful about sitting in a quite spot in the moonlight or starlight and feeling warm night air wrapped around you like a blanket.  A warm breeze also makes it even better. That's why I love being at the ocean at night in the summer. There's always a breeze because of the vastly different temperatures of land and sea, so you can walk or sit on a deck and just feel the breeze.


Does anyone else share these sentiments?
 
 
 
 
 
 
So I just finished catching up on theeverydaygay.wordpress.com, which is a blog written by a former staff member of my undergraduate institution, who was also one of the advisors for Queers and Allies when I was president. It's filled with fun anecdotes and asides about her life as well as providing a great picture that LGBT experience life no differently than anyone else on a day-to-day basis. I know I don't have many readers because this isn't really much of a blog site, but I figured I'd post it here anyway.

Bottom line: Read it, it's great!

Anyway, reading her blog caused me to reflect about my feelings and attitudes toward life and myself. I found myself reflecting on a realization that hit me while at Creating Change a few weeks ago.

Prior to and during the beginning of the conference, I was petrified with nervousness about being around lots and lots of other gay, bi, pan, etc. men. (I'm just going to say gay for the rest of this entry to be concise, but in actuality I'm referring to people who's gender identity is near the male end of the gender spectrum and who prefer to engage in sexual relations with men.) I went through the first two days with a knot in my stomach and purposefully avoiding eye contact with anyone I didn't know. On the third day, I went to an extended three hour session that involved erotic energy stimulation and intimacy exercises, mostly through conscious breathing and Theater of the Oppressed. I exited the session much more relaxed than before, and feeling a great deal more comfortable being in the larger space of the conference itself (despite my worst "fear" of being hit on coming true, from a 50-something leather man. I backpedaled and he moved his interest elsewhere when he realized I wasn't interested).

Anyway, this set the stage for a realization that hit me when my friends and I went to the under-24 dance party in the main ballroom the following night. Everyone there, who were all in our age range, were doing the same exact thing we were: dancing with the groups from their schools. It was tangible that most of the people who presented themselves as male were not scoping the dance floor looking for an attractive guy to ask to dance, or leave and go to their hotel room.

And that's when it hit me. Most other gay guys around my age have the same or similar feelings as I do. I had always felt that most other gays around my age were all supremely confident and open about just going up to people to talk, dance, proposition for sex or a date, or whatever else falls in the more-than-friends sphere. Being on that dance floor and seeing and feeling the atmosphere just made it click that the vast majority of the other guys don't do that. They have just as many insecurities about talking to another guy or being hit on by one unexpectedly or unwantedly (not a word, I know, but it's late and my brain is too tired to rework the sentence). 
Ever since, I've been a lot more relaxed when around other gays, both at the conference and back at school. Now I feel like I could move to a largely LGBT neighborhood and not be hiding in my apartment worrying about manwhores knocking on my door to proposition unsuspecting little me.

I guess this just adds evidence the fact that LGBT people are just people. Not a separate subcategory of hypersexual social deviants living in their own spheres apart from the rest of the "American people."
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tonight another, more tangible, piece of my childhood has left. Whitney Houston has passed away.

Most people in my life know about my enjoyment of the music of female pop and soul singers and would not be surprised at this post, but Whitney was different to me than the rest. 

Part of it was her amazing talent in the prime of her career. Nobody else had a voice like hers; she was just on another level that few have even come close to.

Another part was her comeback story. Only 4 years ago she divorced her husband Bobby Brown and got over her substance abuse habits. Her voice was starting to recover and her career was taking a turn for the better. Her story is inspiring and a great message and example for many people.

But neither of those are the main reason why I feel like there's a hole somewhere right now. For me, Whitney was always around. Many of the divas I like, I discovered their back catalogue and hits from the 70s, 80s, and early 90s in the mid-2000s even if I did recognize their names.

Whitney, on the other hand, was someone I knew well. As a child in elementary school, I knew she sang "Saving All My Love For You," "Greatest Love of All," "How Will I Know," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)," "Didn't We Almost Have It All," "All The Man That I Need," "I Will Always Love You," "I Have Nothing," "I Believe in You and Me" (from The Preacher's Wife), and "When You Believe" (from The Prince of Egypt). She was also the host of Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards more than once, which I watched thinking they were so cool for having a show where the choices of kids mattered. She was also Brandy's fairy godmother in the remake of Cinderella.

I knew her name; I knew her songs. Her presence was just always surrounding my life.  I defended Whitney to my fourth grade teacher when she spoke badly of her for getting arrested for drug possession in her car, which I researched at a later age and found to be false. Whenever her name would creep up in the news, or she'd appear somewhere on TV, I'd always pay attention because she was Whitney Houston. Even when her life was at its lowest in the mid 2000s, I never thought of her as a joke, just someone who had lost their way and I hoped she'd find it again.

I remember the morning her 2009 comeback album, I Look to You, was released. It was the first Monday of classes in my sophomore year of college. I downloaded it and synched it onto my iPod before leaving my room and walking on air around campus that she had given the world with music once more.

You will be missed Whitney, thank you for gracing us with your talent. And I Will Always Love You

~B.

 
 
 
 
 
 
First snow of sophomore year @ Allegheny!!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
NU WHITNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been waiting for this since before I was friends with most people who follow me here on LJ.


It's called "Million Dollar Bill" and it's a throwback to funk and disco of the 70s, written by Alicia Keys.