Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Friday, January 27, 2006
I don't miss high school. At all.

I was chatting with a new friend about stuff when the topic of high school came up. He was going on and on about how much fun it was, and how much he missed those times, and how he still keeps in touch with his friends, and blah blah blah blahbity blah... I said to him, "I hated the kids in my high school. I wouldn't really care to ever see them again."

He said he felt bad for stirring bad feelings. I told him that he didn't JUST stir them up; I always have disdain for my high school years and classmates. I had friends back then. I actually like to call them "people that happen to be okay with talking to me." I don't keep in touch. The one person I actually do keep in touch with who went to my high school is actually someone who is not blood-related but our families know each other, and she has moved to NYC, so we are in constant touch. She is also Filipino.

I hated high school. Actually, to be honest, I hated 8th Grade through 12th Grade. You see, I had just moved from Nigeria to Syracuse, NY and many of the kids just did not want me around. I was the exotic kid with the funny accent who knew all the answers because the education he received in Africa was a year advanced than that in Central New York (yet they wanted to put me back a grade but my mother, an ex-teacher, insisted that they test my knowledge and even though I displayed a knowledge of 8th and 9th grade subjects, was still placed in 8th grade because I was not a native English speaker even though I aced all the grammar and reading tests they gave me).

Yes, I am bitter. Yes, I am resentful. Yes, I felt held back. Yes, I am over it. Yes, I have moved on. Yes, I still want nothing to do with most of the hicks in Liverpool, New York. Yes, I am done. Later.
Monday, January 23, 2006
I love New York. I really do. If you know me or read this blog even occasionally, you know that I love New York. Part of loving New York is the fact that things always change. A decrepit neighborhood eventually becomes the hip place to live. The classiest establishments can become the seediest joints. Landmarks disappear only to be replaced by national chains devoid of character. The new kid at work becomes the wonder worker of the universe. It happens. Most of us accept it. Here today, gone before the end of today.

So, why am I reacting so negatively to a co-worker of mine moving on? Maybe it's because I know that this is the start of an inevitable wave. It's a fact that once someone moves on voluntarily, it's only a matter of time that others will follow suit. I'm happy for my co-worker. The new position (within the company) suits his schedule perfectly so that he can continue his education and spend time with his daughter. It was only his first day in the new position today but I already hear people talking about moving on to different departments. I'm happy that they are looking for forward movement. I like it when people I know think that way.

Maybe I am just reacting to the fact that we have such a good team and that any loss will be felt. Maybe I am dreading having to train new people for the open positions. I am not sure why all of a sudden I feel this way. It's almost a sense of being left behind. I would call it "being left behind" if I hated what I did. But I don't.

Maybe it's just the first day and I need to allow myself to digest it all. Maybe I am becoming more human. Later.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Very unconsciously, I have been eating a lot (and I do mean a lot) of vegetables. Here's what was on my menu for the day:

Onion bagel with vegetable cream cheese, orange juice
Whole wheat penne pasta with roast vegetable sauce
Corn-crust wheat-free vegetable pizza with part-skim mozzarella
Stir-fried kale with baked tofu, red peppers, and bamboo shoots on a bed of brown rice

Talk about being regular. After all that, I felt I needed a treat. So, I had a bowl of pannetone bread pudding and a bottle of pinot noir.

Health. That's what I'm about. Later.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
First, everyone MUST go out and see Transamerica. If only for Felicity Huffman's performance. The movie was funny, poignant, sad, and touching. I cried like a baby at the end. I was surprised at how much I bawled. I was even more surprised that I bawled at this alternative-lifestyle-themed movie and not that other one.

A friend of mine is considering gender re-assignment. She has talked to me a bit about it; mostly she wants my point of view. I was hesitant to talk to her about it mainly because I was not really sure how I felt about it all. I certainly do not know what it is like to think that the body I have is not the right one. Or to wake up in the morning and be so disgusted by what I see in the mirror that I would consider painful means to get out of it.

After listening to her talk about the possibility of re-assignment, I asked her why she would even consider it. Her answer was not very succinct. As a matter of fact, I am not sure what her answer was; it was a bit all over the place. She asked me how I felt about it. I told her that I thought she was not ready for it and needed to come up with more information about the whole process. Then I told her that I felt that she needed to come up with more answers to questions about her and her life.

Part of me hated sounding like the voice of reason. Part of me hated that I was sounding like I didn't support her. But my gut instinct was that she had not done enough research into what she was thinking of doing. She said she was going to group therapy just to find answers to some questions. I told her that was a great start. She also said that she doesn't participate in the group but just sits and listens. I told her that she needs to start asking questions in general.

My fear comes from the fact that she doesn't seem fully informed. I also think that she hasn't looked at what the other consequences may be. I asked her how her girlfriend and family feel about gender re-assignment. She says her girlfriend doesn't want to talk about it. And that her family doesn't really know that she wants to do this. I asked her if she was ready for her family's reaction to all this whether it was positive or negative. She had no answer.

My final question to her was whether she was ready to deal with the pain of surgery. Nowadays, people think that surgery is a walk in the park. You'll be lucky if you can walk well a couple of weeks after surgery. I don't think people realize that surgery involves healing. Which involves a lot of time and anguish. I fear that she hasn't thought that out yet. She did admit she hasn't.

I feel for her. She wants something. Something I don't even pretend to understand. I told her that I would support her decision but to make sure that the decision she makes is the only one she can make.

I still don't know how I feel about it all. I'm not sure if I ever will. Later.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I have come to the realization that we as a society do not understand the word "no". We apparently have been so conditioned to receiving everything we want at a moment's notice that we cannot even fathom that someone would tell us we can't have it.

For example:

Customer: Where is your Jell-O?

Tim: We don't sell Jell-O. But we do have Knox gellatine which you can make your own gellatine dessert from.

Customer: So, you don't have Jell-O?

Tim: No, we don't carry Jell-O?

Customer: Why not?

Tim: Because it contains artificial coloring and flavoring. We don't put any products with artificial ingredients on our shelves.

Customer: So, you don't have Jell-O?

Tim: That would be what I am trying to tell you.

I have conversations like this everyday. Questions are constantly asked that can only be answered with a big fat NO. Not maybe. Just no. But yet, customers can't believe they are hearing the word "no".

Why are we so needy as a society in general? To some degree, we must accept that our questions will have at least two answers. One positive and one negative. For some reason, we cannot see that. If we are so informed and educated, we surely understand that there are times when we will not be able to get what we want. Right?

Or maybe, no.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Well. Today is the day. Today, I turn 36. Mike woke me up this morning by showering me with kisses. He also bought me some orange roses (which I think are becoming a favorite of mine). As he got ready for work, he asked me what I was going to do today. I replied "Absolutely nothing."

Well, that was a bold-faced lie. So far:

Three loads of laundry.
Re-arranged the aforementioned roses.
Went shopping for household items (soap, dish detergent, toothpaste, lightbulbs, swabs).
Washed a crap-load of dishes.

About to do:

Fold laundry.
Cook a roasted vegetable pasta sauce.
Shower and groom for dinner with friends.

To tell you the truth, as domestic as it all sounds, I kinda like the fact that at 36, I have all that.

Monday, January 09, 2006
If you haven't figuredt out yet, I work for an all-natural, organic grocer. It's a very hippie-touchie-feelie kinda place to work. We do believe in having a place where people can be free to be who they are without judgement while working to make a living. With that said, here is my issue:

Why, oh why, would anyone work for a place like this when their views on race, sexual orientation, and politics tend to side with the conservatives?

AND, why, oh why, would you even accept a job in New York City at the Chelsea store?

Yesterday, I confronted one of my co-workers, K., with the above questions. He is actually a fellow supervisor. Whenever he is in a situation where two men are being friendly to one another, he tends to get tense, roll his eyes, and make disapproving grunts. Yesterday, another heterosexual co-worker asked me if I had seen Brokeback Mountain yet. I told him that I was going with my boyfriend after work. K., being in the vicinity of the conversation, harumphed.

The moment I heard that sound, I turned around and said, "K., why do you have such issues with two men sharing affection? You are so uncomfortable with homosexuality that it makes me think that you are fighting it within yourself." With those words, the entire area came to a halt. Other staff members turned toward him to wait for a response. He began to sputter something defensively and apologetically. But before he could respond, I said "You know what K., you are in faggot-town central. Either get over it, deal with it, or fucking leave. We don't need your type here." I think the stunned silence said it all. Until, one voice came out of nowhere. A guy, who I never thought was comfortable around anyone let alone queers, said "Yeah!"

Sometimes, even when you think you are alone in the battle, you aren't. Later.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I miss the days when I could sing a song and all the people in my vicinity would know it. Today, at work, an ABBA song started playing over the system and not one of the four co-workers I was with knew who sang the song. One of them had heard it before but said it was by Ace of Base. Close but... not really. By the way, the song was Lay All Your Love On Me.

I remember when It's Raining Men would play in a club and all the men in the club would go nuts. Now, all the older men in the club go nuts. Half of the younger ones have no clue why. I get excited and sing along to the song, even today. I really got excited today when Fame, by Irene Cara, came over the store's music system. I sang the entire song out loud. This time, at least three of the four co-workers knew the song. One new all the words (but only because he was a theatre major).

I don't think the younger gay generation has music like this anymore. They have their own anthems but not happy ones. It's all brooding and reflective and, well, not very joyous. None of it seems celebratory to me. The beat is slow and plodding. Or fast and erratic. Or maybe it's just me.

I no longer am one of the young ones. My youth has officially passed me. It's not a state of mind. You may be as young as you feel but, honestly, you really aren't. Try singing a song from your heydey and see how many of people actually know it. Go to a store and try putting on the latest trends; notice how you silly you look because you do look silly. Try staying out until 4:00am; see if you can get up at 7:00am to head for work. Not so easy anymore.

Try turning 36. Try having people tell you that it's only just a number. Try not to slap them. Thirty-six. That was the age my Mom was when I first asked her how old she was. She told me not to tell anyone. Now, I will be that old. Don't tell anyone: Youth has officially passed me.

Sunday, January 01, 2006
Happy New Year to all. I was going to resolve to be a nicer person this year but I have already broken that resolution. These customers will drive one to drink. And speaking of drinking, I actually rang in the New Year at the restaurant where we had dinner. And I will say that I was the most drunk I have been in quite a while. I felt a hangover this morning when I woke up to go report to work at 9:00am. Sometimes, retail just really sucks.

I did manage to make some Chicken Matzo Ball Soup before we headed out to dinner last night. So, I just had a bowl and I am feeling all good inside. Maybe that will be my resolution for the new year. I resolve to take some of the most mundane traditional recipes and kick them up to a different level. My next goal is Pudding in a Cloud. Mmmmmmm... later.
I'm just writing down some of the things that run through my head.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Eating up the City before it eats me up. I'm a freelance cook who spends his free time working out, cooking for "my man", and wondering why the Right is so concerned about my bedroom.

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