October 26th, 2002

The Past 24 Hours

Well. Things have been complicated.

I spent yesterday afternoon at UPEI. I typed up me class notes and document/chapter summaries in the computer lounge, which brings me entirely up to speed, there. I spent almost my entire afternoon in Main Building, in fact, though I did leave to go to the Robertson Library to pick up some books for a British history project, on cholera.

I had a nice chat with Erin in the English Lounge, about my shyness and ways to overcome that. I'm making progress, which is nice, but sometimes I feel like my efforts are blunted, somehow, not incisive enough. That might well just be my complete inexperience with this, though.

While I was walking on the fourth floor, I passed by the Sociology-Anthropology Lounge to see two people--Erin and Heather--who I knew from previous classes decorating the lounge. It seems that there was going to be a potluck supper though. I stayed for a half-hour or so, chatting happily with them. I ended up getting invited to the dinner, and I accepted the invitation.

Before I left, I outed myself to Andrew MacPhee. I did that only because he'd seen Erin's livejournal, and I thought (perhaps incorrectly?) that it would only be a matter of time before I went to her LJ's Friends page and see mine. I'm honestly unsure how he took it, though I think he took it well enough; when I said that it was painless, Andrew said that he hoped so. ::sigh:: Well, it really was painless on my part.

The potluck dinner went good. I had some wine--including some excellent cheap Chilean red wine--and enjoyed the food, including fish-less sushi brought by a Japanese study and Dr. Dasgupta's wife's chicken/rice dish. (I don't think it's a curry, but then again I've never eaten any.) I got to meet some of the newer professors, and some more of the students, and I had a good time generally. They all seemed to like me, to be impressed by my fairly wide body of knowledge. Which is nice; I like feeling wanted.

And then, I came home. I watched Buffy. I was going to work out on the exercise bike as I watched, but I was too tired, gorged from the potluck and tired from my morning exercise to do that. (I really am getting endorphins from it, and it feels good to be so active.) I went to bed at 11 PM, and woke up the next morning at 9 AM, went to work, and here I am.

Four More Things

Yesterday afternoon, I had an interesting chat with one Amelie Wong. She is a conservative. Earlier we'd talked about the costs of PEI's mandatory recycling project; I'd good-naturedly suggested that perhaps we should abandon recycling and move to Mars colonies, since (mutants aside) the Mars colonies in Total Recall looked like interesting places to live. Now, however, I found out that she's a very strict Roman Catholic, who took part in World Youth Day in Toronto in the summer and who accepted all tenets of Catholic official doctrine, re: priests as sexual abusers, sexual doctrine, birth control, and the like. Erin (who was also in the room) and me were, well, interested by the force of her beliefs. Fortunately, she left before we could debate the Catholic Church's official position on homosexuality.

This morning at the library, we had two people almost come to blows over a newspaper. (She had two newspapers signed out, he an asshole wanted the newspaper she wasn't reading, she refused to give it to him.) They were threatening each other with dire consequences. It doesn't help that he is apparently dating her daughter, and lives with them both. I had to call security up.

My weight, and my physical shape, are of concern. Over the past month, I've gained a bit more than 5 pounds--seven or eight, perhaps?--bringing me up to a figure just below 180. I want to get down to 160. So, two questions: Is my weight visible, am I visibly overweight? Do I have a reasonable chance, with diet and exercise, of getting down to 160 and holding that weight?

Finally, my parents. What should I do with them? Should I bother to try to rebuild a relationship with both my parents, with just my dad, or should I not bother?

The Parents: More Detail

Yesterday afternoon, Erin asked me why I was upset with my parents, and I hadn't given her a very good explanation of the reason why. So, here it is (I hope).

My parents and I have never been close. We've always interacted on an instrumental level, to lapse to sociologese; there have been close moments, there has been (I think) a moderate amount of love, but we haven't been very demonstrative, by and large. We've almost always been friendly towards one another, but I'm not sure how much real emotion there was lying on both our parts.

Since I came out to them, relations have been strained. I've already mentioned their paranoiac fear--coloured, I believe, be some unspoken concern about my sexual orientation, say, that of course I was travelling across the continent so I could take part in multiple orgies and join a cult before I get hacked to death and I just wasn't telling them. It might well be that this was just their concern at their eldest child's decision to go off travelling on his own. Maybe.

And then, recently--I don't know. Perhaps my expectations for my parents are too high: I wouldn't expect them to adapt very quickly to the idea of me with a boyfriend. Then again, perhaps they should have responded somehow. I had to threaten them with severing all relations to get them to accept the idea of seeing a family counsellor (but then, if I have to do that why should I bother?). Mom's particularly bad, since she doesn't want to talk to anyone, not her sister and brother-in-law (my cousin Derrick's parents) since they fought over Grandma's burial, not to PFLAG since she doesn't like the man in charge of the Charlottetown branch. Worse, I find her rather picky and critical. I've been ignoring her lately, since I'm really uninterested in talking with her.

So. What should I do? And yes, I'd really like feedback--E-mail me at <mcdonald@isn.net> if you don't want to post in my LJ.

A quote

ShibbyQuote (idea stolen from Tom, quote from James Lileks:
"I plan on changing the general email address soon, because lileks@lileks.com is now hopelessly overgrown with offers to take herbal viagra and do the deed with teen zebras while refinancing my house with Nigerian petroleum exporters."