Monday, April 23 2012


Dear Katsufrakis,

The Sun Also Rises in Your Pants

The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Your Pants

The Sigh in Your Pants

The Elegance of the Hedgehog in Your Pants

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius in Your Pants

I Capture the Castle in Your Pants

Thriving in Your Pants

A Long Way Gone in Your Pants

The Idiot in Your Pants

Horton Hears a Who in Your Pants

The Sneetches in Your Pants

Little Women in Your Pants

 

P.S.

I listened to/read this commencement speech by David Foster Wallace and  you need to read/listen to this because it’s beautiful and I love it and so will you. http://web.archive.org/web/20080213082423/http://www.marginalia.org/dfw_kenyon_commencement.html

here’s the youtube video(s): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vET9cvlGJQw&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEjVnB7AeBQ&feature=relmfu

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012


Dear Katsufrakis,

My feelings this afternoon are better expressed in this letter I just wrote to my uncle who’s in prison right now, so I’m just going to copy and paste it here. (This is the  pre-self-censoring version- I’m going to edit it and send a different version that’s more likely to get past the people that read his mail- so I apologize to anyone who’s offended by my language. My opinion is that there’s enough bullcrap in this world to necessitate some cursing to ease the pain).

Dear Uncle Jake,

So this afternoon I was scooping myself some ice cream and I had to go into the bathroom to cry because I suddenly thought, you know, there are people who can’t have ice cream. There are people who can’t have ice cream and who don’t have sweaters for when it’s cold and who are locked up in prisons and fucking concentration camps and get tortured and abused and children who are dying of rotavirus because they don’t have clean fucking water. Innocent people, guilty people, but they’re people. They’re fucking human and the only reason this shit happens is that we can’t just respect that. And then I thought to myself, what the hell is wrong with you? Your own uncle is sitting in some concrete cell in Arizona where he can’t get mailed jalapenos and you haven’t written him a letter in years- not even a goddamn letter because you can’t deal with the emotional baggage of writing to another human being just because you never write to him. Do you understand how fucked up that is?

So here I am. Writing to you because I hate the fact that your humanity can be denied and that I’m a part of that denial. How are you? Do you still feed the pigeons sometimes? Do you remember the letter I sent you in code about my caterpillar when I was eight? I do. I miss you and I think about you and I love you and you’re my uncle and you’re a human being and nothing anyone ever says or does will ever change that. Ever.

I have the birthday card you made me when I was born and it’s beautiful and thoughtful and remarkably human.

I remember playing cards with you. I don’t remember much of you but I remember your hugs and the pigeons and playing cards and the letter you sent in code and the letter you sent a few years a go that I never replied to because I didn’t know how to.

I don’t know what to tell you, so I’ll just share a few snippets of my human existence so far and maybe when/if you write back I’ll get some snippets of yours and we’ll find some way to share this life despite the miles and fences between us and I’ll start writing regularly and we’ll be like actual people.

I fell out of my chair in Spanish yesterday. My favorite shoes ever are the hiking boots I stole from my dad. I fence with some lovely people and I eat lunch with my Sociology teacher, whose existence basically just validates everything that I am and everything that I think. I’m on my school’s debate team, and the other kids are wonderful humans and we write silly ditties and rules make jokes about nihilism and AIDS. I have a crush on a girl on my fencing team and she says words like “adorabibble” and she used to walk around on all fours for much longer than is generally considered developmentally appropriate and she has the cutest collie dog named Tashtego after the Native American from Moby Dick that falls into a barrel. One of my favorite books of all time is Winkie by Clifford Chase and I think you’d like it, too and I promise to find a way to get a copy to you. I wrote a letter to my county commissioner about the anti-gay marriage amendment being proposed to North Carolina’s constitution and my Civics teacher’s husband wants to publish it. I have nightmares about getting my math tests back. I’m addicted to Youtube and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who and Star Trek and books that have words in them and I’ve met Dave Eggers, so I can pretty much die happy.

And I miss you.

Loads of very human love,

Me

P.S. (to Katsufrakis)

Yes, I am just going to ignore the fact that the whole “daily update” thing is pretty much a joke now; and yes I do realize that by typing this I am doing the opposite of ignoring it. My logic ran away with a band of caterpillars.

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Saturday, April 7 2012


Dear Katsufrakis,

Given the excruciating uneventfulness of today, I refuse to actually write anything because it’s late and I don’t feel like it and I am just that sort of lazy bitca.

Instead, have this:

P.S.

I promise I will have legitimate things to say soon.

 

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Friday, April 6, 2012


Dear Katsufrakis,

Autobiography has always been an aspiration of mine which I’ve never really managed to get around to realizing. Because starting a diary is hard, have this brief and crappy bit of free verse. I despise bad poetry, and hope to God that I never write poetry seriously (i.e. as something other than an excuse to write badly organized prose), but anyway, here is an introduction to the Chronicles of Me:

When I was younger

I sniffed an entire petunia up my nose

For hours I snorted into the toilet

Then I sneezed and the snot-coated misery was gone.

Last Friday I shook the milk carton

Forgetting I’d already taken off the lid

The kitchen was a pearly puddle of milky appliances and countertops

I had to change out of my Slaughterhouse-Five T-shirt

I am a bumbling human.

I only hope she finds my awkwardness endearing*.

*So you know how a couple months ago I said I wasn’t gay? Hello, gay now!

 

 

 

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El Plan


In my opinion, “plan” is the most hilarious of all English-Spanish cognates. There is absolutely no factual or logical background for this opinion of mine. I just thought I’d point out the fact that the word “plan” becomes Spanish as soon as you put an “el” in front of it.

So, here’s “el plan” for my future posts on this blog. Since I am a newly anointed vlogger with a pre-existing wordpress, I was recently faced with the universal dilemma of the multi-media-creator-of-internet-content-person: What do I talk about where?

Since I feel it’s important to me to have a purely textual forum in which I may express my thoughts and feelings, I want to keep this blog. However, I’ve decided that in order to increase the frequency of my posts here, henceforth my thoughts on “topics” will be expressed via youtube, and this blog will become what essentially amounts to a public diary. My posts will be addressed to Katsufrakis, who is my laptop. These will (God willing) be posted daily. It is now really early and I just almost spelled early with a “u” so I think it’s time I turned in but you will hear from me later today with my first diary entry.

Oi! With the poodles are ready!

That is all.

 

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I Have a Tubey-Thingummy


I’m on youtube! Go watch me have absolutely no idea how to in front of camera. Comment and subscribe so that you can inflate my delicate ego!

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God, Girls, Failure, Faith


  

To fear or not to fear? That is the question.

There is no truth. There’s just what you believe.

—Joss Whedon

I took a wonderful stroll yesterday with my sociology teacher in which I unloaded a lot of baggage about the Circumstances and how I feel lost because I don’t feel like I know anything and I don’t understand why geometry is such a rutting pain in the backside. I left wonderfully serene- full of the same sort of serenity I’ve only felt when praying in school courtyards at debate tournaments and walking past Chritmas lights at night after a good cry. Because not only were my feelings and opinions honored and validated, but when I finished he looked conspiratorially around and said, “I’m going to tell you something I’d never even bring up to another student… just because… just,”here he lowered his voice to a whisper, “believe in the power of prayer… er… meditation… whatever. Because that’s something that’s real.”

“It’s funny you should say that,” I replied. “Because faith does seem to be the only thing I have left to believe in, and know that I believe in… It’s just, that’s hard, too ’cause I’ve kind of been having a sort of faith crisis lately.”

“The funny thing about faith,” he said, “Is that it always seems to bring about a crisis of some sort. I’ve been going through my own thing, lately- trying to sort through what’s true and what’s just crap from the institutional aspect of religion… because there’s some stuff that’s really real, and true; and there’s other stuff that was put there in the interest of an institution.”

God is there. I know that much. And I know that there are things that can’t be explained, and that there are special things, really real things like prayer that might be realler than anything else. But that comes with religion. And religion is scary, and hard, and confusing. Because there’s the never-ending issue of faith.

For example, I recently began questioning my sexuality when someone referred to one of my very close friends as “your girlfriend”. It all began with the realization that I liked the way that sounded. I liked the idea. And I thought a lot about it, and about what factors might contribute to my feeling that way since I’d never really had reason to question my sexuality. And as I was thinking about it, and wondering if I might be even more like Willow Rosenberg than I initially suspected, I was scared. And confused. And tried to stop the wheels from turning, because I didn’t like where they were going. Because Muslims aren’t allowed to be gay. Even though I’d never understood how love could be a sin. But I never once doubted the fact that I was a Muslim, in every sense of the word, that I was willing to surrender to the will of God. I just wasn’t sure how those two convictions could coexist without my turning into the barber who shaves only those who do not shave themselves (I might have butchered that right there, but it sounds impossible enough to me).  I have a lot of problems with female gender roles, but I’m not sure it’s because I lean toward womenfolk. I liked the way “my girlfriend” sounded  more than I liked the sound of “my boyfriend” because of the implied power, possession, authority. I liked the thought of my romantic partner being mine, rather than my being his. Because the feelings associated with “my boyfriend” are feelings of submission, of having been won over, of losing some of my autonomy. Naturally, that’s not quite as appealing.

But what my sociology teacher said yesterday made me realize that when I question religion, I’m not being blasphemous or arrogant- I’m not pitting my opinions against God’s. I have the freedom to interpret the Qur’an in a way that doesn’t necessarily jive with what the experts and scholars say. Because they belong to an institution. They are human, like me. What they have learned, they have learned from people who had political, power-motivated agendas. The fact that I don’t believe that God hates f**s doesn’t mean I’m challenging God. Of course, I always knew that.

Any time somebody tells me I’m going to go to hell on the grounds that I’m not christian, I tell them that I like to think that God values one’s compliance with His proposed archetype of righteousness than one’s rationale for doing so, and if they tell me I’m wrong and God is going to send good people to hell for not believing in Him then I mention that that’s not really the type of person I want to spend eternity with anyway.

It’s ok to be gay. It’s ok not to be gay. Either way, God is there. And he cares. And he listens. And he loves me. And I’m never really lost, and it’s ok that I’m not exactly staying afloat in geometry at the moment. “I am the only person who can change the world the way I can. Not because I’m so special, but because everyone has something only they can do for the world, something they, personally, were sent for.”

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