Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Broken Leader

I'm not sure why I was reminded of the leadership camp I was in about one and a half year ago. It was actually a regeneration process for a student organization thing. The situation is about like this. There are about 31 student groups, name it A, B, C, D, etc. Each one has a head of the group, who holds the position for one year. The purpose of the camp is to find one replacement for the old head of the group. One head of the group can bring one or two candidate(s) to the camp. Well, the 31 student groups were under 4 departments, and each department has a head of department, one of whom was me. And then above all of the departments, there is one guy in the highest position in the camp.

I remember two of the most uplifting experiences I found in the camp. You could say that was my first experience in being a trainer and a motivator in something which is not physical. I mean, I did give a first-aid training to my juniors, and train their stamina, etc, but I was never one to stand up in front of a group of people and give a speech. For me it's always been teaching-by-doing thing. Heh heh.

Well, in the camp the head of the groups at that moment and the candidates were put randomly into four groups, and the head of the departments were put randomly to lead each of the groups. We were suppossed to be a moderator in a sharing moment, about being the risk, the previlege, and the responsibility of a head of the group, so that the candidates can understand more about what they were getting into, and give them time to considerate about whether or not they want to be the next head of the group. In some cases, there were candidates who until that moment didn't want to take the position, and the head of the group took them to the camp to futher motivate them.

So, there was this one sweet guy who was the head of group A, and one of his candidates was happened to be in my group. He asked me to give more attention to that girl because he was desperate to have her become the next head of group A. She always said no until that moment, saying she's too busy with her study, but she would be happy to be the vice.

Long story short, I succeed in convincing her to be the next head of group A. It was a 'fun' play for me, giving clues and twisting one sharing after another, and giving a personal one of mine, being careful to switch the focus to meet the girl's problem. But that wasn't the most memorable part. The most memorable part was when the head of group A came to me and thanked me for making his candidate to say 'yes' wholeheartedly. It made me feel really really good. It made me realize that yes, even though I'm most usually being a too-nice girl who cannot even defend herself from others' bullying and manipulation, I can make other people change their minds, I can affect people.

The second memory, which is actually the best, because that was the first time I've ever experinced, came after that. Still in the four groups, we played a game, competing between those four groups. We were to stand in circle then face one way, so that each person will stand behind another person, but still in circle. Then everyone should sit, and whichever group holds the position longest, win. But as the leader, the head of the department cannot be in the game. They could not help either. They could only cheer or give commands. Problem was that the position hurt, and it happened that one member of my group had a problem with her leg. I always think that desperation and pain in a teamwork will make the team works better together. I cheered them on while kept reminding them to care for the one with the leg problem, and everyone seemed to sacrifice a little more weight to themselves so that the girl could get a little weight off of her. It was a beautiful teamwork, and it hurt me not to be able to be in it. It's when I felt useless, like a broken leader. Like a commander who can't go to the battle with her army. Maybe also like a husband who watches his wife in a delivering room. But we won! And I celebrated with them, congratulating them. We got a present, which turned out to be a package of chocolate sticks. The sweetest moment was when one of them gave it to me, and when I told them it was suppossed to be shared among them cause they were the one who fought for it, they told me that it was because of my cheering and how I kept on motivating them, that they were able to hold on till the end. Damn. It was so damned flattering. Here I thought I was so useless and couldn't be the part of the teamwork, while actually everyone thought I was in the team all the way. We shared the chocolate sticks anyway in the end.

I remembered today about the conclusion I took at that time. I'm not a leader who serves as a public figure. I'm the type who should stand behind the leader, giving my thoughts for consideration, and back them up whenever needed. The behind-the-scene person, if you will. Or downright a front-liner leader. That I can do. Leading while doing the job together. But it's no coincidence that I held the record for being a vice more than anyone, a position that is looked as useless by some people. And it's no coincidence that I got a heartfelt thank you's from most of the leaders for being their vice. It's what I do best, though of course it matters that I partner with a leader who is willing to listen to me, trusting me, and not afraid of being vulnerable in front of me.

I'm a broken leader who has no skill and no way to make people following me. But by some sort of miracle, I attract leaders and I have the qualities needed to fill the position as vice without being useless. It's funny, huh? And when I think about it... I think that's how I wanna function in a relationship too. :D

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Larger Than Life

I've just realized, I've never really understood what 'larger than life' means. Hey, you who graduated from English literature, please help me here.

But I have an imagery of the phrase in my mind. I imagine something that's limitless, something that's fearless, something that is... larger than life itself. And when I think of a person who fits that imagery, I think of Melissa.

She has just done something amazing, again. I'm so proud of her and I'm so proud to be her fan. Someone who doesn't love her music, well, okay, though I don't understand I can tolerate that, because music is unexplainable, it's much like sexual orientation in a way. Some may like men, some like women, some like both, some like the fat ones, some like the skinny ones, some like the talls and some like the shorts. Whatever. But I'm sure I can't like someone who doesn't admire her in person (at least from how she appears in public).

Have you ever heard about Rick Warren? I've heard his name from his book, which I never read. But the first time I researched about him was when there was this big tide of threads and comments about 'Obama's first mistake'. It was about how Obama invited pastor Rick Warren to his innaugural. Problem was, Warren is known as a supporter of Prop 8, and he said that for him, being gay equals with pedophilia, incest and poligamy, and therefore we cannot have the right to get married. Oops. You said something like that on public and the next thing you know, someone like Tammy would call you a Dick Warren on her blog.

Now I know that I may never meet him in my lifetime, but Melissa did. She was invited to perform to Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the keynote speaker for that event was happened to be Rick Warren. Did she bail out from the gig? Nope. Did she turn her back on him? Nope. Did she call him names and yell at him? Nope. She does what women do best: talk. She talked with him. And invited him to her house for dinner.

What did Jesus do? He invited a Roman tax-man to have dinner with him. What did Melissa do? She invited a Dick Warren to have dinner with her and her family. See a familiarity here? She is truly amazing. What makes me mad though is that she gets the backlash from fans and non-fans alike for building the bridge of peace. Can't they see it? Whether Rick will have more acceptance of gay people after talking with Melissa (it's his own word that 'tolerace is not good enough, it has to be acceptance) or not, it doesn't matter. Even if he'll remain a jerk, it doesn't matter. What matters is that Melissa has taken the first step, offering a hand through their differences. Rick accepted. Time will tell the rest. How can they blame Melissa for replacing hate with love and peace? I can only love her more for this. There's no doubt in my mind that I will continue to love her for the rest of my life.

She's larger than life. Just when I think 'Wow, I can't believe she did that!', she does something even more wonderful. And don't let me start to talk about fear. She's been fearless since she's cancer free. She's been so brave since forever, chasing her dream to California on her own, coming out when she's on the top of her carreer, putting an end to her 11 years of relationship... well, I admire her for that too. She doesn't care what anyone else said, she would choose the road less travelled. That road is difficult, it may even lead down to hell and up again, but in the long shot it leads to a greater place than the more travelled one. Damn, I'm so going to follow her more than the church. She's far more Jesus-like.



Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bad Week

I have no idea how a result of a vote in a city in a country so far away can break my heart and make me wanna cry. But it happens. It breaks my heart that gay marriage is officially illegal in California. It's suppossed to be the most gay friendly state in USA. Moreover, have you ever seen the videos and photos of the happy couples there who got married as soon as possible while it was legal? It's a crime to take that kind of happiness from them, believe me. You don't know how many hearts are breaking since it was announced that proposal 8 passed. Worse, it happens not only in California but also in Florida and Arkansas. Arkansas even went as far as ban children from being adopted by anyone except married couple - which means of course that a single person cannot adopt and gay couples cannot adopt. How clever is that? How many children need a home, and now their chance of being adopted by a good, loving people is even less than before.

I decided that I didn't want to write a post about this prop 8 before I got the result and I'm so very sad to give this bad news. Ironically, I have absolutely no relation with America.Right now I am in a country where gay marriage is legal, and I'm from a country where I doubt gay marriage is ever legal (because not even an underwear advertisement with a model is legal there right now). It's so stupid that the people who are pro prop 8 fought so hard to ban gay marriage when you look at the countries that have legalized gay marriage. Is there anything bad happened to any heterosexual marriage? NO! Are the children taught at school to practice same-sex marriage? NO! There are only more happy people. The children aren't taught to practice same-sex marriage, but to treat everyone equally or at least based on their character, not on their sexuality. Sure there are still ignorant people, as there are still people who hate black people or Asian people, or even muslims. But in the face of law, they are equal. It's beautiful and it's how it's supposed to be.

Through the years, some things haven't changed, have them? I've just known a shocking fact. The homosexual was not recognized as the victims of the Holocaust. After the liberation, they still lived as criminals. It was crazy. In the camp, they were treated as worse as the Jews, but not only by the guards, also by their inmates! Some also became an experiment for the doctors in the Nazi who tried to find a 'cure' for homosexuality. The rate of death in homosexual group is approximately 60%, compare that to Jew's 35% death rate! And yet they weren't recognized as victims because the number is so small compared to Jewish people. Until now, when there are so many holocaust memorial everywhere and it was taught in history class at my school, there was only a very small mention of the homosexual group being victimized.

I've always hated discrimination. It does nothing but hurt people. Yeah, it's easy for straight people to discuss about the word 'marriage' and 'sin' and such. It's not their lives that would be affected by the result. I think it's only fair if the word 'marriage' is banned from the constitution and all couples, gay and straight refer to 'civil union' cause the word 'marriage' belongs to church, rite? Because if only straight couples can get married and gay couples have to be civil union-ed, it will be 'equal but different', like Ellen put it, "You can sit here, you just can't sit there." Remember the part of the bus where black people had to sit in? Yeah, all of them had the same right to ride the bus, but black people had to sit in the back because the front had always been for white people only and had been that way for decades! Exactly the same argument. Bah.

I thought other minority groups in America would be more tolerant about this cause since they've been there, right? They've faced discrimination, especially black people, and interracial marriage wasn't legal at one time. But noooooo! Black people are even more intolerant about gay marriage. It's ridiculous. I think they don't like that gay people often compare our fight to their fight years ago. And I think they just think it's unfair, "Being gay is a choice, it's completely different than being born black." A choice, huh. If it's a choice, who'd choose being a second-class citizen? Who'd choose being a minority, being condemned by the religion they hold dear, facing the fear that they people they love would hate them... Being gay is like being black, except if you're gay, you kinda have a magic paint that can make you white. The choice is only if you're going to live your life as a painted-white man or as a black man. But no matter how you paint yourself white, you're still black inside. Oh, and if you're black, you don't have to stand in front of your parents, scared as hell, and tell them, "I'm black," and face the possibility that they may throw you out of home because of that.

Well, who am I kidding? Until now the intolerance is still intact, look at what happened to Prop 8! And as if there is not enough bad news, Brooke Smith is fired for playing gay. Well I've just discovered a like for Grey's Anatomy for about three days before I found out she was fired. And not even in a classy way! Dammit, that was officially the worst 'walking out of the show moment I've ever seen - granted, I haven't watched that many shows, but still, it's really really horrible. Xena's death in the end of season six seems like a happy ending compared to this. Bah. And you thought it's been 10 years since Ellen's show was cancelled.

The only one spark of joy I could find in this situation was when I found Melissa's blog:

You Can Forget My Taxes
by Melissa Etheridge

Singer Melissa Etheridge rails against the passage of the gay-marriage ban in California—and she won't be paying the state a dime.

Okay. So Prop 8 passed. Alright, I get it. 51% of you think that I am a second class citizen. Alright then. So my wife, uh I mean, roommate? Girlfriend? Special lady friend? You are gonna have to help me here because I am not sure what to call her now. Anyways, she and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen. I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

Okay, cool I don't mean to get too personal here but there is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too. Wow, come to think of it, there are quite a few of us fortunate gay folks that will be having some extra cash this year. What recession? We're gay! I am sure there will be a little box on the tax forms now single, married, divorced, gay, check here if you are gay, yeah, that's not so bad. Of course all of the waiters and hairdressers and UPS workers and gym teachers and such, they won't have to pay their taxes either.

Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

Oh and too bad California, I know you were looking forward to the revenue from all of those extra marriages. I guess you will have to find some other way to get out of the budget trouble you are in.


When did it become okay to legislate morality? I try to envision someone reading that legislation "eliminates the right" and then clicking yes. What goes through their mind? Was it the frightening commercial where the little girl comes home and says, "Hi mom, we learned about gays in class today" and then the mother gets that awful worried look and the scary music plays? Do they not know anyone who is gay? If they do, can they look them in the face and say "I believe you do not deserve the same rights as me"? Do they think that their children will never encounter a gay person? Do they think they will never have to explain the 20% of us who are gay and living and working side by side with all the citizens of California?

I got news for them, someday your child is going to come home and ask you what a gay person is. Gay people are born everyday. You will never legislate that away.

I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many "thems" back then. The blacks, the poor ... you know, "them". Then there was the immigrants. "Them.” Now the them is me.

I tell myself to take a breath, okay take another one, one of the thems made it to the top. Obama has been elected president. This crazy fearful insanity will end soon. This great state and this great country of ours will finally come to the understanding that there is no "them". We are one. We are united. What you do to someone else you do to yourself. That "judge not, lest ye yourself be judged" are truthful words and not Christian rhetoric.

Today the gay citizenry of this state will pick themselves up and dust themselves off and do what we have been doing for years. We will get back into it. We love this state, we love this country and we are not going to leave it. Even though we could be married in Mass. or Conn, Canada, Holland, Spain and a handful of other countries, this is our home. This is where we work and play and raise our families. We will not rest until we have the full rights of any other citizen. It is that simple, no fearful vote will ever stop us, that is not the American way.

Come to think of it, I should get a federal tax break too...

Melissa Etheridge is an Academy Award-winning and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter.

See why I adore this woman? See why I said that if she were going to go to hell, I'd be happily going there with her? I know the post is rather anger-filled, but it's, in my mind, a justified anger. Who wouldn't be angry if their rights is taken away from them? I only hope that she'd do some research first before really dodging her taxes. I'd rather she doesn't do it than watching her going to jail, but it's a really considerable act of protest. What the fuck that she did to her country that she deserved to have her rights (and a basic human rights, even) taken away?

Oh whatever. I'll continue later. I'm tired of being sad. Bah.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New Thought For Christmas

Christmas is here!!! At least in my heart it's now officially Christmas everyday. Except for devoted Christians, I think nowadays Christmas isn't so much about the birth of Jesus anymore. Jesus wasn't exactly born on December 25th, anyway. Christmas now represents all the good things the birth of Jesus brings: hope for humankind, love - as the basic of all his teachings, and peace on earth, like it is in heaven. For me it'll always be like that. And whenever I feel so much hope, love, and peace in my heart, it's Christmas time!

No word can express my excitement when I heard that Melissa's gonna make a Christmas album, and I read this:

"What if someone made a Christmas album for everybody else? That's exactly what Melissa Etheridge has done. Working alongside her producer David Cole, Melissa's songs celebrate a spiritual time of year where people can rejoice in their traditional, or non-traditional ways, and celebrate a winter solstice filled with love and peace. This ten song album has newly composed songs such as "Ring The Bells," "Light A Light," and "It's Christmas Time" interspersed with traditional holiday standards such as "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Blue Christmas." This album begs the question, "If we're all talking about peace on earth, what if we all concentrated on peace on earth and made it happen?""

I waited like crazy before I finally found the album... illegally. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Melissa... but I've tried, ok, I've gone to every place that sells CDs within the range of my knowledge, money, and foot strength. It made me wonder to no end how on earth some people in my country have got their hands on the CD and sproud the rips while it's only been out in USA for 13 days and in Holland for 3 days... and it's hard to find the CD, many people in the forum said so. Well, whatever, anyway I'm thankfull cause finally I could listen to my most cherished Christmas album ever. Nothing less than what I hoped Melissa would deliver. Oh well, I wished there were more songs in the album and more Melissa's original. :p

1. Blue Christmas
I dare say I'm never a blues music fan. But I used to say I was never a rock 'n roll fan either. Well, never say never in case of music - and Melissa, I guess. If she start to sing dangdut I might fall in love with dangdut too. Lol. FYI, dangdut is the music of my country. Lol. Well, you can searched for more information online. Not that I'm discriminating dangdut music, but I take offense of most of its music and lyrics, more often than not, it's degrading women. Back to the blues, I've never heard 'Blue Christmas' being sung so bluesy. Beautiful, Mel, beautiful. I can imagine listening to this song on Christmas eve at home when it's raining outside. If I heard this song six or seven years ago, it'd be perfect with my mood. Lol. For now it's just really really relaxing.

2. Glorious
From the first time I listened to this song (30 seconds sample from amazon.com) I knew I'm gonna love it. Indeed I loooooove it. The first song in the album that's Melissa's original, and it's simply gorgeous. It's a... I don't know what to call it, but it's using some melody from 'Gloria in Exelcis Deo'. But the lyric is 'loooooove, looooove, loooooove, it's glorious'. What struck me the most of the lyric is 'Believe in heavenly peace'. The second I hear that line being sung, I realize that I do believe in heavenly peace.

3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Ah, the happiness of Christmas! Melissa absolutely rocks this classic and I can almost hear her smiling and having a blast singing this song. Jumpy and everything, much like a lover being excited and can't wait for the other lover to come home. Beautiful, beautiful, and FUN!!! Absolutely love it!

4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The first time I read that this song will be in the album, I almost cried. I've ever listened to Melissa singing this song, on Camp Christmas 1993, and though it was group-singing, I could hear Melissa's voice so clearly. I thought it was probably a traditional Christmas song most fitted to Melissa's voice. And damn, I'm right a big time! It's absolutely divine! Absolutely my favorite of this album. Well, besides 'Glorious', 'Ring The Bells', 'Christmas'... well, forget it. I've tried a zillion times to try and find my absolute favorite Melissa's song and failed. But dammit, I really really really love this one!

5. Ring The Bells
I've blogged about this one, haven't I? Oh well, I don't care, I'll write praises again and again for this song. I love this song more than just musically, but considering that it's sung (and written) by an American and a Pakistan. And it's not just that. The music blends. Some may get confused at first, 'Huh? An Arabian music in a Christmas album?' Well it started that way, but as the song goes on, it's not just Arabian music, it's a beautiful blend between a Christmas-ish song and an Islamic religious song. But it's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! It's really all about peace. It's about 'let's go further now than we've ever gone before'. "I know peace begins with me." "Ring the bells, ring the bells of change. Ring the bells, every boy and every girl. Ring the bells, ring the bells of peace, all over the world." To Salman and Melissa: you guys ROCK!!!!!

6. Merry Christmas Baby
Damn, I should've expected this. In every album, Melissa ALWAYS puts in a sexy song. Lol. This is a classic though I've never heard it before. Again I can almost see Melissa grinning while she recorded this song. It's indeed fun. I don't love this song as much as the others, but it's still gonna be on my playlist for a while.

7. Christmas In America
I've loved this song since I first heard it as a music video interpretation a fan made. I can imagine how the mothers, wives, and families of the soldiers in Iraq must feel when they listen to this song on Christmas. "It's Christmas all around here, you're in someone else's land. So I send my only wish, hey Santa, tell the man. Hey mister, send my baby home, this December I don't wanna be all alone. Oh, Christmas in America, I need you in my arms, far away from harm.
Mister, send my baby home." And a message of peace: "What happens to the peace on earth, all the goodwill towards men? Oh c'mon all ye faithful, it's time to think again."

8. Light a Light
'Tis the season of change. The title of this song is the most haunting one from the track list. Everytime I light the candles where I work, I chant 'light a light' like a mantra. Dunno why, really. But here's the message that really makes me want to light a light in my own heart: "Heaven is inside, it's all around, not just above. Choose only love." Just a glimpse of information to help you appreciate the 'choose only love' part: Melissa always believes that there are only two main forces and/or feelings in this world, one is love and the other is fear. Every choice we make is based on those two basic feelings, and everytime we should choose only love, cause it will bring us to the truth, and the truer we're being to ourselves, the better the outcome in the long term will be. Be strong, speak true, eh?

9. It's Christmas Time
Ah, the straight rockin' song. I don't have to learn to dance, all I need is Melissa's grooving songs! Lol. Fa lalalalala, it's Christmas time!!! Happy groovin'.

10. O Night Divine
I read lots of review about Philip's guitar solo to 'O Holy Night' but unfortunately I'm not gifted with the ability to appreciate electric guitar. Anyway, 'O Holy Night' actually has a special memory for me, but Melissa doesn't sing it. She sings something else, I don't know if it's her original or it's a classic, but that song has the same chord progression with 'O Holy Night' and ends with 'O night diviiiiiiiiiiine' which Melissa sings oh so divinely. Anyway, a beautiful ending to a beautiful Christmas album.

I so waaaant to write so much more about Christmas and about this album, but it's almost dawn so I'd better sleep. Some of the songs here could lull me to the dreamland and make me sleep like a baby. Oh well. Sleep in heavenly peace, huh? I hope you all will sleep in heavenly peace too tonight. Goodnight, and sleep tight.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh My Beloved Country

Only at times like this I love my country so much. And for all the wrong reason, but do I care? No. Well, I've been searching for Melissa's new Christmas album EVERYWHERE. Online and offline. Buying or stealing. And finally I get it. FROM MY OWN COUNTRY. Amazing, really, considering that the album has only been out in USA for 13 days and in Netherlands for only 3 days. Really, amazing. But I'm not complaining. It's freakin amazing!!! The bad thing is only that it's 8 o'clock in the morning and I haven't closed my eyes since 11 am the day before. Dammit. Gotta sleep. I'll bore you with a brand new review of the album tomorrow. Gosh. I'll be sleeping in a heavenly peace now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm Just Fine

It's been a long time since I feel like writing. So many things are going on in my mind and my heart but I just go back to the 'empty' mode. Do you ever do that to yourselves too? I think I started learning how to make myself feel nothing since I was in junior high school. I'm not sure why but I got picked a lot at that time. Actually I got picked a lot too in kindergarten and in early years of elementary school so it's not a completely new thing... but back to the topic, it's then that I learned to empty myself out. I learned how to not flinch at pain, I learned how not to show emotion no matter how sad or disturbed I was. I wasn't just that I kept it inside me, I kind of took all the emotion and throw them all away. My first love in senior high school actually was the one to break through the walls I put around me and I learned to feel again, only to have that walls up again in second year when I lost her. And then in college I decided to start all over again and I learned to put the walls up and down depending on the circumstances. Especially since I know Melissa, I let out more of myself in the name of health, I don't wanna sow cancer or other diseases in my body.

But the method of emptying myself out is still useful to me, especially in times like this. Right now I'm forced to live IN THE SAME ROOM and work with her for one year. She's acid, totally acid. She's the type of person who normally I wouldn't touch with a ten-feet pole. She's not completely a bad person, and she might be good for others, but she's clearly not good for me. I just don't get her. How can she accused me of having a heart of stone after I said 'I don't care, it's not my business' to her saying that a pizza place has no tables, and so where do the customers are supposed to eat? I don't get it when she said I'm egoistical and measured everything by my own standards when I woke her 15 minutes before we went to train station. I mean, she's a grown up so if she wanted more time, she should wake up by herself, right? Plus, there are THREE alarms went off and I've already asked her if she wanted breakfast. And she woke up everyday 15 minutes before work so what's the difference, rite? And that's why I have to empty myself out to survive. You see, even people who loves each other face lots of problems when they start living together. We've got a whole lots more of troubles, trust me.My love life isn't much better. It kinda went on and off all the while. At first we didn't talk that much, then we got closer and I started liking her better and she went on vacation, then she came back and we got closer again and then she stopped because she had a new job, and it had been a month before I saw her again yesterday. It sucks, let me tell you. First you didn't expect much cause you haven't know each other that much, then as you got to know each other you had a kind of crush on her and she went away for a while, and then when she came back you started to try getting closer to her, impress her and flirt a bit, and you know that you make a good teamwork with her. Then she stopped working with you, and you felt down and tried to forget her, then suddenly she reappeared in your life and you just don't know what to expect anymore, cause suddenly you're in love with her again.I really have no idea what I should do. She might even already has a boyfriend or a guy she likes, though her status still reveals 'single'. I beated her in a game she taught me and she looked kinda down afterwards. But she still invited me to walk her dogs with her, which is actually my favorite moments with her cause we're all alone and I got to enjoy the nature for a moment. It always ended too soon for my liking. Damn. I knew I'm whipped when I couldn't get mad at her for not keeping her promise to me.

Well, there's a good news too. I met a friend of a freind of mine and he saluted me cause he heard how I was doing in my previous training in Indonesia. It was only for three months, but it's very flattering and makes me very proud to hear that I'm remembered in such a good note.

Oh yeah, I smile a lot whenever I watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKIQkva-VTw. This song is called I've Got You by Melange Lavonne. I found this video by chance, and I'm in no way a rap/hip-hop fan, but the two videos she made are really touching and the songs are good, so I'll keep an eye on her. Watch this video, trust me. She wrote a song about the family she would like to have someday, imagining taking her kids to the park... saving money to send her children to college. Haha... after I listen to this song I wanted to write a song like this on my own. I've written a wedding song for myself, though I haven't had a bride-to-be just yet, but I haven't written a 'family' song. Well it's still too far away in my mind, besides Melissa has put it down beautifully in 'Truth of The Heart' and 'A Truthful Lullaby', two songs she wrote for her kids. I think I relate to 'I've Got You' more for now, though, cause in the lyrics she admitted that "You weren't even here yet, and I'm preparing myself, yo, I'm trying to give you the best, like love and health (?), so I'm doing everything that I can, even though they keep telling me raising kids is a woman and man."

Ok, that's about all I want to write down for today. Even this I had to squeeze out of my memory. Well see ya sometimes.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


A New Thought For Christmas has been released. Sometimes I feel it's unfair. I love Melissa as much as any of her fans does, but I can't get her new CD ontime, I can't go to her CD Releasing Party, I don't have any of her souvenirs, I'm not a member of the MEIN, I can't buy her song books, and while I've travelled half the world, I still can't go to her Awakening concerts. Half of the problem is that I don't have a credit card. Well, I have one but it's in Rupiah and my parents will kill me if I use that for buying things from MEIN. Now that I have my own money in Euro I still can't buy them cause I don't have a credit card (it costs A LOT and I'm only here for one year, so what's the point???) and the shipping cost is still A LOT. Oh, and one other bummer: I can't find her live DVDs except for the Live and Alone, and even that one I suspect isn't the version a huge fan would like to have. Internet is my only salvation for videos and audios for interviews and appearances and such. Big thanks to the internet boardies!

Okay, enough with the complaining. I've got a pretty good internet connection here so I can even stream 'Ring The Bells' from the source. Haha. And I can listen to Amazon.com 30 seconds samples. The song I like most from the samples are 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' and 'Glorious'. I don't know if my opinion would change once I listen to the whole CD, I'll make sure I write a review of the whole CD. But I doubt I'll have just one favorite. It never happens to me with Melissa. I never have any favorite of her songs.

What strikes me most about 'Ring The Bells' is that she did it with Salman Ahmad from Pakistan. It's heartwarming to me to listen to an Eastern moslem sings about peace with a Western lesbian. It's almost like hearing a peaceful duet between America and Iraq. The song itself has an Arabian atmosphere to it... which is strange at first cause I was expecting a Christmas song, but as the song goes on, it blends in beautifully, including Ahmad's Qawwali. This song doesn't need to be played in a Christmas setting, this is as much a peaceful anthem like 'We Are The World', but when I close my eyes and imagine Melissa and Salman sing together on stage decorated with Christmas tree and all of those red and green Christmas decoration on fake snow, maybe even with a background choir dressed as angels each holding a bell and ringing it during the song... well, it makes a very beautiful Christmas song. Gotta admit, my Christian friends may not like it cause it tells nothing about Jesus being born. But what the heck??? How many 'traditional' Christmas songs actually talk about the birth of Jesus? Jinggle Bells? Frosty The Snowman? Blue Christmas? White Christmas? I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus? We Wish You A Merry Christmas? Well I forget the lyrics to many Christmas songs... but my point is the same. There are many Christmas songs which don't necessarily talk about the birth of Jesus, but they focus on love, peace, and hope on earth. And that's what Melissa and Salman do.

Oh, come to think of it, there are one more song I've heard in this album. 'Christmas in America'. It's been released in 'The Road Less Traveled' before, so it's not completely new. I love that song too, and I bet many of the wives and mothers and families of the soldiers going to Iraq love that song more. "It's Christmas all around here, you're in someone else's land. So I send my only wish, hey Santa, tell the man. Hey mister, send my baby home, this December I don't wanna be all alone. Oh, Christmas in America, I need you in my arms, far away from harm. Mister, send my baby home."

I've ever heard Melissa sang 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' in Camp Christmas 1994, I think. She only sings about two lines solo, but damn how I love it. It was wonderful! When I saw the title on the tracklist, I KNEW I was going to sing lots and lots of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' this year.

Okay, so that's two and a half songs down ( I count the HYAMLC as half coz I only heard her version a decade ago and it's not solo), that makes 7.5 songs more to go. Wonderful. I read a story of a fan who was waiting for her lover on the car with open window and people were looking at her in a strange way, and then she realized that she was rocking to 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' on October 1st!!! LMAO. That could very well be me if I've got my hand on the CD just yet.

Aaargh, ok, I'm sleepy, time to sleep. See ya around.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Wrong Kind of Love

Coming from an unexpected source, I got a topic for thought today. My friend asked me, why is it that God makes us human fall in love with wrong people. If we only fall in love with our soulmates, there won't be any heartbroken, one-sided love, divorce, cheating, etc.

Well, it would be beautiful if we can only fall in love with our soulmate, the one who will certainly return our love, the one who is certainly made only for us. But if it's that easy... then when do we learn?

Love is the ultimate force in this world, I've always believe. Anything at all, good or bad, if we do it in the name of love, for something or someone we love, it will feel right - and more often than not, even if it's a very difficult task, we'll make sure it's done even if we have to sacrifice our own lives for it. All other kinds of love aside, we're talking about eros love this time. I'll talk from my personal experience first. I've fallen in love with the wrong person... people, in fact, cause it happened twice. The first one taught me how to care about someone. I was really selfish cause I grew up in a sheltered and comfortable environment. Falling in love had taught me how to care about someone else without wanting anything in return - well, maybe just to see her smile. It made me realize many things about myself, too. I realized I'm gay and from there I had to go through the length of coming out to myself, from denial, research, understanding but ashamed, until I finally can admit it confidently and proudly. It gave me bittersweet memories, some of them would bring smile even to these days. Because I wanted to impress my target of affection, I learned piano more seriously and because of that I play better afterwards. Because I had so many feelings when I was in love, I expressed them by writing songs. Because I fell in love with the wrong person, I've been hurt, and that taught me on how to forgive, and how to let go. And then when I decided to end it all, I decided to go to an university where I knew absolutely nobody.

The second love was actually a little bit sweeter, cause I was always only watching her. There were no hurting each other and drama because I didn't really talk to her, I didn't really know her. I don't even understand how I could fall in love with her. But it lasted for 3 years so it's not just a simple crush. The second love, though only one-sided, brought me strength and courage. It helped me through the separation from home, it gave me courage to enter the club I really wanted though other said 'don't', it made me graduated from both clubs with quite a good impression. It made me take my first try in organization and I was trapped there ever since. It made me me rappling from eleventh floor and climbed a mountain. It made me walk 10 hours at night (though it was a team thing so we switched every once in a while). It made me from a nobody to someone quite well-known in the campus, but it wasn't my position that mattered. It's the new confidence in me that I could lead other people, I could influence them, I could make a difference to other people's life, and that I am worthy for more than just good grades. It had also become an inspiration for so many of my songs.

So you see, I think it's beautiful if you only fall in love with only one person in your lifetime. But most of us don't. I think it's like a growing up process for us. Being in love or in a relationship that doesn't work give us a lesson in life and shape us to who we are meant to be. At least that's what I think and what I learned from my own experience. If all people can only fall in love with their soulmates, how many masterpieces of books/arts/songs that wouldn't be here today? Haha. I'm a believer that everything has its own reason to happen and it has its own time, and we may not understand it when it happens, but later we may look back on our lives and finally understand why something happened the way it was. Life is simple and clear for me once again. Haha.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Awakening

I desperately need to write something about 'The Awakening' myself. I've read so many reviews and even Melissa's own take on the CD, but I have never really talked about every song on the CD.

First gotta tell you that I love absolutely every album Melissa's ever gotten out, though it depends on my mood. 'Skin' and 'Lucky' tie on the top of my favorite album list, because I can't pick just one. Skin is telling a story, about the beginning of her break up, and how she goes through all the bads, through the healing, and then the glorious 'I Want To Be In Love'. And I swear 'Live and Alone' is the coolest concert ever. Well, of course it's because my idea of 'cool' is intimate and connected, not a concert with millions of audience and huge stage and all.

Lucky is a celebration - and dammit, I love celebrations! Especially if it's a celebration of love. When I'm happy and content I listen to Lucky. I love both albums for a clearly different reason, you see.

But 'The Awakening' is the 'deepest' of all Melissa's albums. She's one of the strongest and bravest people I've ever known - dead or alive. Best of all, a strong, brave person with a sense of humor, oh and of course with a killer musical skills. Anyway, let's go.

1. All There Is
The first time I heard this, it was kinda like one of 'Xena' soundtrack. Then the music is kinda taking me to outer space. Then Melissa's voice went in, "All there is, is atoms and space. Everything else is illusions." I always take this song as a kind of 'prayer', and like a mantra to take the audience to a state where the other songs are gonna be. It's a mesage about the truth, afterall, that too often we are worried about this and that, when those are just illusions.

2. California
This is a very Melissa-ish song. Right from the very first strum. I always think of it as a very hopeful song. "I took my family's burden, and strapped it to my chest. A few hundred bucks, and a kiss for luck, and I pointed my dreams west." My favorite part is when she sings, "I will find my love, I will know my peace, I will seek my truth, I am almost free." That was exactly the state where I was when I first listened to this song!

3. An Unexpected Rain
One of the most annoying thing about Melissa, and Bruce Springsteen too, for that matter, is that when I first hear their song, I might not like it, but the song kinda stuck in my head, and it plays over and over and over until I finally 'get' it, then I just have no choice but liking it in the end. This is a very bluesy song, slow and very fitting to be heard alone in a darkened room when it's raining outside. It's about a lover that got suicidal after Melissa left without saying goodbye. I know Melissa made her mistake, but I love her even more for admitting it out loud. How many people do that, huh? Especially in the celebrity world?

4. Message To Myself
One of the most loveable song ever written. Really, this song can easily be liked by anybody. The song is catchy and the message is clear. "I'm sending out a message to myself so that when I hear it on the radio, I will know that I am fine, I will know that I am loved." "It's funny how you find just what you seek, love is what you get when love is what you speak." "It's funny what you fear can make you weak, truth is what you get when truth is what you speak."

5. God Is In The People
The title says it all. God is in the people. The lyric is only about four short lines or so anyway.

6. Map of The Stars
I'm amazed if she doesn't get a lot of shits from fellow celebrities for this. It's about a girl wanting to be a star, then can't hold the pressure of being famous, and then the circle of life bringing us back to a girl in her hometown who sees her in a magazine and wants to be a star just like her. It's a very very positive message. Well, every song in this album holds a positive message, anyway.

7. Threesome
This is the most intriguing title when I first saw the track list. Oh my God! Threesome?! I thought she lives a very beautiful life now with her family and therefore there's no need to do this kind of stuff! After listening to the song, though, and of course after I read the story behind the song, I laugh out loud. "I don't wanna have a threesome, I don't wanna sleep with nobody else. I don't wanna be a swinger, I'd rather keep you all to myself." Aaah, she's who I think she is. I love this song, especially the part when she laughs! It's so cute.

8. All We Can Really Do
"All we can really do is love one another." That's all the lyric to the song. Clear as the day, isn't it?

9. I've Loved You Before
Damn, just when I think I couldn't love this woman more, she wrote another romantic song with a lyric that can make any romantic poet droll in envy. I love 'Sleep', I want to use 'When You Find The One' on my wedding day, I dropped tears to 'It Will Be Me', and this one leaves me speechless. Beautiful, beautiful words, absolutely love the lyrics, and the music is so soft and lazy... like being content in a relationship and wanting nothing more. And isn't that how you're suppossed to feel when you live your ever after with your soulmate?

10. A Simple Love
A short song like the other ones, but this one is my favorite. "It's a simple love that holds us together. It's a simple truth that sets us free. There's a place we're bound and they call if forever. It's a simple love between you and me." It's a simple song, but you can't deny the beauty of that song. Definitely will enter my list of songs to be played on my wedding day. Lol.

11. Heroes and Friends
"You can't take a trip if you don't first say goodbye, you can't find a star if you don't look up in the sky. You can't find the light if you don't know where the dark ends, and you can't change the heroes and friends." This song makes me think of Melissa herself, cause she's my hero, and is like an imaginary friend to me. She taught me so much about life yet she's not like a mentor to me. She's more like an inspiration, like a friend. She's my hero and friend. And with this song, she inspires me to just grab the bull by its horns, something I don't do much. Not because I'm scared, usually, just because I'm too lazy if it's not of a great importance.

12. The Kingdom of Heaven
It's one of the 'WHOA' song. Whoa, that she even DARES to sing it in public at all. Especially about the suicidal religious 'martyrs' (martyrs are usually for those who died for the greater good. These ones just died simply for hatred. Stupid people, I always say.). "He strapped all his desperate pain and his faith to his body, and blew them away." And the most beautiful statement of religion I've ever heard: "My God is love, my God is peace. My God loves you, my God loves me." As simple as that.

13. Open Your Mind
This song affected me more in the beginning than it affects me now. Now it only leaves me chanting its "Work eat sleep, work eat sleep, work eat sleep,... suffocating my delight." But I love the message, again: "How come there's so many people willing to suffer, so they get up and suffer everyday. They think we were put on this earth to suffer, and by God, they're gonna suffer until they suffer their lives away." "If my choice is despair or wonder on the line between truth and belief, do I just let the tide take me under or do I let the fascination come on and rain on over me?"

14. The Universe Listened
"There's something wrong, we don't start living until we almost die." I love the title of this song ever since I read it on the track list. This song is pretty much Melissa's biography, how she wants fame and fortune, "Make a deal, hearts to steal, they will know my name. I'll pay the price, any price, just give me the fame." She got fame and fortune. Then she asked for love, "A perfect song, my love is wrong, so I ate the dark. The hero closed, the story goes on, but I hate the part. I chose to fall, destroy it all, but I will rise again. I believe in love, please send me love, and I will try again." And she got love. Now she wants her message to be heard, and she got that, actually, remember 'The Incovenient Truth' and 'I Need To Wake Up'?

15. Imagine That
As much as I love the message in this song, this is the only song I can't like. Maybe just because of the melody. Huh.

16. What Happens Tomorrow
The first song I liked from this album, because I heard it on live earth, of course. "If not now, WHEN? If not today, then, what about tomorrow? What happens tomorrow?" Such a simple thing, AGAIN, yet holds all the importances possible. I have no idea how many people have shed tears when they hear this song, especially Americans, because it deals more with American's politic.

17. Not Tonight
I just HAVE to include this song. I love this song so much. It's PERFECT to be sung on stage, especially given the connection Melissa has with her fans. I can't help but laugh out loud when I first heard "So my sweet friends, speka true, be strong. Keep on believing we are right where we belong. You know I'd love to sing you, just one more song... (the audience applauded and cheered) ...but not tonight, not tonight (awwwwwwwwww!)" Damn, it's so cute!!! "Not tonight, I have to get back home. My baby's' waiting and it's been so long. The bowl is empty, the candies're all gone. So not tonight, I've gotta bring some sugar home."

I can't wait for her new Christmas Album this September 30th! I bet I'll love it. 'A New Thought For Christmas'... I really can't wait to see what she has next for 'Fearless'!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm Scared of Being Afraid

Damn, I'm in a huge trouble here.
I feel so at lost of words to describe how I feel right now. Maybe I can try a bit. Hm...
Today I'm really really happy. Not giddy happy, but content happy. Finally I can go back to the trees and the sand again. I can stay there for hours just in silence... but since today I was accompanied by the person I want to get to know the most, I think I just can't be silent all the time.
But underneath that happiness there are two huge worries haunting me. The first one is of being in love, because if that indeed happens, it will consume much of my time and my mind, and if it's not requited, it will be much worse for my sanity while dealing with work and thesis. The second one is of my thesis, cause I haven't even got the topic until now.
You see, I can't just have a 'light' crush. When I like someone, I get to know them better, then if getting to know them makes me don't like them anymore, that's it. I forget them. But it can also grows into love. And that's always dangerous. When you're in love, what do you feel? Do you feel like you want to be with them all the time? Do you feel everything is a little bit better everytime you see their smile? Do you feel down after you say something stupid to them or having a bad conversation or even fight with them? It doesn't matter if it's one-sided or requited, the basic feelings are the same, I think. If it's requited, though, you have to work even harder to make it work and if it's not requited, well, being heartbroken isn't a nice feeling.
I may be just a little bit obsessed with making sure that when I fall in love with someone, it can work. Means that the feeling is to someone who is sane, healthy, has a strong character, and has positive energy about them, so that if it indeed works, it can lasts until forever. I was in love once with a girl that I knew even then wouldn't be the one for me. I did fall in love with her but even when I was in love with her I knew it wouldn't be for ever after. I did end it before it had a chance to start and though until now I sometimes think of her, I knew deep inside that I made the right choice.
I know what kind of person I want as much as I know I want to get married, have children, and live a good life. I find most of what I want in her... at least from what I see in her. That's what scares me now. Willingly or not, I'm almost falling in love with her, and I'm scared even more for not knowing if the feeling is requited.
Well, for now I'm just gonna go to sleep, not for running away from troubles, but it's 4 am already. I'll take it one step at a time. We'll see where the road leads me to. Good wishes are accepted happily, though, so feel free to send me some. Haha.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dear Diary

Ok, this is not my diary but what I'm gonna tell right now is about what happened today, so it's kinda like a diary entry. It's kinda boring and I don't know why I'm so in mood to post this, while actually I can write it in my own personal offline blog. Like usual, though, I think I'm gonna ignore reasons and just go with the feelings.

The first thing I'm gonna tell you is about my dream. It's like a fairy tale dream, with the set of Lord of The Ring. Yes, with the fantasy forest and all. With waterfall, I think, cause there's a wide river nearby. I should've written this hours ago when it's still new cause now I've forgotten all the details, just the main storyline. I was some sort of hero in this story (no protest allowed! It's my dream, afterall), who fell in love with a beautiful princess, who is engaged and to be married to an evil man. How classic is that? Of course, she fell in love with me too, and then we both had to fight against that evil man and his soldiers. At the fight she got shot by an arrow and collapsed, and I had to carry her on my shoulder to the forest. The funny thing is, the dream had two endings (I woke up after the first ending, then I slept again and the story went back to this scene. Weird, I know). The first ending was that she died in my arms... it was a little bit more romantic, though, and then I put her on the water in the river. Then I woke up and went back to the scene when I carried her to the forest... she died, too, but this time I felt no lost or panic. I lowered her to the water, below her first dead body (again, weird!) and the two bodies became one and she was alive again, we hugged and kissed and that's when I woke up for real... and just minutes after, I got a phone call from a real girl I like. Anyone can tell me what this dream means? It wasn't like I dreamed about the girl I like. The girl in my dream was pretty, tiny (how else could I have carried her?), and rather dependent. The girls I like in real life are always beautiful, strong, independent, and mostly the ones I couldn't carry. Hehe.

Okay, the next story was about tonight. Well, not necessarily about tonight's tonight, but about one girl in particular. Damn, I don't even know my feelings anymore. This is the first time I don't fall in love at the first sight. Well, I met her on my first day here so I think that counts as 'first', but then I actually felt a little bit annoyed by her. Then as time goes by... perhaps a week or so... I started to see her in a different way, that maybe her annoying way is a part of her kindness, you know. And damn, she's so kind. That hits the weakness in me. I really couldn't resist kindness. I always fall to kindness. It also defines my orientation pretty well, cause there is this one man here who is soooooo kind, and yet I'm not attracted to him at all. Well, of course I like him a lot because he's kind, but not the way I'm attracted to this girl. The turn-off, though, is in the fact that though she's pretty gayish, I think it's possible that she likes my friend more. And plus, as far as she knows, she's straight. That really is annoying. I was once in a position where I got the feeling that the girl I liked was into me, too... but then she ran back to her religion and shutted me out. That hurt, cause it wasn't that she didn't like me, it's because she's scared. I was scarred too, I just didn't run away. Crap. Well, now I still have no idea how I feel about her. I still have one year to go so I'll take it slow.

By the way, tonight I watched a retro-reviewing on Afterellen.com, about If These Walls Could Talk 2. They voiced my thoughts... it is a must-watch movie, for gay or stright alike. Better yet if every straight people is exposed to that movie. Especially the first sequence. By the gods, I think any gay people who watch that feels the same thing: suicidal. Hehe... well, not literally, but technically. It was so painful to watch, especially with the 'it could be you' mantra ringing in your head. No straight people would have to worry about these things... you just have to get married. And oh God... the line of, "You'll never feel this kind of hearbreak (when your husband died) cause you'll never have a husband"... that cuts straight to your heart. But the movie grows into the sexy 70s and comedic 2000. Death turns into birth. Beautiful.

One more thing before I end this bizzare post... I just ran into this quote of Melissa:
"I know whatever darkness that I have, I will have at least as much light."
She never ceases to amaze me... I love her with all my heart and soul... much like maybe some of you love Jesus. Say whatever you want, but it's true that Christians have Jesus, Moslems have Mohammed, so since I'm no part of any religion, why can't I have my Melissa? Oops, this may get a bit heavier. Jesus never sinned, Mohammed is God's hand on earth... but Melissa is just a human being with her flaws. That's exactly why I love her. I know she has her flaws, I know she's in no way totally innocent, but that's what makes her human, and she doesn't shy away from it. "Not so black and white the color of your sin," huh? This quote I really like. I try to focus on my truth, I try to stay positive about everything, but every now and then I lie. Every now and then I envy others. Every now and then I play dirty games. But exactly as she said, whatever darkness I have, I'll make sure I have at least as much light. Without the balance... I don't think anybody can really live as a human being.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm Ryan, But Not THAT Ryan

I'm Ryan, I'm gay, I've ever mutilated a dead chicken's body but I will never mutilate people, ok? And I'm a girl, btw, so relax, I'm not a criminal.

This case really makes me heartbroken. I've just had a talk with my friend about how to increase the visibility of LGBT people in Indonesia so that more people could realize that we're just people. Suddenly I got this information from my friend that this case happened in Indonesia, and the mass media doesn't help cause they interview wrong people. Well, I read Kompas.com and I think it made a quite fair, unjudging articles, but how many people watch TV more? Now in Indonesia we have one more stereotype of gay people: murderer and mutilator. WTF?

I will treat Ryan's case as any other murderer's case: I'll just hope that the laws and justice make the right decision. But I'll play my part in commenting about the psychology issue: stop abusing. I've just posted 'Ellen's Message' some time ago, about how Ellen reminded us that jokes about gay can lead to laughing at gays, and then verbal abuse, and then physical abuse, and then... murder. In that case, it was a straight boy killing a gay boy. In this case it's the gay boy who's the murderer... but the message is still the same, don't you think? I know, I know, there are many other motivations for killing... but at least this one is one of them, and what's wrong in spreading a little more peace in this world?

I'm so sorry that I'm not out yet. I'm proud, I'm loud, but I haven't been out yet. And I'm so sorry that I can't contribute much, especially since I'm now not in Indonesia. I'll be happy, though, to help and contribute in any way I can. For now, though, I'll just keep reading the continuation of this case... reading people's comments and putting some comments in myself... hoping that someone would care enough to read it and open their minds.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Kneeling At The Altar In The Temple of Your Eyes

Oh God. I swear Melissa is one of your finest creations ever. I'm so thankful I'm so in love with her. I don't know how it happens or why, but I love her, then, now, and forever. Of course not in a romantic sense, though if I do know her maybe it'd be a different story. But it's good like this. If I know her and fall in love with her romantically I must have a broken heart, cause she belongs with Tammy. I've never seen such a perfect couple, ever!
But dammit, I love Melissa with all my heart and soul. You should come to one of her concerts, or at least like me, watching her performing live - to see her in her godly influence in people. ESPECIALLY this one concert: LIVE AND ALONE. From the title you should know that she performs LIVE, and ALONE. Yes, alone on stage, only with her guitar, or piano, or guitar and harmonica, etc. She's the only one I know who can perform that long without a band and rocking the house out. Damn. She really looks magnificent on stage. Her lyrics, her music, her way of interacting with people, the way her whole body expresses her music, and most of all, her honesty. How she comes up and front about everything, how she bares her soul... You know, one of my friends tell me the difference between having sex and making love is the presence of love and the barring of the souls. When you make love, it's really about loving and connecting your souls to each other, not just 'having fun'. It's like that with Melissa. She bares everything of her when she performs... it's really like I can see her soul and I love it. An honest, brave soul that has gone through pain and longing and healing until she's ready to love again. Okay, that's only for the album 'skin', but that's one of her albums that I admire the most. I love almost all of her songs and honestly I don't have ONE favorite song of hers because I really can't choose one. I can't even choose my top ten. Or even maybe my favorite 100. I've made an mp3 collection of her songs and I still have difficulties to choose which ones I want in the CD. It's like she just has a song to fit however my condition is. I love her, I really really really love her so much I can't even describe it. You really have to experience it for yourself, cause with Melissa, you really have to listen and open your heart. If you only want easy fun, well, you may get it with some songs, but not with others. Oh, and have I mentioned that she's beautiful to a fault??? :p

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Reason

It's been years since I came out to myself. Been years since I made a peace with myself. Been years since I can say I'm proud of who I am and that I'll seek my happiness without apologizing to anyone. Still if you see my blog, it's mostly still about gay. Some may complain that my blog is 'too gay', but really, it's a part of me, so how can I run away from it? Besides, it's the part of me that causes most trouble for me. That's why I talk about it so often.

Today I chatted with one of my oldest friends. Honestly our topic in chatting has changed dramatically since I came out to him (and he to me). :D But it doesn't matter. It actually feels nice to talk with someone without being asked, 'Are you never been in love? Why can't you talk about boys like us?' Or just something like that. And it certainly feels great to talk about girls I like without having to make them anonymous or being careful not to use 'she' or 'her', and dodging the question 'are you gay' without lying. Whew. I really can't wait to come out, though it scares the hell out of me, too. But that's not what I wanna talk about this time, so let's move on.

I said to him that I know why gay people who are finally settled (financially or romantically) become thougher, stronger, and kinder than most of the people. He replied this:
"In conclusion: we are so special, kita melebihi batasan-batasan medioker. Perhaps since the kid, we use our brain to think more about our gayness,then we maximize our brain power...kita sudah terlatih untuk membuka diri terhadap semua kemungkinan. Artinya kita juga mendorong diri kita sendiri untuk berpikir dan berbuat lebih. Kita menikmati rasa sakit, lebih daripada orang 'normal'. Kita menikmati kegembiraan, lebih daripada orang 'normal'."

The first sentence, 'we are so special', I can't agree. I know what he meant, but I don't like the using of 'we are special' to build gay pride. It grows into separation. I know in Indonesia there are gay people who are heterophobic. We're all special in our own way, and what I want is being equal, not being better than the majority of the population.

Since kid thinking about gayness? Well, at least in my case I don't think I thought about being gay when I was a kid. I just came to realization when I was older, not much different than when I decided that I like vanilla ice cream, not chocolate. Opening the mind to the endless possibilities.. I think I did that as a kid, just not in any gay context. When I was a kid I dreamed to be a wanderer. Even before I knew Xena, honestly. I wanted to bring the world into one nation, I wanted to make all the religions become only one... not under Jesus, not under Allah, not under whoever else, just under one God named love.

But pushing ourselves to think and to do more... maybe I can relate to that. It was only after I went to college that maybe there's a need in me to be respected and appreciated and loved more, because I wanted to prove that, here, you see, I am smart and strong and kind and bla bla bla, and I am gay. I just wanted people to see that all those stereotypes about gay people are simply wrong. (Some of them are really stupid, like that being gay is contangious. If that's true how come all of my friends and family aren't gay yet???)

And finally, the last sentence, we experience pain more than 'normal' people, and we experience happiness more than 'normal' people, I absolutely agree. We know how is it to be fighting ourselves, and when we win and come out to ourselves, we are still in the closet. We know how is it to live in fear of getting caught being gay (stupid phrase, but whatever) and in fear of losing our jobs or our friends and family just because of our sexual orientation. Then we come out and still we face the discrimination and laws and the difficulties of illegal marriage, extra paperworks because of that, having a baby, and raising children and protecting them from discrimination. And we face them all while still facing other problems 'normal' people have: work, sickness, death, money, etc. Oh, and we can't rely on parents and families cause not everybody has gay parents or families.

But we do experience happiness more than 'normal' people. We know how much our friends and families love us when they still accept us after they know we're gay. We have much more happiness for having a baby cause we have to go through so much to get one. And of course, marriage. Maybe in these days and age, gay people understand marriage better than straight people. Straight people usually take marriage for granted. They can get married, they just have to find someone to marry. Gay people, on the other side, even when they've been together for more than 50 years, their relationship isn't legal in the face of law. They still don't have hospital visit right, they have difficulties in adopting, etc. So when they can finally get married, after 22, 35, 48, 50 years, who feels the utmost happiness? I of course haven't experienced it myself, but even looking at the photos, listening to interviews, and reading the articles, are enough to make me cry out of happiness. "Tears and fears, and feeling proud, to say 'I love you' right out loud." How freeing is it? Even when there are protesters outside the fence, by the God, do you think they care even a bit? I felt anger when I saw the protesters, but dammit, they are just miserable souls who don't understand love and can't seek happiness that they are so bitter at other's happiness. Why should I mind them? I should pity them.

I guess Mr. Doel reasoned my statement with that last sentence. Gay people who are settled are tougher, stronger, and kinder than most people because we experience more pain and more happiness than them.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Could Have Been You

I'm scared of growing old
I shiver when I'm cold
Don't you think I bleed the same blood

It's not easy anymore
The way you used to keep score
Not so black and white the color of your sin
Take a walk inside my shoes
A path I didn't choose
Spend the night inside of my skin

If Melissa goes to hell, so will I. I've always believed that. It's not so easy to imagine spending an eternity in hell, but at least there's where the good souls rest. I know nice people who are gay and if that's the only reason people are going to hell, so we'll have a party down there. Heheh.

Stupid, silly reason to hate people. My friend hasn't been able to look Melissa as a human being. She always refers to her as 'the crazy one'. She doubts that Melissa and Tammy are really living a happy, healthy life, because they are celebrities and therefore it's just a public appearance. She pities Melissa cause she never has sex with men.

Truth is that I don't know Melissa and I certainly don't know Tammy personally, but I'm not a fool. I've read hundreds of Melissa's interview, and she always answers as honest as she could, about anything at all. And her music, her lyrics... if you love music as much as I do, you can feel which is 'fun' music and which is 'real' music. Melissa is the real deal, never once I doubt her. Even if I'm not gay, I'll still worship her. But again, it's weird cause if I'm not gay then it wouldn't be me so I might be a very different person. :p Complicated, huh?

And in the matter of their relationship, just check out Tammy's blog, just check out Melissa's songs since she met Tammy, just look at them together even in paparazi photos. It's just that... it's FAMILY. It's a real, functioning, healthy family. With problems and all. A marriage in its most sacred form. Nothing can make me more confident of the blessing God gives to these two women than when they were declared 'beloved wives'.

Well, I so want to yell out those words above to my roommate until she can see the truth. We're not any different than you!!! I have a crush on someone too as you change your unfaithful crush from one to another. I felt so much jealousy that I cried myself to sleep one of these nights. I've felt the missing and the loss when she's not there, and I've felt the fear too that she would reject me. It's not so different than what you feel, isn't it? Add it up to the fear of coming out, the need to be truthful, the frustration that people don't want to understand, and the damned illegalation by the government.

I don't want to be overly respected, I don't need to be excessively adored or admired, and then when they know who I really am, BAAM! All of the respects and the scores I won disappear. No. What I want is just to be seen as a person. That I'm not seen less if when they know I'm gay. That my friends will still be my friends when they know I'm gay. That my families will still be that kind and accepting when they know I'm gay. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Ellen's Message

I wrote this quite a long time ago when this was still NEWS, but I only have the previlege to post it now. This one is actually an author's note for one of my songs, but well, I think it's good to be posted here.

Here's what she said. "On February 12th, an openly gay fifteen year-old boy named Larry who is an eight grader in Oxford California was murdered by a fellow eight grader named Brandon. Larry was killed because he was gay. Days before he was murdered, Larry asked his killer to be his valentine. I don't want to be political, this is not political, I'm not a political person, but this is personal to me. A boy has been killed and a number of lives have been ruined. And somewhere along the line the killer Brandon got the message that is so threatening and so awful and so horrific that Larry wanna be his valentine that killing Larry seemed to be the right thing to do. And then the message out there is so horrible. That to be gay, you get killed for. We need to change the message. Larry was not a second class citizen, I am not a second class citizen. It is okay if you're gay."

I applauded her for it. I applauded her for putting herself at risk by saying something controversial after the backlash following her coming out. This woman is really really brave. She uses her power to remind people how gay jokes can lead to laughing at gay people, then verbal abuse, then physical abuse, then a kid like Brandon kills a kid like Larry. We need to stop all kind of discrimination, people. Why can't you understand that nobody can choose where they were born, what color of skin they have, how they were raised, what their sexual orientation is, etc? Especially Christians. You worship Christ who was crucified for love. Now you're the one crucifies somebody who loves just because your bible say it's a sin. Don't you see that if you lived in the time of Jesus you'd be the one to crucify Him too just because He denied many rules in the Old Testament?

Wake up, this is 2008. You can believe something is a sin, but since it doesn't and will not affect you in any way, would you just shut up and let us live our lives in peace? It's true, you know, that the jokes often lead to something much more horrible. Like the bullying at school. That too is horrible. To quote someone on the web (I'm really really horrible at remembering names, forgive me please), why are we more comfortable seeing two mans holding guns to each other than seeing them holding hands?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ladies' Day

Whoa, I just can't help but post it here. I so want to tell someone about this but Kayla is offline, my best friend is offline, and my friends here won't appreciate it. Haha. Yes, I'm closeted, but either way, me talking about lovely ladies just won't interest them. They're just interested in boys, and that's final.
Soooo... here goes.
Today's a really special day. No, it's not my birthday, it's not my crush's birthday, it's not someone's anniversary or wedding in my family, but it's the day that After Ellen's hot 100 list for 2008 comes out!!!! I woke up today and went straight to my computer. I voted this year, and wow, 8 of my 10 nominations were in the list! The two who aren't on the list are Melissa and Julie Andrews, and heck, I love them so much it doesn't matter anyway. I know that everyone loves Julie Andrews and most lesbians love Melissa, so well. By the way, there are some ladies I didn't vote for just because I forgot them the moment I filled the vote. Some of them made the list, some of them don't. I have a newly found celebrity crush for Emma Thompson and if it happened before the voting, there'll be 7 out of 10 of my vote on the list. Haha.
It's gooooooood though, waking up to those beautiful ladies (After Ellen sure knows how to pick pictures. Thank you, thank you, thank you). But the ones whom you meet in real life are the best, aren't they?
I had a crush on someone... well, let's just call her Little Bit. She usually wasn't all that nice to me, but today I met her after one year, and wow, she talked to me as if I were her friend! Well my crush for her has ended, it wasn't a real crush anyway, still she's so pretty and smart and any gay lady worth her salt would sweat upon talking to her. :p
Not only that, when I was talking with her one other woman showed up. This one is a mentor I admire, not someone I'd have a crush on (well, I would, but she's HAPPILY married and you can quote me anytime I will never ever be in the way of a happily married couple. If one of them wanna be with me they'll have to break up first. That's been my personal principle forever.) Still it's been a year since I met her last and I do miss her, so it feels so good to actually meet her again.
I always ask myself is it okay to be this happy? I'm so giddy the only way to defeat this is if my crush for three years suddenly showed up and talked to me too. It would be just perfect. Well, it'd be perfect if she showed up and told me she loves me. Lol.
Anyway, it's been a lovely day, though I have to say, a little bit lonely too. One year ago wherever I go in that area, there'll be someone I know, someone who'll smile back and say hello to me. Not today. So many have changed indeed and I just can't change it the way it was before. I'll just have to move on, to the next chapter in my life, and as much as I'm terrified by it, I'm also thrilled. Who's to say I'm not to meet the other half of my soul in the other half of the world?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Truth Is What You Get When Truth Is What You Speak

Since I started to know Melissa, that' s been the words I clung to everytime. I tried my best to stand on the truth, no matter how hard it is and what it will cost me, but it's not that easy when you're still practically a teenager, you know? I'm adult by age now, but I haven't graduated yet. I have ever worked but I was unpaid so I still depend on my parent's money (I did get scholarships and I did get some money from opening that cafe, though). I so want to flee to a place where I can work unjudged, you know. I don't mind flipping burgers, I don't mind playing in a bar and all, I don't care. But here, my family would rather pay my bills than having me doing 'that kind of jobs'. No offense, I have to say, cause I did work as a waitress before. My dream, actually, is to make a living by writing music, teaching music, or even playing music. Too bad I don't have the talent AND I don't have the education background in music. I'm still looking for a break when I can send out my songs.

Okay, this is getting out of topic. Lol. What I mean is, when you only just start a carreer, unless you are the boss, it's not possible to be truthful all the time. When you're still depended on others, it's not possible to be truthful all the time. Only when you're in a 'safe' position can you look at the world and say whatever you want. I hold on to those words faithfully, though. I may keep some of the truth to myself and don't say it till the right moment, but when asked specifically, I will tell the truth. No one has ever got the guts to ask me directly, 'Are you gay?' yet, though I'm sure some of them have suspected for years. I don't hide it. I just don't tell. I made a point of never denying, never hide, but never flaunt it as well. I want my being gay to be just like if I'm straight. No coming out. When I have a girlfriend I will just say so. It's like a coming out but different, you see? No straight person will have to say, "I'm straight," but they're bound to come home one time and say, "Mom, dad, I've got a girlfriend."

I want to do more with my life. I want to achieve a position so strong that I can inspire people. I look at Ellen and Melissa, and I think of how much I want that in my life. Not to be famous or rich, but to be able to read the letters that say, 'Thank you so much for coming out. I almost kill myself but I see you and I know I can be normal and pursue my dreams.' Even my homophobic mom can't say anything when I showed her the wallpaper I made of Mel's family (look at previous post: What Makes A Family A Family?). It's so much harder to hate gays when you put faces in them. Indonesia doesn't have that. The role models who are so normal, so loveable, so entertaining, who live a good life, who are honorable, strong, and even spiritual. I want so much to be that, but I can't, so I want to achieve in other ways. What, I don't know yet, but I'll figure it out soon or later.

For now, though, I live up to these words all the time. Be strong, speak true. For me that's enough to live this life.