Sunday, September 26, 2010

Love, Love Like This

It's funny that I run back to Xena again for wisdom after all these years. She really is my source. I can honestly say that most good in me started with Xena. I'm really watching the show with new eyes now. When I was little I didn't know much about Western traditional stories on Christmas like 'Little One', 'Night Before Christmas', 'Christmas Carol', etc. When I watched 'A Solstice Night' again, I was amazed by the writers' brilliance in taking in all of those stories, twisting and turning them until they were combined perfectly with some added unexpected turns. When I watched Xena back then, I haven't read The Book of Tao. I didn't realize how powerful Lao Ma's teaching was. When I watched Xena back then, I didn't even suspect that Xena and Gabrielle were lovers. Now I saw the subtexts flying around wildly as if they were maintext. After all, I used to take their love as the best example of a love between friends. I didn't realize that even for a love between lovers, their love is just as extraordinary and special. Last night I re-watched 'Ides of March'. The scene when Xena and Gabrielle were about to be crucified never ceased to amaze me. Gabrielle turned and said, "I love you, Xena." Xena, despite her wrecked spine, being almost naked on a snowy mountain, and knowing that a nail was about to be hammered to her hands, smiled. She smiled a big, beautiful, happy smile, in that condition, just because of those little words. My God, I want a love just like that. I want a love that could make hell a happier place than heaven.  

It doesn't even matter if it's a love between friends or between lovers or between families or even a love for God. When you are blessed with someone to love and to be loved like that, it's miraculous enough. In Joan of Arc movie (the one starred Leelee Sobieski), when Joan was burned at stake, she also smiled after hearing something God said to her. Well, I remember one of our terrorists also smiled when he was sentenced to death, but in his case I can't help but wondering if the love of his life is really God. Maybe it's Satan who was wearing a mask of God. Maybe he simply loved anyone named 'God' without thinking about their personalities and traits. Maybe he was simply happy that the trials were over. Of course I have no way of knowing. One thing I know, though. I still envy his ability to smile at a time like that. 

I now adore Xena and Gabrielle's love more than ever simply because I know the whole story of them. With real couples in real life we never know what really happened. No one know if a real-life love story is worth admiring or not except the couple themselves. With Xena and Gabrielle, I know they betrayed each other, they hurt each other, and they even killed each other's child. But every time, they forgave each other and helped each other to heal over time. If that's not love, I don't know what love is. I love corny dialogs, I love romantic scenes, I'm all for the hugs and kisses and snuggles. But it's simple gestures like that smile, and what they do for the sake of each other in every scene, that make me adore their love. We have a concept for this kind of love, actually. It's called Anam Cara. Soulmates, if you may. The concept has been redefined times and again, but maybe this is my favorite definition of the concept: 

"This, I say, is what is broken by no chances, what no interval of time or space can sever or destroy, and what even death itself cannot part." John Cassian

For most, it's a concept for a man and a woman. For me, I couldn't care less. I've had my times of troubles with God due to my orientation, but I refuse to feel guilty for loving. If it's wrong then I'd rather be not right. But let me share some Bible quotations that helped me through those times, just in case others need them now.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal.5:22-23)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. (1Pet.:8)

Like Ellen once said, it should be celebrated that we found love at all. How hard it is, I should know, I haven't found mine yet. But I know I will never give up on love, because every time I'm stuck or a relationship doesn't go right, there'll always be Xena to remind me of this love. I know how geeky that sounds, but it's the truth. I just want a love like this.
A king would trade his finest crown for love. Love like this.   
And warriors have laid weapons down for love. Love like this.
Hearts will break a thousand times for love. Love like this.
And arms will wait a thousand nights for love. Love like this.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Holly Happy Days

Wow! This Christmas I will be singing gay carols again! Melissa's album came out two years ago and although I love her so very much, listening to the same Christmas album more than three times a day during quite a few months granted you boredom. Luckily, this year another one of my favorite artists are launching their own Christmas album. Yeah, the Indigo Girls, that's who!

I swear to you I don't enter the gay world just because of its musicians, but I really find my inspiration here. Of course other strong musicians like Pink, Joni Mitchell, and Beth Hart got to me, too, but the ones that own my soul are Melissa and Indigo Girls. It's rather cliche, but it's true. I like kd, too, but not this much. To use my full-frontal nerdity, I'd say that in my music world, Melissa is Beethoven and Indigo Girls are Mozart. No, I'm not crazy. I play classical music too so I'm familiar with all four artists' works, and they affect me in a similar way. I love Beethoven's music. It's free, it's crazy, it's unforgiving and unapologetic. It sounds great no matter how you play it. When I play Beethoven I don't care much about the notes. I dive into the music and just create the sound I like, according to my own emotion at that moment. I can't play 'Fur Elise' or 'Moonlight Sonata' the same way twice, not when I don't feel the same emotion. Melissa's music is like that. Of course it doesn't sound different on the speaker, but I catch different words, I feel different emotions and I can think of different things when I listen to the same song. Much like that, I can play one Melissa song in many different ways according to the moment. Sometimes hard, sometimes lazily, sometimes seductively, sometimes emotionally. They're both so raw and emotional it's hard not to really feel the music.

Mozart, on the other hand, is the music I listen or play when I'm happy or careless or at ease. Sometimes when I think hard, too. The music is smart to say simply. The notes are so brilliantly put together I sometimes can't figure out the sound before really getting the hang out of it. It's unpredictable and fun. It's light and flowing. Calming and pleasing like a cup of tea. It's contentment. Indigo Girls' music, or at least the ones by Emily and the ones that I know of, are a lot like that. The guitar riffs are much more complicated than those of Melissa's but it's acoustic, so it sounds brilliant and rich. The music are mostly light and carefree, even the lyrics reflects that. On a happy, careless day I can just sing them along not caring what they say, but on a calm, serene day I listen to each word and ponders about their meaning. I can't do that with Melissa's music, because when I don't hang unto the lyrics and the music at once, the song lost its meaning to me. I can't half-enjoy Melissa's song. Either I get so into it or I don't at all. The same way with Beethoven. When I can't connect to the music, I'd rather not listening to it.

Surely I can tell which one I love most of them, but every now and then I just like to be easy on my feelings, especially on days like these. On days like these I feel content and at ease, I don't want to burden me down with heavy feelings and emotions. Therefore it's the perfect year for me to listen to the Indigo Girl's new Christmas album, "Holly Happy Days". See what I mean? Compare that name to "A New Thought For Christmas". Both are the 'holiday for everybody, whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, or the winter solstice' type. Great, Melissa's additional lyrics for O Holy Night is one of my favorite ever. Hm? Chely Wright is writing? Great! I like her and I've heard one or two of her songs and while I cannot really relate to them, I like them alright. The classics, of course, but what I'm most exciting about is their original songs! Yup, I'm gonna have a very gay yuletide this year alright. Hohoho.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just A Little Quiz

What a boring day today. There aren't a lot to do just yet and I'm downloading a very big file that gets cut off every now and then, resulting in me having to download the same file three times today. I went blogwalking while waiting, meeting some interesting people, some rude ones, and this site: Gotta admit I like taking quizzes, depending on the topic. Never believe the result 100%, but still, it's a fun way to introspect myself. The result for this one is a little bit surprising for me, but when I read the description it fits just right.

Clueless Uke

Easygoing and energetic, those with the Clueless Uke personality just want to have fun. And although they often tend to have a spaced out or 'clueless' look about them, it's probably because they are lost in their own thoughts, imagining their next big project - for this personality isn't happy unless they are planning or working creatively, whether their passion is music, video games, or making things with their own hands. They also love to be entertained, which may be why they so easily attract the Opportunist Seme - who keeps them interested, with their slightly devious ways, without being demanding, or overwhelming the Clueless Uke's need to still feel free to do as they please. And although this personality can tend to be a bit clueless when it comes to interpersonal relationships, they make fun and caring partners when they find that special seme to amuse and look after them.
The Clueless Uke personality best (but not always) corresponds with these associations:
Japanese Element: Wind
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Color: Cloud Blue
Fruit: Starfruit
Dessert: Tiramisu
Theme Song: BondS ~kizuna~ by An Cafe 

Haha, that's so totally me. My mind works in a bizarre way. I can think of one thing, for example, school. Then I went to think about my years in college. In college I met my second crush. I remembered meeting her in a warnet. In that warnet I chatted a lot with a chatting friend. That chatting friend introduced me to Melissa. Melissa introduced me to guitar. The song I wanted to learn to play on guitar was 'Angels Would Fall'. To play that song properly I need a capo. That went on and on and on to no end, although if the moment is right I might stop the thought there and went out to buy a capo. Which I did. But because of that I often spaced out, especially when I'm relaxing. Even my blog posts reflect how hard it is for me to stay on one subject. By nature I'm clueless of other's hidden intention, but thanks to some years of political training, I'm a little bit smarter now. I don't know if the association is correct or not, but I can say that I love riding a horse while feeling the wind on my face and looking at the cloudy blue sky. Hah hah hah. I don't like starfruit, but Tiramisu is verrrrry fine once in a while. Eh, I have no idea about the song.

This is the relationship table for Clueless Uke :

Sadistic Seme - Very incompatible. The Clueless Uke wouldn't even know what hit them when they encounter the Sadistic Seme, and fortunately for them, the Sadistic Seme would quickly grow bored, preferring a more dramatic, willing victim.
Chibi Seme - While this uke and seme would make decent friends, the lack of any physical or emotional chemistry between them would make them incompatible in a romantic relationship.
Romantic Seme - With the Romantic Seme's loving, understanding ways, these two would make a good match - the Romantic Seme looking after the Clueless Uke and the Clueless Uke appreciating the Romantic Seme's companionship and attentiveness.
Opportunist Seme - A perfect match - both of these uke and seme just want to have a good time and don't crave a lot of drama. While the Opportunist Seme may be a bit sneaky sometimes, the Clueless Uke doesn't mind much, and they both provide each other with amusement and companionship.
Don't Fuck With Me Seme - Not a chance in hell. In other words, incompatible.

I can't help but laugh at the description with Sadistic Seme. At my last workplace I met a person who is exactly that type, and although I know what he meant, I pretended to be clueless. That worked exactly like in the description. He got bored and left me alone. Hehe. The Chibi Seme is true, too. Some of my friends are this type, at least I think so, and while I think they're pretty I really have no more than platonic love for them. I can see why the compatible ones would be Romantic/Opportunist Seme, as long as the romantic one is not bound to the dramatic and the opportunist one is not... well, a user. The DFWMS is also true, I don't like rude people at all, even the ones loaded with flirting.

Badass Uke - A casual friendship could exist between these two - the Clueless Uke just needing to find a fantasy gaming world elaborately real enough to pull their Badass Uke friend in. Both personalities do enjoy gaming, music, art, and food, and could get along quite well ~ the Badass Uke keeping their friend entertained with their sometimes eccentric behavior, and the Clueless Uke providing entertainment with their wealth of knowledge about music, games, and internet.
Innocent Uke - These two could make good friends (and even possibly more). The Clueless Uke and Innocent Uke would share many of the same interests.
Flaming Uke - A friendship between these two would be very possible. The Flaming Uke's desire to talk and entertain would keep the Clueless Uke amused, even if they only half listen to everything their friend is going on about... And as long as the Flaming Uke kept their bossy side reigned in, these two could make a fun and entertaining team.
Dramatic Uke - No real chance of friendship here. The Clueless Uke wants to have fun, and the Dramatic Uke would just wear them down mentally. Neither would have much understanding of each other, or want to hang out together, and would most likely avoid each other.
Clueless Uke - Clueless Uke very easily get along with their own type, in friendship, and possibly more ~ neither really caring that much who fills what relationship role, as long as they are having a good time.

Haha, how do they know I love games, music, art, food, dan internet? And how do they know I'm loaded with knowledge on those subjects? The Badass Uke seems interesting, perhaps my best frind is one, hm.. I need to ask her to take the test. Hehe. I'm not sure about Innocent Uke but perhaps my second coming out friend is one. I can imagine dating her, and we even look great together on photos, but I'm simply not in love with her. Good thing, though, she's straight. I've befriended a Flaming Uke. He's very flamboyant but everybody loves him. He admires my knowledge and skills, and I admire his ability to win any people's heart, not to mention his own heart of gold. The one problem is, I can't find the right image of a female flaming uke yet... haha. On the second thought, perhaps my first love was. I don't like drama, 'nuff said. Many people accused me of being cold-hearted and ignorant, but I really don't want people's negativity around me all the time. It really tires me out. Now this may sound a little narcissistic, but no worry, I'm not interested in anyone who's too alike with myself. Well, maybe just for friends. But it will be great if my partner doesn't care about labels or roles. Sometimes she wears pants and sometimes she wears dress, be my guest. Sometimes I cook and clean, sometimes she does. Sometimes I protect her and sometimes she protects me. 

Ah well, it doesn't really matter either way. As long as she loves me and I love her, ain't that enough? I'm not consciously choosy, but I don't fall in love often, so I guess I can trust my heart in judging the best lady for me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Education Matters

Quite a long time ago, when I first came out to myself, I tried to browse about Indonesian gay and lesbian forum. Please notice that we're talking about a time seven years back from now. I was highly disappointed. There weren't any with a positive note. In fact, there was this straight guy who said that he was curious to know more about the LGBT community in Indonesia, since he knew that we existed but the media only told him about the negative sides of the community. He asked nicely if anybody could tell him the positive sides of us. Nobody bothered to answer, and even a guy, I assumed a gay guy, even told him to 'leave us alone'. The ladies weren't so positive either. Most believed that being gay is a sin, and some even went to the length of swearing to live a celibate life despite having a female partner. I left the forums immediately and never come back.

Listening to such rantings about being sinful, being fearful of the people, etc, might be frustrating to those of us who have come to accept who we are and gain enough confidence to live our lives proudly. We know that being gay is only a part of us and not to mess up with our qualities and even use that as a motivator to strive to be better than heterosexuals. Those of us most probably had a good education, maybe even graduating from abroad, having a good position in some well-respected company, maybe already successful and even rich. But don't forget, the LGBT community is a far wider community than that. Not all of us are butch, not all of us are rich, and certainly not all of us had the chance to be educated so liberally.

It was easy to forget how we've come this far, wasn't it? Now that everybody around us looked up to us in awe, adored us while knowing that we're gay, we thought that every LGBT people should strive to be like us. We look down on those who still believed they're sinners. We looked down to those with great fear of being caught holding a lesbian book. We looked down to those who would not come out although they were apparently gay.

If we really want to build a strong and solid community, we have to include everyone. It's hard enough being judged as minority by other people, why would we judge our own brothers and sisters? No one asked you to be best friends, but please stop looking down and judging each other. It started to look like a caste system within the community, and I don't like it one bit.

There are two kinds of brave people: those who were gifted to be fearless from birth, and those who learn to be fearless. Nobody can say I'm a coward, except when it comes to approaching girls I like.. but that's another matter altogether... hehe. But I was one of those who had to learn how to be brave. I was a very fearful child. Until now, fear is in my nature. But I have learned to beat it, never let it get the best of me. Yes, I was trembling when I stood on the edge of that 11th floor building, but I rappled down anyway. Yes I was scared of roller coaster but I got on anyway. Heck, at my first coming out I was white as snow and feverish, but I blurted out the words anyway. Being scared is natural, being a coward is a choice. It took education and learning process to know the difference. But what I hate is when those who are gifted with a brave soul looked down on those who needed to learn, instead of helping them to get over it.

I tried to tell people that being gay is not a sin, that we shouldn't condemn ourselves but take our difference as a gift. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I don't plan to stop. I won't teach anybody to bail out of their religion, but sometimes we should UNDERSTAND our belief instead of taking everything words per words. The choice is still theirs and I respect it. That's the point, isn't it? When there is someone who would step forward and be a leader, we applaud and support them. When there isn't anyone, we wait and making progress. It doesn't do to force someone who isn't willing to come out to do so, and then when they lost their friends or families as a result, we would just say, "Well, that's the risk." Coming out is not a prove of how brave you are, blindly coming out just because your friends dare you to do it is plain stupid. It is a declaration done for and ONLY for yourself, when you feel the need to do it and is prepared to accept the risk. Doing it for any other reason is careless and dangerous (imagine if you suddenly come out to your grandmother who has high temper, high blood pressure, and heart disease!). Of course the more people come out publicly the better it is for our visibility (well, except for Ryan, that is), but since I'm not going to be the first to step up, I will never point a finger to another.

Well, my point is, if we want to come together as a society we should reach out more. To those who are less fortunate than us in term of self-esteem or education, and to those who are ignorant of the community. It's not easy, and it's not quick, but at least my homophobic friends know not to use certain words when I'm around, and they have a better understanding about LGBT community and are not afraid to be friends with me. They still think it's a sin, though, but it's still much better. So many little things we can do to make this world a little bit better, without having to go on the cover of a magazine a la Ellen (although that's a very good thing to, hehe). Advice for things we can do is always welcome. :D

Friday, September 03, 2010

Racist Bastard

I remember the term my good friend Zhou Yu used to call himself when he went all Asian-loving. Seems like I'm back in my racist-bastard phase then. Well that was a joke, of course, I think I've found women in any race that I think is hot. White? Well take a look at my Afterellen vote. Black? Rose Rollins, Jennifer Beals, hmmm... Indian? Lisa Ray, Kajol, that girl who played opposite Keira Knightley in Bend It Like Beckham... lots of them, actually, but I rarely watch Indian movies so I can't remember more. Aaaaaanyway. Let's see my taste in Asian women for now. For some reason I can only think of Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong actresses... oh, and then some... but let's see.

1. Michelle Yeoh

My ultimate Asian-crush go first. I've been having a crush on her since senior high school, and I recently rekindled that crush, stronger than ever. How could I not? She's smart, tough, strong, kind, down-to-earth, beautiful, sexy, and fun loving. Hollywood thinks they know her works, but I've seen her in a far more difficult stunts back in her Hong Kong movies time. That motorcycle jump into a running train in Police Story 3 is simply unforgettable for me.

Most cherished work for me: Royal Warriors, Police Story 3, Wing Chun, Taichi Master

Gay points: In an interview with Rosie years ago, she mentioned that when she was approached for a role in a Bond movie she originally was excited because she thought she got to play James Bond. Hm, that would be a very interesting movie. Heh heh.

2. Cecilia Yip

 My oldest Asian-crush. I don't know what it is about her that attracts me so much. I've only seen three of her works, two of them as a man, but I've seen plenty pictures of the roles she played. They all varied so much I wonder how she did it. She's such a wonderful actress, there's no doubt about it. I love her voice, too (have watched interviews and her singing with Angie Chiu). And since she's often played a role no one else wants to take, I think she's pretty smart and humble.

Most cherished work for me: White Snake Legend, of course. And Xiao Kan Liang Yue. Both with Angie Chiu.

Gay points: She played a lesbian twice. She played a man four times. That's gay enough, also I found some interview where she stated that although in the beginning it was a little bit awkward for her to act being in love with a woman, she would then just think of how beautiful her co-star is, and how she could just fall in love with her. Of course, having Angie Chiu as a co-star made it so much easier....

3. Shu Qi

Asking men if she is a hottie would be like asking them if they think Angelina Jolie's hot. I couldn't argue with them on both cases, of course, but there's something more to her than just meet the eye. Her acting skill is too much underrated, I think, because of how she started up her career. I first saw her in Stephen Chow's The Lucky Guys, and although not really my type, she's mighty charming in that one. But the one that finally pushed her up my hot list was 'So Close'. With that movie she's so close to beating Michelle Yeoh off, but cause she had a boyfriend in that movie, I pulled her back down the list. Heh heh.

Most cherished works for me: So Close, The Lucky Guys

Gay points: Watch 'So Close' once, and tell me if you can ever forget that bathtub scene. (Of course, for a lesbian with a younger sister like me, it feels in between yummy and disgusting - oh well, they're not sisters in real life, so whatever.)

4. Siti Nurhaliza

Gotta admit that I'm most embarrassed to admit this one. But it's true, at one point in my life I've had a crush on her. I still remember the very first time I watched her on TV. I didn't know about her, but her pretty figure caught my eyes, so I watched, and then she sang! Mind you, it wasn't on a stage, but in a karaoke setting at her own home, I suppose. I was hooked. Yes, I'm that shallow. Heh heh. I still have a soft spot for her, because her voice is really that good, and she seems to be a genuine person.

Most cherished works for me: Prasasti Seni. Some of the songs in that album really translated to my real-life crush at that time.

Gay points: NONE that I know of. Except if you count some subtle lyrics in her songs, but I don't count them because those songs were written by men anyway.

5. Tamlyn Tomita

It's such a shame that I only know her from one movie, but her impression is so strong that I remember her to this day. I have watched all three Karate Kid movies (four if you count Jackie Chan's new one), and only on the second Karate Kid did I feel like stealing away the girl. She's simply much too good for Daniel (what is it about him changing girlfriend in every movie a la James Bond anyway?). I love the tea ceremony scene and the final fight scene. She's the only one of Daniel's girlfriends who tried to fight along with him, not only standing behind waiting to be rescued. She had no fighting skill, of course, but that didn't stop her for helping Daniel at the critical moment. Sure, I might be biased and Kumiko is the girlfriend of my dream instead of Tamlyn, but if she can act that well on her first movie, then she's an admirable natural talent.

Most cherished work for me: The Karate Kid Part II

Gay points: None that I know of.

Honorable mentions: Angie Chiu, Idy Chan, Sandra Ng, Joan Chen, Lucy Liu
There are two more Asian ladies I want to add, as they were the girls I was in love before, but of course I'm not that crazy. Heh heh.