Perpetual Angst

Ah, what a lazy Sunday, or at least it’s supposed to be. I have to do some training stuff this week which I dread. That starts tomorrow. With just about everything new (not really new, just in a new place), my brain is working overtime and my stomach is in knots. My relaxing weekend wasn’t that relaxing and it passed really, really quick. I’m not even sure if I’m going to be able to sleep tonight, but I really hope so. I keep downplaying this anxiety, but it’s only working minimally. At any rate, I’ll do a good job.

The Scream by Edvard Munch, painted in 1893 (and my best friend’s favourite painting). Kinda how I feel in public sometimes.

The smallest, most insignificant things tend to stress me. When I was a kid, I swear to you I would have stomach aches almost every morning. I’d go to the school nurse who would just explain that I probably needed to use the toilet. I never went and I think that might have started my fear of public toilets. I don’t know. I just remember it being really annoying.

When I was older, it started happening almost every day of school. Then it hit me at college/university and threatened to stop me from going because it was getting so bad. It followed me into my work life where I take a lot of sick days because of that fear of the unknown. Sometimes I can ignore it and get on with my life, sometimes, I can’t and it’s really embarrassing when I’m somewhere and I’m shaking so bad and people start asking me why. I have to explain that I’m just really nervous and anxious. I hate that part of me. I hate not being able to write sometimes because I’m fogged over in this fear that I can’t explain. It really sucks.

Instead of focusing on that though, I have to say that I am doing better with it in a few ways. I am pushing myself to do more things, you know, like getting in front of people and talking. People tend to like my presentations and such because I make people laugh. I like that. What they don’t know though is how much will-power it takes to do it.

Last week, I had to get a blood serology done. I put it off for weeks because I absolutely hate getting blood drawn. I can’t stand it. My partner said he’d go with me the next week and I said okay. A few minutes later, I had a pep talk with myself and said to stop procrastinating. I went to do it a few minutes later. I still hated it and the decision to do it was exhausting, but hey, I did it… and I’m still alive.

I think I just need to go a little bit easier on myself because at the end of the day, I’m not a bad person. I don’t do anything illegal, I don’t be mean for the sake of being mean, and I don’t harm myself or anybody else. So I need to give myself credit for being someone who does good things. I just have that problem where I care for other people more than myself, and even then that goes very, very wrong.

So, yeah, I’d love to get rid of my anxieties and fears. I wish I could have enjoyed life without them because I want to do so much more and I’m regretful that I haven’t, but I can start now, am I right?

That’s what is in my head at the moment. I should look forward to tomorrow, being in a new environment and given a new set of problems to solve. I can do this. I will do this. I have to find a way to break the cycle.

Why Being Gay in Australia is Better than the USA

I don’t really intend to make this a weblog about marriage equality, but the excitement is still lingering for me and many other Australians. I was thinking about something though about being gay in the United States. The lawmakers in many states (and probably nationwide) are constantly thinking of many creative ways how they can make marriage equality a little less equal and etch discrimination into the laws to make it a lot less meaningful. They essentially think like “well, we have to live with it, but let’s make it as hard as possible for them, so we can still believe that our marriages are still superior”. So, you have all these lawmakers scrambling to allow states to remove benefits for same-sex couples and how to make it harder to get weddings done. I’ve already explained my stance on that, which is basically if someone isn’t going to put their whole heart and energy into my plans (because of who I’m with) then someone else will. Again, let me iterate that I don’t think that’s nice and under most circumstances, it shouldn’t be legal to withhold products and services from someone just because you don’t like them or agree with them.

Anyway, the point of this is that here in Australia, I don’t think I will be seeing much of the “waaaaah, I have to bake cookies for a newlywed gay couple” stuff like there is in the USA. But, I’ve also told many, many, many people here that whether they realise it or not, the USA (its people and laws) is deeply entrenched in religion. You don’t really see that until you’re American and go somewhere else that 100% guarantees freedom from religion (which I think is GREAT). (Even during Christmas, may I add: no one is whining about red cups. No one is bitching about people saying Happy Christmas or Happy Holidays. Do you know why? Because people have better things to do.) Also, people in the USA, or at least where I am originally from, are really eager to gag and choke others with their religion.

You can understand why it’s so difficult for me to want to go and live in the USA where a few years later, people still aren’t over the fact that people of the same sex can marry. The laws that the state governments and federal government make or change proves that. I don’t need to have my feet on US soil to see that. I hear it directly from people, not from “fake news” websites. It’s really sad.

Australia’s discrimination laws are so much better than the USA. You can’t do half of what some of the states in the USA can get away with. No one gives two shits about trans people using restrooms (tee-hee). No one can discriminate, COUNTRY-WIDE, based on sexual preference, gender identity, religion, etc. It’s all been law basically since I’ve been here. That’s because people don’t get their knickers in a twist. That’s why I love Australia. The marriage equality, which is law now, meaning people could get married today if they could, is just the icing on the gay cake baked by someone who doesn’t care who they bake a cake for. It’s just another reason why I love my adopted country like I do and always will.

I do think that there will be some “protections” happening in Australia at some point, but at least the government is actually looking into how things stand at the moment or in the distant future before any of those “protections” become law. (Discriminatory laws DO NOT AND WILL NOT PASS here, Americans.)

It’s kind of hilarious because people think I have this real hatred towards the USA. I’m always making points why life is so much better over here than here, but seriously, it is a great place to live and I’m honestly a lot more happier here, but home is where my family is and I don’t hate it. I dislike quite a few things about it right now, but when I have a chance to move back, I will. (I really wish I could just move everybody here.) The USA has given me a lot of great opportunities in the past and it was all I knew until I first came here. I’ve seen the other side of the fence and love it, that’s all. I wish the USA was more progressive and really wish that people would stop latching on to all their fears to vote in inexperienced, weak leaders who want to spend more time telling people what they can’t do to make themselves feel better. Oh well, hopefully one day people there will wake up.

Marriage Equality: Now in Australia!

Finally! Marriage equality has been passed in Australia. I’ve been telling people who I would be extremely surprised if it was legalised by Christmas like they promised. I thought that the debate in Parliament would have been much nastier and full of delays, but colour me surprised!

At the end, they were trying to push through amendments (some had no possibility of passing) but all were voted down. This included things that included civil celebrants (not the people in the church) to object marrying based on their religious beliefs and personal beliefs.

I’m a little split on my feelings about that. I wouldn’t really expect someone with strong religious beliefs to marry me with another man if they weren’t comfortable with it. I wouldn’t a fuss or go to Facebook and leave them really nasty messages. I’d let it go. What one person won’t do, someone else will. I think courtesy goes a long way. If someone isn’t going to make me a cake, then well, they just lost a sale and as long as they’re not nasty about it, it’s all good. I don’t want to be called names or feel like a terrible person when I’m wedding cake shopping. I don’t think religion should allow people to be assholes, which I am afraid would happen with some of the amendments.

So what’s in store for me regarding this? I’ve been waiting for this result for a while to determine what will happen in 2018 and have made a decision that I will most likely marry in Australia and celebrate it in the USA. Two separate events but I don’t know how big and/or small they will be. I have to work on that during my time off.

I’m still mentally processing what this means because I haven’t been in a country long enough where it’s legal. It scares me a little bit. There’s a lot of uncertainty (in my head) surrounding marriage. It’s something we’ve been chatting about lately. Every time something changes, I get a little more confused! Haha.

Anyway, HUGE congratulations for the win to the whole Australian LGBTI community.

 

Under the Tree

Totally not my tree… or presents…

Tonight, my partner’s working late, so I left the Christmas tree on for him to be able to see his way around. But you know something? It took me about 10 minutes to decide that I was going to do that. It was either the Christmas tree or a floor lamp in the corner. I kept going back and forth between the two.

I noticed something though. When the Christmas tree’s lights are turned on, it makes me think back when I was a kid and I’d fall asleep under the tree (and believe it or not, I never once knocked it over). I’d build houses out of the presents (never opened any, even on accident) and play with my toys. Those were some simpler times then. Now, I think about my mom, being back at her house, and just the general sadness I feel because I am not there spending the holidays with her.

I do miss her at this time of the year a lot and on my birthday, it hit me really hard. I was quite the depressed one so I slept for most of it. My partner was irritated with me because I didn’t decide where I wanted to go to eat during the day, so I just stayed home and slept. I was a sad guy and just hid from everybody for the night. The weather was garbage and I just wasn’t feeling it.

I’ve never been big on the Christmas holidays here. It hardly feels like Christmas to me. I remember one year, I just boiled some sausages/weenies and made hotdogs then played games. It wasn’t too bad. Other years, I just went to work.

In the USA, it’s always a really nice feeling on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I get sad when it’s over though, but it’s still nice. Then, New Year’s Eve comes and it’s like a party all over again! Even now, I’m getting homesick so I probably should stop. This is probably why I am always thinking of going back home to stay for good at this time of the year.

My Birthday is Wet and Tame

Another year rolls on over on the good old birthday clock today. Today’s my birthday and it’s really a crappy day as far as the weather goes. The weather in Melbourne is supposed to be really awful today. Luckily, I live about 50 miles (or 80 kilometers) away from Melbourne, so the rain hasn’t been that bad. It makes me feel a little bad because I’ve cancelled all my plans to go into the city and I don’t even think it’s raining here. However, I looked at the news and it’s already pretty gross, so I guess I’ll be attempting to be productive from home today. It’s been so hot lately that getting anything done has been really difficult and it has cooled off, so why not?

Something I feel is interesting is how my partner makes me stay up until midnight the day before my birthday. I’m usually in bed around 10 pm, so staying up isn’t a pleasant experience for me. I’ve always just waited until the day of my birthday around 6 pm to do the whole cake thing, but not here. It’s sweet, regardless. He acts more excited about it than me. Haha.

My mom is always reminding me that it’s not really my birthday today. I mean, well, right this second it’s still considered November 30th. She’s always quick to tell me that if I want to do it right, I’m going to have to wait until 5 pm later today (when it’s midnight in Texas) to start celebrating.

You know how I said I cancelled my plans? Well I am not doing much today. Part of the birthday present to myself is supposed to arrive today. I got myself some American peanut butter (it’s Jif… the American part is important since I don’t like the peanut butter here), grape jelly, and sugar-free strawberry banana Jello. The sugar-free part is important. I’ve always liked the sugar-free versions of Jello a bit more than I liked the regular Jello. I’m not sure why. I got it for $1 a box which is a really good deal in this country.

My partner had gotten me a Google Home Mini for my birthday which is really sweet. I really like that thing. It’s really handy. I didn’t name it Mini Willy. I think that it has a name like “Bedroom Speaker” or something which isn’t really true since I moved it out of my bedroom. I miss it being in my bedroom though.

So that’s it from me at the moment. I’m approaching the big 4-0 soon and getting back to the USA is nagging at me. I hope that I can get there soon, but as usual, it has to wait a bit. I am just not sure I can live away from Australia anymore. It’s a very hard decision.

Birthday Day Planning Isn’t My Thing

Bad, bad, bad of me. My birthday’s coming up and everybody around here is asking me what I’m going to do for it. Since I’ve been here, most of the time, I just do something small like have a potluck at the park or gather at a restaurant. This year is a little special because I haven’t made ANY plans and the day is coming up next week.

On the day of my birthday, my partner is busy during the morning and I am busy from the late morning until dinner time so my time’s a bit limited. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

My birthday invitation would look something like this:

party
A beautiful use for Comic Sans, don’t you think?

I don’t know but party planning isn’t something I have a lot of interest in, but at the same time, I don’t really want someone else to do it for me. It’s a really weird situation to be in. I feel a little stressed to do something though. I just don’t want it to spill into the weekend since my partner works weekends.

I think one of the reasons I don’t like planning these things is because one of the last times I did, only two or three people showed up (but it was also in the middle of the week).

When I was a kid, my birthday parties were really simple. I wasn’t one of those kids who had birthday parties at McDonald’s, skating rinks, or at pizza places. They were always at home or at a relative’s house. When I’d get invitations from my friends to go to their parties at their places, I’d get a tiny bit jealous a time or two, but I was pretty happy with this arrangement. My birthday was usually family-centered though. I kinda miss that now that I live overseas. Something I especially miss is how my parents would let me anything I wanted for dinner.

So parties and celebrations aren’t my thing anyway and haven’t ever been a big thing for me. Give me a plate of tacos and a chocolate cake and I am happy! So I’m not really sure what I’m going to do, though I really could go for a super good burger!

Australia Says “YES”

yesfest
Australia Says Yes… like everybody knew they would, but apparently it takes wasting $122 million to figure that out. Pic is from Equal Love.

Exciting news! The Australian people have voted in favour of marriage equality.

Over 61% said yes. [Australia votes ‘yes’ to same-sex marriage.]

It’s a little funny though. I really thought that it would have happened before it did in the USA, but even despite that, I didn’t have too many problems with it because Australia is such a laid-back, relaxed place and even without marriage equality, same-sex couples still had a lot more rights than they did in the USA (and still do, honestly).

Something important to know is that it is not legal yet. It basically gives everybody in Parliament the right to a free vote (and hopefully, if they aren’t douchebags, vote with the rest of the country). A Bill needs to be written to make it law and the politicians have to vote on it.

It’s also a bit funny when the people on the “No” side said that the country shouldn’t cater to minorities when it comes to same-sex marriage. Do you know who IS the minority now? Them. Now they’re wanting to make it as hard as possible by writing discrimination into Australian law. They say “Oh, but we have to get our way too since we lost.” You know what would happen if the result was the other way around? Exactly. I don’t feel bad for them. Not. At. All. That’s why I don’t like religion and why being in a country that’s not so religious is great.

It’s also nice to see that Australians don’t have shit for brains like their American counterparts. Thank you, Australians!

Sorry that this was posted so late. I wrote this for Wednesday and forgot to post it! I made a few changes to this post though. (Also true: I’m infuriated, bored, and tired.)

Rain, Wind, and Douchebaggery

Yesterday, the sun didn’t hang around for long. A blanket of clouds covered the skies, and of course after the blanketing became too thick and the sun set, it started to rain. Since I live quite a distance away, I thought that the rain was just temporary so I went home.

When I first moved to Australia, I went through 3 umbrellas in one day. The wind can be brutal.

The thing about living near Melbourne is that you never know whether you’ll need a coat or an umbrella. Most of the time, you need to lug both around you. You never know what the weather is going to do and I’d say the people who “predict” the weather, and I say that with the whole air quotes thing, get it totally wrong. A sunny day turns into a day when the rain is coming at you sideways. They don’t really know what it’s going to do. When I lived in Texas, as long as I could remember, they were usually correct with what the weather would be like. 95% or more accuracy. Here, it’s just anybody’s guess. The TV meteorologist will say that it will be comfortable and calm all day, and wham, midday, a storm roars in with hurricane-style wind. Very annoying.

So, thinking they were going to get it wrong, I didn’t bring an umbrella. I didn’t actually need a jacket or coat. I got off the train at the station and it was raining. I stood there thinking, well, okay I’ll wait for a taxi and go that way. A taxi didn’t come and the city I live in has a really bad problem about not showing up when you call them and their app needs a lot of work. (Taxis cancel on you all the time, then call you after you’ve left wondering where the hell you are.) So, I was like, okay fine. I’ll run.

I had a backpack full of computer equipment and leftover sticky chicken from Gami Chicken and Beer. It’s not really something you want to mix up in a wet bag. I did run a little bit but I didn’t want to drop anything or have a sticky mess in my bag. So, I walked. The rain got worse and I was walking and laughing at myself for not trying harder to get a taxi.

There’s something I am leaving off though. I messaged my partner before I got to the station asking him what he was doing. In fact, I sent him messages before that and noticed he looked at them but didn’t reply. I was hoping he’d realise that it was raining hard and would meet me with an umbrella about 3/4 of the way or something. I finally just stopped waiting and messaged him to tell him that I was making a run for it back home, hoping that would sorta nudge him to do it. He didn’t.

I walked in completely wet and irritated. He said it wasn’t his problem and I should have at least brought an umbrella (which yeah, he was right) and that it was all my fault. I told him that he should have at least had the sense to meet me at some point since it was raining. I would have been wet anyway, regardless, but I thought it would have been nice. I get a bit heated sometimes, but honestly, the rain wasn’t that cold. It eventually got cold, but it wasn’t unpleasant. I was just really worried about my laptop and stuff.

This is Mini Willy. My Chromecast’s name is Willy. If I got a Google Home, I guess his name would be Big Willy. I didn’t ask for its preferred pronouns though, so I’m not sure.

So I went off on him, took a shower, and walked to my desk to get something. I saw a bag that said “Surprise! Happy Birthday” (it’s not for a few weeks) and looked in it and my partner had gotten me a Google Home Mini. I had been thinking about whether I wanted the bigger Google Home, Google Home Mini, HomePod, or if I even needed anything at all. I had almost decided that I would just wait to see what Apple’s HomePod was going to be like first. (I think this was probably my partner’s way to keep me from spending over $400 on a speaker.)

So far, it’s been nice. I’m learning a lot of insults in Hindi to prepare myself for India (at some point). It is nice to be bossy and ask “What time is it” during the night. I guess my more in-depth “review” will be later.

So, after being a big douche, I felt really bad. My partner isn’t happy with me and hasn’t really said much to me since last night. It’s a bit sad. I feel awful for being so mean like that. I think the both of us can be a bit mean though. I just feel quite bad. He’s at work though. So I’m going to have to patch things up when he’s back.

Will Australia Say Yes? We Find Out Tomorrow…

Tomorrow’s the day. The result of the opinion poll that cost $122,000,000 of taxpayer money comes out. I’m just posting this little blurb to say that I am really hopeful that there is a ‘Yes’ majority (and fairly confident it will be), but I also thought there was absolutely no way that the man running the USA would be so-called running it (yeah, into the ground). It was a huge surprise for a lot of people and had the popular vote meant something, my home country would be more respected now. BUT that’s not what this about…

My hopes are high but I don’t want to get them too high for that very reason. I want to think that people aren’t really horrible, but I get a shock sometimes.

But having said that, I’m going to try to go to one of the result events in Melbourne. I just don’t know which one yet.

When the next election happens here, I really, really hope that the voters here remember who put us in the firing line like this and who wasted all this money just to make a few Conservative nutcases happy.

I also hope to God, Jesus, and The Great Flying Spaghetti Monster people in the USA see what damage Redneck King and Holy Lord-Elect Trump has caused already. The USA is such a joke right now. Everybody’s pointing and laughing and I’m here happy I don’t live there now.

Super hard not to get all political now but it happens. The angry thing happens when you watch the land you’re from sink before your eyes.

I’ll post tomorrow after 10 am, when we find out.

My Week Sucked

I’ve spent most of the week being immobile, being unable to see out of my right eye, and having a cold. It really stopped me from doing anything productive. I’ve been trying to gather my strength to write a bit, but haven’t been able to write much. Not only that, I ended up having unexpected company for almost the full week too.

For the past few days, I’ve been staying in bed, trying to get better. I was hoping to feel much better today but it didn’t happen.

Not a pleasant week for me to be on vacation. Maybe next week will be a little better.