Monday, August 28, 2006

National API LGBT survey--please participate!

For those of you who identify as LGBT and API (same-sex identified and Asian American or Pacific Islander), the NGLTF is conducting a survey of our experiences. I know Alain Dang, and he's a good guy. :)

Please help him out and fill out the survey below. Thanks! :)

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is conducting the largest study ever of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. (That's LGBT APIs for short.) They are looking for 500 folks to complete the online survey. It's confidential, anonymous, and available in four languages: English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Asian-American community is under-served, under-researched and under-studied. Its members are caught in the margins," said Alain Dang, Task Force Policy analyst and the study's lead researcher. "We need to better understand the experience of this diverse part of our community. The findings of this study will help us to include the voices of the LGBT Asian-American community at all levels of discussion."

So, why participate in this survey? Well, for one, it helps determine what people's collective experiences have been, particularly with harassment and violence related to sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnic heritage. And the more data they have, the more solid info they have to show what kind of problems exist that need to be addressed, and to advocate for change.

Sound good to you?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

why I'm blessed...

I've been in one of those weird funks lately where I feel alone, even though I know that I have lots of friends and family and especially the husband out there who love and appreciate me for who I am--but it's always so much easier to remember what's wrong with me (or with everyone else, for that matter) than what's right. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be alone and to have fun by yourself, and I had to use that strategy a lot growing up in order to survive all the bullshit I had to deal with growing up. But it gets really frustrating to see that defense popping up for no reason at all.

So I'm writing a list of things that make me content, happy and otherwise good about myself to try to force myself out of it and to do something about this funk, because, frankly, I'm sick of it.

So this isn't a meme--and I'm not gonna call out anyone to do their own lists--but I need this reminder just to remember how lucky I am to be where I am. And if it inspires you to think of your own list, then cool. But I guess we all need a bit of self-indulgence from time to time.

So without further ado:

Things that make me happy (or feel blessed, or whatever--and things I like about myself)
o The husband--first and foremost. We've definitely gone through a lot, we've evolved, and I'm more in love with him than ever. He's also helped me appreciate who I am and made me see the real me--not just the me that I wanted to see. After almost 10 years, I'm still convinced he's the one for me.

o My journals. I've kept journals on and off for the past 10-15 years, sometimes on my computer, sometimes in print, but it helps to serve as a reminder of where I've come from, what I was thinking, and hwo much I've been through. Even looking through the blog (which I guess in a sense is my journal for the time being), I can see the subtle changes in my personality because of things that I've gone through.

o Friends. Such a weird amorphous term, since I have a lot of acquaintances, and quite a few acquaintances who are closer than just acquaintances, but there are an extremely small number of people in my life that I can truly call a friend. The husband and I have been chatting and we realized that we fell so hard into our relationship as lovers that we never took the time to be friends, and that we're trying to learn how to do that now. It's actually a fun and interesting learning experience, and I see him as even more well-rounded as before.

o Stimulating experiences. And not just the sexual type. I find that all the people that I'm really into, all the things that I enjoy, move me in some deep soul stirring way that forces me out of my comfort zone--or provides new areas in which to explore that comfort zone. Guess that's why I'm a foodie, a kinkyGAM, and I guess a hedonist--to make up for all the years of self-imposed repressive and suppressive Catholic guilt and living in denial of everything.

o Working out.
o Great food.
o Long drives (either by myself, the husband or with a close friend --or 5)
o Being pushed to my limits and forcing myself to break through them. Maybe that's why I'm so into swimming right now. I feel like I'm learning new things every time I swim. I didn't think that I could do 2500 yards in an hour. Now I want to see if I could really do 3000 or more. And it feels like I'm just breaking the surface of what I'm capable of doing.
o Talking with people.
o Being totally busy.
o Being completely still and quiet.
o I laugh loud. And often.
o The people who really know me REALLY know me. (Y'all know who you are!)
o I may be standoffish at first, but once you get to know me, I'm the most affectionate person you can be with.
o I'm really dealing with my issues. And it's hard--but I'm starting to make some progress.
o I know I can count on my friends to be there for me.
o I know I can count on myself to be there.
o I love hard and fast. And it takes a lot for someone to lose that love.

I'll think of more as I go along--but this is definitely more than I thought I'd write. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A little more breathing room...

So because of some unforeseen circumstances, I won't be able to apply for pharmacy school till 2008.

Considering it was because of some stupid mistakes I've done in the past, I guess it's only fair that I at least try to correct those mistakes before I try to go on with what I want to do. (And to really beef up my grades so that I do have a fighting chance to get in)

And also considering that I was killing myself (working 40+ hours a week, taking 3 classes, working out, etc.) for no real reason other than a self-imposed deadline, it has made me step back and begin thinking about how to realistically do what I want to do with my life.

Guess the funny part is that I realize that I have more time now in my 30s to do what I want than I thought I did when I was in my 20s.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another swimming milestone...

Did my first 3K swim today (in about 90 minutes). I actually feel really good, but this one guy who's in the class after me gave me a backhanded compliment.

"You don't have the body of a typical swimmer but you seem really comfortable in the water."

Thanks for making me sound like a fucking manatee. Jesus!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

More random shit...

o I've re-discovered the joys of chatting on webcam. Chatting, not cam sex. :P I have a lot of friends over in Asia so it just makes it so much easier to keep in touch with them and you can see them, and it doesn't cost anything.

o Scored an A in my online Stats class, which was so disgustingly easy. This now means I have a TI-83 calculator which I will never, ever use that cost me fucking $100 from OfficeMax. Of course, it's now $70 at Fry's. Fuckers.

o Got into playing new video games, besides DDR Supernova--I'm really into old-school games, so got Retro Atari for the DS (which sucks except for Warlords, but it was only $10), New Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Mr. Driller (I guess it's not really old-school since it's only a few years old, but still damn addictive). I'm now eagerly waiting for Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, an RPG that's so disgustingly cute that I have to get it. It's about the slimes from Dragon Quest, for Christ's sake!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More random thoughts....

o Can't believe that I swam 2600 yards tonight in an hour. And I worked a total of 12 hours today.

o I also can't believe that I've gotten used to swimming this well so soon after taking a year off from swimming. I'm definitely going to have give Tsunamianother shot.

o Got a compliment from the swim coach who couldn't believe I was 32, and thought that I was his age (24!). And I found out he's going to pharm school at UCSD, though he wanted to go to UCSF.

o Was thinking about swimming and wondering why my mom was so against swimming because of her own racial issues about "being dark", and why she always got upset when I called her out on it, and thinking how I could've actually been a pretty good swimmer as a kid if it wasn't for her issues.

o The husband had surgery yesterday to remove the plates from his initial jaw surgery back in December and he's recovering really well. He's able to kiss me normally (though he still looks like a chipmunk since his face is still swollen).

o Excited and freaked about the pharmacy school app. I really hope I get accepted somewhere (hopefully UCSF).

Ok, I'm exhausted...I'm off to bed!