Monday, February 27, 2012

My Life in TV Shows

If my life was defined by what television shows I watched during the period, this is what it would roughly look like:

1992 - born

Ages 0-3
-Barney and Friends
-Sesame Street

Ages 4-7 (Early Elementary School)

-Sesame Street
-Dragon Tales
-The Magic School Bus

Ages 8-12 (Later Elementary School)
-Wheel of Fortune
-The Magic School Bus
-Spongebob Squarepants
-Bill Nye the Science Guy

Ages 13-15 (Middle School)

-The Fairly Odd Parents
-Spongebob Squarepants
-The Wild Thornberries
-Wheel of Fortune
-Hey Arnold!
-The Amanda Show
-Slime Time Live

Ages 16-18 (High School)
-Spongebob Squarepants
-The Fairly Odd Parents
-Good Eats
-Top Gear
-The West Wing
-Law and Order SVU
-Family Guy
-The Colbert Report
-Criminal Minds

Ages 18-Present (College)

Matt Bomer: the reason why I was initially interested in, and am now obsessed with White Collar

-White Collar
-Happy Endings
-Downton Abbey
-Top Gear
-Good Eats
-Law and Order SVU
-Doctor Who
-The West Wing

Now I feel like watching some of those older shows haha.

Spring Break starts in one week and it can't come fast enough.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Meeting Other Gay Guys

I got the following email from an Australian reader of mine asking me for some advice regarding his current situation, and while I cannot claim I'm an expert in the field in any ways, here's my best swing at answering it:
Hello JP,
Originally I was going to ask for advice about some sort of problem I think I have but I kinda think I just have to speak to my friend about it and see what he thinks. Anyway a bit of background information on me. I'm 19, living in Sydney and studying. I've read your blog for quite a bit I think (maybe a year) and all the older bits too because other people's lives are always more interesting than study haha. I think you're about roughly the same age as me but it seems like you've got a lot more things going on in your life than I do! Anyway I'm wondering how many other gay people do you know an how'd you meet them? I'm asking this because in my immediate and not so immediate group of friends there's actually no one I know is gay which can feel a bit isolating. You don't sound like you're a depressed, think they'll be forever alone kinda guy so I'm assuming you're not as cut off from the gay community as I am (not saying I think I'll be forever alone or whatnot... whatever). I'm not too eager to use internet methods to meet other guys as it seems kinda seedy and the university LGBT group, well I've gotten up the lift but never really made it past the corner haha. So yeah... that's basically it.

Now of course there are a lot of different variables which can influence what you should and should not do in a situation such as this but here's my take. I hope it's helpful for you if you have a similar dilemma:
Regarding your first question, I would say that I know quite a large number of gay individuals at my school. It would be difficult to put a solid number on it but more than two dozen would be safe. I don't necessarily know all these people well or personally, but I know most of them to be considered at least acquaintances. Despite this big number, it wouldn't surprise me if there are many closeted individuals that I know but who I just haven't come out to me or anyone else for that matter.
When it comes to how I met them, I would say the majority is through just everyday interaction and chance and happenstance. I didn't go out seeking them per se, it usually just ended up just being us hanging out and then something came up in conversation that ended up with us coming out to each other. Since I quietly "came out" during my freshman year, all my close friends know that I'm gay and a good amount of people outside my core groups know as well. I'm not really flamboyant or anything so some people who I have met recently don't know and it can get a little awkward if they start talking about the hot chick at the party or something but it's never bad. My personal policy is to not toss around "hey, I'm gay" unless someone actually asks me or unless the situation really calls for it. Since you never know somebody's reaction, I like to keep things as drama free as possible and assess the situation before I do anything like come out to someone I've just met or recently met.
I've also met a few other gay guys through my friends and some of the clubs I've involved in (Pride included). Since I do publicity work for one of the theatre groups, I've met my fair share of gay guys there, though none of them are really my type. My campus Pride organization of course was a good way to meet others. My campus Pride holds general body meetings every few weeks where there is a discussion topic. Last meeting was just after the Superbowl here in the US and it focused on the gay community and sports and the relationship between the two. Of course, this is probably the most direct way to meet with certainty other gay guys at school. As I mentioned, my friends have also led me to meet a few other gay guys. I like to keep a few circles of close friends rather than just one but through my circles, I've become close friends with a few individuals and they will be like - "Hey, did you know ____was gay?" which of course spurs conversation and such and even occasionally an introduction to that other person. What I like about this is that everything is kept very casual and comfortable which is something I really enjoy.
Now I don't know how out or semi-out you are at school but the first step I would say is to find a really good, close friend you can come out to if you haven't already. This breaks the ice and gets everything rolling. From then on, you can start looking out to meeting other gay people. My first piece of advice to you on meeting other gay guys would be to not push yourself beyond what you're comfortable doing. It's a rather sensitive subject and taking things slowly would be best. The environment in Australia is generally more liberal than the area where I attend school which I think could work into your favour. If you're afraid of attending a pride meeting, maybe I would suggest bringing said close friend as an "ally" to the meeting with you. This could help calm any nerves you have about going alone. Second, I don't know how big your school is, but it wouldn't surprise me if you asked someone you know well whether they know of any other gay people on campus that they would tell you "yes". Often it's someone you never knew was gay because they never fit into any of the established stereotypes that usually tip you off. If that person is comfortable with his/her sexuality, maybe you could find some way to talk to them and get their input about LGBTQ life at your school as I'm sure they would know much more about it than I would. This would be a great way to start meeting other people and branch out. Finally, if your school has a LGBTQ resource center of some sort, I've found those to be a great resource in general. They often put on events that aren't as "loud" as general Pride events which could be good for you.
Best of Luck!

As I said, your situation and environment can vary but in my view, I think this is a good broad overview.
If you have any questions you would like to ask me please feel free to write; I love to hear from my readers :)

All the best,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Suck it up v2.0

Alright, so apparently this blog is trending high if you Google the Global Zero summit at Yale so I have deleted my last post for the time being as a precaution against those I know somehow stumbling upon my blog via such a search. I plan on posting it again in the next few days but the gist of it was....

1. People need to effing accept responsibility and stop complaining when they have to do work. Seriously, suck it up.

2. I'm coming closer and closer to a decision about cutting more deadweight in my life, and it's becoming more apparent who these people will be.

As I said, my full rant, with all the Charles Dickens-esque unnecessary descriptions intact, will be posted when things cool down and the chances of people I know finding my blog falls a bit. Cartharsis shall be mine.


Suck it up

(Previously unavailable, but now re-posted)

If there are two things in life that I can not stand, they are people who won't take responsibility and those who just can not seem to be happy about anything in their lives. (Warning, this is a rant post)

When people sign up to do something and then complain about having to do work they had agreed to do, it almost makes me want to scream. Basically, it comes down to respect for me; if you signed up to do a job and then complain about all the "work" your poor dear soul has to do, then my respect for you has dropped tremendously.

This is a situation I'm currently facing with someone I know and it's really starting to bug me. In addition to all of this, there is also another element- If you have the audacity to then also complain about how I personally have done "no work", then we have opened up the gates of hell. Since I do publicity work for a theatre group here on campus, I was given the opportunity to have an assistant to help me out. I asked one of my close friends if they wanted to have this position and they agreed. As time wore on however, all this person has done is complain and steadily try to shed more and more responsibility.

 First came skipping mandatory meetings with bullshit reasons, then came even more complaining regarding the responsibilities they were given. Since this past weekend I was out of town, I gave my friend the charge of organizing people and house managing the show - basically folding programs and greeting people, not too much. Well, after the weekend, I heard from one of my friends that she had been bitching me out behind my back about how I hadn't done any work and that she was tired and frustrated. I wasn't only taken aback by this but I was also furious. Part of my job is a lot of behind the scenes work I will admit, but the number of meetings I've had to attend, the effort of trying to organize dozens of people, and physically going out on my own accord and putting up posters and distributing show material around campus without telling anyone is by no means anything remotely close to having done "no work". Add on top of this work for the next production I'm already starting on, coursework, and juggling the frustration of other people also refusing to do their share of the work in what are supposed to be group projects and I'm already up to my eyeballs in shit to do that I'm not happy about. The last thing I need is someone who needs to trash talk me on a subject they have no idea about. Stop complaining and suck it up.

The second person who I'm currently frustrated about is someone who, if I were stuck in the 1950s call a chronic Debbie-Downer, but since I'm not, I'll just say she's a dreary grey cloud of angst and passive-aggressiveness. Let's call this person H.

Hi, I'm H, and you and everything you say is stupid.

 H just can never seem to be happy. ever. Everything this person says is either sarcastic, snarky, or straight up rude. Literally, unless H has what I like to think of as a "good day" where they break a smile, H has the uncanny ability to turn a nice, calm day into a dreary cold-drizzle kind of day wherever H is. Keep in mind, this is the same person I've ranted about before for getting all moody at the drop of a hat. I swear that nothing in the world will make H happy and that really annoys me. I'm not going to say that I'm a 24/7 sunny attitude kind of guy since I definitely am not, but people like H really just drag me down hard. I like to surround myself with generally more positive people, even if they can get mildly agitating at times. Nevertheless, I occasionally feel like H might be the next person I limit contact with since they are not really doing anything good for me.

Alright, end rant.

I apologize for this rant post but I just needed to get this off my chest. Also, thanks for all the support on my last post. I've calmed down now after my Marketing midterm (which went smoother than expected) though now I have another midterm coming up.


Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm Panicking

Dammit. I'm starting to have another one of my "where is my life headed?" and "I think it's time to purge dead weight from my life" moments again. I woke up from a nap that lasted far too long and just had a deep, empty feeling in the put of my stomach and a cold, lost feeling in my mind.

My friend dynamics have shuffled around again; I have people who I feel much closer to now and those who I'm starting to drift away from. I'm starting to realize that maybe some of these people just aren't doing me any good or are just dragging me down by their negativity. Sad thing is, some of these people were those who I felt closest with not too long ago. What do I do? Smile through it? Kick them off the cliff?

On the other hand, I also feel lost as to what I want to do in my life. We talked about this in my Finance class. All things considered, I'm done with school in two years, a few more if I go for a MBA, hopefully have a family in ten, and will be sending my kids to college in around thirty. Those numbers seemed huge not too long ago but now they seem like they are around the corner. Scarier still, my sophomore year has been passing by quicker than I ever could have anticipated. Time isn't staying at its already terrifyingly quick pace, but accelerating.

I'm trying to study for my Marketing midterm which is tomorrow morning and a Finance midterm Thursday, sandwich in an International Trade problem set due Wednesday and I really should NOT be writing this. But I have to, I'm literally sitting in a cubical in the school library panicking when I really need to get my act together and do well on these things.

Focus, dammit! You have too much stuff to do this week already to worry about non-class things right now.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Global Zero at Yale

Hey guys,

I've been trying to blog for the past two days but limited internet access has kept me from doing so. I just got back from a weekend up at Yale University were I attended a student summit held by Global Zero, a non-profit working for nuclear non-proliferation and eventually the removal of nuclear weapons from the world's arsenals. I left Friday afternoon and the closing ceremony was today. Here's a recap:

Friday we left from DC up to New Haven; unfortunately we left right as rush hour was getting bad which made getting out of DC and making any headway out of the metro area a nightmare. It took us two hours just to get to Baltimore. Global Zero had chartered two buses for my school's chapter as well as the other DC chapters and for schools like William and Mary and Davidson College. I ended up napping most of the ride or listening to music. I sat next to my good friend Allie on the way up and we chatted about what events were planned during the two-day summit. After a pit stop in Delaware we finally reached New Haven around 10:30 and the hotel at 11PM. Can I just say, New Haven is the most sketchy ass place in the world, especially at night. The area where we were staying, literally a few blocks from campus, was run down and I heard police sirens every 20 minutes. I guess I'm just used to having my school be in a nice area but hot damn, we were only a few blocks from campus and I thought I was going to get robbed on the walk from the bus to the hotel lobby.

Luckily, the hotel itself was nice; I was rooming with two freshmen who were both really cool and chill. Since we were told that we may need to smush into rooms, they had both brought sleeping bags just in case. Since I was the last to enter, they gave me the whole King bed to myself which shocked me but was something I would never think of turning down after my dorm bed.

Around midnight we were getting hungry so we were all getting hungry so we ventured out to the gas station food shop across the street. There were two men arguing with the cashier who was behind a layer of glass, metal grating, and metal bars. The whole tense atmosphere and terrible food selection made me and the others get out of there in 10 seconds. We ended up getting food from the Popeye's next door which tasted like heaven after eating a granola bar since 6 that night. After eating, we all went to bed since we would have to be up early the next morning. I slept like a baby sprawled out on so much space.

On Saturday, we all met in the lobby to walk over to Yale for the opening ceremony at 8:30. Of course people were late and Allie was freaking out about this since she was one of the main organizers of this trip. We ended up getting there on time and we took our seats in the auditorium. The first day nded up being really cool with a number of really good panel discussions with some really fascinating speakers like Dr. Hans Blix, Retired General Jack Sheehan,  multiple former ambassadors, many high-ranking current and past government officials, and experts in the nuclear field. They discussed topics such as removing nuclear weapons out of Europe, the cost of maintaining our current nuclear arms arsenal, and in a discussion with Iran's former ambassador to Germany Amb. Mousavian, how to reduce and hopefully end tensions with Iran and its nuclear program. I really enjoyed the broad mix of views they provided on the topic of working towards a world with no nuclear weapons as well as how they answered a variety of questions from the attendees of the summit. There was a large delegation from my school and from DC in general but also schools like MIT, Boston College, Stanford, UC Irvine, and Yale itself, as well as a big delegation from Europe and abroad with France, England, Germany, Pakistan, and Turkey all represented.

During the break period, me and a few other people did some exploring of the Yale campus. It's actually a very pretty campus; there was nice architecture and the central quad was pretty. They made us take what I thought was a rather silly picture where we had to spell out words by standing in the form of letters which was not fun since it was kind of cold. The payoff for that though was that Allie and I were asked to appear in one of the promotional videos highlighting the summit so it would be cool to see if we make it into the final cut.

After the panels were done that evening, there was a reception held where many of the panelists were speaking to the students and such. I spoke with Dr. Blix and even shook hands with him which was awesome as well as have a lengthy talk with Dr. Lawrence Korb who is a former Assistant Secretary of Defense. We chatted about the role of China in the nuclear world as well as things like the Superbowl, Linsanity, and sports in general. I also got to mingle with many of the other college students there and met some pretty cool people though seeing as I would probably never see them again, I didn't do any solid networking. That night I ended up relaxing in the room and trying and failing to study for some midterms I have coming up.

On Sunday, we met up again in the lobby to get to campus early to hear Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA operations officer outed by the government about nine years ago, speak and take questions from the students. She provided some very interesting views on the situation of nuclear weapons in the modern world as well as telling a condensed version of her story to us. Allie and one of her friends even got a photo with her which was really exciting for her. After two more speakers, we finally broke up into campaign workshops where we basically meet with other local chapters and discuss strategies to spead the word about Global Zero and what they are trying to do. There I met the president of the George Mason University chapter and my lord he was one good looking guy. Given he goes to school near where I live, I'm totally doing some creepin (just kidding). Speaking of, there were some very good looking guys at the conference and at Yale in general. Yale guys seem to have this strange hipster-preppy mix which is actually pretty cool. Anyways, i'm really looking forward to working with the people from the other chapters in DC. Finally, after closing remarks around 2, we headed back to the hotel and got ready to board the bus around 3.

The bus ride back was very quick since there was no traffic so instead of taking 8 hours it only took around 5 and a half. I ended up just studying for my Marketing midterm on the way back. It was cold raining when we got back to DC but thankfully it hadn't iced over or anything. Overall, it was a fantastic trip. I wish I had a little more time to explore campus a bit more in-depth but just being able to see and hear all the amazing speakers and meeting so many bright and motivated people made the trip worth it. What made this trip even more worth it though was that I paid abosolutely nothing for it. Yup, I was able to go on a two day trip up to Yale and not pay a cent for registration, transport, or hotel. The only money I spent on this trip was for late night food and coffee during the day. The fact that I was able to pull off this feat without breaking any rules or doing anything reprehensible makes me so happy. Really, it was a quirk of working the system they had in place by getting a bunch of fees waived. I'm pretty sure this is why I'm in the business school.

Alright, I'm going ot go back to doing work but I hope you guys enjoy the remainder of your President's Day weekend if you're in the US. If not, I hope you have a good week.

All the best,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Language Nerd and Study Abroad

You probably need to know French to understand why this is funny.
Basically, the French have a weird and overcomplicated way of counting.

france: ten
france: twenty
france: thirty
france: forty
france: fifty
france: sixty
france: sixty ten
world: france what are you do—
france: four twenties
world: france stop it
france: four twenties ten
world: france that doesn't even make any sense
france: hundred.

I'd still gladly take French's quirks over German's horrid word-order and inconsistent assigning of genders to nouns (so bad....). #languagenerdproblems #iknowthisisnottwitter

In other news, my study abroad application is due tomorrow and I'm currently in freak out mode. I got my passport style photos taken today, got my dean to sign off on my course list, and all my paperwork except for editing my personal statement is done. Oh my god this is actually happening.....


Saturday, February 11, 2012


Sometimes I really wonder why I even bother trying to organize and coordinate things with people. More often than not, they simply change their minds last minute or provide some craptastic, lame excuse to get out of it. I know this sounds all petty and shit but sometimes....

Yeah, I busted out the .gif file

Vous vous prenez pour qui?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Hey guys, it's been a while but I'm glad to report things are going pretty smoothly here in DC. With classes in full swing, I've finally gotten a better picture of the professors I'm dealing with and also the classes themselves. I've come to realize that I really enjoy marketing and macroeconomics a lot. Marketing is really interesting and fun subject that, while being bashed by many business schoolers, is actually one of the best courses I've taken so far. The professor also could be gay as I've discussed with one my my friends who is in my class. He's also not half bad looking haha. Macro has also surprised me with how fun it's been. Compared to microecon, which was the bane of my existence last year partially due to a lacklustre professor, macro is infinitely more understandable and practical. My finance class has also been really cool so far. Considering I'm planning for finance to be one of my majors, I really hoped that I like the class, and I'm glad to report I am. My professor is kind of crazy, he likes to bash on state schools in a joking manor but he weaves in personal experiences and actually makes participating easy. Somehow, that man has made calculating the values of annuities, perpetuities and Future Scary. As for my other classes, International trade has been relatively smooth; it's difficult to say the least but I'm grasping the concepts in class. German has been German, I found out that I likely won't be able to take German while abroad so this might be my last semester which is sad but not devastating as ending French was for me a few years back.

Aside from classes, school life has been pretty good. Friend drama has been playing out as normal with friend/enemy relations being formed and broken as often as the sun rises and sets. Honestly, I try to avoid it as much as possible since I have better things to do than get involved in crap that will only hurt me in the long run. I've also kept up with my resolution to go to the gym 3-5 times a week, mostly with the motivation of my friend Liz who comes with me. We just tell each other we need to be ready for shirtless volleyball on the front lawn once Spring comes around.

*               *               *

This past Friday was the first day I actually made time to indulge myself in some well deserved me-time. After my class ended at 11, I took a nap and then around 2 went to the Washington Auto Show at the convention center. Last year was the first time that I missed the show since I started going when I was 10 so I was determined to go this time. The show was pretty good; there were a fair amount of concept cars out there but nothing really blew my mind except for a few. I sat in some of the few models that are brand new or that I'd been wanting to for a while, like the Audi S7, 2013 Lexus GS, Range Rover Evoque, and the Fiat 500. I even got to ride in a 500 in a handling course they set up in the convention center itself. It was really sick. Here's some pics from the show:

The Lexus LF-LC concept, probably the car I wanted to see most at the show. It's stunning

A Ford Concept

The Domestic makers

The Fiat 500 Gucci Edition. They took an already accessory type car, and made it even more of a fashion tool.

Last night I also went out clubbing for the first time this year. After pregaming at a friend's apartment, we grabbed a cab and went to to Towne, a gay club near Howard University and U-St in DC. I had never been to this club before but had heard good things so I was really excited to go. The place was surprisingly spacious and there were gogo dancers(!) The music was also really good. When I'm drunk it really like to dance, especially to more pop-type music with a good beat which they had plenty of. I hung out with a group of my friends for a while then started dancing with a few of the the other guys.

The first guy I danced with was from AU; he was also a sophomore and was dressed really preppy with a sweater over a shirt and tie which was strange but also kinda hot. We grinded for a while but then we started doing some crazy crap with his body undulating and moving in ways that I had never seen or experienced before. It was crazy and kind of intimidating, I even lost my balance once because of his moves. Long story short, he was a a boatload of fun. After that guy, I went back to my group and noticed a guy close by who kept looking over at me. He was really good looking, slightly taller than me, dirty blond hair, and beautiful, soft blue eyes. I eventually moved my way over to him and we introduced ourselves and chatted. He graduated from the school I'm currently attending in 2010 and also did the business school. He majored in International business and OPIM and even was involved in one of the top acapella groups on campus. He's from California where he works for Google now which is a company that I wouldn't mind working for too when I graduate. All in all, he had pretty much all the characteristics I look for in a guy, both physical and mental. We even danced for a while and before I left, I got the courage to ask for his number. We texted back and forth for a bit after I left the club too. What sucks is though is that I know in all likelihood I will never see him again. It was such a tease for life to deal me such a card. I talked to Liz about it and she said not to give up, that things happen for a reason and maybe our paths will cross again so hey, maybe I'll run into him in my travels one day. Viewed as a whole, Friday was a very solid day in my book.

On Saturday, I went home to spend an evening with Maria because her birthday is coming up. We spent a night relishing each other's company by seeing Beauty and the Beast in 3-D and getting Korean food. Seeing the movie made me realize how much I loved old Disney movies. They were surprisingly well made and had a great story and music. Yeah, the tickets were expensive but it was totally worth it. Last night also made me realize just how much I love living where I do. I know this whole "home is where the heart is" stuff is scoffed at, but really, when I do plan on settling down, my first stop would be to find a house back in Northern Virginia and raise my family there. It has everything I need and more. I think I will turn this into a full post soon even since it takes more than just this small paragraph to explain what I'm trying to say.

Alright, this is getting lengthy so I'm going to cut it here. I hope you have a properly lazy Sunday and a productive, drama-free week.

All the best,